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BARBARA LESLIE
President & CEO
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Barb is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Leslie has over 20 years experience working in local, state, and federal advocacy on behalf of business in Oakland, and is a long-time advocate to elected leaders on the business climate. Leslie most recently worked as the Director of Government Affairs at AT&T in Alameda County and previously was the head of the Oakland Realtors Association. Leslie was previously involved with the Oakland Chamber as the Executive Director of the Leadership Oakland program.  


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BARRY BROOME
President & CEO
Greater Sacramento Economic Council

Barry is the first President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. He is responsible for leading community-driven efforts to retain, attract, grow, and scale new businesses; develop advanced industries; and guide new job-creation strategies throughout a six-county region. In his role, he has established the first ever public/private partnership economic development organization led by Chief Executive Officers in in the State of California; the organization comprises 37 CEO’s and 19 communities in the Greater Sacramento region.

Previously, Broome was the President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). He delivered more than 50,000 jobs and 250 company locates into the Phoenix Region. Under his leadership, for six out of the ten years, GPEC was named one of the top economic organizations in North America by Site Selection Magazine. In 2013 he was also named Arizona Economic Developer of the Year, Arizona Real Estate Executive of the Year, and received the Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce award.

Prior to Arizona, Barry was the CEO of Southwest Michigan First (SMF), where he built an organization from the ground up, which was later listen in the top 20 companies in North America by Site Selection Magazine. In 2006, SMF was named one of the fastest 50 companies in Inc. Magazine- the first nonprofit to have that honor. Barry built and co-developed venture funds, angel networks, and 31 new ventures 0 primarily in the life science space in the Kalamazoo region. Barry was named Michigan Economic Developer of the Year in 2001. Preceding Michigan, Barry led the economic development in Toledo, Ohio, where he completed the largest industrial deal in the history of the United States called Project Jeep; which was built on 450 acres of brown fields in the North Central Toledo area.


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BILL ALLEN
President & CEO
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

Bill is the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and its subsidiary, the World Trade Center Los Angeles. Mr. Allen is also Co-Chair of the California Stewardship Network, a Vice Chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, Regional Economic Association Leaders of California Coalition, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, FilmL.A., Unite L.A., and Sister Cities


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CARL GUARDINO
President & CEO
Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Carl is the President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.  His work at the Leadership Group has included leading or co-leading several county transportation measures that together have raised more than $10 billion in local funding for regional transportation infrastructure improvements, and co-creating Housing Trust Silicon Valley, which since 2000 has helped 20,000 families afford homes in high-cost Silicon Valley by raising more than $70 million in voluntary contributions. Guardino current serves as Chair of the California Transportation Commission, and as a member of the boards of California Forward and the California League of Conservation Voters. In 2000, the San Jose Mercury News named Guardino one of the “Five Most Powerful” people in Silicon Valley in a once-per-decade study.


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CASEY BEYER
President & CEO
Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce

Casey was appointed the President & CEO of the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce in March 2017. Prior to that, he served as executive director for the Santa Cruz County Business Council and was also a senior advisor to the president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group from 2011-2017.  His leadership is credited with creating the collaboration that led to passage of Santa Cruz County’s Measure D a 1/2 cent sales tax for transportation improvements in Santa Cruz County. He has worked on public policy issues at the local, regional, state, and national levels for members of Congress, U.S. Senate, California and Nevada state senators, and the California Secretary of State. In 2015-2016 he chaired the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), having been appointed to the board in 2009 by California’s governor.  Beyer continues to serve on the TRPA Board and serves on various community boards in the Santa Cruz region.


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CYNTHIA MURRAY
President & CEO
North Bay Leadership Council

Cynthia
is President/CEO of North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC).  She serves on the boards of many organizations including the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, First 5 Sonoma County Commission, Sonoma County Health Action Council, Marin School to Careers Partnership and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Policy Advisory Council. Murray received the 2010 Women in Business award from the North Bay Business Journal for her achievements in economic development.  Prior to becoming CEO at NBLC, she served eight years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors and seven years on the Novato City Council, including one term as Mayor.


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STEPHEN BAITER
President & CEO
East Bay Economic Development Alliance

Stephen is an experienced professional with more than 20 years of experience leading and supporting successful multi-stakeholder, public/private partnerships. He has an extensive track record with building regional networks and designing funding strategies that create shared value for businesses and residents in local communities. He most recently served as the Executive Director of the City of Oakland Workforce Development Board, a strategic advisory body whose members were appointed by the Mayor of Oakland. In this role, he was responsible for working with a diverse set of leaders from business, economic development, education, labor, and the public sector to align a variety of programs and resources to support high-quality jobs and a vibrant economy in Oakland and the broader region.

Stephen previously served as the Chair of the California Workforce Association, a statewide organization representing a variety of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders in California and nationally. He has served on the board of directors of multiple East Bay organizations focused on education, economic empowerment, and workforce development. He has a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University – East Bay.


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MARIA SALINAS
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Maria is the President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in Los Angeles County representing more than 1,600-­member companies and serving the interests of more than 235,000 businesses across the Los Angeles region. Ms. Salinas took the helm of the organization in August of 2018 and became the first woman and Latina to lead the L.A. Area Chamber in its 130 year history. An accomplished business woman, entrepreneur and a stalwart community leader, Ms. Salinas’ business acumen and financial expertise provides her with the right experience to lead the Chamber.

Prior to the Chamber, Ms. Salinas was an entrepreneur having founded Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting consultancy firm. Previously, she held financial leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company, including responsibility for global financial reporting for the Consumer Products division. Ms. Salinas began her career in public accounting with the firms of Ernst & Young and Kenneth Leventhal & Company.

As a corporate director, Ms. Salinas is former Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, a community bank in Los Angeles, where she was a Founding Organizer and Director, serving since the bank’s inception in 2005. She held a variety of leadership roles on the Board including Chair of the Audit Committee prior to being appointed Chairwoman. Ms. Salinas led the merger transaction with Pacific Commerce Bank which successfully closed in 2016.

Ms. Salinas is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University (LMU), earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1987. She is currently Chair of the Board of Regents and member of the Board of Trustees at LMU, Board Chair of UnidosUS, and member of the founding Board of Directors of Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. Over the years, she has served numerous esteemed civic and nonprofit organizations and has been recognized for her leadership and community service.


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BILL MANIS
President & CEO
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

Bill received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is also a pioneer graduate from the Certified Downtown Professional Program of Cal State San Bernardino and the California Downtown Association. 

As a retired City Manager, Bill had a 33-year career in the public sector serving 8 cities. With an emphasis on economic development throughout his career, Bill has consistently enhanced the communities he has served by expanding their local employment and sales tax base, improving public facilities and infrastructure, and by providing a variety of housing opportunities. He has a proven track record of attracting quality/sustainable developments and is a skilled consensus builder. Bill has been involved in over 7 million square feet of development projects that have generated over 10,000 new jobs during his career. Bill was also part of the Executive Team that helped the City of San Bernardino exit bankruptcy. 

Bill is married to Judi Manis, an executive with AT&T. The Manis’ have two adult children, Krista and Kyle Manis, both USC Marshall School of Business Alumni. Krista is living in New York and works as a Producer for an entertainment production company and Kyle lives in Singapore and works as a Program Manager/Resource Planning in locations throughout Asia Pacific for Apple.


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JERRY SANDERS
President & CEO
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Jerry began his lifelong career in public service when he joined the San Diego Police Department at the age of 22, fulfilling his dream of becoming a police officer. He ascended the police department ranks and became one of the youngest police chiefs in the city's history. In 1999, Sanders retired as Chief of Police and became CEO of the United Way of San Diego, where he reduced the organization's costs and increased fundraising by 20 percent. Three years later, he chaired the board of the local chapter of the American Red Cross. In 2005, with his reputation as a successful turn-around executive, civic leaders urged Sanders to run for mayor.

Under Mayor Sanders, city financial staff completed six years’ worth of back-logged audits, allowing the city to return to the public bond markets in January 2009-- helping to fund the mayor's commitment to repair San Diego's long-neglected water, sewer and transportation infrastructure. In addition to his broad reform agenda, Sanders placed a high priority on economic growth and job creation during his time in office. Sanders completed his second and final term as Mayor in December 2012, and now currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. At the Chamber, Sanders leads the organization’s efforts to make San Diego a place where business can succeed and grow while creating jobs, supporting infrastructure and enriching neighborhoods.


