Venice Paparazzi rolled out the blue carpet for this year’s 2024 WAVE awards!

Here is a message from the VCC Education Committee: 

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, the Venice Chamber of Commerce hosted the 14th Annual WAVE Awards at Westside Vineyard. Educators from thirteen local schools and organizations were celebrated and honored for their accomplishments and were presented with special awards from the Chamber and certificates from the elected offices. This year’s WAVE Awards theme was “Inspiring Unity,” which recognizes our educators’ dedication to nurturing unity despite the challenging political climate that teachers and students face. LAUSD board member Nick Melvoin, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Traci Park, and Venice Chamber President Sunny Bak opened the festivities. Honored guests also included representatives from the offices of  Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, and State Senator Ben Allen. 

“One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the second annual Joëlle Award to Tim Rudnick, founder of the Venice Oceanarium. Joëlle’s daughter, Gwendoline Pere-Lahaille, delivered a heartfelt speech honoring her mother’s legacy and recognizing Tim’s exceptional contributions,” said Chantel Hunter Mah, Chair of the Education Committee at the Venice Chamber of Commerce. “The event was filled with memorable moments, including songs led by attendees, passionate speeches, laughter, and even a few tears of joy.”

A huge thank you to our sponsors, for this event would not be possible without community support! Brandview Capital, Ecole Clair Fontaine, General Real Estate, Google, HackerFund, LAUSD Nick Melvoin, Pro SUP Shop, SoCal Gas, The Venice Place Project, and Youthful Savings. 

All photos in this gallery by Venice Paparazzi!  Enjoy!

Congratulations to this year’s WAVE Awards honorees:

School Name | Wave Award Recipient

  • Beethoven Elementary School | Claudia Mancilla
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice | Luz Alvarado
  • Broadway Elementary | Wenwei Liu
  • Ecole Claire Fontaine | Yolande de Renesse
  • Mark Twain Middle School | Jenny Burman
  • Neighborhood Youth Association | Abigail Vibiano
  • New Roads School | Sarah (Sadie) Yarrington
  • Short Avenue Elementary | Carly McMahon
  • Venice Arts | Jennifer Lyn Browne
  • Venice High School | Jennie Jackson
  • Venice Skills Center | Elizabeth Espinosa
  • Walgrove Elementary | Ana Lima
  • Westminster Elementary School | Beth Clark

Bud Jacobs, Laura Alice, Sunny Bak, Donna Lasman, Chantel (Chair of the Education Committee), Theresa Ireland, and Venice Paparazzi’s Alex Stowell

Joëlle Dumas’ daughter Gwendoline Pere-Lahaille

Congratulations to Joëlle Award honoree Tim Rudnick, Founder of Venice Oceanarium:

Tim Rudnick, the visionary behind the Venice Oceanarium, was named the second recipient of the prestigious Joëlle Award for Excellence in Education by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. The award, named in honor of Joëlle Dumas, recognizes individuals who embody Dumas’ dedication to community, educational excellence, and student support.

Counclwoman Traci Park

Venice Art Crawl President Sunny Bak

LAUSD board member Nick Melvoin

Tim Rudnick, Founder of Venice Oceanarium.


Venice Paparazzi’s team leader Alex Stowell. Edizen’s best buddy. 😉

Check out Venice Paparazzi’s 2021 interview with Tim Rudnick, Founder of Venice Oceanarium. 

Venice Paparazzi’s Edizen steps in front of the camera to take a photo with Venice Chamber, 2024 Wave Honoree Tim, and Councilwoman Traci Park. Go team Venice!

Looking for your 2024 Wave Awards photo?  Find it here!

  • Be sure to tag @venicechamber and photo credit @venicepaparazzi

About the Venice Oceanarium:

Functioning as a museum without walls, the Venice Oceanarium offers educational programs and events centered on the marine life of Venice Beach. Activities range from beach readings and annual marathon readings of “Moby Dick” to grunion parties, tide pool talks, and nature walks. Moreover, the Oceanarium’s Sunday pop-up museum on the Venice fishing pier showcases ocean specimens and sparks children’s creativity with activities like drawing fish. Despite ongoing challenges, Rudnick remains resolute in his dedication to marine education and community involvement. He ultimately aspires to establish a permanent museum facility at the end of the Venice Pier. Website:

About the Wave Awards:

The 14th Annual WAVE Awards is presented by the Venice Chamber Education Committee. It’s an evening of recognition and appreciation to honor the teachers who continue to inspire, educate, and motivate our local students. The lifetime contributions of the Joëlle Award for Excellence in Education recipient are also celebrated during this event.

About the Venice Chamber of Commerce:

The Venice Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit member organization of business leaders who actively serve as advocates for the ever-growing Venice business community. Through dynamic networking events and diverse committees, we support the interests of area businesses and contribute to improving the vitality of the local economy, positioning Venice as the “creative soul” of Los Angeles. To learn more about the Venice Chamber, visit

Did you know that Venice Paparazzi has covered the WAVE awards every single year since it started in 2011.

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For more Wave Awards info, go to

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