West Coast Urban District Forum 2015: Presentations

WCUDF Santa Monica final

Available presentations are listed next to the presenter for each session. All presentations in PDF format.
Master Talks

Kerry Morrison, Executive Director, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance [DOWNLOAD]

Dark Fiber

Christopher Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities [DOWNLOAD]

Global Trends

Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates [DOWNLOAD]

Public Art and the Urban Landscape

Carmen Zella, Executive Director, Do Art [DOWNLOAD]

Economic Development Without Redevelopment

Larry J. Kosmont, President & CEO, Kosmont Companies [DOWNLOAD]


Breakout Sessions 1

Dark Fiber: It’s Good for Your Health

Remember the painfully slow days of dial-up? Today it pays to have high-speed Internet access. Employers and residents not only expect it, they demand it. Going without means losing out, as communities require fast, reliable and affordable Internet access to compete and succeed in a global economy. Learn how innovative cities like Santa Monica have leveraged investments in dark fiber and other technology to attract new businesses and create jobs, improve health care and education and connect residents to new opportunities. Without its investment in dark fiber, Santa Monica would not have earned the moniker Silicon Beach, home to the next generation of Fortune 500 companies that are revolutionizing the way we live, from how we purchase a car to how we meet the love of our lives.

Next Century Cities Coalition:
Jory Wolf, CIO, City of Santa Monica
Randy Starr, Principal, Avison Young
Christopher Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities [DOWNLOAD]


Sharing is Caring: How the Sharing Economy is Changing Business Models, Communities

Approximately 80 million Americans took part in the sharing economy last year – from renting out another’s apartment for the weekend through Airbnb to catching a ride on Uber or Lyft. Collaborative consumption is a good thing for several reasons, one being that it helps people make money on underutilized assets. Technology’s ability to reduce overhead also creates cost savings for consumers. In this session, learn how to create a bike-share program and relieve congestion while improving a community’s overall health. Find out how cities with taxi franchise systems are coping with the Uber explosion and why you may never need to work in a boring cubicle ever again.

Francie Stefan, Strategic Planning and Transportation Manager, City of Santa Monica
Eric Spiegelman, President of the Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners

Streets for People: Exploring the Practicality and Economics of Plazas, Parklets, and Pedestrians

For decades we’ve measured our streets by “level of service” – prioritizing speed, travel time, volume and capacity for cars. This paradigm, however, is starting to shift and many are beginning to look at streets and their ability to foster interaction, a sense of place and accommodate a host of transportation modes that fit the changing demographics and preferences of those living in our cities. This panel will address the practical implications of installing parklets, pedestrian plazas and bike lanes and how these elements can serve as tools for economic development and community enrichment.

Blair Besten, Executive Director, Historic Core Business Improvement District (Los Angeles) [DOWNLOAD] Madeline Brozen, Assistant Director, UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, Program Manager, Complete Streets Initiative [DOWNLOAD] Deborah Murphy, Deborah Murphy Urban Design and Planning, Founder of Los Angeles Walks [DOWNLOAD]


Economic Development Success – After Redevelopment

Successful post-RDA economic development opportunities exist in California if districts and cities know what strategies are available, and how and when to employ them. Tools include using public owned property, special districts (tourism, restaurant, other), site specific tax reimbursement agreements, Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts EIFDs), utility authority structures, and other post RDA financing tools. Hear from expert economic development and land use practitioners and consultants who have been tapping into these strategies to create new economic development opportunities across a range of land use types.


Lauren Schlau
, Market Research for Strategic Decisions,  LS Consulting

Dan Massiello,  Senior Vice
President – Public Finance, Kosmont Transaction Services
Pete Carmichael,Waterfront and Economic Development Director,  City of Redondo Beach
Jon Goetz, Attorney,  Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard (San Luis Obispo)

Paved Paradise and Put in a Parking Lot: Changing the Way We Look at Parking

Parking spaces no longer have to be permanent. Parking apps, variable pricing for curbside parking and shared parking programs, coupled with increases in cycling, walking and carpooling, have opened the door for new ways of looking at asphalt dedicated to the automobile, making it possible to actually remove some parking spaces, perhaps temporarily, to make room for other amenities, such as bike lanes, wider sidewalks or parklets. In this session get the facts to present a strong argument for the changing parking conversation.

