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APRIL 2015


A Facebook lesson for small businesses Page 7

OAKLAND A’S Mayor Schaaf works to keep team in Oakland

WOMEN IN BUSINESS Jory Des Jardins to speak June 5 Page 19

@OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #TheOaklandAdvantage

CHAMBER’S CALENDAR Note meetings and events Page 23

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Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> The Oakland Advantage by Alex Boyd

This year’s event brought together a broad cross-section of business, government and civil society leadership to explore “The Oakland Advantage” as a


HE OAKLAND METROPOLITAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HELD ITS ANNUAL ECONOMIC Development Summit on March 20 before 300 Chamber members at the Oakland Convention Center. The summits focus on themes that are critical to the city’s economic vitality. It is clear that Oakland has experienced a significant uptick in entrepreneurial activity over the past few years across a diverse array of industries, and that a new generation of businesses, business types and business leaders are emerging in the city.

– continued on page 3 Summit is grand success – More than 300 Chamber members and guests were on hand for the Chamber’s Economic Development Summit, “The Oakland Advantage,” which was held recently at the Oakland Convention Center. The Chamber explored The Oakland Advantage as a place to start and grow businesses in Oakland’s new economy, reviewed the present real estate market, and presented key findings from the first District Economic Indicators Report. For more Summit news, see pages 2 through 5.

> Join us for A’s-Red Sox game May 12 enticing, the Chamber has acquired reserved seats on the Plaza Level (second deck) overlooking third base. The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the A’s-Red Sox showdown are just $40 per person ($50 for non-members) and the ticket price is guaranteed – even as regular ticket prices normally increase for this exciting game. To reserve tickets for the May 12 game, visit or contact Shaterica Sullivan at or at (510) 874-4800, ext. 0. Help the Chamber cheer the A’s on to victory! ■ ▲

The Oakland A’s will arrive in Mesa, Arizona this month to begin preparation for the 2015 season, and the Chamber is already making plans to help cheer them on to more victories once the season begins. The Chamber has reserved tickets for one A’s game this year that should be of particular interest in the Bay Area. On Tuesday evening, May 12, join Chamber members and staff at Coliseum for a battle of two exceptional teams – the A’s versus the Boston Red Sox, which now have two outstanding players who formerly played in the Bay Area – former Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval. And then, just to make the game even more

Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin will be looking for you at the Oakland A’s-Boston Red Sox game on Tuesday, ay 12.

> UC President Napolitano to keynote Chamber’s 110th Annual Meeting Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California and the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, will be the keynote speaker at the 110th Annual Luncheon Meeting of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, June 10 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Napolitano, who was named president of the UC system in July 2013, is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations at the federal and state levels. Besides serving as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, she was also Governor of Arizona from 200309, Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97. Since she took the reins at the University of California, she has launched initiatives to enhance community college transfers, provide financial support for undocumented students to put them on equal financial-aid footing with other students, achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025, and

expand opportunities for advanced degrees. This year’s Annual Meeting will recognize and celebrate Chamber members, the lifeblood of the organization. It reflects all members – members of the business community – saluting its own that have contributed both financially and through volunteerism for the betterment of Oakland. The event presents members with an opportunity to celebrate a year of Chamber accomplishments, a chance to network with new and award-winning members, and a way to show support for the Chamber and our many programs. The luncheon is also one of the major fundraising events of the year, providing the Chamber with funds to continue those programs and our strong advocacy for local business. To reserve a table or seat at the June 10 event, visit or contact Shaterica Sullivan at or at the (510) 874-4800, ext. 0. ■

April 2010 |



We want to thank our 2015 Oakland Advantage Sponsors Title Sponsor

Panel Sponsors

Table Sponsors

Media Partners


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> The Oakland Advantage – continued from page 1

▲ Top left: Panel 1, which looked at “Building for Oakland’s New Economy,” featured (left to right) moderator Phil Tagami and panelists Richard Weinstein, Andrew Friedman, Peter Weingarten and David Karol.

place to start and grow businesses in Oakland’s New Economy including: representatives of a number of Oakland’s large, medium-sized and small businesses; elected and appointed government officials; developers, nonprofit leaders, representatives of education and workforce development institutions; and representatives of ethnic chambers and press and media (among others). Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney kicked off the event with an energetic address. Garrick H. Brown, vice president of research for the Western United States at DTZ, then delivered a lively commercial market overview presentation focused on important market, economic, industry and demographic trends and their implications on Oakland’s and the East Bay’s real estate markets. Next, a thought-provoking panel discussion ensued focused on ongoing and upcoming infrastructure developments and investments that create the environment to support existing and emerging New Economy businesses in Oakland. Moderated by noted Oakland-based businessman Phil Tagami, chief executive officer of California Commercial and Investment Group, the panel included Andrew Friedman, managing director of Shorenstein Properties LLC’s Capital Transactions Group; David Karol, principal at Ridge Capital Investors, LLC; Peter Weingarten, principal and co-director of Gensler Oakland; and Richard Weinstein, principal at Citrine Advisors. Members of the panel discussed a variety of important and timely topics including their perspectives on the key elements that constitute “The Oakland Advantage” and what factored into their decisions to invest in Oakland. They also discussed whether or not the appropriate infrastructure is being built to support Oakland’s “new economy” businesses so that Oakland continues to expand from its traditional roots as being a back-office market and a low cost provider to San Francisco and become a market that people want to be in even when they could find comparable space in San Francisco. Following the first panel discussion, Floyd Kephart, managing principal of New City Development LLC and Chairman of the Board of The Renaissance Companies, delivered a presentation on his view of the “The Oakland Advantage” and the intersection of real estate and technology. The second panel that focused on Oakland’s increasingly diverse array of businesses was moderated by Sarah Filley, co-founder and chief executive officer of Popuphood LLC and advisor to OppSites Inc. The panel included Dorian Ferlauto, founder and chief executive officer of BriteHub; Ruben Hernandez, co-founder and chief executive officer of Devlabs; Naveen Jain, chief marketing officer and co-founder of the Immunity Project; and George Zimmer, founder and former CEO/chairman of The Men’s Wearhouse. With four small Oakland-based technology-related businesses represented, the panel truly reflected the new generation of businesses, business types and business leaders emerging in our city. The panelists offered extremely insightful perspectives on a variety of topics including the primary factors driving Oakland’s economic growth, the business and economic rationale for locating their businesses in Oakland, and also highlighted some issues that continue to limit Oakland from realizing its full economic potential. There was also significant consensus around the need to allow Oakland’s economy to continue to grow in the quintessentially Oakland way, and Zimmer seemed to capture the spirit of Oakland’s ongoing economic renaissance best when he commented, “Oakland, I like the way you look.” Following the second panel, the Summit closed with an informative presentation by Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, LLC, who focused on the preliminary findings from the Oakland Chamber District Indicators Project which was commissioned by the Chamber. Thornberg presented an overview of key economic indicators at the national, state and regional levels and then presented a compelling exploration of key economic trends and indicators at the Oakland city and city district levels, offering a very granular glimpse into Oakland’s positive economic performance on a district by district basis. The report aimed at uncovering city-wide and district level information as well as economic trends driving Oakland’s expansion. Going forward, the data and analysis from the Oakland Chamber District Indicators Project will enable businesses and policy-makers alike to better understand the factors driving Oakland’s economic expansion and support policies that further grow Oakland’s new economy, while continuing to contribute to the larger economic region. All in all the Summit was a thought-provoking and rewarding experience for all involved, and the Chamber would like to extend its thanks once again to our sponsors, our exceptional line-up of presenters and panelists, and to all who attended. ■

▲ Top right: Sarah Filley of Popuphood moderated the second panel, which looked at “Oakland’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators.” Panelists were (left to right) Naveen Jain, Dorian Ferlauto, Ruben Hernandez and George Zimmer. ▲ Bottom left: New City Development’s Floyd Kephart spoke of the intersection of real estate and technology.

▲ Bottom center: Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, LLC, focused on the preliminary findings from the District Indicators Project which was commissioned by the Chamber. His presentation included an overview of key economic indicators at the national, state and regional levels as well as a compelling exploration of key economic trends and indicators in Oakland.

▲ Bottom right: Garrick Brown of DTZ presented a commercial market overview focused on important market, economic, industry and demographic trends and their implications on Oakland’s and the East Bay’s real estate markets.

Alex Boyd is the Chamber’s economic development director.

APRIL 2015 | 3

Chamber presents first findings of Oakland District Indicator Report A three-year commitment to study Oakland’s evolving economy


he Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is proud to present a preview of the first analytical findings from the Oakland Chamber District Indicators Project. The Chamber has contracted noted economics consulting firm Beacon Economics, LLC to execute this threeyear-long project which will offer a very granular glimpse into Oakland’s economic performance, uncovering city-wide and district level information as well as economic trends

Private employment in the City of Oakland has experienced considerable growth

Business tax receipts have increased significantly since 2011

Sales tax receipts have bounced back strongly since the economic downturn

New non-residential construction in Oakland has more than doubled since 2012

Oakland’s population of 20-34 year olds grew by more than 6% between 2012-2013

All City Districts registered employment growth in 2013, several surpassing the Alameda County Average of 2.6%

All Districts registered Median Household Income Growth in 2013 that well surpassed the Alameda County Average of 2.7%


driving Oakland’s expansion. Going forward the data and analysis from the Oakland Chamber District Indicators Project will enable businesses and policy-makers alike to better understand the factors driving Oakland’s economic expansion and support policies that further grow Oakland’s new economy, while continuing to contribute to the larger economic region. ■

| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Thank you to the Oakland Chamber District Indicators Project Sponsors

> The Oakland Advantage


HE CHAMBER WRAPPED up the first quarter of 2015 on a high note with our March 20 Economic Development Summit titled “The Oakland Advantage.” I would like to thank our title sponsor, Wells Fargo Bank, and our panel sponsors Kaiser Permanente and PG&E Barbara Leslie for supporting the program. Our table sponsors are listed on page 2; we are grateful for your commitment to the Chamber and this very important program.

With more than 300 people in attendance, representing a wide swath of Oakland business, community and civic leadership, the Oakland Advantage Summit brought together visionaries from the development

– by Chamber President and CEO Barbara Leslie

community together with tech entrepreneurs currently choosing Oakland as the place to live and run their business. These leaders offered their insights on Oakland’s current strategic advantages and recommendations to enhance the climate for business growth and entrepreneurship. The panel sessions were kicked off by Garrick Brown, vice president, Research Western United States of DTZ, providing a comprehensive real estate update to frame the day’s program. Chris Thornberg with Beacon Economics closed the session with an insightful presentation of the initial findings of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s First District Indicators Report. Much has been presented about our regional economy and we need to be cognizant of our place and strength in the greater region. The Oakland District Indicators provides a deeper dive into the trends driving the Oakland

Advantage. It is with the knowledge of these trends that we can grow Oakland’s business sector and participate fully in our larger regional economy. Over the next few months and year the Chamber will be building on this report by conducting analyses of commercial districts and key economic sectors to not only present these trends but to provide actionable information to retain the city’s rich and inclusive urban experience by driving development and growth in Oakland’s key economic sectors and strategic locations within the city. The Chamber believes that to grow our economy we need to know our economy. Stay tuned. And finally a special thanks to California Capital and Investment Group, Signature Development Group and the Jobs and Housing Coalition for their financial support of the Chamber’s district indicator report. And a shout out to Marisa Raya, economic analyst and tech development, Special Projects, and Kelly Kahn, special projects director with the city of Oakland for their dedicated partnership. It truly takes a village to produce events of this magnitude. I am both honored and privileged to work with these dedicated Chamber Planning Committee Members: Charissa Frank (FMG Architects), Kim Arnone (Cutting Edge Counsel), Anthony Thompson (United Business Bank), Chris Pattillo (PGA Design), John Nelson (murakami/Nelson), Ken Lowney (Lowney Architecture), Richard T. White (Donahue Fitzgerald LLP), Ed McFarlan (JRDV Architects), Solomon Ets-Hokin (Colliers International), John Dolby (DTZ), Mark Everton (Waterfront Hotel), Michael LeBlanc (Pican Restaurant), and Keith Turner (Safeway). And thank you to our incredible lineup of speakers and presenters. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ■

APRIL 2015 | 5

> The dos and don’ts of electronic signatures by Robert K. Walker The practical benefits of using electronic signatures instead of traditional “wet” signatures are numerous – quicker deal execution, better document tracking and archiving, creation of an audit trail, etc. For most types of contracts, electronic signatures are valid and will not affect a contract’s validity or enforceability. For these reasons, among others, electronic signatures are now used extensively in real estate agreements, and would be appropriate for most other kinds of commercial transactions. Robert K. Walker However, there are certain types of documents where electronic signatures should not be used, due to current ambiguities in state and federal law. For example, state courts in Nevada still require “wet” signatures on all court filings, even though electronic signatures are allowed in federal courts. Generally speaking, electronic signatures should not be used on any of the following documents: • Wills, codicils, or testamentary trusts; • Adoptions, divorces, or other family law matters; • Certain contracts governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, other than sales or leases of goods; • Court orders, notices, and other official court documents; • Notices of cancellation of utility services; • Notices of foreclosure or eviction from a person’s primary residence; • Cancellation or termination of health or life insurance (excluding annuities); • Product recalls; • Any document required to transport hazardous or dangerous materials; or • Any transaction in which a state is acting as a market participant. If you have any questions concerning electronic signatures or e-commerce generally, contact Steven K. Lee or Robert K. Walker at Donahue Fitzgerald LLP. This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. ■ Robert K. Walker is an attorney at the Oakland law firm of Donahue Fitzgerald LLP,


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> A new canopy for BART BART’s latest efforts to improve escalator reliability and provide a more welcoming entrance to its stations in the form of a glass canopy entrance structure are now completed and open to riders at the 19th Street station. BART Director Robert Raburn joined a crowd of people in celebrating the grand opening of the new canopy entrance located at the intersection of Broadway and 20th street in Oakland. The canopy provides escalators with weather protection and enhanced security, and allows employees and patrons to enjoy a greater degree of safety. Additionally, real-time train arrival information is displayed on screens at street level so customers know how soon their train is arriving before entering the station. The canopy was designed with place-making and environmental friendliness in mind, pulling ample natural light into the station and inspiring passersby and users alike with its flowing design through transparency of glass. The escalator in place was substantially refurbished. New LED lights were installed along both the glass structure and the iconic blue colored tiled walls inside the canopy. New modern and bright station identification signs were installed at street level. A pedestrian-safe structural glazing system is used as sidewalk allowing light to connect street and station. The canopy itself and the glass sidewalk are illuminated at night. “This canopy is part of our efforts to modernize our aging stations,” said Raburn. “It's bright, welcoming, and enhances escalator reliability while adding artistic elements to the neighborhood.” The $2 million pilot program, paid by Prop. 1B funds, will test the operability and maintainability of the unit and the public’s approval for similar canopies at other stations, providing an even greater number of riders with the amenities and protections such a structure affords. BART is currently working with the cities to bring canopies to San Francisco Market Street stations and downtown Berkeley station. ■


> A Facebook lesson for small business owners On March 13, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce partnered with Facebook and Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s office to hold the Facebook Small Business Boost event. Some 115 attendees from around the Bay Area attended the event at Oakland’s Elihu M. Harris State Building in which Facebook's Small Business Team shared best practices, success stories, and strategies for how to grow, manage, and understand their small business identity on Facebook.

▼ At the recent Facebook event, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (right) is joined by Chamber President Barbara Leslie, Chamber Economic Development Director Alex Boyd (left) and Assemblyman Bonta’s district director, Jim Oddie.

Chamber President Barbara Leslie introduced Assemblymember Bonta, representing the California State Assembly's 18th District, who then welcomed attendees and spoke about the importance of small business for the local economy and outlined several of the initiatives he and his colleagues in Sacramento are working on to support small business development and competitiveness, both in Oakland and throughout California. Following his presentation, Juan Salazar, associate manager, State Political Outreach at Facebook, walked attendees through the various advertising services the Facebook platform offers to market and promote small businesses and their products or services, providing significant value to all of those in attendance. The Chamber was pleased to partner with Assemblymember Bonta’s office and one of the world’s leading technology companies to bring this important business development resource to Oakland’s business community. The Chamber looks forward to future opportunities for collaboration with Assemblymember Bonta’s office and Facebook. ■

> East Bay’s logistics industry continues to grow by Margot Lederer Prado The city’s Economic Development & Workforce Division is taking a participatory role in several regional policy studies that aim to increase the logistical flow of goods. The studies all point out the increase in warehouse and logistics employment through the East Bay. The goods movement industry is changing rapidly with increased ecommerce as well as movement of goods internationally. Jobs for drivers, warehouse operators, packers and logistics navigators have increased in gross numbers and wage rates. New technology is being introduced that helps manage inventory, guides the sorting process (“pick and pull”) in warehouses, and provides drivers with real time information on the status of their cargo. A recent study of jobs in the transportation and logistics industry – “Keeping the East Bay Moving: A Study of the Transportation & Logistics Sector” – has found that there are 33,974 related jobs (1,291 firms) in the East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa counties), approximately 2.8 percent of all East Bay jobs; and that logistics jobs are growing, with an expected 3 percent growth in 2014-2019. The report highlights the fact that the multiplier effect of one such job generates an additional 4.27 jobs in related industries. Average earn-

ings in this field are $71,677 with a gross regional product within the East Bay of over $4 billion. Given that several community colleges in the area have specialized training in these areas, this is good news for future employment for local residents. There are three major regional studies taking place that focus on, or include, the logistics and distribution sector. These include: • East Bay Transportation & Logistics Partnership – funded by Design It Build It Ship It, a four-year, $14.9 million U.S. Department of Labor initiative, focused on improving connections between educational institutions and the private sector employers for “just-in-time” job training; • MTC Regional Goods Movement Study – funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Alameda County Transportation Commission. The Regional Goods Movement Plan will evaluate existing conditions and key trends, recommend strategies, and detail descriptions of the main goods movement corridors. • The Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan – Economic Prosperity Strategy – reports on the growing occupations and industries of opportunity that generate middle-income wage jobs. Future trends and industry needs in this industry include: • Consolidation – including mergers of formerly independent firms, creating economies of scale. Larger firms generate more parking and truck service needs on site, and requiring larger local parcels. • Just-In Time Technology – the increasing technology offered by both software and hardware firms helps to lower costs by storage of as-needed goods only. Related technologies are being developed into hardware controls, such as those being designed, engineered and produced by local Oakland firm, Codeshelf. Codeshelf’s intelligent electronics, all made in a downtown Oakland facility, enable customers to lower cost-per-order and run one integrated order fulfillment operation for more efficient warehouse operations. • Radio Frequency ID systems – consisting of small tags embedded in products that provide information in a timely and accurate manner These trends result in increased demand for skilled labor, with escalating e-commerce and just-in-time delivery requirements. Local jobseekers must be prepared to compete to operate new systems. There are many excellent community college training programs, including the Atlas Program at College of Alameda, which are meeting the curriculum demanded by the changing industry, which enable our labor force to be competitive for such opportunities. ■ Margot Lederer Prado is a senior business development specialist with Oakland’s Department of Economic & Workforce Development.

