Helen Hernandez on the value of her membership at City Club Los Angeles
Member since: 1995
Why she joined: "I was a single woman and had gone through some transitions in my life and needed to extend my social circle. City Club Los Angeles [at the time named City Club on Bunker Hill] was the only club in Los Angeles that really encouraged minorities and women to join. When other clubs seemed to be more exclusively male, here was a club that said to women: ‘Welcome.' "
Power of relationships: "As I started going to the club, I began to develop relationships with individuals who are now some of my dearest friends. James Weidner, who was CEO of the Cooperative of American Physicians at the time, joined the club a month or two after I did. Years after we met, he was involved in an initiative concerning the cap paid in lawsuits with regards to malpractice claims. I have a consulting company, and although I wasn't looking for work, he knew I had the skill sets he needed and hired me as a consultant on this statewide initiative. So sometimes even when you're not looking to do business, you wind up doing business based on your relationships."
Enriched lives: "Years ago, when I chaired the club's City Connections committee, we created an event called Honoring Outstanding Women of City Club, held during Women's History Month. It celebrates the diversity of the club by honoring women from the diverse backgrounds that make up Los Angeles. We've honored judges, lawyers, entrepreneurs, corporate executives - anyone who has made a difference in the community - and we've created an environment of inclusion for all women."
Legacy: "My two oldest grandchildren grew up at City Club. I would take them to all the holiday events. So when my granddaughter graduated from high school three years ago, she asked if it would be possible to have her graduation party there. I said, absolutely! It meant a lot to me that she wanted it to be at a place that she found to be very special to her."