As we head into the new year, naturally, we all take time to reflect upon the decisions we’ve made, the relationships we have built, and the priorities and goals we set for ourselves so that, hopefully, we can learn from our mistakes and take pride in our accomplishments. The pandemic has certainly intensified this period of contemplation.
For the past 20 months, we’ve all been working under tremendous pressure. Our downtowns have suffered greatly, and there is still so much uncertainty lurking. I have had many sleepless nights, some brought about by the stress of work, but others because of this innate need to take stock of our lives because the pandemic has transformed so many aspects of it. For those of us fortunate enough to have the space to reach deep within ourselves and re-discover what we value most, having been forced to face the reality that we all only have so much time here to bring out the best in ourselves and those around us, the pandemic has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It’s forced us to realize what we want to hold on to and what we need to let go of.
After serving Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade for the past 25 years, I realized that it is now time for me to write a new chapter. I am excited to share that I have accepted the position of President and CEO of The Hollywood Partnership. It became clear that while I love Downtown Santa Monica and the amazing staff, I have the pleasure of working with every day, it is the right time to step aside and let another lead. After so many years, some will question why I left the place I have spent most of my career. In all honesty, it was because I felt I had given all that I could and that the organization and our community deserved a new perspective and a fresh voice.
I leave with no regrets but rather a renewed sense of purpose and vigor. I am immensely proud of the work we have done collectively in Santa Monica. I am still so passionate about the work we all do to help shape cities, build communities, and help our businesses prosper. And I am ready to bring that energy to Hollywood. Hopefully, I say all of this to inspire you to continue believing in yourself, believe in your capabilities, and continue to pursue what makes you fulfilled. That could be continuing a career in urban placemaking or finally venturing into a passion you have that you have not fully embraced.
The important thing is to find what makes you happy, and if what you are currently doing does not, then do not waste another minute entertaining it. Remember that life is short and that we must make the most of our time. I wish you all the best in whatever you do and know that you have a wonderful community here at IDA to support you. Happy New Year and many blessings to you and your families.