> Service hours extended for Broadway Shuttle Evening service hours for the city of Oakland’s popular “Free B” Broadway Shuttle have been extended so that downtown residents, workers and revelers can ride the Free B until 10 p.m. on weekdays. The Free B also runs during the day and on Fridays and Saturdays until 1 a.m. Downtown stakeholders had been advocating for later Free B service so passengers could enjoy downtown’s bustling nightlife and dining scenes Zach Seal later into the evening. Employers also pushed for extended hours so late shift workers could forgo their cars in favor of environmentally cleaner public transit. Launched in August 2010 as an economic development tool to attract major employers and provide a boost to local businesses, the Free B provides “last-mile” connections to office buildings and local businesses from major downtown transit systems, including AC Transit, BART, Capitol Corridor Amtrak and the San Francisco Bay Ferry. Operated under a contract with AC Transit, the Broadway Shuttle is funded through a robust public/private partnership including public grants from transit agencies, and private sponsorships from Jack London Square, Jack London Improvement District, Downtown & Lake Merritt-Uptown Community Benefit Districts and Uptown Apartments; and a marketing agreement with the San Francisco Bay Ferry. Also gaining momentum over the past year is the city’s study to evaluate extending the Free B route further north along Broadway potentially as far as Kaiser Hospital. The study is also assessing the costs and economic development benefits of replacing the existing rubber-tire shuttles with either an enhanced bus system or electric streetcars on tracks. Catalyzing transit-oriented development and attracting retail and other businesses along Broadway are the potential benefits being evaluated in the study. ■ Zach Seal is an economic development specialist in the city of Oakland’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

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> Nonprofits in conversation at March Roundtable by Âna-Marie Jones Community Benefit Organizations (aka Nonprofits) are often admonished for not behaving more like private-sector businesses, while simultaneously being faulted if they are seen as being too willing to embrace private-sector competitive habits. The Chamber’s March Nonprofit Roundtable welcomed Alicia Polak, executive director, The Bread Project; Kimberly Scrafano, vice president of Development & Community Affairs, Goodwill Industries of the East Bay; Suzanne Abbey, Head of School, Beacon Day School; and Khadija Fredericks, director of lower school, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, to discuss issues related to nonprofit competitors. Although they represent different industries and they operate under different revenue models, our guests were united in their resistance to viewing other nonprofit providers as "competition." While nonprofits could "compete" for virtually anything – donors, grants, media attention, board members, staff, participants, in-kind

support, and opportunities – the ▲ Nonprofit Roundtable co-chair Ana-Marie Jones overwhelming sentiment was to move (right) welcomes panelists toward a mutually supportive (left to right) Kimberly construct. Scrafano, Alicia Polak, “With so many needs and so much Suzanne Abbey, and work to be done in the community, we Khadija Fredericks. don’t see other providers as competition,” said Polak. “Goodwill Industries is not in competition with similar agencies. We have different services, and we are fulfilling needs in our community differently,” Scrafano noted. All of the presenters articulated their unique missions and skillsets, and pointed to the importance of finding the "right fit" with clients, funders, and partners. Even when agencies offer essentially the same services, in the same geographical area, their differences matter. “For some families,” Abbey noted, “a school offering a religious framework would be highly desirable, for others not.” Fredericks added, “There is a bond between schools, and when one suffers a loss or blow, others feel for their sister school.” Investing valuable resources (mental, physical, emotional, or social) in fostering competition – when it doesn't support their greater goals and community commitments – is clearly not in the cards for these nonprofits. Both school panelists acknowledged the importance of their membership in EBISA, the East Bay Independent Schools Association, where member schools openly borrow, share, and build off each other’s successes. Similarly, CARD (Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters) exists to ensure nonprofits don't have to go it alone in the complex world of emergency readiness. For nonprofits looking to thrive without the traditional competition model, participation in the Chamber and in associations and intermediary agencies takes on much greater importance. Another factor against the competition paradigm is that in today's rapidly changing nonprofit employment landscape, today's competitor can be tomorrow's employer, partner or funder. The discussion of ways that nonprofits can help each other include: getting to know each other well enough to advocate for each other, share resources, and link to each other online. Chamber members are encouraged to add their Chamber membership to their LinkedIn profiles. ■ Âna-Marie Jones and Jerry Metzker are co-chairs of the Oakland Chamber Nonprofit Roundtable. Jones is executive director of CARD (Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters), and Metzker is development & grants manager for Family Connections. The Roundtable meets on the third Tuesday of every month from 2:304:30 p.m. in the Chamber Board room.

> Human resource strategies for small business owners In March, the Oakland Chamber Small Business Seminar series welcomed Sara Skowronski, president and principal consultant for Eos Human Resource Consulting. Skowronski discussed human resources strategies for business growth. The key points, she noted, were to set a tone with your employees that fits your style, protect yourself by knowing the laws pertaining to employment, hire the right people, set clear expectations, and know how to motivate and keep employees happy. She specifically emphasized the new laws in California and Oakland around sick leave and how to deal with them. Skowronski offers a one hour consultation for anyone who would like to know more about compliance and employee management. She can be reached at The next installation of the Chamber’s monthly seminar series will be held on Friday, April 10, when Chamber members will hear from Gail Nott of Nott Ltd Social Media, who will be making a presentation on Profitable Social Media Networking. Register at The series is held on the second Friday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the Chamber offices. If you have a topic of interest and value to small business owners and would like to present at a future seminar, contact Cory Nott at ■

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Oakland A’s

> Mayor working to ‘keep our teams here at home where they belong’ Editor’s note: The following story was written by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.


N APRIL 6TH THE A’S KICK OFF THEIR 47th SEASON IN OAKLAND AND the Warriors just clinched their fifth division championship since moving to the West Coast in 1962. And while the Raiders’ regular season didn’t end quite as notably, we know Raider nation is strong.

As a proud Oakland native, I less costly for developers to know what our teams mean to build on any portion of the fans and how deeply rooted Coliseum site (which includes the connections are between the existing sports venues). our city and its sports This approach is in line with franchises. That’s why I have my commitment not to put been working to responsibly city money into the building keep our teams here at home of new stadiums, but instead where they belong. to innovatively create more Recognizing that we are coincome potential in the area owners of the land where our as a whole, through rezoning teams currently play and where and other efforts that support future facilities could be built, private sports, business and one of the first things I did tourism development in the ‘The Area Specific when I took office was to bring area. Plan zoning and the County of Alameda and the While these are major environmental City of Oakland together. Now milestones, we still have clearance work is for the first time, we have an many more markers to hit bean investment by the exclusive negotiating agreefore we have actual building ment which the city, county City of Oakland that and new development in the and our private developer have area. But I know we now have will make it far easier all signed. the political will to get it done and less costly for This agreement is unique in – responsibly, by protecting developers to build that it still preserves the opporthe public dollar and addresson any portion of the tunity for the city and the ing our existing commitColiseum site (which county to also entertain proments. includes the existing posals directly from the I look forward to working sports venues).’ Raiders, A’s and Warriors. I have with each of the teams, the – Mayor Libby Schaaf been actively engaging the City Council and our partners owners of all three teams with at the county level to explore an open invitation to present the actual development projtheir own development projects that will be put forward ects. as Oakland moves to make our vision for this And our City Council’s passage on March 31st site a reality. of an Area Specific Plan for the entire Coliseum I have every confidence that our teams will be City site and certification of an accompanying a part of that future in Oakland. I join fans in environmental impact report makes it possible wishing the A’s a great 2015 season, rooting for to finally start the process for actual developthe Warriors’ successful completion of post-seament in the area – which could begin with new son play and readying for Raiders kick off in sports venues. Oakland this fall. The Area Specific Plan zoning and environmental clearance work is an investment by the The Honorable Libby Schaaf is the Mayor of City of Oakland that will make it far easier and Oakland.

APRIL 2015 | 9


Oakland A’s

> Another A’s overhaul brings promise by Carl Steward

It’s just the way the A’s do it – or more precisely, the way general manager Billy Beane believes he has to do it – to keep a small-market franchise viable and competitive while playing in an outdated, decaying stadium with a limited budget. Without question, it’s a frustrating reality that Oakland can’t sustain a quality nucleus it develops because of finances. The club had seven All-Stars last season playing for an A’s team with the best record in baseball at the midseason break. But that’s all ancient history because five of those players are now on other teams, and despite three straight postseason appearances, Oakland is back in wholesale Carl Steward reconstruction mode. Following a crushing 9-8 extrainning wild-card game loss to the Kansas City Royals in October, eight subsequent offseason transactions resulted in the movement of 27 players either off or onto the A’s roster. That doesn’t even count popular outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who was traded at midseason last year for ace

Oakland Athletics fans should know the drill by now. Every three years or so, a program is going to be required to re-learn who’s playing for their team.

pitcher Jon Lester, who spent three months with Oakland and then left via free agency. Familiar faces such as Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Derek Norris and Jeff Samardzija are no longer here, and despite the economic explanations, many fans can’t figure out why. Perhaps even more confounding is that in recent years, Beane has traded away young prospects who were once thought to be key pieces of the future foundation – first baseman Chris Carter, outfielders Michael Choice and Billy McKinney, infielders Grant Green, Addison Russell and Daniel Robertson and pitcher Michael Ynoa. On the surface, it doesn’t make any sense at all. But if you know the history of this franchise under Beane’s direction, n the 17 seasons you understand that a massive Beane has been overhaul may not in charge of the necessarily be bad baseball operation, news. In the 17 seasons he has Oakland has finished been in charge of first or second 12 the baseball times with six operation, Oakland American League has finished first or


West titles.

