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SEE-LA hires new executive director

July 31, 2012|By David Karp
  • The Hollywood farmers market on July 22.
The Hollywood farmers market on July 22. (David Karp )

The nonprofit organization that runs the Hollywood farmers market and six others, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, has hired a new executive director.

James W. Haydu, who is currently chief development officer of the Mar Vista Family Center and who worked from 2006 to 2011 as director of communications, policy and marketing for Pike Place Market in Seattle, will start Aug. 27, according to a SEE-LA news release.

The position became vacant in April when Pompea Smith, who founded the Hollywood market in 1991 and served for many years as SEE-LA’s executive director, was fired by the group's board.

This came after a tumultuous year in which the organization faced financial difficulties and a struggle over street closures with the neighboring Los Angeles Film School, which threatened to force the Hollywood market to move from its site. (Earlier this month, the Hollywood market received its street-closure permit from the city, so it is secure in its location for the next year, Michael Woo, chairman of SEE-LA’s board, said in a recent phone conversation.)

A SEE-LA board committee reviewed 80 applicants before selecting Haydu, who offered experience in both the farmers market and nonprofit worlds.

Haydu "combines the main qualities we were looking for: ability to lead and manage an energetic staff, financial acumen, expertise in nonprofit fundraising, a vision about the future of food and markets, and a passion for bringing farmers and urban consumers together," Woo said in the press release.

Haydu, 44, was born and raised in the Central Valley and graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in liberal arts and political science. He succeeds Brenda Zamzow-Frazier, a consultant who served as SEE-LA’s interim head for the last four months.


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