George Takei & Friends at OPODZ Grand Opening Event


Reserve a place at the event with our eventbrite page as space is limited

Opodz Launch Party!

Opodz opened on June 3rd, 2013 at its Little Tokyo location on 362 E. 2nd Street in Los Angeles, CA. The grand opening is Friday, June 21st featuring a panel of socially conscious business owners and organizational reps talking about “doing business by doing good”.

The Grand Opening is scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 and is by Invitation only from 6-9pm. The night will feature speakers; Internet Superstar George Takei, Melissa Richardson Banks of CauseConnect, Drew Tewksbury of KCET’s Artbound, Shauna Nep of Goldhirsh Foundation / LA2050. These innovators will share a little about their respective company’s vision.

The night will begin and end with a cocktail mixer and tours of the new OPODZ facility. The night is organized by Edgar Varela of EVFA, a cultural production company in DTLA. There will be a small art exhibition featuring work by local artist Rachael Rendon.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21 @ 6-9 PM

6:00 PM–Networking cocktail hour
7:00 PM–Welcome and introductions followed by guest speakers
7:45 PM–Surprise Speaker
8:15 PM–Q&A


Special Guest Speaker: GEORGE TAKEI

With a career spanning five decades, George Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. Takei starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies. says Takei is the #1 most-influential person on Facebook, with more than 4 million friends. Takei has nearly 650,000 followers on Twitter. Takei authored “Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet,” released in e-book and paperback earlier this year, and it ranked #10 on the New York Times E-book nonfiction list.
Takei currently lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei. They were married at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on Sept. 14, 2008.

Melissa Richardson Banks (CauseConnect)

As President and Founder of the consulting firm CauseConnect, Melissa Richardson Banks specializes in helping companies reach their target markets and fulfill corporate social responsibility goals through signature community programs designed to engage employees, meaningfully connect with charities and causes, and uniquely incorporate the arts and the environment. In addition to major corporations such as Toyota Financial Services and Target, she advises small businesses on best practices when partnering with nonprofits. As an independent cultural producer, she manages Cheech Marin’s noted Chicano art collection and produces cultural events such as museum exhibitions, festivals, speaker events, concerts, and salons designed to engage audiences and foster community. An author, book editor, and art publisher, Richardson Banks is also a photographer who documents her changing Arts District neighborhood in Los Angeles through her Downtown Muse blog.

Drew Tewksbury (KCET Artbound)

Drew Tewksbury is Managing Editor and Producer of KCET public media’s cultural journalism project Artbound. He has come from a diverse media background, having worked as a producer for NPR, a regular music columnist for L.A. Weekly, and Senior Writer/ Contributing Editor for Flaunt Magazine. He curates Los Angeles Magazine’s Guide section and has produced bi-weekly, on-air music review pieces for KPCC’s Madeleine Brand Show. As a freelance arts and culture journalist/critic, he has written and produced pieces for NPR’s ‘All Things Considered,’ Los Angeles Times, Nylon Guys, BoxOffice Magazine, NME, Art News, Hollywood Reporter, Back Stage Magazine, Swindle Magazine, Style in Progress (Austria), People Magazine, and more.

Shauna Nep (Goldhirsh Foundation / LA2050)

Shauna Nep is a social innovation manager at the Goldhirsh Foundation. She has a background in program development, and in mobilizing online and offline engagement with various organizations in Los Angeles. She previously worked in programming at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and as program director of the Woolly School Garden Program. She has a master’s degree in bioethics from New York University.

Opodz is a new creative coworking space located at 362 E. 2nd Street in Los Angeles, CA 90012. Opodz provides comfortable shared desk space and high speed WiFi Internet access in a well-designed, creative office environment. Opodz also features an event space, conference room, kitchen, and above all, a friendly, collaborative, professional atmosphere among members. Opodz offers various levels of month-to-month membership, and a daily drop-in rate is also available. It is also available for events, seminars, and meet-ups.

Coworking provides the opportunity for small business owners, independent contractors, virtual employees, and other freelancers to build a collaborative community of professionals that inspires creativity, serendipity, and exploration. Coworking attracts a wide spectrum of users, including web developers, programmers, graphic designers, writers, editors, technology professionals, artists, Internet marketers, and other such creative professionals who often find themselves in coffee shops or libraries in an effort to increase their productivity and stimulate social interaction.

Opodz chose Downtown LA as its location because of its bustling street life and unique creative vibe, as well as its proximity to the neighboring creative neighborhoods The area is lined with many new, up-and-coming businesses, including restaurants, shops, galleries, artist studios, cafes, pubs, and salons, providing a cool and contemporary backdrop for professionals who choose to spend time working and interacting at Opodz.

To learn more about Opodz or to be invited to the inaugural event on June 21st please call John at 949.212.3561 or email For complete information, visit Join the Opodz community and socialize online at and Twitter Edgar Varela can be reached at


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