Alishia Holmes-Watson, Pat Welch, and Ryan Altoon

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) Board of Directors is a galvanizing force, enabling stakeholders to voice their concerns and to help advance concepts for the continued improvement of Downtown Long Beach. DLBA is proud to introduce three more Board Members as part of our monthly Board Member Profile series.

Board Member Alishia Holmes-Watson has been a traveler since she was very young, and has made a career out of it: After a childhood spent in Texas, New York, Maryland, and Florida, Holmes-Watson continues to explore the world as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

Holmes-Watson was just two semesters away from earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University when she left to pursue her career with Southwest. “I realized there was something else out there waiting for me,” she said. Holmes-Watson has been flying with Southwest for 11 years. She has been a Downtown Long Beach resident since 2015.

“As a Board Member I hope to bring perspective,” said Holmes-Watson. “My peers are a new generation of homeowners and graduates who don’t often get the opportunity to help cultivate their communities. DLBA has given me an opportunity to change that narrative.”

As Chair of DLBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee, Holmes-Watson is working alongside her Board colleagues to help Downtown businesses and residents navigate the unfamiliar waters of the COVID-19 crisis. “The DLBA and its Board Members have been working tirelessly to deal with the constant changes surrounding COVID-19,” she said. “We are working to gain the public’s trust on safety and to reassure our community that resources are being created and adjusted to assist in further serving our community during this time of uncertainty.”

Board Member Pat Welch, a retired former owner of a marketing and printing business, is a strong advocate for Downtown residents, and encourages other Downtown residents to get involved with DLBA. “DLBA Committee meetings are open to the public, and visitation is welcomed,” said Welch. “The meeting schedules and agendas are posted on the DLBA website. Once you find a Committee whose activities match your interests, apply to become a Committee Member.”

Welch, originally from Houston, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics and Astronomy from Haverford College and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University. Upon moving to Torrance, Welch became active in his community, and when he moved to Long Beach he was eager to continue his community involvement and influence. “Board members not only have the opportunity – they have the responsibility to monitor the activities of the various Board and Programming Committees as their personal interest dictates,” Welch said.

“Downtown Long Beach has both a big city and a small town feel,” said Welch. “It’s a community where both strangers and community leaders have a dedication to helpfulness and can easily become your personal friends.”

Board Member Ryan Altoon is Executive Vice President of AndersonPacific, LLC, a California-based real estate development company. He is responsible for overseeing all entitlement, planning, and development projects for AndersonPacific, including the Shoreline Gateway Project at the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Alamitos Avenue in Downtown.

“Downtown Long Beach is one of the only true urban cities on the beach,” said Altoon. “It offers residents, businesses, and stakeholders a rich tapestry of experiences, a high quality of life, access to jobs and entertainment, and lots of waterfront vibrance.”

Altoon was born and raised in Encino. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics and Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, then returned to Los Angeles to earn his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He went on to earn a Certificate in Architecture Studies from Harvard University. As a DLBA Board Member, he works with public and private stakeholders to advance the success of Downtown Long Beach, and, along with the rest of the DLBA Board, is adapting to the “new normal” engendered by the COVID-19 crisis.

“DLBA has been at the forefront in supporting our stakeholders by directing them to resources, providing grants, facilitating communications, surveying sentiment, and continuing to provide a clean and safe environment,” said Altoon.

Downtown residents and businesses are encouraged to get involved with DLBA by attending Committee meetings to connect on topics you are passionate about. Beginning at the Committee level allows you to learn about DLBA, to see it in action, and to help increase DLBA’s positive impact on the Downtown community.