As the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) continues to navigate the COVID-19 health crisis, members of its several public-facing committees continue to bring a wide range of experience and expertise to the table in an effort to address the challenges currently faced by Downtown stakeholders. As part of our monthly series, we are introducing two more committee members.
Jon Timberlake is a member of DLBA’s Public Safety Committee. “My 23-year-old daughter inspired me to become a Committee member,” he said, explaining that she works at a Starbucks in Downtown, sometimes during the evening shift, and that he often thinks about her safety as she comes and goes at all hours.
“I believe that whether you are a local resident, a patron or a tourist, you should feel safe spending time in our great community,” he continued. “I’m very grateful that DLBA exists and is focused on keeping the Downtown area clean and safe.”
Born and raised in Sacramento, Timberlake went on to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and received his training at Camp Pendleton, where he met his future wife. After rejoining civilian life, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix. He is now the Manager of Business Development for G4S Secure Solutions, which delivers security services to customers in 90 countries across six continents.
Timberlake explained how the Public Safety Committee has adapted its activities to the pandemic: “COVID-19 has created tremendous challenges,” he said. “We immediately started meeting virtually and had to figure out how to complete projects as a team while working independently. Some of our projects include community outreach, which is obviously difficult to accomplish with Stay-at-Home orders. I’m proud to say that regardless of these challenges, the efforts of our committee remain steadfast. We have seen no decline in the ability to accomplish our objectives.”
After a day spent concentrating on complex issues, Timberlake likes to unwind by honing his pool-playing skills. “I enjoy playing competitively,” he said. “I’ve competed in national tournaments, and I play in the 4th Street Pool League. Not only do I get my competitive fix, I also get to visit local neighborhood bars and meet new people.”
Nigel Lifsey is a member of DLBA’s Economic Development Committee. Originally from Los Angeles, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Boston University in 2006 And has lived in Long Beach since graduating.
The pandemic has affected Lifsey’s business personally. “My ‘day job’ is Senior Fund Accountant at Post Advisory Group, a high-yield bond asset management firm located in Century City,” he said. “My ‘joy job’ some might call it a hobby or a ‘side hustle’ – is working as a DJ for Urban Society Long Beach, a mobile entertainment company which I co-founded in 2018. Prior to the pandemic, the majority of our business came from our DJ’s working at various bars and restaurants in Downtown Long Beach, including several that have since closed down, so I’ve had a vested interest in the vibrancy of Downtown, in particular the Entertainment District of Pine Avenue, for a few years now.”
Lifsey mentioned that two of the goals for the Economic Development Committee this year are to promote pop-up shops in underutilized retail spaces in Downtown, and to develop a grant program supporting entrepreneurs and business owners of color in Downtown.
“I’m especially proud of and excited for the potential grant program,” Lifsey said. “I hope its first iteration will be a success and that it will become a recurring part of the Economic Development Committee’s programming, similar to our Woman-Owned Business Accelerator grant. We are confident that the development of this grant program will be a significant contributor to the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the business community in Downtown Long Beach.”
Lifsey and Timberlake would like to see more folks getting involved with DLBA’s committees. “Regardless of what expertise and interests you have, there may be a role you can find in one of our committees to provide value to the community,” said Timberlake. Lifsey offered similar encouragement; “One of the very few upsides of the pandemic has been that since all meetings are conducted virtually, you don’t have to go to the DLBA offices in order to observe or participate in these meetings,” he said. “I invite people to read about the various committees on the DLBA website, look at some of the agendas of past meetings, and sit in on a meeting if there is a particular committee that piques your interest.”