Hospitality & Tourism in 2022

March 22, 2022
7:30 am - 12:00 pm

Hosted at Pasadena City College 

Business leaders from across Los Angeles County came together for an up-to-the-minute discussion of where the economy is headed. This year we were excited to host Baie Netzer of Bank of America, Dr. Robert Kleinhenz of Kleinhenz Economics, and a panel focused on the hospitality and tourism industries that are so central to the San Gabriel Valley (and SoCal) economy.

Economic Forecast Report

Click here for this year's San Gabriel Valley Economic Forecast Report.



    We thank our sponsors:

    Title Sponsor

    Mt. San Antonio College

    Gold Sponsors

    • Ontario International Airport
    • Visit Pasadena
    • City of Pasadena

    Silver Sponsors

    • BYD
    • SoCalGas
    • Southern California Edison
    • Methodist Hospital
    • Pacific Plaza Premier
    • Foothill Gold Line
    • Santa Anita Park
    • Fairplex

    Leadership Sponsors

    • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
    • City of Industry
    • San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority
    • Bank of America
    • Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts


    • 7:30 – 8:00 am: Registration and Breakfast
    • 8:00 – 8:15 am: Welcome – President and CEO, San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership; Erik Rolland, Dean, College of Business Administration at Cal Poly Pomona; Dr. Laura Pohopien, Cal Poly Pomona
    • 8:15 – 8:25 am: Opening Remarks - Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo and Pasadena City College President Erika Endrijonas
    • 8:25 – 10:00 am: Economic Forecast
      • Global and National Economic Forecast - Baie Netzer, Bank of America
      • California, Regional, and Local Forecast – Dr. Robert Kleinhenz, Kleinhenz Economics
    • 9:45 – 10:00 am: Q&A with Dr. Robert Kleinhenz and Baie Netzer
    • 10:00 – 10:20 am: 20-minute Networking Break
    • 10:20 – 11:10 am: Mini-Presentations - Open for Business: Hospitality and Tourism in 2022
      • Alan D. Wapner, Ontario International Airport & City of Ontario
      • Bryan Churchill, LA Tourism
      • Brandon J. Feighner, CBRE
      • Junior Tauvaa, Visit Anaheim
      • Christine Susa, Visit Pasadena
    • 11:10 – 11:45 am: Panel Discussion: Hospitality and Tourism in 2022
      • Moderated by Dr. Lea Dopson, Collins College of Hospitality at Cal Poly Pomona
      • Panelists:
        • Alan D. Wapner, Ontario International Airport & City of Ontario
        • Bryan Churchill, LA Tourism
        • Brandon J. Feighner, CBRE
        • Junior Tauvaa, Visit Anaheim
        • Christine Susa, Visit Pasadena
    • 11:45 – 12:00 pm Q&A with Panel
    • 12:00 pm Adjourn


    Global Perspective

    Baie Netzer is a Managing Director and Senior Investment Strategist for Bank of America Private Bank. She serves as investment thought leader by presenting the national Chief Investment Office’s current market outlook and investment strategy to high net worth clients across the West division. In this role, she works with our clients’ dedicated advisors and portfolio managers to ensure that top of the house macroeconomic, thematic and tactical portfolio strategy align with clients’ specific objectives and customized investment solutions.

    Baie has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years having begun her career as a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs in New York. Prior to joining Bank of America, Baie led the northern California team of investment professionals managing portfolios for high and ultra-high net worth clients at Wells Fargo Private Bank. Before joining Wells Fargo, Baie served as Director of Manager Research, Chair of the Alternative Investments Committee and one of five voting members on the Asset Allocation Committee at HighMark Capital Management, the asset management division of Union Bank. Previous to that role, she co-managed approximately $2 billion in portfolios for registered investment advisor Litman/Gregory. Baie also spent over a decade covering global financial news for print, radio and television outlets in the U.S. and Europe.

    Baie attended Stanford University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in International Relations. She is a CFA® charterholder and a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. She previously served as President of the Board of Directors for the CFA Society of San Francisco and as an advisory board member for UC Berkeley Extension’s Personal Financial Planning Certificate Program.

    National, State, & Local Economic Forecast

    Robert Kleinhenz, Ph.D. is Principal Economist and Founder of the firm Kleinhenz Economics. A leading voice on the economy, Dr. Kleinhenz has over 30 years of experience and expertise. He has worked with numerous clients in the private sector, the public sector, and academia, and has produced a variety of economic forecasts, economic impact studies, industry studies, housing analyses, and public policy analyses. A frequent contributor to the media, he has been interviewed by NPR and other radio and television stations, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other news outlets.

