Estela Lopez brings to Kindel Gagan an extensive background in public affairs, government and media relations. For the past ten years, she has served as Executive Director of the Central City East Association (CCEA). CCEA manages the Downtown Industrial Business Improvement District spanning 46 blocks of Downtown Los Angeles. She will continue to represent the Association as a partner at Kindel Gagan.
Estela was the driving force behind the establishment of Los Angeles’ first Business Improvement District (BID) in 1993, and became the City’s first practitioner of business district/public space management. At the time, BIDs were transforming urban centers nationwide yet the concept was untested in Los Angeles. Her efforts led to the landmark City ordinance that permitted private sector financing, design and implementation of services and programs to L.A.’s commercial corridors. BIDs have contributed more than $43 million annually to the Los Angeles economy to date and have paved the way for the renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and numerous business centers citywide.
Estela began her career as a broadcast journalist, with more than a decade of experience as a news writer, producer, editor and executive producer for KABC-TV, KMEX-TV and KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. She later provided government and media relations consulting to private and public sector clients. She also advised a host of state and local public officials, including a term as assistant chief of staff to California Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy.
Presently, Ms. Lopez serves as a Board member of the California Downtown Association and is a member of the Los Angeles BID Consortium, the Union Station Master Plan Community Advisory Council, and Para Los Ninos’ Community Advisory Board. Her past civic involvements include serving the City of Los Angeles as Commissioner on the Convention Center Authority, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and, most recently, on the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission. She is a past chair of the LAPD’s Hispanic Community Forum, past president of the board of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum, a “Woman of the Year” award recipient from both the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation and the East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU), and a 2008 “Woman of Distinction” award winner from the California State Assembly. She also received the Merit Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on the Status of Women. The California Chicano News Media Association, on the occasion of its 15th anniversary, recognized Estela for her contributions to the organization as a founder and its first female member.
Estela is involved in several volunteer capacities at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. She has resided in Downtown Los Angeles since 1994.