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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Valley Economic Alliance Names New CEO

The Valley Economic Alliance on Friday named Sonya Blake as its new chief executive. A graduate of Yale University, Blake most recently served as director of community business for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office of economic development, the Sherman Oaks nonprofit said in a statement. She played a role in the city’s rollout of an $11 million small business emergency microloan program, and has helped Garcetti launch entrepreneurship training programs, the economic development package of the city’s community development block grant and city-wide community revitalization efforts. Prior to her work for the city, Blake served as chief executive of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Los Angeles, small business advocate in the office of former Gov. Gray Davis, assistant dean for the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and as director of corporate giving for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “Sonya’s experience in the public and private sectors, in business, in state and local government, in higher education, and nonprofits will be a tremendous asset to the Alliance as the organization implements its plans for the future,” Randy Witt, chairman of the Alliance, said in a statement. “I’m excited and looking forward to this next chapter of recovery and growth in the Valley,” added Blake. “The Alliance has an important role to play in revitalizing Valley businesses and the local economy. We need immediate short-term disaster recovery and plans for long-term economic development that will lift all parts of the Valley towards prosperity and a better quality of life.” Blake replaces Kenn Phillips, who retired as chief executive at the end of March.

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