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MAY 2013



BANKING Is your business one team player short?

COUNCILMEMBER LIBBY SCHAAF at Inside Oakland Friday, May 24

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NANCY PFUND to speak at Women in Business June 7


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Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Celebrate Clorox’s 100th anniversary at Chamber’s Annual Meeting This year’s Annual Meeting of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce will do more than recognize and celebrate a number of its members, the lifeblood of the organization. It will also help celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Clorox Company, and will feature a keynote address by Don Knauss, the chairman and chief executive officer of Clorox who has overall responsibility for directing the company's worldwide business. The 108th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, June 26 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Knauss has held his current position since October 2006, following 12 years with The Coca-Cola Company. For Clorox, it all began on May 3, 1913, when five entrepreneurs invested $100 each to start a business in Oakland and fulfill their American dream in a bottle of bleach. Today, the company is a thriving, multi-national business Don Knauss with 8,400 talented employees; $5.5 billion in sales; tens of millions of dollars in grants, product donations and support to nonprofit organizations; and hundreds of products that are household staples throughout the world. While many things have changed over the years, some remain the same – Clorox’s dedication to delivering enduring value, and a mission to make everyday life better, every day. Clorox, a long-time Chamber member, has also been a substantial contributor to the economic vitality of Oakland. Their Foundation has been a leader in supporting education and educational programs to enhance the quality of life in Oakland. In addition to helping celebrate with Clorox, the Annual Meeting will celebrate achievements in the business community. Nominations are open for the following awards: • “Oakland on the Map” – Presented to individuals or organizations that have exemplified a commitment to Oakland through a personal action or with a project that creates jobs and expands the local economy. • “Oakland Advocate” – Awarded to an individual who consistently and unselfishly contributes to the economy of Oakland. • “Small Business Innovator” – Presented to a growing business that extends its influence to encourage others to invest in Oakland. Success breeds success! The event presents members with an opportunity to celebrate a year of Chamber accomplishments, a chance to network with new and award-winning members, and a way to show support for the Chamber and our many programs. The luncheon is also one of the major fundraising events of the year, providing the Chamber with funds to continue those programs and our strong advocacy for local business. The 108th Annual Meeting and Chamber Awards Luncheon will begin with an 11:30 a.m. registration. The luncheon begins at noon. Sponsorships can be secured by contacting Joe Haraburda, the Chamber’s president and chief executive officer, at (510) 874-4810. Reserve your tables now to support the work of the Chamber as we represent business to government, promote the business community, and bring quality networking events to our city. To reserve a table or seat, visit www.oakland or contact Ivette Torres at the Chamber of Commerce, (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or at ■

> Helping to build the community Wells Fargo is committed to helping its customers and team members who live and work in Oakland prosper and make the community stronger. Just recently, a team of 25 Wells Fargo employees helped Habitat for Humanity build homes in Oakland. For more information on Wells Fargo’s work in the community, see pages 12 and 13. ■

> Deadline for A’s-Giants tickets is May 10 On Tuesday evening, May 28, the Oakland A’s will face the World Series champion San Francisco Giants for a “Battle of the Bay” in Oakland. The Chamber is selling excellent seats for the game, which has a 7:05 p.m. start, with tickets in the Plaza Level at Coliseum directly behind the A’s dugout. The deadline for ticket sales is Friday, May 10! Tickets are just $40 per person ($50 for non-members) and the ticket price is guaranteed – even as regular ticket prices increase for this exceptional rivalry. Purchased tickets will be held at the Coliseum’s Will-Call window under your name, so you have the option to arrive at whatever time you wish. To reserve tickets for the A’s-Giants game on May 28, visit or contact Ivette Torres at or at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319. Help the Chamber cheer the A’s on to victory! ■

> A’s luncheon was a home run Three members of the Oakland A’s – two players and a coach – joined radio announcer Ken Korach at the Oakland A’s luncheon last month hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in partnership with The Salvation Army of Alameda County. On hand were (left to right) bench coach Chip Hale, second baseman Eric Sogard, starting pitcher Tommy Milone, and Korach, the voice of the A’s. For more information on the luncheon, see page 21. ■

April 2010 |


Names in the news • Pamela Schock Mintzer, a partner at the law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP, has been selected as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times. This honor recognizes outstanding female professionals who make a difference in their companies, industries and communities. Mintzer focuses on eminent domain, inverse condemnation and public agency law, including acting as general counsel to numerous Bay Area transportation agencies and joint powers authorities. Pamela Schock • Robert Cross, who has more than 30 Mintzer years of experience in federal and state court litigation of complex business, financial and real estate cases, has been named partner at the Oakland law firm of Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP. In addition, Matthew Avedikian has been named an associate in the firm’s Business & Corporate Transactions and Real Estate Practice Groups. • Jerome Hoban, who has worked at the Orange County Fair for more than 20 years in the areas of fair management and facility operations, has been named the new chief executive officer of the Alameda County Fair. His experience includes master planning, facility maintenance, marketing, sales, community relations, sponsorships and competitive exhibits. • In recognition of the vital importance Jerome Hoban of supporting children and families, Charles Pankow Builders is contributing to the renovation of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center’s Waller Street facility. The Prevention Center project is one of four voluntary construction projects being performed by Pankow in California to celebrate its 50th anniversary. • The annual breakfast meeting of the Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown Community Benefit Districts will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Kaiser Center Auditorium, 300 Lakeside Drive. Attendees will have a chance to experience the “Mini-District” and thank the Ambassadors for the vital services that they provide. Free and open to the public. For information, visit or call (510) 238-1122. ■

> A mixer with a view Scott’s Seafood at Jack London Square was host of the annual Chamber After Five Reception in April.

The Scott’s catering team of Director Vickie Eiges, Catering Manager Kelly Hodgins and Catering Coordinator Haley Klatt put together an excellent evening featuring delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages for all who attended.

The event was held in Scott’s newly renovated Pavilion, a waterfront room that holds up to 350 guests. With the addition of the new custom-designed walls and upgraded lighting and special effects, the new Pavilion has become a premier location for weddings and celebrations as well as corporate and nonprofit events. Pictured at the After Five Reception below were (left to right) Eiges; Klatt; Hodgins; Chamber Chair of the Board Shannon Pedder; Barbara Vernon, Scott’s assistant general manager; Ramiro Carabez, general manager; and Joe Haraburda, the Chamber’s president and chief executive officer. ■


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Small Business Development Center

> SBDC making a powerful impact in Alameda County Editor’s note: The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the new administrator for the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC), which provides tools and expertise to small business owners through free counseling and outstanding seminars on a variety of topics. The following story is one example of the work the ACSBDC is doing with Alameda County businesses.

The Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC) and the Business Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) are working with the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League (DSAL) and an Alameda Countybased social enterprise, Dig Deep Farms & Produce (DDF&P) to deliver a Dig Deep Farms Entrepreneurial Training Academy (ETA).

The ETA is an extension of the current Dig Deep Farms project, which represents a unique opportunity for the ACSBDC/BEC to participate in with a high-visibility and well-supported effort leading to training and employment opportunities for at-risk youth and prior offenders in a high unemployment area of Alameda County. The ACSBDC will deliver the ETA and provide one-onone business advising to participants in the academy and to support to Dig Deep.

Background Dig Deep is an urban farm and community-supported agriculture (CSA) program located in Ashland, California, in unincorporated Alameda County. Dig Deep is a project and social enterprise of DSAL, a private tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Dig Deep seeks to create a sustainable local food economy that brings fresh, healthy affordable food to the area’s residents and other vulnerable communities in the East Bay (there are at least 200,000 people living in the flatlands of Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Hayward lacking access to fresh, healthy affordable food). In total, the project will create a cascade of community benefits including healthy food and healthy people with a vital stake in their own community, ultimately breaking the bonds of dependency and building self-reliance. In short, the goal of Dig Deep is to build and operate a self-sustaining local food enterprise network of complementary businesses that create jobs in Ashland and Cherryland based on producing healthy food. Current status Dig Deep currently grows fruits and vegetables on nine acres of local farmland. As needed, it acquires additional produce from other local CSAs. It takes orders and currently supplies 200 subscribers and 100 weekly deliveries. Dig Deep is an approved SNAP provider. It currently acquires customers through word of mouth, promotional flyers, community events and other presentations. In addition, it is beginning distributions to local restaurants (currently serving Lukas, Floras and others) and will soon open a produce stand in the local community. Future plans include expanding current distribution channels, selling at farmers’ markets, working with institutional providers (e.g., Revolution Foods), and developing and offering valued-added products. Dig Deep has access to 44 acres of land, of which nine is used for farming and 35 is grazing land where future plans include producing meat, poultry, and eggs. To date project funding has come from a variety of sources including the Kresge Foundation, the USDA Agriculture Food and Research Initiative, Community Development Block grants, and job training funds for people re-entering the community from Santa Rita jail. Key partners include County Supervisor Nate Miley, the Sheriff’s office, the Probation Department, the General Services Agency, the Public Health Department, the Housing and Community Development Agency and the Social Services Agency. Entrepreneurship project Presently, Dig Deep and DSAL are partnering with the ACSBDC and BEC to develop and engage with a thriving community of entrepreneurs who can either grow, process and package, and/or sell products and services related to Dig Deep farms. The Entrepreneurial Training Academy intends to source, train and support entrepreneurs for this purpose. After the ETA entrepreneurs will be encouraged to complete a business plan, you may apply to Dig Deep for grants to launch your business and develop products in a commercial kitchen at a below-market cost. ■

> Meet your new SBDC business advisors The following is one of the Alameda County business advisors who can assist business owners interested in minimizing risk and accelerating the success of their ventures. Deagon Williams Deagon Williams knew that she wanted to be a chef since she was a toddler. Something in her drew her to the life of a professional kitchen long before she really knew what that meant. As a young child, rather than playing with dolls, she would meticulously create rudimentary menus and drawings of the dining Deagon Williams room layout. Now the principal and owner of Culinary Business Strategy, Deagon Williams is a 25-year veteran of the culinary industry. Both a French-trained chef, and an MBA, she brings a lot to the table. Born in California, Williams’s real cultural and culinary training ground was Paris, where she moved as a teenager in order to undergo formal culinary training. There she earned her Grand Diplôme d'Études Culinaires at l'Ecole de Cuisine, La Varenne and supported herself as a private chef to several ambassadors and the U.S. embassy. Upon completion of her formal training she apprenticed with Patrick Cirotte, Roger Verge, Guy Savoy and Michel Comby. Upon return to California she became the executive chef of The Heritage House on the Mendocino Coast. There she managed a 25-person staff and a daily changing menu, earning recognition from Gault-Millau. Having achieved high honors as a chef, her love for solving puzzles and for seeking new challenges led her on a gradual organic change in career direction. In order to build organizational expertise, Williams studied systems and organizational theory, earning a BA in Sociology at Mills College. Next, she sought to deepen her understanding of business and economics by earning an MBA, also at Mills. She then became client services manager at the Center for Culinary Development, where she worked on business development and food marketing for multinational corporations. Williams now enjoys running her own consultancy, Culinary Business Strategy, where she enjoys the challenge of delivering strategic results and business growth for her clients. From small businesses to large ones, from start-ups to established outfits, from restaurants and consumer packaged goods to food trucks, Culinary Business Strategy serves a variety of businesses in the food world. The consultancy focuses on four areas of service for food businesses: Branded Marketing; Culinary and Menu; Operational Growth; and Financial Analysis. Culinary Business Strategy’s philosophy is that, “every business can become phenomenal by fusing small victories – from exquisite food to efficient systems, inspired collaboration, and smart marketing.” More information about Culinary Business Strategy can be found at www.culinarybusiness Deagon Williams remains highly committed to serving the community and donates considerable time and expertise to La Cocina, a nonprofit kitchen incubator in San Francisco whose mission is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs. Learn more about La Cocina at www.lacocina She also works To learn more with the Alameda about the business County Small Business counseling, technical Development Center assistance, seminars, as a business advisor, providing services to online courses and small businesses that other services offered would not otherwise by the ACSBDC, visit be able to afford it. ■

May 2013 | 3


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

From the president | Joe Haraburda

From date the President | Joe Haraburda Save the – Chamber’s Annual Meeting to help celebrate Clorox’s 100th

Join The Clorox Company to help celebrate their 100th Anniversary at the Chamber’s 108th Annual Meeting at the Oakland Marriott City Center on Wednesday, June 26.

