Chickie Leventhal believes she is extremely fortunate. Now, not everyone would agree with that statement, considering her history. Leventhal was widowed in 1990 at the age of 56 when her husband of 38 years was killed by a drunk driver. However she lives by the mantra
“when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”, reveling in a Pollyana attitude, and may say things like,“oh, goodie, you only broke one leg!”
Leventhal started working at age thirteen, with her mother at the California Jewish Voice Newspaper. The publisher Samuel B. Gach, “complemented me on my telephone skills and set in motion a career,” Leventhal remembers.
“I worked as a secretary in a variety of businesses- everything from the Pelphrey Rabit Company to Covina City Hall before I was introduced to Marvin Byron of Byron’s Bail bonds, by Jack Medove. I became acquainted with several professions in the surety insurance companies and over 40 years later, I am licensed through the insurer I became acquainted with at that time.” Prior to stepping out on her own, she rose to Assistant Vice President of Cotton Belt Insurance Company, which closed offices in 1979.
Leventhal started Chickie’s Bail Bonds in her 50’s on the dining room table of a Santa Monica condo. “I developed the unique concept to service the needs of criminal defense attorneys and their clients.”
“My son, Mitch and daughter, Karen are all critical components of the business today and we serve over seventy-five attorneys throughout the Southland. To them we are affectionately known as “Chickie and the Chickletts”. Our clients do not come to us, we go to them and we treat them with respect. The attorneys appreciate our professionalism and integrity and the way we handle their most precious commodity – their clients.”
Over the years she has become active in developing the criteria for the future of the industry. Leventhal is a founding member of the California Bail Bond Association and a proud member of “Expert Bail”, a nationwide organization of bail agents who hold themselves up to a high standard of professionalism and integrity.
Chickie is often called upon as a spokes person for the bail bond industry and has made numerous TV appearances sharing stories about celebrity bonds including the rapper, Snoop Dogg, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis and actor Tom Sizemore. She says her most infamous client, Phil Spector, is now serving out a sentence for the conviction of killing model Lana Clarckson.
Today Leventhal is engaged to Dr. Robert Berkowitz whom she met at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. She Indulges her love of reading crime dramas and courtroom situations. She feels the responsibility to ‘give back’ in whatever form that might take, she is active with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee bringing music to young people in the community.
Chickie involves herself with old friends and new acquaintances all year long through planned activities, charity functions or entertaining at home with Dr. Bob on the barbeque. Traveling and the theater are also part of her endeavors.
This is a message for the public that Chickie Leventhal would like to share.
“I would like the public to know that being arrested does not deem one automatically guilty; that it can happen to almost anyone; that the person arrested is not necessarily a bad person, more likely one who made a bad decision, and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and to have the opportunity to defend themselves against whatever charges are being brought. We are there to ensure that the defendant will appear in court to face the charges.”
We encourage anyone in need to seek professional help from a licensed, qualified and respected bail bond agency. You can call Chickie’s Bail Bonds for free information or check out their website.
Article published in “Not Born Yesterday!” Southern California savvy Seniors, August 2011