Music to our Ears: How Live Entertainment Boosts our Local Economy

Join us at the Economic Development Summit on Thursday, June 20 for a breakout session discussing exciting developments in entertainment programming for Hollywood and strategies to attract local residents as well as tourists. The panel will feature The Pantages Theatre’s Amelia HeapeThe Hollywood Roosevelt’s Don Jacinto, and The Los Angeles Philharmonics’ Laura Connelly. Moderated by Counterintuity’s Lee Wochner.

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Amelia J. Heape, Director of Marketing, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Amelia J. Heape is Director of Marketing at the historic Hollywood Pantages Theatre, a Nederlander Theatre and the foremost presenter of first-class Broadway touring productions in Los Angeles. Her expertise in theatrical marketing (with a focus on Broadway), advertising, media, and sales is backed by a successful career that began in New York City at The Public Theatre, SpotCo Advertising (Broadway agency), and TheaterMania/Ovation Tix. In 2009, she moved to Los Angeles and became Associate Director of Marketing at Center Theatre Group. Her 20+ years of experience in live entertainment marketing informs her work and her goal of strengthening theatregoing and economic growth in Hollywood, particularly as the Hollywood Pantages embarks on its inaugural “Broadway in Hollywood” 2019-20 season with the Dolby Theatre.



Don Jacinto, Managing Director, The Hollywood Roosevelt
Don has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He has held leadership roles in luxury hotel chains in Boston, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. In 2008, Don joined the Hollywood Roosevelt which was the flagship of Thompson Hotels.  Don also had roles as Regional VP for King & Grove Hotels and GM for Commune Hotels in more recent years.  In 2014, Don joined EDITION Hotels, a luxury lifestyle hotel concept created by Ian Schrager and Marriott International and oversaw the launch and opening of the New York EDITION in 2015 as General Manager while there he also supported the opening of the Miami Beach EDITION. Now overseeing a Hollywood landmark, Don and the Hollywood Roosevelt play host to a number of high profile events in the Los Angeles area.



Laura Connelly, Vice President of Presentations, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association 
Laura Connelly is the Vice President of Presentations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LAPA) overseeing non-classical presentations at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. LAPA produces and presents over 230 concerts a year at both venues which includes a wide range of music including pop, rock, country, jazz, indie, world music, orchestral pops, a fully staged musical, live music to film, and much more. A former journalist and native of the U.K., she has been with the Association since 1998.




Lee Wochner, CEO & Creative Strategist, Counterintuity, LLC

Lee Wochner is the CEO & Creative Strategist of Counterintuity, LLC, a creative marketing agency in Burbank, CA established in 2007 and with clients across the U.S. Counterintuity has won 34 awards for its work in the field, including many peer-jury-awarded MarCom Awards, Communicator Awards, and W3 Awards, recognition as California Small Business of the Year. His experience in marketing and strategy includes client work ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to large entities in the public and private sectors. Client engagements include PBS SoCal; the California statewide ballot initiative Proposition 21 (Yes for State Parks); City National Bank; the University of Southern California; Boeing; the Cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Burbank; the State of California; the San Mateo County Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau; Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica; Cusumano Real Estate Group; Center Theatre Group; Pasadena Symphony and POPS; and the online stores and/or email marketing for numerous entertainment acts, including Britney Spears, Hoobastank, Emmylou Harris, and Kathy Griffin.He sits on several boards, including the executive committees of the Community Foundation of the Verdugos (chair emeritus), the Burbank Chamber of Commerce (chair emeritus), and Moving Arts, a theatre he co-founded in 1992, and is past chair of Leadership Burbank.  He is also an award-winning playwright who has served as a PEN West judge (drama division) and a panelist and workshop leader at the annual Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.  Prior to starting Counterintuity, he was a theatrical producer and later served as founding President & CEO of LA Stage Alliance, the performing arts service organization serving Los Angeles.

He is recognized by the State of California as a “California Thinker.”

Chamber Policy Position: No on Measure EE

Last week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met to discuss a number of policy items before the City and State’s legislative bodies. Specifically, the Chamber heard from proponents and opponents of Measure EE which will be on the ballot for Los Angeles residents this June.

