GLENDALE : 5 Cities to Meet for Business Summit

Representatives from five cities in the Glendale area will meet in Pasadena on Friday to discuss how their leaders can work together to create jobs and encourage business growth.

Members of the Arroyo Verdugo Sub-Region, composed of Burbank, Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge, Pasadena and South Pasadena, will host a summit from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Hilton, 150 S. Los Robles Ave.

Attendees, including business owners, council members and city staff, will discuss how to devise an areawide marketing strategy to build on the region's cultural and entertainment strengths, said Ray Cruz, a staff member for the group.

Cruz said the five cities must work together to counteract the effects of a four-year recession that has drawn businesses away from the area.

At the summit city planners will ask business owners and managers to suggest ways that the cities can smooth out their permitting or planning processes to make it easier for businesses to move into the area and thrive.

After the cities' representatives draft strategies for retaining businesses, the group's staff will form an economic development committee to implement them, Cruz said.

The Arroyo Verdugo Sub-Region was formed by the Southern California Assn. of Governments about 18 months ago to compile information on its five member cities for a comprehensive plan on cities from Ventura to Imperial County.

After SCAG's plan was complete, Arroyo Verdugo sub-region members decided to hold the coalition together to collaborate on areawide transportation, air quality and economic issues, Cruz said.

The summit will feature as its keynote speaker David Friedman, a former Fulbright Fellow and expert on local economic development. The forum's facilitator is Manuel Pastor, an economics professor at Occidental College.

Panelists scheduled for the event are Lynn Reaser, senior vice president and chief economist for First Interstate Bank; Dan Garcia, senior vice president of real estate and planning for Warner Bros.; Barry Sedlik, manager of business retention at Southern California Edison; Dann Wallis of Cameloc Products and KABC disc jockey Roger Barkley.

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