Santa Monica Travel & Tourism Welcomes New Board Members and Executive Committee

Posted July 17, 2019

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (July 16, 2019) – Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) recently announced the appointment of its newest Board of Directors members along with the installment of its 2019/2020 executive committee. Jan Williamson, Executive Director of 18th Street Arts Center, Jeff Klocke, Vice President and General Manager of Pacific Park, and Katie Lichtig, Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the City of  Santa Monica, have been appointed to SMTT’s Board of Directors. The new Board of Directors executive committee is comprised of: Chairman Matthew Lehman, General Manager, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows; Vice Chair Damien Hirsch, General Manager, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot; Treasurer Albin Gielicz, Santa Monica resident and Secretary Neil Carrey, Santa Monica resident.

“SMTT is thrilled with the new expertise, leadership ability and compassion for community initiatives that each of our 2019/2020 board members bring to carry Santa Monica’s hospitality industry into the future,” said Misti Kerns, President/CEO of SMTT. “Members of our Board of Directors and staff are Santa Monica residents, ensuring tourism is approached from a truly local standpoint.”

Jan Williamson, a member of the community since 1995, joins as a new board member. Under her leadership as Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center, the organization has evolved from a small, alternative artist-run space to Southern California’s largest artist residency center. 18th Street Arts Center provides a platform for diverse local and international artists who provoke public dialogue through their art making.

An integral member of the Santa Monica community for the nearly 20 years, new board member Jeff Klocke is Vice President and General Manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, a global icon for the beach city. Klocke has overseen the addition of more than 16 new rides and attractions, introduced 10 new midway games and launched more than seven branded eateries in the park’s oceanfront food plaza. Klocke is known for his active involvement in local initiatives and recently completed a term as the board chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

The new board member positions are rounded out with Katie Lichtig, Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the City of Santa Monica. During her long career in public service, Lichtig has served as City Manager for the City of San Luis Obispo and held leadership positions in Malibu and Beverly Hills. Lichtig currently coordinates departmental leadership to respond to issues City-wide.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows’ General Manager Matthew Lehman will step into the role of Chairman. An employee of the hotel for the past decade, Lehman has held several positions, including Director of Operations and Creative Director of the hotel’s FIG Restaurant. Lehman has played an integral role in leading ongoing property renovations, innovating dining options and is active with the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club.

Lehman will be supported by Vice Chair Damien Hirsch who previously served the executive committee as treasurer. Currently the General Manager of Le Merigot Santa Monica and a local resident, Hirsch has a proven passion for tourism and guest service. Beginning his career as a banquet server, Hirsch worked his way up through the hospitality industry and has served as a General Manager for the past eight years.

Santa Monica local Albin Gielicz will serve as treasurer, having been a member of the board of directors for the past three years, previously in the role of secretary. As the International Channel Director for Revitalash Cosmetics, Gielicz is a marketing/business development generalist and sustainability advocate with substantial international experience in the U.S. and in emerging markets. A strong community advocate, Gielicz is a Buy Local Executive Committee Member, Montana Avenue Merchants Association Board Member and is a Recreation and Parks Commission Member.

Neil Carrey, Santa Monica resident and an attorney with Baker & Hostetler, LLP, will serve as secretary. Carrey brings nearly 50 years of experience as a tax, business and exempt organization attorney, representing clients across industries including nonprofits. Carrey’s experience also includes serving the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission and Police Activities League (PAL). Carrey helped establish the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund, which provides scholarships for post-high school education expenses to PAL members. To date, over $200,000 in scholarships have been provided to PAL youth.


About Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call (310) 319-6263; visit; or email Follow SMTT on Twitter (@GoSantaMonica), Instagram (@SeeSantaMonica) or Facebook (@VisitSantaMonica).

Contact: Lauren Salisbury
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism