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Dec. 2015/Jan. 2016

Save the Date: Economic Development Summit – “Oakland’s Economy of the Future” March 18

Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Tech community says they’re

> Oakland is on the right track,

‘bullish on Oakland’

say survey respondents by Aly Bonde

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce revealed the results of its much-anticipated yearly poll at the Chamber’s Pulse of Oakland Breakfast on Nov. 6. The results showed that Oaklanders are feeling optimistic about the city’s future, with 61 percent of respondents saying the city is on the right track, up from 45 percent at this time last year. “We’re back to where we were in the late 1990s on right track/wrong track,” said Alex Evans, president of EMC Research, which conducted the poll. “It’s a very significant turnaround, although this type of volatility also shows how fragile this can be.” The poll of 600 likely voters found that Mayor Libby Schaaf enjoys a 68 percent favorable rating, and a majority of respondents said they would re-elect her. The favorability rating of the Oakland City Council Following up on the Chamber’s first successful “Oaklanders Talk Tech” event in September, the second installment in the series took place on Dec. 8 at the Port Workspaces and focused on “Accelerating Tech Ecosystems,” with a particular emphasis on the role incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and venture capital are playing in Oakland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. To kick-off the event, Oakland Chamber Chief Executive Officer Barbara Leslie reviewed recent economic data pertaining to Oakland’s technology sector. The Chamber commissioned Beacon Oakland tech establishments, Q1-08, Q3-14 Economics to track the growth, trends, and characteristics of Oakland’s technology sector, with the first report in this series released in September 2015. Leslie noted how the technology landscape has changed dramatically since then, most notably with Uber’s announcement regarding moving a significant portion of its workforce to Oakland in 2017. In addition, the December 2015 update indicates that both technology employment and establishments continue to trend upward, demonstrating that ▲ Oakland now has more tech firms than at any time in its past, growing by more than 14 percent in the last five years.

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> Helping for the holidays C

hamber Board members and staff took time out of their busy schedules recently to volunteer at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which wants to ensure that every child, adult and senior in Alameda County knows where his or her next meal is coming from – all by 2018. In just a few hours, Chamber volunteers had bagged nearly 10,000 pounds of fresh fruit for needy families. The Food Bank has been in business since 1985 – with a vision toward a day when it can go out of business. It is the hub of a vast collection and distribution network that provides food for 240 nonprofit agencies in Alameda County. In 2014, the Food Bank distributed 25 million meals, and more than half of the food was fresh fruits and vegetables. ■


> Pulse of Oakland

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▼ Alex Evans of EMC Research reports on the “Pulse of Oakland.”

The Chamber’s Pulse of Oakland event was attended by more than 100 business leaders, government officials, and members of the Oakland community eager to learn the results of the first comprehensive poll of public opinion since the November 2014 elections. The Chamber’s annual poll breakfast has historically played an important role in assessing Oakland’s progress every year and evaluating the city’s leadership.

has increased from 38 percent in 2014 to 48 percent today. Oakland residents are optimistic about the city’s economy, with 71 percent saying it’s better than it was a year ago, and 76 percent believing it will continue to improve. When asked how they would rate Oakland as a place to start and grow a business, 77 percent of Oakland business owners rated the city as good or excellent. In her opening remarks, Mayor Schaaf stressed the importance of taking advantage of the great opportunities currently facing Oakland. “Let us think about what we can do with this moment in time,” she said. “We can put the foundations in place to make sure that these good feelings last.” While most Mayor Libby Schaaf respondents said crime was the worst thing about living in Oakland, the percentage of people saying they feel safer than they did two years ago has tripled to 38 percent since 2013. That number has historically hovered around the low teens and twenties since reaching a high of 43 percent in 1999. When respondents were asked in an open-ended question to name the best thing about living in Oakland, the city’s diversity was the most common answer given. “That is not a result I’ve seen anywhere else in America,” Evans said. The Chamber’s Pulse of Oakland event was attended by more than 100 business leaders, government officials, and members of the Oakland community eager to learn the results of the first comprehensive poll of public opinion since the November 2014 elections. The Chamber’s annual poll breakfast has historically played an important role in assessing Oakland’s progress every year and evaluating the city’s leadership. “Making the decision to run for mayor is a very big deal,” Mayor Schaaf said. “It was sitting in this room two years ago and seeing the data in this poll that flipped the switch in my mind to run for mayor of my hometown.” ■ Aly Bonde is an intern in the Chamber’s Public Policy Department.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> And the survey says . . .

– by Chamber President and CEO Barbara Leslie

This past month the Chamber has been busy polling Oakland residents and Chamber members to better understand respondents’ thoughts and perceptions of Oakland’s elected officials, Oakland as a place to live, and as a place to start or grow a business. The Chamber has been conducting these polls annually to gauge our community’s priorities to not only shape the Chamber’s future programming, but to better advocate for our members at City Hall. What better way to represent the community than to know firsthand what is important to them and what would they like to see our leaders focus on in the future. The results from the Chamber’s annual poll, a partnership between the Chamber and OakPAC, were presented at our annual Pulse of Oakland Breakfast held on Nov. 6. Over 100 business, civic and community members came to hear Alex Evans, president of EMC Research, present this year’s results and provide trending data on key areas most important to Oakland residents. Much of the Barbara Leslie news was positive, including a significant increase in the percentage of respondents who feel the city is on the right track – rising to 61 percent from just 45 percent last year. Our Mayor received very high marks, reaching a 68 percent favorability rating, with a majority of respondents not only approving of her job performance but saying they would vote to reelect her. Our city council as a whole also received more favorable ratings than in previous years. Residents feel safer than they have previously, but it’s important to underscore public safety remains in respondent’s top three city priorities along with job creation and the quality of our public schools. What is the best thing about Oakland? Our diversity… This fall we also surveyed our members to ensure that the Chamber is developing programs, events and opportunities that are aligned with their business priorities. Here is what we learned: Our membership base continues to be as diverse as Oakland. We represent business of all sizes, with an equal share of businesses above and below 50 employees representing a wide swath of industries, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Our strength stems from this broad and diverse constituency. Members join to stay connected with local businesses, meet like-minded individuals, and participate in the Chamber’s educational programming. Members are also eager for the Chamber to represent them to key community and civic leaders at

City Hall. Over 86 percent of members believe the value they receive from Chamber membership is equal to or greater than their annual dues and will continue their membership at their next renewal. The survey showed that members enjoy our programming and are extremely supportive of our efforts to better align education and industry to grow Oakland’s future workforce. We are also happy to report that over 97 percent of respondents believe the Chamber is on the right track, a number we both strive to achieve and are grateful to receive. Rest assured our work is not complete. As Oakland continues to explode with new industry, residents and businesses, we need to remain connected to Oakland’s new economies while continuing to support our community’s economic stewards who have guided our growth over time. We will continue to provide programming that is relevant to you and your business. We look forward to continuing our partnership in 2016. Until then, best wishes for a joy filled holiday season. ■




The Oakland City Council has continued to discuss housing issues in recent months, particularly the design of a development impact fee program to pay for affordable housing projects. The city held several meetings with stakeholder groups to discuss what a feasible level and phase-in plan for the fee might look like. City staff will present a report and recommendations in January. • City Administrator Landreth requested that the Council move the date of the report on options for regulating coal exports from the former Oakland Army Base from Dec. 8 to Feb. 16 to allow staff more time to hire a consultant. • The Council authorized a $7,050,000 loan to the Spanish Speaking Unity Council of Alameda to build Phase IIA of the Fruitvale Transit Village project, which consists of 94 mixed-income rental units (14 market rate) adjacent to Fruitvale BART. The loan will consist of $4 million in state Prop 1C funds awarded to the city in 2014 for the project, and $3,050,000 in Central City East and Coliseum bond funds. The negotiated agreement releases the city from a $5.4 million balloon payment due to the Unity Council in 2023 for lease payments on a senior center. • Councilmembers authorized a grant to Centro Legal for $300,000 to assist unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. The funds were previously allocated in the budget and are in addition to the $500,000 already spent. Representatives from the Oakland Unified School District said they are enrolling about 20 unaccompanied minors per month. • The Council authorized an MOU with the City of Portland for the loan of Dr. Dante James to serve as Oakland’s temporary director of race and equity while the new department is set up and a permanent director is being recruited. ■ Aly Bonde is a member of the Chamber’s Public Policy Department.

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 |


> Game on – Coliseum tackles food waste by Cassie Bartholomew

The issue of wasted food has garnered much attention in the media lately. The extent of the problem is staggering: 40 percent of all food grown or raised in the U.S. perishes somewhere along the way from farm to fork. The Coliseum is among those tackling the problem head-on, starting in their own kitchens. In October, Spectra by Comcast Spectacor – the hospitality and food service provider at the Coliseum – kicked off their participation in the Smart Kitchen Initiative, a Cassie Bartholomew program by StopWaste of Alameda County. A voluntary effort to reduce food waste, the Smart Kitchen Initiative helps kitchens measure pre-consumer food waste, like trimmings, spoiled or expired foods and overproduced items, and use the results to adjust kitchen routines such as food prep, ordering, and production. A key component of the program is specialized tracking equipment, consisting of an integrated scale, camera and touchscreen interface to enable automated food waste data collection. Executive Chef Effie Speigler champions the program at the Coliseum, and together with his team tracked 1,664 pounds of pre-consumer food waste in just two weekends worth of Raiders games. The numbers don’t surprise him. “We know there’s a lot of food waste at each game, but unless you start measuring and looking at it in more detail, it’s hard to act,” he says. Once enough data is collected, Speigler’s team will discuss possible prevention strategies that will not only cut down on waste but also save significant food costs. The overall goal of StopWaste’s Smart Kitchen Initiative is a 25 percent reduction in pre-consumer food waste among participating businesses. Food service operators at large event venues like the Coliseum face challenges quite different from regular restaurants, including the sheer number of guests. The average football game draws at least 35,000 fans, and it’s hard to predict how much food will be consumed. “There can be


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

as few as 3,000 or as many as 5,000 meals ▲ The Coliseum’s kitchen served in suites, club areas and restaurants, managers with their food waste not including concession stands,” estimates tracking station. From left to Speigler. Another challenge is that in right: Chef Octaviano Gomez, between games, the kitchen is typically Executive Chef Effie Speigel, Chef Steve Kretz. closed too long to keep foods that weren’t used, like fresh produce, and there is no option to reuse leftovers in the next day’s dishes, like soups. But there may be other ways to reduce wasted food – and save on costly labor to prep what may not end up getting used. “Depending on the tracking results, we could consider buying pre-cut melons, for example, rather than trimming them ourselves,” says Speigler. “Given that our prep staff changes from event to event, that may be a more efficient way to reduce trim waste than training an everchanging workforce.” In the meantime, he has made arrangements with the Alameda County Community Food Bank to make sure edible leftovers from his kitchens go to good use. After a weekend of games in mid-November, Hope 4 the Heart, a Food Bank member agency, picked up almost 300 pounds of fresh produce, dairy and other foods – enough to provide the equivalent of 248 meals to people in need. The Food Bank’s Grocery Rescue Program Coordinator Sue Coberg is pleased: “One out of five residents in the county rely on our Food Bank to feed themselves and their families,” she says. “It is partnerships like this that get us closer to our goal of a hunger-free community, and we're very thankful for the support." The Coliseum will continue the donations, while working toward preventing food waste before it happens. ■ Cassie Bartholomew is a program manager at StopWaste where she leads the Smart Kitchen Initiative and other food waste prevention and surplus food recovery programs. To learn more visit or contact Bartholomew at or (510) 891-6516.

