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Palm Springs Seeks Sister City
Local Business Leaders to Explore “Boost to Tourism”
26 October 2020 – Palm Springs, CA: With an eye towards building air bridges, economic ties and boosting tourism visibility, three Palm Springs residents and business owners are exploring something new: A Sister City for Palm Springs.
“Palm Springs is an international destination with an international brand,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, owner of Destination PSP and a board member for Main Street Palm Springs Business Association. “This is a perfect time to begin exploring a sister city for Palm Springs as we look for creative and practical ways to revitalize our economy in the continuing wake of COVID 19.”
Bernstein first presented his idea at a meeting of the Palm Springs City Council late last year where another resident with hands on sister city experience in attendance quickly saw the potential and joined forces.
“It’s all about relationships,” said David Perry whose firm David Perry & Associates, Inc. has extensive experience working with sister city programs in China, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Vietnam. “Once a sister city relationship is established, opportunities for cultural exchange and tourism quickly follow.”
According to Perry who works with clients in the Coachella Valley, San Francisco and abroad, a cornerstone of any successful sister city program is partnering with a city with direct flights and finding an airline partner.
“Now is the perfect moment explore a sister city for Palm Springs,” said Al Jones, Chair of the Palm Springs International Airport Commission, board member for Dezart Performs and former Presidential appointee to The Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid by both George Bush and Barack Obama. “As challenging as 2020 has been, in 2021 we have the opportunity to expand, improve and diversify our tourism base. A sister city program is a great tool for that, especially with the recently announced new flights, both new destinations and new airlines for the Palm Springs International Airport.”
In 1969, a Desert Sun article mentions a Palm Springs / Victoria, British Columbia Sister City Program, but evidently the relationship has fallen fallow. Over the next few weeks, Bernstein, Jones and Perry will speak with representatives from the Sister Cities International, the nonprofit that coordinates such relationship, to outline the process for setting up an official program. Created by President Dwight President Eisenhower during the 1956 White House conference on citizen diplomacy, the organization was envisioned as a hub of peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world.
Plans for involvement of, and a presentation to the greater community will be forthcoming to ensure stakeholder participation and support.
About Jeffrey Bernstein:
Bernstein spent 25 years in the domestic and international television industry working in marketing, programming and business development. Bernstein was at the forefront of pay-television and digital programming. He was Vice President, Marketing Warner Bros. Pay Television where he spent 10 years. Subsequently, Bernstein became Senior Vice President of Request Television, a joint venture of TCI and 20th Century Fox operating the nation’s largest pay-per-view network. Afterwards Bernstein was recruited by News Corps.’ British Sky Broadcasting to launch their pay-per-view service and develop their digital platform . He then consulted with the launch of international pay television and digital platforms throughout Europe and Asia. Bernstein has also launched several successful businesses including Bridges, a restaurant and nightclub in Bridgehampton, NY; Chelsea Marketeers, an early online retailer beginning in 1998 and Chelsea Lane Swimwear. Bernstein created Destination PSP in 2012, a retail and wholesale lifestyle brand with a flagship store in Downtown Palm Springs, and dozens of wholesale outlets throughout the country. The company has partnered with over fifteen area organizations, events and non-profits on merchandising campaigns. Bernstein has a history of social responsibility and civic involvement. He established Cable Positive, the cable industry AIDS action organization establishing groundbreaking programs in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He is Vice President of Main Street Palm Springs Business Association and a Measure J Oversight Commissioner.
About Al Jones:
Jones spent 45 years in higher education administration that included 30 years in the Chancellor’s Office of California State University as the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Student Academic Support, where he coordinated academic support in twenty-six programs to 23 CSU campuses. This was followed by a five-year assignment in Washington, D.C. as the Vice President for Postsecondary Collaboration to states implementing new English/language arts and mathematics standards known as the Common Core. From 2018 to June 2020, He served as the Project Director of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant awarded to the California Education Round Table, which consists of the California Department of Education, California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. He was appointed by Presidents Bush and Obama to serve on the 11-member Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which provided advice and counsel to the Secretary of Education and Congress on student financial aid policy issues. He also was appointed to California’s Scholarshare Investment Board (529 Family Savings Plan), California’s Governors Interagency Coordinating Council on the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems, California’s P-16 Council charged with examining ways to improve student achievement at all levels, and as a nationally-elected Trustee of The College Board.
About David Perry:
David Perry is the founder/CEO of David Perry & Associates, Inc. a full-service Marketing/PR, firm with international reach based Palm Springs and San Francisco. Over a 35 year career, Perry has represented a number of high profile clients including George Lucas / The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art,, the Hotel Council of San Francisco, the International Ocean Film Festival, America’s Cup, the Super Bowl 50 Committee, the Make A Wish Foundation and worked with seven San Francisco Mayors. Perry is a member of the board of directors & executive committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, serving as its small business chair. Perry is a member of the San Francisco Hotel Council, co-founder / immediate past president of the nonprofit Rainbow Honor Walk and host / creator of “10 Percent”, the longest running LGBT show in California history (2009 – 2018). In March 2020, Perry partnered with Beyond Pix Studios in San Francisco and USA Today journalist Jennifer Jolly to produce an online TV show of COVID-19 resources called “The Great Pause.” Perry hosts an ongoing online video interview show entitled “Ahoy!” In 2020, Perry became one of the co-founders of BuildOUT California: the world’s first LGBT Industry Association dedicated to the sustainable growth of LGBT owned and certified businesses in construction related industries. As a journalist, Perry has written over one hundred articles, and contributed to several national publications. He has represented clients in the United States, Canada, China and Europe. Perry is a frequent lecturer on the ethics of public relations and has visited more than 60 countries on six continents. His just published debut novel, Upon This Rock has been praised by Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin as “an elegant, twisty thriller” and by best-selling writer and Guggenheim fellow Fenton Johnson as “The gay DaVinci Code but a whole lot better.”