November 26, 2015 

By Amanda Scurlock


Renata Simril, a civic and business leader in Los Angeles, has been named the next president and chief executive officer of the LA84 foundation.


LA84 benefits from the surplus funds from the 1984 Summer Olympics that took place in Los Angeles, according to Simril. The mission of the foundation is to fund youth sports programs in Southern California.


“I’ve transitioned through different careers: politics, real estate, sports, business, it’s all been under the arc of civic engagement,” said Simril. “I’m really passionate about the city of Los Angeles; I’m really passionate about helping those less fortunate and really the opportunity to leave this place better than I found it.” 


Simril will succeed Anita L. DeFrantz, an Olympic bronze medalist in the 1976 Summer Games. DeFrantz served as one of the original members LA84 and has been president for 28 years. DeFrantz also was the first female vice president of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  


“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I want to thank and applaud Anita DeFrantz on her visionary leadership of the LA84 Foundation and congratulate Renata Simril on her appointment to take the helm of this important organization,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It is a testament to the success of the 1984 Summer Games that it continues to benefit new generations of young Angelenos.”


Simril has held many leadership positons in Los Angeles. She worked to reconstruct the city after the 1992 Uprising. The offices of Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Hahn Administration were political arenas that Simril occupied.


Simril, a third generation Angeleno, has experience creating programs for youth. While being the Senior Vice President of External Affairs for the LA Dodgers, Simril assisted in creating the Kids For Dodgers Baseball program, where the franchise offered free baseball games to disenfranchised youth. The program served around 10,000 youth per season, according to Simril.


“We provided them transportation, their ticket to the game, food voucher and a baseball cap and a t-shirt,” she said. “There’s a lot of kids in South LA and East LA that have never been outside their community. We would bring kids for the holidays to Dodger Stadium and it was their first time.”


While working with the LA Dodgers, Simril worked with DeFrantz. Simril considers her to be a mentor and a friend.


“When I first started with the Dodger under the new ownership, one of the first people I reached out to was Anita,” said Simril. “The LA84 foundation is [a] longtime partner with the Dodgers.”


A wide variety of experience has prepared Simril for the position, she will begin her tenure at LA84 on January 4, 2016.

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