Monday, December 6, 2010

Remembering Chief Economist Jack Kyser - The Media's Go-To Business Friendly Expert


"Jack Kyser understood the media, he was always available, he never missed deadlines, and the media loved him because he would put complicated economic news and statistics in layman's terms. For more than 10 years we proudly worked with Kyser while he worked at LAEDC coordinating all the media relations and media placement. He was great friend and he will be dearly missed by all."   George Mc Quade, vice president, MAYO Communications.

Jack Kyser, dead at 76
Los Angeles, CA - I received a call early today
(Monday, Dec. 06, 2010), from a mutual long time friend, Wally Baker, who called me about the Legendary Chief Economist Jack Kyser. Wally had to tell me twice that Jack had passed away over the weekend.

Jack had missed a luncheon appointment, no phones were returned and newspapers were piling up outside his home, so Wally called 9-11, and firefighters went through a window and found him tucked in bed.
Jack Kyser was chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for a long time (20 yrs.), and MAYO Communications has been the PR Agency of Record for LAEDC and Jack Kyser for the last decade, before he retired.

Jack Kyser, Nancy Sidhu and George Mc Quade
Jack's last Forecast study was last July, 2010. 
It was also my last photo of him (right).

He retired from LAEDC and moved over to Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG) as chief economic advisor for the largest planning agency in the country, with 190 cities, a half dozen counties and more than 19 million residents.  SCAG issued a statement in the morning. SCAG Co. Statement (more) 

For two decades Kyser, the chief economist at LAEDC was the go-to-expert on business, economy and anything that might have an economic impact. I will never forget two times that Jack really suprised us. 

The most recent is when LA Opinion called and asked if Jack Kyser could provide the economic impact of motorists stuck on the freeway for four hours (710 Freeway) during a bomb scare. Yes, he did. 

And three weeks before going to war in Iraq (the first war in 2003) Jack Kyser called me, and he was all excited about his new economic forecast and wanted to give me the highlights to pitch to the media. He was really good at summarizing 85 study pages into headlines, too. 

I had to break the news to him that unless it had anything to do with the "war" it would be hard to pique the media's interest. We brainstormed for 10 minutes more, then a light went off in my head.

I said, "Jack, can you do an economic impact of going to war?" He replied, "Yes, you want me to include that in the forecast?" And when he did, I changed the entire campaign theme and coined the phrase, "2003-2004 LAEDC Economic Warcast." The campaign resulted in another set of record media placement results.

During the 10 day lockout LAEDC and Jack Kyser, and MAYO Communications were the only ones talking to the media, providing economic impacts on the state and US of the busiest ports in the nation closed for a 10-Lockout or labor dispute. Kyser came up with $2 billion statewide, and $5 billion nationwide. The LAEDC story carried in every newspaper in the country over 19 days. 

And in late Summer of 2008, The media bombarded us with calls regarding the economic impact of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Strike. Roll forward three months = 85 million media impressions, dozens of interviews daily and Jack Kyser came up with a newsworthy figure of $2 billion economic impact. 

In December, 2009 Jack Kyser was the last to use the "R" word , but when he did everyone knew we were in a recession, especially from the data he pruned and how he read everything showing the economic indicators.

For some 20 years as chief economist with the LAEDC, he was the go-to person for the media, business movers and shakers and elected officials who needed information and or real analysis of the local economy. 

Kyser appeared to often have a crystal ball on the economy, where no one else came close. Even the Wall Street Journal said Jack Kyser was, "one of the most accurate economists."

Aida Mayo (left) with her sister at a Beverly Hills
Charity event for breast cancer awareness.
Aida Mayo, the president of MAYO Communications loved him, because Jack Kyser would call us and diguise his voice speaking Spanish when she answered the phone. Not everyone knew he spoke Spanish, either.
"Jack Kyser would always joke on the phone pretending to be someone else speaking in Spanish when I answered the phone, because I'm from Argentina, but I would always catch him red handed, because I knew his voice. Kyser was always the voice of SoCal's economy, too, and we will all miss him a lot," Aida Mayo, president, MAYO Communications, Los Angeles, CA.  Memorial services are pending for Jack Kyser.

Comment from the Chair Maura O' Connor, of LAEDC Board of Directors.

The members of the LAEDC mourn the passing of our founding economist and our good friend. 

His passing is a loss personally, for the LAEDC, and for Southern California.

