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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
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Business Advocate To Leave Top Job

Valley Economic Alliance Chief Executive Kenn Phillips will step down this month as head of the San Fernando Valley business attraction and retention organization based in Sherman Oaks. Phillips made the announcement at the Alliance’s Board of Governors meeting on Feb. 20. Attempts to reach Phillips were not successful but in a statement, he said it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the organization for more than two decades. Phillips was named chief executive in 2014 after 15 years as senior vice president. “Collaborating with so many civic leaders from business, government and education to promote the development of a dynamic, growing and globally competitive economy and working to strengthen the diversity and competency of our talented regional workforce has been an opportunity that humbles me,” Phillips said in his statement. Prior to joining the Alliance, Phillips worked for Boeing Co. for 17 years as community relations manager. He has also served on the board of Sherman Oaks and Encino hospitals and as a commissioner for the city of Los Angeles’ Workforce Investment Board. Alliance Board Chairman Randy Witt called Phillips a champion for both the people and economy of the Valley. “He is a man of deep commitment to our mission to engage and unite Valley stakeholders in an effort to raise standards of living and economic vitality across the San Fernando Valley,” Witt said in a statement. Phillips will step down from the Alliance at the end of March and has offered to make himself available as a consultant during the transition to a new chief executive. The organization has started the search for a replacement. In an interview with the Business Journal, Witt said that a search committee headed by Kim Guard, the Alliance board’s secretary and owner of a Glendale staffing company, has formed to find a new chief executive. “We have already received a lot of inquiries from some top-notch people,” Witt said. “There are people that are coming to us recommending people because they really care about our organization.” Valley Industry & Commerce Association President Stuart Waldman, a partner of the Alliance, texted saying he was committed to the success of the group and offered his help in finding a successor, he added. “What we are seeing is there is a coming together of all our organizations and all of our board members rolling up their sleeves to help find the best possible person for the next CEO,” Witt said. The Alliance was formed in 1994 in response to that year’s Northridge Earthquake that devastated the Valley. The organization serves the cities of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, Calabasas and San Fernando.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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