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Oakland A’s > Did you know? • While with the Washington Nationals

▲ An A’s familiar face – Josh Reddick second 12 times with six – will continue guarding right field. American League West titles. The only thing lacking is a World Series title – or even just a World Series appearance – which many believe Beane may have fumbled away in 2014 by trading away Cespedes. Even though the A’s fortified their pitching with the addition of Lester, Oakland stopped scoring runs and limped through the second half with a 29-38 record, barely getting into the playoffs on the last day of the season. Beane maintained he saw it all coming. “Simply put, if we don’t have Jon Lester, I don’t think we make the playoffs,” he said at the end of the season. Maintaining his belief the Los Angeles Angels were destined to catch and pass the A’s – which they did -he added, “I was also concerned about us. It’s not where you are. It’s where you’re headed.” That mindset obviously carried over into the flurry of offseason moves that will deliver a radically remodeled cast that includes less than half the players from last year’s Opening Day roster. The entire infield – first baseman Ike Davis, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Marcus Semien and third baseman Brett Lawrie – will be new. With Norris and John Jaso having been traded, the catchers will be holdover Stephen Vogt and newcomer Josh Phegley. The outfield will be a little more familiar with oft-injured Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick in the lineup when healthy. But Crisp is being moved to left field while Reddick could start the season on the disabled list. Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry will play center and right until Reddick returns, then prospectively platoon in center. Prospectively, the A’s will have a lineup with a little more speed that also hits for a higher average but possesses a lot less power. They’ll have a stronger defensive presence but cohesiveness may become an issue. That’s where manager Bob Melvin comes in. Taking over a club in 2012 that had made even more changes than this one, he molded a division-winning club that continued to win over the next two seasons. In the end, however, it will all likely depend on pitching, and on that count, the A’s appear to have the goods. Even with the departures of Lester and Samardzija, the A’s still have a solid 1-2 in young phenom Sonny Gray and standout veteran Scott Kazmir. Melvin has a large cast of candidates to fill out the remainder of the rotation in holdovers Drew Pomeranz and Jesse Chavez and promising trade acquisitions Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn and Sean Nolin. Moreover, the A’s expect to have the services of two proven starters, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, by midseason once they fully recover from elbow surgery. Oakland’s bullpen should also be strong again with the return of Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Eric O’Flaherty, Dan Otero and Fernando Abad and the addition of experienced setup man Tyler Clippard. Of course, the A’s will have to establish a new identity with a fan base that pushed the club over two million in attendance for the first time in years in 2014. Beane and Co. answer that by saying that no one knew much about the club in 2012 when the last overhaul became necessary. At the very least, based on what happened with the last cast of unknowns, the current club may merit the benefit of the doubt. ■

Carl Steward is a sports columnist for the Oakland Tribune and Bay Area News Group.

in 2014, new A’s relief pitcher Tyler Clippard played his fih consecutive season with 70 or more games pitched, and his 371 appearances since 2010 are the most in the majors. Since 2010 he also leads Major League relievers in innings pitched, is tied for the lead in wins, ranks second in strikeouts, and is sixth in opponents’ batting average. • In 2014, catcher Stephen Vogt batted .279 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs in 84 games with Oakland. He started games at five different positions, including 40 at first base, 13 in right field, eight at catcher, five at designated hitter, and one in le field. • Outfielder Craig Gentry recorded 20 stolen bases in just 94 games with the A’s last year, leading the team in that category. • Starting pitcher Scott Kazmir won a career-high and team-leading 15 games last year in his 10th Major League season and was named an American League AllStar for the third time. • Dan Otero compiled an 8-2 record with a 2.28 earned run average in 72 relief appearances. He led American League relievers in batters faced, ranked second in innings pitched, and eighth in fewest walks per nine innings. He also tied for second among league relievers in wins, ranked fih in fewest pitches per innings, and tied for sixth in opponents grounded into double plays.

▲ Coco Crisp was named the recipient of the 2013 Jim “Catfish” Hunter Award, which honors an A’s player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher. ■

APRIL 2015 | 11


Oakland A’s

> Ex-Major Leaguer looks at baseball’s revolving door of players Dave McCarty, an associate with Lee & Associates in Oakland, had a 15-year career in Major League Baseball, including stints with the A’s in 2003 and with the Giants in 1995-96. He earned a World Series ring when the Boston Red Sox won it all in 2004. A utility player, McCarty was a first baseman and outfielder, and was even called upon to pitch. After completing his career he became a Red Sox analyst on local TV from 2005-2008 and then moved back to Oakland. Representatives of Oakland Business Review (OBR) caught up with him recently for this question-and-answer report. OBR: Changing faces and lineups seem to be commonplace with the A’s, but this year there are an extraordinary number of new players. Is it hard for the players to adjust? McCarty: Unfortunately today’s players are very used to shifting around a lot more than players in previous eras. With free agency and the increase in salaries teams are much more willing to let home grown players leave. It isn’t great for the fans, but it is a reality in today’s game. As a player you end up having former teammates on every team you play against so when you do go to a new team you inevitably have a friend already there and it makes the adjustment easier. OBR: Many years ago it seemed as if the same players played for the same teams. What do you tell a youngster when his favorite player has just been traded away or left via free agency? McCarty: This can be very tough on young fans, but it’s the way the game is now. Teams are finding it much easier now to replace players as they hit the arbitration and free agency years rather than paying to keep them. They want the benefit of controlling the player for the first several years at below market salaries, but then let them go when they will have to pay market rate salaries for the players. It is just the economics of the game today and I think with young fans you need to teach them to root for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the player’s name on the back. I think that approach will help to stress the team aspect of the game.

OBR: Of the new players, which one can A’s fans expect great things from?

OBR: Like many players, you played for a number of different teams during your career. How did you feel about changing addresses and uniforms every couple of years?

McCarty: I’m excited to see what Ben Zobrist does with the A’s. I’m amazed by his ability to play all over the field while still putting up impressive offensive numbers.

McCarty: I was a bench guy so I bounced around a lot and got used to it. I played for seven different teams in the Major Leagues and nine organizations overall. You get used to the Spartan lifestyle of living out of a suitcase and because you start right after high school or college you don’t know anything else. Now that I have a normal schedule and get to see my family every day I realize what a terrible schedule the players have to keep.

OBR: What can local businesses do to get involved with the team and show their support?

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▲ First baseman Dave McCarty with the Boston Red Sox in 2004…and Oakland businessman Dave McCarty with Lee & Associates in 2015.

McCarty: The easiest way to get involved is for businesses to buy season tickets. It is a great thing to do with clients and a nice reward for employees. ■


Oakland A’s

> An opportunity to ‘build something wonderful’

by Catherine Arlin

Baseball fans are in for a better baseball experience this season. stadium has added two new high-definition LED video boards replacing existing video boards that date back to 1996. In addition to the video boards there is a new superslow motion camera positioned behind first and third base to capture scoring plays.

The Oakland A’s recently signed a 10-year lease extension while the city of Oakland continues to pursue a new home for its major league teams. The Alameda County Board of Supervisor voted unanimously to extend the lease, which includes the A’s funding of some upgrades as part of their extension. The Oakland City Council has agreed to an exclusive six-month negotiating agreement with New City Development LLC, led by San Diego businessman Floyd Kephart. There is excitement around Kephart’s involvement; he has been able to bring both the city and the county to the same table to discuss land and debt issues. The first phase of Coliseum City is an approximately 200-acre site that would include a home for the A’s and the Raiders. Coliseum City ultimately is an 800-acre project that would also include hotels, office towers, technology, a transit hub and 5,800 market rate and affordable housing units. HOK Architectural Firm will start work on planning how to make the stadium work in East Oakland. The new stadium could transform the East Oakland neighborhood. While the project will require new infrastructure, new infrastructure creates a path for East Oakland residents to take advantage of the tech revolution, job opportunities, and long-range community benefits. The Coliseum City project could become a vibrant urban center. This is an opportunity to build something wonderful, but for now it’s a wait-and-see game. Meanwhile, let’s play ball! Go Oakland A’s! ■

League philosophy does not permit any ▲ Prior to select home games, members of local eligible candidate to be turned away, but baseball and softball teams the rules require that every child plays in accompany A’s players as every game. We at Wells Fargo are proud they take the field for the to support the great work that Little national anthem. They also Leagues do and echo their efforts of receive autographed balls supporting and promoting local youth and an A’s T-shirt. sports programs. Giving back to the community is ingrained in the culture of Wells Fargo and our team members. One of our priorities in that endeavor is supporting volunteerism. In fact, last year in the Bay Area alone, Wells Fargo Bay Area team members volunteered more than 87,500 hours in their local communities. We are continuously finding ways to involve the broader community. Wells Fargo has a long standing relationship with the Oakland A’s and in past years the company sponsored the Teacher Awards Program and School Supplies Programs with the A’s where we had the opportunity to honor teachers who are shaping lives and inspiring minds day in and day out. Thank you to those who work with children at the local league level and for volunteering their time to make the community a better place. Applications are available now; please email for more information. Micky Randhawa is the East Bay president of Wells Fargo.

Catherine Arlin is operations manager at Colliers International, the third-largest commercial real estate services company in the world, with more than 13,500 professionals operating out of more than 482 offices in 62 countries. Colliers International focuses on accelerating success for its clients by seamlessly providing a full range of services to real estate users, owners and investors worldwide, including global corporate solutions, brokerage, property and asset management, hotel investment sales and consulting, valuation, consulting and appraisal services, mortgage banking and research. For additional information about Colliers International in Oakland, visit

> Wells Fargo and A’s let Little League teams take the field by Micky Randhawa This is the second year with our sponsorship of “Take the field with the A’s” program; our goal is to involve our local communities in supporting volunteerism and the qualities that youth sports help build in children such as team building and discipline. The program celebrates Bay Area youth team sports by giving kids a memorable experience at the ballpark with professional baseball players. Bay Area Little League teams can submit their teams for selection with the Oakland A’s Community Relations Department. The selected youth baseball and soball teams can then join Oakland A’s players and run out on the field with the A’s starting lineup for the national anthem and get the player’s autograph and a souvenir A’s T-shirt. There are 13 Sunday home games during the 2015 season, therefore there’s the opportunity to let 13 Little League teams take the field! There are many Little League teams in the East Bay and although leagues may assess a registration fee – used to purchase uniforms and equipment – the fee cannot be a prerequisite for playing. The Little

Local Little League teams are organized and run exclusively by volunteers who include elected board members and officers, managers, coaches, umpires, auxiliary and field workers.

