Maria Salinas, chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, co-led the effort to create a CEO Council that will advise the chamber.

Maria Salinas, chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, co-led the effort to create a CEO Council that will advise the chamber.

Nearly 100 C-suite executives from local companies and institutions have joined the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's newly created CEO Council that will advise the chamber on key challenges facing the local business community.
The CEO Council announced Nov. 4 will initially focus on ways to boost affordable housing and workforce development. The hope is that the combined clout of the top-level executives on the council will lend weight to the strategies and solutions it endorses.

Initially, the council is being led by chamber Chief Executive Maria Salinas and Board Chair Raul Anaya, who is also president of business banking and president of the greater Los Angeles region for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America. The pair spearheaded the effort to create the council over the past year or so as an attempt to help the local economy recover from the ravages of the Covid pandemic and resulting business lockdowns. The council has been meeting informally for several months as it has ramped up in size.

“We are looking to unify the business community at the CEO level,” Salinas said. “This council will help establish policies to enable the region and its economy recover, rebound and thrive over the long term.”

As of Nov. 3, 89 executives — about two-thirds of them chief executives and most of the rest presidents or other top-level executives — had publicly committed to participate on the council. Salinas said another dozen executives have indicated they wish to serve on the council but still needed to go through governance approvals from their respective companies.

Many of the participating executives are familiar names in Los Angeles civic circles, including Alan Rothenberg, chairman of Century City-based 1st Century Bank; Jerry Neuman, partner in the downtown office of multinational law firm of DLA Piper; Sean Burton, chief executive of Century City-based development company Cityview; and Elise Buik, chief executive of downtown-based United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

But there are also chief executives who have not been fixtures on L.A.’s civic scene, such as Ken Moelis, chief executive of New York-based investment firm Moelis & Co.; Jay Wintrob, chief executive of downtown-based Oaktree Capital Management; and Larry Miller, chief executive of Gardena-based mattress store Sit ‘N Sleep.

Others on the list include Hawthorne-based SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell; El Segundo-based Mattell's chief executive, Ynon Kreiz; Chicago-based United Airlines' president, Janet Lamkin; Beverly Grove-based Cedars-Sinai's president and chief executive, Thomas Priselac; and London-based professional services firm Ernst & Young's Los Angeles office managing partner, Andy Park. 
Anaya said the council’s members represent 13 different industries.

But notably absent from the council is substantial representation from the region’s most prominent industry: entertainment. Only one company Burbank-based payroll services firm Entertainment Partners Inc. and its chief executive, Mark Goldstein hails from that signature industry. No major studios are represented, including Burbank-based Walt Disney Co., which is the county’s largest publicly traded company by market cap and the largest Fortune 500 company still headquartered in the county.

Both Salinas and Anaya said they are hoping to grow the council’s roster of C-suite members in coming months and years, including making more inroads in the entertainment industry. Salinas said the chamber has reached out to Disney and held preliminary discussions with executives there, but as of Nov. 3, there was no firm commitment from Disney to join.

Another challenge for the new council: succeeding in making a mark on both the local business community and the region as a whole over the long term. The last group of local chief executives to leave such a mark was the Committee of 25 in the middle decades of the last century, which among other things laid the groundwork for the redevelopment of downtown’s Bunker Hill.

Since then, the business community has become more diverse and geographically spread out, making it more difficult to marshal a unified voice. One of the more notable recent attempts was the creation of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, in 2008; that organization is now headquartered in Commerce. But BizFed is an umbrella organization of local business groups; it does not have dozens of corporate chief executives on its board.

Anaya acknowledged this difficult history.

“For too long the business community has not been at the table to help shape our region,” he said. “We aim to change that.”

