The Trusteeship
International Women's Foundation

Paula Holt – Dine-Around – May 20

Trusteeship sisters joined Paula Holt for a lovely Midday Dine-Around on Sunday, May 20th.

Paula reports, “It was a fabulous get together and rich discussion about the importance of Los Angeles as a cultural center, and how the fine and performing arts survive in the current times. Great ideas and input from really smart and savvy women.”

The Sisters Rosensweig at SCR – May 17

The Trusteeship enjoyed a delightful talk and dinner at the Center Club in Costa Mesa with Literary Associate, Kat Zukaitis, a member of South Coast Repertory’s Literary Staff as well as with Managing Director, Paula Tomei. Our fun dinner was followed by a Performance of “The Sisters Rosensweig” at the beautiful South Coast Repertory – Segerstrom Stage.

During our engaging dinner we learned that SCR produces their own shows from soup to nuts and that Kat, as the dramaturg, has a very integral hand in how a performance finally makes it to the stage.  We had no idea about the complexities it takes to create a show from the group up and were quite impressed by not only their enthusiasm, but their tremendous knowledge of theater.

About the Sisters Rosensweig:
They’re each extraordinary in their own way. Sara, the successful banker. Pfeni, the globe-trotting journalist. And Gorgeous, the irrepressible radio host. Not bad for three sisters from Brooklyn in the early 1990s. When they gather in London for Sara’s 54th birthday, along with some of the men in their lives, the result is a witty, enthralling look at the quest for love, acceptance and self-fulfillment.

Special thanks to Sheila Sonenshine and Michelle Jordan for help in putting this fun event together.

LEF Awardee Luncheon – May 12

The Meredith MacRae Empowerment Award recognizes prominent women humanitarian leaders who are changing lives around the globe through innovative and results-driven work.


  • Unique visionary 
  • Impact on the lives of others, especially women or girls
  • Major international influence

This year the LEF Board of Directors selected two prominent women leaders for this award. Both are indeed making a global difference: Neema Namadamu & Razia Jan. Neema Namadamu was honored on February 3rd.

On May 12 we shined the spotlight on Razia Jan.

A bit about Razia Jan:

  • Razia is an Afghan woman who came to the U.S. for her college education and was unable to return to her homeland following the Soviet invasion. Following 9/11, she felt she must do something to help.
  • Her initial act was to organize people to make blankets for the first responders. She then organized an effort to collect and refurbish shoes and, with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, delivered 30,000 pairs to the people of Afghanistan.
  • But most importantly, Razia is dedicated to the proposition that educating Afghan girls and, thus, empowering young women, is the best hope for bringing peace to this afflicted region. And so, in 2008, she opened the Zabuli Education Center in the district of Deh’Subz.
  • First, Razia had to gain permission from the village elders, who wanted her to build a school – but for their sons. Through her persistence and strength, she succeeded in building a school for girls, which is beloved and supported by the community and declared “perfect” by an official of the Ministry of Education.
  • She began with one class of 4th graders, but the school today brings a high quality free education, plus uniforms, shoes, warm coats and meals, to 625 girls between the ages of 4 and 22, drawn from 7 villages in the area. The earliest students received their high school diplomas last year.
  • Though some went on to university, Razia recognized the need to provide others with continuing education to prepare them for careers. And thus was born the Razia Jan Institute. She raised the money to acquire land adjacent to the Zabuli school and to build new facilities to provide graduates and other community members with “a clear path to empowered employment in midwifery while bringing medical services to a desperately under-served area.” The Institute also provides classes in English and computer literacy.
  • A book by American author Elizabeth Suneby, entitled “Razia’s Ray of Hope,” is used in the U.S. to engage young readers in global issues. It is based on the true story of a girl in Afghanistan who desperately wants an education and convinces the men in her family to allow her to attend school. It is written for children ages 8-12, aligned with common core state standards, and is ideal for school, library and personal use when discussing the fundamental human right of education for all children. A portion of the proceeds goes to help pay for girls to attend the Zabuli Education Center.

Today, in order to continue her humanitarian work, school administration, fundraising efforts, and spending time with family, Razia travels between Afghanistan and the United States.

To learn more about Razia, please click here.

’18 Hollywood Retreat – April 13-15

The most sought after ticket of the year ~ the 2018 Hollywood Retreat!

Retreats have traditionally been a wonderful experience where Trusteeship members connect, learn and grow as well as being the Tie-That-Binds long term and substantive relationships with your fellow members.

Our retreat began with check in at the beautiful Beverly Hilton Hotel. Thanks to Trusteeship member, Donna Smith, we were able to establish a wonderful affordable rate to create a real Stay-cation for our members.

