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Denise Guzman seen as mentor, expert in law field

Members of the South Bay community sent in over 100 nominations for the Daily Breeze People of Distinction awards. Thirty finalists from the South Bay and Harbor Area have been selected. Denise has been chosen as a finalist in the Business/Innovation category. Winners will be announced at the awards gala Thursday, November 10th. Below is Denise's interview that ran in the Daily Breeze:

Denise Guzman seen as mentor, expert in law field

Determination and dedication are just two of the qualities Denise Guzman possesses as a successful businesswoman.

Founding her own law practice when the business world lacked female presence, and giving back to the community through foundations and organizations, Guzman is considered to be a mentor and an expert in her field.

"I don't believe in accolades," Guzman said. "I do this to support other people and see them succeed."

Guzman, a Palos Verdes Peninsula resident, has served as a business and estate planning attorney in the South Bay for more than 25 years.

After earning her bachelor's degree from USC in 1974, she went on to study at UCLA, where she received her law degree. In 1978, she founded her own Manhattan Beach law practice, Guzman Law Group.

Guzman said success came through perseverance.

Bucking the system right after graduating from UCLA, Guzman associated herself with businessmen, attending professional association meetings and networking events throughout the South Bay.

"My father was an accountant at the time so I would attend many chamber of commerce meetings with him," she said. "And I made sure to introduce myself to everyone I came into contact with."

In 1993, Guzman determined that women's success in the corporate sector was stagnant. And in an effort to change this, she founded the South Bay Chapter of the American Business Women's Association - a national association that empowers women personally and professionally.

With a Rolodex in hand, "I called every woman I knew," she said. "It was tough but I am really proud of what I started, bringing businesswomen together from around the local area."

Guzman, who is no longer involved with ABWA, continues to mentor young women, providing them with personal and professional parameters to be successful businesswomen.

In 2003, she was named Woman of the Year by the Switzer Learning Center - an organization that fosters the growth of children with learning disabilities - for her service to its community.

Aside from her professional involvement, Guzman dedicates her time to promoting arts throughout the community.

She is a member of the board of trustees for the Palos Verdes Art Center, where educational art programs are put in place to reach schools, and is a board member on the Joy2Learn Foundation, an organization that brings a variety of free art programs to schools via the Internet.

"I love the arts and I think it is profoundly missing from the schools," said Guzman, who was once an English major, minoring in fine arts. "I want young children to have the opportunity to learn arts and music."

She is also on the board of directors for the foundation P.S. I Love You, a program to help less fortunate children participate in educational and extracurricular activities.

"The one-on-one interaction is such a positive experience for these children," said Guzman.

In 2010, Guzman was awarded the Woman of Entrepreneurship honor by Comerica Bank, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It is such an honor to be nominated and have the support of other people," she said.

By Ashley Curtin
Staff Writer, Daily Breeze
Here is the link to the article on

Your Never Know...: Mom has land in Canada?!

While speaking with my Mom from Florida last week, she conveyed to me, to our surprise, that she and an unknown cousin in Iowa, own 80 acres of land in Canada.  Apparently, my great grandfather came over many years ago from Switzerland and purchased 80 acres of farmland before he settled in Oklahoma.  My Mother never knew her grandfather, let alone, that he had land in Canada!

Most states, if not all, have an unclaimed property website that allows you to look up the unclaimed property associated with your name. If you are a California resident, check out the link below to see if you have unknown property laying around. You never know what you may find.

Lost in a Digital Translation: An inside look at Digital Curating

Doug Reside is the Digital Curator at the New York Public Library. Over the last ten years we have had the pleasure of working with Doug on many occasions. Doug recently wrote a blog post titled, "'No Day But Today': A look at Jonathan Larson's Word Files". His post illustrated some of the challenges that occurred while preserving Larson's digital works. I found it interesting and wanted to share it with you. The following is an excerpt:

"The final draft of RENT on Larson's disks was saved at 12:38 PM on Monday, January 15 using a copy of Microsoft Word 5.1 for the Macintosh.  Opening this file with a vintage copy of the software, it's possible to see the file more or less as Larson saw it in 1996.

When I open the same file with a simple text editor like Text Wrangler, though, the text appears to be somewhat different... [Y]ou can see the line "Before the virus takes hold" appears as "Before you enter the light" looking at the same file!  What's going on? "

Click here to read the post in its entirety

Denise Takes the Court

Last year, the Los Angeles Lakers and Comerica Bank honored Denise Guzman with the Best of LA Women's Business Award in the category of Woman of Entrepreneurship. She received her award center court at the STAPLES Center.

Photo: Denise pictured in 2010 with Melissa Pollard of Comerica Bank, Senior Vice President – Western Market

This year, the Los Angeles Lakers and Comerica Bank invited Denise back to the STAPLES Center to meet the 2011 award recipients. Denise attended Tuesday nights Laker game where the Lakers were victorious over the San Antonio Spurs 102 - 93. Denise is honored to be apart of this distinguished group of business women. Thank you to the Los Angeles Lakers and Comerica Bank for their ongoing support of women in business.

Photo: Denise pictured with 2011 award recipient Jill Albert in the Comerica suite

Photo: Denise pictured with Amy Sheals a representative of Comerica Bank


Click here to read Denise's 2010 letter to the LA Lakers and Comerica Bank

iPad2: 5pm Product Launch to Minimize Liability?

Last year when the AT&T iPhone4 was released, Apple saw recorded number turn outs on the first day of sales. I was one of the thousands of people who stood in line for hours at the Apple store. I arrived at 6am to secure a good placement in line. Well, as it turns out, I wasn't the only one with the plan to arrive early. People had been camping out since the stores closing the night before. This was a common story across the country.

Tomorrow, Apple will launch the iPad2. Speculation has begun as to how big the turn out will be. Most say the crowd will not be as big as it was for the iPhone4, but there will still be large numbers. Apple’s website states that sales of the iPad2 will begin at 5pm. Is Apple trying to minimize their liability with an afternoon product launch? I guess well see if Apple die-hards will be popping their tents tonight.

Kudos to Chipotle's In-House Counsel

Chipotle Ad

While waiting in line to order delicious Chipotle tacos, I saw a sign advertising Chipotle's burritos in a box for large parties. The sign read: "THE REALLY BIG NATIONALLY TELEVISED FOOTBALL GAME PARTY IN A BOX". I figured that they were referring to the Superbowl and I wondered why they just didn't use the word "Superbowl". So, I did a quick Google search. The NFL owns the Trademark to the name "Superbowl" and many other marks relating to "The Big Game". They are very, very well protected. Here is just a brief example of the terms:

Without clear permission of the NFL, broadcasters and other media may not use the following terms or images: "Superbowl", "Superbowl Sunday", the Superbowl logo, "NFL", "National Football League", "AFC", "American Football League", "NFC" or "National Football Conference".

The Trademarks listed above can be licensed for a price. For example, if you wanted to put the word "Superbowl" on a bag of chips, you would have to pay a licensing fee. So, maybe Chipotle's ad was their legal teams way of getting around the licensing fee. If so, kudos to you In-House Counsel. OR, was it intentional? The ad does fit very well with their company brand and advertising style. If the concept of the ad was to be clever by not using the word "Superbowl", I still give props to Chipotle's legal department and, in addition, their advertising team for legally and with great brilliance conveying their message.