New employees, new outlook

Karen S. Kim

DOWNTOWN -- A host of new faces at The Alex Theatre is hoping to usher

in a new age of administrative and financial success for the Brand

Boulevard icon.


“This is kind of a chance for The Alex Theatre to have a fresh start,”

said Barry McComb, executive director of the theater. “We kind of see

ourselves entering a sort of rebuilding period for the theater.”

Three new employees -- plus McComb, who replaced former Executive


Director Ellen Ketchum in September -- represent beacons of change for

the theater.

Lisa Hogan, 39, has joined the theater’s team as its director of

marketing; Valerie Weich, 38, has taken on the title of director of

development; and Yvette Perales, 30, is the theater’s first director of

finance and administration.

All three have a crucial duty: increasing revenue for The Alex, McComb



“We were driven by the economic challenges that are not only facing

us, but every arts organization across the country,” McComb said. “We

decided we could structure the staff to effectively face those


The new staff is part of a reorganization at The Alex Theatre that

resulted in three layoffs in November.

Hogan, who has worked in promotions for KPCC-FM (89.3) and

Glendale-based design and marketing company AD3, will be in charge of


increasing the visibility of The Alex, promoting the theater’s profile in

the community.

“We have to let the community know that The Alex Theatre is a place

for them,” Hogan said.

Weich, who hails most recently from the Wildlife Waystation in

Tujunga, where she worked on fund development, is no stranger to

Glendale. She worked to obtain funds for the Glendale Assn. for the

Retarded from 1996 to 1999.

Weich said she’s not intimidated by her task, which is to head all

fund-raising efforts for the theater.

“I certainly welcome it as an exciting challenge,” she said. “I worked

at the Wildlife Waystation when it was closed down for a year. After

weathering that storm, I certainly feel confident that I can come in here

and find money for the theater.”

Perales said she’ll use her background, which includes accounting work

for Hallmark and Frito-Lay, to give The Alex the long-term financial

vision it needs. Until now, the theater’s finances have been organized by

an independent bookkeeper.

Perales said she will do more than just balance the books. Her first

order of business has been to review The Alex’s contracts with

maintenance companies, making sure the theater is getting the best deals


Perales will also set up an endowment fund for The Alex that can

generate revenue through investments.