The Swedish crayfish party attended by some 80 SWEA-members is already in full swing. Kerstin Alm has just finished a busy day photographing celebrities for the Emmy Awards at the DPA Gift Lounge at Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. She greets the guests with a glass of Aquavit accompanied by a big smile, while at the same time making sure her brother and his five buddies from northern Sweden feel at ease amongst all these singing and slurping women. In order to fully enjoy the crayfish one has to make some noise, as you all may know.
Next, Alm is off to South Africa and Cape Town for SWEA’s regional meeting and a hunt for lions - two-legged as well as four-legged - as she is known to charm all men in sight. She will be back just in time for the Eliason Award dinner on November 8th. For the occasion she is borrowing an evening gown from Mona Tumba, whose hockey legend husband Sven Tumba is receiving the same award on the very same evening, only in Florida.
Alm has amazing amounts of energy, is absolutely fearless, and is also quite outspoken. If she was a dog she would be a Jack Russell, she tells me. Alm tends to make a lasting impression on people, in a good way that is. During our interview at Beverly Hills Hotel the Mâitre d’ recognized her at once and welcomed her back. I personally feel a special attachment as Alm's daughter, who is also named Anna, shares my birthday, April 23rd.
As long as she is well for another 15 years Alm hopes to keep up the speed and enjoy all things coming her way: trips, parties, and not the least exciting photo shoots. She will attend SWEA New York’s 25th anniversary on the eve of the SWEA’s Christmas fair on December 7. She arrives straight from LAX just in time to photograph the Lucia procession at the Shrine Expo Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
After the holidays it starts all over again with Caesar’s in Paris, then Golden Globes and Oscars, all through the Gift Lounge with Nathalie Dubois....
Receiving the Eliason Award came as a total shock to Alm, and for once in her life she was speechless. She feels extremely touched and honored to be the chosen one for this special merit.
by Anna Connell
anna.connell@nordstjernan.com

The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles presents the 2008 Eliason Award recipient:
This year’s recipient is non other than Kerstin Alm — a well known and appreciated person in the Swedish community in Los Angeles. A recognition banquet will be held at the City Club in downtown Los Angeles on November 8.
Alm was born in Gävle, Sweden on April 4, 1937. Ever since her early childhood she dreamed of becoming a movie star and to move to America and Hollywood. At the age of nine, in third grade at Strömsbro School outside Gävle, she wrote an essay about what she wanted to be and do when she grew up. First on her list? To become a movie star; second, to travel to America and Hollywood; third, to own a lot of beautiful clothes and to perform in front of at least 1,000 people. Moving around a lot in Sweden as a young child, Alm eventually made the journey to America in 1963, where she has stayed.
Today, she lives in Los Angeles, and while she's not a movie star yet, she is friends with many A-list celebrities and indeed owns a lot of beautiful clothes. She also performed for SWEA many times, and once in front of a major audience on top of the great Wall of China. Alm wrote in her essay that, last but not least, she wanted to be in the show “Don’t try with me!” - another significant insight into Alm, who has what Swedes would call “a lot of skin on her nose.”
From the start Alm was very active with SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association), http://www.swea.org, as president in 1988-89 and the organization’s official photographer for many years. Her work in and for the Swedish circles has made her somewhat of an icon in the Swedish community in LA. She began working for the Swedish Consulate then later for Air France. After 30 years with Air France, Alm decided to concentrate on her passion and start working for herself as a photographer. A career move which turned out to be quite successful (see some of her work at http://www.mamarazzi.us.com)! This bold career move defines her in so many ways. She never seems to be afraid of anything while walking her own path in life. Those of us who know her suspect she’ll make it into Hollywood next.
Congratulations Kerstin!

by Michel Megherbi
For more info, see http://www.sacc-gla.org