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Dec. 2012 / Jan 2013

Oakland’s dining scene

DEANNA SANTANA to address Women in Business Page 22

continues to expand Page 11

RESTAURANT WEEK Jan. 18-27 Page 13

A guide to Chamber restaurants and caterers Page 14

DR. TONY SMITH ‘pounds the rock’ at Power Breakfast Page 18

Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Greater federal role

> Registration now seen around the world

by Eleanor Hollander In May of 2012, the Chamber created “Oakland: Heart of the MegaRegion” in conjunction with the city of Oakland, the Port of Oakland and other significant stakeholders. This successful event was designed to maximize the impacts of the 2010 Northern California MegaRegion Collaboration and 2011 MegaRegion Export Initiative. In its third year, the MegaRegion Summit gathered business leaders, labor representatives, industry experts, technology innovators, government leaders, small business owners, educators, development planners, and community partners to brainstorm solutions, identify obstacles and develop strategies to keep the Northern California region competitive. The 2012 program provided something for everyone, with a selection of themed mobile workshops that allowed participants to explore Oakland – the thriving city at the heart of the MegaRegion. In 2013, the Chamber will engage a similarly diverse group of stakeholders to revisit the strong regional sectors of the East Bay economy as identified by the Chamber-produced Oakland Partnership/McKinsey report of 2007. Now, five years old, it is appropriate to return to the identified sectors of strength from the Oakland Partnership report and cra a plan to move Oakland and its regional partners forward to the year 2020. Our objective is to prepare the East Bay region, Oakland, our elected officials, community members, and entrepreneurs to focus for growth in an apolitical context. By revisiting the Partnership-identified top sectors including health, trade/logistics, clean/green manufacturing, and arts / entertainment, we will be able to establish realistic and empowered goals for how Oakland and its neighboring cities can capitalize on positive trends and expansion in our region for the next five years and beyond. Join us for an educational half-day conference and the fourth annual economic development summit entitled, “Building a Strong Economy: A Vision for 2020” on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2013 from 9 a.m. to noon. The event will continue the strong tradition of work in the Northern California MegaRegion, and identify priority economic development goals moving forward – the lasting message underscoring that Oakland’s port, city, The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with Bank of America to produce the “Northern California MegaRegion Summit” event series.

–continued on page 24

in OPD – Bring in the sheriff?

> Holiday parade will be

by Paul Junge Photo by Sami Yousif

open for ‘Building a Strong Economy: A Vision for 2020’

▲ Pop star Amber Lily The 13th annual sings from the Visit America’s Children’s Oakland float at America’s Holiday Parade, Children’s Holiday Parade. which will be telecast nationally via public television (PBS) and internationally through the American Forces Network, was held recently in front of thousands of spectators in downtown Oakland. This year’s parade marched to the beat of a different drum when more than 20 high school marching bands – a whopping 3,000 band members – marched the parade route to help make the holiday season bright. Other highlights included performances by pop artists Emme and Amber Lily as well as the appearance of five American gold medal winners from the 2012 London Olympics. Nearly 40 children’s characters, such as Cat in the Hat, Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, and of course Santa himself were also on hand. For the last number of years more than 100,000 people have lined the streets in downtown Oakland to see the beautiful floats, enormous balloons and marching bands. Sponsors this year included presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente as well as Visit Oakland, Macy’s, Moshi Monsters, Radio Disney AM 1310, Wells Fargo, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Waste Management of Alameda County, The Clorox Company, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, and Recology East Bay. Radio Disney kicked off the holiday tree lighting at Jack London Square on Friday, Nov. 30, the evening before the parade. The parade is one of only three Christmas parades in America to be broadcast nationally. This year it will be picked up by PBS throughout the country and in parts of Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as by stations throughout California. It will also be broadcast to 175 countries via the American Forces Network and broadcast locally by KTVU Channel 2 in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, by KICU in San Jose, and by Peralta TV. The parade was founded and is managed by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The parade truly is a national event, with parade items, entries and volunteers coming in from a number of different states, and from as far away as New York, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina and Hawaii.

All management decisions in the Oakland Police Department (OPD) are now subject to a Federal Court appointed “Compliance Director.”

Aer nearly ten years of Federal Court oversight, the possibility of OPD being run by a federal receiver was avoided by an agreement between the city and the plaintiff attorneys who brought the civil rights case against OPD. The appointment of a Compliance Director, likely a person agreed to by the plaintiffs, the city and Senior Federal District Judge Thelton Henderson, will have broad powers to direct OPD activity, including the power to remove the Chief of Police. That power and others could be appealed by the city to the judge. The appointment of the Compliance Director also included specific spending authority. It is hoped that the appointment will help OPD achieve the remaining requirements of the negotiated settlement agreement that has brought about the federal oversight. All of this occurs as violence and property crime rates continue to be a challenge in the city of Oakland. The number of sworn officers in OPD has dropped to 626 in early December and normal attrition is expected to drive that number even lower. While a police academy is currently training new officers and a follow up academy is scheduled for early 2013, there are concerns that more needs to be done. Oakland City Council President Larry Reid and Councilmember Libby Schaaf have proposed three steps to address the small number of law enforcement personnel and the growing crime problem. First they want to authorize a June 2013 Police Academy. This “third academy” has been anticipated for several months, but with no budget commitment yet in place, some of the steps necessary to prepare for it cannot be taken. This action would make the necessary commitment. The proposal would seek to contract with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department to bring as many as ten Deputy Sheriffs for crime suppression assistance in the city of Oakland. The third initiative would immediately hire 20 service techs to support officers in the field and one crime lab analyst. It is hoped these non-sworn police staff members could handle tasks currently –continued on page 24

Parade Sponsors

Santa’s Helper

Toyland Sponsor

Mrs. Claus

Children’s Delight

Friends of the Parade

Jack London Square Sponsor


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Media Sponsor

❶ Macy’s star balloons were a big hit. ❷ The Solano Middle School marching band preceded the Nesting Dolls float.

❸ New sponsor Moshi Monsters, a British phenomenon, made its U.S. debut with this float. ❹ Long-time sponsor Waste Management of Alameda County celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first garbage truck with this 1934 De Martini classic. ❺ Pop singer Emme sings out atop the float sponsored by Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

❻ The Dalmatian Dog was preceded by members of the Oakland Youth Chorus.

Photos 1, 2 and 5 by Sami Yousif. Photos 3, 4 and 6 by Hank Masler

December 2012 / January 2013 | 3

Names in the news • Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP Partner Tracy Green has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum. She will serve a three-year term that began on Nov. 27. The Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum disseminates information, provides public service and educates and promotes cooperation and efficiency in the bankruptcy and insolvency fields in the Bay Area. Tracy Green

• Victoria Jones, the vice president of government affairs

and community relations with The Clorox Company and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, has been named one of 2012’s “Top Influential Women in Corporate America” by Savoy Magazine, which recognizes African American

achievers impacting corporate America.

• Dave Cannon, a principal with Barney & Barney LLC

Victoria Jones

and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, has been named a director at Oakland’s historic Sequoyah Country Club. In addition, the 99-year-old club named Oakland resident Bruce Maximov as president.

• The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners has appointed Danny Wan as the new Port attorney, effective Dec. 17. Wan will be responsible for Dave Cannon

advising the Port on a broad range of legal affairs

that arise in the conduct of the Port's maritime, aviation, and commercial real estate businesses. He is currently the city attorney and risk manager for the city of Morgan Hill and he serves as part of the city's executive management team.

• AC Transit has named David Wilkins, a veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to head the agency’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Program. Wilkins, who has domestic and international experience developing multi-million dollar budgets, managing contracts and administering complex capital improvement programs, will be the program director for a BRT plan to modernize and improve East Bay bus service.

David Wilkins

• Berger Enterprises will manage “The Lake Merritt – Independent Senior Living,” property located at 1800 Madison St. in Oakland. The six-story building was designed by celebrated architect William H. Weeks and was described as a “jewel on the lake” when it first opened as an apartment hotel. The interior of the property has been restored to now provide 46 units of independent senior living.

• The City Council of the city of Hayward has honored Folger Graphics with a Business Recognition Award. The company was praised for its recent Green Business Certification and its long business history in Hayward.

• Suzanne Fischer has been named the new associate curator of contemporary history and trends at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). Fischer comes to Oakland from The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where she was associate curator of technology. Suzanne Fischer

• Darice Jones, who has more than ten years of expe-

rience in nonprofit program management, has been named executive director of Wardrobe for Opportunity. Her background includes experience in volunteer management, grant writing/ fundraising and well-honed expertise in all areas of media communication, including web design

Darice Jones

and social media.

