Written by Tabitha Hogue | Photographed by Siri Berting
For Steven and Khryste Griswold, giving back to their community through
volunteer service and philanthropy has become a way of life. Last year
Steve was honored as the volunteer of the year by the Palos Verdes Peninsula
Chamber of Commerce. He helps at a number of organizations, including
the Cancer Support Community in Redondo Beach where he serves as a board member.
Steve and Khryste are both members of Torrance Memorial’s
Young Physicians and Professionals Alliance (YPPA), a social group with just over 125 members that is organized around
raising awareness of the hospital’s services. YPPA also alerts the
community to particular needs of the hospital and ways people can help
meet those needs.
Steve and Khryste are among the professionals in the group. Steve serves
as president of Griswold & Griswold Insurance Agency, and Khryste
works as a home care liaison at Home Care Assistance in Palos Verdes.
Griswold & Griswold has strong ties to the health care community,
as it provides insurance to about 700 doctors in the area. Khryste’s
job involves working with patients and their families, so joining YPPA
to support the hospital was a natural fit for the couple.
The Griswolds say they enjoy the opportunities YPPA provides to get to
know professionals and physicians in the area. “They have really
compelling events—they’re always fun, interesting and different,”
Steve says. “It doesn’t feel just like business networking
events; they’re more like community events.”
YPPA is also a great way for the Griswolds to support the work of Torrance
Memorial. “There’s so much good that’s created out of
the hospital,” Khryste says, noting she visited the hospital once
as a patient when she broke her ankle playing roller derby.
“Torrance Memorial is one of the leading health care institutions
in L.A.,” Steve notes. “The high quality of care, the resources
and the technology it offers—it’s important to foster those
Steve’s dedication to supporting high standards also shines through
in his work at Griswold & Griswold. There he has worked to build a
solutions-focused company dedicated to helping everyone, including clients
who are in distress or who have difficult risk profiles.
His company’s website has a fun “superhero” theme, which
depicts Steve and each of his team members in comic book hero fashion—each
with their own superhero title and specialty.
“I’ve always been a comic book geek, so it’s kind of
come full circle for me,” Steve says. “It’s like picking
something from my childhood and living it. I don’t think I have
any one favorite superhero but Superman has always been the iconic superhero—the
one I grew up admiring. He represented justice and integrity.”
Khryste’s job deals with everyday heroes: the patients and their
families who are dealing with aging or health crises and learning to face
them with patience and courage.
“I’m in a special position of supporting the needs of seniors
with a positive, empowering approach to aging that celebrates independence,
dignity and quality of life,” Khryste says. “It’s rewarding
seeing my clients getting better when they have someone there just for
them. And sometimes it involves seeing them transition through end of
life. While that’s a hard experience, there’s something in
being able to provide peace to the family and peace to that person at
the end of life that is important and special.”
Previously, she founded and operated Baby Cakes Baking Company, which gave
her other opportunities to give back by partnering with various nonprofits
in the area like the Education Foundation and Walk with Sally, which provides
mentoring for children and families impacted by cancer. Khryste is also
a founding member and chair of the Los Angeles chapter of Star Legacy
Foundation, which provides education, supports research and advocacy,
and raises awareness regarding pregnancy loss and neonatal death. Khryste
and Steven’s first son, William, was stillborn on January 27, 2016;
they dedicate this work in his honor.
While staying busy with their careers, Steve and Khryste are also raising
their 18-month-old son, Ryūkō. Even at this early stage in his life, they
are setting an example for him to understand true heroism just involves
doing something good to help those around you.
“Any time you come to the aid of another, you’re being a hero,”
Steve says. We may be indirectly saving lives, but by helping the community
do their best for everybody involved, I’d definitely consider it