Lisa Greer & Ellisa Bregman to be honored at this year’s 2017 Patron Gala

posted in: Patron Galas | 4

The Friends of Robinson Gardens honors two recipients with the 2017 Spirit of Beverly Hills and Camellia Awards at this year’s Patron Gala

The Friends of Robinson Gardens is very proud to be honoring two award recipients at this year’s The Loveliest Night of the Year Patron Gala being held on September 9, 2017. Lisa Greer will receive the Spirit of Beverly Hills Award for her exceptional philanthropic and charitable contributions, while Ellisa Lanza Bregman will receive the  biannual Camellia Award for her much appreciated, deep and long-time commitment to the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

About the Honorees:

Lisa Greer, recipient of The Spirit of Beverly Hills Award

Lisa Greer is a philanthropist, investor and entrepreneur.  She is the founder of CaregiversDirect, an online marketplace that is enabling the next generation of home healthcare, and an active real estate investor.

Lisa is Commissioner and former Chair of the Beverly Hills Cultural Heritage Commission, a board member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, an international board member of the New Israel Fund, a member of Beverly Hills Rotary, and a Trustee of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.  She is also an active member of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors, former President of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and a previous Board member of the L.A. District Attorney’s Crime Prevention Foundation, Make-a-Wish of Greater Los Angeles, and others.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Greer led a management consulting and strategic advisory firm specializing in digital media and entertainment businesses.  Prior to that, as a studio executive, Lisa oversaw the development of the online and other business divisions at NBC, Universal Studios, and Spencer Gifts, while also launching pioneering ventures into music webcasting.

A native of Los Angeles, Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in History from UCLA and an MBA from Pepperdine University. The mother of five children, Lisa and her husband, Joshua, are proud and involved residents of Beverly Hills. Their iconic home was recognized by the “Will Rogers Awards”, and they continue to lend their home for myriad social justice, educational and community events and salons.

As an outstanding and impressive philanthropic leader in the community, Lisa has made a deep impact and is an inspiration to all!

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Ellisa Lanza Bregman, recipient of the Camellia Award

Ellisa is a Beverly Hills native, born to Mario and Betty Lanza at Cedars Sinai Hospital, second of four children. She has lived most of her life in Los Angeles, but is equally comfortable anywhere in the world. Her earliest years were spent in Beverly Hills, but in 1957 the entire Lanza family moved to Rome for her father’s career. Sadly, her father died after two and a half years in Rome, and the rest of the family returned to the Los Angeles area, living in Pacific Palisades with Ellisa’s grandparents. She graduated from Palisades High School, and took to acting. Along that path, she met Bob Bregman…and they fell in love and got married. With two children, Tony and Nick, an international business that they have built together, and much travel, they have shared a happy life. Now, their son Nick and his wife Rachel have blessed them with Weston, their adorable grandson.

Both Ellisa and Bob are well aware that their hard work and good fortune have enabled them to contribute to their community. Ellisa knew she had found a place to love and support when she was introduced to Robinson Gardens by our founder Joan Selwyn. She has worn many hats at VRG including past President, Chair of many events including Gala and the Children’s Christmas Party, restoration, publicity, jobs for Garden Tour and Gala, and other functions. She has been on the Board since she joined many years ago around 1994. Quietly, she has financially supported the Gardens as well. If there is a need, Ellisa has come to the fore many times — the perfect person for our Camellia Award.

Ellisa has taken on the responsibility of supporting and interacting with the various groups of her father’s fans. She is the last of his four children, and spends a lot of time traveling to events and speaking to groups in this endeavor. There seem to be as many fans of his today as there were when he was actively singing and making movies. There are Mario Lanza Societies all over the world, and recently, she has visited the British Mario Lanza Society and the one in Ireland. You can catch Ellisa on PBS when they have fundraisers using her father’s albums.

Ellisa and Bob also make a point of supporting other charities and organizations in the community, such as the Center Theatre Group, the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children, ML Education Foundation among others.

Ellisa is such a great choice for this year’s Camellia Award!