> 2015 California employment legislation update by Padmini Cheruvu and Mark Delgado

Padmini Cheruvu

It is again that time of year when employers learn about the new legal hurdles they will face as a result of legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. Fortunately, unlike 2013, when the Legislature increased the state’s minimum wage, and 2014, when the Legislature enacted the paid sick leave law, the majority of employment-related bills enacted in 2015 were aimed at clarifying or amending existing laws. The most important 2015 bills are summarized below. Except for AB 1506 and AB 304, both of which were enacted as emergency legislation and went into effect immediately, all of the other laws will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. Gender Wage Equality (SB 358) SB 358 prohibits an employer from paying any employee at a rate less than that paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work. The law makes it more difficult for employers to defend against wage discrimination claims by requiring that they prove the wage differential is reasonably and entirely based on enumerated factors, such as “a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production,” or a bona fide factor that is unrelated to gender and is consistent with business necessity.

> Chamber reps meet in Havana The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce was well represented during a recent delegation to Cuba co-led by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson. The trip offered an excellent opportunity to meet with high level and key representatives of the Cuban government in anticipation of increased open trade with our neighbors located a mere 90 miles from American soil. Among the many visits included a high level meeting at the newly re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana. The delegation had a private meeting with Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who is currently serving as the Charge’ d’Affaires. At the meeting (pictured below), Orlando Hernandez Guillen, president of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, is flanked by Oakland Chamber representatives Tom Guarino (PG&E) and Victoria Jones (The Clorox Company) at the Cuban Chamber Headquarters in Havana. The Chamber will be hosting a special debrief for our members and impending economic development opportunities available in Cuba and its many provinces. ■

Right to Cure Certain Wage-Statement Violations (AB 1506) This law amends California’s Private Attorney General Act by giving employers a limited right to “cure” certain deficiencies on wage statements. Specifically, an employer can cure violations with respect to either the inclusive dates of the pay period or the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer. The employer can only cure violations once in a 12-month period. Mark Delgado

Clarifications to Paid Sick Leave Law (AB 304) AB 304 clarifies several ambiguities in the paid sick leave law that was enacted last year, including, among other things, how employers must calculate the rate of pay for sick leave, whether employers can calculate paid sick leave accrual on a basis other than hours worked, and whether employers with existing paid time off policies can use those policies to comply with the paid sick leave law. Retaliation for Requesting Accommodation (AB 987) AB 987 makes it clear that, for purposes of proving unlawful retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, an employee’s request for accommodation based on religion or disability is considered “protected.” Piece-Rate Workers (AB 1513) AB 1513 requires employers to pay piece-rate workers a separate hourly wage for rest and recovery periods and “other nonproductive time,” in addition to time spent on their piece-rate work. For rest and recovery periods, the worker must be paid no less than the higher of either (1) the minimum wage or (2) the worker’s average hourly rate, which is determined by dividing the compensation for the workweek by the hours worked, not including rest and recovery periods. For other nonproductive time, workers must be paid at least minimum wage. Retaliation Against Family Members of Whistleblowers (AB 1509) AB 1509 prohibits an employer from retaliating against family members of any employee who “blows the whistle” on an employer’s illegal conduct. Expansion of School Activities Leave (SB 579) SB 579 expands coverage of California’s school activities leave law to include day care facilities and to cover child care provider emergencies, and the finding, enrolling, or re-enrolling of a child in a school or day care, and extends protections to an employee who is a step-parent or foster parent or who stands in the place of a parent. Restrictions on Use of E-Verify System (AB 622) AB 622 prohibits employers from using the E-Verify system to check the work authorization status of an existing employee or an applicant who has not received an employment offer, except as required by federal law. Expanded Authority of Labor Commissioner (AB 970) AB 970 authorizes the Labor Commissioner to enforce Labor Code section 2802 (requiring reimbursement of work-related expenses) and to investigate and enforce local laws regarding overtime and minimum wage if the local entity has not done so. ■ Padmini Cheruvu and Mark Delgado are employment law attorneys at Donahue Fitzgerald LLP. Cheruvu is a litigation associate with a focus on intellectual property, employment and business disputes. Delgado counsels and represents employers in all areas of employment law such as wage and hour issues, discipline and termination, workplace safety, recruitment and hiring, performance management, and discrimination and harassment.

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 |


Member update




ADDENDUM The following is a list of new members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and is an addendum to the Chamber’s 2015 Membership Directory & Buyers Guide. Please keep this page and refer to these members when you have a need for goods and services. Albany Bowl 540 San Pablo Ave. Albany, CA 94706 (510) 526-8818 Website: John Tierney Entertainment CrossFit East Bay 66 Franklin St., Suite 100b Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 910-2919 Website: Maximus Lewin Health & Fitness Club Dfusion 1333 Broadway, Suite P110 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 338-9431 Website: Regina Firpo-Triplett Scientific Research & Development Entrada Design, Inc. 6114 La Salle Ave., Suite 263 Oakland, CA 94611 (800) 617-1245 Tami Scornaienchi Furniture Dealers & Designers ExteNet Systems (California) LLC 1826 Webster St. San Francisco, CA 94115 (415) 596-3474 Website: Matthew Yergovich Telecommunications Fouche’s Hudson Funeral Home 3665 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609 (510) 654-8558 Website: www.foucheshudson Alex Gaylor Funeral Home Inn at Temescal 3720 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609 (510) 652-9800 Website: Nick Howard Hotel

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| OBR Oakland Business Review |

25SecondsPR is a small digital and tech inclusion public relations agency ideal for individuals, start-ups and mid-size companies that are interested in attaining favorable public and media presence and brand equity. Projects we take on include account management, strategic planning, launch campaigns, digital content, crowd funding, thought leadership and blogging. The company has managed an array of innovative business clients worldwide whose B2B or B2C brands spans CRM, mobile services and apps, education technology, human resources, online security, e-commerce, banking, gaming, health tech, and fitness/sports. A short list of clients includes Financial Management Systems Inc., WooCommerce, Intuitive Surgical,, Hewlett-Packard, and more. 25SecondsPR also works with nonprofits, and recently partnered with Local Futures, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, and Freedom Farmers Market. This year, 25Seconds was selected by the Points of Light Foundation in Washington D.C. to lead the public relations effort for its “Good and Ready,” Oakland Disaster Preparedness Campaign. And, the company was recently hired by the Association for Women in Science to help generate strong attendance at its 2015 National Summit occurring at the Oakland Marriott. In addition to remaining keen on technology and tech makers, 25SecondsPR is committed to tech inclusion and helping dynamic nonprofit organizations make a difference in the lives of others. ■

Baran Studio Architecture Baran Studio Architecture is an Oakland-based full-service design firm specializing in integrated urban design for commercial, large-scale residential, and single-family home projects. Founded in 2010 by Matt Baran, Baran Studio was born out of Matt Baran’s passion for transformative design and 15 years of experience as an architect and builder. Baran Studio Architecture believes good design evolves out of a process, not a style. Matt and his team pride themselves on a collaborative spirit in their partnerships with clients, both inside and outside of the studio. Baran Studio’s philosophy incorporates adaptability and improvisation into a pragmatic understanding of real-world constraints. They balance regulatory requirements, neighborhood interests, site constraints, and construction costs with design that is beautiful and functional. Each Baran Studio Architecture project engenders an architecture that is of its time, and simultaneously, timeless. This approach ensures that Baran’s contemporary designs integrate effectively into the broader community. Baran Studio Architecture has won multiple awards from American Institute of Architects, and has been featured in Sunset, Domus, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many more. ■

CareBuilders At Home CareBuilders At Home has been loyally serving clients for over 30 years. Our belief in providing the highest possible quality of service by the most experienced and caring staff has made us a leader in the industry. Our caregivers are our greatest asset. Our recruiting efforts are always focused to meeting the needs of the community we service, and our appreciation for the hard work our team provides is acknowledged through our recognition programs. Home care has allowed those who cherish the homes they’ve built throughout their lives to remain in the comfort of that environment. It has also allowed people the capability to reduce care spending by offering a viable alternative to institutional settings, such as nursing homes, which in most cases run more than three to four times the cost of receiving care in one's home. We believe we are the best option for people who prefer staying in their own homes while receiving the best possible care. With our capabilities offered through our caregivers, our technology options and our resource network, we are confident CareBuilders At Home will be the provider of choice for you or your loved ones. If you would like to know more about our services, please do not hesitate to call us. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You do not have to wait for the need to arise; feel free to stop in or to give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible to make an informed decision, when or if you need it. ■

UPS Freight Forwarding UPS Freight Forwarding continually expands our services to provide one of the most comprehensive portfolios in the industry – International Air, Ocean, Brokerage, Supply chain management, international trade and financial solutions. In addition, our award-winning customer technology can help you synchronize transportation-related information with your business processes. For more information, contact Kamilah R. Wheaton, District Account Executive, Business Development, at (510) 292-5620 or at ■

Member update



Mobile Mini

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Kiva Microfunds 875 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (828) 479-5482 Website: Valerie Bellande Nonprofit Magi Arts Fitness Division 8906 D St., Apt. A Oakland, CA 94601 (818) 200-7342 Johnny Ayai Health & Fitness Club MDSTAT Urgent Care 3860 El Dorado Hills Blvd., Suite 601 El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 (916) 678-5294 Website: Dil Kasymova Health Care Services Northern California Community Loan Fund 870 Market St., Suite 677 San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 392-8215 Website: Mark Sutton Nonprofit Rockridge Enterprises 5377 Locksley Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 (917) 913-6107 Website: Designers – Apparel UPS Forwarding 26557 Danti Court Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 292-5620 Website: Kamilah Wheaton Transportation – Freight Western Dental & Orthodontics 3405 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94601 (714) 571-3367 Website: Starla Rodgers Dentists Working Images Public Relations 3045 Revere Ave. Oakland, CA 94605 (510) 336-1047 Website: Mary Lou Thiercof Advertising & Public Relations

