Susan Penecale Zolla '68
In the words of Susan Penecale Zolla '68 spoken in true entrepreneurial fashion, "some of us simply cannot work for others; perhaps we suffer from a neurological disorder similar to ADHD. We are unable to process any commands from a "boss".
Susan's experience of operating her own business has been a fountain of never ending challenges and joy. She was able to establish her own work schedule and could give herself time to raise her three children and is now grandmother to three grandchildren. Susan's entrepreneurial path of "paving her own way" did not begin right after her graduation in 1968. Graduating from Bucknell with a major in History and Psychology and a Masters in School Administration from USC, Susan went on to teach history and was a school administrator in a large school district for 8 years.
Her industrial fate led her and her late husband, Edward Zolla, to create Horizon Construction 35 years ago. She is currently serving as President of the company after having taken over Edward's position after his death in 2006. In tribute to her husband and the strength and guidance he provided, she lovingly attests that she would be "nothing without him". At present, Horizon Construction is remodeling several of their larger apartment complexes and managing apartment buildings and industrial spaces.
In 1988, she and Edward purchased a 14 bedroom abandoned turn of the century house near the beach in Santa Monica and lovingly restored it into a 15 room B& B called The Channel Road Inn. The very successful hotel since its conception has been featured recently in the July issue of Travel and Leisure Magazine and the September issue of Gourmet. In 1995 Edward and Susan built and opened the Inn at Playa del Rey, a 22 room boutique hotel which was named as a member of the "Gold List" for 2009 by Conde Nast.
Susan's community service includes serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Airport Marina Counseling Service and Executive Advisory Board member of the UCLA Women's Health Center, member of the Board of Overseers of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, board member, Playa del Rey Design Review Board and she is a contributor to numerous Los Angeles charitable organizations.
Of course like most women her age, the "creations" for which she is most proud are her three grandchildren, Anna, Gaby and Mateo.