West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (WHCC) hosted the 37th Annual West Hollywood Creative Business Awards 2021this past Wednesday, November 17,2021 at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood presented by Wells Fargo. The festivities included a reception and silent auction sponsored by Beverly Center and ended with a VIP after-party sponsored by Capitol Drugs.
Each year the Chamber celebrates businesses that have shown innovation and creativity in their business model. The nominees are selected by their peers, winners are chosen by WHCC Membership, who are then announced at the gala event. After its year-long forced hiatus, WHCC was eager to host their annual power networking event once again, at a limited capacity, for vaccinated-only guests.
Helmed byChris Isaacson Presentscapable hands, the gala event was a smashing success and featured music by jazz vocalist Niki Haris, who kicked off the festivities. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies, transgender comedian Erin Mohr, followed with a hilarious set that included great quips about many of our nominees before formally introducing the seven Creative Business Awards nominees, announcing the winners, and presenting them with their stunning trophies.
Taking home trophies were Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant for Creative Concept, and with the exact same number of votes, both Pendry West Hollywood and Rocco’s WeHo took home the Corporate Innovation. The John Chase Art & Design Award went to Soulmate, and We Know WeHo Podcast celebrated the Creative Communications Award win. West Hollywood’s dearly loved La Bohème was chosen as the most popular WeHo Attraction. The newest category installed in 2018, Innovative Sustainability, was awarded to Global Green, and the philanthropic efforts of Keith Kaplan and Mylena Christina of Sotheby’s International Realty were acknowledged for their outstanding Creative Community Service.
This year’sLegacy Award,which honors community leaders who are agents of change and have made a difference in West Hollywood, was presented toDavid Cooley. Cooley has worked in and been involved with the City of West Hollywood for three decades. In 1991 Cooley invested in a small, discreet space in West Hollywood that he renovated into a coffeehouse called The Abbey. After thirty years and five expansions, the Abbey and the adjacent venue, The Chapel, are now more than 20,000 square feet.
HBO’sWe’re Here host, Eureka, presented Cooley the Legacy Award. In their speech they recognized David Cooley as a community leader, as a humanitarian, an LGBTQ activist, and as a champion for the marginalized. He supports so many nonprofit organizations and The Abbey carries a powerful voice for the LGBTQ+ community. David has been an active supporter and fundraiser for many pro-LGBT politicians. During the COVID 19 pandemic, David raised his voice with others and demanded accountability. He was the first business in West Hollywood to close in 2020, before it was mandated by the county or city. He made the decision to allow only vaccinated patrons before being mandated by government entities to protect his employees and patrons, which brought protestor. David and The Abbey recently received an award from the Los Angeles County’s Department of Health and Dr. Barbara Ferrer for his Outstanding Commitment to the Safety of Employees and Customers during the pandemic.
The surprise of the evening was when WHCC Chair, Nick Rimedio, announced an eighth award, presentingGenevieve Morrill, President & CEO of the Chamber with aHero Awardfor her unwavering service to and advocacy for the business community during the COVID pandemic.“The pandemic truly has been a crisis unlike any other seen in past generations.” Rimedio commented, “Through it all, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has shown an unshakeable commitment to advocating for the protection of businesses and employees alike which was fueled by Gen’s boundless energy and determination. She inspired the creation of our new Hero Award and will undoubtedly become the model for future winners who are selflessly dedicated to their community and the businesses for whom they serve.”
TheCreative Business Awards (CBA)is the most important fundraiser for WHCC, a 501c6 non-profit organization. Funds raised from this event help to contribute to programming and promotions for the business community. The twenty-one (21) nominees in seven (7) categories were chosen for their innovative approach to business and/or creative merits in product and service by the WHCC Membership and staff. The criterion for selection was that the business be a WHCC Member and have made significant contributions to the West Hollywood business community. Members vote for their favorite nominees via an online ballot and the winners are announced at the event.