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Oakland A’s

> Winning in the community


he Oakland A’s, in conjunction with the A’s Community Fund, strive to make a positive impact in the Bay Area and Northern California. A’s players, coaches and front office employees, together with fans and sponsors, are committed to meeting the social, cultural and educational needs of the community. The A’s host numerous fundraising events, implement several educational programs, and support various organizations that reach out to people of diverse backgrounds throughout the community. The team’s many community programs include: • Breast Cancer Awareness Day – The A’s host a Breast Cancer Awareness Day presented by Zevia each year to raise funds for breast cancer education and research. Funds are raised through the sale of commemorative jerseys, pins, caps and necklaces, an A’s autographed quilt raffle and sponsor support. Pre-game ceremonies include the formation of a symbolic human pink ribbon on the field by more than 350 Bay Area survivors, the release of white doves as a symbol of hope, and a presentation of the “Gi of Faith” grant, which donated $5,000 annually to a local breast cancer charity in memory of longtime KTVU news reporter Faith Fancher. Since 1999, this event has raised nearly $1.47 million for breast cancer and education. • Root Beer Float Day – Since 2000, the A’s have hosted a Root Beer Float Day to raise funds for charity. Proceeds are raised through the sale of root beer floats, tips given to “celebrity scoopers,” the sale of autographed mugs and a silent auction of sports memorabilia. The A’s have raised more than $440,000 since 2003 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through Root Beer Float Day. • Science of the Game – The program, presented by Chevron, deepens interest and understanding among Bay Area youth by applying science to baseball. The A’s and Chevron design and distribute Science of the Game workbooks to local schools that utilize science formulas to answer questions related to various aspects of the game of baseball. The three workbooks, targeting grades 1-2, 3-5 and 6-8, are also available online. Students who complete their workbooks and submit their answer sheets to the A’s receive two ticket vouchers. • Home Run Readers – The A’s Home Run Readers program encourages teachers to establish reading goals for their students based on each

Above left: A young fan shares a moment on the field with catcher Stephen Vogt during Take the Field with the A’s. The youngster received an autographed ball and stood with Vogt during the playing of the national anthem. Above top: A’s manager Bob Melvin signs autographs and scoops ice cream at Root Beer Float Day. The A’s have raised more than $440,000 since 2003 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Above bottom: More than 350 survivors form a symbolic human pink ribbon on the field during Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

The following members of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee wish the Oakland A’s a successful and winning season. Graig Brooks

Marvin A. Clark

Cynthia Dorsey

Cory and Gail Nott

Jaguar Productions

Sigma Beta Club

Oakland Chamber

Referral Institute

(510) 432-1429

(510) 867-8436



(510) 919-6830

(510) 986-4775


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Oakland A’s the Oakland Zoo. • Take the Field with the A’s – Prior to select home games, members of local baseball and soball teams accompany A’s players as they take the field for the national anthem. Participants receive an autographed baseball, t-shirt and complimentary ticket to the game. The program is sponsored by Wells Fargo. ■

2015 Oakland A’s Home Schedule

Above top: Sonny Gray discusses child’s individual reading level. As inpitching during an A’s Amigos centives, A’s players, coaches, mascot program in the home team Stomper and A’s staff visit participating dugout. schools to congratulate the students and to encourage them to continue Above bottom: Pitcher Drew Pomeranz speaks with school reading, both inside and outside the children as part of the Home Run classroom. Students who participate in Readers program, which the program attend the game on Home encourages teachers to establish Run Readers Day as guests of the A’s. reading goals for their students. • Mathletics – The Mathletics program stresses the importance of students using math in their daily lives. The A’s design and distribute workbooks – which use simple formulas for calculating statistics of A’s players – to participating schools. Students in the first through eighth grades who complete their workbooks correctly and submit their answer sheets to the A’s receive two ticket vouchers. In addition, one school that demonstrates great participation in the program receives a visit from an A’s player. The program is sponsored by ROSS and Comcast SportsNet California. • Energize Your Field – The A’s Community Fund, in partnerships with PG&E and the Good Tidings Foundation, renovates a local baseball or softball field each year in order to provide local youth a state-of-the-art facility. • A it Forward – The A’s and PG&E will donate up to 1,000 tickets in 2015 to fans who show their support for the A’s and for their community through the “A it Forward” program. The stories of selected fans will be shared on the A’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. • A’s Amigos – This program gives bilingual children of nonprofit organizations the opportunity to speak in Spanish with an A’s player and learn about the importance of hard work and education. In addition to a pregame visit, each child receives a game ticket and an A’s cap. The A’s Amigos program is sponsored by Kelly-Moore Paints and XFINITY. • Little A’s – Each year 10,000 deserving children of nonprofit organizations are provided complimentary tickets to attend selected A’s games. All receive a children’s admission pass to the Oakland Zoo and souvenir item courtesy of Bank of America. The Little A’s program is sponsored by Bank of America and supported by The Clorox Foundation and



Mon., April 6, Texas, 7:05 p.m. Tues., April 7, Texas, 7:05 p.m. Weds., April 8, Texas, 7:05 p.m. Thurs., April 9, Texas, 12:35 p.m. Fri., April 10, Seattle, 7:05 p.m. Sat., April 11, Seattle, 1:05 p.m. Sun., April 12, Seattle, 1:05 p.m. Fri., April 24, Houston, 7:05 p.m. Sat., April 25, Houston, 1:05 p.m. Sun., April 26, Houston, 1:05 p.m. Tues., April 28, L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m. Weds., April 29, L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m. Thurs., April 30, L.A. Angels, 12:35 p.m.

Mon., May 11, Boston, 7:05 p.m. *Tues., May 12, Boston, 7:05 p.m. Weds., May 13, Boston, 12:35 p.m. Fri., May 15, Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m. Sat., May 16, Chicago White Sox, 6:05 p.m. Sun., May 17, Chicago White Sox, 1:05 p.m. Mon., May 25, Detroit, 4:05 p.m. Tues., May 26, Detroit, 7:05 p.m. Weds., May 27, Detroit, 12:35 p.m. Thurs., May 28, N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Fri., May 29, N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Sat., May 30, N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Sun., May 31, N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m. *Special Oakland Chamber Night,

Good luck in the 2015 season! ABC Security Service, Inc.

Go all the way and we’ll throw you a parade.

Just win, A’s Full Court Press Communications

APRIL 2015 | 15


Oakland A’s

> A’s ace Gray sets the tone for the rest of the rotation

by Carl Steward

In a year and a half, Sonny Gray has crafted the start to a Major League career that already puts him in the class with such great Oakland starters as Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder.

It’s more than just the numbers, too, which are impressive enough. Last year, Gray won 14 games and would have won closer to 20 with more consistent run support. He pitched six shutout innings on Opening Day, and nine more shutout innings on the last day of the season to get the A’s into the postseason. At age 24, he actually pitched more regularseason than World Series hero Madison Bumgarner of the Giants in 2014. He also beat Bumgarner in a midseason meeting last year. While he took a back seat in attention to more experienced pitchers Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir, one could make a strong case Gray was already the A’s ace in his first full season, or at least the ace-in-training. There are no questions about that now. With Lester and Samardzija gone and Kazmir a pending free agent after this year, Oakland’s top draft pick in 2011 is, without any doubt, the leader of the staff in 2015 and probably the most important player to the A’s fortunes for this year and the next several years to come. Gray, who turned 25 in November, has everything needed for stardom. For starters, there’s the talent. He can command a mid-90 mph fastball to go with a devastating power curve and also has developed several other pitches in a vast arsenal. But along with his natural ability, he has the intelligence, maturity and creativity of a seasoned veteran, a bulldog mentality second to none and a desire to be on the mound in the biggest games. His performances against Justin Verlander in the 2013 American League Division Series as a rookie will go down in Oakland lore, but he backed it up last season when he made 19 starts in which he allowed two runs or less. While he certainly garnered valuable insights about pitching from Lester and Samardzija in the brief time they were with Oakland, manager Bob Melvin believes Gray was already well on his way simply because of his makeup. “He’s just an unbelievable competitor,” Melvin said. “What we’ve done with him early on his career shows how we feel about him in big situations. He loves the spotlight, he loves the big stage, he loves

Sonny Gray led the A’s in strikeouts, games started and innings pitched in 2014.

to be there for his team.” Gray doesn’t shy away from the honor of being his team’s No. 1 pitcher, the ace who must set the tone for the rest of the rotation. “I think that would be awesome and I’m excited to do njoy Oakland A’s it,” he said during spring training. “It’s something that’s baseball from the definitely not given to you. You comfort and privacy have to earn something like that.” of a Mini Suite. All you General manager Billy need is six people to Beane said that the A’s are lucky to have Gray leading their staff, reserve a Mini Suite simply for the fact that they felt experience, which sure he would be out of their reach in the 2011 draft. includes a game “We absolutely thought he ticket and a set food was going to be a top 10 guy,” said Beane, who wound up package. For drafting Gray with the 18th pick. information call “There were a lot of comparisons with Hudson, (510) 638-4900. particularly with his size and his makeup. You hate to make comparisons like that, but he’s lived up to those comparisons in every way.” Again, it’s all happened in just a year and a half, too, which seems to set Gray up well for even brighter days ahead. “Sonny’s already been tested in every part of the game,” said fellow starter Kazmir. “I think something like that gives you confidence, especially to accomplish so much so early in your career. He’s ahead of the game, and he should only get better.” That’s a scary thought, considering how good he’s been so far in such a short time. ■

Mini Suites are available


Carl Steward is a sports columnist for the Oakland Tribune and Bay Area News Group.

> The Bill King Scholarship lives on This $3,000 scholarship is intended for qualified tuition or required expenses such as fees, books, supplies and equipment for courses of instruction at a qualified educational institution. The recipient will possibly receive the opportunity to intern with the A’s Broadcasting Department. Bill King is the former legendary voice of the A’s who passed away in 2005. He broadcasted A’s games for 25 seasons and his trademark exclamatory phrase, “Holy Toledo,” became a familiar part of the Bay Area sports scene. The purpose of the scholarship is to support a student who plans to pursue a career in journalism or broadcasting.

The Oakland Athletics Community Fund awards one scholarship each season to an undergraduate student who is majoring in journalism or broadcasting.

Building Oakland Together

Let’s Go A’s! GO A’S!

