Alumni Awards 2019

The Venice High School Alumni Association congratulates the 2019 Alumni Award Recipients for their service to Venice High School and the surrounding community.


Congratulations to this Years Recipients!


David and Rosi Kent - Distinguished Alumni's of the Year

David Kent (‘79) was born and raised in southern California. Rosi Kent, Palisades High (‘83) came to the United States when she was 14 years old. David and Rosi both attended Cal State Northridge, where they met in a computer science class 32 years ago. They have been married for 25 years and have two sons, Spencer (‘17) and Ryan (‘18).

Rosi, who is a Software Manager at Northrop Grumman, and David, who owns his own construction company, feel very lucky to have been such active volunteers during their children’s younger years in school.

Rosi and David began volunteering in the school community when their first son started kindergarten at Mar Vista Elementary. They continued active involvement at Palms Middle School and Venice High School. Rosi and David have worked both in front and behind the scenes at their boys’ schools on various committees and events. Whether it was leading the Spell-A-Thon Fundraiser, the building of the Haunted House, co-chairing the Friends of Palms Booster Club, running the Boys Basketball Snack Bar, leading the Friends of Venice Magnet group, working the snack bar at the football games, BBQ’ing for teacher luncheons and senior breakfasts, or doing the cleaning after school events, they helped at practically every event. 

They believe in the importance of strong parental involvement in the community, so even though their youngest son culminated elementary school in 2011, David and Rosi still come back every year to help during beatification days, Halloween carnivals, PTA Founders Day, and other events. David joined the Venice High School Alumni Association two years ago and is currently the Associations’ Vice President.

 Donna Lasman - Gondolier of the Year

Donna Lasman is a Southern California native, born, raised and still residing on the westside of Los Angeles. She has fond memories of summers at the beach and the eclectic mix of entertainers and artists along the Venice Boardwalk. It is no accident that she found herself at home as the CEO for the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Combining her love for business and community involvement is what Donna enjoys most about her work.

Donna has more than 30 years’ experience in business, specializing in the area of business development, management and leadership. Following college and after working for several firms, she finally joined the family business, an automotive parts distribution warehouse, as Vice President/General Manager where she tripled the size of the company during the 12 years she worked there. After the birth of her son, desiring a more flexible lifestyle she resigned her position and spent the next several years working as a community volunteer and as a marketing/business consultant.

During her years as a community volunteer, Donna was a passionate advocate for public education, especially literacy. Before her son entered grade school, she was a reading buddy for the Wonder of Reading Program. Donna was so impressed with the program and the library, that once her son entered Cowan Avenue Elementary School, she led the effort to create a partnered reading program for reluctant readers, and brought a Wonder of Reading Library to their school. Donna also worked as a library volunteer, and she managed the semi-annual book fairs for the 5 years that her son attended there. She loved reading the new releases, and most enjoyed inspiring children to love reading by suggesting books they would like.   Donna continued working with struggling readers at Orville Wright Middle School, until budget cuts closed down the library. While her son attended LAUSD schools, Cowan and Orville Wright in Westchester, and then Venice High School, Class of 2013, Donna also served on their governing school site boards.

Donna re-entered the professional world when a friend recommended her for a position at LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce working in Membership. In 2010, after 4 years with the LAX Chamber, she moved on to serve the Venice Chamber of Commerce as their CEO. Under her leadership, the Venice Chamber has grown from a 100-member organization to nearly 350 members, and 11 highly functioning committees comprised of dedicated volunteers that help support the Chamber’s programs and activities. The Venice Chamber is the organization that takes care of the Venice Sign on behalf of the Venice Community, and the Chamber produces signature events such as the Holiday Lighting of the Venice Sign, the Venice Art Crawl, and the WAVE Awards, an annual event honoring teachers. Since 2012, the Venice Chamber has also assumed responsibility for coordinating sponsors for the Jackets of Excellence Program at Venice High School.  In 2016/17, through the Chamber in Action committee, the Venice Chamber led the effort to restore the POW/MIA mural on Pacific.  Donna is proud and honored to work with the Venice community and believes that her intimate knowledge of operating a business, combined with her leadership skills acquired from her business and volunteer involvement enables her to effectively and successfully represent the Venice community.

Nonny de la Peña - Alumnus of the Year

Often acknowledged as “The Godmother of Virtual Reality,” Nonny de la Peña (‘80) is a pioneer of virtual, augmented and mixed reality who is widely credited with inventing the genre of immersive journalism. In 2012, her piece “Hunger in Los Angeles” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, marking it’s place in history as the first VR (Virtual Reality) experience to be shown at the festival, and since then her work has continued to elicit global recognition at institutions and events such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Brooklyn Museum, World Economic Forum and Venice International Film Festival. In 2017, Nonny was named one of CNET’s Most Influential Latinos in Tech and most recently she received the 2018 WSJ Magazine Technology Innovator of the Year award.

If you know someone that should be considered for this prestigious honor, please submit an application.
Go to our website –, Go to Get involved – Alumni Annual Awards. Link


David and Rosi Kent - Distinguished Alumni's of the Year 


 Donna Lasman - Gondolier of the Year

Nonny de la Peña - Alumnus of the Year

Past Honorees Link






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We’re loyal to you Venice High School, to thee we will always be true…