    In addition to his duties with Kleinhenz Economics, Robert is on the faculty at Cal State Long Beach and Associate Director of the University’s Office of Economic Research. He is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and an Executive-in-Residence at Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration. He has also held academic positions at USC, UC Riverside, and Cal State Fullerton. In the private sector, he has served as Chief Economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Deputy Chief Economist with the California Association of Realtors, and Executive Director of Research with Beacon Economics.

    Kleinhenz holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California with a specialty in urban and regional economics. He also holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.


    Moderator: Dr. Lea R. Dopson is the Dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair of The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). She earned a B.S. in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Texas Tech University, and she earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Curriculum Development from the University of Houston. Previously, she was Chair of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at the University of North Texas, and she taught at Cal Poly Pomona, the University of Houston, and Texas Tech University. In addition to her academic career, she has held food and beverage management and corporate positions with Sheraton Hotels and Harvey Hotels. Her areas of teaching include hospitality finance, hospitality managerial accounting, and hospitality cost controls.

    As an academic administrator, Dr. Dopson has written strategic plans and assessments, managed budgets, overseen capital projects, developed curricula, worked with advisory boards, raised external funds, cultivated alumni, developed and maintained industry partnerships, and lead faculty, staff, and students toward a shared vision.

    Dr. Dopson’s passion for hospitality management education is evident in her continued commitment to the discipline through her research in competency and curriculum development, sustainable tourism in developing countries, and her textbooks, Food and Beverage Cost Control, and Managerial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry. She also has an ardent interest in international education, as is demonstrated by her creation of a MS in International Sustainable Tourism joint degree between the University of North Texas and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica. In addition, Dr. Dopson lived 9 months in Zimbabwe, Africa developing a degree program in international hospitality and tourism.

    Dr. Dopson is also very active in professional organizations. She served two terms as Treasurer for the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE), and she was Founding President of West CHRIE. She served four years as Commissioner of the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), and she is a Site Team Visitor for ACPHA. She holds several memberships in hospitality industry professional associations, and she serves on a number of academic boards. Her travels and work have taken her to six out of seven continents in the world, most recently, Antarctica.

    Brandon Feighner is a Managing Director of CBRE Hotels, Valuation and Advisory Services, a part of CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services company. He assists in managing the Los Angeles office. With nearly two decades of professional experience in the hospitality industry, he offers expertise in strategic asset advisory assignments, acquisition and disposition due diligence, market and economic feasibility studies, complex asset and business valuation assignments, economic impact studies, litigation support, property tax appeals, and development and operational planning. His consulting engagements cover all asset types including hotels, resorts, golf courses, conference centers, condominium hotels and the shared-ownership industry.

    Clients include public REITS, private equity firms, all major sources of debt financing, all major hotel companies, and numerous municipalities and public agencies. During his tenure with CBRE Hotels, Mr. Feighner has worked extensively in Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii. Additionally, he has worked with various governmental entities on tourism and hospitality real estate issues.

    Mr. Feighner holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s Collins College of Hospitality Management, graduating magna cum laude in 2005. He has spoken at industry events in the region and is regularly quoted in local and national media on hospitality and tourism topics. He is a member of various professional and community organizations, including currently serving as Treasurer of the Collins Hospitality Society Alumni Board of the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona.

    Prior to joining CBRE Hotels, Mr. Feighner worked for Hilton Hotels in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa. He is a frequent guest lecturer at university-level hotel school programs and related industry events. Mr. Feighner is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and is regularly quoted in industry publications and in the general press.

    Brian Churchill, Senior Vice President of Hotel Sales at Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board (LATCB), is responsible for driving all hotel and non-citywide meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sales for over 165 member hotels on a regional, national and international basis – constituting nearly $120M in direct spend. With the formation of the Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District (TMD), he has assembled the direct sales team to better represent the globally recognized destination of Los Angeles.

    Along with creating a Destination Services team that provides logistics and event management support specifically for self-contained MICE meetings/events, Churchill oversees all self-contained meetings marketing and programming for the LATCB Hotel and Venue member partners.

