Leveraging Diverse Backgrounds, Board Members Advance DLBA’s Goals
The DLBA Board is comprised of Downtown stakeholders who pool their diverse skill sets and points of view to help create a vibrant and successful Downtown. For the next few months, we will continue to introduce you to the members of our Board. If you are a Downtown stakeholder, we hope their stories will inspire you to become involved with DLBA and contribute your own vision to the continuous development of Downtown Long Beach.
Alan Pullman is DLBA’s new Chair-Elect, scheduled to take on the position of Chair in October of this year. He is the Founder and Senior Principal of Studio 111, a national architecture firm located on the Promenade. Studio 111 designed the interior of Long Beach Airport’s expanded terminal and has designed many Long Beach buildings, including the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House and Children Today, a school for homeless children.
“I got involved with DLBA because my business has been Downtown for 20 years, and I’ve seen a direct connection between the success of the Downtown environment and the success of my business,” said Pullman. “I want a Downtown that supports my employees with places to live and places to go. That wouldn’t happen without the involvement of all the stakeholders that make Downtown successful. DLBA is a great vehicle for doing that.”
Pullman, born and raised in New York City, earned his undergraduate degree in architecture from Syracuse University, then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Cities from the London School of Economics; he is well versed in the design, economics and sustainability of metropolises.
“Obviously, we’re facing an unprecedented challenge right now,” said Pullman, “so by the time I become Chair, we’ll be looking at the road to recovery for our businesses, and small businesses especially. Small businesses are what really give Downtown its uniqueness and sense of place. They are the lifeblood of Downtown.”
Allison Kripp, who is in her fifth year of service as a DLBA Board Member, is a Long Beach local to the core, having been born Downtown at St. Mary Medical Center. For the last 13 years, she has co-owned a Downtown business, The Den Salon, with her husband Andy. She is a part-time recreational aide for the Long Beach Unified School District and a dedicated volunteer in the Downtown community.
“I love Downtown Long Beach,” said Kripp. “My family and I get to eat some of the best food in the country here, we get to sleep in a 1904 Victorian home in the Willmore Neighborhood, we play at some of the best parks, and we can walk to our small business.
“Our Downtown is expanding in so many ways every day,” Kripp continued, “especially now with the current public health situation and how rapidly it is changing our Downtown landscape. Right now is a time for all Downtown stakeholders – small and large business owners, non-profits, developers, independent contractors, owners, renters, politicians and city employees – to have a voice and work together. As a Board Member or Officer, Committee Member or Chair, there are opportunities to bring what you have to the table to help.”
Board Member Tony Shooshani, affiliated with DLBA since 2005, is no stranger to challenging times in Downtown Long Beach: His family-run company, Shooshani Developers LLC, purchased the City Place Long Beach shopping center in ’05, never anticipating the Great Recession of 2008 and the many City Place business closures that followed.
Undeterred from his desire to make a difference in Downtown Long Beach, Shooshani saw an opportunity to transform City Place. Now called The Streets, Shooshani’s property is filled with state-of-the-art eateries, shops and design firms.
Shooshani, a native of Iran, came to the United States when he was 10 years old. Raised in Beverly Hills, he developed a passion for real estate and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Real Estate and Insurance from California State University, Northridge. He has been a real estate broker for 32 years.
Shooshani is looking beyond the current public health crisis toward the future, and firmly believes in a continued upswing for Downtown Long Beach.
“Long Beach is an oceanfront metropolis with great diversity in demographics and a culture with an amazing sense of community,” said Shooshani. “I think we’re on the cusp of something amazing and special.” To learn more about becoming involved with DLBA, please visit our website at www.DowntownLongBeach.org.