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JIM WUNDERMAN
President & CEO
Bay Area Council

Jim is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bay Area Council.  In this role, Wunderman has led the Council’s efforts to advocate for billions of dollars in federal, state and regional funding for major transportation projects completed or currently under construction. He has worked to expand the Council’s leadership outside the region, including opening an office in Sacramento and overseas offices in SHanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, and partnering with the state to reopen the California-China Trade Office. Wunderman positioned the council to lead in developing an innovative early education program - Talk, Read, Sing -- and partnering with the Clinton Foundation to introduce it nationally. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman hashoned the Council’s regionalist approach to advocacy in key areas that impact the Bay Area’s economy and competitiveness, including: housing, transportation, workforce, water and resiliency, carbon reduction and renewable energy, gender equality & diversity, and healthcare reform. in 2015, 2016, and 2017 he was named one of the TOp 100 movers and shakers in California politics. Wunderman serves on numerous boards and commissions including the University of California Business Executive Council, is Vice CHair of the Water Emergency TRansportation Authority (WETA) Board, and the State of California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council.


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KATE ROBERTS
President
Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Kate has been the President of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership since September 2015. Prior to joining MBEP, Ms. Roberts spent seven years running her own independent management consultancy, The Wired Woman, and helped organizations solidify strategies and accelerate growth. Over her 25 years in the high-tech industry Ms. Roberts held leadership positions in sales, marketing, partner management, and corporate social responsibility. She spent a decade at Cisco Systems, Inc. leading strategic initiatives and creating successful partnerships with the United Nations, USAID and other global partners to further tech education and workforce development in the developing world.

Kate’s varied nonprofit board experience spans both the social and environmental spectrum at the regional and national level. As a volunteer ambassador with Save the Children, she led a women's empowerment delegation to Ethiopia and Uganda, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with CARE to raise funds and awareness for their community-based programs in Tanzania and Zanzibar. She is an active community member, supporting a number of social and environmental causes.

Kate graduated with honors from the University of California at Irvine and received a post-graduate certificate in cross-sector partnership from Cambridge University in England. She is an avid traveler, speaks 4 languages, is an award-winning photographer, an accomplished knitter, and an intrepid hiker. A native Californian, Kate lives in Santa Cruz, California with her husband of 26 years, Buz Roberts.


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KRISTIN CONNELLY
President & CEO
East Bay Leadership Council

Kristin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the East Bay Leadership Council and the Executive Director of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership. Previously, Connelly was the Executive Director for California Forward. Earlier in her career, Connelly practiced employment law at Sidley Austin LLP. Connelly’s areas of expertise include education reform, public health, hunger and the environment.  Connelly has previous experience working as a policy advisor and advocate for many non-profit organizations that provided services to families affected by HIV/AIDS.

In 2018, she was named one of The Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times.


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LUCY DUNN
President & CEO
Orange County Business Council

Lucy is president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, where she leads a dynamic organization of business members, working with academia and government, to assure the county’s economic prosperity and high quality of life.  Before joining the Business Council, Lucy served as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development in 2004. In 2008, she was appointed to the California Transportation Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger, re-appointed twice by Governor Brown, and in 2015 was elected its chair. She also serves on the California Economic Summit, Mobility 21, Pacific Symphony, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, and UCI Foundation boards.  

She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Orange County Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award, Women in Transportation’s “Woman of the Year” award, Southern California Leadership Network’s Public Sector Leader of the Year, and the prestigious “Vision and Visionaries” Award from Cal-State University, Fullerton.  She was twice named as “Woman of the Year” by the California Legislature. OC Register named her as one of “Orange County’s 100 Most Influential.” She was honored by the Endangered Habitats League with its Award of Excellence for her work in advancing settlement of 15 years of litigation, protection of habitat and cultural resources, while providing for mobility solutions.

Lucy is an attorney and loves travel, music with her proudest role as mother of two adult sons (and one accomplished daughter-in-law) who reside in the Bay Area.


