The New Math: A Case Study for 21st Century Volunteerism

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March 10, 2016
Serving as Chamber Board Chair this past year has been a powerful and enthralling education in the mathematics of volunteerism and “the sum being greater than its many parts.” It’s been an extraordinary lesson in participatory democracy.

More than ever, I stand reaffirmed in the inherent power of community engagement, and in awe of the passionate commitment of those who serve as the volunteer leaders of Hollywood’s business and residential stakeholders.

During this year, I’ve repeatedly witnessed visionary and courageous action from these local volunteers, our political leadership, and our non-profits. There are myriad ways that many of us “Hollywoodians” express respect and generosity on a daily basis.

As a major part of my education as Board Chair, I’ve also experienced the contentious and litigious storms that can temporarily cloud the future of Hollywood with competing and oppositional visions that collide with brute force.

Hollywood’s entrenched issues and challenges are constantly being addressed, debated, and solutions proposed. Sometimes democracy gets loud. All the while the process itself shapes us, hones our determination, and hopefully increases our personal engagement. Ideally, no matter your personal affiliation, political party or allegiance, consensus emerges and is eventually the result.
It is now (at the end of my term as Chair and in my final message) that I implore you, dear reader to “get in the game”. I ask you to volunteer, make a difference, get involved, donate your skills, to mentor, or learn more and engage with Hollywood in a way that works for you.

I’ve been so inspired by the hundreds of passionate and committed people (Chamber members, residents, business people) who volunteer their time and energy to Hollywood.
My life has been changed for the better this year, wearing the heart of Hollywood on my sleeve. Having worked here for 29 years, I’ve grown to love this place and never more than during my time as Chair. I’m honored to have learned from, and worked alongside those of you who are so deeply invested in Hollywood’s past, present and future.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and to graciously pass the baton forward.

See you in Hollywood!

About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
For more than 95 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Beth Marlis is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit

Hollywood Chamber, (323) 469-8311