• Martin Harris, who has been the executive director for the Mars Home for Youth just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the past seven years, has been named executive director of Clausen House. Clausen House is a nonprofit agency in Oakland that creates opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to join the community with increasing command over their own lives. ■


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From the president | Joe Haraburda

A Chamber ‘thank you’ Thank you for your support during 2012, the Chamber’s 107th year! The goal of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is to serve you! The Board of Directors and staff are committed to stimulating commerce and industry through encouraging new businesses and supporting our existing businesses, both large and small. We convene a wide variety of meetings focused on city policy and sharing knowledge to help expand our local economy. With our members input we speak on behalf of business at City Council, the Board of Supervisors and make our position clear in Sacramento. We have engaged with a California coalition of 19 business organizations representing thousands of employers to insure our voice is heard. CEQA a key issue for 2013! To enhance the quality of life in Oakland, we support education and the arts and initiatives that strengthen the educational infrastructure. We encourage participation by our members for workforce projects and nominate members to the Workforce Investment Board. We assist the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and highlight the efforts of our partners supporting local business. Our annual poll was met with great interest. We will continue making the results available for the entire community each fall. We also hosted candidate debates to educate the electorate on who was running and why! Social Media played an important role in getting information to the public. Our website is full of resources to both assist newcomers and long-time members of the Oakland business community! We are thankful for the success of the events held this year – most recently America’s Children’s Holiday Parade, which is now televised nationally, and in 175 countries around the world, casting a spotlight on our “Family Friendly City.” We especially want to thank our sponsors, the thousands who attend our

meetings and events, and the volunteers who keep us apprised of the goingson in and around our city, for without your involvement our program would be lacking. Our hope is for a growth-filled 2013, exceeding the results of this year and opening new horizons for business. Save the date – Feb. 6, 2013 for our annual economic development event, “20-20, A Vision for the Future.” Let us know how we can serve you! The bands played on… The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which founded and manages America’s Children’s Holiday Parade, thanks the volunteers who planned and implemented a delightful day for thousands of children worldwide on Saturday, Dec. 1. Our traditional holiday event not only contained some 100 units on the streets of downtown Oakland, but it also featured more than 20 marching bands and nearly 40 children’s storybook, cartoon and movie characters. Special thanks go to our sponsors, who saw the value in promoting a parade that sent a clear message to a nationwide and worldwide audience – that Oakland is a family-friendly city with countless things to do. The sponsors are Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Visit Oakland, Macy’s, Moshi Monsters, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, AC Transit, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, BART, CB Richard Ellis, California Waste Solutions, Chevrolet, The Clorox Company, Downtown Oakland Association & Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association, H & R Block, Jack London Square, KBLX & KOIT, KTVU / KICU, Oakland Police Foundation, Oakland Harley Davidson, Oakland Marriott – City Center, The Oakland Tribune, Peralta Community College District, Radio Disney, Recology East Bay, Southwest Airlines, and Waste Management of Alameda County. Special thanks to our still photographers, Auintard Henderson and Sami Yousif, and to the parade TV co-anchors – Claudine Wong and Dave Clark (both from KTVU). In case you missed the parade, keep in mind that it will be shown on TV locally throughout the holiday season. ■

We especially want to thank our sponsors, the thousands who attend our meetings and events, and our volunteers . . . for without your involvement our program would be lacking.

December 2012 / January 2013 |



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> Hong Kong – Trusted business partner and gateway to China Editor’s note: Last month, Jeff Leung, the director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco, addressed Chamber members at the Economic Development Forum. Leung gave an overview of Hong Kong’s attributes that help establish that city as an international financial, banking, logistics and trading center, and shared with members the experience in assisting U.S. companies to set up in Hong Kong. Established in 1986, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco is the office of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on the west coast which looks after the economic and trade interests of Hong Kong in the 19 western states and promotes U.S. investment in Hong Kong. The office works to enhance the understanding of Hong Kong’s free trade policy and its unique advantages as the two-way platform for overseas companies to access the China market and for Chinese companies to go global. Hong Kong is a strong believer in free trade. The adherence to free-market principles has been given worldwide recognition. For 18 consecutive years, Hong Kong has been ranked the world’s most free economy by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The city maintains a simple and low tax regime. Income tax is capped at 15 percent while profits tax is capped at 16.5 percent. There is no sales tax ▲ Jeff Leung, the director or VAT on goods and services and no capital gains of the Hong Kong Economic or inheritance taxes. Only the income sourced in and Trade Office in San Hong Kong is taxed. Francisco, spoke at last Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovermonth’s Economic eignty in July 1997, the city is a Special AdministraDevelopment Forum.

tive Region in China. The cornerstone of Hong Kong’s achievement is the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle as guaranteed by the city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law. The British Common Law legal tradition is upheld by an independent judiciary, and the rule of law is firmly adhered to. Hong Kong has comprehensive laws to protect intellectual property. Such legal protections are particularly important for business engaged in research and development and design. Two key economic initiatives that reinforce Hong Kong’s position as trade conduit with China are the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), a trade pact between Hong Kong and Mainland China; and the Renminbi (RMB) trade settlement. Under CEPA, preferential treatment is granted to Hong Kong companies in two areas – the expansion of service companies into China; and import of products manufactured in Hong Kong into China. If a service industry is looking for expansion into the China market, it can register in Hong Kong so as to enjoy preferential entry requirements (Degree of preferential treatments varies from industry to industry). Under CEPA, products with a “Made in Hong Kong” label are exempt from tariffs when entering the Mainland market. American companies incorporated in Hong Kong can enjoy these same benefits. In addition, the RMB trade settlement pilot program was set up in 2009. American companies engaging in trading activities with companies in China can now do the trade settlement in RMB in Hong Kong to avoid potential exchange rate fluctuations. For more information, visit ■

> Donate and shop locally this holiday season by Melanie Diegel As we turn our attention from Thanksgiving to making our lists and beginning to shop for the holidays, there as so many things to consider besides just hoping to find that “perfect” gift for those we care about. The answers to these questions are important to us and so we find ourselves trying to be as socially conscious as possible. Where does one shop if they are trying to stick to the list of self-imposed criteria? The answer may surprise you. REDUX Studios and Gallery, a social enterprise of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County (SVdP), puts a spin on the traditional thrift store model. The environment offers a hint of nostalgia in an art gallery setting. Vintage clothing, jewelry, art and furniture are present alongside studios with artist tenants who use reclaimed materials in their work. Here unique treasures can be found that reflect SVdP’s commitment to “reuse, reclaim and recycle.” St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County also operates three traditional thrift stores in Oakland, Fremont and Livermore where more than seven million pounds of materials (including 500,000 pounds of electronic waste) are diverted each year from landfill. SVdP relies on donated goods and the revenue from sales to fund the programs and services offered to homeless and low-income residents of Alameda County. Additionally, the thrift stores and back-end operations provide jobs for individuals in the Workforce Training Program. Since its founding in 1938, St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County has been helping those in our community by offering food, clothing, and basic services, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or origin. Five days a week, more than 185,000 hot meals are served and more than 3,700 of these are to children under the age of 12. The Visitation Center for Women and Children and the Champion Men’s Center offer free laundry services and a respite from the street. Homeless Court, various health clinics, a Clothing Closet and two job training programs (the Kitchen of Champions and the Champion Workforce) are just a few of the services offered by SVdP at its downtown campus. For more information visit or call (510) 877-9254. ■ Melanie Diegel is the giving and events manager at St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County.

December 2012 / January 2013 |



Small business


> New law aims to cut abuse in disability access lawsuits by Steve Cramer

Many business and commercial property owners have had at least one brush with a disability access lawsuit. Because a defendant in these lawsuits must pay a successful plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees, the lawsuits are often resolved quickly. The event is seldom satisfying for the business owner. To address certain shortcomings in the existing law, Senate Bill 1186 was recently adopted and became law. The bill enjoyed bipartisan majority in Sacramento, but was not supported by many disability rights Steve Cramer groups. The core dynamic of the new law is to give incentives for property owners to have their buildings inspected by certified access specialists, and to correct any “readily achievable” violations. The inspections are optional under the new law and, in our

experience, generally run from $1,500 to $2,500 each. Of course that does not include the cost of correcting code violations. Under the new law, assuming you have your business or commercial property inspected by an access specialist, and complete any readily achievable items, you get additional defenses to ADA access lawsuits. Specifically, if you are later sued for an access violation, you can reduce your statutory minimum damages to $1,000 (down from $4,000), provided you fix the violation within 60 days of receiving notice of the suit. Property owners are still on the hook for attorneys’ fees, but they can freeze the lawsuit, and the attorneys’ fees incurred by the plaintiff, and force an immediate settlement conference where the plaintiff must show what attorneys’ fees they’ve spent to date. There are other provisions in the law that will protect owners of newly constructed projects (built after 2008), even without a certified access inspection. As a related issue, all new commercial leases signed after July 1, 2013 must have a new provision discussing access inspections. This section requires that the lessor state in the lease whether the property has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist, and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards (pursuant to Civil Code Section 55.33). This mandatory disclosure will likely put additional pressure on owners to obtain access inspections. There’s little in the new law that is negative to business and much that is positive. If you need more information, please contact the author. ■ Steve Cramer is a partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP where he focuses on business and real estate matters. He can be reached at (510) 834-6600 or at


> New Ambassador chairs

New chairs of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee have been announced for 2013, and the three recently met for a meeting at the Chamber offices.The new committee chair is Chadwick Spell (right, business account executive with Comcast Business Class); he’ll be joined by first vice chair Dawnn Hills (Vantage Business Support & Insurance Services) and second vice chair Andrew Thompson (Merrill Lynch). Spell replaces 2012 committee co-chairs Ron White (LegalShield) and Angela Caulboy (Albert Brown Mortuary). The Ambassadors are the “meeters and greeters” of the Chamber, welcoming members at various events and making them feel at home. ■


> Ambassador of the Month Graig Brooks, who owns Jaguar Productions, a multi-media company specializing in photography, web design and journalism, has been named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month. The company’s motto is “Improving and Uplifting the Community through Media.” Having a passion for community service, Brooks has become active in various service related organizations such as the Chamber, The Iota Alpha Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Graig Brooks African American Museum and Library of Oakland. Each day, he says, he strives to make the world a better place – one photo at a time. ■


| OBR Oakland Business Review |


Small business


> ‘Virtual Presence’ can trigger Oakland business tax by Steve Cramer

Businesses based in Oakland have long grown accustomed to the tax the city assesses against gross receipts.