    Churchill came to LATCB from Marriott International where he was area sales leader and led Marriott’s sales transformation reorganization and implementation. He directed the sales effort for Marriott’s 16-hotel area of South Los Angeles – made up of six full-service and 10 select service hotels and 10 ownership groups. Churchill also served as area director of sales and marketing for The LAX Gateway Connection, which included the Renaissance LAX and Marriott LAX Hotels.

    Churchill is an active member of the Board of Advisors for both California Polytechnic University’s Collins College of Hospitality Management and California State Fullerton’s The Center for Entertainment and Hospitality Management.

    Churchill has received several awards including Marriott’s North American Lodging Association’s Sales Leader of the Year and Marriott’s Western Region Sales Leader of the Year.

    Christine Susa has served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Visit Pasadena since 2013. Susa leads the organization’s marketing efforts to promote Pasadena as a premier Southern California destination and drive economic growth from leisure travelers and meetings. She is responsible for marketing initiatives, external communications, and public relations activities.

    Susa currently serves on the California Travel Association Board of Directors and California Comeback Task Force, as well as the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership Marketing Committee.

    Previously, Susa was a Director for the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles, where she managed technical assistance panels for public agencies and nonprofits; strategic planning efforts; communications; and membership engagement.

    Susa earned her master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Analysis and Design from the University of California, Irvine.

    Junior Tauvaa has served as Chief Sales Officer at Visit Anaheim since October 2013. Tauvaa leads sales and marketing teams for Visit Anaheim to increase Anaheim’s market share and customer satisfaction in the meetings and leisure market. Additionally, he also leads Orange County Sports Commission in positioning Anaheim/Orange County as a premier sports destination. Tauvaa is very involved with meetings and events industry on initiatives to ensure the Anaheim/Orange County brand continues to be a thought leader in industry.

    Tauvaa was previously Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships with Meeting Professional International (MPI) and the MPI Foundation, the largest global meeting and event industry association for seven years. He was also previously with Los Angeles Tourism Board for more than 10 years, where he held several key leadership roles.

    Tauvaa held different volunteer leadership positions with Destination International (DI), Events Industry Council (EIC) and American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) as well as several technology companies over the course of his career. He is currently serving on volunteer leadership positions at DI, PCMA and EIC.

    Tauvaa earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California Polytechnic University.

    Alan D. Wapner has been a member of the Ontario City Council for over 25 years. Alan is probably most proud of his leadership in regaining local control of the Ontario International Airport, and as President of the Airport Authority, overseeing an unprecedented successful turn-around of business at the airport and huge economic impact in the city and region.

    Alan is recognized as an expert on transportation policy and represents Ontario on many regional boards.

    Prior to the City Council, Alan was Vice President of the Ontario-Montclair School Board. He is a retired police sergeant of the City of Ontario. Alan received his BA from the University of Southern California and his JD from the Whittier College School of Law.

    Master of Ceremonies

    Dr. Laura Pohopien is a two-decades long Cal Poly Pomona educator. She teaches undergraduate classes in the College of Business Administration in Communication for Business and First Year Experience, and in the College of Professional and Global Education in US Entrepreneurship. She is an avid follower of businesses who emerge successfully amidst chaos, and her dissertation focused on creative destruction and the complexity of entrepreneurship within established industries. She is an alumna of the university and is involved in a variety of university special projects.

    Prior to a career in education, Dr. Pohopien spent 13 years in retailing and merchandising. Her work with luxury beauty products and home aesthetics let her explore a more creative side. She went to culinary school on the weekends while working full time. She baked, braised and basted her way into a full career of catering and cooking classes. For 12 years she instructed thousands of would-be culinarians in the art of bringing delicious food to the table.

    Currently, she has a prime-ingredient philosophy of cooking: “one ingredient can make a difference.” Her cooking show, The Prime Ingredient, which launched in 2020, airs on YouTube and Instagram. She ventured into the CPG space with The Prime Ingredient Mediterranean Spice Blend. It is sold on her website,, alongside bespoke and handmade charucuterie boards which sell out consistently. She has a quirky and effervescent presence on CPP campus and in her kitchen and says interacting with the students in both venues is the best part of her job(s).

    Previous Forecasts

    Download our most recent San Gabriel Valley Economic Forecast Report.


    See below for photos of our most recent San Gabriel Valley Economic Forecast Summit.


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    San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

    PO Box 661027, Arcadia, CA 91066

    Phone: (626) 856-3400    Fax: (626) 856-5115


    Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
    Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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