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The Visionary

Angella Nazarian scales a new summit.

Angella Nazarian

Women A.R.E., a leadership initiative launched last January by Angella Nazarian and Beth Friedman, focuses on what women might become—that is, if they’re inspired, encouraged and supported to recognize, and then realize, their potential.

This being Hollywood, it all starts with a good story—something Nazarian knows all about. The Iranian-born writer first came to Los Angeles at age 11 for a two-week stay, never to return home. “It was during the revolution,” explains Nazarian, now 45. “My father thought it best my mother and I [leave] for a few weeks; he thought things would calm down.” When they didn’t, Nazarian was given the choice to return to Tehran or stay with her elder siblings in L.A. She stayed, and would not see her parents for more than five years.

Little coincidence stories are also central to Nazarian’s professional life, first as a psychology professor and, later, as the author of Life as a Visitor and last year’s Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women of the World, a tribute to 20 female visionaries with compelling tales of their own. To compound the narrative and to foster collaboration, Women A.R.E. will host its inaugural summit on Nov. 7 at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills (her brother-in-law, Sam Nazarian, is the hotel’s owner). “Most effective leaders have support networks around them, and that is what Women A.R.E. is all about,” says Nazarian of the summit featuring 25 to 30 speakers and 300 invited attendees—professional female influencers in fields running the gamut. The summit follows two receptions: “one with Somaly Mam [a Cambodian human rights advocate and CNN Hero who fights against sex trafficking], the other with Mindy Grossman [CEO of the Home Shopping Network],” says Nazarian, noting these “thought leaders” serve both as exemplars of cross-categorical imagination and effectiveness. It is, you might say, the next exciting chapter.

Nazarian’s Hots
Handwritten notes, Pressed Juicery, Clinique’s Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer SPF 15, fresh-cut gardenias from my garden

Nazarian’s Nots
Local bookstores disappearing, fried foods, posting bad photos of friends on social media, the closing of the 405 off-ramps, being late