Here is a sample of the tax rates: • Real estate rentals: 1.395 percent (of gross receipts) • Grocers: .06 percent • Wholesale, Retail, Auto Sales and Manufacturing: .12 percent • Cannabis: 5 percent1 On the other hand, businesses without a physical location in Oakland have paid little attention to the tax, even while supplying Oakland companies. This strategy is no longer viable however. Oakland’s Office of Finance is aggressively pursuing collection of the tax against these out-of-town businesses, and it is relying on an internal ruling focused on auto dealers, wholesalers and manufacturers. In this ruling, the director of finance found that the city’s tax can apply to any business engaged in activities within the city which are designed to “promote, activate, stimulate or otherwise encourage” the sale of goods. Critically, these activities may be conducted from outside Oakland by means of telephone, internet, or other forms of virtual or electronic transmission. What this means is that the normal relationship between an Oaklandbased buyer (say a manufacturer or gasoline retailer) and a supplier based out of town will subject the supplier to Oakland’s gross receipts tax. I assume that the supplier’s salespeople will, of course, periodically contact the Oakland business (whether in person, by phone or email) to solicit or accept orders. The tax will apply to the sales made to the Oakland business, regardless of solicit or accept order shipment terms (i.e., specifying “f.o.b. Sacramento supply depot” or “f.o.b. Benicia refinery” will have no impact). For many suppliers, their first Oakland tax invoice will include interest charges and penalties. Best practice for an Oakland business is to notify its suppliers of Oakland’s gross receipts tax and the city’s enforcement practices. Depending on the industry, the tax is not that significant if timely paid. However, if reporting is ignored and the tax is allowed to accumulate over time with interest and penalties, it can reach a level that may damage relationships. Many California cities do not have a gross receipts tax at all and rely instead on a tax based on the number of employees. This often adds to the dismay of the out-of-town suppliers faced with an Oakland tax bill. If you (or one of your suppliers) do receive a notice of deficiency or an invoice for past due taxes, it is critical that you act within the appeal period set forth in the notice. The guidelines for calculating Oakland receipts by out of town suppliers are complex and leave room for negotiations, if the taxpayer acts timely. Conversely, if you own an Oakland business that supplies businesses located in other California cities, you should review those cities’ tax requirements as well. Many will not have a gross receipts tax, but some will, and you need to be sure as it may affect pricing. To make matters more interesting, Oakland, like most California cities, now participates in a data exchange program with the California Franchise Tax Board, so the chance of a (potential) taxpayer slipping through the cracks has diminished. ■


> Fit for the holidays The Chamber’s special holiday After Five Reception continued its tradition of good food, good music, outstanding networking and holiday cheer at the Claremont Resort and Spa in December. Some 200 Chamber members and guests were on hand for the festivities. Below, Chamber Chair of the Board Shannon Pedder presents a 2013 Chamber calendar to Claremont Sales Manager Brett Brown, while Chamber President Joe Haraburda (right) and Board member Kim Arnone (Katovich & Kassan Law Group) look on. The Claremont is currently running numerous special promotions and packages. For more information, visit ■


> New location for FedEx Office FedEx Office, which had been located in the lower level of downtown Oakland’s City Center, has moved to a larger location within City Center at 500 12th St., suite 139. At the recent ribbon cutting ceremony, center manager Steven Bynum (below, center, holding the scissors) is joined by district manager Alexander Prodan, managing director James Harner, other FedEx Office staff managers, and Chamber Ambassadors and staff. FedEx Office has more than 1,800 stores and locations primarily in the U.S. and Canada, providing convenient access to printing and shipping expertise with reliable service. Services include copying and digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, direct mail, signs and graphics, computer rental, free Wi-Fi and corporate print solutions. For more information, call (510) 465-5209. ■

Steve Cramer is a real estate and commercial lawyer at Wendel Rosen in Oakland. He can be reached at (510) 834-6600 or at 1

The city receives nearly 3 percent of all business taxes collected from this class.

December 2012 / January 2013 | 9

> Students raise funds for monument

> Leadership Oakland – Touring the city’s hidden gems by Cat Brewer Leadership Oakland's City Neighborhood Tour and Business Day began with an in-depth trip around District 4 led by City Councilmember Libby Schaaf and supported by various commu-

Contributions of all sizes from people of means and otherwise have inspired the Advisory Board for the Remember Them: Champions for Humanity monument project, but none more than five students from the now-closed Far West High School in Oakland. Julian, Jabari, Nia, Shari and Joy set out to raise funds for the project, each choosing a method to raise their share of the overall goal. The individual projects were successful, collectively saving $1,000, which was in turn presented to Mario Chiodo (far left) as their way of saying thank you for his vision. Our congratulations as well to their principal, Beverly Jarrett (next to Chiodo), and to the students for their commitment to give back to the community. ■

▲ Leadership nity members and busiOakland participants ness owners. The tour took a bus tour of highlighted some of the the city’s hidden city's hidden gems both gems, with City Councilmember Libby urban and forested. Schaaf (center, with The first stop was Dithe red scarf) on mond Park where Stan board as tour guide. Dodson, community activist and operations manager of La Farine, talked about the bright spots of the Dimond District such as the wonderful trails leading all the way to Joaquin Miller and Tilden parks and as far as Moraga. He also mentioned the challenges of doing business in the Dimond District, including few vacancies for new businesses and increasing rents for commercial space due to the increasing vibrancy of the area. The tour continued along the Anza Trail and State Route 50, now known as MacArthur Boulevard, and through various neighborhoods, including Maxwell Park, Allendale (home of one of the original key route lines), and Redwood Heights. A stop was also made at Chabot Space and Science Center for a quick tour by executive director Alexander Zwissler. Along the way, Councilmember Schaaf highlighted various flourishing Oakland public schools, many of which have continued to improve. To finish the tour, the group stopped into World Ground Cafe in the Laurel District to chat with owner Uffe Gustafsson and enjoy some coffee and tea before concluding with a brief tour of the Montclair District, conducted by Daniel Swafford of Montclair Village. Afterwards, Councilmember Schaaf joined the group for lunch and discussed some of the challenges faced by the city. Later in the day, Jose Corona, the chief executive officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA), addressed the group and gave an in-depth explanation of how ICA works and provides services to small businesses to help them grow scale and succeed. He highlighted the challenges of doing business in Oakland, such as commercial space and permitting, as well as the benefits – the location, the strong and willing network of support among businesses, and the thriving energy of the city. The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce would like to extend its gratitude to AC Transit for making the day possible by providing the tour transportation. Next month's Leadership Oakland session on Public Safety will be held at the city’s Office of Emergency Service. ■

Cat Brewer is the executive director of Leadership Oakland.

10 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Oakland’s dining scene continued to expand in 2012

by Keira Williams & Harry Hamilton

The momentum of new restaurants opening in Oakland continued with more than 60 openings in 2012 and even more expected in early 2013. This growth has garnered media attention including leading national outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Zagat. One emerging trend is restaurateurs who have tasted success in Oakland adding a second or, in some cases, a third or fourth location. In fact, 20 of Oakland’s recent and upcoming restaurant openings represent additional locations for successful Oakland business owners. Uptown is the epicenter of Oakland’s thriving dining and entertainment sector and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the city’s new establishments. You can enjoy al fresco dining at the City Lights Café at the Cathedral or taste the signature cocktails at Fauna, the companion bar to Flora and third downtown location for the owners of Dona Tomas. Other new additions include Sweet Bar Bakery, Hopscotch, Ike’s Lair, Plum Bar, Stag’s Lunchette, Tea Here Now and Telegraph. Uptown is also home to the nation’s only carbon neutral café, Noble Café. In the next few weeks, The New Parkway Theater will bring the beloved movie experience to a new Uptown location and Loring Café will open its first West Coast location on Grand Avenue. Later in 2013, Paul Canales’ Duende as well as Township and Umami Burger will open. Bolstered by the opening of District and Borgo Italia and the return of Le Cheval to its original location, Old Oakland will see three additional eateries opening in Swan’s Market. Former Hibiscus chef Sarah Kirnon will open Miss Ollie’s, a chef from the founding family of Big Sur’s Nepenthe will launch The Cook and Her Farmer, and Rosamunde will feature sausages and beer. Drinking spot Parliament is due soon as well. Daniel Patterson opened Haven, his third Oakland establishment, in Jack London Square. Other recent waterfront additions include Nido and The Night Light bar. In partnership with Temoor Noor of Grand Tavern, Chop Bar’s Chris Pastena will be transforming Miss Pearl’s into Lungomare. This enterprising duo project an April opening for Brotzeit on the Embarcadero, featuring German fare, and are also at work on the 150-seat Tribune Tavern in the historic

EMERGING TREND: Restaurateurs who have tasted success in Oakland are adding a second or, in some cases, a third or fourth location.

Tribune Tower. Other recent downtown openings include an expanded Awaken Café on Broadway, the nearby Bittersweet Café chocolate café and lunch spot, and Halftime Sports Bar. On the other side of Broadway, Blessed Garden, Bread of Life Bakery and Sobo Ramen opened in Chinatown. Coming to Grand Lake in 2013 will be Charlie Hallowell’s third establishment in Oakland, Penrose & Sons Fine Meats & Spirits. The neighborhood saw Grand Lake Kitchen, Flipside, Chipotle and Wingstop open in 2012. Another opening this year was Destino, a new Latin food restaurant by Gary Rizzo of Kwik Way fame. Due in 2013 in Rockridge are Ramen Shop, A16 and Box & Bells, a third restaurant for Michelin-rated James Syhabout. The folks from A Cote branched out with Rumbo Al Sur in the Glenview neighborhood. Homestead is slated for Piedmont Avenue. Tanya Holland, whose tasty waffles and other dishes draw crowds to Brown Sugar Kitchen, opened B-Side BBQ on San Pablo Avenue. Asian fusion Fuse Box opened to acclaim in West Oakland. Victory Burger, an offshoot of Actual Café, just opened in the Golden Gate district.

Bagels & beer

Another 2012 trend was the opening of several bagel bakeries and brewpubs/beer gardens. New bagel shops include Beauty's Bagel, Old Brooklyn Bagels & Deli and Authentic Bagel Company. The recently opened and instantly successful Portal beer garden will be joined in 2013 by an expanded tasting room plus restaurant at Linden Street Brewery, The Hog's Apothecary, Diving Dog Brewhouse, Lost & Found Beer Garden and Old Depot Public House. The last two are second locations for Oakland pub entrepreneurs. Food pods

Complementing these brick-and-mortar restaurant additions is the growth of group sites for mobile food vending dubbed food pods. Spurred by a pilot city of Oakland program, eight food pods featuring multiple food trucks have sprouted up throughout Oakland including locations in downtown, Uptown, Jack London and Koreatown/Northgate. For location details and schedule, visit ■ Keira Williams is a retail specialist with the city of Oakland’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development, and Harry Hamilton is the city’s public information officer.

