SANTA MONICA, CA (July 11, 2022) — Following an extensive, nationwide search, the Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) Board of Directors has selected Andrew Thomas, a seasoned urban placemaking professional, as CEO. In this role, Thomas will lead the public-private nonprofit, which works in tandem with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica and the world-famous Third Street Promenade while promoting economic stability, growth and community life within this unique neighborhood.
Thomas brings over 20 years of experience, including an accomplished history with DTSM (formerly known as The Bayside District), where he served as the organization's director of operations from 2001 to 2010. During that time he was instrumental in the development of the Downtown Santa Monica Property-Based Assessment District, which funds enhanced maintenance, hospitality and marketing services for Santa Monica's largest business district.
"The Board is excited to welcome back Andrew Thomas, whose wealth of experience in the placemaking industry and deep understanding of the core values of Santa Monica will allow him to make an immediate impact in DTSM," said Barry Snell, Chair of the DTSM Board of Directors. "We trust Thomas will help the Board as it embarks on a thorough reassessment of the organization's programs so we can continue to best serve our community, the property owners and businesses.
In selecting Thomas, the Board is confident it has found a progressive, transformative and coalition-building leader to serve as its next CEO and solidify DTSM's position as one of the most renowned Business Improvement Districts in the industry. As CEO Thomas will be tasked with navigating the many challenges city centers are facing across the country following the pandemic, including spurring economic growth, assisting with the homeless crisis and filling in the gaps created by reductions in staffing and funding within local government.
"It is an exciting time to be an urban placemaking professional, as our expertise and leadership has never been more needed given the challenges our traditional city partners are facing," said Andrew Thomas. "Downtown Santa Monica, and particularly the Third Street Promenade, remains an economically vibrant, welcoming, diverse and innovative district with so much to offer. I am confident that with the support of the DTSM Board, the City and our many stakeholders, we can make great things happen and continue to be the envy of other cities across the globe."
Prior to returning to DTSM, Thomas was the founding executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association (WVIA) for the past 11 years, executing the non-profit organization's mission to make Westwood Village a clean, safe and friendly place for the community through maintenance, security and enlivening programs. While at the helm, Thomas managed a budget of $1.7 million annually from assessments on 120 properties within the District. Thomas is also the past president of the California Downtown Association and former Chair of the Los Angeles Business Improvement District Consortium. He is a graduate of Tulane University.
The extensive CEO search and evaluation process was led by Los Angeles-based executive search firm Berkhemer Clayton. The firm conducted several meetings with stakeholders, with an emphasis on securing feedback from property owners to inform the search process and draft the CEO position narrative. Candidates from across the country expressed interest in leading DTSM. After a thorough evaluation, finalists were interviewed by the committee, which passed along its recommendation to the DTSM Board of Directors for final selection.
About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM, Inc.)
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S). For more info, please visit DowntownSM.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @dtsantamonica or Facebook at DowntownSantaMonica.