Don Knauss, the chairman and chief executive officer of Clorox who has overall responsibility for directing the company's worldwide business, will be our keynote speaker. For Clorox, it all began on May 3, 1913, when five entrepreneurs invested $100 each to start a business in Oakland and fulfill their American dream in a bottle of bleach. Today, the company is a thriving, multi-national business with 8,400 talented employees; $5.5 billion in sales; tens of millions of dollars in grants, product donations and support to nonprofit organizations; and hundreds of products that are household staples throughout the world. While many things have changed over the years, some remain the same –Clorox’s dedication to delivering enduring value, and a mission to make everyday life better, every day. Clorox, a long-time Chamber member, has also been a substantial contributor to the economic vitality of Oakland. Their Foundation has been a leader in supporting Education and educational programs to enhance the quality of life in Oakland. In addition to helping celebrate with Clorox, the Annual Meeting will celebrate achievements in the business community. This year nominations are open for the following awards: • “Oakland on the Map” – Presented to individuals or organizations that have exemplified a commitment to Oakland through a personal action or with a project that creates jobs and expands the local economy. • “Oakland Advocate” – Awarded to an individual who consistently and unselfishly contributes to the economy of Oakland. • “Small Business Innovator” – Presented to a growing business that extends its influence to encourage others to invest

in Oakland. Success breeds success! Sponsorships can be secured by contacting me at (510) 874-4810. Reserve your tables now to support the work of the Chamber as we represent business to government, promote the business community, and bring quality networking events to our city. For more information, contact Ivette Torres at the Chamber at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or at

Join us for ‘Remember Them’ dedication May 31 – Not to be missed! The formal dedication of the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument will be held on Friday May 31 at 3 p.m. at Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in downtown Oakland. The dedication is the culmination of 12 years of effort by a dedicated group of volunteers and a committed list of donors. Over the years no one gave up hope that we would complete the project. The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to have been part from the very beginning promoting the value of enhancing the quality of life in our city through art! Formal program – Seating will be reserved for major sponsors and available on a limited basis as open seating. An area will be identified for wheelchair access. The program will open with music provided by a local school choir, presentation of the colors by the Oakland Fire Department, introduction of guests followed by an original poem reading by students of the Oakland School for the Arts. Speakers confirmed at this time include executives from Kaiser Permanente. Ruby Bridges, humanitarian, will be joined by a choir from her namesake school. Mayor Quan and Governor Brown have been invited. Plans are also in the works to have additional choir music. The program will include Mario Chiodo acknowledging each of the Humanitarians with a historical brief and announcing the Local Heroes and Heroines on section #4 with their family members present. He will explain how the wall of humanitarians will reveal the facial characteristics and personal quotes, bringing each representative on the Monument to life for the visually impaired. He will share the relevance of the Fire Fighter reaching for the bronze replica of steel and the history of the steel received from the World Trade Center and now buried in the foundation of section #4. The Oakland Fire Department and Oakland Police Department will participate in the recognition of those on the Monument. Please join us.

Welcome Nikki Mendez Please join me in welcoming Nikki Mendez, who has joined the Chamber staff as membership director. Nikki has rich sales and Chamber of Commerce background, working as a consultant and membership director for the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce since August 2011. She has also been a consultant and insurance agent with Farmers Insurance Group in Castro Valley since November 2011. Please greet her at Nikki Mendez upcoming Chamber meetings and events. ■

The Chamber stands up for businesses in every part of Oakland.

May 2013 | 5

> StopWaste Business

> The new Tribune Tavern

Efficiency Awards honor leaders in waste reduction

is now open

by Michelle Fay

On May 9, 2013, local public agency StopWaste will recognize 12 businesses and institutions from around the county for outstanding achievements in waste reduction. The practices these champions have put in place are as varied as the industries they represent – from the promotion of recycled content products in construction and landscape retail to institutional food waste prevention and effective recycling programs in commercial properties.

The much anticipated Tribune Tavern has opened in downtown Oakland’s landmark Oakland Tribune building. Restaurateur Chris Pastena of Chop Bar fame with partners Temoor Noor of Grand Tavern and Tom Henderson, owner of the iconic Oakland Tribune building, have completely remodeled the ground floor space while staying true to the 1923 building’s original aesthetic. Tribune Tavern aims to carry on the tradition of a communal, convivial gathering spot.

Michelle Fay

Fast Food restaurant initiative Among those being recognized are nine McDonald’s restaurants in Alameda County, one of which is located in Oakland. As part of a waste reduction initiative within McDonald’s Pacific Sierra Region, the owners and franchise partners of these restaurants made recycling and composting of food scraps and food-soiled paper a priority at their businesses. Employees at these model restaurants now collect recyclable and compostable

At the ribbon cutting (above) are Pastena (holding the scissors), former Los Angeles Lakers star A.C. Green (fourth from the left), and Henderson (between Green and Pastena). Others pictured include Chamber President Joe Haraburda (next to Pastena) with Chamber members and staff. Tribune Tavern is open with dinner service, and will be introducing lunch hours soon. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (510) 452-TRIB (8742) or at ■

