Jessica Wethington McLean Executive Director, Bringing Back Broadway & Director, Downtown Economic Development
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Jessica Wethington McLean has two jobs in the office of LA City councilmember Jose Huizar: executive director of his Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a multifaceted, 10-year plan to revitalize the historic Broadway corridor, and as his director of downtown economic development, overseeing $10B in commercial and hotel development. But City Hall was far from her mind when she was receiving two degrees in fine arts at College-Conservatory of Music and the American Film Institute. She says working in the film industry requires similar skill sets: It's all about project management, moving things forward, being able to multitask, understanding what needs to be done, and putting people together who can get it done. But now developing public policies allows her to make a difference in people's lives. (The photo was taken after new guidelines allowed elimination of helipads on LA's high-rise buildings in exchange for cutting-edge fire/life-safety tech, creating opportunities for iconic architecture vs flat rooftops.) As the Broadway initiative celebrates its seventh year, she points to increased business interest Downtown. "Many of the vacant spaces that we had on Broadway are being filled in, and the upper floors are turning into a great market for hotel and creative office uses." The Cincinnati native grew up in a family of professional singers—her mom was a doo-wop singer, and Jessica was trained in opera and musical theater.