December 2012 / January 2013 | 11


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Piedmont Grocery – Now in its 110th year Founded by Herman and Eugenia Sack, Piedmont Grocery Co. opened its doors for business in 1902. Located at the corner of 41st Street and Piedmont Avenue, the business was moved after a fire destroyed it in 1904 and rebuilt one block down by the Key Train station at the end of the San Francisco line where it remains to this day.

In the beginning, Piedmont Grocery Co. meant sawdustcovered floors, scattered pickle barrels and wooden crates displaying “good things to eat” with unparalleled service. Through earthquakes, fires, economic highs and lows, Piedmont Grocery Co. has remained consistent with its promise to deliver quality foods with outstanding personal service that has endeared the store to generation after generation. In the early days, clerks would pull items from the shelves at customer request. Dorothy Rickard, Piedmont resident and daughter of H.Sack, Herman’s son who ran the business until 1956, recalls the old store, “You just ask for it, and they bring it to you.” Soon H.Sack established Piedmont Grocery Co. as one of the first self-service grocery stores in town. The company even offered a daily delivery service until 1965 – originally by horse-drawn wagons, then by a fleet of green trucks which oftentimes delivered the mail along with the groceries. Piedmont Grocery Co. was purchased from the Sack family in 1957 by Charles Larson who, as an ambitious 16-year-old in 1920, started work at Piedmont Grocery Co. as a delivery driver. Charles worked his way up to buyer and store manager and eventually to general manager before becoming president and owner. Piedmont Grocery Co. is currently owned by Charles’ son David Larson. In this time of hurried pace and electronic interaction, Piedmont Grocery Co. remains a place where relationships are established and cherished. Many customers have shopped there for decades and many of Piedmont Grocery’s employees have worked there for just as long. It’s a place where friends and neighbors greet each other while picking up their holiday turkey and children and grandchildren of customers grow up before our eyes. Today in its 110th year, the store has been updated, but the philosophy of offering the finest foods and best service to customers and the community remains the same. Piedmont Grocery Co. features a full-service butcher shop, an exceptional selection of gourmet, specialty and prepared foods, hard-to-find cooking ingredients, and an outstanding wine and liquor department, making Piedmont Grocery Co. a popular destination for local residents and visitors alike. ■

> Recology takes the lead ▲ Piedmont Grocery President David Larson

12 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

The restaurant business in Oakland has truly emerged as a major contributor to the improvement in the quality of life for Oakland residents. The growth in the number and type of restaurants in Oakland is a true indicator of an improving economy and a tribute to the city that has embraced these restaurants as a part of the community. Restaurateurs have made Oakland a dining destination. As stated in The New York Times, choosing Oakland is a must-visit global destination. Recology East Bay is proud to be a founding supporter of the Oakland Restaurant Association, which was created to support this growing industry. Recology provides food waste recycling services to more than 200 of Oakland’s restaurants in response to the restaurant’s intense interest to divert food waste from landfills. Instead, this food waste is sent to be composted and returned to the earth and/or sent to a digester to create energy. Recology Inc. has been working with EBMUD for several years on a project designed to prepare food waste to be accepted and processed within the digester. This process leads to the creation of electricity. Therefore, Oakland not only has benefited by the development of a top-rated restaurant industry, but has derived a benefit from the efforts of these restaurants to recycle their food waste, hence, diverting the material from a landfill to create soil amendments and renewable energy. Oakland residents should take pride in knowing that their local restaurants are improving their quality of life by providing a dining out experience and insuring that food waste is being managed with a concern for the environment. ■


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Hire a caterer for your holiday office party

> Visit Oakland to host

by Deborah Pfisterer Imagine the possibilities – whether you want to host a holiday party, a rehearsal dinner, an anniversary party, wedding or any signature moment, celebrate with the added elegance and ease of a professional caterer. 1. Save time! One meeting with your caterer will result in your entire party being “done.” Your checklist will be checked off and you can go about your holiday season with a big smile on your face. Your menu? Done! Your theme and décor? Done! Your signature cocktails – recipe, service, fancy glassware? Done! Your parking worries? Taken care of! Your three-piece jazz ensemble? Hired! 2. Save money! Yes, you can save money by hiring the experts to cater your party. They get volume discounts on rentals such as tables, chairs, china and more! After you’ve run yourself ragged driving all over the Bay Area to find the aged Spanish ham for your tapas table and the perfect dry white wine to go with it, you’ve spent time, lots of gas money and a premium price for the food and wine. It’s surprising how much money you spend putting on your own party. A lot of people say they can’t afford a caterer, but the bottom line quite often is very affordable. 3. Impress your friends and colleagues! This is so important these days. Everyone has become a “professional” chef by watching Rachel Ray and other cooking programs. Martha Stewart has taught everyone how to decorate the house or venue to look perfectly perfect. Unfortunately, we find that all the best laid plans for carrying everything out fall farther and farther behind as the party date approaches. That’s stress. Allow your professional caterer to create those trendy, perfectly executed hors d’oeuvres, entrees, sides and desserts. Allow your caterer to create the best flow for your home or office so the guests can feel comfortable and have a chance to get to the food and chat with their friends and business associates. While the party is being set up and you can waft the delicious scents from the kitchen, you’re calm and ready to greet the guests and enjoy the day or evening. That’s being a gracious host. 4. Who likes to clean? This is our favorite! After the party, the caterer cleans up the kitchen, the bar and all of the rentals. There are no partial plates of food anywhere, there’s no furniture to move or put away, there’s no dishwasher full of dishes. You actually have time to relax, digest your food, and relive the wonderful conversation and dining experience you just provided for your guests. So why choose catering? The holidays are for enjoying food and friends and for giving to those you care about. Trying to do everything yourself isn’t fun – it’s stressful. Enjoy your holidays and hire a caterer. Then start checking off that list! ■ Deborah Pfisterer is president of Blue Heron Catering, Inc.

> Oakland’s diverse culinary scene From Ethiopian to Korean barbeque to Burmese food, Oakland is known to have an eclectic mix of cuisine. As one of the most diverse cities in the country, there's no shortage of options throughout the neighborhoods. Think of dining out in Oakland as an adventure – you will always be pleasantly surprised with something on the menu that you probably never expected to try. In addition to the array of foods from different cultures, Oakland chefs are also known for mixing unique ingredients to create innovative flavors. Many restaurants utilize sustainable, seasonal ingredients, developing daily and monthly menus with the freshest products from the farmers markets. In Oakland’s Chinatown, you won’t just find Chinese dishes. As one of the largest Pan-Asian communities in the United States, Chinatown includes a mix of Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese foods. You can spend weeks exploring each bakery and restaurant and still find new things to try. The Koreatown-Northgate district, bordering Uptown and Temescal, is of course known for its Korean delicacies, but that’s not all. Phat Matt’s BBQ is a favorite American eatery, and the area is also filled with Middle Eastern foods. Head to Temescal and you'll find a little bit of everything – Japanese, Ethiopian, Burmese, Southern, and Spanish Tapas, all within a few blocks radius. This neighborhood continues to thrive as a “foodie” destination, with publications such as The New York Times, Sunset Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal taking notice of the restaurants. Oakland Restaurant Week is an excellent opportunity to explore the options at some of the best restaurants in Oakland. Enjoy ten days of prix fixe menus at $20, $30, and $40 from Jan. 18-27. Details on participating restaurants can be found online at oakland For more restaurant information, see, and follow Visit Oakland on Twitter @visitoakland and on Facebook at ■

Restaurant Week More than 30 Oakland restaurants will celebrate the third annual Oakland Restaurant Week, which will run from Jan. 18-27. The ten-day event provides visitors and locals with an opportunity to taste some of Oakland’s finest cuisine, with special meals and deals from the city’s top restaurants. Prix fixe menus at $20, $30 and $40 will be offered for lunch and/or dinner, and many restaurants will also include drink specials to supplement the meal. Tickets and special passes are not required, but reservations are strongly recommended. “Oakland continues to gain recognition as one of the hottest food destinations in the country, with good reason,” said Alison Best, president and chief executive officer of Visit Oakland. “Oakland Restaurant Week is an excellent opportunity for diners to experience fresh, unique flavors and creative menu pairings. The city is also extremely diverse, so diners will enjoy a variety of culinary options throughout the neighborhoods.” Past Restaurant Week participants have had very positive experiences with the promotion. Many restaurant owners have said that the annual event is the busiest time of year for their businesses. “Our sales rocked during Restaurant Week! What a fantastic way to introduce Bocanova to folks who hadn’t been here before, while simultaneously offering a great deal to our regular customers,” said Meredith Melville, owner and general manager of Bocanova. Oakland Restaurant Week is part of California Restaurant Month, designated by Visit California. The statewide event is a promotional initiative created to encourage post-holiday travel to California during the month of January, which is typically a slow dining month after the holidays. More than 30 destinations across the state will host their own promotion in January. For more details and information on participating restaurants, see restaurantweek. For details on statewide destination offerings, go to restaurant month. Visit Oakland is a nonprofit organization marketing the city of Oakland as a travel destination. Visit Oakland offers a wide variety of complimentary services and materials for travelers and meeting planners interested in experiencing the city. For more information, see ■

Supporting the restaurant community in Oakland since 2001 • Commingled Recycling • Composting • Waste Consulting and Diversion Specialists 510.267.0852

