VRON-PS was conceived in February and established in April, 2017

BRUCE HOBAN: Co-Founder & Board of Directors

Groups Affiliated with:

  • Palm Springs Vacation Rental Tourism Association (VRTA)
  • Palm Springs Hospitality Association (PSHA)
  • Sunrise Park Neighborhood Organization

Professional Background:

Bruce brings over 20 years of  media and audience research experience having worked for ABC-TV and Radio, Warner Communications, CableTelevision Advertising Bureau and Katz Communications.  He later spent over 25 years in Silicon Valley in senior management positions in charge of large software and infrastructure projects/operations for companies such as Gap Inc, Ticketmaster/LiveNation, TRW and four IT start-ups.  His latest major engagement was for Verizon where the managed their half-billion dollar contract with the California Correctional HealthCare Services, a role that required extensive knowledge of state government and medical practices and medical records security/privacy laws.

Bruce has been involved with several non-profits since the 1980’s and was an instrumental contributor and legal analyst summarizing court rulings for 7 years on a website that tracked the legal fight to obtain nationwide same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

His technical and analytical skills, together with a lot of organizational experience provides VRON-PS with the data strategies it requires to stay focused on the important (and ever changing) vacation rental ordinances and roll-out policies in Palm Springs.

Reason for co-founding VRON-PS:

After purchasing a PS vacation rental Labor Day, 2015, I became instantly involved protecting vacation rentals after learning of the first City Council VR ordinance modifications on July 4th, 2016.  I listened to the hundreds of voices of individual VR homeowners submitting letters and 2-minutes comments at the City Council meeting. These voices were basically ignored as more onerous ordinances were rushed into law from October, 2016 to February, 2017.  

As individual homeowners, there was no single group representing us and we have been successfully perceived as out-of-town, greedy corporations with no community involvement. These inaccurate perceptions will take a long-term strategy to correct.   I care about Palm Springs and our historic neighborhoods and believe the time is overdue to present the actual facts about vacation rentals and their importance to the people of Palm Springs as a major contributor to what keeps Palm Springs known across the globe: tourism.

  

BRIAN WILSON: Co-Founder & Board of Directors

Groups Affiliated With:

  • Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors
  • Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Trap and Release Program

Professional Background:

Brian is a seasoned Southern California real estate professional. His background includes experience in residential and commercial sales and leasing, asset management for distressed properties, and finance. 

After graduating from the distinguished Entrepreneur Program with a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, Brian`s career first started in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, CA. While working at 20th Century Fox, Brian gained experience on the corporate side of film production. 

He later transitioned his career to real estate within the greater Los Angeles area. With experience in both the residential and commercial real estate industry, Brian was able to blend his personal interest in architecture with his business skills and his desire to help others. Brian has lived his entire life in Southern California, and has frequented the Coachella Valley since 1980. He moved full time to the desert in 2012. He has seen Palm Springs through many different chapters, and is excited to be actively involved in this vibrant, unique desert oasis.

Reason for co-founding VRON-PS:

I became alarmed when I began to hear vacation rental owners portrayed as careless people who didn't care about Palm Springs. I had personally worked with several people who not only owned vacation rentals, but also opened up businesses in town that were helping locals better their lives, provide for their families, and contribute to life and community here. These people were very involved here and also loved Palm Springs. They didn't fit the stereotype that was being described whatsoever.

Disappointed with so much stereotyping, and witnessing the same sort of profiling that spurred much of my volunteerism during the early days of the marriage equality debate in California, I became committed to help spread a balanced message, help decipher fact from fiction, and encouraged the community to speak up to defend themselves. Much of this sentiment came to the surface over the weekend leading up to the July 4th, 2016 holiday. I became aware of the City Council's sudden attempts at passing a vacation rental moratorium, and was alarmed they placed it on the agenda while most people were off enjoying the holiday with friends and family. I immediately created a MoveOn.org petition campaign and spent several days helping spread the word on social media and gathering signatures. Thankfully, these efforts helped bring attention to what was happening, and helped galvanize over 3,000 concerned citizens, visitors and homeowners. A newsletter continues to this day.

