The Downtown Long Beach Alliance is proud to welcome five new members to its Board of Directors, completing a yearly election process that began last March.  

These new Board members are volunteers, representing various areas and constituencies of Downtown Long Beach.  

I am looking forward to working with all the ladies and gentlemen who are dedicated board members, willing to provide support and guidance to our organization,” said Silvano Merlo, Chair-Elect of the DLBA Board of Directors.  “Together we are devising a strong vision for our incredible downtown.”  

Downtown stakeholders who wished to run for a Board of Directors position began applying last spring.  After a careful review of all the candidates by the DLBA Governance Committee, fellow stakeholders voted last June.  By late summer, voter selections were ratified.  

Here are the new DLBA Board members:  

PAT WELCH will be serving as a Downtown Residential Representative in the Second Council District.  Welch, now retired after 29 years as a business owner in marketing and communications, is a member of the DLBA Public Safety Committee.  He currently heads the Docent Program working group, which seeks to establish a volunteer force to promote the DLBA at the Downtown Information Kiosk.  Pat is also involved with the Downtown Residential Council, where his duties include co-editing its newsletter, running its website, and helping organize public forums and social events for Downtown residents. 

“The Downtown Long Beach Alliance is the driving force behind the vibrancy of the city,” said Welch.  “This is where I want to be.”  

GRAHAM GILL is a new Board member in the Property-Based Improvement Area of Downtown Long Beach.  Graham was born and raised in Long Beach and has worked in the city since 2012. A licensed California real estate salesperson with a business degree from the University of Southern California, Graham has managed the acquisition, financing, construction, leasing and overall redevelopment strategies for several Downtown Long Beach property assets.    

For Gill, Downtown Long Beach real estate is a family affair.  

“My Dad is a lifelong Long Beach resident, real estate broker and investor, so we have had ties to Downtown Long Beach for most of my life,” Graham said.  

PATTY WIRTH, new to the Board in an advisory role, has been a Long Beach resident since she opened her first business here in 1987, after earning a degree from Long Beach State University.  She co-owns two businesses in the Downtown Waterfront: The Funnel House and Ice Cream and Yogurt on the Boardwalk.  

Wirth brings pride of ownership and a big love of Long Beach to the mix; Her stated goal as Board advisor is “to be involved with improving Downtown Long Beach by solving issues and promoting common interests for the business owners, residents and visitors.”  

CAMERON ANDREWS, also elected in an advisory role, has more than 30 years of experience and success in the marketing communications field.  His extensive resume includes service with the UCLA Extension Marketing and Advertising Advisory Board, Special Olympics Southern California, and work as Executive Committee Member and Secretary of the DLBA.  He is Founder and CEO of Pier Communications in Downtown Long Beach.  

Andrews has put his marketing expertise to work for such diverse clients as USA Today, The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  For Long Beach, Andrews hopes to help further Long Beach’s position as a desirable location to do business, and to “continue to promote Downtown Long Beach as the ultimate place to work, live and play in an urban seaside setting.”  

ALISHIA HOLMES-WATSON, a Downtown homeowner, has also been elected to the Board to serve in an advisory role.  She fulfilled a long-time dream of owning a home here after falling in love with the city many years ago. After ten years as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, her seniority is enabling her to spend less time flying and more time exploring and becoming involved with Long Beach.  

Holmes-Watson serves as Second Chair of the Lincoln Park Towers Homeowners Association, is a Los Angeles City Ambassador for the non-profit No Black Girl Left Behind, and is a member of the Southwest Airlines Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group.  

“I hope to bring my love for people, community outreach and background in cultural immersion as the newest Board member,” said Holmes-Watson.