Meet your Central City Association staff
Downtown Center Business Improvement District
213.624.1213 x 215
Carol E. Schatz is the first woman to serve as President and CEO of the Central City Association (CCA) of Los Angeles. Carol also serves as President and CEO of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID), a coalition of 1,700 property owners in the core of Downtown Los Angeles.
Under Carol’s direction, CCA is the business advocacy leader on City and County issues. Ms. Schatz was recently named by Los Angeles magazine in their “100 most powerful people in Los Angeles” article as one of the ten most powerful business leaders in Los Angeles.
Carol was recognized as “Woman of the Year 1999” by State Assembly Member Gil Cedillo, for her outstanding service and dedication to the State of California. Carol was honored with the “2000 Renaissance Award” by the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Los Angeles, for her exceptional vision and tenacity in the efforts to reinvigorate Downtown Los Angeles. More recently, Carol was honored with the “Deborah Award” presented by the Anti-Defamation League for her courage, wisdom and leadership in her civic contributions.
Carol’s vision is helping to create a 24-Hour Downtown Los Angeles. Under Carol’s leadership, CCA has undertaken several significant initiatives to transform Downtown. She initiated the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance and has marshaled state funding and incentives to help developers convert empty office buildings to housing. CCA has worked with the City Council to resurrect the Civic Center Authority, which authorized a master plan for the area.
At Carol’s direction, CCA created the “Downtown Development Strategy” as a follow-up to the 1985 Downtown Strategic Plan. This development plan for Downtown touches on all aspects of a revitalized Downtown from the creation of mixed-use/mixed income projects to new transportation amenities. The Association’s advocacy on a number of pivotal projects has helped to make a difference with community stakeholders and elected officials.
Finally, it was Carol’s vision that led to the creation of the DCBID in 1997. With a budget well in excess of $5 million, the BID has made Downtown safe and clean and brought incredible new residential and commercial investment to Downtown
Her standard of excellence and responsiveness has resulted in the DCBID being named the #1 BID in the City. The DCBID serves as a leader of Los Angeles BIDs in their relationship with the City. With such energy and determination that has helped to fuel Downtown’s renaissance, former Mayor Richard Riordan appointed Carol and Mayor Hahn reappointed her to the Los Angeles Convention and Exhibition Center Authority. In addition to her valued participation at the City level, Carol was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on the State Fraud Assessment Commission on Workers Compensation.
Carol’s vision, hard work and perseverance have garnered much attention and praise from her peers. Recently, the Los Angeles Business Council awarded Carol the Grand Prize at its 34th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards in recognition of her contributions to the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles.
Prior to joining CCA, Ms. Schatz was the Deputy Regional Director, Western Region, of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation overseeing the liquidation of billions of dollars in assets of failed saving institutions in 12 states.
Carol Schatz has her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. She and her husband,
Fred Muir, reside in Los Angeles with their son, Jacob.
Prior to joining CCA, Marie served as the Planning Director for Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell and worked on diverse land use issues. Previously, Marie was a Senior Deputy to Councilmember Jan Perry and worked on issues related to planning, economic development and housing. Marie graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Political Science and received her MA in Humanities from Mount St. Mary’s College.
Marie is on the AIA/LA board and the Hollywood Central Park Board and is a current member of the American Planning Association.
John Howland is CCA’s Director of Government Relations, where he works with the Transportation, Infrastructure & Energy Committee, the Public Safety, Health & Homelessness Committee, the Government Relations Committee, CAA’s PAC and the Entertainment Committee. Before coming to CCA, he spent a decade at Cerrell Associates, a public affairs and lobbying firm, where he led the Local Government practice. John lobbied the City, County and Metro on numerous issues, many of which overlapped the issues before CCA’s policy committees. Prior to that, he was the Legislative Director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Ruth Galanter. John is the past president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Bay and is currently president of the board of the International Trade Education Program. John graduated from UC Santa Barbara and after work on various political campaigns, he did graduate work in American Government at the University of Virginia and at Rice University.
Nhien Lasky is CCA's Director of Business Development. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization's membership function, including member retention and recruitment. Nhien liaises with CCA's 450 business, retail and non-profit organizations to maximize their membership in the organization. She is also responsible for marketing CCA to its constituent groups and to the general public.
Before joining CCA, Nhien worked for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation as its Vice President of Marketing and Communications. She had oversight of the LAEDC's marketing collateral, website content, public relations and special events.
Nhien was a member of the Community Career Development board, and she also volunteered as a mentor for the I Have a Dream Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged youth. Nhien graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Marketing Team Leader
Sylvia Gonzalez is the Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods. Whole Foods Market opened its doors in Downtown Los Angeles on November 4, at the corner of 8th Street and Grand Avenue. Located beneath the recently opened Eighth & Grand residences, and designed with the needs of local residents, professionals and businesses in mind, the expansive 41,000-square-foot retail destination brings a culinary wonderland for shopping, dining and entertaining to downtown's historic core. Featuring a juice bar, fresh poke, expanded vegan options in all departments, a coffee bar (with cold brew on tap), more than 1,000 hand-picked wines, home delivery via Instacart and bar-restaurant The Eight Bar, this location offers an array of options for health enthusiasts, devoted foodies and shoppers looking for convenience and products without artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives. More
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