LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The LA84 Foundation, the leading funder of youth sports programs in Southern California, has named Renata Simril as its next president and chief executive officer. A seasoned executive, Ms. Simril brings more than two decades of leadership experience in government, professional sports, management, and civic engagement, as well as deep personal and professional ties to the Los Angeles region. She will assume the leadership role on January 4, 2016.
Ms. Simril will succeed Anita L. DeFrantz, who served as president of the LA84 Foundation for the past 28 years and was one of the original members of LA84's staff, joining at its inception in 1985. An Olympian who earned a bronze medal in the 1976 Summer Games, Ms. DeFrantz is the highest-ranking American member of the International Olympic Committee and served as the first female vice president of the IOC's Executive Committee. Her pioneering work has established LA84 as a critical part of the region's landscape, serving more than three million children annually in Southern California through the Foundation's renowned grant making as well as its research and coaching education programs.
"We are grateful for Anita's unparalleled leadership of the LA84 Foundation," said Frank Sanchez,
Board Chair of the LA84 Foundation. "She has led the organization over these many years with integrity and grace, molding an institution that has worldwide recognition. The Board is confident that the Foundation will continue to grow and impact youth in sports across the region under Renata's leadership."
Ms. Simril's career has spanned the top levels of Los Angeles' civic, business, sport and political arenas. She began her career as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army, worked to help rebuild South Los Angeles after the 1992 Civil Unrest, served as Deputy Mayor of Economic Development in the Hahn Administration, expanded rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles as a senior executive at Forest City Development, and guided the restoration of the Los Angeles Dodgers brand to its external audiences. She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at the Los Angeles Times. Ms. Simril holds a Bachelor's Degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master's Degree in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California. She is a third-generation Angeleno and resides in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and two young boys.
"On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I want to thank and applaud Anita DeFrantz on her visionary leadership of the LA84 Foundation and congratulate Renata Simril on her appointment to take the helm of this important organization," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "It is a testament to the success of the 1984 Summer Games that it continues to benefit new generations of young Angelenos. And as Los Angeles prepares its bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will be working hard to build on the LA84 Foundation's world-class work to ensure the community legacy of a future Olympic Games is as profound as what we have seen over the past three decades."
"I am truly humbled to be selected by the LA84 Foundation's Board of Directors to serve as its new president and CEO, and to follow Anita DeFrantz, who is one of the most influential women in sports globally," Simril said. "The 1984 Games brought this city together, and the LA84 Foundation continues to play an important role for kids in diverse communities throughout the region. I am inspired by the tremendous potential this organization has to advance all of the values that make the Olympic movement so magical, including the ability to reach so many young people and develop their interest in and love of sport."
Ms. Simril was selected for her new role following a unanimous vote by the LA84 Foundation's Board of Directors.
"The LA84 Foundation is a living legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games hosted in Los Angeles, made possible by the surplus we were able to achieve," said LA84 Board Member Peter Ueberroth, the 1984 Olympics leader who was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for his efforts to organize such a successful, modern Olympic Games. "We are deeply appreciative to Anita for helping LA84 soar to such high levels, and we look forward to seeing the organization's influence grow even more as the torch is passed to Renata. I and my board colleagues look forward to working with Renata as she drives a forward-moving agenda that takes this foundation to even greater heights while embracing the Olympic ideals that promote education, inclusion and mutual understanding."
The LA84 Foundation was endowed with 40 percent of the surplus of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. The original $93 million endowment has grown to $160 million, and has funded more than $225 million in grants to support some 2,100 youth sports organizations and Foundation-initiated programs. These programs include the annual Summer Swim program, which has taught more than 300,000 youth the skills of swimming and aquatic sports; a coaching program that has provided free coaching workshops to 80,000 people; a high school sports award program, which is the longest-running program of its kind in the United States; and more than a dozen conferences examining issues of significance to athletics and society. The LA84 Foundation also maintains the largest sports research library in North America.
More information about the LA84 Foundation is available at www.la84.org.
SOURCE LA84 Foundation