5:30PM Cocktail Hour and Silent Auction. 7:00PM Dinner, Program, and Live Auction.
Tax ID: 95-3264072. Your Charitable deduction is the excess over $100/person for dinner.
Biography for Margery A. Nicolson, Biochemist, educator and environmentalist - Courtesy of the Cheetah Conservation Fund
BA in Biology, MS in Chemistry from Stanford University, a one year fellowship in London at the Chester Beatty Institute followed by a PhD in Biochemistry from Baylor University School of Medicine. Three years of post-doctoral research at California Institute of Technology, followed by 15 years as a faculty member of the USC School of Medicine, involved in both research (retroviruses) and teaching biochemistry to medical students, as well as graduate courses in virology. A second career with a biotechnology company led to 18 years working as a senior research scientist with AMGEN, helping it grow from 40 employees to 12,000, when she retired.
Margery and her husband, Iain, were committed environmentalists, supporting many environmental causes and organizations, including the Audubon Society, The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, Environmental Defense and others. They were both active outdoorsmen, spending vacations and weekends birding, backpacking, climbing or skiing. Over the years, their interests took them to a variety of countries. One of their special interests was Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska, and after Iain's death in 2001, Margery was instrumental in helping to develop and fund a major Audubon Center at the Sanctuary on the Platte River. She now spends three to four weeks at the Center during Sandhill crane migration in March, acting as a guide and general volunteer for the thousands of visitors who come to see and learn about that amazing event.
Margery is currently a member of the National Audubon Board of Directors, as well as the boards of California and Alaska Audubon, where she is involved in both committee work and a variety of projects. She is also a board member of the International Crane Foundation.
Biography for Valeria C. Velasco, Esq.
Valeria is a native Californian, born at California Hospital in Downtown LA. She graduated from California High School in Whittier and later earned a masters in education from Claremont Graduate School. She taught bilingual elementary education for 5 years. Val obtained a J.D. from the University of West LA School of law while she worked for the Los Angeles District Attorney Appellate Divison. Val was the Hispanic liaison and deputy for Assemblyman Mike Ross from 1983-1986. She also worked as staff legal counsel and Hispanic liaison for Councilman Mike Woo, CD 13, 1986-1989.
Val has been a sole practitioner estate planning and probate attorney since 1989 and serves as a Fee Dispute Arbitrator for the State Bar of California. Val was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals for two years and was then appointed to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission by Mayor Tom Bradley in 1993 where she played an instrumental role in mitigating the impacts of the Playa Vista development and preserving the salt water marsh and fresh water marsh wetlands.
In 2005 Mayor Villaraigosa appointed Valeria to the Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners, and was reappointed by Mayor Garcetti in 2013 where she has served as Vice President of the Board of Airport Commissioners since 2005 holding the record as the longest severing airport commissioner.
In 2011 Val was bestowed the honor of "Pioneer Woman of the Year" by Los Ángeles City Council District 11. Valeria has been a resident of Playa Del Rey since 1988.