Advancing bold public policy that drives economic growth.

The Los Angeles Business Council is one of the most effective and influential business voices in California.

For over 80 years, the LABC has had a major impact on public policy by harnessing the power of business and government to promote progress in the Los Angeles region in the areas of energy, housing, transportation, international trade and economic development.

We are successful at driving progress because we ground our efforts in evidence-based research, build diverse coalitions, and create a path forward for meaningful and measurable progress.

Today our 500+ members represent business and civic leaders from all industry sectors who are focused on innovative public policy that strengthens our economy while improving quality of life for all of us. We work in tandem with our research arm, the LABC Institute, to achieve these ambitious goals.

Through bold, progressive leadership for business, the LABC is trailblazing the way to a stronger, more equitable Los Angeles.

“The Los Angeles Business Council is really one of the leading business organizations probably in the country at recognizing the connection between protecting the environment and enhancing our local economy.”

– LA City Council President Paul Krekorian

Our Team

Under the leadership of Mary Leslie, the LABC has distinguished itself as a different breed of business organization, taking on challenging issues, supporting groundbreaking research, and building coalitions to create cutting-edge policy.

Mary Leslie
Q

Mary Leslie

President, LABC & LABC Institute

Mary was elected to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees of California Independent System Operator, a nonprofit that is the only independent electricity grid operator in the West, coordinating the distribution of energy resources for 80% of California and part of Nevada. She was also named to Mayor Karen Bass’s transition advisory team.

Ms. Leslie has served as LABC President since 2001, growing the council into one of the most prominent business organizations in the region, working closely with leaders from business, government and the non-profit sectors to enact policies and programs to strengthen Los Angeles’ economic competitiveness and quality of life. Under her leadership, she launched the LABC Institute in 2010 as the 501 (c) 3 research and education arm, attracting local and national funding. Both organizations operate with the core mission, focused on creating cutting edge policy strategies to reduce the region’s housing affordability gap, increase sustainable development, promote international trade, and expand high-paying workforce opportunities.

Ms. Leslie currently serves on the LA Sustainability Leadership Council, LA Cleantech Incubator Board of Directors, Los Angeles Conservation Corporation Board of Directors, UCLA Advisory Committee for the Luskin Center for Innovation, and is a member of the Pacific Council of International Policy. She previously served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board, Advisory Committees of L.A. Family Housing the California Women’s Law Center and the LA2028 Olympic Bid Committee.

In her previous role as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles under Mayor Richard Riordan, Ms. Leslie was responsible for the Mayor’s Business Development programs. Prior to joining the Riordan Administration, she was Deputy Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she oversaw the Northridge Earthquake relief dollars for Los Angeles as part of her portfolio of lending and education programs for SBA Director Erskine Bowles. She also served as the Executive Director of the California Economic Development Commission, overseeing policy development and trade missions for California business. Ms. Leslie was also President Clinton’s California Finance Director in his successful 1992 race for President.

Ms. Leslie received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Santa Clara, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and attended the Executive Management Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Mary Leslie

President, LABC & LABC Institute

Rachel Levy
Q

Rachel Levy

Communications & Event Director, LABC

Rachel Levy is the Communications Director at Los Angeles Business Council.  She has been with the LABC for 8 years working her way up to Communications Director.  Prior to the LABC, Rachel interned as a Legislative & Research Aide for a Wisconsin State Assemblymember.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rachel received her Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Rachel Levy

Communications & Events Director

David Fink
Q

David Fink

Sustainability Policy Director

David Fink is the Sustainability Policy Director for the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC). He has almost 20 years of experience in campaigns, organizing, and policy. He began his career working on consumer rights, healthcare reform, and civil rights before leading campaigns for voting reform and raising the minimum wage. For the last 14 years, his work has focused on climate change in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, and resilience as it relates to extreme heat mitigation and preparedness.

