Meet the Board
Todd Simons was born in New York City, moved to Chicago, and has called Los Angeles his home since the age of 10. He was exposed to giving back and service to others growing up in a scouting family and ultimately earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Todd launched an imprinted sportswear business at the age of 16 and created programs where his company donated proceeds to the L.A. Unified School District, UNICEF and local non-profit organizations. For the last 25 years Todd has worked in marketing & advertising for leading national magazine brands like Shape & Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal and most recently Esquire. In his 12 years at Esquire, Todd was exposed to philanthropy through their deep celebrity relationships and luxury marketing platforms. Todd knew when he left publishing that he could do more, but this time off the red carpet, by leveraging the power of short form video and social media. He founded GiveBackLA to raise awareness, volunteer participation and donor support for local charitable causes. Todd is a Realtor toddsimonsproperties.com in Beverly Hills helping clients buy & sell luxury real estate in Los Angeles.
Hilah Johnson is half of the team behind HilahCooking, the online cooking show and website. She and her partner (now husband) Christopher Sharpe started the show together in 2010. Since then they have produced over 450 cooking videos and five cookbooks. When not testing recipes or editing, Hilah enjoys sewing, playing with her toddler, and red wine (not all together). She is excited to help GiveBackLA with video editing and social media.
Christopher Sharpe has been producing online video content for 10 years. In addition to producing Hilah Cooking, he also produces the fastest-growing yoga channel on YouTube, Yoga with Adriene. Chris is the author of YouTube Black Book, a best-seller on Amazon since 2014. He also writes about video production at his website, christophersharpe.com. Chris is honored to be able to help with SEO and social media for GiveBackLA.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Matthew Mejia is a native Angeleno. Matthew is an attorney at DeSimone & Huxster where he has experience in a variety of different areas, including business disputes, construction defect litigation, complex tort litigation, and general liability matters. While in law school, Matthew caught the philanthropy bug when he helped create a charity for the LAPD. He saw first hand that persistent, charitable work can effect positive changes in a community and has strived to continue to give back ever since.
Grant Harling www.grantharling.com is a multi-faceted director/writer/actor based in Los Angeles. Originally from Texas, Grant moved to California to pursue a degree in Film & Television Production and Spanish from Pepperdine University. Since graduation, he has landed a large number of projects – from short films to pilots. He has been working in the entertainment industry for nearly a decade and has several projects currently in development. Grant has always had a passion for philanthropy, and has worked with numerous nonprofit organizations, prior to his commitment to GiveBackLA.
Sean Smith is a Los Angeles-based commercial photographer. www.photosmith.net One of his earliest childhood memories is a Kodachrome slide show presentation of photos taken by his father during his time in The Vietnam War. For Sean, those images showed how photography can help materialize and sublimate immense, varied emotions felt by others. Working off this desire to "connect" throughout his life, Sean has learnt to master the ability to create images of all different types of people, as well as their stories, as well as their place in this world. He is excited to be a part of the altruistic experience of GiveBackLA and to further illustrate how complicated and beautiful humans are and how we will always need each other.
Between raising four boys, running an auto repair shop with her husband of 27 years and being a “slightly” aging mom, Lilli Baur manages to run her own freelance website design and resume service, Impressive Impact. It’s a juggle, and the balls often drop or hit her in the head on the way down, but thankfully she had the good sense to marry a Top Notch Mechanic, so at least she knows she will be able to get where she needs to go. Her motto for Philanthropy, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”, Theodore Roosevelt. When she is not pushing a car around the shop, you can find her pushing a mouse being energized at what she LOVES to do…creating websites for those in need.