The Third Street Promenade is at the heart of Downtown Santa Monica. (File photo)

Election season has officially wrapped for Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. The organization today welcomes three new representatives to its board of directors: Michele Aronson and Eric Sedman for the two at-large board seats, and Tara Barauskas for the Lincoln Boulevard Zone seat. Additionally, three current board members have been reappointed for another four-year term by the Santa Monica City Council. Comprised of 13 individuals, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.’s Board of Directors includes six members elected by local property owners, six members selected by the City Council, and one member chosen by the city manager.

Newcomers Michele Aronson, senior vice president of capital markets at Douglas Emmett, and real estate developer Eric Sedman, were selected by local property owners during elections in June. Aronson, who secured 48 percent of the votes for one of two available at-large seats, looks to focus primarily on safety, maintenance and marketing in the area, pulling from her legal, financial and development experience. Sedman, who owns a building on the Third Street Promenade and has more than 35 years of experience in real estate, secured 44 percent of votes for the other at-large seat. His primary interest is recruiting interesting retail concepts to the area, marketing the district and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.’s finances, while also balancing the interests of both businesses and property owners and residents.

Tara Barauskas, executive director of Community Corp. of Santa Monica, the city’s leading affordable housing provider, was elected to the Lincoln Boulevard Zone seat on the board in September. Barauskas will represent Lincoln Boulevard property owners, with a focus on enhanced maintenance, safety, beautification and marketing programs, above and beyond those provided by the City of Santa Monica.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michele, Eric and Tara into the fold,” said Kathleen Rawson, chief executive officer at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “We are confident their combined backgrounds in property development and management, as well as their many years of experience working and living in the area, will prove to be a huge asset to the board and community.”

The Santa Monica City Council also reappointed three current members to the Downtown Santa Monica Inc. Board of Directors:

Juan Matute, Santa Monica resident and associate director at the UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, who returns for a second term;

Rob Rader, Santa Monica resident and an intellectual property rights attorney and member of the Santa Monica College Board of Directors, who has been a board member for nearly 10 years, following his initial appointment on January 13, 2009; and

Johannes Van Tilburg, Downtown Santa Monica property owner and architect and one of the first property owners to design for and invest in the Third Street Promenade, has also conducted nearly 10 years of service to date, having been appointed with Rader in January 2009.

Notably, Rader and Van Tillburg had reached their two-term maximum, but following a petition, were reappointed by a super majority of the City Council due to their outstanding service throughout their time on the board.

For more information on Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.’s Board of Directors, visit

Submitted by Kari Ramsey

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *