Third Sector Spotlight: Kraig Kojian President and CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Third Sector Spotlight: Kraig Kojian President and CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance

At Third Sector Company, we’re proud to work with over 200 nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada. We love working with these diverse groups who are committed to their causes and the greater visions for those they serve.

We recently sat down with Kraig Kojian, President and CEO of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) to talk about his experience with Third Sector’s Board Chairs Academy program. Here’s what he had to say.

Tell us about the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA). What is your mission and who do you serve?

The DLBA is a community-based organization. We operate the programs and services that cultivate, preserve, and promote a healthy, safe, and prosperous Downtown Long Beach. This organization has been the voice of Downtown Long Beach since 1937 and we are funded through assessment contributions from nearly 5,000 Downtown stakeholders consisting of businesses and commercial and residential property owners.

I got involved with DLBA in 1996 when a friend referred me to a Communication and Events Manager opportunity here after working in Media Relations and Baseball Information Department with the California Angels Baseball Club.

I liked the organization, and felt I could improve its perception in the community, heighten the quality of programming and projects it was responsible for, and advance the leadership within the organization.

Within a few years, I was named the Executive Director and I soon began learning and understanding the nuances of creating and leading exceptional Boards and the importance of organizational management.

Why did you decide to enroll in Third Sector Board Chairs Academy?

After I attended my first Academy five or six years ago, I became committed to heighten the role of leadership within the organization. From there, I invited a number of selected board members to participate.

This training has exposed me and our board members to the relevant information that the Academy offers, which applies nicely to our organization.

What was the most beneficial part of the training? What are some of the main takeaways from the program?

Simply introducing my team to the Academy, the examples it presents, and the practices we have in place are helpful to remain relevant.

It’s also helpful to realize that while we may be more of a quasi-governmental agency than an atypical nonprofit, it’s always helpful to recognize the similarities and best practices that can be applied.

How has your organization benefitted from this training? Are there concrete examples of positive change after the training?

Through this training, we have been able to implement a number of structural changes and goal setting that has helped our organization greatly. A few examples include:

  • Importance of governance structure
  • Strategic planning
  • Tracking measurable results
  • Identifying roles and responsibilities between board, community, and staff
  • Evaluations of Board and President/CEO


Would you recommend Third Sector to another nonprofit leader? If so, why?

Absolutely and gladly. I have and will continue to do so as long as I am in this position and the Academy’s content remains relative to our organization.

At Third Sector, our goal is to empower professionals in the nonprofit sector by better serving their causes through enhanced leadership strategies for organizations large and small. To read more of our stories or to learn more about Third Sector Company, subscribe to our newsletter!

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