Renata Simril. Photo courtesy of the LA Dodgers
Renata Simril. Photo courtesy of the LA Dodgers

A former executive with the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Times was on Wednesday named the next president and CEO of a foundation endowed with 40 percent of the surplus of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games to fund youth sports programs in Southern California.

Renata Simril will assume the leadership role at the LA84 Foundation on Jan. 4. She will succeed Anita L. DeFrantz, who has served as president of the LA84 Foundation for the past 28 years and was one of the original members of its staff, joining at its inception in 1985.

An Olympian who earned a bronze medal in the 1976 Summer Games, DeFrantz is the highest-ranking American member of the International Olympic Committee and served as the first female vice president of the IOC’s Executive Committee.

Under her leadership, LA84 serves more than three million children annually in Southern California through grant-making, research and coaching education programs.

Simril began her career as a military police officer in the United States Army, worked to help rebuild South Los Angeles after the 1992 riots and served as deputy mayor of economic development in the administration of former Mayor James Hahn.

She most recently served as senior vice president and chief of staff at the Los Angeles Times under publisher Austin Beutner, who was forced out of the job after a year.

Simril holds degrees from Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California and is a third-generation Angeleno. Shge lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and two young boys.

“I am truly humbled to be selected by the LA84 Foundation’s Board of Directors to serve as its new president and CEO, and to follow Anita DeFrantz, who is one of the most influential women in sports globally,” Simril said.

“The 1984 Games brought this city together, and the LA84 Foundation continues to play an important role for kids in diverse communities throughout the region,” she said. “I am inspired by the tremendous potential this organization has to advance all of the values that make the Olympic movement so magical, including the ability to reach so many young people and develop their interest in and love of sport.”

The foundation’s original $93 million endowment has grown to $160 million, and has funded more than $225 million in grants to support some 2,100 youth sports organizations and foundation-initiated programs.

— City News Service

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