Pipelines, Grading, Paving, Concrete, Landscape, Mechanical, Materials In Oakland since 1926 Phone: (510) 632-7676

100 Filbert Street • Oakland, CA 94607 510.444.7959

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Oakland A’s

> Football's most notorious fans (The Black Hole) go ‘green’

by Rob Rivera

Let’s Go Oakland! Yes indeed, that time of the year has arrived and our beloved Oakland A's are once again looking like they'll be contenders. Bring on the hot dogs and the beer, baseball season is here. I am not only a new member to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce through AERC Recycling, but I am also the president of The Black Hole fan organization, and on behalf of The Black Hole and AERC we would like to say "LET'S GO OAKLAND" in wishing our beloved Oakland A's the best of luck this upcoming season! As many of you already know, we in The Black Hole are tremendously loyal to our Oakland Raiders, but our loyalty and passion for the Green and Gold run deep through our veins as well! We love our Oakland A's and truly wish them the best this upcoming 2015 baseball season! With a member base of more than 1,000 (approaching 2,000) most of us in The Black Hole sport A's caps and gear when not in Raider garb and take this support to the Coliseum throughout spring and summer.

Let’s Go Oakland! Our well wishes for the A's are heart felt and genuine, but if I may, can we talk about the elephant in the room for just a second? And I'm not talking about Stomper...Dear A's and of course Raiders, PLEASE "STAY OAKLAND"!!! It is no secret that the city of Oakland and Alameda County are hoping to find solutions to keeping our teams in Oakland, so let's hope they truly put their best foot forward to get something concrete done! The people of the East Bay (we fans) and the businesses of the East Bay deserve the right to pass down game day traditions and our civic pride to our children and grandchildren for generations to come. So teams, please negotiate in good faith when at the table. Please do this for us, your fans, who have been loyal to you through good times and not so good times. And "Oakland" Warriors, we haven't given up on you; until the shovel hits the dirt we want to see future Mullins, Richmonds, Currys and Clays...OK? Let's hope for the sake of the little ones growing up today that they will have a chance to build their own memories when their time comes....

Green is the final word On behalf of AERC Recycling, where we work hard daily on keeping this world "Green," we wish the Oakland A's a tremendous 2015 baseball season! From your E-Waste and Universal Waste "green" company to our team, the "GREEN" and GOLD Oakland A's, let's bring the trophy back to Oakland! See you all at the World Series this October!!!

GOOD LUCK A'S Rob Rivera is business development manager at AERC Recycling Solutions and is president of The Black Hole. He can be reached at or at

A Whole New Ball Game Go A’s (510 452-4565 233 Broadway, Oakland CA 94607

> A’s players take charitable matters into their own hands Billy Butler – The A’s new designated hitter and first baseman was named the winner of the 47th annual Hutch Award in 2011, presented each year to a Major League player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, both for on-field achievement and off-the-field work. He and his wife created the “Hit it a Ton” campaign in 2008, donating one ton of food for each home run and half a ton for each double to the Bishop Sullivan Center and St. James Place in Kansas City. He also helped create Billy’s Barbecue Sauce, which started selling in 2013 with a portion of each sale going to the “Hit it a Ton” campaign. Ike Davis – Davis has helped raise awareness for Strikeout Sarcoma, a cancer that took the life of his high school friend and teammate Mike Liu. Davis has designed shirts and bracelets to raise money for the cause, and was the recipient of the Munson Award for his charitable work in 2013. Sean Doolittle – The A’s reliever was named the recipient of the 2013 Dave Stewart Community Service Award. Doolittle supports numerous local and national charities, including Freedom Alliance, an educational and charitable organization that supports and honors military service members and their families. Sam Fuld – A two-time All American at Stanford University, Fuld has lived with Type 1 diabetes since he was 10 years old. Since becoming a Major Leaguer, he has hosted an annual Sam Fuld Diabetes Camp for young diabetes patients in conjunction with the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. In 2014 he hosted SLAMDiabetes’ first annual Sam Fuld Classic Wiffle Ball Tournament in Tampa, Florida. Scott Kazmir – The 2014 All-Star started the Scott Kazmir Foundation, which benefits the Children’s Dream Fund and other organizations that assist ailing children. Josh Reddick – The A’s right fielder is a member of the Advisory Board for Taylor Hooten Foundation, which advocates against performance enhancing drug use by the Youth of America.

A number of A’s players work their own magic in the community by helping those who might not be able to help themselves. The following represents just a few of the players who have performed – and are still performing – charitable work.

A’s relief pitcher Sean Doolittle was named the recipient of the 2013 Dave Stewart Community Service Award.

Good Luck in 2015 Visit us on the web at

APRIL 2015 | 17


Oakland A’s

> Butler needs to be a ‘force

Tampa Bay, leaving as the Rays’ all-time leader in walks and doubles, and ranks second in games, at bats, runs, hits and triples. He’s third on the team’s all-time list for RBIs, stolen bases, and extra-base hits, and fih in home runs. This twotime All Star has played every position in his career except pitcher and catcher.

in the lineup’ Last season ended oh so close for Billy Butler, as his Royals team came up 90 feet short of tying the Giants in Game 7 of the World Series. Now, Butler's ready for a new season in a new place, as he begins his first season in Oakland. "I'm looking forward to a clean start this season," Butler said, "because coming up 90 feet short of [tying] a World Series, you're looking forward to playing that first game and getting that last memory out of your mind and getting Billy Butler another season started." Butler signed with Oakland as a free agent after spending his entire eight-year career in Kansas City. He leaves the team ranked third on its career list in batting, sixth in doubles, RBIs and walks, seventh in at bats, hits, home runs and extra base hits, and eighth in games played. His 231 doubles since 2009 are third most in the Major Leagues behind Robinson Cano (251) and Miguel Cabrera (245). Butler was named to the American League All-Star team in 2012, and the same year won the American League Silver Slugger Award at designated hitter and the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. "I was brought in to be a middle-of-the-order bat and to be a force in the lineup – to drive in a lot of runs," Butler said. "Extra-base hits are big for guys in the lineup. [While I'm not aiming for] any certain numbers ... run production is a big part [of] me contributing to this team." Butler had another productive season in 2014, as he hit .271. But his power numbers dipped, as he belted just nine homers. Butler will be looking to increase those power numbers this season – and also looking forward to another chance to face the Giants. "I'm out to prove that I'm a valuable piece [of] a championship team," Butler said. "I'm a little sour the Giants beat me in the World Series. It's the Bay Area, [so I want to] go get the [Bay Bridge Series] when we play them this year. So I'm excited for that."

Brett Lawrie – The A’s new third baseman batted .265 with 43 home runs and 157 runs batted in over four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before being traded to the A’s following the 2014 season. He hit 12 home runs last year despite appearing in only 70 games, and had a 55-game errorless streak as a third baseman from Sept. 22, 2013 to June 3, 2014. He was named the #1 prospect by Baseball America while in the Pacific Coast League following the 2011 season.

Ike Davis – This big first baseman spent his first five seasons with the New York Mets and was traded to Pittsburgh three weeks into the 2014 season. He put together his best season in 2012 when he had career highs in home runs (32) and runs batted in (90). He was the Mets first-round dra pick in 2008 out of Arizona State, where he was a first team Pac-10 Conference selection for three straight years and was a first team All-American as a junior.

The Oakland A’s have a number of new players this year as they try to regain the American League West title. Here are just a few to keep your eyes on – they incorporate an entire new infield for the team.

Ben Zobrist – At second base the A’s welcome Zobrist, who spent the first nine seasons of his career with

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


Ike Davis

Marcus Semien – Local boy makes good? The A’s hope so. The team’s new shortstop is an East Bay native (attended high school in Berkeley and college at Cal) and made his Major League debut with the White Sox in 2013 and is a .240 career hitter for his two seasons. During four years in the minors, he had a .272 career average, and in 2013 was named to Baseball America’s Minor League All Star team, and then voted Most Valuable Player of the Southern League.

The closer

> Newcomers to watch

Ben Zobrist

n 2014, A’s closer Sean Doolittle set an Athletics record for saves by a left-handed pitcher with 22. He walked just eight batters in 62.2 innings and struck out 89, leaving him with a strikeout-towalk ratio that was the highest in the Major Leagues for a reliever. Based on a minimum of 60 innings pitched, it was second highest in A’s history behind only Dennis Eckersley and tied for sixth highest in the majors since 1900.

> Chamber helped kicked off Spirit Week The Oakland A’s, Visit Oakland, the city of Oakland, and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce kicked off “Oakland A’s Spirit Week” that ran from Monday, March 30 to the following Monday, April 6, to celebrate the start of the regular season. Monday, April 6 is opening night for the A’s at Coliseum as they meet the Texas Rangers. During this city-wide celebration, fans were encouraged to show their team spirit by wearing A’s apparel or green and gold all week. Other Oakland A’s Sprit Week initiatives included: • AC Transit bus headers read “Go A’s” on all buses • An A’s flag flew atop Oakland City Hall • An A’s flag flew atop the historic Tribune Tower • Hotel frontline staff wore Oakland A’s hats • Oakland A’s sunglasses and schedules were available at Visit Oakland Visitor Center • Oakland A’s opening night on Monday, April 6 at Coliseum vs. the Texas Rangers In addition, “Play Ball 5K,” an inaugural run hosted by Corrigan Sports in partnership with the Oakland A’s Community Fund, will be held on Saturday, April 11 at 9 a.m. at Coliseum.


Women in Business


> Using social media to enhance your brand BlogHer Co-Founder Jory Des Jardins, who describes herself as a “social media evangelist,” will be the featured speaker at the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon on Friday, June 5 at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. Des Jardins will speak on personal career growth and entrepreneurship, and using social media to enhance your brand. BlogHer is a media company that Jory Des Jardins provides a platform for women to find their voices and turn their passion into content, community and commerce. She has developed strategic relationships with Fortune 500 brands and leads innovative campaigns to integrate contextual marketing and new ad technologies with women's digital media. Among her many

honors and accolades, Des Jardins received Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award in 2013, and she was named to the Ernst & Young Winning Women, Class of 2011. As always, the luncheon will be coupled with lively and resultsoriented networking. Bring a friend or co-worker, plenty of business cards, and be ready to mingle. Check-in and networking begin at 11:15 a.m. The cost for the luncheon is $40 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members if paid before June 1. After that date prices increase $5. Reservations must be pre-paid to guarantee seating. Attend this East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon and be entered to win two roundtrip tickets to any Southwest Airlines destination. The winner must be present to win at the Oct. 3, 2015 luncheon. The Chamber thanks series sponsors Southwest Airlines and the Alameda County Small Business Development Center. ■

> Chamber members learn of city’s budget process The Chamber’s Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum in March welcomed Oakland District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb, Oakland’s Interim Assistant City Administrator Donna Hom, and city Budget Director Kiran Bawa to deliver a special presentation on Oakland’s 2015-17 budget process.