December 2012 / January 2013 | 13


Wining & Dining in Oakland

Guide to Chamber member restaurants and caterers

> Dine at these outstanding

Panera Bread Bakery Café

2249 South Shore Center Drive Alameda, CA 94501 (925) 408-7713

Chamber members restaurants AIRPORT / COLISEUM AREA Amelia’s

(within Hilton Oakland Airport) One Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 635-5000 Bistro 150

(within Red Lion Hotel) 150 Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 635-5300 Diamond Sports Bar

(within Holiday Inn – Oakland Airport) 77 Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 638-7777

Specialty's Cafe & Bakery


(within Claremont Resort & Spa) 41 Tunnel Road Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 843-3000

155 Grand Ave. Oakland, CA 94612 (415) 362-2052 Spice Monkey

1628 Webster St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 268-0170 Terrace Room at Lake Merritt

1800 Madison St. Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 903-3771 The Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill

1520 Lakeside Drive Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 208-5253

OLD OAKLAND B Restaurant

499 9th St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 251-8770 BayOta

1015 Clay St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 208-2848

Sports Edition Bar

(within Hilton Oakland Airport) One Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 635-5000 DOWNTOWN & VICINITY Faz Restaurant

1111 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 272-1111 Fountain Café

499 14th St., Suite 125 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 451-6400 Level Two

(within Oakland Marriott City Center) 1001 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 451-4000 Round Table Pizza

398 Grand Ave. Oakland, CA 94610 (510) 834-4555


3100 35th Ave. Oakland, CA 94619 (510) 533-0781

827 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 835-5585

Bon Appetit Catering

906 Washington St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 836-2739

8520 Pardee Drive Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 569-0653

(within Claremont Resort & Spa) 41 Tunnel Road Berkeley, CA 94705 (510) 843-3000

Levende East / Liege Spirits Lounge

Pacific Coast Brewing Co.

Francesco's Restaurant

The Meritage

1547 Lakeside Drive Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 891-230 Café Aquarius


1298 65th St. Emeryville, CA 94608 (510) 655-2782

À Côté

Faz Restaurant


5478 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-6469

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

Buttercup Kitchen – Family Restaurant


Fountain Café

229 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 444-2976

Ozumo Oakland, LLC

499 14th St., Suite 125 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 451-6400

Chop Bar

247 4th St., Suite 111 Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 834-2467 Home of Chicken and Waffles Restaurant & Bar

444 Embarcadero West Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 836-4446

2251 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 286-9866 PICÁN

2295 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 834-1000 Z Cafe & Bar

2735 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 828-6564

Kincaid's Bayhouse

1 Franklin St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 835-8600 Numi Tea Garden

2230 Livingston St. Oakland, CA 94606 (877) 686-4832 Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar

2 Broadway Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 444-3456


1727 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94612 (415) 303-3205

14 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

NEARBY Café Aquarius

1298 65th St. Emeryville, CA 94608 (510) 655-2782

Miraglia Catering & Event Planning

2096 Burroughs Ave. San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 483-5210 Panera Bread Bakery Café

2249 South Shore Center Drive Alameda, CA 94501 (925) 408-7713 Red Door Chefs and Producers

248 Third St., Suite 843 Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 459-6212


Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Oakland: Best city

> Fountain Café –

to visit right now

A local favorite in City Center

by Mark Everton

The recent New York Times article naming Oakland as the fifth best place to visit on the planet was accompanied by howls of shock and joy.

“Shock” was the preeminent response from many people, wondering how Oakland could get the nod over many other “world class” cities. “Joy” from those who know and love Oakland and know that it is truly the unsung hero of the arts and culinary renaissance. For many, the selection of Oakland was thought to be a fleeting idea, which would soon pass along unnoticed. It appears that Oakland has taken the notoriety as a challenge to live up to the bestowed moniker. The culinary scene has appeared to kick Mark Everton into high gear with The New York Times article. Restaurants are opening or are revitalizing their fare at an ever-increasing pace in the past few months – Borgo in Old Oakland, The District across the street from Borgo, Tanya Holland’s new B-Side BBQ, Fuse Box in West Oakland, Dogwood in Uptown and Make Westing a block up Telegraph from Dogwood. Bocanova in Jack London Square has many special events slated for Restaurant Week. First Friday’s continues to grow throughout Oakland. While initially in the Uptown area, First Friday’s has now spread throughout the downtown, Old Oakland, Jack London Square and Temescal districts. The combination of restaurants and the burgeoning arts scene have combined to make it an amazing experience regardless of where you are in Oakland. Visit Oakland’s new media campaign of “To Know Oakland is to Love Oakland” has gone viral with the inclusion of Tanya’s musing on what makes Oakland great. James Syhabout of Commis and Hawker Fare talks about growing up in Oakland and why he continues to open restaurants in the city. MC Hammer’s recent video about Oakland has gained national attention. These and other videos can be seen at Keep in mind that Oakland Restaurant Week is slated for Jan. 18-27. At least 40 of Oakland’s best restaurants are on board featuring $20, $30 and $40 special prix fixe menu offerings. There will be numerous beer and wine tastings and pairings at many of the restaurants during Restaurant Week. Bocanova in Jack London Square and À Côté in Rockridge have many special events slated for Restaurant Week. Check the individual restaurant’s websites for special offerings and events. Last year’s Restaurant Week was so successful that many of the restaurants booked up early and there were no seats available during the week for drop-in diners. Oakland’s restaurant renaissance and amazing culinary offerings continue to support the 5th Best selection. The people that know Oakland agree and those that didn’t realize what Oakland had to offer are falling in love with our city. ■ Mark Everton is the general manager of the Waterfront Hotel and is co-chair of the Chamber’s Oakland Restaurant Association.

Oakland’s City Center has always been a popular lunch spot for the local workforce with a number of excellent eateries. And since 1995, Fountain Café has anchored that local food scene, becoming popular not only as a lunch spot, but as a caterer for area businesses. Owned and operated by brothers Elias and Samer Salameh, Fountain Café is a family business with a metropolitan flare, and is located just steps away from the City Center / 12th Street BART station. The brothers have joined forces and dedicated their knowledge and culinary backgrounds to offer lunchtime delicacies. The atmosphere is busy, energetic and dynamic, filled with hungry patrons satisfying their appetite. “We have a unique concept,” says Elias Salameh, president and chief executive officer in charge of kitchen operations, catering and menu planning. “Make your own plate the way you like it.” That’s because Fountain Café offers an exceptional variety of healthy, seasonal choices. Food ranges from the well stocked and colorful salad bar to a hot buffet station with daily gourmet specials that range from panko crusted fish filet and roasted chicken to potatoes au ▲ Elias (left) and Samer gratin, pasta de giorno, Yankee pot roast and Salameh, owners of southern barbecue pulled pork. Fountain Café. Not in the mood for salad or a hot entrée? “You have to visit our deli for a sandwich that you would appreciate,” says Samer, who manages the deli and the front of the house operation. The deli comes complete with everything from house roasted turkey sandwiches, an American favorite, to European delights such as fresh mozzarella and pesto sandwiches on focaccia bread and chicken cordon bleu. With dedication to quality and attention to detail, Fountain Café offers a variety of catering options for any corporate event and office meeting. Morning orders range from coffee and tea service to house baked muffins, scones, danish and fresh fruit platters. The lunch menu includes exceptional cookies and brownies. For more information, visit or call (510) 451-6400. ■

Salad Bar • Hot Bar Delicatessen • Catering Office Parties • Corporate Events In the Heart of City Center Phone: (510) 451-6400 Fax: (510) 451-5480

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Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Wining is always great at holiday time, so wine away! by Kevin Brown

The holidays are here and thoughts turn to family, friends, good food and good cheer. But what about the wine?

Like the “Wizard of Oz,” wine has been mystified and made intimidating when in fact, just as the wizard was an ordinary man, wine is just another beverage choice. But what a choice! While we have been told that there are correct and incorrect matches of food and wine, in reality, there are no right or wrong answers. Wine is personal and subjective, just like the music that you like, the art you love, the books you read. You like Beethoven, grandma likes Mozart, Aunt Millie loves Bach, and Uncle Bob loves AC/DC. Who is right and who is wrong? No one, it’s just what they like. The same is true of wine. But this holiday, make your wine Kevin Brown choices an adventure that adds excitement and variety to your celebrations. Your choices of wines are as varied as the colors of the rainbow. Explore those colors and try things you have never tried before. If you really like a particular varietal, say Cabernet Sauvignon, try examples from different producers, preferably ones you have never tried before. You never know when you are going to discover the next Picasso, and remember, the only one who has to think it is Picasso is you. Most people don’t know or realize that the Bay Area has become wine country in a very big way. There are now more than 30 wineries in the greater Bay Area. All are relatively small, boutique producers who make a vast array of wonderful wines. They source fruit from some of the best vineyards in California, bring them to their respective wineries and lovingly cra wines that are world class in quality and very good values. There are 20 members of the East Bay Vintners Alliance ( that make wines from more than 20 different varietals. All are located in the East Bay within minutes of downtown Oakland, and most have tasting rooms where you can go and sample their wares. Alameda, for example, has seven wineries. Four of them share a cooperative tasting room (The Alameda Vintners Club) right off Park Street at Angela’s Bistro. There are flights with wines from each of the wineries and great food pairings done especially for the tasting room. Holiday shopping has never been such fun!

