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Santa Monica Pier Gets New Administrator  


By Jorge Casuso

April 26, 2012 -- With a board filled with civic dignitaries and a predecessor moving on to a major venue in Seattle, you could say the Santa Monica Pier's new administrator has some big shoes to fill.

But S. Jay Farrand is prepared. After all, he's the former Marketing Director for Marina-based TOMS Shoes.

Farrand has been hired by the board -- which includes three former City Department heads, a former mayor and the head of the city's tourism bureau -- to usher in the second 100 years for Santa Monica's most iconic landmark.

"We are thrilled to have Jay join us with his amazing skills and experience," said former mayor Judy Abdo, the Pier board's chair. "We know he will be an innovative force for truly ensuring the Pier is as relevant and exciting to the community and region today and tomorrow as it has been in the past, only far more so."

Farrand, Pier officials said, has an ambitious task to fulfill -- "to enhance the vitality, diversity and sustainability of the unique and much beloved icon, ensuring its future as a world-class destination for those from afar as well as for locals."

During his two and a half years at TOMS, Farrand helped build the company's brand and developed all of its consumer marketing campaigns and outreach, Pier officials said. 

After graduating with an MBA from Columbia University, Farrand was awarded a rare fellowship to consult with a variety of top agencies, including Advertising, PR, Entertainment Marketing, Market Research and Brand Strategy. 

He has a BA in Creative Writing with minors in Economics and Cognitive Science and put in time at New York media and marketing agencies, where he developed strategies for clients that included VISA and HBO.

Farrand said he jumped at the chance to become the pier's administrator, a post once held by Ben Franz-Knight, who now heads Pike's Place in Seattle, one of the largest public venues on the West Coast.

"Everything should be better on the pier: eating, listening to music, watching whales or movies, almost anything," Farrand said. "It's the perfect platform for amazing content and I'm really excited to help curate that experience."


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