Mobile Mini is the largest portable storage company with 136 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Our products provide temporary, ground-based offices, secure portable storage for a variety of customers, including large and small retailers, construction companies, medical, schools, utilities, distributors, hotels, entertainment complexes, and households. Our customers can either rent or buy our products. Our mission – To be the leader in secure, portable storage and specialty containment solutions to customers everywhere. Safety first – Safety is our highest priority. We take responsibility for our own safety and for the safety of those around us. Highest level of security – With more than 30 years of experience, Mobile Mini has set the standard for steel storage containers, offices and custom structures with patented Tri-Cam locking system as well as Container-Guard Lock to protect your valuables and important documents. Community giving program – We believe it is our responsibility to give back to the communities that have helped make us into the great organization we are today. Apply for our four months of free secure, portable storage by visiting or calling (510) 252-9326. Mobile Mini is proud to be a part of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. ■

Northern California Community Loan Fund Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF) is a nonprofit that partners with socially conscious impact investors and mission-driven organizations to support low-income communities’ need for housing, education, healthcare, food, jobs and economic opportunity. For more than 25 years, NCCLF has provided loans and working capital as well as consulting advice to local organizations working to ensure California’s communities are financially stable and culturally vibrant. And by investing in our loan fund, impact investors achieve their vision of realizing financial returns while funding social good. To date NCCLF has supported more than 2,500 organizations, invested $254 million, leveraged over $1.6 billion in working capital, and impacted the lives of over 1.5 million people in low-income communities. Of over 100 Community Development Financial Institutions rated by Aeris, an independent third-party analyst, NCCLF is one of only six organizations to receive the highest possible AAA +1 rating. For more information, visit ■

Rockridge Clothing for those who drive the world forward. Rockridge is a premium menswear clothing company based online. The company is founded with a simple mission: to offer affordably priced luxury men’s clothing, made with the highest quality fabrics and crafted in America, all while also being an instrument for social good. Rockridge is a byword for uniqueness, quality, versatility and timelessness; together these factors underpin the brand’s philosophy. The brand draws its inspiration from Americana style, reinventing menswear essentials with clever details that pay homage to the Bay Area while also improving fit and comfortability. “We believe that brands have the ability to inspire, and motivate. We believe that quality matters, integrity matters, and craftsmanship matters. We believe that to make great products you have to respect your customer. We do.” Rockridge is also committed to making a meaningful difference in society. We believe that companies are at their best when they also serve the common good and have a positive impact in society. We’re partnering with San Francisco’s Larkin Street Youth Services to help homeless and at-risk youth reclaim their lives. Larkin Street Youth Services is an internationally recognized organization that provides housing, education, employment, and health services to homeless and at-risk kids. For more information, visit ■

CrossFit East Bay CrossFit East Bay is Oakland’s oldest CrossFit and functional fitness gym, founded in 2007. Located near Jack London Square at 66 Franklin St., CrossFit East Bay offers precise, expert instruction in CrossFit and related movement patterns. It is staffed by a small group of mature fulltime fitness professionals with a combined 20+ years of experience. Your fitness is our only job. Owner Maximus Lewin has been a full-time CrossFit coach since early 2006 and has participated in CrossFit since 2004. Co-owner Andrea Lewin is one of the few Certified Level 3 CrossFit coaches in the Bay Area, and the first active CCFT (Certified CrossFit Trainer) in the East Bay. We have a commitment to excellence in training and a focus on performance and results for all of our members. CrossFit East Bay offers not just workouts, but a comprehensive and systematic method of becoming the best you that you can be. We will help you look great, feel great and discover your inner athlete. We will provide you with a challenging workout tailored to your current fitness level in every session. Get in shape! ■

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 |


> ‘Oaklanders Talk Tech’

> ‘Oaklanders Talk Tech’

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On investment philosophies Lo Toney – “We want to invest in the smartest people solving the hardest problems that impact globally… what I like is to understand the entrepreneur’s path and journey aside from what they’re working on. Do they have the ability to be resilient and stay grounded?”

Oakland is increasingly viewed as an ▲ Discussing “The Role of ideal place to locate and grow a Venture Capital,” the technology business. panel featured (left to Two panel discussions explored right) moderator Christian venture investing and tech incubation, Ebersol, Wes Selke, Brian acceleration and co-working in Oakland. Dixon and Lo Toney. The first panel was comprised of leading representatives of the venture capital community – Brian Dixon, principal, Kapor Capital; Wes Selke, managing director and founder, Better Ventures; and Lo Toney, partner, Google Ventures. The panel was moderated by Christian Ebersol, associate, Comcast Ventures. The panel members discussed the criteria they use to evaluate investment opportunities, the value of incubators and accelerators for investors, priorities for strengthening Oakland’s tech ecosystem, and how Oakland can diversify its tech workforce and entrepreneur base to reflect the demographic composition of the Bay Area. There was considerable alignment regarding their respective investment philosophies, with Wes Selke emphasizing that there are three key things his team looks for when evaluating investment opportunities – team, market, and impact. On the topic of diversity in tech, both in terms of workforce and investment, Toney stressed that it is essential to make opportunities in Silicon Valley and technology in general more visible to dispel the myths around not being able to get jobs there. Brian Dixon also highlighted how 8 percent of all venture-backed companies have a woman founder and 2 percent have African American founders. Conversely, at Kapor Capital, 48 percent of their portfolio companies’

Wes Selke – “It’s really about the people you’re investing in. We’re looking for people that are really scrappy. We’re looking for intentionality around the impact. Is it just money or is it something you’re really passionate about?” Ruben Hernandez – “We look for those in the Oakland diaspora to bring them back to Oakland from Sacramento and elsewhere. We also tap into local businesses to develop new lines of products for businesses that have been in Oakland for 30 or 40 years.”

On diversity in tech Lo Toney – “It’s fundamentally important for people who don’t have friends or family members working in tech to get them exposure to tech jobs being a possibility.” Wes Selke – “One of the great attributes about investing in Oakland is the incredible diversity that exists in this city. You’ve got the raw ingredients here more than in other cities and also the history of the social justice and civil rights movements. The onus is on all of us to build a more diverse ecosystem here and not just be San Francisco East.”

On the rationale for starting and growing a technology business in Oakland Lo Toney – “I'm very bullish on Oakland right now. Oakland has a great labor pool and great pool of entrepreneurs.” Brian Dixon – “The workforce is here. We’ve got many companies coming to Oakland or are already in Oakland….then they grow and look for office space and want to stay in Oakland.” Anca Mosoiu – “I realized that a lot of people lived in Oakland and wanted to work here. I created a space where people can come together and learn how to use tech to better run their businesses.”

founders are either people of color or ▲ This panel, discussing women, underscoring how their existing “The Role of Incubators investment portfolio already more and Accelerators,” accurately reflects both the featured (left to right) demographic composition and talent moderator Michael Sebree, base in the Bay Area. Ruben Hernandez, Rani The second panel was comprised of Croager, Karen Wertman key Oakland technology ecosystem and Anca Mosoiu. actors – Rani Croager, co-founder, Uptima Business Bootcamp; Ruben Hernandez, co-founder and CEO, devlabs LLC; Anca Mosoiu, founder, Tech Liminal; and Karen Wertman, vice president of operations, The Port Workspaces. The panel was moderated by Michael Sebree, partner, Donahue Fitzgerald LLP. The panel explored the unique value-add of incubators in the tech ecosystem, locating a business in Oakland, growing the tech ecosystem in line with Oakland’s values, and the ways in which technology can be leveraged to improve the performance of other economic sectors in Oakland and the region. And Ruben Hernandez captured Oakland’s potential well in asserting that, “People in Oakland are hungry to create value. It’s not about cheap rent or space for us, it’s that the next billiondollar company is going to come from East or West Oakland.” The Chamber is extremely appreciative of the experience and perspectives that the panelists and moderators brought to the rich and informative discussions. The Chamber would also like to cordially thank the program’s generous sponsors, Comcast Bay Area and Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, and our partners, The Port Workspaces and Two Point Oakland. We look forward to continuing the Oaklanders Talk Tech series in 2016 to provide timely quantitative and qualitative data to the business community to better understand the activities and opportunities enabled by Oakland’s emerging technology sector. ■


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Rani Croager – “…because Oakland has heart and soul and a tremendous amount of genius that hasn’t been given access to resources before.” Karen Wertman – “In San Francisco co-working becomes just a substitute for office space, but with The Port Workspaces in Oakland, the diversity of the community becomes an asset around you…the coworking community is like an accelerator you don’t have to leave. We’re looking for people who aren’t interested in single offices and are willing to share their resources and connections.”

On major impediments for entrepreneurial success Rani Croager – “Access to capital is a real issue for the businesses we work with. Many of our people are from low-income and middle-income backgrounds and so they don’t have the family member that can give them money.”

Program Sponsor

Panel Sponsor

> SOS – Supporting our seniors Living longer for some can mean more years spent in the struggles that can accompany old age. Many families live far apart and the result can be seniors left behind, living alone and at risk for malnourishment. For millions of Americans, their local Meals on Wheels program is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging – hunger, isolation and loss of independence. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer. Service Opportunity for Seniors (SOS)/Meals on Wheels is a 501(c)3 nonprofit program in operation since 1966. It addresses the issue of senior isolation and hunger locally. The mission of SOS is to promote nutritional health, decrease the possibility of premature institutionalization, and foster and support independence and the dignity of homebound seniors by enhancing their quality of life through their Meals on Wheels system of care. SOS prepares and delivers meals daily and provides daily check-in visits for 1,200 at-risk seniors living in central Alameda County and the city of Oakland so that they can continue to live independently at home for as long as safely possible. Seniors like Mr. Milton Williams, a 95-year-old Oakland native and one of the city of Oakland’s first African American firefighters. Williams began receiving Meals On Wheels deliveries about eight years ago and finds life much more pleasant and easier because of it. He has a special relation with his drivers and even displays their picture alongside his family photos. “The meals are good and the drivers so very nice and caring,” he said with a smile. “It helps me continue to live in the home I helped build myself.” In addition to providing a daily hot, well-balanced meal, drivers bring a smile, some conversation and a check-in on their well-being. SOS is part of a broader network of agencies that support seniors and makes numerous referrals, as appropriate, to try to improve the quality of life for meal recipients. SOS’ focus is on seniors 60 years and older determined to have “significant need,” which is defined as individuals without reliable help from a caregiver and unable to shop for food and/or prepare meals.

