This month’s Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) staff profile spotlights Broc Coward, our Chief Operating Officer. Coward is instrumental in DLBA’s ongoing efforts to create the conditions under which stakeholders’ dreams and expectations can flourish in Downtown.
“As COO, I hope to continue positioning DLBA at the center of economic, community and planning discussions involving the Downtown,” said Coward. “We have the ability to inspire partners and peers through our programs and approach to challenges – I hope to continue and even expand this mantra.”
Coward spent his childhood years in Temple City, at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains, 30 minutes from Long Beach. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and followed up with a Master of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). While at UCSB, Coward became more aware of political issues involving the environment, the LGBTQ+ community, and racial inequality in America’s institutions.
An internship at the League of Conservation Voters got Coward hooked on political activism, and he soon realized he could create change in his corner of the world by working for a locally elected official, writing legislation and helping community members access their government. “My parents always stressed the ability to leave something better than you found it,” Coward said. “That’s the measure of any choice I’ve made in my career — can it change things for the better?”
While working as Chief of Staff for Long Beach Vice Mayor and Second District Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, Coward dealt with many of the same issues facing DLBA in Downtown’s Property Based Improvement District (PBID). Kraig Kojian, DLBA’s CEO, took notice of Coward’s skillset and asked him to consider working for DLBA when his work with Lowenthal was done. “I liked the idea of expanding my professional experience while continuing to help the Downtown community — and the rest is history,” said Coward.
Throughout the challenges of the past 18 months, Coward has continued to apply his steady hand to the advocacy, development, and promotion of Downtown Long Beach. He senses a cautious optimism among Downtown business owners, realizing that their healthy economic future is reliant upon office workers, conventioneers, residents, and visitors. “The big takeaway is that more people need to get vaccinated and resume their pre-COVID routines before real prosperity returns to our local economy,” Coward said.
When he’s not working for the betterment of Downtown, Coward loves being in the great outdoors, especially camping, boating and hiking with his family. “I love photographing natural landscapes or my kids playing sports,” he said. “At home, it’s gardening, finding the coolest new eatery for date night with my wife or watching my favorite soccer team, Chelsea FC, on Sunday mornings.”