Trio of Local Women on Rising Stars List

Lisa Conn
Lisa Conn

Three women who grew up in Laguna Beach are among the 600 young stars identified by Forbes in its 2018 edition of 30 Under 30, which the magazine describes as an “annual encyclopedia of creative disruption” across 20 different industries.

Now in its seventh-year, the magazine says selecting the top youthful visionaries requires vetting thousands of online nominations, the wisdom of its online community, reporters and a panel of judges.

“This list continues to spotlight the impressive, the inspiring and the (genuinely) enviable,” editors Caroline Howard with Natalie Sportelli write in the story posted Nov. 14.

Among the standouts in the law and policy section is Laguna’s Lisa Conn, 29, now a San Francisco resident. She recently joined Facebook to lead the civic leadership team in its community partnerships program.

She says her job history has “consistently focused on finding new ways to drive change through technology.”

Conn previously was program manager of MIT Media Lab’s Electome Project, which used machine learning to analyze tweets and track public opinion related to the 2016 presidential election. Before that Conn was the organizing director of, working to mobilize support for immigration reform, and a regional field director for the Obama campaign in South Florida’s Broward County.

Conn, the daughter of Howard and Rita Conn, is a 2006 Sage Hill graduate. She inspired her mother to plunge into political activism as well. Mrs. Conn, a therapist, more recently has focused her efforts on opposition to nuclear waste storage at the closed San Onofre power plant.

Museum of Ice Cream co-founders Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora in the sprinkle pool.Photo by Katie Gibbs.
Museum of Ice Cream co-founders Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora in the sprinkle pool.Photo by Katie Gibbs.

Laguna Beach-native Maryellis Bunn, founder and creative director of the Museum of Ice Cream, is a member of the 30 Under 30 Art and Style class.

In the summer of 2016, the ice cream lover opened her first 45-day pop-up Museum of Ice Cream in New York, featuring art installations and a pool of multicolored plastic sprinkles. An instant hit, it left 200,000 people on the waitlist. The Los Angeles version earlier this year attracted Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Salma Hayek and their kids. A San Francisco MoIC opened in September and also proved a sensation. Tickets sold out immediately and an extension of its operation near Union Square is expected through February, the website says.

Bunn, who lives in Los Angeles, describes herself as the ice cream “kween” and favors plain vanilla, but she devises her own flavors, such as Disco. School records show she graduated from Laguna Beach High in 2010. Her parents, Peter and Sarah Moore, still live in town, said museum spokeswoman Shelley Reinstein.

A fourth MoIC is set to open in Miami next month, where tickets will run $38.

Among the 30 Under 30 in the 2018 energy sector is Amber Jackson, 28, a 2007 Laguna Beach High School graduate and daughter of local residents Skip and Amy Jackson.

Amber Jackson, right, and her partner in Blue Latitudes, Emily Callahan.
Amber Jackson, right, and her partner in Blue Latitudes, Emily Callahan.

While some in Jackson’s class are working on lowering carbon-emissions to create a cleaner future for the air, land and sea, Jackson’s pursuit takes a different direction under the sea.

Jackson and Emily Callahan, both 28, scuba divers and marine biologists, met at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They founded La Jolla-based Blue Latitudes, which works with oil companies to maximize the environmental benefits of transforming their abandoned offshore oil platforms into artificial reefs. Jackson also lives in La Jolla.




View Our User Comment Policy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here