Beth Rolandson, Principal Transportation Planner, City of Santa Monica [DOWNLOAD] Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA [DOWNLOAD] David Cooker, Senior Associate, Dixon Resources Unlimited [DOWNLOAD] Elizabeth Studebaker, City of San Diego [DOWNLOAD]


Capturing Revenue: It’s all About the Benjamins, Baby!

Engaging in fundraising from multiple types of revenue sources is imperative. An organization that relies heavily on one stream can quickly find itself stranded when that source dries up. Learn from Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. and Downtown Long Beach Associates on how to diversify, whether that is by creating a partnership with your local government to share parking or filming revenue in exchange for doing the heavy lifting, or increasing your sponsorship dollars by offering quality marketing opportunities through the production of popular annual events.

Mackenzie Carter, Director of Marketing & Operations, Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
Kraig Kojian, President & CEO Downtown Long Beach Associates [DOWNLOAD]


Breakout Sessions 2

On the Record: The Importance of Data Collection

You can say you’re awesome all you want, but facts are facts, and if you don’t have any to back up your claims then you are left out of the conversation. Data collection and presentation are critical for business improvement districts. For one, they help you better understand where you are and where you want to be. Impressive annual reports also help demonstrate your organization’s worth to your stakeholders and colleagues. Learn how to set benchmarks, collect data and document progress without having to exhaust limited resources.

Steven Welliver, Director of Policy & Planning, Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
Tyler Kim, Economic Development Coordinator, Downtown Long Beach Associates [DOWNLOAD]


Feeling Left Out: Ensuring Social Equity to Create Inclusive, Sustainable Communities

Are some of your residents and visitors feeling left out because the only cup of coffee they can buy costs $4? Are rising rents pushing out young families, seniors and the disabled in your Downtown? Is employment in the urban core hard to find for those new to the workforce? When someone cannot participate fully in the political and cultural life of their community, that’s a problem. Nurturing social equity helps create a more sustainable community, one in which people from all economic levels have the opportunity to thrive. Social Equity is a problemespecially for Downtowns, which are supposed to function as the crossroads of their respective communities. In this session learn what you can do to help foster social equity and how exclusively catering to those with high incomes could result in a loss of many of the attributes that make urban areas vibrant and a hotbed for innovation.

Michael Berne, MJB Consulting, Principal [DOWNLOAD] Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates [DOWNLOAD] Kent Smith, Executive Director LA Fashion District [DOWNLOAD] Karin Flood, Executive Director, Union Square BID [DOWNLOAD]

The Secrets to Doing Clean & Safe on a Small Budget

Executive Directors, agencies and vendors will exchange secrets and best practices, on how we can all leverage our limited resources, and form the partnerships, which will make our districts look clean and feel safe. How did you do it in your district?


Rick Stoff
, Director of Business Partnerships,  Chrysalis Enterprises

Eric Hon, Operations Manager, San Jose Downtown Association
Paul Racs, Director of the Office of Community Beautification, City of Los Angeles
Andrew Patterson, Vice President & Managing Director, General Security Service, Inc.


Do Art : Public Art in the Urban Landscape

An exploration of what is trending globally in the world of public art, an investigation of what we currently see in LA, and envisioning the potential for our cities. Through partnering with organizations like the Do Art Foundation, organizations like BIDs can develop and implement a plan for public art that speaks to each community in a unique way.


Carmen Zella
, Executive Director, Do Art [DOWNLOAD]

Getting Started: Steps to Creating a Business Improvement District

Property owners are calling. They want to do something about the trash in the gutters and that smell coming from the parking structure. They ask about forming a business improvement district, but you don’t know where to begin. What will it take politically to get this done? How do you identify the major players who can help? What services should come first? This session will answer those questions and more. What happens if you had a district and it was disbanded? Listen to two different stories: Downtown Santa Monica and its expansion efforts and the revival of the Arts District.

Kathleen Rawson, CEO, Downtown Santa Monica Inc. [DOWNLOAD] Steve Gibson, President & CEO, Urban Place Consulting Group, Inc. [DOWNLOAD]


Play Nice: How City Agencies Work with their BID Partners

Make your job easier by building strong and productive relationships with your partners in City Hall. By collaborating, problems have the potential to be solved more rapidly, and there’s the opportunity to provide input during the early stages of key projects that will impact your district. City staff can also provide legislative and development assistance.