materials from kitchens while customers ▲ At McDonald’s, owners sort materials for recycling and composting and franchise partners with the guidance of custom signage. have made recycling and The StopWaste Business Assistance composting of food scraps and food-soiled paper a team provided bilingual staff trainings to priority. help launch the new programs. McDonald’s Pacific Sierra Region is receiving the award for Waste Reduction Excellence in Fast Food Restaurant Recycling and Composting. Green Multi-Family Property Management In the category of Waste Reduction Excellence in Multi-Family Property Management, The John Stewart Company takes the award for properties they manage throughout Alameda County, including two properties in Oakland – the Fox Courts building at 555 19th St. and Clinton Commons at 720 E. 11th St. Both are among several of the company’s GreenPoint Rated properties. In addition to instituting proactive on-site recycling programs, they have trained many of their staff in other green topics, including energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality and use of non-toxic cleaning products. Compared to similar properties that are not managed with the same level of commitment to sustainable practices, The John Stewart Company’s green sites have collectively reduced usage and costs of electricity by 61 percent, water by 26 percent, gas by 21 percent, sewer services by 71 percent, and garbage by 31 percent. Other industries represented by the winners of the 2013 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards include manufacturing, building materials suppliers, hardware stores, commercial property management, product distribution, and office operations. Many Oakland businesses and institutions have been honored with StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards in recent years, including Shorenstein Realty Services for their management of 555 12th Street City Center, the United States Postal Service’s Processing & Distribution Center, Peerless Coffee & Tea Company, University of California Office of the President, Amtrak’s Operations & Maintenance Facility, Chabot Space & Science Center and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Visit www.Stop Waste.Org/2013Awards to RSVP for the free StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards celebration and learn how your business can be a leader in waste reduction. The recognition event will be held on Thursday, May 9 from 7:30-10 a.m. at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. ■ Michelle Fay is program manager at


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> Schnitzer Steel to sponsor food drive

> Welcome ‘The Henry Levy

Schnitzer Steel will be sponsoring a food drive at the Alameda County-Oakland Community Action Partnership’s 8th Annual Walk to End Poverty on Saturday, May 18.

Group, A CPA Firm’

The event is free and all proceeds from the food drive will go directly to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which distributes more than 300,000 weekly meals to those in need in Oakland and throughout Alameda County. The Walk to End Poverty will begin at the Lake Merritt Bandstand, right behind Fairyland, starting at 9 a.m. with events for the whole family including a community resource fair, children’s activities, and live entertainment. Schnitzer Steel and its employees will be accepting food donations from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. For more details on the food drive, contact Jackie Lynn Ray, public relations and government affairs manager for Schnitzer Steel Industries at For more information on the Alameda County-Oakland Community Action Partnership and to register for the event, visit ■

> Walk to help save lives On Saturday, June 1, “Healing Hearts: Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention” offers an opportunity for you to participate in an impactful community event while supporting the life-saving work of Crisis Support Services of Alameda County.

CSS is the 501-c-3 nonprofit agency that provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention counseling for all Alameda County residents. Since 1966, Crisis Support’s 24-hour crisis line has answered more than 60,000 calls for help each year in our community. CSS educates more than 10,000 students annually about suicide prevention in more than 40 public schools, offers grief counseling services, and serves isolated seniors in their homes. In the U.S. alone, a person dies by suicide every 15 minutes, claiming more than 35,000 lives each year. It is estimated an attempt is made every 45 seconds; with nearly one million people attempting suicide annually. It’s very likely that you or someone you know has already been touched personally by this tragedy. One in five persons in the U.S. suffers with a diagnosable mental illness. Probably someone you know. Sign up to walk, run or become a corporate sponsor to help cover the costs of the event. A $100 tax deductible “Course Sponsorship” donation will put your company name on one of the many signs to line the 5k course around beautiful Lake Merritt that day. Many other sponsor and volunteer opportunities also exist. The walk/run will begin at the 8am at the Edoff Memorial Bandstand on Bellevue Avenue at Lake Merritt. For more information contact Elise Deleon at (510) 220-0265 or register online at ■

The name change is inspired by the addition of three new principals: Beth Attebery, Anthony Barr and Stacy Owens. All three principals have been working with the firm for several years, and have been actively engaged in the growth and expansion of the firm’s accounting, political compliance, litigation, and tax planning services. The professional group’s purpose for renaming and reimaging the firm is to reflect its commitment to collaboratively helping a diverse range of clients. Stacy Owens brought her skills and experience as a political treasurer to the firm when she joined founder Hank Levy in 1999. In 2006, Beth Attebery and Anthony Barr joined the firm and began pursuit of their Certified Public Accountant accreditations shortly thereafter. Collectively, the group has successfully helped local individuals, small businesses, and political campaigns solve their problems and deliver relevant solutions. The firm congratulates them on their recent achievements and thanks its staff for their ongoing dedication to excellent client service. Since Hank Levy founded the business in 1991, the Oakland firm has expanded its outreach and increased its staff to 18 skilled service personnel. The Henry Levy Group has also expanded the range of services to meet the challenges of its clients. It offers services for individual, estate, and trust tax planning and preparation; small business clients, such as nonprofit organizations and labor unions; as well as bookkeeping and political campaign financial services. Moving forward, The Henry Levy Group continues to build from its more than two decades of tax and accounting experience. With its new website, the firm can now provide more client and business community outreach by keeping its clients informed about current and relevant issues, offering convenient technological tools for security and efficiency, and implementing green office practices. The firm also thanks its clients, old and new, and its affiliates for their confidence and trust in The Henry Levy Group, A CPA Firm. The Henry C. Levy & Company, CPAs and Consultants, which has more than two decades of tax and accounting experience, has changed its name to The Henry Levy Group, A CPA Firm.


enry C. Levy & Company, CPAs and Consultants is proud to

announce that it has changed its name to The Henry Levy Group. We have also added three new shareholders to our management team: Beth Attebery, CPA • Anthony Barr, CPA • Stacy Owens, Political Treasurer

May 2013 | 7

Small Business

SPECIAL SECTIONThe A’s weren’t on the radar of the experts last spring. During the course of the season, however, they made a


> Premises liability – What your business needs to know by Ross Dwyer, Esq. Editor’s note: The following is the first of two stories on premises liability. This month’s story contains information on premises liability within a business. Next month we’ll examine premises liability as it relates to parking lots, sidewalks, and other areas outside the store.

