The Valley Economic Alliance (VEA), the San Fernando Valley’s premier economic development organization, today announced Ron L. Wood as its new president and CEO effective immediately.
Wood, an accomplished business leader and former newspaper publisher, previously headed the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership from 2007-2009, where he oversaw efforts to sustain and build the regional economy.
“Ron has a proven track record of success working with public and private sector partners to foster economic growth,” said VEA Chairman David Fleming. “He knows what it takes to retain, attract and grow high quality jobs and businesses, and we are confident he will provide the leadership needed to improve the business climate and quality of life in the San Fernando Valley.”
Wood replaces the late business and civic leader Bruce Ackerman, who joined VEA in 2000 and passed away in August 2010 after a battle with cancer. Months prior to his death, Ackerman unveiled a new organization logo and branding campaign aimed at reinforcing VEA’s role as the best source for connecting local businesses, workers and residents with resources to improve their economic conditions.
“I’m honored to help move forward Bruce’s vision of strengthening and positioning VEA (more) as the region’s premier economic development collaborative,” Wood said. “I look forward to working with key business, government, education and community leaders to grow and sustain the economy of the Valley’s five-city region.”
Prior to his economic development work, Wood joined the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group as publisher in 1998. Previously, he held executive positions with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, MediaNews Group and the Bakersfield Californian. He holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from the University of San Francisco.
Among his many professional and philanthropic endeavors, Wood served on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Southern California, San Gabriel Valley Council Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Foothills, and Valley Public Television-Central California. He is also founding chairman of Goodwill Industries of Kern County and a member of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.
“During our nationwide search, we looked for an individual with unparalleled business experience, a passion for community service, the highest ethical standards and a shared view that we must work collaboratively to achieve economic prosperity,” Fleming said. “We are excited about the new energy, expertise and innovation Ron brings to our team.”