Helen Marcus was born in New York on September 30th 1922. She was married to the love of her life Jim Marcus for 50 years and together they shared a lifetime of happiness.

Upon their arrival in Los Angeles in the early 80’s together with business partners and friends Al Deitsch, Lyle and Andrew Thomson, they formed CHI, supplying custom carpet to the hospitable industry. They enjoyed a thriving business for many years until the passing of Jim Marcus.

In 1996, she founded Zenith International. In 2000, Jan Baron-Shames joined the company as a sales representative and, in 2008, became a partner growing the business to one of the top rug manufacturers in the hospitality industry.

Helen was part of the founding chapter of NEWH. She served as part of the Public Relations team in 1986 and headed up the Publications in 1987-1989 and 1995. In 1989 she was elected Executive Vice President and President in 1990. Helen was also heavily involved with the Community Service program from 2002 and Programming in 2005. Helen was honored with the prestigious NEWH Woman of the Year awarded in 1992. In addition, she helped to create and edit the NEWH News Letter and Cookbook. She also traveled to a number of cities to help charter new NEWH chapters.

Helen was a trail blazer and throughout her career Helen was dedicated to empowering all women in the Hospitality industry.

Above all, she had love and zest for life and loved to entertain, often inviting clients to the Hollywood Bowl, theater outings, intimate dinner parties and how could anyone forget the famous and anticipated annual Oscar Parties at her beautiful home in Marina Del Rey.

She mentored and inspired so many in our community over the years and was loved by all that had the fortune of knowing her. Her love of our industry and her legacy will live on.

Click here to donate to the HELEN MARCUS SCHOLARSHIP FUND to be awarded by the Los Angeles Founding Chapter

We remember Helen…

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