Great advances in medicine have extended our average life expectancy to a record high of 78.7 years.

▲ For millions of Currently, 95 percent are Americans, their local functionally impaired and the majority Meals on Wheels program of seniors enrolled are over the age of is literally the difference 77. SOS served 1,600 seniors in 2015 and between remaining in their expects to serve a minimum of 1,600 in own homes and needing to Fiscal Year 2015-2016. relocate to a nursing Executive Director Connie McCabe facility. has been with the program for 30 years and says, “I have seen the demand for SOS/Meals on Wheels grow from 50 meals daily to 250,000 meals annually. It’s a clear sign that there is an increasing need for home delivered meals in our community so that vulnerable seniors can continue to remain safely independently in their own homes.” ■

> Southwest getting travelers in the summer spirit Southwest Airlines is helping beat winter blues and getting travelers in the summer spirit by extending its bookable flight schedule through Aug. 5, 2016. And, with the new flight schedule, Southwest is launching new nonstop routes. For example, Reno/Tahoe is getting new three times daily service to Oakland, one of the most requested routes among travelers in Northern Nevada. In addition, Southwest has begun new nonstop service between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). For more information, call (800) I-FLY-SWA or visit ■

> A Chamber welcome

Mark Butler

Courtney Riley

The next time you are in the Chamber offices, stop by and say hello to our two new staff members – Mark Butler and Courtney Riley. Mark and Courtney have been hired as a result of the Chamber receiving a grant from the James Irvine Foundation and will be working closely together to better connect our regional employers and educational systems. Both come with extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge to share. Please warmly welcome them to our Chamber family. Mark has more than 15 years of experience as an education and workforce development professional. He has initiated and managed complex, multi-partner initiatives focused on a range of industry sectors for clients including The Bay Area Council, San Jose State University and San Mateo County while partnering with employers such as IBM, Ford Motor Company and Kaiser Permanente. Courtney spent nearly five years with the Oakland Unified School District in its Linked Learning Department supporting college and career readiness throughout academies and pathways within local high schools. Her work included direct support to teachers and businesses, fostering collaboration to generate lasting impact on the lives of students. ■

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 |


> Leadership Oakland gets underway with city tour Leadership Oakland’s Class of 2016 City Neighborhood Tour and Business Day kicked off with a general tour of Oakland led by Visit Oakland’s Visitor Center Associate Kenneth Brown, on a bus generously provided by AC Transit.

▲ The 2015-16 class of Leadership Oakland took a bus tour of the city’s hidden gems, led by Kenneth Brown of Visit Oakland.

▲ Following the afternoon panel discussion, executive director Cat Brewer (left) handed gifts to speakers (left to right) Michael LeBlanc, Mark Everton, Shannon Pedder, Ann Thai and Steve Snider.

The group toured downtown, Auto Row, Piedmont, Temescal – with a quick stop by Doughnut Dolly and then continued through Rockridge, Lake Merritt, and Uptown with a stop at the Remember Them monument. The session concluded with a panel discussion and a question and answer period on the various challenges and rewards of doing business in Oakland. Featured speakers included Michael LeBlanc, owner of Pican restaurant; Steve Snider, district manager of Uptown/Downtown Community Benefit District; Ann Thai, co-owner of Newberry Market; Mark Everton, general manager of the Waterfront Hotel and the Chamber’s chairman of the board; and Shannon Pedder, owner of Brand Creative – all of whom shared their own experiences with starting and managing businesses in Oakland and gave advice on leadership to the participants. December’s session, which will focus on Public Safety, will take place on Friday, Dec. 11. For more information regarding Leadership Oakland, contact executive director Cat Brewer at catbrewer.leadershipoakland@gmail.c om. ■

>Inside Oakland features mayor’s leadership team The Oakland Chamber of Commerce hosted three members of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s leadership team earlier this month at the Inside Oakland breakfast. Director of Education David Silver, Policy Director of Infrastructure and Transportation Matt Nichols, and Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships Jose Corona all highlighted the mayor’s commitment to progress in their respective areas. Silver outlined “Oakland Promise,” the mayor’s major new education initiative aimed at increasing the number of Oakland youth who graduate from college. The first piece, called “Brilliant Baby,” will put $500 in a college savings account for babies born to 1,000 vulnerable families. Oakland Promise aims to put more college counselors into schools to ensure at-risk youth have access to help in planning their future. ▲ Jose Corona makes a point at Inside Oakland, while presenters Matt At the college level, the initiative will provide up to $4,000 per Nichols (center) and David Silver look on. year in scholarships as well as peer mentor support to Oakland students entering college. By 2020, the program aims to have provided $18 million in scholarships, helped families save $5 million for college, and engaged 25,000 children and families. “We’re rolling this out thoughtfully because we want this to outlive the mayor and outlive the superintendent,” Silver said. In his capacity as Oakland’s first ever Policy Director of Transportation, Nichols highlighted two areas of focus. The first is the formation and staffing of the newly-created Department of Transportation. Currently transportation projects are housed in various parts of the Department of Public Works. Creating a separate Department of Transportation will enable the city to attract more grant funds. Nichols said his second area of focus is proposing a bond for the November 2016 ballot to fund a host of necessary infrastructure projects including transportation, sewer drains, and public safety technology. Director of Equity and Strategic Partnerships Corona is tasked with creating, coordinating, and facilitating public, private, and philanthropic partnerships that foster equitable opportunities and benefits for the people of Oakland. Corona said that as the son of an immigrant worker who eventually became a successful farm owner and socially responsible business owner, this mission is critical and personal. “The question is how do you use business as a lever to build community?” Corona asked. ■

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> Oakland is a leader in personalizing education for students by Greg Klein

For decades, most public schools in Oakland have implemented a traditional “whole group instruction” academic model wherein a majority of instruction is directed exclusively by the teacher to the entire class, at a standard pace. Unfortunately, this default pedagogical structure oftentimes benefits only those students who possess “grade-level” skills, leaving many advanced students unchallenged and struggling students lost. Oakland’s students are as diverse in their experience and needs as the city is as a whole. Asking our schools and teachers to meet each and every student need in the one-size-fits-all traditional model is unfair and unsustainable. Teachers deserve the opportunity to learn about and facilitate a more personalized classroom experience for students. As a part of the Next Generation Challenge Grants in Oakland (NGLC in Oakland), ten public schools in the city have set out to re-think how instruction can be personalized for, and by, each student, ensuring that every student in every class learns and grows every day. What is personalization and why is it important for Oakland’s students and teachers? While personalization can vary in different settings, there is a growing consensus that personalization aligns to four main principles: • Personal Learning Paths – Each student follows a path through content and skills in ways that work best for him or her. Though students' paths may vary, the destination of high academic success is the same. • Competency-based Progression – Students move through lessons based on their ability to demonstrate mastery of prior material. In the traditional system, students too often move on to lessons based on the calendar, whether prior learning was mastered or not. • Flexible Learning Environment – Time, space, roles, and instructional modes flex with the needs of students and teachers rather than being fixed variables. • Learner Profiles – Students' strengths and weaknesses, motivations, and goals are visible to them and their teachers. Profiles are constantly refreshed using a range of inputs. The research case for personalization in schools continues to build, including this November’s release of a new study Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning, that

concludes that “students in schools using personalized learning practices are making greater progress over the course of two school years and that students who started out behind are now catching up to perform at or above national levels.” 1 In addition, teachers who are innovating with personalized learning often find themselves doing more of the things that brought them to the profession in the first place – building Photos by Hasain Rasheed Photography relationships with students, connecting with families, mentoring, providing meaningful feedback, igniting passions and interests, working with small groups and instructing deeply in particular content. Supported by NGLC in Oakland (a grant and support program organized and led locally by the Rogers Family Foundation), ten Oakland public schools were awarded Design Grants in early 2015 in order to explore how they could change their operations and instructional methods in order to improve student outcomes. These school teams worked diligently over the past year, visiting high quality schools and learning from local and national education experts, in order to launch innovative personalized pilot programs. All ten schools have signaled their intent to submit full Launch Grant applications in early 2016. Four of these schools will be awarded Launch Grants of up to $250,000 in order to fully launch their new self-designed personalized models in fall 2016. When fully launched in fall 2016, the NGLC in Oakland schools will not only serve every one of their students and families in an individualized way, but will maintain their commitment to constantly learn and seek new ways of delivering instruction. These schools will serve as local proof points and resource centers for other Oakland educators so that even more Oakland schools can learn how to reach every student, every day. And most importantly, these schools will have changed because the people closest to the students – the teachers and principals – will be the ones responsible for making change happen. ■ Greg Klein is the senior director for innovation and learning at the Rogers Family Foundation. If you would like to find out more about the Oakland’s blended pilot schools, visit If you would like to learn more about the Next Generation Learning Challenge in Oakland, visit 1

Pane, John F., Elizabeth D. Steiner, Matthew D. Baird and Laura S. Hamilton. Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2015.

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 11

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> Working together to increase opportunities by Elnora Tena Webb, Ph.D.

Oakland is changing fast. Uber is coming and housing prices continue to go up. The tech industry has created a density of high paying jobs and opportunities that require special skills and education.

