Central City Association Board Chooses Downtown Champion Jessica Lall as New CEO – Executive Director of South Park BID is the Unanimous Choice
Los Angeles, CA – October 25, 2016 — Citing her experience and collaborative approach in advocating for business, the Board of Directors of the Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA) voted unanimously to name Jessica Lall as the organization's new president and CEO, Board Chair Martha Saucedo announced today.
Lall currently serves as the executive director of the South Park Business Improvement District (BID), an award-winning BID in Downtown LA. She represents property owners of a rapidly growing 52-block neighborhood that includes STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Convention Center. Lall will replace Carol Schatz, who retired as CCA president and CEO on September 30, after more than 25 years with the business advocacy association.
"The Board conducted an extensive search and determined Jessica was the best possible choice to lead CCA and our region's business community into the future," said Saucedo, executive vice president, External affairs, AEG. "Jessica has been a strong champion for Downtown and understands the importance of Downtown to the region's economy. She is a proven advocate for business, having revitalized the South Park BID and transformed the district into one of LA's most desirable and sustainable neighborhoods.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also expressed confidence in the choice, noting Lall's previous service as a senior policy director in the Department of Economic and Business Policy for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
"The Central City Association is a powerful advocate for our city's business community, and it has played a big role in revitalizing some of our most historic neighborhoods," said Garcetti. "Jessica Lall has spent her career working on behalf of our city's residents and businesses--both at City Hall and as head of the South Park Business Improvement District--and I know she will do an excellent job in her new role.
City Councilmember Jose Huizar has worked with Lall on several projects in South Park, including a pioneering effort to make the district's sidewalks safer and the creation of the Hope Street Parklet, a small green space in Downtown.
"Jessica will bring to the CCA the same innovative leadership she provided to the South Park BID," Huizar said. "During her tenure, she clearly demonstrated her skill in working collaboratively with the City's leaders, businesses, residents and other stakeholders to make Downtown a more accessible, livable and sustainable place to live, work and play."
Lall will officially start the job on Jan. 3, but said she will be participating in CCA's activities and events prior to her official start day
"CCA has been the architect of the Downtown Renaissance, and I look forward to working with the Board, CCA's members, staff and partners to build on its legacy of creating a favorable business climate for the region," she said. "As we move forward, promoting further job growth and more livable and sustainable communities will require a strong vision for Downtown and the region."
At the South Park BID, Lall envisioned and implemented a nationally lauded public art initiative, expanded the district's boundaries and launched numerous innovative pilot programs, including ones that made the District more walkable and livable. Their success led to permanent changes in City policies. She also increased awareness of South Park and business in the District with a strategic branding and economic development plan. Lall and her team won the preeminent Pinnacle Global Award in Leadership and Innovation in Public Space Improvements in 2015 and Programming and Community Engagement in 2016 from the International Downtown Association.
Before joining the South Park BID, Lall worked on Hollywood, Koreatown and Downtown economic development as a senior policy director in former Mayor Villaraigosa's Department of Economic and Business Policy. She also served as communications director for businessman Austin Beutner and chief advancement officer at Coro Southern California.
Lall is active in the community. She serves on the Board of Directors for Metro Charter Elementary School and Coro Southern California, where she is extensively engaged with both organizations' fundraising efforts, as well as for the California Downtown Association. She is a University of Southern California Unruh Institute Fellow, where she frequently speaks, and a member of the LA5 Rotary Club, Urban Land Institute and Downtown Breakfast Club.
CCA is the region's most potent and effective champion of business. Since its founding in 1924, CCA has produced meaningful results for its members, Downtown and the greater Los Angeles area. It represents more than 450 businesses, trade associations and nonprofit organizations, which employ more than 350,000 people in Los Angeles County. For further information about CCA, please visit www.CCALA.org.