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Sawyer, Schroeder, and Pam.

Featured Article

New Kid In Town

After Years In Los Angeles And Utah, Pam Hilse And Her Son, Sawyer, Are Thriving Here In Venice

Article by Tony D'Souza

Photography by Stephanie Snow Photography

Originally published in Venice City Lifestyle

Pam Hilse is the ‘new kid in town’. She’s part of a welcome and refreshing wave of newcomers here in Venice who’ve brought tons of energy and vitality with them. These new arrivals are younger, extremely professionally savvy, and raising children. They’ve been attracted to Venice by our strong sense of community. 

Member Relations Manager at the Venice Yacht Club, the lovely and vivacious Pam made the decision to move here with her son, Sawyer, and dog, Schroeder, after enjoying a piña colada and sunset at Sharky’s.

“I visited a friend here in April, 2019, and loved it,” Pam says. “I began working with Michael Saunders’ Margaret Kennedy to find a home. In June, 2019, I bought in Gran Paradiso, and by July, was living here. I’m a single mother and my son and I have always been a team. I quickly began meeting other people who had moved here to give their kids a better quality of life like I had.”

Born and raised in Milwaukee, after high school Pam left for Los Angeles where she landed a position at a post-production film facility. She quickly moved up the ladder, and over the next decade, worked on blockbuster films like Seabiscuit8 MileJurassic Park 3, and many others. As a freelance production and travel coordinator for Universal Studios, she spent her days with people like Eminem and General Hal Moore, whose story was the basis for the highly acclaimed We Were Soldiers

The desire to start a family and escape LA’s gridlock saw her move to Midway, Utah, near Park City. Even though her job as manager of the Silverado Lodge at the base of Canyons Ski Resort kept her busy, Midway’s traditional Mormon community remained closed to her. She found herself deeply unhappy, something she's rarely felt.

“Midway’s families had been there for generations,” Pam explains. “I’m Catholic and I could not find a way in. It was certainly a beautiful place and I have fond memories of sledding with Sawyer and Schroeder, and learning to ski myself. But Sawyer wasn’t invited to his classmates’ birthday parties and I became a shell of who I’d been. I learned that I need a supportive community around me to thrive.”

She quickly found that community here in Venice.  

“The smell of the sea, seeing Sawyer play on the beach—Venice has been heaven,” Pam says. “We’re certainly thriving. Sawyer earned a perfect score on his fifth grade FSA Math test and received a medal and certificate from the governor. He’s in the Young Marines at Venice Middle School and wants to play tackle football next year as a wide receiver. We’ve been through a lot, that’s for sure. But I’ve lived by my motto, ‘Laugh a little everyday, even if it’s at yourself,’ and we’ve gotten through our hard times and now are surrounded by community. I couldn’t be happier to be here in Venice.”

1330 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice941.488.7708.

  • Sawyer, Schroeder, and Pam.