UNITE-LA Issues Statement on the Passing of Gary Toebben


Aug. 16, 2022

Claudine Battisti




LOS ANGELES – UNITE-LA President, Alysia Bell, issued the following statement on the passing of former Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Gary Toebben.

"Today, UNITE-LA learned of the passing of former L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Gary Toebben, a dear friend, mentor, champion, and long-time board member of UNITE-LA. While our hearts are extremely heavy with sadness, we consider ourselves incredibly privileged to have had his leadership, coaching and guidance during our years with the L.A. Area Chamber as well as in his retirement. Gary believed strongly in equity and access, particularly when it came to education and workforce development for Los Angeles' youth. With his leadership and partnership, UNITE-LA became a leader in the business education space regionally, statewide and nationally, and continues to build on his legacy. Our hearts are with his family, and we wrap our arms around his wife Janice, whom Gary adored and we are blessed to be close to. UNITE-LA will work to make Gary proud as it strengthens its commitment to ensure all youth have the resources and supports needed to thrive in Los Angeles' 21st century economy," said UNITE-LA President, Alysia Bell. 

UNITE-LA CEO, David Rattray, added, "Gary was a wonderful colleague and dear friend to me for more than 16 years. Between his strong values and humble leadership style, I spent many of those years learning from him, and I am eternally grateful. But more importantly, he always allowed UNITE-LA to be its best self and positioned us to impact the lives of thousands of youth, especially youth of color, foster, immigrant and first-generation college students. Gary understood the youth of Los Angeles who were marginalized and/or did not have access to equitable education opportunities deserved every chance to be successful. Working together with Gary to ensure L.A. youth have the chance to participate in Los Angeles' 21st century economy was an honor."


Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Visit www.unitela.com. 

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