Ruth Yansick enjoys living and giving in her beloved La Jolla

Ruth Yansick serves as CEO of the La Jolla Community Center Board of Directors and is instrumental in making an impact on everything from programming to marketing and fundraising. She is also a trustee on the La Jolla Town Council.

After many successful careers, Yansick turned her focus to volunteering, helping several organiza- tions and giving back to the community while having fun doing it. She has a master’s degree in education and media communications from Chicago State University, and has worked on a master’s in counseling at the University of New Hampshire and an advanced degree in school administration from National University.

Yansick has taught students from kindergarten to graduate school and she won the “Teacher of the Year” award for her work with children with learning disabilities in the Chicago public school system.

Yansick has run several successful corporations and worked with key venture capitalists on mergers and acquisitions to help them build their computer software companies. She said she enjoys entertaining small groups of friends in her home and spending summers traveling abroad.

What brought you to La Jolla?

I was lucky enough to be giving a seminar with my then fiancé, Richard Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” when during a break at the Catamaran Hotel, some of us decided to go over to La Jolla. We went to Alfonso’s for lunch. After seeing the rest of La Jolla, in particular the Cove, I fell in love with the town.

It was my 36th birthday the next day and I got on a plane and landed at O’Hare Airport during one of the biggest blizzards Chicago ever had. When I got home, I made a decision that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in beautiful La Jolla. I feel very lucky to live in one of the most outstanding towns in the United States.

What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I would return a movie theater to the Village. I believe it’s greatly missed and there are certain buildings in the Village that would be a perfect fit for a theater, restaurant, art gallery and fine shopping all in one.

We have some of the best restaurants, and it would be lovely to be able to go to dinner and a movie in town. I would also like to see more open space. And of course, I would encourage all La Jolla residents to become members of the La Jolla Community Center on La Jolla Boulevard and volunteer.

Who inspires you?

That would be the volunteers, sponsors and donors of the La Jolla Community Center who give back freely and have a lifetime of experiences to share. The simple things that people do to help others inspire me.

If you hosted a dinner

party for eight, whom would you invite?

There are many individuals who have volunteered to make La Jolla the fabulous place it is. The following are just a few who I would enjoy having dinner with:

I would invite

Anne Kerr Bache

for her 14 years of devotion in organizing the La Jolla Christmas Parade;

Phil Coller

for his stellar organization of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association;

Cindy Greatrex

, colleague and president of both the La Jolla Town Council and Independent La Jolla;

Don Hodges

, colleague, for his time, energy and contributions to the Kiwanis Club and La Jolla Community Center;



, colleague and member of the La Jolla Rotary Club for all he has given selflessly;

Glen Rasmussen

, colleague, for his 30-plus years of volunteerism in the Village and his work at the La Jolla Community Center;

Susan DeMaggio

, for her outstanding job as editor at the

La Jolla Light

; and lastly,

Sherry Ahern

, colleague and founder of the La Jolla Open Aire Market and the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, because she will have us laughing all night long. I would have my dear friends,

Chef Urs and Ursula Baumann

, plan a beautiful sunset dinner for us on my rooftop.

What are you reading?

I read the

New York Times

cover to cover, every day for updates on current events, finance, art, music, medicine and books to read. A book that truly influenced my thinking was “History of Religion.” I am currently reading “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Beautiful Ruin” by Jess Walter and “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty.

What is your greatest achievement?

By far, my greatest achievement has been making a major impact at the La Jolla Community Center by helping to provide excellent programs for the community that will go on for years and years to come. I believe in giving back to the community and volunteering with a pure heart without expecting anything in return.

What is your most- prized possession?

That would be my wonderful family and friends, and my Bishon Frise, Precious. I also cherish historical photos of my ancestors that are nearly 100 years old.

What is your most- marked characteristic?

I believe I am focused and have a positive outlook in life. I am a self-starter and a problem-solver. I’ve also been told I’m generous and witty, and I am somebody who makes things happen.

What is your philosophy of life?

One must develop his or her own mission and purpose in life. Just go for it in life and have fun while you’re doing it. Make everything you do in life unique, not just ordinary.

What would be your dream vacation?

I would enjoy going back to some of the most interesting cities in the world: San Francisco for the view; New York for people watch- ing and restaurants; London for the theaters; Paris for the cafés and the flea markets; Vienna, Austria for desserts and concerts; Prague for its night life; and Morocco, Fez, Marrakech and Casablanca for their unique culture and architecture. To finish it off, a cruise around the Greek Islands!