AMBASSADORS

 

 

GLOBAL ambassador

Lana Parrilla

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 Lana , whose mother is a painter/artist and whose dad was a professional baseball player, says she grew up in a household where creativity and pursuing one's dreams were definitely encouraged. Her grandfather played the banjo, and her aunt, Candice Azzara, was an actress who inspired her from an early age. After graduating from high school, Parrilla moved to Los Angeles to study acting and pursue a professional career.

 She made her film debut in the sci-fi horror film Spiders, then went on to land a guest role on the television series Grown-Ups. She appeared in the Steven Spielberg action series pilot Semper Fi, before being cast in the recurring role of Angie Ordonez on Spin City opposite Charlie Sheen during the 2000-0l season. Her year on Spin City led to other starring roles on popular show such as 24 and Boomtown and in 2008 she led the cast of CBS's sexy new drama Swingtown.

 Since 2011 Lana has been playing her best known role as Regina Mills in ABC's fantasy show Once Upon a Time.  Parrilla's character is the mayor of a small town in Maine, and in flashbacks to her life prior to entering our world, we also see her journey from a young innocent woman into the evil Queen. She won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain and the ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2012. Parrilla also received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress on Television from the 38th Saturn Awards and in 2016 Lana won a Teen Choice award for Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi for her role.   

 Lana became part of Face Forward's Celebrity Honorary Committee in 2014 after meeting our co-founders, Deborah and Dr. Alessi.  Lana was moved and inspired by the cause.  She and her husband Fred returned in 2015 as Gala guests and made a generous personal contribution at the event.  Shortly after that Lana decided to help raise money for Face Forward so she  created her own amazing #LongLiveHope t-shirt campaign, which ended up raising nearly $60K for our Face Forward patients!  

 Lana is a rare jewel in the celebrity world, and has graciously used her status as a platform to help make change in the world, not only for our organization, but many others as well.  It is refreshing to encounter people like Lana, who want to make a positive change in the world, and are truly seeking nothing in return. Face Forward is truly honored to announce Lana as Face Forward's new Global Ambassador !

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Hikmat Al Kaitoob

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 Hikmat makes her presence felt within minutes of meeting her. An icon for a new generation of strong and influential Arab women, her personal strength and allure is evident even before her astounding accomplishments are mentioned. She is a business woman, lifestyle icon, social figure, humanist, wife and mother but what distinguishes her is her humility and respect for people around her. Through her drive to accomplish more and rise above all restrictions placed on her, she has become one of Dubai’s most prominent women.


 Hikmat is a true thought leader and has a strong vision for business and ethics. She began her career early as a board member for the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development where she handled the infrastructural portfolio for all the Gulf and Arab countries. At this time she also began her first entrepreneurial venture with Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, Former Minister of Finance and Industry, on significant projects in tourism, banking, education and pharmaceuticals.


Under the Ghadaq General Trading she initiated the idea of women’s banking via the Dubai Islamic Bank emphasizing the importance for women to be treated equally in the region. Her involvement in concepts such as Dubai Summer Surprises, Children’s Village and Global Village has shaped the face of Dubai’s tourism market. She was also associated with the building of Al Ittihad Private School, Prism-the Fireworks Company and exclusive pharmaceuticals distributorship.
 At the same time she contributed to major governmental decisions as the Managing Director of the private office for the Minister of Finance.Her third venture was with the Union Trust during which she witnessed the growth of monumental enterprises such as Emaar, Tabreed, Manasek and Senaat and was involved in  the release of their IPO’s.After witnessing unprecedented success. 

Hikmat went on to become the whole-owner of the Dubai American School, Elhaj Jewelry, Sheyoukhi Perfumery and The House Spa. She is currently the Managing Director at Hikmat Al Kaitoob Holding and Vice President at the MAK Group which extends across a multitude of industries such as MAK Crushers, MAK Transportation, Al Kaitoob Contractors, United Refineries, Amled Schools, Samsung Construction Corporation and MAK24Homes Real Estate. Charity and Women Empowerment


Hikmat has a presence that allows people to feel comfortable and charmed around her. Although she maintains a busy schedule, her deep desire to create change is reflected in her large hearted commitment to an enormous list charities such as Al Noor Charity Center, Rashid Pediatric Center, Make a Wish Foundation, Oil Baron, Oxfam and numerous others. She is consistently invited as the front row lady and acknowledged for her large contributions to the less privileged.


As an woman entrepreneur she also wishes to pass on her knowledge via her membership at the Dubai Business Women Council, Abu Dhabi Business Women Council, Emirates Business Women Council, Arab Business Women Council. She also contributes as the Deputy President of Emirates BPW for the empowerment of other women in business. IImsam United Nations has elected her to be the consultant for the Middle East on noticing her triumphs.

Hikmat Al Kaitoob is an inspiration to all women. “Live your life” Madam Hikmat says when asked to give advice to the youth, “Don’t just live in the past. Dream for tomorrow but also take time to understand yourself today”. Not everyone can follow her powerful yet mysterious gaze but for those interested the show has just begun.