Understanding premises liability law and implementing some straight-forward procedures at your business can go a long way towards guarding against potentially costly premises liability claims. The law and its application for businesses California Civil Code Section 1714(a) essentially provides that all property owners are responsible for injuries caused by their lack of ordinary care and skill in managing their property. Businesses are negligent and potentially liable for damages if an injury was caused by Ross Dwyer their failure to use reasonable care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. A crucial first step in any premises liability claim is determining the cause of the incident. Sorting out who’s to blame, however, is not always straight-forward. Businesses should complete as timely an investigation as possible with hard documentation – photos, incident reports etc. – to obtain the facts needed to assess fault. The initial facts of the incident are vitally important and often decide whether a claim can move forward. Essentially, if the facts demonstrate an injury was caused by a dangerous condition on the premises, the involved business faces a viable claim for damages. A dangerous condition can be anything – a spilled drink on the floor, a rickety staircase, or even an exposed sharp edge. If a condition creates an unreasonable risk of harm, a business can be liable for injuries it causes. Liability, however, is not automatic. Dangerous conditions can pop up at any time, and a business might not even know one existed before it caused harm. For this reason, determining whether a business had notice of a dangerous condition at the time it caused injury often makes or breaks a premises liability claim – a business charged with such notice faces a high probability of liability. Legal “notice” generally has two forms: actual and constructive. Actual notice is straight-forward – a business has it when informed directly of a dangerous condition, or upon observing one. Constructive notice is trickier. A business will be charged with this notice if it should have known a dangerous condition existed at the time the condition caused injury. Whether a business “should have known” is a fact-driven analysis determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, however, if a dangerous condition existed long enough for the business to have sufficient time to discover it and take action to protect against the potential harm – i.e. repair the condition, place warning signs etc. – a finding of constructive notice is likely. What businesses can do Completing regular inspections of the property and using maintenance/sweep logs are two simple ways a business can protect itself from premises liability. Regular inspections help uncover dangerous conditions and reduce the chance of an injury in the first place. If an injury does occur and a dangerous condition is to blame, a business wishing to avoid liability should expect to have to prove it didn’t have notice. Proving lack of notice without a maintenance/sweep log is often quite difficult. A properly-documented log – i.e. one showing regular and reasonable inspections were completed with documentation of dangerous conditions and subsequent maintenance – gives businesses good evidence that regular inspections are taking place and that potential dangerous conditions are being timely addressed. Any business choosing to use maintenance/sweep logs, however, should be diligent about completing them. Problems can arise with incomplete logs showing inspections were only completed sporadically; such logs can provide evidence that a key inspection was missed and that a business should be charged with constructive notice of a dangerous condition. Another push back against premises liability claims is the “open and obvious” defense. Generally, this defense applies if an individual could be reasonably expected to observe the applicable dangerous condition. The defense comes with exceptions and does not guarantee insulation from liability. Businesses should whenever possible address dangerous conditions, even the obvious ones. Finally, businesses should keep in mind that an injury can happen anywhere, including locations “off limits” to customers. Even in these forbidden locations, businesses can be held liable for injuries if the cause of the injury was a dangerous condition, and it was foreseeable that an individual would encounter it. ■

Ross Dwyer, Esq. is an associate attorney with the law firm of Ericksen Arbuthnot in Oakland. He can be reached at (510) 832-7770, ext. 105.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |


> Schott is number one for March Fred and his wife Susan have been working in the merchant processing industry for more than ten years. As merchant advocates they strongly believe in honesty, integrity, and expertise. They are active Ambassadors for the chambers in Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward. Fred and Susan are both major networkers. Besides their active participation in local chambers, they have been active members and leaders in BNI (Business Networking International) since 2002. Fred and Susan put customer service first. Their emphasis is on finding the right solution at competitive rates and the proper service for each prospective customer. They take the time to educate their prospective clients on the “ins and outs” of the merchant processing industry. After assessing their client’s needs and individual circumstances, they prepare a written proposal from which the client can make an informed decision without pressure. After an agreement is reached, they are on hand to train and assist their new customers with their new solutions, equipment, and services for as long as they are needed. Fred Schott They are willing to come back as often as is needed or desired. Then they keep in touch, stopping by on a regular basis to make sure their customers are happy and satisfied. For more information, contact Fred or Susan Schott at (510) 786-9595 or at – or visit ■

Fred Schott, the regional sales manager of 2CP Merchant Processing – although some people refer to him as a “merchant advocate” – is the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month for March 2013.

Small Business

The A’s weren’t on the radar of the experts last spring. SPECIAL SECTION During the course of the season, however, they made a



> Carve time out every week

> Is your business violating

for sales

California privacy law?

by Alice Heiman

by Carolyn E. Barreno

I went to Carmel, California recently. We drove from Reno and I had all the best intentions to get a lot of work done in the car on the fivehour drive. I did get a few things done but nothing substantial and I thought, oh well, I’ll have time this weekend. We were there for a family function and I did sneak in a little work, but truth be told, I didn’t feel like working. I just wanted to walk on the beach and enjoy my family. I knew if I didn’t get a certain amount of work done I would have to work Alice Heiman nights this week. As a business owner there is always too much to do, so working nights and weekends is a requirement sometimes. If I want to be sure to have time to sell during the week, I have to carve that time out and that means things that don’t absolutely have to be done between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. get done on nights and weekends. Selling is not one of the things that can be done later. You have to carve time out every week and not let things get in the way. As a business owner you may not like sales so you may procrastinate and do everything else you can think of rather than spend time selling. Or you may just be busy serving the clients you have. Either way you will eventually be sorry if you are not constantly prospecting or coaching your salespeople to do so. Keeping your sales funnel or pipeline full is one of the most important jobs you have along with closing business.

Almost every business today has an online presence. Your business most likely has a website. Maybe you also engage in social media, such as blogging or maintaining Facebook® or Twitter® pages.

