By Gina Redican
I am truly excited to be able to work with such a smart, creative, and hardworking group of individuals, each with a different passion to bring to our table. I had a chance to interview the board members, and got to know not only them, but a few of THEIR friends and neighbors that they thought we should all meet as well.
Gina Redican, President; She spent her downtime during the pandemic in the garage with her dad building custom kitchen cabinets for her parents’ ADU. A family from the neighborhood she wishes everyone knew are the Kuper-Wilsons. “Denise and Paula own a law firm in Bixby Knolls, and from the moment I met them I knew I had a forever friend. They are incredibly supportive, and probably some of the funniest people I have ever met. Their daughter Roxy is so smart and beautiful and has a tremendous sense of humour just like her moms'.”
Julie Folcik, Vice President; Julie has worked most of her professional career in local city government (15 years were with the City of Long Beach) and is currently a Realtor with Keller Williams Coastal Properties (DRE#02029825), where she enjoys sharing the city with those looking to call Long Beach home. Julie graciously volunteers to deliver our beautiful newsletter.
Alex Saldana, Treasurer; Alex and his wife Gaby have lived in Belmont Heights for more than 16 years. These childhood sweethearts attended CSULB and later decided to make Long Beach their permanent home. He envisions his participation on the board as one way that he can do his part to make sure that decisions made by the City are good for our neighborhood
Jill Unze, Secretary; One of the most positive things to come from the pandemic is that she and her husband started a Taco Tuesday tradition including Tacos and a Mexican film/TV. They have discovered some amazing movies and improved their Spanish. Netflix’s Taco Chronicles is a must see. Her hopes for the BHCA are to “continue the great work of those who came before me, honoring our historic districts, supporting our businesses, connecting our neighbors, and keeping the community informed by website, newsletter, and community meetings.”
Tasha Thrift, Member at Large & Social Media Manager;
Tasha has lived in Belmont Heights for 10 years and loves the walkability of the neighborhood. She enjoys sharing highlights of the Heights’ fantastic stores, beautiful homes, and great greenery through social media.
Derrick Muska, Member at Large; When asked why he loves Belmont Heights, Derrick responded “One of the many reasons I love Belmont Heights is because it still gives me the warm fuzzies when I think about it. I love it when people say to me, ‘You LIVE in Long Beach?!’ It makes me so happy because I know they don’t know, and I love it. I want to keep it that way.” His go-to restaurant is Starling Diner, where I’m pretty sure he is having a love affair with their San Francisco stuffed French toast and whispers to it, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.”
Ardis Laine, Member at Large; Our newest member and a lover of breakfast from, well, pretty much every restaurant in The Heights, Ardis (Ardie) came away with some good from the pandemic. She said “It’s so quiet in the neighborhood. However, our Mira Mar Quarantini Hour brought our immediate neighbors closer. House projects got done, but still many left to do, like uploading those never-ending photos!” She hopes the BHCA can create volunteer opportunities to make Belmont Heights and all of Long Beach an even better place to live.
Kathleen Brady, Member at Large; A lover of our variety of architecture, you can often catch Kathleen strolling the neighborhood taking in its beauty. She recommends Prime by Shenendoah’s Piedmont Burger and has taken up an at-home fitness routine since the start of the pandemic.
Will Cullen, Member at Large; Will’s go-to meal is the Chickpea Sandwich with fries and soup from The Firkin. He wishes everyone in the neighborhood knew the Rodriguez family. Ramon is an internationally acclaimed artist, Debbie is equally talented for her crafts and cards, and two sons are accomplished musicians playing in the “family” band and a separate jazz band. They are all avid gardeners, protectors of the planet, and humble people.