March 2018 Social Impact Breakfast: Sarah Dusseault and Lily Holleman

Against the backdrop of Los Angeles’s historical Merry-Go-Round in Griffith Park, Stratiscope hosted the City Impact Lab’s monthly Social Impact Breakfast on March 1, 2018. The inspiring speakers this month were Sarah Dusseault, Chief of Staff to LA City Councilmember David Ryu and Lily Holleman, President of the Los Angeles Breakfast Club.

Lily spoke about her passion for the community that the Los Angeles Breakfast Club has retained since 1925. The Los Angeles Breakfast Club community is known for various Angelenos, from Will Rogers to Calvin Coolidge, to come together for breakfast once a week regardless of their political beliefs and values. Lily highlighted the following three tactics that helped her revive the  organization when she joined in 2013.

  • “My love was palpable and it still is. I allowed that to inspire my intuition.” Lily explained that when she became President and Chairman in 2015, she started by asking herself who in her network would fall in love with the LA Breakfast Club and help her grow the organization.
  • Lilly also identified Steve McAvoy as a connector in Los Angeles who had the resources to bring influencers to the organization. Lily continued to work with Steve to bring in phenomenal speakers and raise the credibility of the organization.
  • “I quickly realized that if you are not online, then it’s like your organization didn’t exist.” Lily used social media as a tool to reach an audience that had never been reached to by the organization before.

With a lot of passion, support from the right individuals, and the use of social media, Lily brought life back to an organization that was founded over 93 years ago.

After a compelling first talk, Sarah took the stage to speak about how she crafted a career in politics that is centered in her values for serving others. Currently serving as the highest staff member to Councilmember Ryu as Chief of Staff, Sarah emphasized that the following tactics led her to a successful career.  

  • “...I try and incorporate young people in absolutely everything I do.” Sarah feels that everyone has an essential perspective to offer and that why she’s cultivated a staff that ranges in age.
  • “For me, it's relationships that have been critical to my success and are critical to the success of anything I work on.” Sarah highlights that building relationships are different than networking and it’s these relationships that will move mountains for her.
  • “The other thing that I think is really important for me, as a human being, is balance.” Without taking out the time to take care of herself and her family, Sarah wouldn’t be able to succeed in her professional aspirations.

Sarah provided a bonus tactic before wrapping up the talk by emphasizing the importance of resilience. She shared her own experiences with failure, and that if she hadn’t gotten back up from the many roadblocks she faced, she wouldn’t be where she is today.

Special thanks to Julio from the Merry-Go-Round for hosting us and to Dora from Yucca’s for the delicious breakfast burritos!  

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