At the Beverly Hilton we climbed aboard our chauffeured private coach and journeyed to famed Sony Pictures Studios where we were introduced to a behind the scenes, extra special private tour at this iconic Hollywood studio with visits to the sets of Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and the Goldberg’s. We toured the post-production areas where we learned about Folly and Sound and the importance even the most slight sound means to a film or production. We visited studios where some of our most endeared films were created and imagined what it must be like to be a part of a true Hollywood film production. We ended the evening with a true on Studio craft-services provided dinner where there was more food than you could possibly imagine. Thanks to Karen Caplan for supplying the wine which made a great evening even better! Simply a great learning opportunity and one we won’t soon forget.

Bright and early Saturday morning we enjoyed a once in a lifetime panel of true entertainment industry insiders about the very important and topical issue of “Time’s Up”.  Thanks to members Ilyanne Morden Kichaven and Jennifer Ferro for assembling this very strong panel of women who have lived it, fought it and are creating new ways of thinking about “Time’s Up”.  We were truly introduced to the movers and shakers who are making a difference in ending not only sexual harassment but any type of gender and racial injustice…starting with the entertainment industry and trickling down to ALL industries where women are not treated as equals. The personal stories and shared points of change were truly inspiring.


  • Noreen Halpern, Producer
  • Nina Shaw, Well respected Attorney and Co-Founder of “Times Up” New Panelist!
  • Cathy Schulman, Oscar winning producer & President of Women in Film
  • Stacy Smith, Associate Professor; Founder and Director, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
  • Laura Dern, Academy Award winning actress
  • Moderator: Jennifer Ferro, President, KCRW

Next, we again climbed aboard our private shuttle and headed to the famed and historic, Hollywood Forever Cemetery where we enjoyed a private tour of just a fraction of the cemetery’s most famous interments. We learned the history of this gorgeous location and why Hollywood Forever is a cemetery unlike any other in the world. One of the world’s most fascinating landmarks, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place to more of Hollywood’s founders and stars than anywhere else on earth. Founded in 1899, the cemetery was an integral part of the growth of early Hollywood. Paramount Studios was built on the back half of the original Hollywood Cemetery, where the studio is still in operation today. The cemetery of choice for most of the founders of Hollywood’s great studios, as well as writers, directors, and, performers, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Visitors come from all over the world to pay respects to Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and hundreds more of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

The Anatomy of a Production panel exposed us to the tremendous amount of professional challenges and opportunities there are to overcome in the production of a film. With our own Trusteeship members, Donna Smith and Martha De Laurentiis involved, this panel proved to be an enlightening step behind the camera into their world of film production.


  • Donna Smith, President & CEO, Persnickety Productions Inc.
  • Patrick Cassidy, Film Score Composer
  • Sharon Lawrence, Actress
  • Sabrina Plisco, Editor
  • Moderator: Martha De Laurentiis, President, The De Laurentiis Company

We followed the fun panel with some treats and a tour of the famed Hollywood Museum located in the historic Max Factor building. Reminiscing over favorite Hollywood stars and film characters we’ve enjoyed over the years was really a blast. The Hollywood Museum, the official museum of Hollywood, has the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world. The museum, featuring four floors of breathtaking exhibits, is home to more than 10,000 authentic show biz treasures– one of a kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections and personal artifacts, posters, and vintage memorabilia from favorite films and TV shows. The museum also showcases the history of Hollywood and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The last stop of the Retreat was our closing dinner held at Kathy Checchi’s beautiful estate in Beverly Hills.  Kathy explained the history of the estate and its legendary occupants including film star Sidney Poitier! It was a lovely evening with the enchanting aroma of orange blossoms, fine wine and lots of laughter as fellow Trusteeship sisters enjoyed one another and created more memories with this extraordinary group!

Santa Barbara Holiday Party – March 30

Hostesses Sara Miller McCune and Dorothy Largay were finally able to celebrate “the season” with their Trusteeship sisters at Sara’s lovely home in what proved to be the most rescheduled party in Trusteeship history.  All joking aside, Santa Barbara sustained such loss and even our member’s we victim to mother nature’s wrath as she ravaged beautiful Santa Barbara. Our hearts go out to those affected by the tragedies there and we know all of who were able to attend Sara and Dorothy’s “Holiday Party” had many stories to share and were thankful for each other’s friendship.

Upcoming Events

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IWF Conferences

Miami, Florida: October 24-26, 2018 – IWF World Leadership Conference

Barcelona, Spain: April 2019 – IWF Cornerstone Conference

Toronto, Canada: November 13-15, 2019 – IWF World Leadership Conference

Vienna, Austria: May 2020 – IWF Cornerstone Conference

Detroit, Michigan: October 7-9, 2020 – IWF World Leadership Conference


“Joining The Trusteeship has truly changed my life for the better in ways I could never have predicted. It has opened up an entirely new world by broadening my circle of friends beyond work colleagues to include some of the kindest and most accomplished women in Southern California.”

– Gale Anne