At the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, we value education and support a number of schools and non-profit programs focused on providing equal and ample opportunity to the youth in Hollywood and the City of Los Angeles. Moreover, the current financial troubles faced by LAUSD are of great concern to us, as an organization committed to strengthening our community at all levels. However, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce must take a position of opposition on Measure EE.

Measure EE, if approved by a two-thirds majority of voters, proposes a parcel tax on property owners to raise roughly 6 billion dollars over the course of twelve years (estimated 500 million a year) to even the spending and revenue gap currently faced by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Estimations predict the tax to come out around 16 cents per square foot of habitable indoor space. We believe this measure will place an unfair burden on renters and property owners as we also face an affordable housing crisis within Los Angeles. Further, Measure EE, as it stands, offers no insurance that the money raised will be used to directly benefit students and teachers in the classroom. Currently, Measure EE is written so that LAUSD is required to complete only one individual audit annually. Residents and taxpayers deserve greater accountability from the district to ensure their money will be used to benefit the youth of Los Angeles.

Though the Hollywood Chamber must oppose Measure EE this June, we recognize LAUSD’s urgent need for resources and sustainable revenue streams and offer the following opportunity to increase revenue:

Los Angeles, and Hollywood specifically, is home to thousands of filmmakers and creatives in all mediums. In 2018, FilmLA reported 38,795 total shoot days across various productions, a 1.3 percent increase in productions being filmed in the city. Yet, permitting to film on LAUSD property has historically been denied or frowned upon. As the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, we would be remiss not to point out a clear source of revenue for the district by opening up properties to film crews on nights, weekends, and break periods to generate new income without raising taxes on residents and business owners.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is committed to the future of our community and we recognize that begins with youth and education. We hope that by offering potential solutions, we, and other business and community leaders, can partner with LAUSD in the future on sustainable solutions to benefit the youth of Los Angeles and provide the world-class education our children deserve.

The Next Generation of Hollywood Leadership: A Discussion

Join us at the Economic Development Summit on Thursday, June 20 for an exciting breakout session discussing the future of Hollywood with key community leaders working with businesses, developers, and residents to make Hollywood an exciting place to live, work, and play. Attend a discussion with Dan Halden, Director of the HEART of Hollywood Initiative, Kristopher Larson, President & CEO of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, and Rana Ghadban, President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Register for the 2019 Hollywood Economic Development Summit

Dan Halden

Dan Halden

Dan Halden, Director, The HEART of Hollywood

Dan Halden is the Director of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s HEART of Hollywood initiative, a project focused on promoting economic growth, world-class design, and a strong sense of place and community in the historic core of Hollywood. As part of this role, Dan also serves as one of the two City appointees to the Hollywood Historic Trust, helping to oversee issues of importance to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dan previously served as Councilmember O’Farrell’s Hollywood field deputy, and former Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s deputy for the communities around Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign.



Rana Ghadban

Rana Ghadban, President & CEO, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
Rana Ghadban stepped into her role as President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, effective January 1, 2019. She has worked as a Chamber of Commerce President/CEO for the past ten years. Most recently, Rana served as the leader of the Five-Star Nationally Accredited Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce. During her leadership tenure at Simi Valley, Rana increased the Chamber’s profitability, and achieved significant growth in its membership numbers. Now, Rana is excited to bring that same energy to the businesses of Hollywood to foster a bright, sustainable future for the region.



Kris Larson

Kris Larson

Kristopher Larson, President & CEO, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance

An award-winning planner by trade and an economist at heart, Kristopher Larson has spent the last fifteen years helping good cities become great. Career stops in urban place management, urban design, and economic development enable him to speak with an enlightened enthusiasm about how the confluence of marketplace dynamics, architecture, and the public realm can translate into defining, placemaking experiences.  In February of 2019, Larson was hired as the President & CEO of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (HPOA), the organization charged with the management of the Hollywood Entertainment District. He has held positions on both the public and private sides of community leadership and is thrilled to bring those perspectives to his new role with the HPOA.

