The Center’s Working Group

The demolition of the Pandora’s Box coffee house at Sunset and Crescent Heights blvds. incited the Sunset Strip Riots in 1966.

This group was formed in 2019 to develop and enact the Strategic Plan for the Center’s foundation.

BOB BISHOP

Bob Bishop brings a journalist’s eye for the unusual and an historian’s requirement for accuracy to a popular series of local history articles he has written for WEHOville.com since 2015. He lived in West Hollywood for 22 years before relocating to his home state of Mississippi recently. While in West Hollywood, he was active in neighborhood and business groups, as well as charities including Project Angel Food and Pets are Wonderful Support.

A former public relations manager and journalist, Bishop retired from Northrop Grumman Corp. in Redondo Beach, Calif, where his success publicizing space exploration satellites the company designed and built for NASA earned him numerous awards from the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. As a journalist, he worked for the Sun-Herald, a daily newspaper in Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., and Electronic News, a national trade paper based in New York City covering the computer industry. Bishop received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1973.

GUS HEULLY

Gustave (Gus) Heully is an architect, writer and West Hollywood resident. His writings for WEHOville and West Hollywood Magazine have often focused on digging up pieces of West Hollywood’s obscure or unusual architectural and urban history.

It was Gus’s work that confirmed that the circular green building at 8760 Sunset Blvd. actually was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the world famous architect known best as the creator of Brasília, a city  inaugurated as Brazil’s capital in 1960 that is distinguished by its white, modern architecture.

Gus’s stories have answered countless questions about West Hollywood –explaining what those “Well WeHo” plates in the sidewalk are all about and why there are so many Tudor style buildings on Sunset Boulevard and telling the real history of the CVS building on Santa Monica at La Cienega, which used to house the skating rink that Cher adored.

Gus also is a talented architecture critic whose work for WEHOville has included an assessment of the buildings in Plummer Park,  a critique of the Prism Gallery on Sunset and of the Westime building on Sunset, which Heully deemed more of a shipwreck than a flagship. And of late, he has become a talented comic book artist.

AMANDA LAFLEN

Amanda moved to Los Angeles from Indiana in 2002 and began working at Mels Drive In on the Sunset Strip.  Working there as the general manager gave her insight into the history of the Strip and she recognized the need for preservation of the history of our city. Mels stands out on Sunset Boulevard and in West Hollywood for its classic Googie design.  It opened in 1997 in a building once occupied by the Ben Franks, a restaurant that was a favorite hangout in the ‘60s for rock ‘n rollers like Frank Zappa and the Rolling Stones.The building had been slated for demolition to make way for a strip mall, and the decision of Mels owner Steven Weiss to move into the building saved it.  The City of West Hollywood has declared it an historic landmark.Amanda currently resides in West Hollywood and is the chair of the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission. 

JON PONDER

Jon Ponder is a creator of the hit podcast series, “Hollywood & Crime.” He also writes about history for WEHOville.com and on his website, “Playground to the Stars.” He was the editor of Gore Vidal’s official website and worked as a researcher on Hugh Hefner’s never-finished autobiography. In addition to a lifelong interest in history — particularly the history of Los Angeles — Ponder has had 30-plus year career in advertising, marketing, promotion and website development. A resident of West Hollywood since 1998, he is vice president of the West Hollywood Historic Preservation Alliance and a co-founder of the Alla Nazimova Society.

HENRY SCOTT

Henry Scott, president and founder of West Hollywood Media Company, publisher of WEHOville.com and WHM magazine, has decades of experience in media, communications and marketing. In 2003, he helped Metro International S.A., the London-based originator of the free daily newspaper concept, launch its highly successful New York City edition. Earlier as president of Out Publishing, he turned around the financially troubled largest-circulation quality gay magazine. He also served as publisher of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing weekly newspaper. In 1994, he launched The New York Times Company’s first online venture and developed and managed The Times’s first foreign-language edition, published in Russian from Moscow. He was the member of The Times Company’s senior management charged with developing an electronic media strategy for the company.

JEFF SEYMOUR

Jeffrey A. Seymour heads the Seymour Consulting Group, providing consulting services in governmental, land use planning, public policy analysis and ordinance studies. Prior to establishing his business, he served as senior deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Edmund D. Edelman and was vice president of Bank of Los Angeles. Jeff serves on the board of directors of the UCLA Foundation and the West Hollywood Library Foundation, where he serves as chair. I n the past he served as a regent of the University of California, president of the U.C. Alumni Association, the UCLA Alumni Association and a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

RUTH WILLIAMS

Ruth has served as a Public Safety Commissioner for over 20 years and is recognized as one of the founders of the City of West Hollywood, having served on the West Hollywood Incorporation Committee (WHIC).  A resident since 1948, Ruth’s history of activism and involvement includes: serving on the first Rent Stabilization Commission helping draft WeHo’s first rent control ordinance in 1984, being a member of the Eastside Redevelopment Committee at its inception, helping  establish rent control in Los Angeles County as a Coalition for Economic Survival Steering Committee member in the 70’s. Ruth has served on the boards of  Good Neighbors (of which she was a founder), MECLA (Municipal Elections Committee Los Angeles) and the National Women’s’ Political Caucus L.A. Westside. She was chair of the Fairfax High School Alumni Association and the Fairfax Business Association, where she currently is vice chair. She is a founder of Save Our Sheriff and the Alliance of Citizens for the Eastside. Ruth also helped create the West Hollywood Democratic Club over 30 years ago, proudly serving several terms as vice president and president. 

Ruth is the recipient of numerous awards including: West Hollywood Democrat of the Year, Gerda Spiegler Member of the Year Award, West Hollywood Senior Advisory Board Award and the 2010 Los Angeles County Older American Recognition Day Award for her extensive work on behalf of senior citizens (she founded the first Citizens for Seniors in West Hollywood following Cityhood. Ruth is most proud of being the recipient of Congressman Adam Schiff’s Woman of the Year Award (46thCongressional District) in March 2014.