But, as many in the larger community have pointed out, this rising economic tide has not exactly lifted all boats. Some worry that Oakland is at risk of losing its diversity and culture. I share these worries, but they are tempered by optimism about the capacity of our community to work together and to adapt. To be sure, these are far reaching social and cultural issues with no simple solutions, but increasing educational opportunities for communities that are ethnically and economically diverse is, in my opinion, the most effective way to begin addressing them from the ground up. My institution, Laney College, has a long and rich history as a place where, if they work hard, Oaklanders can transform themselves. We are a center for the national science foundation; a regional hub for industrial and advanced manufacturing education; a workforce training hub for the construction trades; a highly resourced training center facilitating building automation and advanced lighting control apprenticeship training; a local leader with high quality faculty providing STEM education; an innovator in accelerated ESL education; and so much more. We represent a critical engine for the regional economy, and one that can respond to the changing economic landscape. However, we don’t do this alone. Industry partners are vital to keeping our career technical education curriculum current and our graduates immediately hirable. An effective partnership between industry and education can create a pipeline of specifically trained, motivated workers that eliminate guesswork in hiring. Together we can help create healthier communities by allowing students to create stable lives and participate more fully in the economic and civic fabric of the places they call home. Laney College reflects and embraces the tremendous human and cultural variety that characterizes its location in vibrant, multicultural downtown Oakland. By providing education and training that is affordable, Laney, along with the other Peralta Colleges, represents the best chance for many low income residents to gain the skills that will provide them with access to better paying jobs. A member of our computer information systems faculty, Johnnie Williams, was invited to the White House in September in connection with his role as the apprenticeship director for #YesWeCode – a nonprofit recognized as a national leader in promoting diversity in tech. He is also involved with the Laney College & Peralta Community College District Computer

Programming Apprenticeship Program, which allows students to pursue an accelerated AA or AS in any major, while taking a suite of Computer Information Systems courses or Multimedia Arts to complete a developer certificate. At the completion of the education process students will have the opportunity to receive apprenticeships (paid on-the-job training) with companies that have agreed to hire students from the pipeline. Now, we are applying for a California Apprenticeship Initiative New Innovative Grant Program award worth $1 million to support the new program being created at Laney College and throughout the Peralta district. #YesWeCode is organizing the employers committed to hiring

diverse candidates. Laney also hosts the BEST Center, a National Science Foundation funded national collaborative which promotes state-ofthe-art building technician education and dissemination of the latest research, technology, and industry collaborations in energy efficient buildings. This opportunity came to us as a direct result of our nationally-recognized Environmental Control Technology (ECT) department, which offers programs in Commercial HVAC, Building Automation Systems, Building Performance & Energy Efficiency, and Commercial Energy Management. Historically, these efforts were led by Nick Kyriakopedi with other industry colleagues. The BEST Center recently partnered with Siemens Inc. to host community college faculty from 18 different states around the U.S. to attend a Building Automation Workshop at the North American headquarters of Siemens’ Building Technologies Division, located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, thanks largely to the leadership work of Director Pamela Wallace and Coordinator Larry Chang. The goal of the workshop was to educate and train faculty members on Siemens’ latest building automation control systems so they may better instruct their students. These programs and initiatives show the promise of what is possible when education and industry partner to achieve a common goal. Thank you for your leadership efforts in this regard. If you are not already a partner, join Laney in preparing residents, regardless of their economic resources, from Oakland and the greater Bay Area for the new economy. ■

Elnora Tena Webb

Elnora Tena Webb, Ph.D. is president of Laney College.

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> Building career pathways through school-business partnerships by Alameda County Superintendent L. Karen Monroe

Public education is facing a critical period of change. Currently, national, state and local education leaders are working to address the gap between education and the needs of industry. Nationally, we have made initial steps with an agenda co-created with the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Human Services and Department of Labor.

we can successfully work to transfer individual interests and skills and apply them in relevant, applicable contexts, it creates opportunity for students, for educators and ultimately for business and our communities as a whole. As an Oakland resident and former Oakland educator, I care deeply about our community and creating key opportunities for youth across the county. I very much value your partnership and know that this vision will only be realized in partnership – business and education working hand-in-hand in service of creating the ready and able workforce of tomorrow. I look forward to working with you. ■ L. Karen Monroe is the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools.

> Pathways to Port of Oakland careers

W For the first time, an interagency ▲ Says Alameda County agenda was crafted to leverage Superintendent of Schools Karen Monroe (above, complementary resources to ensure right),“Our business that all Americans have access to community can have a middle skill, middle class jobs. significant impact by Here in California, the response partnering with schools was the introduction of the California to provide essential standards that focus and inform our opportunities for learning attention on college and career readiness. and exposure…” Our first look at how our schools are doing under these standards provided a window into what it is going to take to ensure that our students graduate prepared to successfully transition to higher education and the workforce. This understanding is even more critical when considering the needs of low income students living in highly impacted communities. And while many point to the achievement gaps associated with these populations, this is a deeper issue of disparities in opportunity. It is here that our business community can have a significant impact by partnering with schools to provide essential opportunities for learning and exposure which will serve to bridge this gap. California has invested $250 million towards K-14 career technical education programs. The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) is proud to lead this effort in the Bay Area as part of an alliance of school districts and community colleges receiving a $14 million grant from the California Department of Education last year. We are partnering with organizations from diverse industries including healthcare, technology and engineering to begin creating curriculum that responds to the needs of our business community and equips students with 21st century job skills. Ultimately, we hope to bring four-year career pathway programs to high schools across the Bay Area where students earn dual credits towards graduation and an Associate’s Degree, certification, or licenses towards a variety of industry-related jobs. Graduating with not only a high school diploma, but a degree or certification that immediately translates into a meaningful career can make a critical difference for low income students who may not otherwise have access to such an opportunity. This career technical education is not counterposed to college preparation, and can be a complementary part of a variety of options for different students at different points of their educational journey. As the Superintendent of Alameda County Schools, I am also leading this work for over 2,700 of the most vulnerable students in our court and community schools in the East Bay. These are the students that too often fall through the cracks in the traditional classrooms. Many of these students have endured severe trauma in their lives, which can cause some to lose their way. These career pathway programs can serve as beacons for students to find opportunity and learn skills that connect their passions with fulfilling careers. Our schools, businesses and communities have much to gain by making a commitment to these students. School-business partnerships play an essential role in ensuring our students are prepared for success in college and career. Work-based learning and internship opportunities provide invaluable opportunity to apply critical thinking and problem solving in real-world contexts. If

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hat kinds of education and training are needed for the Port of Oakland’s unique workforce that includes environmental scientists, wharfingers and divers? The Port of Oakland’s Social Responsibility Division Director Amy Tharpe said, “We support education in Oakland by improving access to valuable information about Port operations and jobs as well as providing pathways to careers. This helps ensure that local residents have access to these positions and careers.” Tharpe added, “One of the special opportunities the Port offers is its facilities as a living classroom in our community that students can explore with our industry professionals.” The Port partners with McClymonds High School Engineering Academy located in West Oakland. Academy students are given a handson project, educated about the Port’s operations, and paired with Port professionals for education and career goal discussions. This experience helps students understand the breadth of Port-related jobs, education needed for those positions, and how to navigate through education and employment choices. Tharpe explained, “The Port develops partnerships that expand access to high quality education and help prepare a future workforce for careers in port-related industries including aviation, building construction trades and maritime activities.” To prepare college bound students, the Port partners with Cal State University East Bay’s (CSUEB’s) Summer Bridge Program. The Port designed a curriculum to reinforce CSUEB’s classroom learning with experience in the field. CSUEB Associate Professor of Biology Erica Wildy said, “The idea is to empower freshmen in their academic and professional pursuits by providing them with opportunities to perform real-world tasks that solidify their understanding of classroom lessons and develop their sense of value for studies that build a path to a future career.” The Engineering Academy and Summer Bridge Program are two examples of the numerous educational programs that include Port participation. The Port does approximately $80-$120 million in annual construction activities and has a strong commitment to hire local residents for these projects. In order to ensure that local residents are prepared, the Port is a consistent supporter of the West Oakland Jobs Resource Center and The Cypress Mandela Training Center, which provides apprentice construction preparation along with employment assistance. Also, the Port partners with the East Bay Economic Development Alliance to find more ways to engage the K-12 and higher education community with a shared goal of preparing the locally diverse population for good-paying jobs. “For over 17 years the Port of Oakland has offered summer jobs, work experience and exposure to careers for hundreds of students through its paid Summer College Internship Program,” Tharpe stated. The Port also provides paid, high school internships for the Oakland Mayor’s Classrooms2Careers program. “We have a responsibility to invest in educating our youth. We will continue to partner with others to ensure a skilled future local workforce and a thriving, local and regional economy,” said Tharpe. Scholarships are also an important part of the Port’s education support. To date, the Port and its employees have given more than $1 million in scholarships to more than 550 local students through Port employee associations. ■



> A look at the schools’ common enrollment policy by Ash Solar

At GO Public Schools, our mission is to bring Oaklanders together toward more Oakland students learning and thriving in high quality public schools every year. Recently, our School Board opened a discussion regarding a potential common enrollment policy as part of its efforts to revamp its overall enrollment practices. Put simply, common enrollment is about easy, efficient, and equitable access to all high quality public school seats for all Oakland students. Oakland’s public education landscape has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Career pathways, small schools, charter schools, grade-level expansions, TK programs, etc. have profoundly reshaped families’ public school options. Today, Oakland families must understand and juggle 35 unique application processes and deadlines. For the Board, common enrollment presents a complicated and nuanced issue that truly puts needs of students and families first, while potentially creating complexity and risk for district and charter schools alike. If adopted and implemented correctly, it will represent a bold compromise and collaboration between our district and charter schools in service of all our students and families. Frankly, we’ll need more of these compromises to get to where we want to get for all students in our city. A family’s right to choose the best public school (district or charter) for their children already exists. Adopting a common enrollment policy would simply allow families to exercise that choice more easily and efficiently.

Importantly, it’s also about equity in that having a single enrollment system eliminates the heavy demands on a family’s capacity (skill, will, and time) currently required to navigate the 35-plus unique applications and timelines across Oakland’s district and charter schools. When adopted and implemented correctly, common enrollment will: 1. Create an enrollment process that is simple, easy to use, and convenient. 2. Provide families all the tools, in one spot, that they need to select the best fit for their child. 3. Reduce the number of application processes from 35 to one. 4. Require all schools – district and charter – to operate within the same enrollment rules. 5. Provide schools accurate and necessary real-time data for efficient and effective planning. 6. Preserve the sibling and neighborhood preferences of OUSD’s current process. Some in opposition of the policy argue that it is a procharter, anti-district strategy. At GO, we respect and appreciate the tension between district-run school and charter school enrollment. It’s a real issue that we need to tackle collaboratively as a community. That said, we simply don’t see common enrollment policy as an issue of district-run versus charter schools. The number of seats available in either district-run or charter-run schools will not change because of common enrollment. What needs to change is how easy and equitable the experience of enrolling a child in a public school will be for families. Perpetuating confusing, cumbersome, and fragmented enrollment processes for families – particularly those with limited capacity to navigate them – is wrong and unfair. This is a critical Board decision that will significantly impact every family in Oakland, and we hope that you will engage in the dialogue and come together to encourage our School Board to make the right, hard decision in service of all our students and families ■ Ash Solar is executive director of GO Public Schools Oakland.

