Thursday, June 21

Letter to the Editor: Westwood Village Improvement Association has consistent, successful leadership

In response to last week’s editorial, I’d like to say that Westwood Village Improvement Association Board members do turn over, but the organization has, in fact, enjoyed stable and consistent leadership.

The chairperson and the executive director have been in place since the August 2011 launch of the Westwood Business Improvement District, and members in leadership, as officers, have been dependable, serving an average of three years each. The two most tenured officers are currently approaching their six-year anniversaries.

It should also be noted that properties and businesses represented on the board are more consistent than its members. UCLA, Topa Management, the Glendon, the W Hotel, and Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers have each been represented by three different board members over the life of the Westwood Business Improvement District. Three other businesses have each been represented twice.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that the turnover on the board has been detrimental to the association or to Westwood Village.

Turnover is a functional reality of any volunteer board of directors. This can be a problem for organizations with a “working” board, where members serve as staff. However the association has paid staff that executes its policies. Work has never stalled when a board member resigns, largely because of our leadership’s continuity and the engagement and effectiveness of staff.

Since our inception, Westwood Village has rebounded to become cleaner, safer and more prosperous. Our ownership recognizes our value and importance and has rewarded us twice with renewals, most recently for a 10-year term. The WVIA is successful because of its consistency, not in spite of it.

Andrew Thomas

Executive Director, Westwood Village Improvement Association

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