SoCal Attractions Spotlight - A conversation about existing and upcoming demand drivers in Los Angeles

“Join us at the beautiful brand new Banc of California Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Football Club, as we embark on a journey across Southern California through many of the exciting attractions that make Los Angeles a world class tourism destination every year!

We will have content presented by Benny Tran, Senior Vice President of Development and Strategy for LAFC, Shawn Anderson, Director, Marketing and Communications for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Stewart Irel, Live Entertainment Manager at Universal CityWalk, Emily Marrin, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Greater L.A. Zoo Association, Mo Abdul, Head of Sales for Big Bus Los Angeles, and Gerard McCallum, Project Manager for Wilson Meany.

We will be discussing what’s new with these attractions, their expected impacts on tourism in our city, as well as how we can best market to the travelers they attract to best get them into our hotels!”

Event Sponsors

Benny Tran LAFC

Benny Tran is Senior Vice President of Development and Strategy for LAFC.  He works on government relations, stadium development, innovation, and strategy.  Before LAFC, Benny worked in international development including a joint Asian Development Bank and World Bank project on clean tech business incubation and over 7 years at the Clinton Foundation as the Deputy Regional Director of Southeast Asia and Vietnam Country Director for the Clinton Health Access (CHAI) and Climate Initiatives (CCI).  He started his career as a management consultant with Touchstone Consulting in Washington D.C.  Benny holds a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Emory University and a MPA with a concentration in international development from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Stewart Irel -Universal CityWalk

Stewart Irel has managed live entertainment at Universal CityWalk since 2008, recruiting hundreds of musicians, from local and national touring bands to singers to instrumentalists, to perform live for guests who visit from all around the world. In addition to producing all concerts and album releases at the 5 Towers stage and Margaritaville Hollywood, Irel directs CityWalk’s exclusive group of DJs – The Spin Committee – and leads the nightly entertainment program, where he auditions, develops and promotes the performers. The program is a successful platform for artists – with some having been discovered at CityWalk by industry executives who have signed them to recording and management deals.

Emily Marrin L.A. Zoo

Emily is Marketing and Communications Manager for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association – the nonprofit organization that serves the Los Angeles Zoo – overseeing advertising, brand strategy, content strategy, and key aspects of the guest experience. Before joining the Zoo, Emily was an advertising account director whose clients included Disney Resorts, the Port of Long Beach, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Given her background with nonprofits, government, and attractions, the Zoo was a natural fit, being a unique combination of all three. A native Angeleno with two kids and two dogs, Emily spends what little spare time she has writing, gardening, appreciating art and design, and strategizing ways to reduce her carbon footprint.

Mo Abdul - Big Bus Los Angeles

Mo Abdul is the Head of Sales for Big Bus Los Angeles. He works with hotels, local and global trade, and retail accounts for the brand new Los Angeles operation for Big Bus Tours, a global hop-on hop-off tour experience headquartered in London and operating in 22 cities and 11 countries around the world. Mo comes from Las Vegas, NV where he established partnerships with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts. He received his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with and emphasis in Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology from UNLV.

Gerard McCallum II Los Angeles Stadium

At Wilson Meany, Gerard serves as Senior Project Manager responsible for the entitlements and the overall
development of the 298-acre Hollywood Park project who’s first phase includes the 75,000 seat NFL
specification stadium, 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, 800,00 sq.ft. commercial retail and 300 residential apartment
units. Further entitlements for the project, will result in over 15million square of development overall.
Additionally, Gerard is also working on the entitlements for the new Clippers Arena in Inglewood that will be
located adjacent to the site. Gerard’s other responsibilities include government & public affairs, as well as
property/project acquisition for other Wilson Meany projects.
In addition to his work at Wilson Meany, Gerard currently serves on the Board of Commissioners for both the
California Association of Local Agency Formation Commission (CALAFCO) and the Local Agency Formation
Commission of Los Angeles County, (LAFCO) which deal with Cities and Special district formation. He also
serves on the board of CicLAvia which is an Open Streets event held in Los Angeles where streets are closed
to motor vehicles and open for the public to walk, bike, and skate through the open streets.

Other board affiliations include the Inglewood Chamber of Commerce and The Los Angeles Neighborhood
Land Trust.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Biola University, Summa Cum Laude,
Biblical Studies at Oxford University, Oxford, England.

Shawn Anderson, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Responsible for leading, directing the development and execution of marketing and communications
strategies. Oversee the Museum’s Marketing and Communications teams, in partnership with the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Primary responsibilities include recommending,
assessing, and directing marketing along with communications strategies and their impact on
organization including creative objectives. Direct the development for multi-platform
marketing/communications programs, utilizing both internal as well as external resources. 
Prior to joining the Museum, he enjoyed four-years at NBCUniversal in New York, where he
managed branded entertainment development and execution for The Meredith Vieira
Show, Access, Access Live, and Harry.  
He started his career with for Disney Parks & Resorts and later Disney Cruise Lines, ABC, Disney
Channel, ABC Family and the Walt Disney Studios, holding positions ranging from Operations,

Entertainment, Guest Relations, VIP Tour Services and Marketing in Orlando, Florida, Paris, France and Burbank, California.
Following his nearly two decades with TWDC, Shawn founded his own marketing agency,
overseeing campaigns for clients including various local TV stations, Promax BDA & NBCUniversal.
Leading the charge for these entities included multi-media marketing efforts, communications, client
partnerships and special projects.


Rising Star:
Unsung Hero:
Beyond the Call of Duty:
Lifetime Achievement:
General Manager of the Year:
April 16, 2019
11:30 am
1:30 pm
Founder's Club at Banc of California Stadium (Home to The Los Angeles Football Club)
3939 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037
Self parking $12 CASH ONLY on Parking Lot 6. Enter through the Northwest Grand Lobby
Early Bird