Los Angeles Daily News: Kenn Phillips is New Leader of Valley Economic Alliance

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News

The Valley Economic Alliance picked a new leader on Thursday and he already knows the territory.

Veteran economic development specialist Kenn Phillips was promoted from senior vice president of the Sherman Oaks-based agency to the CEO position.

Phillips, 56 and a resident of Thousand Oaks, has worked at the agency for 15 years and Thursday was the anniversary of his hiring.

Phillips replaces former CEO Greg Kerkorian who left the agency after 15 months to become communications director as Woodbury University in Burbank.

Phillips is thinking big, too.

His first initiative is finding 1,200 “visionaries” in the next 100 days to tackle issues that are stymieing business so they can reduce costs and create jobs.

“These individuals are the movers and the shakers with the big ideas and muscle to drive big ideas to help move our economy forward.” Phillips said. “And we are already on our way.”

Some of these people are already serving on the alliance’s board.

The alliance is coming up with a list of 10 to 12 pressing issues and it plans to whittle that down to about three to initially focus on.

These issues will could include transportation infrastructure, water conservation and reducing energy costs,” he said.

“We want do to some problem solving in the next 100 days. We don’t want any to grow roots,” Phillips said. “For example, if we were able to reduce the cost of energy almost in half, it’s going to help businesses. They will be able to grow and hire new employees.”

Source: Los Angeles Daily News