It was a very informative presentation, starting with Councilmember Kalb, who outlined the budget cycle and correspond- ing budget development process and timeline, and also highlighted his most important budget priorities which include public safety and protecting library services (among others). Hom followed with a review of how her office strives to maintain transparency throughout the entire budget development process, continually incorporating input from a variety of sources including the Mayor’s office, City Council and the public at large and weaving that input into the budget discussion. To close the presentation, Bawa presented an overview of the FY 2014-15 Midcycle Budget, the FY 2015-17 Baseline Budget, and the 2016-2020 Five-Year Forecast, elaborating on both revenue and expenditure highlights and their implications on the budget development process. Finally, a lively question-and-answer session ensued, giving attendees an opportunity to direct specific budget-related questions to the presenters. The Chamber looks forward to working collaboratively with the city as the budget is finalized in the coming months. ■

Identity We work with you and your team to connect your product or service with your target. We create quality publications and websites that help build your brand – annual reports, brochures, logos, corporate newsletters, advertising, sales kits and WordPress sites.

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 510. 653. 2153 • c c @ c h e r i e ca r t e r d e s i g n s . c o m

APRIL 2015 | 19

> Leadership Oakland learns of complex transportation issues by Luana España, Jason Horst and William Roscoe

The Leadership Oakland (LO) class of 2015 put a spotlight on the complex transportation infrastructure that exists right here in Oakland at its recent Transportation and Environment Day. Event speakers illuminated the connections between transportation, quality of life, and the environment. The LO class quickly discovered during the Port of Oakland panel that the Port is a major transportation hub – with ▼ At the Port, the panel maritime, aviation and commercial real includes John Driscoll, estate business lines. Maritime Director maritime director; John Driscoll explained that the Port, along Deborah Ale Flint (center), with its business partners, supports more aviation director; and than 73,000 jobs in the region. Driscoll also Anne Whittington, Port talked about the importance of making environmental assessment supervisor. capital investments in infrastructure to

remain nationally and globally competitive. The Port and city of Oakland are redeveloping the former Oakland Army Base into a world-class trade and logistics center that will deliver a competitive advantage for future maritime business. Wharfinger Justin Taschek immersed the class in the Port’s transportation infrastructure during the Maritime Facilities Area Tour, where participants enjoyed a closeup look at maritime transportation

▲ The Transportation Agencies Panel consisted of Rodd Lee (left), government and community relations department manager for BART; and Tess Lengyel, deputy director of planning and policy for the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

that included ships, trucks, and cargo. Port Environmental Assessment Supervisor Anne Whittington put the Port’s transportation activities and growth in context through its Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan. As a result of that plan, the Port has already achieved a 70 percent reduction in diesel emissions from seaport sources with green technologies. Port Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint discussed the recent passenger traffic growth at Oakland International Airport (OAK), which recorded 10.3 million enplaned passengers in 2014, up 6.1 percent from 2013. Ale Flint explained that BART will bring more passengers to the airport because of its transportation convenience.

The transit and parks – Biking, ▲ Leadership Oakland Walking, and Hiking Panel provided participants during a tour of the Port of Oakland. the LO class with a foundation that it takes collaboration between various agencies to implement innovative ideas that improve the quality of life and sustainability of our communities. City of Oakland Manager of Transportation and Funding Iris Starr demonstrated how a number of what appear to be bold “new” transportation ideas in Oakland are actually modernized versions of longestablished and effective concepts – for example Latham Square. The city achieved a “new innovative square” through understanding how to navigate the existing complex planning process and using the “square” idea with a fresh twist. Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Board President Chris Hwang inspired the class with her passionate advocacy for inclusivity when planning street and sidewalk accessibility. She discussed how Oakland neighborhood vitality can be improved if streets and sidewalks are designed for everyone, whether eight or 80 years old, whether walking or biking. East Bay Regional Park District Ward 2 Board member and Director John Sutter spoke about how agency collaboration has resulted in a regional pedestrian and bicycle trail (Iron Horse Trail) becoming an alternative transportation corridor that connects to public transportation. The Transportation Agencies Panel made it plain that bold ideas need integrated planning and funding to be implemented. Alameda County Transportation Commission Deputy Director of Planning and Policy Tess Lengyel gave an overview of Measure BB’s benefits, including expanded BART, bus and commuter rail. BART Government and by Katrina Lashea, Iman Mills Gordon and Will Roscoe Community Relations Department Manager Rodd What if our local and world leaders practiced mindfulness? What Lee showed how BART is if we truly conducted our businesses, led our organizations and accommodating its record companies from our deepest wisdom? What if the most vulneraridership through three major ble youth in our city had access to mindfulness-based practices? capital projects – the fleet of The 2015 Leadership Oakland class was given scholarships to the the future, train control Wisdom 2.0 Conference that was recently held in San Francisco. The modernization and the Wisdom 2.0 was a three-day event addressing the challenge of how Hayward Maintenance to live connected to one another through technology, in ways that are Complex. beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to Director of Maintenance the world. Imagine the top leaders in the technology fields from Salvador Llamas showed the Google, Facebook, and Linkedin, Eventbrite, Pandora, partnering with class innovative technologies the greatest wisdom and meditation teachers in our lifetime like John such as hydrogen fueling at Kabat-Zinn, and joined by the top expert research scientists on mindDivision 4 Maintenance Facility fulness. What you get is your mind stretched, and your heart opened. to underscore the importance Wisdom 2.0 is not your standard speaker-driven event. Most of developing alternative fuels breakout sessions had interactive activities where you'd turn to your to protect the environment. neighbor and learn from them. The rooms were abuzz with learning The Leadership Oakland and understanding. class ended the day on a high Wisdom 2.0 founder Soren Gordhamer facilitated conversations note of greater awareness of with Linkedin Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner and Vice President Oakland’s complex but inteFred Kofman in Lessons in Conscious Business at Linkedin and talked grated transportation system about the difference of being “nice” and “being compassionate.” and how it relates to livability Oakland’s Impact Hub CEO Konda Mason was a main stage and sustainability in our comspeaker and spoke about the journey of launching Impact Hub munity. Attendees expressed Oakland, and invited the 2,500 attendees to visit our city. that they had a much better Google software engineer Meng Tan, who has the job title of understanding of how “Jolly Good Fellow,” spoke about how the “best leadership helps implementing bold new ideas others to thrive” in his presentation “Mindfulness in Business: Why it requires consistent collaboraMatters.” tion, patience, and managing Julia Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, spoke on the power of live relationships with various events and shared data on how technology is fueling live events, and agencies in their current that currently three in four people prefer to spend their money on leadership capacities. ■ experiences instead of products because live events connect us to a

> Cultivating compassion and

wisdom in leadership and business

common cause, and give us a sense of belonging. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and author of “A Mindful Nation,” stated, “What we are learning from the scientific research on mindfulness and well-being affirms the age-old wisdom that true happiness lies in the strength we have within not what we collect and acquire.” In mindfulness, we deepen our capacity to strength our ability to align our actions with our words, and our words with our actions. To view live streams of the 2015 conference and past conferences that included Huffington Post Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief and “Thrive” author, Arianna Huffington, visit Wisdom 2.0. ■

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Luana España, Jason Horst and William Roscoe are participants of Leadership Oakland.

Member update

> DIRECTORY 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. Alliance for Community Development 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 223 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 886-4483 Website: www.allianceforcommunity Darlene Crane Email: dbcrane@allianceforcommunity Nonprofit AXIS Dance Company 1428 Alice St., Suite 200 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 625-0110 Website: Karl Cronin Arts Organization Barretto-Co. LLC 4100 Redwood Road, Suite 259 Oakland, CA 94619 (415) 608-5034 Steve Barretto Graphic Designers Hadden Real Estate 7886 Sunkist Drive Oakland, CA 94605 Phone: (510) 305-0145 Fax: (510) 635-7294 Website: Patricia Hadden Real Estate Harbor Bay Realty 885 Island Ave. Alameda, CA 94502 (510) 532-1144 Website: Dennis Pagones Email: Real Estate – Property Management/Renting & Leasing

NEW MEMBER PROFILES Jamie Flaherty-Evans – Colliers International 1338 Grand Ave. Piedmont, CA 94610 (510) 334-8606 Website: Jamie Flaherty-Evans Real Estate League of Women Voters of Oakland 436 14th St., Suite 1213 Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: (510) 834-7640 Website: Katherine Gavzy Email: Nonprofit Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation 666 Bellevue Ave. Oakland, CA 94610 (510) 465-1850 Website: Ken Lupoff Email: Parks

OAKLAND ROOTER & PLUMBING From a simple (or not-so-simple) drain clog to running new sewer lines to installing a new water heating system, Oakland Rooter can handle any plumbing repair you throw our way. And you can count on us to give you sound advice about whether to keep repairing a system and when it makes sense to replace it. We understand plumbing problems can be frustrating. The experts at Oakland Rooter understand this better than anyone. That is why Oakland Rooter & Plumbing is one of Oakland’s premiere plumbing service providers. Our office is located in the Fruitvale District of Oakland. This location puts us right in the middle of the city, with access to both 580 and 880 freeways. Our plumbers can be dispatched and at your doorstep within 20 minutes, if available. For more information, visit or contact Ygnacio Becerra at (510) 479-1129 or at ■

Oakland Rooter & Plumbing 1614 Fruitvale Ave. Oakland, CA 94601 (510) 479-1129 Website: Ygnacio Becerra Email: Plumbing Shorenstein Realty Services 235 Montgomery St. San Francisco, CA 94104 (415) 772-7147 Website: Tom Hart Real Estate – Property Management/Renting & Leasing Traffic Management Inc. 10 Hegenberger Court Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 394-6443 Website: Mark Coleman Email: Management Consultants & Services ■

> A delectable mixer The Chamber’s March Business After Hours was located in the Oakland hills – at Monaghans on the Hill, which offers both casual dining in a sports bar and the progressive California cuisine of executive chef David Malenowsky in the dining room and patios. You can dine in a comfortable setting in either an indoor dining room with a romantic indoor fireplace or in one of two lush garden patios. And, you can enjoy the sounds of Latin jazz, blues or rock n’ roll while you enjoy your meal. At left, at the Chamber mixer, are (left to right) Chamber Ambassador Cory Nott, chef Malenowsky, Monaghan’s owner Sharon Newell, and Chamber Board member Dan Cohen. Monaghans on the Hill is located at 2820 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland’s Montclair District.