So as you plan your holiday meals consider your options. If turkey is your thing, a white wine is the traditional choice, but there is so much more than Chardonnay to temp your palate. A crisp and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc would be a great match as would a Torrontes (bracing acid and tart apple tones), or Chenin Blanc. If you like your food rich, consider going towards a crisper and higher acid white wine to cut through the richness and keep your palate fresh and lively. But white wine is hardly the only answer. One of the best matches with turkey that I have found is Zinfandel. America’s heritage grape compliments turkey and all the trimmings unlike any other wine. The fun thing about Zinfandel is that it comes in so many shapes and sizes. So hints of strawberry and cherries with no oak at all, to the big, jammy monsters that can almost be a meal in itself. Your taste preference should be the guide. I personally like a more medium bodied Zinfandel with turkey. The wineries in the Bay Area will offer at least 20 different choices of Zinfandel alone. If prime rib or roast beef is your holiday staple, you can of course go with a wonderful rich Cabernet Sauvignon (at least 15 great choices in the East Bay alone), but why not consider a rich and unctuous Petite Sirah with hints of blueberries and dark blackberries, or a Tannat (dark and rich with lots of grip), or maybe Cabernet Sauvignon’s cousin, Cabernet Franc, the richness and intensity of Cabernet Sauvignon with more spice and tannic structure. All wonderful choices and all available from your East Bay wineries. For the pure traditionalists who lean toward Christmas goose, Pinot Noir is always a reliable choice, but how about Sangiovese with its vibrant cherries and bracing acid, or maybe a Syrah with its bold dark fruit and hints of currants and blackberry. Makes you long for that giblet gravy, doesn’t it? For the ultimate experience, make it a smorgasbord of choices. Pick several choices of wines to match with your meal and see which ones your guests prefer the most. It will make for fun dinner conversation and a meal and celebration that will be long remembered. This year, make it an East Bay holiday. Not only will you be supporting local businesses, but you’ll be discovering the wonderful wineries that are part of the wine country that’s in your own backyard. ■ Kevin Brown is owner/winemaker at R&B Cellars, which is one of the seven Alameda wineries. R&B Cellars is one of the four East Bay wineries at the Alameda Vintners Club at 2301 Central Ave. in Alameda.

Choose several wines to match your meal and see which your guests prefer. It will make for fun dinner conversation and a meal and celebration that will be long remembered.

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Wining & Dining in Oakland

> Marqeta launches city-focused commerce, giving platform Leading Oakland business organizations and local start-up Marqeta have come together to launch “Explore Oakland,” a resounding answer to Mayor Jean Quan’s call to support Oakland’s economy.

Through Explore Oakland, locals and visitors alike get an extra 25 percent to spend at Oakland’s best restaurants when paying online in advance. Marqeta, a new service that gets consumers more money for the things they buy every day, is leading the charge, along with the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Visit Oakland, and the Oakland Restaurant Association – with support from Mayor Quan – to develop innovative solutions that support Oakland commerce and support the local community. In response to Mayor Quan’s goal of encouraging consumers to dedicate 25 percent of their shopping dollars to Oakland’s merchants, Marqeta and Joe Haraburda of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce initially came up with the idea. The innovation resulted in Explore Oakland, a one-of-a-kind offer that gives shoppers 25 percent more money to spend at dozens of top Oakland restaurants, including PICÁ, Ozumo, and Pacific Brewing Company. In addition, every Explore Oakland offer that’s purchased also supports nonprofit Great Oakland Public Schools, further enhancing the benefit to the Oakland community. Explore Oakland offers four dining levels to choose from (consumers buy the offers online at exploreoakland and Marqeta sends them a free debit card with the total funds preloaded): • Taste of Oakland: Prepay $40 and get an extra $10. • Dinner for Two: Prepay $80 and get an extra $20. • Party of Four: Prepay $200 and get an extra $50. • Indulge Oakland: Prepay $400 and get an extra $100. Consumers can also give any of the offers as gifts to friends and family, just in time for the holidays. “Giving the gift of Oakland has never been easier,” says Alison Best, chief executive officer of Visit Oakland. “Oakland is experiencing a culinary renaissance and our partnership with Marqeta has given us the opportunity to generate even more buzz around the Oakland dining scene – especially as we head into our third annual Oakland Restaurant Week in January.” Marqeta and its partners timed the launch of “Give the Gift of Oakland” to run through Visit Oakland’s third annual Oakland Restaurant Week, Jan. 18-27, 2013. More than 40 restaurants will participate in the yearly celebration of Oakland’s culinary delights. Many of these restaurants are part of Marqeta’s Explore Oakland offer, giving foodie fans the opportunity to make their dining dollar worth even more during Oakland Restaurant Week. Oakland’s burgeoning culinary scene has been getting national attention for the last few years, and Explore Oakland

promises to both leverage and further encourage that momentum. Says Michael Le Blanc, owner of PICÁN, one of Oakland’s most well known eateries, “I am a big advocate of programs that keep dollars local while giving people the opportunity to give back to the community. It’s sometimes easy to forget what’s in your own backyard, but Explore Oakland from Marqeta offers locals and visitors a chance to experience our city’s most amazing restaurants and get more for their money. It also gives our culinary neighbors a smarter way to engage with new and returning customers.” Founded in 2010 in Oakland by a team of payments and retail experts, Marqeta is an online-to-offline commerce and payments platform that makes the successful Starbucks loyalty model possible for nearly every merchant in the country, without any new software or hardware at the point of sale. For the first time ever, consumers no longer have to keep track of multiple deal vouchers, loyalty programs or gift cards – they all sit on one payment card. ■

December 2012 / January 2013 | 17



> Dr. Tony Smith – Leading our children It was June of 2009 when Dr. Tony Smith was named executive director of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). He had accepted a position that featured seven different leaders in the past ten years, in a district with decreasing enrollment that had a multitude of financial issues and an overall negative general public perception. But at a recent Chamber Power Breakfast with the school leader at the Waterfront Hotel, Brian Rogers, the executive director of the Rogers Family Foundation, explained that Dr. Smith had said that he’d find success by “pounding the rock,” an old football expression for never giving up, always pushing ahead. Making tough decisions and navigating extremely rough waters, Dr. Smith cut nearly $150 million out of the school budget. And by pounding that rock, he led the Oakland Unified School District to an increase in its Academic Performance Index, with 2012 graduation rates increasing by 4 percent. He now has a seven-year strategic plan for a full-service community school district, and under his leadership OUSD is

> “To be of use” by Marge Piercy The people I love the best jump into work head first without allying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves, as an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again. I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who stand in the line and haul in their places, who are not parlor generals and field deserters but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out. The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident. Greek amphoras for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used. The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.

▲ At the Power Breakfast (left to right) – Mark Everton, chair of the Chamber’s Oakland Restaurant Association; City Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Patricia Kernighan; Mayor Quan; featured speaker Dr. Tony Smith; City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan; and Chamber Board members David Tucker (Waste Management of Alameda County) and John Nelson (murakami / Nelson).

beginning to bear fruit and create community partnerships. Now, with the passage of Prop 30 and Measure J, all of our public schools have most likely seen the last reduction in school funding over the next few years. “It’s a chance for stability,” said Dr. Smith. But even with the good news continuing to come from Oakland schools, Dr. Smith admits that “we haven’t produced adequate results for our children.” While all children are equal, they don’t necessarily come to school equal, he said. “Our children are bright, beautiful and brilliant,” he said, but more attention and support must come from home where the rule of thumb should be that students never come to school hungry. “We’ll meet the needs of all of our kids as soon as parents do a better job,” he said. If not, he said, that “produces inequity.” Dr. Smith urged all in attendance to help. “There’s power in this room,” he said, power in the leadership of mentoring, training, internships and job creation. And, he repeated his motto – “Every kid deserves excellence in Oakland schools and every kid should and must graduate high school.” Remember, he said, “As employment goes up, violence goes down, and the city improves.” A poet and a reader of poetry, Dr. Smith took time to read his favorite poem to all in attendance, insisting all along that we must all “pound the rock” until the Oakland school system becomes a model for all others. That poem, (left) in its entirety, was written by Marge Piercy, and is called “To be of use.” ■

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

> Youth Radio wins White House award In a recent ceremony at the White House, Youth Radio received the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization was 17-year-old high school senior Shyra Gums and senior producer Nishat Kurwa. The award is the nation's highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. It recognizes an enduring commitment to developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in the arts. As one of only 12 organizations to receive this award, Youth Radio is in an elite class of community-based arts and humanities programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores and graduation rates, enhancing life skills, developing positive relationships with peers and adults, and expressing themselves creatively. Said First Lady Michelle Obama, “The 2012 awardees demonstrate the power that comes from young people realizing their creative promise. These outstanding organizations from across the country inspire our youth to explore the world of possibility that awaits them, and they are gaining critical skills that translate into every other aspect of their lives.” For Shyra Gums, the opportunity to meet the First Lady and represent the organization was "once-in-a-lifetime. I came to Youth Radio to learn about music and media production, but during the past two years, I've gained the skills that have put me on a path to success. Youth Radio has helped me grow as a leader and as an artist." In addition to the national recognition of the prestigious award, Youth Radio will receive

▲ Youth Radio producer Nishat Kurwa (left) and student Shyra Gums receive the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

$10,000 to support programming and to engage more young people. As Youth Radio's president Ellin O'Leary said in a statement, "We are deeply honored to receive this recognition from the White House. It's a tribute to the many outstanding youth we have served over the past two decades." ■



> Samuel Merritt reaches teens at Health Careers Fair Samuel Merritt University (SMU) co-hosted the second annual Health Careers Fair in Oakland in November to encourage East Bay high school students to pursue higher education and careers in healthcare. ▲

The healthcare professionals panel (left to right) – Ike Mmeje, administrative director of Clinical and Research Services at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center; Tim Dutra, DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine) and assistant professor in Applied Biomechanics and clinical investigator at the California School of Podiatric Medicine; and Christine Dalva, Samuel Merritt University Entry Level Master of Science – Nurse Practitioner.