What is selling time? It’s any time you spend prospecting, qualifying, educating or closing. It can be in person, on the phone, through email or social media. It qualifies as selling time if you are learning about the needs of a prospect to determine if there is a good fit between what they need and what you sell. So what should you do? Spend time each day prospecting. You can meet people by phone, email, social media or in person – one on one or at networking events. Make sure you have at least one networking event each week with the people most likely to buy from you. Next, work on closing deals. Keep track of where you are in the sales cycle with each prospect and be sure to close any deals that are ready to be closed. Once the prospecting and closing are taken care of you can go back to see where your other opportunities are and move them forward. Qualify any prospects that showed interest. Ask good questions and listen so you can quickly determine if there is a good fit. Educate your qualified prospects so they understand how your product or service meets their needs. Suggest they demo your product or call a few satisfied customers. Handle any objections that come up and make sure the prospect has all the information they need to make a good decision. Don’t delay. Sales cycles are long enough without you or your salespeople prolonging them. Making time for sales The only way to make time for sales is to put it on your calendar. Block time several times a week at a time of day when you are at your best and do the selling work that needs to be done. You need to block several hours for prospecting every week. Then put several other blocks of time on your calendar to do the other selling work that needs to be done. Don’t do other work during your selling time unless it’s an emergency. Do things after hours if you have to and make sure you get your selling time in. Give yourself a break Nothing is fun or easy when you are tired and crabby. And if you are tired and crabby, please don’t try to sell. You need to be at your best when selling. Use your calendar to plan and schedule so that you have time to do the things you need to and so that you get some time for yourself. Selling is always easier when you are in a good mood. If you need help finding time to sell, call me. You are not the only one. I have helped many business owners carve out the needed selling time from their busy schedules and I will help you too. ■

Alice Heiman is a sales strategist. She can be reached at or at (775) 852-5020.

Carolyn E. Barreno

You might even offer services to your customers via a mobile app. If you haven't published an online privacy policy, you may be violating California privacy law. Under the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), operators of commercial websites or online services, including mobile and social apps, that collect “personally identifiable information” (PII) from Californians must conspicuously post a privacy policy informing consumers what information is collected and how it is used. PII includes basic information like a consumer’s name, physical address, e-mail address, telephone number, or any other identifying information that can be used to contact the individual physically or online. This means that if your website or online service has a “contact us” or “mailing list” form for visitors to complete, CalOPPA requires you to post a privacy policy meeting minimum

statutory requirements. Consumer privacy, especially in the mobile apps context, appears to be a priority for California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who last July created the DOJ Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit. That Unit will focus on protecting consumer and individual privacy through civil enforcement of state and federal privacy laws, including CalOPPA and other laws relating to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records, and data breaches. Attorney General Harris also has issued formal warnings to approximately 100 app developers and companies whose apps did not comply with CalOPPA’s privacy policy requirements. In December, she filed the state’s first enforcement action under CalOPPA against Delta Airlines for not having a privacy policy in a mobile app that collected customers’ PII. She sought penalties of $2,500 per download of the non-compliant app. This January, Attorney General Harris issued “Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem” to provide guidance on developing privacy practices and mobile-friendly policies. Full and honest privacy policies are not only important from a legal compliance standpoint. Studies show they create consumer confidence which leads to customer loyalty and brand strength. Consumers rank a clear privacy policy an important factor when building trusted relationships with businesses. If your business has an online presence, you should have privacy counsel review your privacy practices to ensure compliance with CalOPPA, and other state, federal, and even international privacy laws. Some considerations are: • Does your website or online service collect PII as defined by the statute? • Is your privacy policy conspicuously posted on your website and accessible from your online services, such as mobile and social apps? • Does your privacy policy accurately describe the types of PII you collect, how such information is shared, how users can review and request changes to their information, how users will be notified of changes to the privacy policy, and the privacy policy effective date? •Is your business subject to additional privacy laws and regulations? For instance, are you engaged in financial services or healthcare, or do you target children under 13? Do you have customers in other countries? Investing in a sound privacy policy should not be a particularly complicated or expensive process. It is an important one, however, to improve customer relations and avoid potential liability under California law. ■

Carolyn E. Barreno is an attorney at Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP, where she specializes in business counseling, with an emphasis on intellectual property, privacy and data protection, and commercial leasing. She can be reached at (510) 451-0544 or at

May 2013 | 9


> Restored Ogawa Plaza anchors

who tend to be on the younger side, like downtown Oakland’s happening restaurants, bars, art galleries and two concert theaters as well as the city’s sunny skies, diverse and affordable housing options and easy access – from BART to bike lanes and freeways to the free Broadway Shuttle. From renewable energy, alternative fuels, green building and environmental consulting, more than 250 green businesses have also flocked to downtown Oakland. ■

downtown renaissance

More than 100 major new restaurants, 25 clubs and bars, 30 galleries, 30 annual festivals and well-attended performances at the iconic Fox and Paramount theaters are creating critical mass and generating great buzz. This – in addition to an influx of residents snapping up newly-constructed housing – is creating a bustling 24-hour downtown that is garnering regional and national media attention, including the New York Times ranking Oakland the 5th best place to visit in the world. Frank H. Ogawa Plaza has just undergone a $93,000 restoration to return this beloved treasure to a community gathering place for all; the city is working to offset this cost through insurance. Ogawa Plaza was a key component in the city’s $123.7 million civic center capital project completed in 1998. This public investment leveraged additional private-sector investment, giving rise to the renaissance downtown Oakland is experiencing today. The recent restoration of Ogawa Plaza included installation of new sod, repairs to the sprinkler system and installation of vandal-proof irrigation boxes. Preservation of the spectacular Jack London oak tree planted by the famed Oakland author’s wife in 1917 was an important part of the Plaza restoration. The work will restore the Plaza as an important community gathering place. In a typical year, Ogawa Plaza hosts more than 70,000 people at 50 public events, including the city’s premier music and arts celebration, Art + Soul Oakland.

By all accounts, downtown Oakland is experiencing a true renaissance.

