The Downtown Long Beach Alliance’s chief operating officer will leave the nonprofit effective Friday, Feb. 17, amid a restructuring of the organization.
Broc Coward has served as the COO for the nonprofit, which advocates and provides services for Downtown’s businesses and residents, for the past seven years. He announced his departure in an email to his professional network last week.
It’s unclear what other changes the DLBA’s restructuring will entail. Coward did not respond to requests for comment.
Michael Berman, a spokesperson for the DLBA, said in an email Monday that he did not have further information to share.
“This is a natural transition point for the organization and Broc is leaving,” Berman wrote. “Details of any reorganizing will be shared with the DLBA Board in the coming weeks.”
The news comes as Downtown faces several challenges in the wake of the pandemic. Homelessness, construction and public safety concerns have all contributed to the recent closures of several businesses, according to owners.
“As a business owner, it’s my job to adapt to both internal and external challenges,” Beachwood Brewing co-owner Gabriel Gordon said last month, as he announced the temporary closure of the restaurant’s kitchen. “Unfortunately, the challenges that are going on in Downtown Long Beach—I can’t solve those.”
Over the last year, the DLBA has both acknowledged the difficulties and made several changes. Last month, the organization hired a new operations manager focused on the cleaning and maintenance of public space in the neighborhood. In December, the nonprofit also hired a new economic development and policy manager to fill the role that was left open by Austin Metoyer when he was promoted to CEO in September.
The organization also expanded its service boundaries and announced a plan to hire a homeless outreach manager when the City Council approved the business district’s 10-year renewal in July.
Coward, for his part, said in his Feb. 10 email that he was grateful for his experience over the last seven years.
“They say you never really know who your friends (and valued colleagues) are until times get tough, so I’m particularly thankful for your support and cooperation over these last two years of pandemic requirements, organizational renewal, leadership changes, and societal pressures confronting our community and DLBA,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have done what I love the most – solve problems big and small.
“That urge to leave my corner of the world better than when I found it will always be a part of me,” Coward added, “so I’m looking forward to whatever this next chapter brings in the way of improving the lives of those around me.”
The DLBA board’s next meeting will be held at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Studio One Eleven Conference Room, 245 E. Third St.