HADDEN REAL ESTATE As a fulltime professional realtor specializing in Oakland residential real estate, Patricia Lipscomb Hadden prides herself on offering superior personal service before, during and after a transaction. Knowledge, commitment, honesty, expertise and professionalism are the cornerstone of her business. Hadden brings decades of management experience in the IT field and intuitive interpersonal skills to the table to manage the entire selling or buying process. Communication is the cornerstone of her approach to business, and keeping her clients informed throughout the process is of paramount importance. She knows that clients receive the best service when her needs are understood and acted upon. Hadden doesn’t just work in the East Bay. She’s an Oakland native with deep roots in the community. She has a unique perspective on the city due to her many connections within the community, and she has an appreciation for the various neighborhoods, architecture and historical buildings that make Oakland such a beautiful place in which to live. For more information visit or call (510) 305-0145.

APRIL 2015 | 21

> Do you have 50 or more full-time employees? If so, you’re required to register for the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program and offer a commuter benefits plan for your employees. Offering commuter benefits is good for your bottom line and encourages your employees to take transit, vanpool, carpool, bicycle and walk rather than drive alone to work. The pre-tax dollars employees contribute to their transit benefit account aren’t subject to employer matching FICA and Medicare, which means employers can reduce their payroll taxes by as much as $18 per month for each employee. More employees taking transit means less demand for parking, and commuter benefits is a great way to offer a valuable new employee benefit at no net cost to you. Registering is easy. Just visit and click on “Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program” for more information and to register for the program. To request free assistance, click on the “Needs Assistance” section or call 511 and say “Commuter Benefits.”

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Names in the news • Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP Land Use Partner Anagha Dandekar Clifford has been named to the San Francisco Business Times’ “40 Under 40” class of 2015, which honors Bay Area rising business stars across all industries. Clifford counsels private businesses and public agencies on complex land use issues involving applicable planning, zoning and environmental laws. Her experience includes preparing land use applications Anagha Dandekar and obtaining project approvals, working Clifford frequently with state and local regulatory and permitting agencies. She currently represents a high-profile planning and development team in exploring how to create a transportation-oriented community development that retains the Raiders, the Warriors and/or the A’s in Oakland. • Elnora Webb, Ph.D., the president of Laney College, has been recognized for her many achievements and inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. She joins nearly 200 other women whose contributions have supported women, youth and families in Alameda County. The Hall of Fame was founded ten years ago by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Alameda County Health Care Foundation, and Alameda County Commission. Dr. Webb is also a member Elnora Webb of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. • Greg Morgan, a 27-year veteran of Wells Fargo, has been named president for the San Francisco Market reporting to Jim Foley, who is president of the Bay Area Region. The San Francisco Market includes 1,250 team members and 82 stores. Morgan was most recently the president for the North Bay Market where he was responsible for 800 team members at 52 retail locations. Previously, he held positions as manager of Measurement and ReportGreg Morgan ing for California and the Border Banking Group, market president for the Marin Market, and region manager for the East Bay Market. • The League of Women Voters of Oakland will hold its 24th annual All-City Luncheon on Wednesday, May 13 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive. Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer, explorer, author, and National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, will be the keynote speaker. Her topic will be “Exploring and Protecting Our Oceans – Why it Matters and What We Can Do to Help.” For reservations and information, visit or contact the League office at (510) 834-7640 or at • Holy Names University (HNU) students will soon have campus-grown vegetables as an option to their dining choices. Rufino Quicho, general manager at Epicurean Group, has established a small organic garden within one of the courtyards on campus. Epicurean Group manages food service operations at Holy Names University. The garden will be named after Sister Ethel Mary Tinnemann who taught for 45 years, resided in the dorms, and grew many of the plants and trees throughout the HNU campus. ■

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.

Small Business Education Seminar

Business After Hours Mixer


Women in Business

| APRIL 10

Port of Oakland

| MAY 12

| JUNE 5


Jory Des Jardins to speak

| APRIL 23

Keeping you connected and informed

> APRIL 2015 3 | East Bay Women in Business luncheon

|11:15 a.m.. - 1:30 p.m. EX ECU TI VE CO MM I TTE E

RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company

Chair of the Board MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel

JOHN GOODING The Quadric Group

Vice Chair CHARISSA FRANK FMG Architects

BENJAMIN HARRISON Colliers International

DAN COHEN Full Court Press

STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

featuring guest speaker Mayor Libby Schaaf, “Where is Oakland Headed and How Does it Get There,” Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square

8 | Economic Development Forum | 3 – 4:30 p.m.

10 | Small Business Education DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County


ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company

KEN WHITE Fidelity Roof Company



B OAR D OF DI R EC TO RS KIM ARNONE Cutting Edge Capital (representing Women in Business Roundtable) HARMINDER BAINS Securitas

PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland

KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture KEN MAXEY Comcast

SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation HILARY PEARSON Sungevity JULIE PETRINI Alta Bates Summit Medical Center



GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District



Joaquin Miller Community Center, 3594 Sanborn Drive

> JUNE 2015 5 | East Bay Women in Business luncheon

featuring Gail Nott (social media strategist, Nott Ltd Solutions) discussing “Is Your Social Media Presence Referrable?” $10 for Chamber members, $15 for non-members, and lunch is provided


| 4 - 5 p.m.

16 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting | 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

featuring guest speaker Jory Des Jardins, author, media strategist, and co-founder of BlogHer, discussing “Social Media Strategy for Successful Entrepreneurship”

18 | Business After Hours Mixer

8 | Ambassador Committee meeting

| 4 - 5 p.m. 10 | 110th Annual Meeting and Chamber Awards Luncheon

| 11 a.m - 1:30 p.m. 13 | Ambassador Committee

| noon-1 p.m. $10 for Chamber members, $15 for non-members, and lunch is provided

|11:15 a.m.. - 1:30 p.m.

Seminar series

| noon-1 p.m.

12 | Small Business Education Seminar series

keynote address by University of California President Janet Napolitano, Oakland Marriott City Center

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members 26 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum

| 8:30 - 10 a.m. @OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #TheOaklandAdvantage

21 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting | 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

23 | Business After Hours Mixer ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International

ALISON BEST Visit Oakland

CYNTHIA CHIARAPPA Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland

28 | Business After Hours Mixer

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


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.

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. offices of the Port of Oakland, 530 Water St., free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members




24 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum

| 8:30 - 10 a.m.

> MAY 2015 8 | Small Business Education Seminar series

| noon-1 p.m. $10 for Chamber members, $15 for non-members, and lunch is provided

11 | Ambassador Committee meeting

| 4 - 5 p.m. 12 | Chamber Day at Coliseum, Oakland A’s vs Boston Red Sox

| game begins at 7:05 p.m. reserved seats on Plaza Level overlooking third base, $40 for members, $50 for non-members

13 | Economic Development Forum

530 Water Street

| 3 – 4:30 p.m.


19 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808

| 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

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

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.

22 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum

| 8:30 - 10 a.m.

APRIL 2015 | 23

Small Business Development Center

> Dig Deep Farms breaks ground on new food hub

On March 25, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) client Dig Deep Farms broke ground on a 3,200-square-foot facility that will greatly expand the reach and impact of the organization. Dig Deep Farms is an urban farming and food service social enterprise of the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League (DSAL). The program is dedicated to offering training and employment opportunities for local residents of unincorporated Alameda County, along with providing fresh, healthy food to the community. Prior to the efforts of Dig Deep Farms, the unincorporated areas of Alameda County had no local places to purchase significant offerings of healthy foods. Dig Deep has been changing the food environment by making fresh, healthy, affordable food available to community residents. In addition, Dig Deep creates living-wage jobs for community residents and supports the development of value-added products by both Dig Deep and local food entrepreneurs. The SBDC has worked with Dig Deep Farms to assist development of a multi-year business plan, operations policies and processes, product development and business line rollout strategies. Dig Deep Farms currently grows fruit and vegetables on six acres, Dig Deep Farms operates a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) distribution employees break program and five weekly food stands. Upon completion later this year ground for the food hub and commissary. of the Food Hub and Commissary Kitchen, Dig Deep Farms will launch its consumer packaged goods line, expand employment and assist in the development of other local food entrepreneurs. Alameda County Sheriff Ahern, Alameda County Supervisors Nate Miley, Wilma Chan and Richard Valle, and many notable business and community members, were featured speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony. Turner Construction, Aramark, Architectural Dimensions, the Oakland Builders Alliance, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and many other businesses and agencies have already come forward to provide funding and services to the project. A crowdfunding campaign will also be launched to help fund the working capital require-ments of the new operations. Lieutenant Marty Neideffer, a founder and ongoing adviser of Dig Deep Farms, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. “We are grateful for the enthusiastic support of the community, foundations, corporate partners and government agencies who have come together to build and grow Dig Deep Farms,” he said. “We especially appreciate the role of the Alameda County SBDC and their adviser, Deagon Williams, to work with us on the planning of this project.”. ■

24 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

April 2015 - Oakland Business Review  
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