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MATTHEW MAHOOD
President & CEO
The Silicon Valley Organization

Matt is the President and CEO of what local media call ‘Silicon Valley’s flagship business lobby’ The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO). he nonprofit business association represents nearly 1,400 member businesses that employ roughly 300,000 employees throughout the region. Under his leadership since July 2011, The Silicon Valley Organization, formerly the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, has re-engineered its scope of work to focus all efforts around regional economic development. Mahood has increased member value and community relevance by becoming a leader in the regional discussions of key issues that impact the business community’s ability to attract and retain a talented workforce while growing their business. With his leadership, The VO has become the region’s connector, convener, collaborator and champion on issues that affect business and the community’s prosperity. He has served as the co-chair for both a countywide task force focused on solving the homeless housing crisis and a City of San Jose-focused jobs initiative for at-risk youth called SJ Works. Additionally, with Mahood’s guidance The VO launched Silicon alley IDEA, the evolution of his five-year effort to grow and promote the region. Through Silicon Valley IDEA, The SVO engages in public policy advocacy and lobbying efforts at the local, regional, state and federal level to address Business Velocity, Quality of Life and Regional Branding challenges. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration – Organizational Communication and Public Relations.


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MIKE ROOS
President
Southern California Leadership Council


In addition to being President of the SCLC, Mike is also the Founder and President of his own public affairs management company, Mike Roos & Co., which he created in 1999. His previous roles include President and CEO of LEARN, a coalition of leaders who aimed to implement reform and restructuring within the Los Angeles Unified School District, and serving as an Assemblyman from 1977 to 1991. Mike’s major achievements include the Robert-Roos Weapons Control Act of 1989 which banned assault weapons and the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act in 1982, which provided local government with alternative financing for their public facilities. Other policies and programs he has worked on include prohibiting sex discrimination, teaching children about genocide and human rights, early childhood development programs, and housing and shelters for low-income senior citizens.

Mike is from Memphis, TN. He has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.


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PAUL GRANILLO
President & CEO
Inland Empire Economic Partnership


Paul became President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership in 2010. He serves on the board of Mobility 21, a coalition that pursues regional solutions to transportation challenges. Additionally, Granillo serves on the Southern California Association of Governments Global Land Use and Economics Committee, the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties, Cal State San Bernardino’s Foundation Board, the Leonard Transportation Center Advisory Board and Regional Economic Alliance Leaders of California. A native of the Inland Empire, Granillo was born and raised in Redlands. He received a B.A. from California State University San Bernardino, a Master of Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo and a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.


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PETER RUMBLE
President & CEO
Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce


Peter became President and CEO of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber in February of this year. Prior to that appointment he was the Deputy County Administrator for the County of Sonoma for almost 2 years. Other previous roles include Planning Commissioner for the City of Santa Rosa, CEO of California Clean Power, and various other roles for the County of Sonoma. Throughout his public service to the County of Sonoma, he established the first community engagement plan, oversaw intergovernmental affairs and legislative advocacy programs, managed media relations, and established the Healthy Policy Division to prepare for and implement the Health Care Reform. Peter and the Metro chamber are focusing on creating new business opportunities, connections, and growth for their city, the 5th largest in the San Francisco Bay Area 26th largest in California.  Peter has a Master’s in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.


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MELISSA JAMES
President & CEO
The Hourglass Project

Melissa is the first President and CEO of the Hourglass Project, a regional economic development organization established in January of 2019 to create jobs and opportunity across the Central Coast - a region that stretches from Vandenberg Air Force Base to Camp Roberts representing nearly half a million people in northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. Melissa has a decade of experience in public policy and strategic communications having served as a Capitol Director in the California State Senate and later as an Account Executive for a nationally recognized public affairs, media and polling firm in Sacramento, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies and trade associations to navigate complex public policy debates. She gained start-up experience as a core member of the team that founded the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo that developed, deployed and scaled technology-based innovations to impact real world problems. From there, Melissa went on to develop and champion regional economic development initiatives, for the Economic Vitality Corporation and later the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, in the areas of housing, infrastructure planning, regional collaboration and civility where she earned a reputation for building highly effective coalitions and teams.  Melissa is a recipient of the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 award as well as the SLO Tribune’s Top 20 under 20 award.