Miranda Paster, Division Manager of the Office of the Clerk, Neighborhood and Business Improvement District Program, City of Los Angeles [DOWNLOAD] Mark Thomas, FUSE Corp, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Los Angeles
Crezia Tano, Senior Project Manager at San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development [DOWNLOAD] Elizabeth Studebaker, Mayor’s Business Improvement District Advocate, City of San Diego [DOWNLOAD] Rena Leddy, Managing Director, LA Fashion District


Breakout Sessions 3

Taking Care of Business: How to Properly and Efficiently Run a BID

This session focuses on the basics of BID management, from Human Resources to Accounting and Insurance Coverage.  Do you have an employee manual and  adequate insurance coverage?  Do you have financial procedures in place?  Pro and cons of handling bookkeeping in-house vs. hiring a bookkeeper. This is the session for those who have just formed a BID or for those who would like a refresher course on the ABCs.

Laurie Hughes, Executive Director, Gateway to L.A.
Martha S. Doty, Human Resource Attorney, Alston + Bird LLP [DOWNLOAD] Ken Coelho, Partner-in-Charge of Client Accounting Services, RBZ Business Management [DOWNLOAD] Steve Souza – Insurance Consultant  [DOWNLOAD] Steve Mulheim, President & CEO, Old Pasadena Management
Stephen Robbins, Executive Director, San Pedro Historic Waterfront BID
Events 101: Planning, Sponsorship and Execution

Events, both big and small, require strategic planning, creativity and resources. Learn the key elements of successful events, the right approach to selling sponsorships and securing the funds needed, and how to create a comprehensive communications and marketing plan to attract the biggest audience. In addition, Charlotte City Center’s team will share how they were able to bring back their community’s holiday tradition, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and successfully launch it in just 90 days!

Robert Krumbine, Chief Creative Officer & Senior VP of Events, Charlotte Center City Partners
David Snapp, VP of Marketing, Charlotte Center City Partners
Florence Weiss, Downtown Program Manager, City Events, City of Concord

Hit the Mark: Marketing in the Digital Age

The good old days of marketing were so much simpler. There were only a handful of TV channels, some radio stations and key print publications in your market. Reaching an audience was easy, if you were able to craft a compelling message. But the environment has changed dramatically. Technology requires marketing teams to build immersive experiences that engage audiences by seamlessly integrating a whole new range of skills and capabilities. In this session, learn the tools you need to market to the next generation of consumers navigating the constantly-changing, multidimensional landscape of social media employing surveys, contests, cross promotions and more.

Suzanne Marks, President & CEO, Pasadena Advertising & Former Old Pasadena Management Association Chairman
Ariana Gomez, Director of Marketing and PR, LA Fashion District [DOWNLOAD] Kevin Herrera, Sr. Communications Manager, Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
Bettina Sherick, Former SVP, Digital Strategic Marketing, 20th Century Fox International


Brick and Mortar: What the Future Holds for Retail

It’s no secret that shopping has changed dramatically over the last decade. The prevailing point of view is that the Internet is killing traditional, brick and mortar retail, but is there truth in that perception? With the convenience and personalization provided by online shopping, traditional retailers have been forced to adapt and evolve, developing innovative marketing strategies that attract and retain a loyal customer base. Popular retail destinations have witnessed an increased interest in merchants wanting to open up shop, creating stores that incorporate experiences into their showrooms to keep customers browsing longer. Creativity and spontaneity is key, and pop-up retail has become a burgeoning segment of the retail industry, proving its worth as a driver of sales. Hear about the latest trends in national and regional retail, marketing strategies that create and retain a loyal following, and how districts without a prominent retail base can develop shopping destinations using the strategies employed by those whose retail districts have been wildly successful.

Nate Echeverria, Business Development Manager, San Jose Downtown Association [DOWNLOAD] Rob York, President, York Consulting Group, LLC [DOWNLOAD] Michael Berne, Principal, MJB Consulting

You Can Bill Me: New Laws Affecting PBIDs

Don’t miss this in-depth discussion of new laws that could dramatically impact the way your business improvement district operates. Led by legislative expert John Lambeth, who has authored business improvement district laws in California, Nevada and Hawaii, the session will also focus on laws making their way through the state legislature.

John Lambeth, President, Civitas Advisors [DOWNLOAD]


Chronic Homelessness:  Understanding the Underpinnings

Many of us have been working for years to address homelessness in our Districts.  We support non-profit providers, we support outreach, and we attempt to be a bridge between those who are homeless in our neighborhood and those who can help. But despite our best efforts, there are people who remain homeless, year  after year.  These are often the “anchors” in our community, and they are chronically homeless due to mental illness, substance abuse and physical trauma.  This panel will help you understand the root cause of some of these issues, and also inform you on steps you can take to impact policy change, advocate for more services and options, or support organizations who are tackling these issues.

