Anoosheh Oskouian, co-founder, president and CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, shares her passion for science and philanthropy, her journey from Iran to the U.S. and a few of her favorite places in town.
By Sharon Stello
Anoosheh Oskouian, who grew up in Iran, convinced her parents to let her move to the United States at age 14 because she knew there would be better opportunities for her to pursue an education and career in science, which had become her passion. In the months leading up to the Iraninan Revolution, she went to live with relatives in Colorado, where she attended high school then earned a college degree in chemical engineering.
Now a Newport Coast resident, Oskouian is co-founder, president and CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, a Long Beach-area business that helps companies and government agencies around the globe with air pollution abatement solutions. “Clean air knows no geographic borders,” she says. “We can only be truly impactful if we not only start within our sphere of influence, but we learn to extend it out for global impact.
“… What I love about the work I do is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with many different people from all over the world. Ship & Shore Environmental works with various different manufacturing industries, so our recent projects have been very diverse, but grounded in the same common goal of reducing emission footprints.”
She works to find clean air solutions that will help preserve the environment while still allowing the manufacturing industry to thrive. But it was that pivotal decision of moving to the U.S. as a teen in 1978 that set her on this path.
“Because I always had a sense of independence from a young age, I had the desire to pursue the ‘American dream,’ ” Oskouian says.
Oskouian was captivated by science and, in particular, chemistry as a child—something that has stuck with her throughout her professional life.
“The logical disciplines reveal that everything in life has a cause and effect, and an organic formula to it,” she says. “I was always interested in how things work. … I would take things apart—so that I could put them back together and understand the process behind it. This curiosity about the sciences led to my interest in engineering innovative solutions.”
And she is a big proponent of encouraging girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields as well. “This is an incredibly personal cause for me,” Oskouian says. “It is my goal to encourage young girls to pursue their careers in STEM because they must be empowered to know they are extremely worthy and capable of doing anything they set their minds to.”
She also gives back in many ways, including serving on the Pacific Symphony’s board of directors executive committee. “I believe that we must all do what we can to give back to our communities, which is why I focus on my local community as well as other causes that I value in whatever capacity I can,” she says. “My work [with] … the Pacific Symphony is related to my love for music and cultural exchange, which creates a bridge across communities.”
Oskouian is also a co-founder of OC-based CHILD International, which stands for Children’s Hope International Literacy and Development. The nonprofit recruits and trains volunteers around the world to provide food, clothing, education and assistance for underprivileged children. “The ultimate mission is to help these children develop the skills necessary to become independent and productive individuals who are able to provide for themselves and impact the lives of others,” Oskouian explains.
She moved to California in 1988 for the opportunities and has resided in Newport since 2005. “I love being near the ocean and the beautiful scenery that Newport has to offer,” she says. “A majority of my community is here, which is incredibly important to me, from my family to my community in the arts, sciences, music and philanthropy.”
She also loves to travel, attend Pacific Symphony concerts and go skiing or hiking with her family—her husband, Alan, who is a custom jeweler and owner of Jewels by Alan in Irvine, and their son, Rod, who graduated this spring from Sage Hill School. Here, Oskouian shares some of her favorite places in Newport to spend time with family and friends.
“My favorite boutique in town is MICHAEL NUSSKERN, which has an immaculate selection of European designers,” Oskouian says.
“I love shopping at FASHION ISLAND, especially at NEIMAN MARCUS, as well as the world-famous SOUTH COAST PLAZA. I appreciate the array of different designers at both malls,” she says.
“My favorite cafe in town is … ZINC [CAFE & MARKET] in CdM because the local community loves to hang out there,” she says.
“A few of my favorite restaurants include MARCHÉ MODERNE in Crystal Cove, BROADWAY [BY AMAR SANTANA] in Laguna Beach and KNIFE PLEAT in South Coast Plaza,” she says. “The food is truly a work of art and never fails to impress me.”