The demand for healthcare providers is expected to increase over the next decade and many teens are not aware of the educational opportunities available in the field. SMU partnered with Sutter East Bay Regional Recruitment Services and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s (ABSMC) Youth Bridge Career and Internship Program to present the educational fair held at the Valley Center for Performing Arts at Holy Names University. More than 120 science and health academy students from five Oakland and Berkeley high schools had an opportunity to speak with healthcare and college representatives to explore careers, get inspired and begin planning for the future. ABSMC Diagnostics, Pharmacy, Nursing, East Bay AIDS Center and Fast Response teams presented engaging and educational exhibits. Representatives from SMU and its four pre-nursing partnership schools (Holy Names University, Mills College, Notre Dame de Namur and Saint Mary’s College of California) spoke to the students about college admission and financial aid. John Garten-Shuman, vice president of enrollment and student services at SMU, took the stage and spoke candidly to the students. “College is not an option – it is a requirement,” he said. He then asked students what kind of car they would want. One student shared, “Range Rover.” “How much will that Range Rover be worth in seven years when you pay it off?” he asked. “Almost nothing. But, if you put that much money into your education, it will be worth a lot more than you invested.” The students also attended a panel session where three health professionals talked about their backgrounds, career paths, skills development, and how they balance work and personal life. The panelists were Tim Dutra, DPM, CSPM Faculty; Christine Dalva, SMU ELMSN-FNP student; and Ike Mmeje, administrative director of ABSMC Clinical and Research Services. SMU developed and produced instructional materials to help teachers prepare students for the Health Careers Fair and a student workbook with assignments for students to complete during and after the event. The Jonas Family Fund provided financial support to make this an annual experience for local teens. ■

December 2012 / January 2013 | 19



> Wells Fargo offers repayment

> Early education: An investment

tips for student loan borrowers

in our future

by Micky Randhawa

by Nicole Taylor

College may be costly but it tends to pay off in the end. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says workers with a bachelor’s degree earn 65 percent more, on average, than those with just a high school diploma.

Micky Randhawa

For May graduates, student loan repayment begins during November or December following a six-month grace period that is allowed on most federal and private student loans. These are five steps that can help make student loan repayment simpler: 1. Use your six-month grace period following graduation to get organized for repayment.

• Get your documents in order – keep copies of any loan documents you sign. • Know when payments are due and the amounts. • Set up automatic payments to ensure timely payment and protect your credit. • If you can, make payments while you’re in school. This will help save you money over time, by reducing the interest that accrues and is capitalized.

2. Consider loan consolidation, but make sure you do your research before signing up. Student

loan consolidation may be a good option to consider for students interested in combining multiple private student loans into a new loan with a single monthly payment. You may benefit from a lower interest rate and potentially lower monthly payments. Be sure you understand the rate, repayment terms, any rate discounts that may be available, what the cost is to consolidate, and if there are penalties for paying off the loan early. Not all lenders offer the same terms, so be sure to do your research. 3. Understand your repayment options. Keep in mind, for federal loans and Wells Fargo private student loans, there is no penalty for making larger payments than the monthly required minimum or paying off the loan earlier than the end due date. With a standard repayment plan, you pay the least amount of interest over the life of the loan. For federal loan borrowers there are additional repayment considerations: • Extended repayment may be based on a fixed or graduated repayment schedule over a period of up to 25 years. • With graduated repayment you make lower payments at first, then gradually increase them. • An income-sensitive repayment is adjusted annually based on your expected income from all sources. • Choosing any of these plans means your payments are less each month, however you may pay more interest over the life of the loan. Borrowers also may have the option to defer loan payments for an extended period of time, but need to be aware of the interest that accrues when borrowers choose to defer making payments.

I’ve listened to business leaders over the years and know how important a welleducated, high performing workforce is to our local businesses and to our regional economy.

That’s why here at the East Bay Community Foundation we’re focusing on ensuring young children in the East Bay can succeed in the education system so they emerge ready to get a good job. We see a clear connection between children’s early success in school and their future economic opportunities. We know a child’s academic success depends on being able to read at grade level by the end of third grade. In fact, students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers. One of the most critical points in a child’s journey to reading proficiently by the end of third grade is the transition to kindergarten. Many children from lowincome families are already behind their middle-class peers by the time they get Nicole Taylor to kindergarten. The transition can be particularly challenging for children born between September and December of the year they enter kindergarten. These younger children often struggle with the emotional, social, and intellectual pressures of today’s more academic kindergarten classrooms. Thanks to the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, California public schools are now phasing in Transitional Kindergarten (TK), a new opportunity for children born between the months of September and December that provides them with a developmentally appropriate curriculum aligned with kindergarten standards and taught by credentialed teachers. One out of every four kindergarten students in California – 125,000 students each year – will benefit from TK. Why is it important?

Notify the lender immediately: • If you change your name, address, phone number or e-mail. • If you have graduated from or are going back to school. • If you can’t make your payments. A new plan may be arranged. 5. Learn more at Wells Fargo Education Financial Services online at www. call (800) 378-5526. ■

Transitional Kindergarten bridges between preschool and kindergarten. It gives students a head start, yielding payoffs in future academic success. Children in TK are more likely to have a successful first experience in school – a motivator for future achievement. TK is expected to save Californians money, because costs to run TK classes will be offset by savings: less need for remedial help, fewer students held back in later grades, and fewer students unnecessarily placed in special education. Research shows return on investments in early education such as TK is substantial. Economists, including Nobel laureate James Heckman, have calculated that each dollar invested in high-quality early education returns as much as $7 in reduced costs to schools and society. Returns also flow from increased productivity of a workforce with higher levels of academic achievement. I urge business leaders to embrace the importance of developing our East Bay workforce from the ground up by investing in quality early childhood education. And I invite you to learn more about early education and workforce development organizations we’re investing in at the East Bay Community Foundation by visiting For more information on Transitional Kindergarten and early education: • Kidango, a local nonprofit that specializes in early childhood education, has created a website with resources on Transitional Kindergarten for parents and teachers. kidangoTK.html • Another source of online information is TK California, a project of Preschool California. ■

Micky Randhawa is regional president of Wells Fargo and is a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Nicole Taylor is president and chief executive officer of the East Bay Community Foundation.

4. Keep in contact with your lender or loan servicer.

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Career technical education on the rise

your way to new business

by Alice Heiman

by Jerry Metzker Lily always wanted to be a scientist, but did not think it was possible. Although a gifted student who had taken AP Chemistry as a high school sophomore, she felt uncomfortable and lost in her large urban high school environment and was going through a rough time at home.

> Learning to network

She doubted college was even an option. Then her chemistry teacher steered her to join Biotech Partners’ Biotech Academy, a partnership between a nonprofit organization, the school and the biotech industry. She flourished in class and in her paid summer internship at a local biotech company, and is now a high school senior taking a more advanced lab training course and preparing for college. She may join Biotech Partners’ Bioscience Career Institute, a collaboration between the organization, the Peralta Community College District

Is your networking turning into revenue? Networking is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to increase sales.

1. Figure out the best places to meet your ideal prospects. This may mean experimenting

a bit and thinking “outside the box.” Your best prospects are not always where you think they are. 2. Set goals for each networking event. What do you want to accomplish at the event? What would you like to come away with? Don’t leave without meeting your objective. 3. Dress for success. Wear something comfortable that makes you feel like a million bucks. A nice logo shirt with nice slacks or a skirt is appropriate most of the time. A dress or suit may be appropriate for some events. Always wear your company name tag. 4. Attend new events with a member who will introduce you. If you don’t know any members,

Alice Heiman

call the president of the organization and let him know that you’d like to attend as someone’s guest. Call that person in advance and ask him to introduce you to the members at the event.

5. Make it a point to meet all of the people in the room that you don’t know. Don’t forget to say “hi” to those you do, but keep moving.

If you are finding it hard to break away from those you know, you can say something like, “Great talking to you, there are a few other people I need to see today. Enjoy the event” or “I don’t mean to rush off, but I want to introduce my guest to a few more people before the speaker starts.” 6. Have plenty of business cards with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at networking events and asked someone for their card and can’t believe my ears when they say, “I didn’t bring any” or “I’m out.” Always have plenty of cards handy. Keep extras in your car, briefcase, purse, pockets and anywhere else you can think of. Have a pen handy to write notes on the cards you collect. 7. Make conversation by asking questions about their business.

and industry partners that includes science and chemistry classes, personal support, career preparation and paid job training positions of increasing lab responsibility. While Biotech Partners has been providing this award-winning linked-learning program in the East Bay for nearly 20 years, the phenomenon of Career Technical Education is becoming a much touted option both locally and nationally, as evidenced by President Obama’s lauding and specific funding of such programs in community college systems. The California Department of Education defines Career Technical Education (CTE) as “a program of study that involves a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers.” Currently, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) offers 27 pathways in different industry sectors, including computer technology, health care, engineering, law and green energy through its linked-learning programs that match strong academics to demanding technical education, support services and work-based learning. OUSD data show that Linked Learning increases student engagement as well as student preparation for UC/CSU admission and decreases the high school drop-out rate. Biotech Partners, for example, has a 100 percent graduation rate for students who complete the Biotech Academy and 100 percent employment rate for students who complete the Bioscience Career Institute. This educational pathway clearly provides ways of educating students that connect their classroom learning with future opportunities in high-growth industries that need educated, skilled, job-ready employees. For companies, it is an ideal way to help train future employees, and for local students, like Lily, it is also a pathway out of poverty to a rewarding career. To learn more about Biotech Partners’ linked learning program, visit ■ ▲ High school student Lily’s biotech internship included sorting and preparing chemical solutions in pharmaceutical trials.

Jerry Metzker is development and marketing manager for Biotech Partners and co-chair of the Chamber’s Nonprofit Roundtable Committee.

