We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Ayoub and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of Project Angel Food is leading with love. Everything we do is rooted in love. We infuse love into our meals by having members of the community help cook and package the food for people they may never meet. When fear comes into the equation because of challenges like a global pandemic, we walk through the fear and keep love at the forefront. We never forget how vital this nutrition is to our clients.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel like I’ve had two careers — one in Television producing (news and entertainment magazine shows) and another in the nonprofit spectrum. The common denominator — compelling story telling. Every day I tell the story of Project Angel Food. I have to make it sound like it’s the first time I’m telling it and I have to feel it. That transfers to the person I’m talking to. A friend/donor once said, “People give to people.” Yes, they have to believe in the cause, but more importantly they have to believe in you and like you. What I had to learn is don’t just ask for money, get to know the donor, get to know what they are interested in and as you organically talk about your organization — most people will end the conversation by offering to help. People say asking for money is the hard thing, but not asking for money is even harder.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We are blessed that we live in a city that others come to vacation. I love the hikes this city has to offer from Runyon Canyon, where I’ve seen Josh Groban on the trail to Franklin Canyon, where I’ve run into media mogul Barry Diller.
For a morning pastry and coffee, I’d mosey on down to Conservatory in West Hollywood. The atmosphere is stunning.
If you’d like to see Los Angeles through the eyes of philanthropy, I recommend delivering meals for Project Angel Food, where you can brighten someone’s day by bringing people with critical illness a medically-tailored meal.
A great lunch spot is Alcove in Los Feliz or Hugo’s in West Hollywood. If you crave a delicious and artistically beautiful dessert visit Bottega Louie in West Hollywood. For a night out, my Number One pick is the Hollywood Bowl, nothing compares to the majesty and the ambiance. I’m looking forward to the Pantages Theater reopening with great shows like “Moulin Rouge” and “Hamilton.” For dinner my all-time favorite is Craig’s and La Boheme has created a beautiful European-esq outdoor space in response to COVID.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Project Angel Food’s success is owed to the Los Angeles community that always comes through for us. We thank Marianne Williamson and her founding team David Kessler, Ed Rada, Howard Rosenman and Freddie Weber for having the vision to create and organization that takes care of the most vulnerable among us. I especially want to thank former board chairs Joe Mannis and Bobby Ralston for believing in me and my vision and deciding to hire a former TV producer to head up the organization at this critical time.
Other: Twitter @richardayoub Instagram @richardayoub