Hollywood Chamber PAC Endorses Laura Friedman for California Assembly District 43 Primary Race

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its support of State Assembly District 43 (AD-43) candidate Laura Friedman. “I am honored to have been endorsed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce PAC,” said Friedman. “As a former executive in the entertainment industry, I applaud the Chamber’s work in helping to retain good-paying jobs, and their ongoing efforts to make this community safer and a better place to do business.”

Mark R. Edwards, Chair of the Hollywood Chamber PAC stated, “With such a large field of talented candidates this was not an easy decision to make for our PAC Board. The Board established an extensive endorsement process which included a candidate questionnaire and in-person interviews. Each candidate offered a unique perspective on what they could bring to AD 43 but ultimately it was Laura Friedman who offered the most compelling vision for the future of the District. Laura’s time on the Glendale City Council has shown time and time again that she knows how to get things done for the business community helping to revitalize her downtown and attract thousands of good jobs to Glendale along the San Fernando Corridor. Laura Friedman will be an outstanding champion for a healthy economy. We are confident that her pragmatic approach to City governance will carry over to her tenure in the California State Assembly. We are proud to provide Laura with our full support in her efforts to represent Hollywood in the State Assembly.”

The Hollywood Chamber PAC recognizes the importance of this election in determining the future for our Hollywood business community and for businesses throughout Los Angeles. The PAC encourages all Angelenos to get out and vote on June 7th. For further information on Hollywood Chamber PAC endorsements, please visit

For further information about the Laura Friedman for Assembly campaign, please visit:

Restaurant of the Week: Rao’s

Our featured Restaurant of the Week is Rao’s! Rao’s is a culinary national treasure. Widely acclaimed for it’s authentic, southern Neapolitan Italian cooking and its home-style family ambiance, Rao’s was honored with a pinnacle three stars from New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, who describes the cuisine, “exquisitely simple Italian cooking.”

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Changing Workspaces: The Future of Hollywood

Join us at the Economic Development Summit on Thursday, June 20 for an exciting breakout session on the evolution of workspaces in Hollywood. The panel will be led by Serendipity Labs’ Alana Trubitz and Second Home’s Max Gates-Fleming.

Register for the 2019 Hollywood Economic Development Summit

Alana Trubitz, Director of Sales, Serendipity Labs

As Director of Sales for Serendipity Labs’ first west coast location in Hollywood Alana oversees sales for the Hollywood location and the Downtown LA location opening in June. She is passionate about helping her clients grow their businesses by providing flexible, creative workspace solutions with a focus on hospitality and high-end customer service.





Max Gates-Fleming, General Manager, Second Home Los Angeles

Max Gates-Fleming is LA General Manager for Second Home, a new workspace & cultural venue tested and proven across London and Lisbon. Now making its way to Hollywood, Second Home is currently building 60 bungalow/pods in a massive garden of 6,000 plants and trees and inviting 1,500 of LA’s new class of creative entrepreneurs and professionals to join them in making their dent in the universe.

Top 10 Reasons to Invest in the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is one of the most proactive and largest chambers in Los Angeles County. Our members range from small businesses to major studios; tourism companies to healthcare corporations. The Hollywood Chamber serves as an advocate for our members, representing the interests of businesses and residents in the greater Hollywood area. We are the proud owners of two world-renowned icons: The Hollywood Sign and The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are the Top 10 Reasons to invest in the Hollywood Chamber

  1. Political and Legislative Advocacy
    Represent you on issues that affect your bottom line
  2. Economic Development
    Promote growth and investment in Hollywood
  3. Networking
    Create new opportunities to make new contacts to help your business grow
  4. Promotion and Publicity
    Guide you to reach thousands of potential clients through member exclusive advertising
  5. Tourism Department
    Capitalize on marketing and exposure for Hollywood’s vital tourism and hospitality businesses
  6. Information
    Identify resources to keep you informed about issues impacting your ability to do business
  7. Discounts
    Present savings on products and services useful to your business
  8. Referrals
    Introduce new business referral program exclusively for Chamber members
  9. Community Involvement
    Assist the community and help make Hollywood a better place to live, work & play
  10. Credibility
    Recommend you to join hundreds of other committed “corporate citizens” by investing in the Hollywood Chamber-and your community