David Fink

Sustainability Policy Director

Elaina Houser
Q

Elaina Houser

Director of Housing, Homelessness, and Economic Development

Elaina Houser serves as the Director of Housing, Homelessness, and Economic Development for LABC. She has more than a decade of experience working for federal and local elected officials, with a focus on economic policy. Prior to joining LABC, she served as Legislative Director to LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, where she collaborated with state and local officials to develop policy primarily around housing and homelessness issues. She previously served as Legislative Director to Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., a senior member of the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she specialized in tax and trade policy, including leading his work overseeing the Subcommittee on Trade and authoring several key pieces of tax legislation; previously, she worked on economic policy issues for Senator Sherrod Brown, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee; and she began her Congressional career in the Office of Senator Al Franken. She also led GOTV efforts in north-central Ohio for the 2012 Obama presidential campaign and has volunteered for numerous political campaigns, including the Biden-Harris 2020 policy team. An Ohio native, Elaina attended American University in Washington, DC. 

Elaina Houser

Vice President of Policy & Government Affairs

Arielle Lopez
Q

Arielle Lopez

Policy & Programs Associate, Sustainability
Los Angeles Business Council Institute

Arielle Lopez is the Sustainability Policy and Programs Associate at LABC. She assists with policy initiatives, coalition building, grant implementation, outreach, event planning and program development in the areas of sustainability and clean energy. She also works as an independent consultant for The Hispanic Access Foundation and is helping write the RFP for Congressional Conservation Toolkit 2021; explaining the health, economic, public opinion, and cultural implications of various conservation policies to the Latino community. Prior to LABC, she worked at The River Project, helping retrofit underserved communities to become climate resilient and better prepared for a changing climate. Other sustainability experience has been gained from her work at Clean Initiative solar company and by continuing to run a sustainable farm with her father in her home country of Guatemala. Arielle graduated from Humboldt State University and received her Bachelor of Science in environmental science ecological restoration.

Arielle Lopez

Policy & Programs Associate, Sustainability

Ralica Mladenova
Q

Ralica Mladenova

Communications & Events Associate

Rali is the Communications and Events Associate for the Los Angeles Business Council. She assists in the communications, outreach, organizing, planning, and execution of all events. She also creates and designs marketing pieces, as well as collaborates on various social media platforms and campaigns. Born and raised in Bulgaria, Rali has been an artist since the age of 7, attending schools throughout Bulgaria that focused primarily on Art and Design. In 2005, she moved to Los Angeles to study Graphic Design. Rali has over 10 years of experience in Graphic Design, Marketing, and Social Media. Rali gives back to the Los Angeles community as an Art Mentor. She helps to empower youth and young adults who have suffered from abuse and trauma. As an Art Mentor, she provides healing, as well as builds confidence and self-esteem for our youth and young adults. Rali received her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from California State University, Northridge.

Ralica Mladenova

Communications & Events Associate

Gia Nazarian
Q

Gia Nazarian

Executive Assistant to President Mary Leslie

Gia Nazarian

Executive Assistant to President Mary Leslie

Natali Rivera
Q

Natali Rivera

Events & Development Associate

Natali Rivera

Events & Development Associate

Natali Rivera
Q

Caroline E. Choi

Policy Associate, Housing

Caroline E. Choi

Policy Associate, Housing

Natali Rivera
Q

Laurie Zaifert

Controller

Laurie Zaifert

Controller

Board Leadership

Our forward-thinking and progressive leadership has been instrumental in the LABC’s success in delivering on our bold vision for the future.