> Alta Bates Summit offers first robotic exoskeleton Recognized in the top two percent in the country, Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Acute Rehabilitation Program has become the first in the East Bay to offer the Ekso GT robotic to its patients to optimize their health and wellness. This state-of-the-art technology supporting “neurological re-education” is just one of the most current treatment strategies patients receive while in the program that will support their path to recovery. The nationally recognized Acute Rehabilitation Program now offers this groundbreaking robotic exoskeleton therapy to help survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other forms of lower extremity weakness to walk again. As one of the largest rehabilitation centers in the Bay Area, Alta Bates Summit’s Regional Stroke Center cares for more than 600 patients every year. Patented by Ekso Bionics’ – based in Richmond, California – the Ekso GT body suit adjusts advanced rehabilitation therapy to continuously support a patient’s steps as they begin to walk again. It offers new hope for greater independence and a better quality of life for a broad range of patients suffering from weakness or paralysis of the lower limbs. Patients ultimately are able to take more steps or walk more naturally and show a significant improvement in overall health, mood, energy levels and engagement through use of the new technology. The Ekso GT has changed the course of recovery in gait training and neuro-rehabilitation by enhancing the patient’s own motion and increasing therapists’ ability to help in rehabilitation.

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 15


> Go College! Now by Kristina Le

The impact that a quality education can have on a student is stronger today than it has ever been. Simply learning about the discoveries made in science, technology, mathematics, and medicine in the last 30 years can give today’s college student the edge to be a successful leader and innovator of tomorrow. Still, millions of first-generation and underserved students across the country are being left behind from accessing this higher-learning opportunity for the simple reason that no one has shown them how to find the road and map the journey. Recognizing that each of us comes from a first Kristina Le generation of something (immigrant, skilled worker, college graduate), where overcoming adversity is often the common theme, Wells Fargo joined forces with First Generation Films to launch the “Go College! Now” ( national education initiative and website. Opportunities and programs created specifically for these students, which are intended to help them unlock and understand the power and purpose of higher education, are not reaching far enough. Go College! Now works to inspire students by providing free access to an award-wining powerful documentary, “First Generation,” along with downloadable resources that provide advice and guidance and a roadmap to understanding the steps needed to achieve academic success. In addition to being bilingual, the Go College! Now website’s “Take the Pledge” encourages everyone to make a difference by supporting college access for first-generation and low-income students. For example, students can pledge to find a mentor, sign up for free ACT or SAT test prep, or visit a college campus. Adults and graduates can pledge to tell the story of their collegiate journey with a student or classroom, volunteer time at a local school or community center, or mentor a student. An individual or group can also pledge to host a First Generation screening at a local school or community center. Once a pledge is submitted through the Go College! Now website, the individual

Education will receive an e-mail from First Generation confirming their pledge, along with a reminder of the available resources that can help make their pledge a success. If any of the pledge options aren’t of interest, but you’d still like to help the cause, you can do so by taking a moment to share your first generation story on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag “#GoCollegeNow” and including the website address. It could be as easy as posting, “Know someone who is the first in their family to attend college? Introduce them to #GoCollegeNow at” By raising awareness on social media you will have instantly taken this free resource to a place it hasn’t been and that’s something to feel good about. If you yourself were the first or second in your family to go to college, you understand the opportunities and financial rewards that higher education has given you. I believe Go College! Now has the potential to change the life-course of a student who might not have thought college was within his or her grasp. Wells Fargo and First Generation Films are working with national nonprofit organizations, community groups, local leaders and stakeholders to make a difference, and we hope you will join our efforts and support Go College! Now. ■ Kristina Le is the East Bay president at Wells Fargo.

> SMU passes Latino enrollment benchmark, moves closer to diversity goals As the demographics of California have shifted and Latinos are now the largest ethnic group in the state, the student population at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) is also growing more diverse with the number of Latino students having tripled over the past five years.

Latino students now represent more than 17 percent of students enrolled across all five SMU healthcare programs – up from just over 6 percent in 2010, according to enrollment statistics compiled by SMU’s Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation. The encouraging growth means that SMU has met and surpassed its goal for attracting more Latino students to the university. Five years ago, the Board of Regents approved a Diversity Plan that called for 12.5 percent Latino enrollment by the end of this year. “I’m really elated,” said Chief Diversity Officer Shirley Strong. “We’ve made great progress.” SMU is working to increase the number of Latino and African American students to help ensure that the healthcare workforce better reflects the communities where care is needed most. In communities of color, residents often lack access to preventative care and suffer from higher rates of disease than those in predominately white neighborhoods. The number of African American students at SMU is also on the rise, but the pace has been slower. Black students now represent just over 4 percent of the student population as compared to just below 3 percent in 2010. “We are moving in the right direction, but we need to do more to attract African American students into the health professions,” said SMU Dean of Admission Timothy Cranford, who is working closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to recruit underrepresented students. “Being visible in the communities around us will attract a more diverse population.” SMU has increased efforts to reach out to community colleges and inform students about the science and math classes they need to take and the grades they need to achieve to pursue health science careers. Strong said plans are also underway to get the word out about Samuel Merritt University at historically black colleges across the country. “We want to identify people who want to serve their communities and reduce health disparities,” said Strong. ■

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Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Oakland Restaurant Week returns with new sponsors, price point, and restaurants by Frances Wong

Oakland’s reputation as a thriving food destination is becoming well known. Just this year, Oakland was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and will be making its debut in this season’s Top Chef: California. With more and more restaurants popping up, it’s no wonder Oakland’s food scene is forever evolving and attracting diners from all over the Bay Area.

Oakland Restaurant Week, presented by Visit Oakland and American Express, is your chance to taste the culinary creations of the city’s best and brightest chefs and restaurateurs. The successful program returns Jan. 14-24, 2016. Ten days, covering two full weekends, gives diners the opportunity to try out new places or return to old

favorites. With more than 100 restaurants participating, it will be difficult to make your first choice! New to the program is the introduction of a new price point. In addition to the $20, $30 and $40 per person menus, restaurants are now able to offer a $50 option as well. The new price tier allows new restaurants to create a more expansive prix fixed menu option and offer more choices for diners to choose from. Oakland Restaurant Week 2016 welcomes a brand new title sponsor, American Express. With its involvement and participation, we’re expecting our most successful year ever. New and returning sponsors include Oakland Restaurant Association, City of Oakland, See.Eat.Love food tours, DeVry University, OpenTable, Red Oak Realty, Food Craft Institute, and media sponsors KTVU Fox 2, KBLX 102.9, Q102.1, Diablo Magazine, and Comcast Business. Lungomare, Nido and Bourbon & Beef return as Oakland Restaurant Week restaurant sponsors and join a welcome list of returning participants: Pican, alaMar, Golden Peacock, Spice Monkey, Juhu Beach Club, Bocanova, and Tribune Tavern, to name a few. Chris Pastena, owner of Lungomare and Chop Bar, will also debut his brand new restaurant, Calavera, in this year’s program. Featuring a Mexican-inspired menu and a wide selection of mezcal, the restaurant will certainly be a go-to spot during Oakland Restaurant Week. Other new establishments include country-western themed Overland Bar and Grill, California bistro Salsipuedes, and new Italian restaurant Parlour joining a growing list of new businesses that are making their debut as Oakland Restaurant Week participants. Visit Oakland makes it easy for dinners to make their Oakland Restaurant Week a successful one. Visit to find restaurant listings and restaurant week menus sorted by cuisine, neighborhood, and lunch or dinner options. In partnership with OpenTable, you can even make reservations directly from the Oakland Restaurant Week website. Oakland Restaurant Week 2016 showcases our city’s unique culinary environment and zest for new flavors, techniques and concepts. Follow #ORW16 on social media to see what others are eating. ■ Frances Wong is the public relations and community relations manager at Visit Oakland.

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 17


Wining & Dining in Oakland

Oakland’s urban wineries at your doorstep Aubin Cellars 6050 Colton Blvd. (510) 339-0170 Tasting room hours: By appointment only Campovida 103 Linden St. (510) 550-7273 Tasting room hours: Open Thursday & Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday noon-9 p.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m. Cerruti Cellars 100 Webster St. (510) 550-2900 Tasting room hours: By appointment only and open to the public in the summer Dashe Cellars 55 4th St. (510) 452-1800 Tasting room hours: Thursday-Sunday noon-6 p.m., Mondays by appointment only Irish Monkey Cellars 1017 22nd Ave., Unit 300 (888) 373-6441 Tasting room hours: Saturday & Sunday noon-5 p.m., and by appointment Jeff Cohn Cellars 160 Franklin St., Jack London Square (510) 465-5900 Tasting room hours: Friday & Saturday 1-7 p.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m., and by appointment Periscope Cellars 538 9th St., inside Swan's Market (510) 665-7827 Tasting room hours: WednesdaySaturday noon-9 p.m. Rosenblum Cellars 10 Clay St. in Jack London Square (877) GR8-ZINS Tasting room hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Stage Left Cellars 2102 Dennison St. (510) 434-9930 www.stagele Tasting room hours: 1st Saturday of each month 11am - 5 p.m., and by appointment Two Mile Wines 477 25th St. Tasting room hours: Saturday & Sunday 2-5 p.m., every Thursday 59 p.m., First Fridays 5-10 p.m., and by appointment Urban Legend 621 4th St. Tasting room hours: Friday-Sunday 1-6 p.m.