I wholeheartedly believe that there is a way to create a responsible vacation rental ordinance that balances the obvious needs of our tourist community and the locals who support it with the legitimate concerns some residents have regarding vacation rental use. My involvement with VRON-PS is to encourage that process via communication with residents, owners, employees and city officials all along the way. 

 

DAVID FELTMAN: Co-Founder & Board of Directors

Groups Affiliated with:

  • Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
  • Desert AIDS Project Partners for Life
  • Stonewall Democratic Club
  • Founding Board Members Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of the Washington Metropolitan Area (DC).  Former board member of the national PFLAG organization.
  • Supporter of the Well in the Desert and the Gay and Lesbian Community Center 

Professional Background:

David has been a professional marketer, political campaign strategist, volunteer fundraiser and community volunteer his entire adult life.  He believe that volunteering within the community builds even stronger communities.

David began his first political volunteer efforts on a Congressional campaign in his teens and went on to manage races for several members of the US House of Representatives.  He honed his technique in campaign management during the "wave" election of 1994 and has participated in several races since then for LGBT and LGBT friendly candidates for political office.

In his professional career, he has worked as a direct mail fundraising consultant for progressive causes and on a pro bono basis was responsible for the launch of the direct mail fundraising program for the national P-FLAG organization.

Later in his career, David became a marketer in the financial services industry where he specialized in business-to-business marketing for Barclays Global Investors, a subsidiary of the British bank.  

David also served on the Victory Campaign Board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Within Palm Springs, and was one of the lead organizers of the citizen activist group that successfully campaigned to tear down the Magruder eyesore at the corner of Mesquite and Palm Canyon. 

Reason for co-founding VRON-PS:

We are a community that depends on tourism and gracious hospitality extended to our tourists is key to our city's vibrancy and success.  I believe there are collaborative solutions to virtually any political or social problem.  However, I believe our elected officials have opted for punitive approaches rather than collaborative ones.   We should foster communications, compromise and conciliation.  Instead, what I see is a commitment to citations rather than collaboration and cooperation. That saddens me and I want to do something about it.

Moreover, the opponents of vacation rentals in Palm Springs have painted an inaccurate picture of the VR debate as one that is about local residents vs. "outsiders."   Like many issues in the public domain, the truth is more complicated.  Although not all vacation rental people are full time (nor are all the opponents of VRs), vacation rental owners represent a mix of full time residents, part-timers like myself who are enmeshed in the community, part-timers who have purchased property in Palm Springs with the intent of retiring here some day and a very few who have little connection to the city.   That's the truth and I want to start educating everyone about who is really part of the VR community. The notion that VR's are dominated by "outsiders" is false. 

We look much like any other vacation community that has a mix of full time and part time residents.  So, let's start working together, acknowledging the good intentions of virtually every resident and homeowner.  Let's stop vilifying members of our community who experience and participate in Palm Springs in the many different ways that enables our community to prosper.

 

SHON TOMLIN: Co-Founder

Groups Affiliated with:

  • Member of the City of Palm Springs Ethics & Transparency Task Force 
  • Board Member – Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs
  • Vice President / Co-Founder – 1 Giant Mind (non-profit)

Professional Background

Shon is a media and marketing executive who has over 25 years of experience in television, cable, and digital entertainment.  As the former SVP of Programming & Marketing at FOX Cable Network’s FUEL TV, Tomlin led the creative programming development and marketing across TV, print, digital, and social media.

With five Emmy Awards credited to his portfolio, Shon has produced works for many major networks such as National Geographic, where he executive produced the 2016 Emmy Award winning documentary, Wild Yellowstone

Shon brings a skillset of media and marketing savvy to VRON-PS as one if its objectives is to document fact, and to share true and engaging stories about vacation rentals and their relation to Palm Spring’ history of tourism, diversity, and livelihood. 

Reason for co-founding VRON-PS

I have been visiting Palm Springs since 1988 and have always cherished the freedom visitors have when it comes to how they experience the city – from historic hotels to renting a home or condo. 

After years of visiting from LA and Orange County, I finally decided to make Palm Springs my primary residence and offer my home for guests to enjoy throughout the seasons. 

I believe this tradition of sharing your home is healthy for all neighbors and the community, but only when done responsibly. With so much misinformation, and in some cases misuse of the privilege, I believed there was a need for an organization that promoted and defended responsible homesharing and short term rentals.