SHERMAN OAKS (CNS) - The Valley Economic Alliance today announced the election of lawyer and Calabasas City Councilman Fred Gaines as chairman of the nonprofit regional economic development organization.
The outgoing chairman, Randy Witt, said Gaines “is the right person stepping forward at the right time” to lead the Alliance as it offers business assistance services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Gaines, a longtime Alliance board member and managing partner of an Encino law firm, is “an inspiring leader, a man of action,” Witt said. “His experience with disaster recovery as mayor of Calabasas during the Woolsey Fire, along with his ability to work with our strategic partners, will enable the Alliance to effectively lead this region toward economic recovery.”
Gaines said: “This is what the Alliance was created to do, to be there for the Valley in time of need. This is the moment. We have a need that none of us could ever have imagined.”
He stressed the importance of working to ensure the San Fernando Valley receives the capital needed to resurrect businesses and get people back to work.
“The Alliance will play an important role in how well the Valley economy recovers,” he said. “What we do will forge the quality of life for a generation.”
Alliance board member Kim Guard, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Glendale, was elected first vice chair.
Alliance President and CEO Sonya Blake said Guard's “expertise in staffing, jobs and workforce development is essential for the Alliance to lead the Valley out of the economic disaster caused by COVID-19.”