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Council Members

1st Century BankAlan RothenbergChairman
Bank of AmericaRaul AnayaPresident, Greater L.A.
Barry’s Ticket’sBarry RudinChief executive
BiasSyncMichele RuizCo-founder and chief executive
Bobrick Washroom EquipmentMark LouchheimChairman and chief executive
Bond CompaniesLarry BondChief executive
Bristol Capital AdvisorsPaul KesslerOwner
Business Finance CapitalJackie DilferChief executive
ByteScott CohenChief executive
Capital GroupTim ArmourChief executive
CBRELew HornePresident
Cedars Sinai HospitalThomas PriselacPresident and chief executive
CityviewSean BurtonChief executive
Cordoba CorporationGeorge PlaChief executive
DLA PiperJerry NeumanPartner
East West BankDominic NgChief executive
Edison InternationalPedro PizarroPresident and chief executive
Emser TileBrian GhodsianPresident
Entertainment PartnersMark GoldsteinChief executive
Ernest Packaging SolutionsTim WilsonChief executive
Ernst & YoungAndy parkManaging partner
Fazio EnterprisesSteve FazioChief executive
GenslerAndy CohenCo-chief executive
Goldman SachsGene SykesManaging director
Hawthorne AdvertisingJessica Hawthorne-CastroChief executive
Holthouse, Carlin & Van TrigtPhil HolthouseChief executive
Houlihan LokeyScott BeiserChief executive
IDEATE CaliforniaJose Atilio HernandezPresident
Inter-Con SecurityHenry HernandezChief executive
Jet Center Los AngelesLevi StocktonPresident
JM Eagle Co.Walter WangChief executive
JP MorganBob GrazianoVice chairman
kathy ireland worldwideStephen RoseberryPresident and chief marketing officer
L A RamsKevin DemoffChief operating officer
LA ClippersGillian ZuckerPresident of business operations
LA Community College DistrictFrancisco RodriguezChancellor
LA84Renata SimrilPresident and chief executive
LAACO. LTDKaren HathawayPresident and managing partner
Leif OrganicsAdel VillalobosChief executive
LMUTimothy Law SnyderPresident
Lockton Insurance BrokersTimothy NoonanPresident and chief executive
Los Angeles ChargersAG SpanosPresident, business operations
Los Angeles Tourisim & Convention BoardAdam BurkePresident and chief executive
Lowe EnterprisesRobert LoweChairman
Matt ConstructionSteve MattChief executive
MattelYnon KreizChief executive
McDonald's (Franchisee)Frank SanchezChief executive
Mercury Air GroupJoe CzyzykChairman and chief executive
Mercury InsuranceGabe TiradorChief executive
Moelis & Co.Ken MoelisChief executive
Morley BuildersCharlie MutilloChief executive
NewMark Merrill CompaniesSandy SigalPresident and chief executive
NNA ServicesTom HeymannChief executive
Northern TrustMichele HavensPresident
Northgate MarketsOscar GonzalezChief executive
Oaktree Capital ManagementJay WintrobChief executive
OSI SystemsDeepak ChopraChief executive
Parking Co of AmericaAlex ChavesChief executive
Penske Media CorporationJay PenskeChief executive
Plastpro Inc.Shirley WangChief executive
ProdoscoreSam NaficyChief executive
Prospect Medical HoldingsSam LeeChief executive
Red Chamber Co.Ming Shin KouOwner and chief executive
Renewable Resources GroupNicole Neeman BradyManaging principal
Revolution OfficeJon RashapChief executive
Saybrook CapitalJonathan RosenthalChief executive
Sit 'N SleepLarry MillerChief executive
Snak King Co.Barry LevinChief executive
SoCalGas Company/SempraScott DruryChief executive
SpaceXGwynne ShotwellPresident and chief operating officer
Stamps.comKen McBrideChief executive
SugarfinaDiana Derycz-KesslerOwner
Superior GrocersMimi SongPresident and chief executive
TELACUMichael LizarragaChief executive
The Pritzker GroupTony PritzkerChief executive
The Ratkovich CompanyBrian SaengerPresident and chief executive
The Willoughby GroupDenita WilloughbyChief executive
Thrive MarketNick GreenChief executive
TigerConnectBrad BrooksChief executive
Transcend HealthMichael OchoaChief executive
Troy Capital PartnersJosh BermanChief executive
Union BankGreg SeiblyPresident
United AirlinesJanet LamkinPresident, California
United Way of Los AngelesElise BuikChief executive
Univision of Los AngelesLuis PatiñoPresident
US BankRudy MedinaMarket president
Vanir GroupDorene DominguezChairwoman and chief executive
Walter N. Marks Inc.Walter Marks, IIIChief executive
Wells FargoAlice JuarezRegion President – Los Angeles

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