Some L.A. natives need to be noted. Today we highlight Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer, born and raised in Beverly Hills, who is the daughter of Norman Brokaw, former WME Chairman, who was the the first mailboy in their Beverly Hills Mailroom when he was just 15, and went on to manage the careers of half of Hollywood including Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Bill Cosby, Clint Eastwood, Olympian Mark Spitz, Donna Summer, President Ford & Mrs. Betty Ford, and even the racehorse Secretariat.Yep, that’s right.
Wendy, like many of her siblings, stayed in the Hollywood conversation, pursing careers in entertainment publicity, media, journalism and, for Wendy, TV.
As a long time TV producer (for Dr. Drew, Extra and way back when for Dolly Parton) and passionate fundraiser, she founded the popular annual Laurence Boutique (which is this Sunday at CBS and a great place to start your holiday gift shopping); she has come a long way from her first job at Yogurt Delights on South Beverly while at Beverly Hills high school.
DT: Which area of Los Angeles did you grow up in?
WBK: Beverly Hills – Trousdale Estates.
DT: Where did you shop as a child and teenager growing up in LA?
WBK: Camp Beverly Hills, Diane Merrick, Fiorucci and of course, Fred Segal.
DT: High school hangouts growing up in LA?
WBK: I spent a lot of time hanging out in Westwood, Tenmasa Sushi on Sunset, Jacopo’s, Trader Vic’s, Santo Pietro’s & Larry Parker’s.
DT: Malibu Country Mart or Brentwood Country Mart?
WBK: Brentwood Country Mart.
DT: Coolest famous person you met as a child?
WBK: I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s – There was no one bigger than the queen of disco, Donna Summer. I was lucky to not only meet her, but know her growing up.
[Wendy's father, Norman Brokaw, was Donna Summer's long-time talent agent]
DT: Who was your prom date?
WBK: Michael Shuken … my first love! He asked me to “go steady” in 8th grade (he was in 7th … I robbed the cradle) – we ended up staying together for several years. We are still good friends … he even attended my wedding!
DT: Your high school car?
WBK: A red toyota Celica
DT: What was on your mix tapes in high school?
WK: Run DMC, Madonna, MJ, Journey, Prince, Go-Go’s, B-52′s, Devo, Blondie, George Michael, Police, Beastie Boys.
DT: Which designer would you have worn (or did you wear) to prom?
WBK: I still have my high school prom dress that I bought and made at Splendifereous in Westwood.
DT: Which high school teacher helped guide you to where you are today?
WK: Well, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Hoglund for Algebra … but I’d say that Coach Susan Stevens, my high-school tennis coach, guided me the most. I played four years of varsity tennis and her influence on me was profound. She was instrumental in shaping my tenacious attitude. She and I are still in touch today.
DT: What LA schools did you go to?
WBK: Hawthorne, Beverly High, UCLA.
DT: Best high school party?
WBK: Oy- that’s a blur … it was one big party at Beverly in the 80′s!
DT: Today you are:
WBK: I am married to an incredible man, John Kretchmer, and we have 2 beautiful daughters, Alexa & Drew, ages 10 & 12.
[Alexa & Drew have contributed to The Daily Truffle reporting on campus trends]
I am happy with life and proud of my life accomplishments, most notably, creating The Laurence School Boutique 8 years ago. What started off as a school event has blossomed into an extraordinary Los Angeles event. We have access to amazing designers and manufacturers who sell their merchandise for wholesale with a percentage going to the school. You get to shop from amazing vendors at wholesale prices and give a charitable contribution…what could be better??
DT: Give a brief work history
WBK: Well my first job in high school was at Yogurt Delights on South Beverly Drive and then at Koala Blue at the Westside Pavillion! During college, I worked in PR for my brothers at The Brokaw Company. Post UCLA, I was Dolly Parton‘s assistant on the movie “Straight Talk” and then worked as in assistant in current programs for Lorimar, then at Addis/Weschler in talent management, then as an associate producer at “Leeza.” I was then a segment producer at EXTRA and took time off to raise my babies. It was then I created the incredible ALL WHOLESALE Laurence School Holiday boutique (this Sunday at CBS Radford in the Valley) to benefit their school. I used my relationships with designers and manufacturers that I cultivated working as a producer at EXTRA. Now that my girls are a bit older, I work as an editorial producer at CNN Headlines for “On Call with Dr. Drew.”
DT: Do you have any partners in crime you regularly work with?
WBK: My partners in crime are my “work husband”, Bill Hinkle and “work wife”, Emily Raiber. We are a strong producing trio!
DT: Any current / upcoming projects, collaborations or interviews?
WBK: Everyday is new and exciting. I love that my job is an education journey everyday. As the news cycles and trends change, so does the topics that our show covers. I can never predict what tomorrow will bring. It is fun to meet people newsmakers. I love the behind the scenes glimpse of our guests we have on our show … the greenroom is where it’s at. And speaking of the greenroom, I’m helping Dr. Drew as he launches a project called “The Greenroom” … it’s a way for the public to personally access experts and celebrities … it’s very cool! Greenroom.com
DT: Tell us about your family.
WBK: My husband, John Kretchmer, is a TV episodic director/producer. He just finished directing an episode of “Criminal Minds” and is just gearing up a full season of “Army Wives” which will keep him busy for the next 6 months. My eldest daughter just started middle school at an all-girls school and she LOVES it. She is super social, has an acute sense of style, loves dances, and is extremely tech/design savvy. My little one is little miss personality with the best sense of humor, very athletic and enjoys the challenges of academics. My half sister Lauren Brokaw is an amazing aunt to them.
DT: Who is in your day to day circle now.
WBK: I cast a wide net and collect friends from all parts of life. I’m still close with elementary, high-school, college and work friends from every job. I am blessed with an abundance of wonderful friends!!!!! But with kids in school, I am spending most of day to day time with my mommy friends: Anne, Sandy, Jess, Dana, Deb, Rena, Felicia, Andi, Nikki, Lainie, Karen, Pam, Gayle, Julie, Jodi … I seriously could go on and on!!
[Nikki is Nikki Joel of Lifestyle Lemonaid whose blog just got picked up for a TV Show]
DT: What’s the next step for you?
WBK: I love working in news and media. I wish everyone loved their job the way I do because it doesn’t feel like work. I have my dream job.
Sunday at 10:00am at CBS Studio Center (Rain or Shine)