Happy Anniversary to Ebell

by Philip R. Miller, General Manager

The occasion of the celebration of the Ebell’s 117th birthday this month spurs me to reflect on my own six-year tenure at this great lady. I came to the Ebell from a successful 30-year career in the food and beverage industry and was hesitant at first when I was approached about running a city club, as the Ebell was described to me by a recruiter.

After meeting with then-President Fluff McLean and then-First Vice President Gloria Droguett, and after touring the building, I was intrigued by the prospect of assisting in the preservation of the Club and the piloting of the for-profit enterprise. As I met with other Board members and learned more about the treasure on Wilshire, I became increasingly fascinated with that prospect. After two or three weeks of meetings and much thought, I came to work as General Manager on August 22, 2005.

It has been a very eventful and enjoyable six years. I have served four Presidents in that time and many Board members. I have gotten to know many of the Ebell members, participated in club events and learned much about the history of the Ebell of Los Angeles. It is very fulfilling to know that I am able to assist in writing the future history of the Ebell.

Most recently I had the pleasure to assist Theatre Chair Loyce Braun in the development of a wheelchair-accessible restroom at the Theatre, and our House Chair Caroline Moser in the restoration of the east-facing bay windows in the Lounge and in the painting of the Art Salon, Lounge and adjacent hallways. These are but a sample of the projects on the drawing board for the further preservation of this treasure.

On the business side we saw our revenues increase each year, reaching the apex in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. As with every other enterprise in our nation, our business has declined to pre-2008 levels. However, after two down years, the results for the year ending June 30, 2011 are very encouraging and we are still able to provide sufficient revenues to maintain the daily activities and continue the preservation projects.

Our financial goals for the current fiscal year are to maintain the progress that we have made and to increase revenues by a small margin. I look forward to continue to serving the Ebell, its board and its membership for years to come.

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