He was a great teacher of practical economics. He called trends long before others saw them coming, as the "guru of the Southern California economy".

Jack cared deeply about Southern California. He was our champion: a strong advocate for doing economically rational things to promote the region's businesses and jobs. 

While at the LAEDC, he helped us understand the local economy. As importantly, he helped us promote the LAEDC’s ultimate goal: to make sure everyone who wants or needs a job can get one.
Jack was kind as well as intelligent: a gentleman who treated everyone he met as important. 

We miss him.

Best regards,

Maura O’Connor
Chairman, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

MAYO PR - "We don't guarantee media, we just get it!"

 Other stories Online about Chief Economist Jack Kyser.

Jack Kyser, LA-Area Economics Expert, Dies at 76

ABC News - Andrew Dalton - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
Kyser spent most of his career as chief economist for the LAEDC, which named its research center after him in 2007. He had just retired this summer. ...

Jack Kyser, Local Economics Expert, Dies At 76 - Ryan ZumMallen - ‎10 hours ago‎
... economist and our good friend, Jack Kyser. His passing is not only a loss personally, and for theLAEDC, but for the County and the region as a whole. ...

Dean of SoCal economists dies

OCRegister - Mary Ann Milbourn - ‎12 hours ago‎
"We at the LAEDC are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved colleague and true friend, Jack Kyser. Jack was a tireless champion of Los Angeles County ...

Economist Jack Kyser dies at 76

Highland Community News (subscription) - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
Jack Kyser, 76, was the Chief Economist on the staff of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Called the "guru of the Los Angeles ...

Jack Kyser Dies

San Fernando Valley Business Journal - Jessica Vernabe - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
“We at the LAEDC are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved colleague and true friend, Jack Kyser,” the organization's president and CEO Bill Allen ...

Jack Kyser, Every L.A. Reporter's Favorite Economist, Dies

LA Weekly (blog) - Gene Maddaus - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
... of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (“LAEDC”) are mourning the passing of our founding economist and our good friend, Jack Kyser. ...

Noted LA Economist Jack Kyser Dies at 76

Los Angeles Business Journal - Howard Fine - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
In July, Kyser joined the Southern California Association of Governments as an economist. "Jack was a tireless champion of Los Angeles County," LAEDC Chief ...

Economist Jack Kyser Dies

LA Downtown News Online - Jon Regardie - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
He really — there was no personal life and professional life for Jack Kyser. There was one life, and it was a fabulous one.” Kyser joined the LAEDC in 1991, ...

Economist Kyser dies at 76

Redlands Daily Facts - Kevin Smith, Ryan Carter - ‎22 hours ago‎
Jack Kyser, a Southern California economist who rose to become a leading authority on the region and its economic complexities, has died. He was 76. ...

Economic analyst Jack Kyser of Downey dies

Long Beach Press-Telegram - Karen Robes Meeks, Kristopher Hanson - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
Kyser joined the Economic Development Corp. in 1991 and built its economic research practice from scratch, said Bill Allen, LAEDC President and CEO. ...

Jack Kyser Passes Away - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
More via KPCC: "George McQuade, a publicist who works for LAEDC and worked closely withKyser, said Kyser had a knack for putting “complicated economic ...

Top LA Economist Jack Kyser

KTLA - ‎15 hours ago‎
Jack joined the LAEDC in 1991 and built its economic research practice from scratch, and in 2007, the LAEDC renamed its economics department the Kyser ...

Economist Jack Kyser Dies at Age 76 - Bob Howard - ‎17 hours ago‎
Kyser was the founding economist of the LAEDC, which in February 2008 named its economics research department the Jack Kyser Center for Economic Research in ...

Economist Jack Kyser dies at 76

Daily Breeze - Muhammed El-Hasan - ‎21 hours ago‎
Nickelsburg added that Kyser raised the LAEDC's profile during his tenure there by adding economic analysis to the organization's outreach efforts and ...

Noted Southland economist Jack Kyser dies

Contra Costa Times - Dana Bartholomew, Kevin Modesti - ‎21 hours ago‎
In 1991, Kyser joined the fledging LAEDC and became its chief economist, mounting an aggressive campaign to transform it into the top economic research firm ...

Revered Southern California economist Kyser dies at 76

Pasadena Star-News - ‎Dec 6, 2010‎
LOS ANGELES - Jack Kyser, the former chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. and an oft-quoted expert on the financial health ...