LABC Executive Officers

David Nahai, Chair

David Nahai Companies

Nadine Watt, Immediate Past Chair

Watt Companies

Mary Leslie, President

LABC

Thomas Flintoft, Vice Chair

Kindel Gagan

Antonio Manning, Vice Chair

Affordable Living for the Aging

Deborah Kallick, Vice Chair

Cedars-Sinai Health System

Richard Ziman, Founding & Vice Chair,

Rexford Industrial Realty

Lori Tierney, Secretary

Tierney Management LLC

David Sears, Treasurer

Pacific Reach Partners

LABC Board of Directors

Pouria Abbassi

Associated Students UCLA

Martin Adams

LADWP

John Adams

Gensler

Greg Ames

Trammell Crow Company

Jason Barrett

GAF

Kevin Blackburn

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Fransisco

Tyler Bonstead

STV

Kasey Burke

Meta Housing Corporation

Tom Buttgenbach

Avantus

Johnny Casana

Pattern Energy

Brad Cox

Trammell Crow Company

Brant Dveirin

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP

Thomas Flintoft

Kindel Gagan

Justina Garcia

Southern California Edison

Sam Garrison

USC

Garrett Gin

Bank of American

Trip Grant

HDR

Stephanie Graves

Lee Andrews Group

Bob Graziano

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Gene Hale

G & C Equipment Corporation

David Hart

Steinberg Hart

Scott Hunter

HKS

Paul Jennings

PCS Energy

Rob Jernigan

Clayco

Deborah Kallick

Cedars-Sinai Health System

Jan Karl

Morley Builders

Joanne Kozberg

California Strategies

Beulah Ku

Century Housing

Janet Lamkin

United Airlines

Brooke Lauter

Lauter Communications

Mia Lehrer

Studio-MLA

Mary Leslie

LABC

Jacob Lipa

Micropolitan / Psomas

Michael Mahdesian

Servicon Systems

Antonio Manning

Affordable Housing for the Aging

Dan Margolis

FTI Consulting

Michelle Martini

Suffolk Construction

Scott McClure

Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction

Jennifer McElyea

Ethos Real Estate

Reed McMains

Turner Construction

Greg McWilliams

FivePoint

George Mihlsten

Latham & Watkins

Claudette Moody

CAM Consulting

David Nahai

David Nahai Companies

Hilary Norton

FASTLinkDTLA

Marco Perez

UCLA

Jonathan Port

PermaCity Foundation

Saundra Price

W.E O’Neil Construction

Phil Recht

Mayer Brown

Kirk Rose

HMC

Alan Rothenberg

1st Century Bank / The Midland Group

Martha Saucedo

AEG

David Sears

Grace Companies

Carmel Sella

Wells Fargo

Gene Seroka

Port of Los Angeles

Gregg Sherkin

Wells Fargo

Patti Shwayder

Air Communities

Lori Tierney

Tierney Management

Joss Tillard-Gates

Clark Consturcion

Jon Vein

The Los Angeles Convention Center and Tourism Development Commission

Todd Wager

TRC Companies

Brooke Walbuck

Webcor Buildings

Nadine Watt

Watt Capital Partners

Jimar Wilson

Enterprise Community Partners

Jill Wittnebel

Gensler

Lillian Yan

HNTB

Richard Ziman

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation

THE LABC INSTITUTE

Since its founding in 2010, the LABCi has partnered with leading academic institutions throughout L.A. to help develop research-driven, policy solutions.

LABCi Reports

Housing & Homelessness

2023

Tackling the Housing Crisis: Streamlining to Increase Housing Production in Los Angeles

In partnership with the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate

2021

LA Business Council Institute Homelessness Survey

in cooperating with the LA Times and Hart Research

2019

LA Business Council Institute Homeless Survey

in cooperating with the LA Times and Hart Research

Sustainability (Transportation, Clean Energy)

Economic Development

Executive Officers

Richard Ziman, Founding Chair

Chairman, Rexford Industrial Realty

Brad Cox, Chair

Senior Managing Director, Trammell Crow Company

Mary Leslie, President

President, Los Angeles Business Council

Antonio Manning, Vice Chairman

Affordable Living for the Aging

David Sears, Treasurer

Pacific Reach Partners

Lori Tierney

Tierney Management

Board of Directors

Henry Cisneros

CityView

Kendra Doyel

Ralphs Grocery Company

Lew Horne

CBRE

Joanne Kozberg

California Strategies

Jacob Lipa

Micropolitan/Psomas

David Nahai

David Nahai Companies

Dan Rosenfeld

Indivest

Gene Seroka

Port of Los Angeles

Kecia Washington

LADWP

News from the labc

Solar Builder: Valta Energy Develops 1.5-MW Rooftop Project, Part of LADWP Feed-in-Tariff Solar Program

Solar Builder: Valta Energy Develops 1.5-MW Rooftop Project, Part of LADWP Feed-in-Tariff Solar Program

ABC 7 News: New LA Affordable Housing Directive Pushes for Faster Approval Process

ABC 7 News: New LA Affordable Housing Directive Pushes for Faster Approval Process

Mayor of L.A.: What They’re Saying: Employers, Business and Housing Leaders Applaud Mayor Bass’ Executive Directive 7

Mayor of L.A.: What They’re Saying: Employers, Business and Housing Leaders Applaud Mayor Bass’ Executive Directive 7

For Media Inquiries Please Contact:


Rachel Levy
Communications Director
(310) 226-7839
Email Rachel

Sugerman Communications Group
(310) 974-6680