Article on Ellisa Bregman by Leslie Tillman
Friends of Robinson Gardens Member

 

4 Responses

  1. George Croal
    | Reply

    Elissa: I idolized your father and grew up singing (pretty well) his great songs, especially the ones from the Student Prince. I know he was not the prince but his voice tract was used. It was the first album I ever bought. I loved all his movies and I would like to tell you a personal story about one of his hit songs: “come prima”. I met my wife, Ann, on the telephone Holy Thursday
    night 1963. After that phone call she came to a bar in Dubuque Iowa where we were celebrating my having won a graduate fellowship. She was incredibly wonderful with beautiful green eyes. When she left after only a few minutes I turned to my friend Nickie and said: I’m going to marry that girl, The following week I called her and asked her to go with me for a coke. As we walked to the Diner we passed my college and I said: “We have a five o’clock mass would you like to go.” She said yes. After we left mass and were walking to the diner I began singing Come Prima in the Lanza style. When I finished I asked her to
    marry me and she said yes and we have been married 55 years… I Still love Mario and listen to him often.

  2. NEIL HAYES
    | Reply

    Mario Lanza ‘encouraged’ me to spend a lifetime studying and listening to the tenor voice – firstly by listening to him on radio from the USA and then watching all his movies on numerous occasions.
    In 1953 my Aunt who lived in London took me to Covent Garden to see Aida – starring Maria Callas: and I was also hooked into spending a lifetime seeing opera live, in Sydney, Verona, Milan, Rome & Wellington.
    On one trip to Rome my wife and I visited the church in Rome where Mario had his first funeral – this was very moving for us.
    And many times we’ve also sat in Mario’s seat in the Piazza Navona!
    My wife & I have been privileged to hear many of the world’s great tenors – live – including: Giuseppe Di Stefano, Jan Pierce (in concert in Wellington, NZ, not long after my wife & I emigrated), Jussi Bjorling (In London), Nicola Martinucci, Kurt Baum (in Aida with Maria Callas in London 1953), Kenneth Collins, Jose Carreras, Vittorio Grigolo, Bocelli (three time in New Zealand), Marco Berti, Carl Tanner, Carlo Ventre, James Valenti (in Verona), Simon O’Neill, and more.
    We also saw the three tenors live on TV when they were in Sydney.
    I grew up in England during the Mario Lanza era and saw him live on UK TV in 1957 at the London Palladium.
    Thanks to Google and YouTube I watch Mario several times each week.
    We are also avid viewers of Derek McGovern’s website. Derek hails from the very town (Carterton, NZ) where we live.
    Not surprisingly, even though we’ve seen many of the best tenors live; apart from Domingo none have come close to equaling the Lanza power, quality, volume, excitement, etc., and it’s likely that no one ever will.

  3. Lawrence Marchelya
    | Reply

    Elissa,
    Our paths crossed many years ago when I traveled to Europe as a teenager with my parents. It’s a pleasant memory for me and perhaps you might remember it as well. We were visiting St Peters in Rome and toured the Basilica, then we waited behind the waist high barrier for a chance to see the Pope. While we waited, we visited with a lady standing near us who had brought her two granddaughters with her to see Pius XII. When the Pope appeared we helped your grandmother see that you and your sister got a seat on top of the railing for a better view. After the Pope had been carried past us in his chair, we continued our conversation and we all walked out of St Peters together and down the steps to where your mother was waiting with a car. Your grandmother introduced us and we spoke for several minutes more. We didn’t have the pleasure of meeting your father that day, but I’ve always wanted you to know how gracious and kind your mother and grandmother were to three tourists in Rome on a beautiful spring day in 1958.
    I wish you and your family all the best!

  4. Bill Lanza
    | Reply

    Hi Ellisa,
    You and I are distant relatives. My father Earl (Ercole) Lanza was first cousin to your grandmother. Salvatore Lanza, your great grandfather and my grandfather Luciano were brothers. My dad and your father were very close back in South Philadelphia. Every few years we have a Lanza family reunion. This year we got together in New York for a wonderful event. Many of the cousins inquired about you. I told them I briefly met you and your brother Damon at the affair they had in 2005 at the Lincoln Center with TCMs Robert Osborne. There are only a few people remaining to carry on the Lanza name – my two sons, two grandsons, and my late cousin Lou Lanza’s two boys. It would have been nice if we were able to have you attend our reunion. Perhaps next time. My son Bill Jr lives in Laguna Niguel, CA. He is a Vice President with the Target Corporation. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area I would love to put a little dinner together with some of the cousins on the Lanza side. In case you didn’t know already, you are Lanza family royalty.

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