Attracting investment in downtown Named after long-time Oakland City Councilmember Frank H. Ogawa, the Plaza has served as Oakland’s front yard, where citizens gather to celebrate our city through arts, culture and recreation. The 1998 civic center capital project, including restoration of City Hall, renovation and expansion of the Wilson Building and construction of the Plaza and Dalziel Building, totaled $123.7 million. Funding came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, State of California, the Oakland Redevelopment Agency and other local funds and bonds. Ogawa Plaza was a key component in the city’s comprehensive plan to create a community-oriented government and revitalize downtown. The Plaza brought renewed vitality to the junction of 14th Street and Broadway and was a catalyst for further investment in downtown Oakland. The Rotunda Building underwent renovation and re-opened in 2000. In 2002, Shorenstein opened the new 21-story, 487,000-square-foot 555 City Center building. More than 4,500 new housing units were constructed downtown. The long-shuttered Fox Theater re-opened in early 2009 and further bolstered Uptown’s ascension as an entertainment and dining destination. Private sector investment continues in downtown Oakland. In addition to the scores of new restaurants, galleries, clubs, bars and major festivals that have sprouted up in the last several years, city staff report that the trend is continuing with nearly 30 new businesses opening in downtown in just the past year alone. Moreover, some 10 new businesses are building out their spaces and another 15 have signed new leases in the past couple of months. To further spur private investment, the city offered grants for façade improvements through the now-defunct Oakland Redevelopment Agency. Approximately 40 downtown façade improvements, leveraging more than $1 million in private Last year, Fast City named investment, were completed in the past year. Oakland among 15 U.S. Adding to this thriving mix of cities that make up the “Nanew businesses is "popuphood," tion of Innovation,” citing the wildly successful retail pilot the number of tech compaproject that has brought several nies, like Pandora and new stores to Old Oakland and is now expanding to other headquartered here commercial areas. The popuphood and the fact that Oakland venture has fast become a national consistently ranks among model, generating positive media America’s most sustainable exposure from coast-to-coast and cities, with “green-energy around the world. Downtown Oakland has also startups galore.” become a hub for innovative companies. Pandora’s 51 percent growth in active listeners – now totaling some 55 million – and attention-grabbing IPO have created a buzz dubbed the “Pandora effect” that’s ignited an innovation-driven tech hub in downtown Oakland. It mirrors the impact Google has had in Mountain View and Twitter in San Francisco. Last year, Fast City named Oakland among 15 U.S. cities that make up the “Nation of Innovation,” citing the number of tech companies, like Pandora and headquartered here and the fact that Oakland consistently ranks among America’s most sustainable cities, with “green-energy startups galore.” While tech start-up CEO’s are attracted to Oakland’s affordable office rents and the unique character of much of the available office space, their workers,

10 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

> The ‘development journey’ of Alameda Point by Eleanor Hollander

The Chamber’s Economic Development Forum last month was treated to an update from the city of Alameda’s dynamic manager, John Russo. Russo delivered a presentation (speaking without notes or a power point) for more than one hour on the “development journey” of the former Alameda Naval Base, now known as Alameda Point. The rapt economic development ▲ Alameda City Manager John Russo committee of over 45 people addressed the Chamber’s Economic was entertained and enDevelopment Forum in April, pointing out gaged on the topic, many of the next steps for Alameda Point, the whom are in the architecformer Naval Base. ture, planning, development and engineering fields. First Russo gave a short overview of the history of Alameda Point, noting that when the Naval Base first closed in 1997 the surplus property at the northwest end of Alameda Island was managed by the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) process. Russo indicated that this process was not all that successful because it was “very open ended” and produced “no real economic analysis.” Following the BRAC process, the U.S. Navy gave a no-cost conveyance to the city of Alameda wherein the city would own the land and the Navy would “clean it up” (from environmental pollutants). This led to the city of Alameda holding an open call for proposals in 1999 or a “RFP beauty pageant for developers,” according to Russo. Almost all of the developer-proposed scenarios for the area “did not pencil” because the necessary 4,000 to 5,000 housing units required to make development profitable were going to be too expensive for the Navy to ensure adequate environmental remediation. A second developer, SunCal, was selected after the first round of RFP respondents’ projects failed to work, and as a result of a failed ballot measure and a plan that was “too aggressive” the project stalled again. Locked at a standstill, the Navy was considering taking the land back into its ownership and the proposed projects at Alameda Point appeared completely stalled. However, in June 2011 (shortly after Russo joined the city of Alameda as city manager), the city re-negotiated with the Navy to produce a different result. As a result, the Navy will pay for a portion of remediation per housing unit (easing the risk on the development side) after absorption. The city of Alameda will continue to own the land and extend the leases of the current tenants of the former Naval Base, including the likes of Rosenblum Cellars and Hangar One Vodka, an area Russo jokingly referred to as “booze alley.” As for the remaining planned development in the former base area, the city will take the lead on developing the baseline zoning and CEQA process. This work is currently underway, and will be “open for business by early 2014” with the support of the city’s mayor, Marie Gilmore. The city is also preparing an infrastructure plan and a form-based code for the proposed town center area of the Alameda Point development. This work will be partially underwritten by a grant from MTC, the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission. To complicate matters further, the former runway areas of the Naval Base (on the western-most half of the point) are now hosts to 300 pairs of nesting birds (the California Least Tern) and in an effort not to disturb them, that area in the master plan is slated to be a nature and wildlife preserve and a place for “passive recreation.” Russo concluded the presentation stating that, “Our plan is [that] ‘there is no plan’ and Alameda will respond to market signals” and ensure that “whatever development takes place” will “benefit the city of Alameda” over the long term. Following the presentation, the remaining attendees had a robust round of questions for Russo, mostly about the potential for future work on the site, and the traffic restrictions that the tube poses for accessing Alameda Island. Please attend the Chamber’s Economic Development Forum on Wednesday, May 8 at 3 p.m. at the Chamber featuring Dr. Robert Raburn, BART Director, District 4. Raburn will discuss in detail BART’s “State of Good Repair” project and other capital improvement projects. Do you have an idea for a future Economic Development Forum? If so, email us. It is never too soon to plan for late 2013! ■ Eleanor Hollander is the Chamber’s director of economic development.