Kerry Morrison, Executive Director, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance [DOWNLOAD]

Mark Gale, Co-coordinator, CA Treatment Advocacy Coalition
Past board member, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
Officer Robert Martinez, Santa Monica Police Department
the SMPD Homeless Liaison Program (HLP)
Heather Carmichael, Executive Director, My Friend’s Place
Shawn Morrissey, Mobile Integrated Services Team, Housing Works, Pasadena/Hollywood


Keynote Address

Keynote Address: Designing Healthy Communities

Dr. Richard J. Jackson, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA

Bad design can dampen your mood and it can also contribute to your bulging waistline. How a community is designed has a direct effect on the health of its citizens. This was most obvious when infections disease was the primary public health threat during the Industrial Revolution as unsanitary conditions and overcrowded urban areas facilitated the spread of infection. Find out how we can help shape the design of downtowns in ways that improve public health, whether that be properly activating underutilized spaces so that they are safe for evening walks or runs, or connecting farmers to vulnerable consumers living in food deserts. It is possible to create vibrant, active spaces and places by examining land development patterns, zoning ordinances and transportation options.

Breakout Sessions 4

Do You Carpool? How BIDs Can Be Leaders in Alleviating Traffic Congestion

As downtowns become more congested, city officials are looking to business improvement organizations to encourage and often manage carpools, shuttle services or other trip reduction measures. That includes overseeing the creation and execution of a transportation management organization, which are nonprofit, member-controlled bodies providing transportation services in a particular area, such as a commercial district, mall, medical center or industrial park. TMOs can also better manage parking. For example, a church may allow a nearby restaurant to use its parking on a Saturday night in exchange for use of the restaurant’s limited parking on Sunday mornings when the eatery is closed. In this session learn current trends in TMO management.


Kyle Maetani,
Executive Director, Burbank Media District [DOWNLOAD] Peter Valk, President, Transportation Management Services [DOWNLOAD] Rick Williams, Executive Director, GoLloyd


Places and Spaces: How to Properly Activate and Manage Public Spaces

It’s not enough to have street trees, level sidewalks and benches along a heavily traveled street. Those are just the basic amenities. For exceptional place making, you have to create environments that invite greater interaction between people and foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. Great places can instill pride in the people who use them. Great places can promote people’s health, happiness and economic well being. Public art projects are obvious. This session will dig deeper to uncover other policies and projects to foster a greater love of shared spaces.

John Bela, Associate, Gehl Architects
Ashley Westman, Project Manager, Urban Place Consulting Group, Inc. [DOWNLOAD]

Fixing Broken Windows….Still Relevant?

Recently, the “Fixing Broken Windows” theory of community policing, which has been a fundamental basis in what we do as BIDs, is being questioned by advocates and others who believe it can foster racial profiling. BID Safe Teams and Police Departments in California & the US are working on ways to continue this style of community policing and other useful approaches to addressing quality of life crimes, while also respecting civil liberties. This panel will discuss the reasons behind these approaches, the latest case law that impacts BID clean & safe teams and how to move forward.

Kent Smith, Executive Director, LA Fashion District
Barry Bradley, Attorney [DOWNLOAD] Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, Santa Monica Police Department
Captain Joan Wakefield, Los Angeles Police Department 


What Does AB2618 Mean for Your BID Establishment and Renewal?


Paul Rohrer, Partner, Loeb & Loeb
Carol Schatz, President  & CEO, Central City Association of Los Angeles
Miranda Paster, Division Manager of the Office of the Clerk, Neighborhood and Business Improvement District Program, City of Los Angeles
Crezia Tano, Senior Project Manager at San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Getting Residents Involved in Your BID

Downtowns aren’t just for businesses anymore. More people are choosing to move back to city centers than ever before, creating 24-7 communities with diverse needs that business improvements districts must be prepared to meet. In this session BID directors give you the game plan to better engage residents so that they feel empowered to act and provide input. Residents are an important resource. Embrace them.

Andrew Thomas, Executive Director, Westwood Village Association [DOWNLOAD] Kraig Kojian, President, Downtown Long Beach Associates [DOWNLOAD] Jessica Lall, Executive Director, South Park LA [DOWNLOAD]