Best of the Beach 2018 Professional Services
Chase Bank, Hermosa Beach
Without question Chase Bank’s downtown Hermosa Beach branch, in the lobby of the old Bijou movie theater, is the coolest bank building in the area But it takes more than looking cool to be the Beach Cities’ favorite bank.
“I think our customers appreciate our friendly customer service and innovative products,” said Erica Rivera-Ruiz, general manager of Chase Bank in Hermosa Beach. “At our on site ATMs, for example, you can withdraw cash in unusual dominations, like $1, $5 and $100. We have wealth management professionals here to help customers who need advice on investment strategies. We have mortgage bankers available to assist in the home buying process. Our business bankers are here helping local small business owners. Chase is committed to this community.”
1232 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach
For other locations visit chase.com
Runner-Up: Wells Fargo
For locations visit wellsfargo.com
Baker, Burton and Lundy
The law firm of Baker, Burton and Lundy is known locally for representing residents before planning commissions, mediating neighborhood disputes, and providing pro bono services to nonprofits. Its one story building on Pier Avenue in downtown Hermosa Beach is about as far from the Century City high rises favored by high powered attorneys as one can get, literally and figuratively, and still be in Los Angeles County. Office dress favors Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts over starched Oxford cloth and their email ends in SurfLaw.Com.
The fact that the firm has won over $4 billion in settlements, including $2 billion against Sempra Energy, is nowhere in evidence, except for the fact that they recently bought the nextdoor dry cleaners and are remodeling the space to accommodate their growing staff.
Baker, Burton & Lundy Law Offices (Kent Burton)
515 Pier Ave.
Runner- Up: Brandon Chabner Law Offices
1601 Pacific Coast Hwy.
222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., #200
Lovette T. Mioni, Mioni Family Law
Certified family law specialist Lovette T. Mioni has been named a Southern California Rising Star by the Super Lawyers rating service, an honor reserved for fewer than three percent of attorneys in the region. Mioni said she works hard to educate her clients, to “make them aware of their unique facts and circumstances, and their best-case and worst-case scenarios, so they can make the best decisions for them, rather than letting the court make it for them, or just going along with the other side.” Mioni also has “a very settlement minded practice” that aims to avoid the financial and emotional drain of a trial. “Not every case can be settled, and I’m very well equipped to go to trial, but only when it makes sense to go to trial,” she said.
Mioni Family Law-Lovette T. Mioni
4640 Admiralty Way. #500
Marina Del Rey
Runner-Up: Law Office of Karina P. Pozsar
8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 648
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Criminal defense attorney:
Accomplished defense attorney Nigel Villanueva maintains an “open-door policy” of complete availability to each client. “I am happy to meet my clients during late hours, or on weekends,” he said. “I want my clients to be able to simply walk into my office any time. They will always find my door open.” Villanueva has more than 50 jury trials and arbitration hearings to his name, and he is a lawyer other lawyers have turned to when they faced legal trouble. In addition to representing clients in a wide range of violent crimes, drug crimes, sex crimes and driving offenses, Villanueva runs a small but successful personal injury practice.
Law Office of Nigel Villanueva
220 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., #106
Runner-Up: Jonas & Driscoll Law Firm L.L.P.
1108 Sartori Ave. #320
Real Estate — Listing agent
Broker Amy Cimetta is a rising star in the local real estate universe. She’s been in the business a dozen years now, and as evidenced by winning her first Best of the Beach, the hundreds of clients she’s helped through the daunting maze of a sale have had such positive experiences that Cimetta has become a go-to agent in the real estate community.
“Buying or selling a home is a huge financial and emotional endeavor,” Cimetta said. “I’m honored to work with people during one of the most important events of their lives. I can’t imagine doing anything else; I love what I do.”
Cimetta has a background that has uniquely prepared her for this profession. She comes from a real estate family; her grandfather bought hotels and office buildings — her father grew up living in one of those hotels — and the family continued the tradition, buying and renovating homes to rent out throughout Cimetta’s childhood.
“It was a culture my parents raised me in,” she said. “I learned from a very early age the value of real estate, the value of buying that fixer and turning it around. Also, we always lived in beautiful homes.”
Her path into the profession was a circuitous. She attended prestigious liberal arts schools Brandeis and Tufts universities and went on to obtain an MBA in marketing from Fordham. She had an early, successful career in the entertainment industry, working in sales for firms such as Variety magazine and Faction Creative, before turning her focus on real estate. This, too, was part of her education as a broker, both in the creativity of her approach and her ability to relate to people in high-stakes circumstances.
“I was dealing with some of the most challenging types of people you could deal with,” Cimetti said. “It gives me the sales piece of it, but also the storytelling piece of it — sales teaches you to always understand who you are selling to, and how to take care of them. I do for my clients what I would want done for me. That’s the bar I hold myself up to: if it was me, how would I want this done? It’s about managing all the different parts of a transaction and quarterbacking the whole thing, so you are not just a salesperson — you are an advocate for your clients.”
Her clients find themselves with a patient and friendly but fierce professional on their side.
“Our recent home purchase was fairly complicated and required extreme attention to detail,” said client Mike Murphy. “Amy went far above and beyond to make sure everything went smoothly. We never felt like Amy was just trying to hurry us through a transaction. She treated us like we had been friends who had known each other for years.”
See luvwhereulive.com for more information on Amy Cimetta.
Amy Cimetta, Re/Max
400 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #100.
Runner-Up: Donald McVicar – The Domo Group/Re/MAX Estate Properties
1040 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Jerry Carew, 3 Leaf Realty
Jerry Carew charts ust about every aspect of his industry and has learned from his charts that, “in good years and bad, the cycle is the same. Home sales are slow in January and rise to a peak in May or June. Judging from his charts, though the real estate market may be cyclical, it cycles up faster than just about any other investment, at least in the Beach Cities.
Using data from MLS, Carew concludes, “Inventory is down this year, so this year you are going to have a hot seller’s market,” Carew said. “Good for sellers, tough for buyers.”
3 Leaf Realty – Jerry Carew
1716 Manhattan Beach Blvd. #A
Runner-Up: Strand Hill Properties
1131 N. Morningside Dr.