Flourishing urban wine country Fancy some local wines for the festive season? Look no further than your backyard as local Oakland winemakers open their cellars stocked with wines made right here in the East Bay. Urban wineries may seem like a new concept, but they reflect a tradition of local winemaking that dates back to the California Gold Rush. While the idyllic rolling hills of Napa may come to mind when you think of wine tasting, local wineries right here in the Bay Area are craing award-winning wines equal to those of the big brand locales. No longer bound by the locations and climates of their “old world” counterparts, urban vintners are sourcing the best grapes available and bringing them back to their local cellars. Located across the East Bay in factories, warehouses, tanneries and even an old airline hanger, tasting rooms are open to the community to experience the warmth and vibrant talent that Oakland has to offer. For more than ten years the East Bay Vintners Alliance (EBVA) has brought together more than 20 of the Bay Area’s most knowledgeable and skilled urban winemakers in a collaborative effort to pool their skills and resources and to promote the East Bay as “urban wine country.” Successful marketing and public relations initiatives by the EBVA over the past two years have placed the East Bay’s “urban wine country” squarely on the map both regionally and nationally. TV interviews during crush showcased local vintners at work, and feature coverage in Diablo magazine, local newspapers and wine blogs, as well as in Wine Spectator, the leading national magazine of the wine industry, has highlighted the quality of locally made wines. Media coverage focusing on the fresh vibe of urban wine country, coupled with an active social media campaign and cooperative promotion with Visit Oakland are driving awareness and introducing local vintners to a much broader population of potential customers and visitors. Founding members of the EBVA, Dashe Cellars’ husband and wife team Michael and Anne Dashe, use their combined 40-plus years of experience to create exceptional single-vineyard wines. Dashe Cellars creates vineyard-focused wines that capture the complexity and character of top vineyards throughout Sonoma County and beyond. Their portfolio includes excellent, Zinfandel, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Riesling. In 2015 Dashe Cellars opened a wine garden at their Oakland location to huge success, where they have since hosted live music and a regular tasting menu from Nido Kitchen & Bar. Currently closed for the winter, the garden will reopen in April 2016. Leveraging long-term relationships working with some of California’s top growers and vineyards, Jeff Cohn Cellars’ owner Jeff Cohn sources some of the state’s finest fruit, including Rockpile in Sonoma County, Fess Parker in Santa Barbara County and Stagecoach in Napa, to create their signature Zinfandel and Red blends. Not only can locals visit their tasting room, located at 160 Franklin St. in Jack London Square, but Jeff Cohn himself will be leading wine tasting classes in the coming months. Rosenblum Cellars is another key local vintner that not only supports the local Oakland community, but is passionate about fostering relationships with under-appreciated grape-growing areas of Northern California. Famous for being all about Zinfandel, they make over 20 different types, as well as other amazing wines including Rhône-style red wines like Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and white and dessert wines. They are passionate about sharing their sumptuous wines through their Jack London Square tasting room located just feet from the Oakland Ferry Terminal. Whether it’s a deep red Zinfandel you’re looking to accompany warming winter meals or a bright sparkling wine for family celebrations, there’s no need to travel further than Oakland to experience the best wines California has to offer.

Sample local wines Inspired to sample some of Oakland’s urban wineries? Head out on Oakland’s Urban Wine Trail, stopping along the way to shop, eat and explore all that Oakland has to offer. Best of all? The trail is walkable, and easily accessible by public transportation. For more information visit

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Rosenblum Cellars continues

> Visit Oakland launches Oakland’s

to earn winemaking honors

‘Urban Wine Trail’

Rosenblum Cellars, which has its tasting room in the heart of Jack London Square, came to the Oakland waterfront in July 2014. The beautiful location offers outdoor waterfront seating, plush couches in the lounge, and indoor wrap-around window seating. Earlier this year Rosenblum launched a “social hour” and event space packages. There’s also room to host business meetings and group events. Known for its outstanding signature Zinfandels, Rosenblum has received countless awards and accolades for more than three decades. From single vineyards in Sonoma and Alexander Valley to strictly selected regional blends, Rosenblum has made more than 50 Zinfandels earning 90 or more points from Wine Spectator. It’s an eye-opening track record for Zin lovers, but at Rosenblum, guided by commitment and craft, delivering sumptuous wines seems to be simply business as usual. The Jack London Square location offers small bites, cheeses and charcuterie plates to pair with one of its 50 different wine offerings. In addition to offering a glass or bottle of wine, it features a Reserve Flight (four pours) or Premier Flight (six pours), which changes weekly. Rosenblum has added a robust event calendar, featuring discounts and activities each day of the week. There’s “Trivia Tuesdays,” “Winesday Wednesdays” for discounts off glass pours, and “Foodie Fridays” for discounted food parings. Peppered into its social calendar are featured artist and musicians. Be sure to check out our website for updated events and offerings. For additional information on event pricing and packages, current specials or special events, call (877) 478-9467. ■

Visit Oakland, the city’s destination marketing organization, has debuted the Oakland Urban Wine Trail, showcasing 10 wineries within the city’s limits. The wineries cover a 10-mile radius throughout Oakland, and the trail is walkable and easily accessible by public transportation.

What makes Oakland’s trail unique? Variety in an already different location. Oakland’s urban wineries are housed in renovated warehouses and offer visitors tasting rooms in industrial neighborhoods, artist community spaces, and even waterfront locations. Oakland vintners source their grapes from throughout California and bring a unique Oakland flavor to the trail, influenced by their different backgrounds and winemaking experiences. “You no longer have to travel to traditional wine country for great, quality wine,” said Alison Best, president and chief executive officer of Visit Oakland. “These winemakers were drawn here because Oakland’s the place to try something different, like building your winery in a warehouse instead of a vineyard. We are proud that our vintners are putting a new spin on winemaking in our state, adding their authentic Oakland flavor.” The Oakland Urban Wine Trail represents a growing interest in winemaking outside of the traditional wine country. Wineries include Campovida, Cerruti Cellars, Dashe Cellars, Irish Monkey Cellars, Jeff Cohn Cellars, Periscope Cellars, Rosenblum Cellars, Stage Left Cellars, Two Mile Wines, and Urban Legend. To help visitors navigate the trail, an Oakland Urban Wine Trail brochure and map, as well as microsite, have been launched. The launch of the Oakland Urban Wine Trail coincided with California Wine Month in September. The month was a great time for visitors to learn about the harvest season and experience one of the state’s signature agricultural products. For more information on the trail or to learn more about participating wineries, visit ■

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 19


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> The philosophy hasn’t changed at Piedmont Grocery Founded by Herman and Eugenia Sack, Piedmont Grocery Co. opened its doors in 1902. Located at the corner of 41st Street and Piedmont Avenue, the business was moved after a fire destroyed it in 1904 and rebuilt one block down by the Key Train station at the end of the San Francisco line where it remains to this day.

> Christmas favorites and hearty winter wine pairings by Patricia Harden


▲ Piedmont Grocery offered a daily delivery service until 1965 – originally by horse-drawn wagons, then by a fleet of green trucks which oftentimes delivered the mail along with the groceries.

In the beginning, Piedmont Grocery Co. meant sawdust-covered floors, scattered pickle barrels and wooden crates displaying “good things to eat” with unparalleled service. Through earthquakes, fires, economic highs and lows, Piedmont Grocery Co. has remained consistent with its promise to deliver quality foods with outstanding personal service that has endeared the store for generations. In the early days, clerks would pull items from the shelves at customer request. Dorothy Rickard, Piedmont resident and daughter of H.Sack, Herman’s son who ran the business until 1956, recalls the old store, “You just ask for it, and they bring it to you.” Soon H.Sack established Piedmont Grocery Co. as one of the first selfservice grocery stores in town. The company even offered a daily delivery service until 1965 – originally by horse-drawn wagons, then by a fleet of green trucks which oftentimes delivered the mail along with the groceries. Piedmont Grocery Co. was purchased from the Sack family in 1957 by Charles Larson who, as an ambitious 16-year-old in 1920, started work at Piedmont Grocery Co. as a delivery driver. Charles worked his way up to buyer and store manager and eventually to general manager before becoming president and owner. Piedmont Grocery Co. is currently owned by Charles’ son David Larson. Today in its 113th year, the store has been updated, but the philosophy of offering the finest foods and best service to customers and the community remains the same. Piedmont Grocery Co. features a full-service butcher shop and an exceptional selection of gourmet, specialty and prepared foods. ■

> Oakland named one of Top Ten best local food scenes USA Today has named Oakland one of its “10 Best Local Food Scenes” in the United States for 2015. The list is voted upon by readers of USA Today and, the paper’s online travel guide. Oakland lands at the number seven spot. Oakland has been a trending culinary destination with the rise of new restaurants and chefs bringing their talents to the East Bay. Its diversity allows diners to enjoy a variety of food options throughout many neighborhoods. The city’s Oakland Restaurant Week has been celebrated as one of the best in the Bay Area for its inclusion of menus from all regions, tastes, and neighborhoods. Supplementing the restaurant scene is the Oakland Urban Wine Trail that brings the best of wine country with the city’s urban landscape. “We are so proud to be recognized as one of the most delicious and unique food scenes in the country,” says Alison Best, president and chief executive officer of Visit Oakland. “Local foodies consistently choose Oakland as the best city to eat in the Bay Area and we’re happy to spread the word to the rest of the nation.” ■

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

f your family and friends are visiting from out of town this holiday season, why not treat them to some award-winning local wines made right here in the East Bay? Serving light meats or seafood? A buttery Chardonnay is just the thing. Try R&B Cellars’s 2012 Sarabande Chardonnay with a vibrant acidity that balances out the richness of turkey or lobster. It also has subtle hints of apricot, peach and vanilla that blend magically into aromatic holiday sides. Cooking warm, filling roasts? We suggest Dashe Cellars’s 2010 Todd Brothers Ranch Petite Sirah or 2012 Louvau Vineyard Petite Sirah. Both wines also have a great velvety feel and enough tannins to go with hearty stews, rib roasts and grilled meats. Jeff Cohn Cellars’s 2012 Lancel Creek Pinot Noir is a perfect holiday party wine. Bright and light, ripe and spicy, with balanced acidity, it will pair with all roasted meats and luscious side dishes. We also recommend treating your visitors to a local Californian Zinfandel, popular since the Gold Rush days. It’s the perfect hearty winter wine because it’s spicy, dark, and ripe, and stands up to rich and warming winter dishes like short ribs or shepherd’s pie. Try Dashe Cellars’ 2012 Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines Zinfandel or the three pack from Jeff Cohn Cellars of “Warm for the Winter Zins”; each has its own vibrant personality that is sure to bring joy to your holiday table. Cheers! ■

Patricia Harden is president of Harden Communications Partners in Oakland. Recommendations courtesy of the East Bay Vintners Alliance

Save the Date: Economic Development Summit – “Oakland’s Economy of the Future” March 18


Wining and Dining in Oakland

> GUIDE TO CHAMBER MEMBER RESTAURANTS AND CATERERS Dine at these outstanding Chamber member restaurants > AIRPORT / COLISEUM AREA Francesco’s Restaurant 8520 Pardee Drive Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 569-0653

> DOWNTOWN & VICINITY Faz Restaurant 1111 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 272-1111 Fountain Cafe 499 14th St., Suite 125 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 451-6400 Spice Monkey 1628 Webster St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 268-0170 Tambo 1414 Jefferson St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 663-8262 The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill 1520 Lakeside Drive Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 208-5253 The Terrace Room at Lake Merritt 1800 Madison St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 903-3771

> HIGH STREET Mountain Mike’s Pizza 1448A High St. Oakland, CA 95601 (510) 436-7988

> JACK LONDON SQUARE & VICINITY Buttercup Kitchen – Family Restaurant 229 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 444-2976

Chop Bar 247 4th St., Suite 111 Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 834-2467

Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe Restaurant 1805 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 251-9400

Home of Chicken and Waffles Restaurant & Bar 444 Embarcadero West Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 836-4446

