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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Distinguished Speaker Series > Steve Soboroff

Distinguished Speaker Series

Steve SoboroffSteve Soboroff
President, Playa Vista

Building Big
Economic and Policy Lessons from the Nation's Largest Residential Development

February 5, 2008

Video

About Steve Soboroff

Steve Soboroff has long been known as a business leader and public servant who brings people together to get positive results. He is Chairman and CEO of Playa Vista, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation.    He is a member of the Board of Directors of First Federal Bank, a senior fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy, a member of the Board of Councilors to the USC School of Public Policy and the Chairman of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU.

As Chairman and CEO of Playa Vista, one of the nation's most significant multi-use real estate projects, Steve and his team oversee all aspects of the Playa Vista community. Described by the Los Angeles Times as "L.A.'s Urban Model," the sustainable development provides critically needed housing, commercial office space and neighborhood shopping, while adding parks, preserving the environment and restoring hundreds of acres of wetlands.

Steve has a strong track record for creating, improving and protecting open space and park land for city residents. He served as president of the L.A. Recreation and Parks Commission from 1995 to 2001, reinvigorating the city's park system to better meet the recreational needs of the people of Los Angeles. In addition, Steve was the driving force behind bringing Staples Center to Los Angeles and helped spearhead the Alameda Corridor Project, and he finished within 3% in the 2001 mayoral primary election in Los Angeles. Prior to serving as a Parks commissioner, Steve was a member of the City's Harbor Commission.

After running for Mayor, Steve was asked to serve as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and is involved as Councilor to the USC School of Public Affairs.   Steve has also lectured at UCLA, USC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, U of A, and Loyola Marymount University and volunteers his time to mentor several university students annually.

Steve has been active in Big Brothers since 1968, serving as President and then Chairman Emeritus of Big Brothers. He currently sits as a member of the Board of Governors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.

Steve's company received the "Los Angeles Beautiful" Award for restoration of retail buildings on Montana Avenue and in Malibu. He currently is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation (www.weingartfnd.org) and a member of the Board of Directors of the First Federal Bank (www.firstfedca.com).

A successful real estate executive who was honored locally as Harvard Business School's "Business Statesman of the Year," and was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.   Steve holds Bachelor and Masters Degrees in the Dept. of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate from the University of Arizona.   He resides in Pacific Palisades with his wife Patti and their five children.   Steve’s hobbies (other than time with the family) include golf (24 handicap), hiking, and collecting “volume 1 – number 1” issues of major American magazines.

Photo by Leroy Hamilton.

Return to the Distinguished Speaker Series, or for more information, please contact Tammy Farris at 520.621.9400 or tfarris@eller.arizona.edu.