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Founded in 2017 in partnership with Kimberly Ovitz, the Humane Generation Los Angeles committee is a group of young leaders dedicated to working with the Farm Animal Protection campaign to reduce the suffering of animals raised for meat, eggs and dairy. Committee members raise funds for education and public awareness initiatives and advocate for a more humane lifestyle.

Meet the members of Humane Generation Los Angeles.

Courtney Applebaum is the head designer at Courtney Applebaum Design, internationally known for designing and sourcing exclusive and unique elements from around the world. Set against her own demanding standards of luxury and livability, Applebaum's eye for combining traditional sophistication with contemporary pieces and accents has earned her recognition as an influential and important American Designer. Applebaum has had a love for animals since a young age and hopes to help bring awareness through her involvement with The HSUS. She resides in her native Los Angeles where she has two dogs and loves to ride horses.


Lauren Brokaw, a Los Angeles native, has been a devout animal lover since she can remember and has cultivated that passion to contribute to various organizations throughout her life. Brokaw studied Visual Communications in college and upon graduating, worked for luxury conglomerate, Richemont, as well as with top fashion stylists and luxury fashion houses in public relations. In 2012, Brokaw founded her Stella and Bow, a jewelry company aptly named after her Poodle, Bow. In her spare time, she volunteers for several charitable organizations in the LA area. Brokaw resides in West Hollywood with her multiple rescue dogs.


Jessica de Ruiter is a Los Angeles-based stylist. She began her career as a fashion editor in the Condé Nast offices of Vogue, Teen Vogue, W and WWD. Presently she is sought out for her simple, sophisticated styling and thoughtful, timeless point of view. De Ruiter has dressed countless Hollywood A-listers among them Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Mara, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Melanie Griffith, Anjelica Huston, Helen Mirren, Robert Pattinson, Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Fassbender. She is also a regular contributor to Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Glamour, W, Porter and InStyle and has worked with a myriad of renowned photographers throughout her career. The humane treatment and welfare of all animals has resonated strongly with de Ruiter since she was a child, always feeling an inclination to protect and speak out on their behalf. As a stylist working in the fashion industry she adamantly admonishes the use of fur, and as a long-time vegan, de Ruiter takes a strong stance against factory farming and its exploitative practices. She aspires to bring more awareness and create positive change through her membership with Humane Generation LA in the hopes that one day, animals everywhere will be treated with the compassion and respect they deserve.


Leslie Durso is a vegan chef and wellness expert. After appearing on the hit show Bill Nye the Science Guy, Durso took her passion of education into the world of food. Breaking boundaries for vegan cuisine, she has showcased her culinary talents in regular appearances on Food Network, Discovery Channel, The Doctors, Home and Family, Buzzfeed and more. Durso does not compromise style for sustainability; she teaches people the benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle without sacrificing a thing. Maxim magazine wrote, “We want to hire Leslie as our own personal chef! We’ll even eat vegetables for her.” A devoted animal lover and mom to rescue dog Pepe, Durso is passionate about animal welfare and is a proud member of Humane Generation LA!


Kathryn Knox began her career in Dallas, working for the Kim Dawson Agency, then as a fashion show producer for Neiman Marcus. In 2008, ESCADA relocated Knox to New York City to establish and direct their North American Special Events Department. Following this, she became the Global Special Events Director at Michael Kors. It was also during this time Knox decided to take the personal leap from being an organic vegetarian to embracing a one hundred percent plant-based and animal-friendly lifestyle. As an early advocate of this more compassionate way of living, and with this unique perspective into the luxury fashion world, Knox transitioned out of corporate fashion and in 2012 established her own sustainable events company, Stone Sevyn. The belief that more conscious choices are at the forefront of real change, Knox authentically proves you can live a more sociably responsible lifestyle beyond granola!


Noah Mills is an actor and model who has worked with most of the top luxury brands in the world. After living in New York for many years, Mills moved to Los Angeles to continue his career on the west coast. He always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, and though that is not his current employment, his passion for being around and animals and caring for them is paramount in his life and he brings that dedication to Humane Generation Los Angeles.


Kimberly Ovitz is the Founding Chair of The HSUS’ Humane Generation Los Angeles committee. With a background in creative direction, fashion design, brand-building strategy, photography and entrepreneurship, Ovitz currently consults for consumer product start-up brands and is on a mission to use art and commerce to impact lives – more specifically embedding social and environmental considerations into products and service. Prior to this, she launched and scaled her eponymous and critically acclaimed women’s apparel brand based in NYC, followed by taking a role at Relativity Media as Director of Business Development in their fashion division. A passionate animal rights activist, Ovitz has lent her support to numerous animal welfare organizations and was a founding member of The HSUS’ Humane Generation/Friends of Finn committee, a next generation philanthropy group of young professionals dedicated to eradicating puppy mills and promoting pet adoption. Upon returning to LA, she joined forces with The HSUS once again to launch Humane Generation Los Angeles, aiming to alleviate the suffering of factory farmed animals and call attention to the industry’s impact on the environment. She also sits on the organization’s New York and California State Councils, helping to drive and support legislative change. Ovitz received a B.A. from Brown University and currently resides in Venice Beach with her dogs, Matzah Ball and Blue.


Oren Segal is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. Segal is a talent manager/producer through his company Management Production Entertainment.


Nola Singer is a celebrity stylist, working with Naomie Harris, Katherine Heigl and Ireland Baldwin, among others. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University, and also studied fashion in Florence, Italy at the Lorenzo de Medici University. Singer resides in Los Angeles and is very passionate about animal welfare and rescue work. When she's not styling, she lends her time and support to various organizations, including The HSUS, to help create a better world for animals and alleviate animal homelessness.


Hayden Slater co-founded Pressed Juicery in 2010 with the goal of making high nutrition available to everyone. As a native Angeleno, Slater was educated about health and wellness trends growing up, but he rarely practiced them in his own life. In fact, it was his own unhealthy living habits that ultimately inspired a personal transformation and motivated Slater to create an innovative business underscored by a simple concept: health and wellness for all. The brand now currently supports over 55 retail locations in California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Washington and Nevada. In addition, Pressed Juicery offers nationwide shipping and is continuing to rapidly expand its retail footprint. In 2014, the founders also published their first book, JUICE, sharing recipes and stories about juicing to inspire an even larger audience to learn more about wellness. Slater resides in Los Angeles with his dog, Finley.


Fuschia Kate Sumner is an actress, voice over artist, writer and producer. Growing up in a household full of pets, all of which came from Battersea Dogs Home in London, instilled a natural love for all animals and an affinity for helping animals in need. Now a Los Angeles resident, Sumner is proud mother to Baci, a rescue pit/lab.


Tessa Benson Tooley is a native New Yorker who has called Los Angeles home since 2002. An accomplished editor, writer and producer, Benson Tooley was one of the initial hires at Daily Candy where she wore many hats with her position as Content Producer for the site. She was then hired as West Coast Bureau Chief at SELF magazine, a position she held for twelve years. Following this role, Benson Tooley served as a senior editor at LA Times Magazine. Her editorial experience also includes writing for The New York Times Style section, InStyle and Architectural Digest, as well as serving as editor at Los Angeles Magazine. Most recently, Benson Tooley transitioned into film development as a producer, working alongside her husband, filmmaker Tucker Tooley of Tucker Tooley Entertainment. A vegan and promoter of humane fashion, she devotes her time to numerous philanthropic endeavors and environmental causes. She enjoys spending time with her son, five rescue dogs, two rescue turtles and five rescue fancy goldfish.


To learn more, please contact Courtney Stroum Meagher at cstroummeagher@humanesociety.org.

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