The Vegetarian Gourmet 2145 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 865-2935

> NEARBY Kincaid’s Bayhouse 1 Franklin St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 835-8600 Numi Tea Garden 2230 Livingston St. Oakland, CA 94606 (877) 686-4832 Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar 2 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 444-3456

Panera Bread Bakery Cafe 2249 South Shore Center Drive Alameda, CA 94501 (925) 408-7713 ■

Use these Chamber members for your catering needs


Blue Heron Catering, Inc. 1430 23rd Ave. Oakland, CA 94606 (510) 533-0781

La Snackeria 815 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 328-3839

Bon Appetit Catering 1547 Lakeside Drive Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 891-2304

Levende East / Liege Spirits Lounge 481 9th St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 835-4343

Faz Restaurant 1111 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 272-1111

Pacific Coast Brewing Co. 906 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 836-2739

> UPTOWN Flora Restaurant 1900 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 286-0100 Monster Pho 3905 Broadway Oakland, CA 94611 (510) 788-4459

Fountain Cafe 499 14th St., Suite 125 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 451-6400 Miraglia Catering & Event Planning 2096 Burroughs Ave. San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 483-5210 Savoy Events 3110 35th Ave. Oakland, CA 94619 (510) 533-9588 ■

Pican 2295 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 834-1000

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 21

Names in the news • Public architect Paul Powers has announced the transfer of ownership of The KPA Group after purchasing the firm from business partner Hratch Kouyoumdjian following his recent retirement. KPA was founded in 1987 as a structural engineering consulting firm and the practice expanded to add architectural services in 1992 and then Paul Powers aviation planning services in 1996. Powers plans to build upon the firm’s 28-year history of offering exceptional planning, architecture and engineering services to public and private sector clients. • AC Transit has announced the death of former Interim General Manager Mary King, who worked tirelessly for the District and the AC Transit Board of Directors to carry the agency through tough economic times. King was a true trailblazer and used her considerable expertise in government to develop and advocate for efficient transportation systems and services. In 1988, Mary King became the first African American woman to be elected an Alameda County Supervisor. She was re-elected twice and served as Board President for two years. In other AC Transit news, Claudia Allen has been named chief financial officer. Allen brings more than 30 years of senior management experience in finance, accounting and budget development in large-scale organizations including the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh and Aetna Life & Casualty in Connecticut. After launching her career with finance and management positions at Coopers & Lybrand and Aetna Life & Claudia Allen Casualty, she transitioned to Controller at the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the 15th largest public transit agency in the U.S. • The City of Oakland is conducting a survey to solicit community feedback about proposed improvements to the Broadway Shuttle (a.k.a. “B Shuttle” or “Free B”) in downtown Oakland. Proposed improvements to the B Shuttle include service and route expansions, stop improvements, enhancements to speed up the service, and a possible conversion of the existing bus shuttle service to an Enhanced Bus or Streetcar service. Visit for more information about the proposed improvements. The deadline for completing the survey is Dec. 31. • The Lions Center for the Blind, proving that vision transcends eyesight since 1942, has moved its offices to 1722 Broadway. All other information, including the telephone number – (510) 450-1580 – is staying the same. • The East Bay Rental Housing Association, which serves rental property owners throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, has moved its offices to 3664 Grand Ave., Suite B. The phone number – (510) 893-9873 – remains the same. • Living Jazz will present “In the Name of Love,” the 14th annual musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive in Oakland. The tribute will honor the civil rights movement through the music of Nina Simone. For tickets and information, call (510) 858-5313 or visit • CareBuilders at Home, which provides non-medical care to elderly and others who require assistance with their daily living needs, will hold an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of their new office at 400 29th St., suite 403, on Friday, Dec. 18 beginning at 4 p.m. (ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m.). For more information, call (626) 676-6298. • Spirit Airlines has commenced two daily nonstop flights between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The "Bay-to-Basin" corridor, as Spirit calls it, is one of the world's busiest air travel markets. The new addition brings the total number of flights connecting OAK and LAX to 24 daily flights, combined with multiple flights daily on the route currently offered by Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines. ■

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

All events held at Chamber offices, 475 14th Street, unless otherwise noted. Call 874-4800 to confirm dates and times. Meetings are open to all Chamber members.

Economic Development Forum | Jan. 13

After Five Reception

INSIDE OAKLAND Annie Campbell Washington | Jan. 22

| Jan. 21

Economic Development Summit

East Bay Women in Business Luncheon | Feb. 5

| Mar. 18

Keeping you connected and informed

> JANUARY 2016 4 | Chamber offices re-open 13 | Economic Development Forum E X ECUTI V E COM MI T TEE Chair of the Board MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel Vice Chair CHARISSA FRANK FMG Architects GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District DAN COHEN Full Court Press HILARY PEARSON Sungevity DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

MICHAEL HESTER McGuire & Hester NAVEEN JAIN Sparkart VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland

location to be announced

ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International

JOHN DOLBY DTZ RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company BENJAMIN HARRISON Colliers International

22 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30-10 a.m.

SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation

JACKIE LYNN RAY Schnitzer Steel Industries


| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


KIM ARNONE Cutting Edge Capital

ALISON BEST Visit Oakland


21 | After Five Reception KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture



featuring Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development and Planning & Building departments and their plans and special projects for 2016, with Rachel Flynn, director of Planning and Building, and Mark Sawicki, director of Economic & Workforce Development

Holiday Mixer




|3 - 4:30 p.m.

Tue. Dec.

JENNIFER SCANLON Kaiser Permanente DENNIS SCHRAG UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland DAVID STEIN Donahue Fitzgerald LLP Bj WASHINGTON J.P. Morgan Chase ELÑORA TENA WEBB, PH.D. Laney College STACEY WELLS Sutter Health East Bay

STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

The purpose of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is to promote commerce and industry, to advance economic growth and to enhance the quality of life in the city of Oakland.

OBR OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW (ISSN 1092-7220) is published monthly at $100.00 a year by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612-1903. Membership dues include subscription. Periodicals postage at Oakland, CA. Contents can’t be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

a City Councilmember update featuring Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington

Jack London Square No charge for Chamber members. $15 for non-members. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

> FEBRUARY 2016 5 | Women in Business Roundtable

|11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 2016 speaker series, “Rising to the Top,” featuring a financial panel of women, more details to come, Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square

10 | Economic Development Forum

|3 - 4:30 p.m. an update on the Port of Oakland’s three business lines – aviation, maritime and real estate

25 | After Five Reception | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. location to be announced

26 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum

Post card marketing

| 8:30-10 a.m.

We work with you and your team to connect your product

> MARCH 2016

or service with your target. We create quality publications

18 | Economic Development Summit, “Oakland Economy of the Future,”

and websites that help build your brand – annual reports, brochures, logos, corporate newsletters, Emma marketing email, advertising, sales kits and WordPress sites.

including confirmed speakers Chris Thornberg (Beacon Economics) and Robert Sammons (Cushman & Wakefield), more information to follow


HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808 |

Design/Production Editor

CARTER DESIGNS The articles published in this publication do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

@OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #TheOaklandAdvantage

C ARTER = DESIGNS C O M M U N I C AT I O N D E S I G N T H AT R E A L LY M E A N S B U S I N E S S 5 1 0 . 6 5 3 . 2 1 5 3 • c c @ c h e r i e ca r t e r d e s i g n s . c o m

DECEMBER 2015 / JANUARY 2016 | 23

> About Town – News from the BIDs

The following is another in a series of columns featuring news and events in Oakland’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

> An impressive list of leases During the third quarter, companies moved into, signed leases in, or expanded their presence in the heart of Oakland by more than 592,000 square feet of office and retail space. According to a compilation provided by real estate brokers to the Lake Merritt/Uptown and Downtown Oakland community benefit districts, among the significant transactions were: • Uber, the ride-on-demand giant, purchased the 1945 Broadway building capturing 381,622 square feet of prime space for its expansion purposes. • Brown & Toland signed a 59,514-square-foot lease at 1221 Broadway for a medical office. • Sierra Club, an environmental club, signed a 38,776-square-foot lease at 2101 Webster St. • Corelogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, signed a 23,842-square-foot lease at 555 12th St. • California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a stem cell agency, signed a 17,097-square-foot lease at 1999 Harrison St. • Fluid, a digital shopping software firm, signed a lease for 16,004 square feet at 1611 Telegraph Ave. • Union Bank signed a 37,244-square-foot lease at 1221 Broadway. • The Punchdown, a natural wine bar and bottle shop, signed a 1,600-square-foot lease at 1737 Broadway. • Itani Ramen, a gourmet ramen shop, signed a 2,000-square-foot lease at 1736 Telegraph Ave. • Cape Cowl Comics, a comic store, signed a lease for 1,400 square feet at 1601 Clay St. • Left Coast Power Yoga, a yoga studio, signed a lease at 563 16th St. for 1,300 square feet. • SPUR, a leading civic planning organization, signed a 6,000-square-foot ground floor and 1,500-square-foot mezzanine lease at 1544 Broadway. • And two up & coming restaurant/bar concepts, that have yet to be named, have signed leases at 1915 Broadway for 3,500 square feet and 1,600 square feet at 1739 Broadway. “The creativity with which Oakland businesses have embraced and developed new business concepts and services has gone beyond anyone’s expectations and is having a major positive impact on the health of our commercial real estate market,” said Steve Snider, Lake Merritt/Uptown & Downtown Oakland District Manager. “As this list of leases demonstrates, jobs are growing in our office towers, within street level retail and off Broadway both north and south.” ■ ▲ Uber purchased the 1945 Broadway building for its expansion purposes.

> Western Dental opens new facility in Oakland Western Dental, one of the nation’s leaders in accessible and affordable oral healthcare, has opened a new office at 3405 International Blvd. in Oakland. The new, 4,664-square-foot office will provide critical oral health access to Oakland area residents, including those without insurance or who have Denti-Cal coverage, as it now does at all of its 164 offices across California. Today, fewer than 20 percent of California’s licensed dentists are active in the Denti-Cal program and only a small fraction of those see more than 100 Denti-Cal patients per year. Western Dental employs about one-third of the dentists in the state who see more than 100 Denti-Cal patients per year. The new office is Western Dental’s second in Oakland. The other location is at 1530 Broadway. At the recent ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by the Chamber (below), managing dentist Pouyan Taqaui holds the scissors to officially open the office. For more information, visit or call (888) 844-4478. ■

24 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Dec 2015 / Jan 2016 Oakland Business Review  
Dec 2015 / Jan 2016 Oakland Business Review