La Jolla Village Merchants Association names executive director


By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Rosemary Murrieta, a Del Mar Coldwell Banker residential broker who’s had extensive experience with nonprofits, has been selected as the new executive director by the board of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVSMA).

Terms of her contract were being finalized and it had not yet been signed as of Tuesday afternoon.

A USC grad from the Marshall School of Business, whose family founded the Riverside County city of Murrieta, she spent 11 years as a fundraiser for National Jewish Health. She also has worked as an event planner.

Phil Coller, LJVMA president, said the new business improvement district’s (BID’s) board at its July 13 meeting approved a motion to negotiate a contract with Murrieta, which he expects to be finalized by the end of this week.

Murrieta, said Coller, was chosen from a field of six finalists.

“Her resume and her experience fully qualified her for the position,” he said. “She stood out as the most appropriate person.”

Coller added her “enthusiasm for the job” really showed through.

Following proper procedures in selecting a new executive director was of paramount important to the association.

Said Coller, “We as an organization are very cognizant of the protocols, rules and requirements. As a nonprofit organization that manages a BID, we want to follow those rules as precisely as possible in order to make the process as transparent as possible.”

It was not announced how much the executive director will be paid, but the group’s budget set aside $84,750 in expenses for personnel/office/administration of the total $365,000 in proposed expenditures for the 2012 fiscal year. The group’s basic funding comes from fees paid by merchants in the 30-block district, although some of the total is carryover from the past when the BID was dormant as the city sorted out problems with Promote La Jolla, which previously managed the district.

Also last week, the merchant’s association board learned that the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (ConVis) wants to include the Village in sub-regional marketing plans they’re developing for their overall San Diego brand.

“Our goal is to provide economic value by promoting tourism to the region,” said Joe Terzi, ConVis president and CEO. “We have a lot of resources that we would be able to put into an overall marketing campaign in La Jolla.”

Until now, the organization has been working primarily with La Jolla’s hotel community.

Terzi said ConVis has worked with other sub regions like East County, Coronado and Mission Bay, to develop successful marketing campaigns promoting them under the umbrella of the regional website with the slogan “San Diego owns a sunny outlook.”

Paul Whitbeck of MeringCarson, a Sacramento-based advertising agency working with ConVis, said they want to help La Jolla merchants develop a customized marketing plan to “bring people back into the Village and support all of the businesses that are here.”

Board member Claudette Berwin asked how much of the $30 million ConVis annual marketing budget would be available to La Jolla.

“We don’t say we’re going to put ‘X’ in La Jolla,” Whitbeck answered. “We allocate recourses to the region, and then those resources are used to develop promotional images with a message for La Jolla or Mission Valley or wherever.”