Santa Monica State Of The City Jan. 28 To Honor Businesses That Innovate & Create Success:

State of the City will be held Thursday
State of the City will be held Thursday

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual State of the City on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

The event— to be held for the first time in the evening—will take place at SGI Auditorium in downtown Santa Monica. The event is set to be a who’s who of Santa Monica, bringing together the business and resident communities with City leaders to hear first-hand about the city’s economic outlook, as well as the new initiatives aimed at helping all Santa Monicans thrive.

The theme, “Innovate and Create,” explores the new frontiers of the city’s

economic landscape, highlighting business success in the shared economy.

“It is imperative that we continue to maintain the open communication between local business owners and leaders with city officials to continue building our thriving and prosperous community,” said Julia Ladd, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Assistant Vice President, Property Management, Santa Monica Place. “The annual State of the City event provides an important update by our City Leaders as well as offering a robust and ambitious business discussion with some of Santa Monica’s game changing leaders.”

The 2016 State of the City will honor Water Garden with the Economic Excellence Award; Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences with the Community Excellence Award; and Science with the Impact Award. The winner of the inaugural Hack the Beach Award will also be announced.

Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $40 for members and $50 for non-members, and more information can be found at or by calling 310.393.9825.

Mike Jones of Science

What contributions do you feel that your company has made to be awarded and recognized as a leader and innovator in our community?

Over the past four years Science has partnered with dozens of local entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams of building innovative technology companies right here in Southern California. I am happy to say companies that started in our office here on Second St., Santa Monica now employ over 300 people within 10 miles of our office, and have raised over $300 million in follow on capital to further develop their businesses. We are active contributors to our local Southern California technology ecosystem, and hope to continue to build great businesses right here for a long time.

What have you done to stay ahead of trends and maintain active engagement to build on success? Would you talk about some of your achievements?

I work to maintain my curiosity and allow myself to explore my personal areas of interest. Four years ago I became fascinated with Online Commerce and Marketplaces, and have happily worked with some great CEO’s to help them build their commerce and marketplace businesses. Two years ago I found myself and my team equally fascinated with the emerging mobile ecosystem, and now work to build breakout mobile businesses. In order to stay ahead of the trends, we focus on deeply immersing ourselves in our companies’ businesses, learning what turns startups into breakout successes, and then sharing those learnings with other companies within our domain. We constantly look to identify and share those formulas for success. It’s critical to stay challenged, and surround myself with dreamers, it inspires me and the team at Science to see the next generation of entrepreneurs pursuing disruptive businesses that make people’s lives better. My ongoing goal is to continue to contribute Science’s resources to facilitate entrepreneurs’ missions and visions to create great companies of the future.

As a City what does Santa Monica need to do to help our businesses stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace?

The city of Santa Monica along with all of Los Angeles attracts visionaries. If we can continue to create an environment that supports talent and capital, and provide the resources and support needed, I believe we can continue to build great companies here. We need to constantly look for ways to incentivize business development, through both real estate and talent. Santa Monica has developed into a vibrant hub for business creation, and it’s had a tremendous trickle effect on surrounding businesses like restaurants, shops and transportation.

The key to maintaining a competitive environment is access to talent. That happens when businesses work with local universities to share knowledge and employment opportunities. We have the best of everything at our finger tips, and it’s up to the local successful entrepreneurs to work to not only achieve success for their companies and teams, but to give the employees and entrepreneurs of the future the best possible opportunity to add to the robust business environment we are creating.

Bob Riddle, Crossroads Head of School

What contributions do you feel that your [organization] has made to be awarded and recognized as a leader and innovator in our community?

Crossroads School is proud of its national reputation as a leading innovator in progressive education. In fact, in October we were named among the “41 Most Innovative Schools in America” by the educational resource Noodle. While there are many examples of the ways in which we have created an innovative model for education, two that come to mind are our community service and Life Skills programs, both of which perhaps best exemplify some of our most innovative and cutting-edge initiatives that have also served as models for other schools and institutions.

What have you done to stay ahead of trends and maintain active engagement to build on success. Would you talk about some of your achievements?

Crossroads realized early on the power of private/public partnerships between schools and thinking about the concept of “institutional service.” Twenty-five years ago, the Crossroads Community Foundation launched P.S. Arts, bringing music, visual arts, dance, and drama programs to public schools forced to eliminate these programs due to budget cuts. P.S. Arts was enormously successful and became its own nonprofit organization, now serving nearly 25,000 students in California’s most underserved public schools. In 2006, the newly renamed Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation launched P.S. Science to bring weekly, hands-on science education to young students in local Title I schools who would not otherwise receive it. Today, P.S. Science serves 725 students in three schools, including two in Santa Monica: Saint Anne School and McKinley Elementary School. This program helps to instill a love of science as it prepares students for the next phase of their science education. We look forward to making P.S. Science available to even more students and exploring new ways to share our resources with our greater community.

As a City what does Santa Monica need to do to help our businesses stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace?

P.S. Science has been fortunate to receive financial support from corporations including Magnetika Inc. and Astellas Pharma (through its Santa Monica-based foundation). I would like to see more Santa Monica businesses expand their partnerships with all of our local schools—public, parochial, and independent—to help develop the workforce of tomorrow through educational initiatives, internships, and financial support for programs that will help to prepare the next generation of local, national and international leaders.