The Hollywood Way: Solutions through Creativity

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March 19, 2018
This past year as Chairman of the Board has passed in a blink of an eye for me, yet that blink puts into perspective just how profoundly Hollywood evolves in a year – as well as what challenges and opportunities remain on the Chamber’s agenda as to how Hollywood is and will be perceived on the global stage. I sincerely appreciate and thank the Board of Directors for honoring me to represent and serve our mission to promote and enhance the business, cultural and civic well-being of Hollywood - the place I love and call home, as well as Hollywood - the brand. 

Let me take this opportunity to reflect how you, our Hollywood champions, moved the Chamber’s mission this past year.

Successful Accomplishments:
Hollywood Economic Growth:
our annual Hollywood Economic Development Summit last June tackled Hollywood Livability, tallying over 92 housing projects with 9,700 units, 16 hotels with 2,500 rooms either under construction or in the pipeline for our community. On the commercial front, 1,143,000 sq. ft. of office space was under construction and/or proposed - an impressive amount of development resulting in thousands of construction jobs and permanent jobs as well. 

State of the Entertainment Industry Conference: The sixth annual State of the Entertainment Industry Conference attracted a large audience of entertainment industry executives. The event has quickly become one of the most important annual events in Hollywood and the Commitment to California Award was presented to producer Steve Levitan.

Leadership Luncheons & Meetings: The Chamber successfully held Leadership Luncheons with Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Monica Rodriquez. The Chamber also met with Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Controller Ron Galperin, State Controller Betty T. Yee, State Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago and Laura Friedman, State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Senator Ben Allen.

New Board Room Star Table: We commissioned the Star Table to complement our new boardroom utilizing the Chamber’s Walk of Fame trademark. Special mention and thanks to interior designer Katy Naghavi of Atelier Katayon Interior Design, who donated her services, and Vaughan Benz, a top-quality furniture manufacturer located in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Anniversary Celebration: Our President and CEO, Leron Gubler, celebrated his 25th anniversary at the helm of the Chamber. To mark the occasion, the Chamber hosted a star-studded anniversary celebration recognizing members, staff, actress Tippi Hedren and producer Vin Di Bona.

Hollywood Boulevard Lighting: After an absence of four years, the Chamber invested in holiday decorations and lights for Hollywood Boulevard in partnership with the Hollywood Entertainment District BID.
Financial Position: This fiscal year, the Chamber reached its strongest financial position in over 25 years.

Goals in the Pipeline:
Approval of Hollywood Community Plan Update: The Chamber continues to work closely with the Department of City Planning (DCP) on the draft Hollywood Community Plan Update, which will shape the future of Hollywood by directing jobs and housing near mass transit corridors. We are hopeful the City will adopt the plan by the end of year.

We must still press on for CEQA reform: The California Environmental Quality Act has devolved into an abusive system to kill worthy projects and to shake down developers for money. Our public officials in Sacramento need to get serious about needed reforms. The blame for the affordable housing crisis in this state lies at their feet because they have refused to reform CEQA.

Homeless Challenges: The tragedy of homelessness continues to get worse year after year. Voters approved two measures (H and HHH) this past year to build more housing and services for the homeless, however much more still needs to be done. Homelessness is the greatest negative impact to Hollywood’s future. We need all hands on deck to come up with additional creative solutions to combat this crisis. 

Sidewalk/Street Vending Ordinance: Street vendors are being allowed to sell whatever they want, wherever they want to. The Chamber has been lobbying and pressing the City Council to move forward with the adoption of a new Street Vending Ordinance. 

Access to the Hollywood Sign: The Chamber’s Hollywood Sign mobility task force has been working with Council District 4 on their mobility study to determine a plan to address Hollywood Sign traffic in the Hollywood Hills adjacent to Griffith Park. Possibilities of an aerial tram to the Sign and a Hollywood Sign Visitors Center are taking shape as a big-picture solutions to reduce traffic in the hills and give Sign tourists a better Hollywood experience.

Membership, Membership, Membership: We are developing new innovative ways to bring new businesses into the Chamber fold. 

BIDs: The Chamber is actively working to create two new business improvement districts - the proposed Hollywood/Western BID is anticipated to be complete by the end of the year, and the proposed Hollywood Route 66 BID is drafting their Management District Plan.

California Film Tax Credits: The Chamber continues to lobby for Hollywood’s signature industry to extend the California Film Tax Credits, which have been so successful in moving Hollywood’s revitalization forward.

Hollywood Community Survey: The Chamber commissioned Renegage to do economic research and study for the Hollywood community which will be released at the Economic Development Summit in June.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Preservation: The Chamber is collaborating with the Hollywood Entertainment BID to sponsor a CORO-fellow to research the preservation and protection of the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a landmark.

Presidential Search: Soon after our President & CEO, Leron Gubler, announced his retirement in January after 26 years at the Chamber, I formed an ad hoc Presidential Search Committee to search for new candidates for his position. We plan to have the position filled by September, with a start date at the end of the year.

While so much can change in a year, our purpose at the Hollywood Chamber remains fundamentally the same - our mission is to promote and enhance the business, cultural and civic well-being of Hollywood. This founding principle empowers us as leaders to create, to take risks, and to forge a path forward toward solutions – all of which are possible if we stay true to our creed. Let’s continue to create, to dream and inspire new solutions for Hollywood and the world as all eyes are on us!

Jeff Zarrinnam, Chair of the Board, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
For more than 97 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Jeff Zarrinnam of Hollywood Hotel, is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2017-18, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.

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Contact:
Hollywood Chamber
(323) 469-8311