City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 042120-2
City to Convene Economic Recovery Advisory Group
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS (Media inquiries only) (Media inquiries only)
RESIDENTS: Please call 562.570.INFO

Long Beach, CA - Today, the City of Long Beach announced the formation of an Economic Recovery Advisory Group charged with providing recommendations on economic impact of the COVID-19 health emergency.

“I want to thank Mayor Bob Foster for stepping up and serving his city once again,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are going to need innovative ideas and a smart approach to restarting the local economy. We are committed to getting people back to work in the safest way possible and guided by medical science and data.”

The members of the Economic Recovery Advisory Group have been assembled by former Mayor Bob Foster and will provide input to the City on strategies for the Long Beach economy to recover when safe to do so. Their recommendations will assist Economic Development, the Health and Human Services Department, the Emergency Operations Center and various other city departments as they strategically transition the City back to normal operations once the pandemic allows for a change in the current health orders. 

“I commend the Mayor and the City for its swift and immediate response to the health crisis before us,” said former Mayor Bob Foster. “Our next big challenge is how our community comes together to reopen the economy in a way that is safe and thoughtful. It is an honor to chair this distinguished group and contribute to our city’s efforts.”

The membership of the Advisory Group will include the following, consisting of representatives touching numerous sectors in Long Beach:

  • Blair Cohn, Economic Development Commissioner and Executive Director, Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
  • Bob Foster, former Mayor, City of Long Beach
  • Caroline Choi, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Southern California Edison
  • Griselda Suarez, Executive Director, Arts Council for Long Beach
  • Jeremy Harris, Incoming President & CEO, Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Josh La Farga, Planning Commissioner, and Director of Government Affairs, Laborers’ International Union of North American Local 1309
  • Josh Lowenthal, President,
  • Kerstin Kansteiner, Restaurant/Small Business Owner
  • Kraig Kojian, President and CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance
  • Lou Anne Bynum, Interim Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College
  • Luis Navarro, Restaurant/Small Business Owner
  • Mario Molina, Doctor/Healthcare Professional
  • Randal Hernandez, Chair, Long Beach Economic Partnership
  • Ryan Choura, CEO and Founder, Choura, an Experience Company
  • Sean Rawson, Co-Founder, President of Residential Division, Waterford Property Company
  • Sharleen Higa, President, Long Beach Century Club
  • Steve Goodling, President & CEO, Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Steve Neal, Harbor Commissioner and Clergy
  • Tommy Faavae, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 11
  • Vic La Rosa, CEO, President and Co-Founder, Total Transportation Services (TTSI) 
Additionally, the City will create an online forum for businesses and residents to encourage civic engagement and to provide input on what sectors of the economy are most in demand, and ideas on how businesses and operations could safely reengage. This will help the City better understand the needs of our community as we prepare for future changes to the Health Order in alignment with the County and Governor’s orders.

Decisions regarding how and when to reopen the economy will align with the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order and will be implemented through a Health Order from the City Health Officer. This will be done in close alignment with Los Angeles County and the Governor's order. The Advisory Group is an informal group established by City Manager Tom Modica and will be supported by City staff from Economic Development, Health Department, Airport and the Port. 

The Economic Recovery Advisory Group and pending online forum are only the latest in a series of actions that will help businesses and residents impacted financially by the COVID-19 crisis. Other actions include the establishment of the Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund; a comprehensive Economic Relief Package passed by City Council on April 14; and the launch of Pacific Gateway’s Work Long Beach program. The City also has established a hotline for business owners and workers, 562.570.4BIZ, which is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit: and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.