Don’t pitch your business. Don’t even mention your business unless you are asked. Ask good questions and listen. Find something you have in common. 8. Be prepared with a great answer to “What do you do?” If asked, give them your 30-second answer and then talk about the results your customers receive in the form of a short success story. Rehearse, not so that it sounds scripted, so that it sounds great. Stating the name of your company and your title is not enough. You need to say something that helps people understand what you do and that will catch their interest. 9. Be sure to ask for the type of business you want. At the end of your success story, if you still have a captive audience, be sure to tell them the type of business you are looking for. If they have referrals for you right there, be prepared to write them down and ask for a direct introduction in person or by phone or email. If not, let them know that you will get back to them at a later date to see if they have run across any. Then ask them what kind of referrals they want. 10. Follow up. Networking is useless if you don’t do any follow up. After the event, immediately enter the business cards you collected into your database. Be sure to add any notes you wrote on the cards. If you say, “Let’s get together for coffee or lunch,” then make that happen. It shouldn’t be something you just say to make conversation. You can call or email after the event to set it up. Within 48 hours, be sure to send a “nice to meet you note” by mail or e-mail and anything else you promised to send. If they are not a potential customer, ask them to introduce you to those they know who may be, and refer people to them that may be their potential clients. If they are a potential customer, learn as much as you can about their business and possible ways you might help them. Figure out a way to keep in contact on a regular basis. Watch the media for the people you are interested in. If you see an article on them, clip it and send it to them with a note about doing business together. Everyone can learn to network. Have a networking strategy, carefully choose the events you attend, and follow the 10 steps above to turn all the time, money and effort spent networking into business. If you would like to learn more about networking, visit to read other articles or contact me at ■ Copyright © 2012 Alice Heiman, LLC All rights reserved.

December 2012 / January 2013 | 21

Women in Business


S TE 5 013 2 A E D RIL CT. 4

> City Administrator Santana

TH AP • O E V 1 • .2 A S EB. UG

to speak at Women in Business Deanna Santana, Oakland’s City Administrator since August 2011, will be the featured speaker at the first East Bay Women in Business luncheon of the new year.

Santana, who will kick off the 2013 “Women of Distinction” series, will address members and guests on Friday, Feb. 1 at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. A recognized leader in public policy and local government management, Santana held several executive positions in San Jose prior to her current appointment. In San Jose, she served as a deputy city manager supporting the city manager by overseeing many high-profile projects both within the Public Safety City Service, Environment & Utility Service, and various executive functions of the City Manager’s office. The luncheon will be held at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square and will begin at 11:15 a.m. It concludes with networking until 1:30 p.m. The cost is $35 for Chamber members and $45 for non-members. Same day reservations increase the price by $10. The 2013 luncheon series, “Women of Distinction,” will include Mary Huss, publisher of the San Francisco Business Times, discussing the Deanna Santana state of business in the East Bay; and Nancy Pfund, managing partner at DBL Investors, discussing the investment climate in Oakland, in particular for environmentally conscious and socially responsible companies. The 2013 series will also feature a panel discussion, “Oakland Eats,” exploring the varied food issues percolating in Oakland, including the burgeoning restaurant scene, food as a gathering point for community, food justice and nutritious school lunches. Also in 2013, EBWIBR will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a gala event in September. Stay tuned for details and ticket information. To register for the Feb. 1 East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon, visit or contact Amanda Medina at or at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319. ■

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |





• A

Brenda Chapman Dana Harvey Karen Hester Tanya Holland Mary Huss Jennifer LeBarre



Nancy Pfund

Deanna Santana Sonja Vukasin



Enjoy an early-bird discount. Contact Amanda Medina at amedina@oak or (510) 874-4800, ex. 319.

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.


After Five Reception JAN. 24 |

Inside Oakland JAN. 25 |

Offices of PC Professional

Featuring Alex Zwissler

WOMEN IN BUSINESS FEB. 1 | Featuring Deanna Santana

ECONOMIC SUMMIT ‘Building a Strong Economy: A Vision for 2020’ FEB. 6 |

Keeping you connected and informed

> EX ECUT I VE CO MM I TTE E Chair of the Board SHANNON PEDDER BRAND: CREATIVE Vice Chairs MARIO CHIODO Chiodo Art Development MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel / Miss Pearl’s DAN COHEN Full Court Press CHARISSA FRANK FMG Architects ERIC KISSHAUER Pankow Builders DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP KEN WHITE Fidelity Roof Company MICHAEL ZIEMANN Summit Bank Immediate Past Chair JOHN NELSON murakami/Nelson

B OAR D OF DI R ECTO RS KIM ARNONE Katovich & Kassan Law Group (representing Women in Business Roundtable) HARMINDER BAINS Securitas

SOLOMON ETS-HOKIN Colliers International RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company



After Five Reception

No charge for Chamber members. $15 for non-members.

GARY FOSS Recology East Bay JOHN GOODING The Quadric Group

1615 Webster St.

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. PC Professional, 1615 Webster St., free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members


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

IKE MMEJE Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

featuring Alex Zwissler, executive director of Chabot Space & Science Center



NATHANIEL OUBRE, JR. Kaiser Permanente


| 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana, Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square, $35 for Chamber members, $45 for non-members

Brandstorming We work with you and your team to connect your product

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.

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 web sites.

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

| 8 a.m. - noon Oakland Convention Center, $60-$75, “bonus program” runs from 8 to 9 a.m., with the regular program running from 9 a.m. to noon

13 | Ambassador Committee

| noon - 1 p.m.

19 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting | 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808

Design/Production Editor

6 | Economic Development Summit, “Building a Strong Economy: A Vision for 2020”


Editor |


1 | East Bay Women in Business luncheon series, “Women of Distinction”


JOHN DOLBY Cassidy Turley

location to be announced

24 | After Five Reception

ART MARTINEZ Bank of America

RICHARD WHITE Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLC

featuring updates from and BART, and tips for doing business in the East Bay

an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members

KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture

GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District

| 3 - 4:30 p.m.

| 7:30 - 9 a.m.



9 | Economic Development Forum

17 | Breakfast at the Chamber


DAVE CANNON Barney & Barney LLC

| noon - 1 p.m.

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

ISAAC KOS-REED Port of Oakland



16 | Young Professionals Mixer



9 | Ambassador Committee

15 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting | 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company



= 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

28 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, hosted by Blue Heron Catering and Royal Raspberry Catering, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

December 2012 / January 2013 | 23

> MegaRegion –continued from page 1

and unique geographic position in the state makes it “open for business,” ready to capitalize on its strong sectors, and to move forward robustly towards the year 2020. Participants will convene in the early morning at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center for a keynote address. The speech will highlight current trends in city building, and will provide a vision for moving Oakland and its neighbors forward by 2020. At the keynote’s conclusion, the participants will attend one of three breakout sessions (“concurrent sessions”) offered on Oakland’s strong economic sectors. Participants will be provided an additional option to convene early in the morning for a real estate market briefing known as an “Insider Update + Forecast” to get up to speed on current developments in the East Bay marketplace. Health care panelists

Following the keynote address, summit participants will choose from the following concurrent sessions. • Trade, Transportation and Logistics – This session will be moderated by Isaac Kos-Read, director of external affairs for the Port of Oakland. • Arts and Entertainment – Moderated by Alison Best, chief executive officer of Visit Oakland. • Health Care – This workshop will examine Oakland’s thriving health care sector. Participants will enjoy a comprehensive conversation on the East Bay’s advancements in health care delivery, new technologies, funding, and health sector workforce development. Confirmed panelists for Health Care session now include Wright Lassiter, chief executive officer,Highland Hospital; Dr. Bert Lubin, chief executive officer, Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland; and Nathaniel Oubre, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Each concurrent session (logistics, entertainment and health) will feature experts in the field and provide conference attendees with a deeper understanding of the given topic. We hope that you will join us. ■ Eleanor Hollander is the Chamber’s director of economic development.

> Sheriff? –continued from page 1

performed by uniformed officers, thereby freeing them to address other crime fighting priorities. Chamber supports these public safety initiatives

Mayor Quan has spoken publicly in support of many of the same ideas mentioned above. With three new Councilmembers being sworn in on Jan. 8, the Chamber is hopeful about the prospects of addressing our public safety needs. These ideas are good but not sufficient. We will support these and other ideas to help protect the people, property and businesses in Oakland. This three-part proposal is scheduled to come before a City Council committee at noon on Jan. 15. The Chamber is hosting meetings with a variety of community stakeholders to develop a broad base of support for any potentially effective program to address our crime problems. Let us know about your support and interest in attending the Jan. 15 meeting. ■ Paul Junge is the Chamber’s vice president and public policy director. He can be reached at

> Mayor’s Toy Drive needs your help This year’s annual Mayor's Toy Drive is expected to break its own record by serving more than 8,000 Oakland children, and urgently needs cash donations, toy donations and volunteers. The Toy Drive is off to a good start, but cash donations are slow. Many families are still feeling the recession; because of our lower housing costs, Oakland has a higher percentage of low income families than other Bay Area cities. The drive received its first major gis from the Harley Davidson contingent that led America’s Children’s Holiday Parade and delivered hundreds of gis to the steps of City Hall. The following day, despite the rain, volunteers registered hundreds of families and headed out to West and East Oakland to register families in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. To register families and organize and distribute toy bags, Mayor Quan needs to recruit hundreds of volunteers. The drive needs to maintain its previous levels of toy donations and raise about $35,000. Toys are especially needed for girls aged about 12; suggestions include bath sets, arts and cras, jewelry-making kits, scarves, sweaters, hats and gloves. Donors also can drop off new, unwrapped toys, books or clothing in barrels at City Hall and a number of other locations. To find the location nearest to you or to donate online, visit or call (510) 777-TOYS. To volunteer, e-mail or call the volunteer coordinator at (510) 548-5729. ■

> Economic summit event details “Building a Strong Economy: A Vision for 2020” – 9 a.m. to noon at the Oakland Convention Center (550 10th St.), and includes an optional “Insiders Real Estate Market Update + Trends” session with leading industry experts starting at 8 a.m. Breakfast included. To secure your participation visit the registration website – Note: The Insiders Market Update session will fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Conference sponsorship packages are still available; email for more information. ■

December/January Oakland Business Review  

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce monthly newspaper, December 2012 and January 2013 Issue. Contains a special section on Dining

December/January Oakland Business Review  

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce monthly newspaper, December 2012 and January 2013 Issue. Contains a special section on Dining