After Carol Schatz announced earlier this year that she would retire from her post as chief executive of downtown’s Central City Association, the business group’s board hired Glendale executive search firm Morris & Berger to recruit potential successor candidates.

But if the job description that Morris & Berger has posted is any guide, it won’t be easy finding a replacement for Schatz. That’s because the job requires a unique combination of administrative and advocacy skills. Here are some passages in the job description:

  • Leading candidates will most likely have worked in Los Angeles and have established relationships with local, state, and federal elected and appointed officials and staff.
  • The CEO must also be politically astute and culturally sensitive with the ability to navigate complicated political structures.
  • It is important that the CEO have the ability to work in a complex and politically sensitive environment where many criteria matter but to varying degrees to different constituencies. A demonstrated ability to handle matters of a sensitive and confidential nature and the capacity to maintain composure while working under pressure is important.
  • The CEO will be a moderator of complex discussions with a variety of stakeholders and, as such, should be able to distill ideas, clarify issues, and have the intellectual depth and pragmatic know-how to facilitate dialogue among colleagues, peers, and a variety of different interest groups.

If there’s anyone out there reading this who has all these skills and qualifications – good luck!

Building Programs

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will roll out four specialized postgraduate programs this fall aimed to groom architects for a wide range of 21st century careers. Hosted under a newly formed umbrella division called Edge, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, the degrees will address fields of architectural technologies, entertainment and fiction, design of cities as well as design theory and pedagogy.

“Given the complexities of the contemporary world and the intense demands being made on the abilities of architects to meet problems, these programs are carefully designed to develop advanced expertise that a general professional degree cannot address,” SCI-Arc Director Hernan Diaz Alonso said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Alonso announced that architect and longtime educator David Ruy will serve as chair of Edge. Ruy has served on the faculty of numerous Universities, including Columbia and Princeton. He received tenure at the Pratt Institute in New York before deciding to move across the country to accept the position at SCI-Arc.

The offer from the downtown school was just too good to pass up, said Ruy, who settled in Los Angeles just a few weeks ago after 40 years in New York.

The Edge divisions will have approximately 35 students in its inaugural class this fall, but Ruy hopes to grow that number to 60 over the next two to three years. He will also be teaching some classes within the Edge program, with the goal of helping graduates to make an impact in a variety of industries.

“Architecture is not just about constructing buildings,” he said. “It’s a very important part of it, but I think the definition of what architecture is should expand, and be a little bit more far-reaching.”

Retail Openings

Benjamin Mohapi is cutting his way into the Arts District.

The celeb-favorite hair stylist and colorist opened his second namesake salon last month near the One Santa Fe apartments, making it the first high-profile salon in the area. The 1,620-square-foot space has 11 stations.

Mohapi said the timing and location of the second outpost felt right, especially with the new retail and art galleries opening in the Arts District.

“We chose to expand to downtown Los Angeles because it’s the most exciting part of the city,” Mohapi said. “We have so many talented, up-and-coming hair dressers on our roster, the expansion felt very natural.”

Founders of Brooklyn-based marketplace Artists & Fleas will be bringing back its eclectic offering of vintage and handmade goods to the Arts District Farmers Market next month in partnership with the Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association.

The marketplace first set up shop in the Arts District off Mateo Street two years ago but held its last market there in June. It will now be returning full force every Saturday at the corner of Traction Avenue and East Third Street starting Sept. 10.

Staff reporters Howard Fine, Hayley Fox, and Subrina Hudson contributed to this column. #DTLA is compiled by Managing Editor Omar Shamout. He can be reached at

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