Leadership Pasadena Fundraiser Spotlights Local Leaders

Meet some of the designers and sponsors driving important conversations

Pasadena, CA July 2, 2018 – As Leadership Pasadena gears up for its first public fundraiser in more than 10 years—a unique tablescape design competition to be held at the Hotel Constance Pasadena later this month—the organization is not alone in its endeavor. Participating as both tablescape design competitors and event sponsors, a talented and accomplished roster of local businesses, organizations, and individuals is coming together to support the important work of Leadership Pasadena.


“We have over a dozen of our community’s top designers, event planners, and creative business leaders competing for the best tablescape design,” said Leadership Pasadena Executive Director Cindy Bengtson. “We decided to anchor the competition with the theme, ‘Setting the Table: The Art of Conversation’ because of the critical need today for open and respectful dialog,” she continued. “We’re excited to see how our designers bring that to life with their tablescapes.”


“Leadership Pasadena is very proud of the designers participating in our tablescape competition,” said Board Chair Joshua Driskell, noting the charitable and community endeavors of Kirsten Acevedo and Mikala Rahn. “Not only are they talented artists but they are respected, admired leaders in their professions.” Acevedo, who founded and owns borderLESS Design, contributes a percentage of the proceeds from her interior design business to help care for victims and survivors of human trafficking, while Rahn, PhD and founder of Learning Works Charter School, strives to provide positive alternatives to destructive behavior for the region’s most at-risk teens through her artWORKS program.


Event co-chair Lynne Graves also acknowledged the immeasurable support of the event sponsors. “Attracting such accomplished designers and producing an event of this caliber would not be possible without the very generous support of local businesses and organizations,” adding that event sponsors such as Liz Rusnak Arizmendi of the Rusnak Auto Group, Eszylfie Taylor of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services, and Ricky Biel of Haydel Biel & Associates are well known for their charitable endeavors.


Setting the Table: The Art of Conversation takes place on the evening of Saturday, July 21 at the historic Hotel Constance Pasadena. For event tickets and more information, including a complete list of designers and sponsors please visit




Contact: Cindy Bengtson

818-606-5809 mobile |


Photos :

  1. Header image: Kirsten Acevedo, Founder, borderLESS Design

  2. Liz Rusnak and Eszylfie Taylor (right) with (L to R) Anthony Guthmiller, Tablescape Creative Director; Cheri Washington, Designer Liaison; Drew Polenchar, GM Rusnak Maserati

  3. Mikala Rahn, PhD; Owner/Founder Learning Works Charter School

  4. Ricky Biel, Haydel Biel & Associates

About Leadership Pasadena


Established in 1999, Leadership Pasadena is a powerful, hands-on, community leadership program that immerses participants in Pasadena’s rich history, government, economics, and world-renowned institutions and also provides executive-level leadership training. This is an energized, dynamic program for those who want to play an active, collaborative role in Pasadena’s future. It challenges and engages emerging and existing leaders—who come from a diverse array of professions, communities, ages and passions—to gather around the table to openly discuss critical issues facing our community, with dignity and respect for all opinions.

Pasadena Showcase House

April 30, 2018

The 54th Annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design, one of the largest and most successful house-and-garden tours in the country, is currently open to the public until May 20. This year, more than 25 designers are sharing their talents throughout the home and property.


Built in 1915, this year’s Mediterranean-style residence, situated on a hill, has a view all the way to Catalina Island. “The Overlook” was designed by architect Reginald Davis Johnson for his widowed sisters and constructed for $14,000. The Overlook was previously showcased in 2002, and its subsequent owners have since had it renovated with the addition of select contemporary elements, while still retaining its casual, country feel.


The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) is a nonprofit California corporation whose members donate their time and talents to produce the annual PSHA. Founded in 1948, the members of PSHA are united by their belief in the power of beauty and music. For tickets, visit

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