Leadership Torrance is one of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce’s longest-running programs, with hundreds of Torrance area professionals and community leaders having graduated through the program.

This year’s cohort consists of 20 people from myriad industries, professional backgrounds and South Bay experience. On Friday, January 20th the group meets for orientation and introductions, being led by three outstanding individuals who have taken on the task of directing the group.

Meet the 2017 Leadership Torrance Directors:

Cyndy Rosell

Cyndy Rosell is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the City of Torrance Community Services Department. She graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. She grew up in Torrance and has lived In the South Bay for over 30 years. She attended the 2016 Torrance Leadership program and is currently looking forward to her role as the director for the 2017 Torrance Leadership program.




Susan Swinburne

Susan Swinburne was thrilled to be appointed Executive Director of Torrance Education Foundation in August, 2015, and for the past year has greatly enjoyed the opportunity to marry her personal and professional lives for the first time in thirty years by working in her own home town. Her career in professional philanthropy began at Security Pacific Bank, then Bank of America, directing national corporate contributions and volunteerism. Segueing into the world of fundraising, she spent the next decade as Director of Development at several prominent southern California nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles and Orange County. Work as a fundraising and management consultant followed, along with a specialty in assisting organizations seeking new avenues for growth. Susan and her husband Chuck Duquette feel blessed to be long-time Torrance residents, and take it as a patriotic duty to support the local economy by patronizing Torrance breweries.

Russell Akiyama

Russell Akiyama is an owner of Sunflower Farms. His family has owned and operated this local plant nursery and landscaping company for over 40 years. Russell graduated from Hofstra University in 2008 with a degree in Anthropology and Political Science. He worked for the US Army as a civilian contractor in Virginia for several years before moving back home to the South Bay in late 2015. Russell attended First Lutheran School and Bishop Montgomery High School here in Torrance before moving to New York for college. He is very excited to be one of the directors of Leadership Torrance 2017 and looks forward to a program full of community, leadership and progress.

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