Banking & Finance

> Is your business

one team player short? by Wim-Kees van Hout

You probably think of the people who work in your business as being members of your team. And, you may think of your vendors, suppliers, and perhaps even your clients as part of your team. But how often have you thought of your banker as a team member? How do you know if your banker is on your team? If you cannot answer each of the following questions with a confident “Yes,” your business team is playing one player short. 1. Do I know my banker’s name and does he/she know mine? 2. Does my banker stay in touch on a regular basis? 3. Does my banker truly understand my business, its financial needs, and my industry as a whole? 4. Am I confident that my banker can respond swiftly to my financial needs? 5. Will my banker be there to support me in times of plenty and in times of drought? 6. Does my banker always have my best interests at heart? You will derive great benefit from a banking partner on your team who knows you, your business and your industry and who also understands your business plan – and can provide meaningful feedback. A good banker will take the time to understand the game plan you have developed and work with you and your accounting group to set up an early warning system that highlights any aspects of your game plan that may not be performing as anticipated. And a good banker can also give you some comparative data on how your business stacks up against its peers and competitors.

These are core values you should seek in your banking partner, as they are important to the success of your business. You should seek out a bank where experienced Relationship Bankers are empowered to build the kind of professional relationship that allows them to become a vital and productive member of your team. They should be well prepared if you need to borrow funds to take advantage of an opportunity or to respond to a threat. They should also stand ready to alert you to ways of achieving greater efficiencies in daily banking – from looking at the benefits of separating out your payroll account, to reviewing how you process your incoming and outgoing payments. Preferably, they should be seasoned loan underwriters, so you are dealing with at least one of the decision makers to evaluate your loan or lease requests. Such direct lines of communication keep loan decision times short and on target, allowing for innovation and customization to fit your business needs. Make sure you team up with a real banker with experience, a strong work ethic, and an ability to help you execute your game plan play-by-play. Someone who can cut through ▲ Wim-Kees van Hout to the core of an issue swiftly, provide sound (left), the senior vice financial solutions, and stand with you in good president and commercial times and bad as a part of your team. Someone banking group manager who strongly supported their clients through the for Scott Valley Bank, recent recession and who is excited about attended the Chamber’s helping businesses and business owners like you After Five Reception at to reach each platform of your game plan to Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar success – and to celebrating with you as a team in Jack London Square last member when you do! month. Joining him were Make your life easier. I invite you to call us at Joie Seldon, a business (510) 625-7850, visit us at 1111 Broadway in results coach, and Stephen downtown Oakland, or look us up online at Prouty, a vice president Our rates are low and our and relationship banker confidence is high – game on! ■ with Scott Valley Bank.

Wim-Kees van Hout is senior vice president and commercial banking group manager for Scott Valley Bank.

May 2013 | 11


Banking & Finance

> Wells Fargo – Making Oakland stronger by Micky Randhawa

Oakland is a special place and Wells Fargo is committed to helping our customers and team members who live and work here prosper and make the community stronger. As part of that commitment, Wells Fargo has granted more than $5 million to 204 Oakland schools and nonprofit organizations involved in the arts, economic development, education, human services and also civic organizations over the past three years. Since 2010, Wells Fargo’s Oakland team members have recorded more than 9,700 volunteer hours. They have donated their time to filling a variety of Micky Randhawa important community needs – from building homes to helping underserved children learn to read, to serving on the board of Oaklandbased nonprofits. Just recently, a team of 25 Wells Fargo team members helped Habitat for Humanity build homes in Oakland. Showing their dedication, team members came from throughout the greater Bay Area and beyond including Lathrop, Campbell, Sacramento, Antioch, Pleasanton, Novato, and Oakland itself. Work by volunteers included sawing, nailing, painting, siding, and many more construction-related activities to contribute to the completion of homes. The homes are expected to be completed by volunteers in April 2015. Home preservation workshops In this economy, some families continue to confront housing challenges. We want to help our communities work through unprecedented challenges in the housing market. Part of our commitment as a financial institution is to educate our customers, and we create opportunities to meet face-to-face with customers struggling with mortgage payment challenges. Wells Fargo has hosted four large-scale Home Preservation Workshops in the Bay Area since 2010 where customers facing payment challenges could meet face-to-face with home preservation specialists and learn about options that may help them overcome payment challenges, understand how they may be able

12 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

to keep their homes and avoid foreclosure, ▲ A team of 25 Wells Fargo team members and connect with helpful resources like recently helped Habitat housing counselors and online tools. for Humanity build homes It’s important for context to know that in Oakland. in California in the fourth quarter of 2012, our foreclosure rate was just 1.04 percent – less than half our national rate. While Wells Fargo’s Home Preservation Workshops are focused on helping customers facing mortgage payment challenges, our bank recently introduced the CityLIFT℠ program to help stabilize local communities by helping qualified home buyers with down payment assistance. In launching East Bay CityLIFT℠, Wells Fargo committed $5 million to help stabilize nine East Bay communities in the form of $20,000 grants in down payment assistance for qualified homebuyers. Wells Fargo is thrilled with the progress of helping local homeowners access the down payment assistance, and there are still funds available. Local nonprofit The Unity Council manages the program funds. Wells Fargo has a long history in Oakland. In fact it was in 1869 when we opened our first Oakland agency at 9th & Broadway in what is now “Victorian Row.” And since then, we have continued to work hand in hand with members of the local community. Through our philanthropy, volunteerism, support of sustainable home ownership and lending to create jobs, we are making a difference. We look forward to continuing to help create a successful Oakland well into the future. ■

Micky Randhawa is the East Bay president for Wells Fargo.


Banking & Finance

> Wells Fargo brings value to local small business owners by Micky Randhawa

In 2010, Wells Fargo announced a $1 million EQ2 (equity equivalent investment) to Grameen America to help fund its micro lending work across the country. One-half million dollars ($500,000) was used to help launch the Grameen America Oakland branch and to date, the Wells Fargo dollars have funded more than 170 loans to entrepreneurs living below the federal poverty line in the East Bay. In total, Grameen America’s Bay Area branch has lent $700,000 in loan capital to more than 500 women who reside in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Richmond and Union City. It is important to mention that nearly 30 percent of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women today, and more financial institutions are adding services and programs specially geared toward helping women entrepreneurs. Wells Fargo recently announced its commitment to lend a cumulative total of $55 billion to women-owned businesses by 2020, in addition to offering numerous resources for small businesses. We want to help women grow their businesses, stay competitive, contribute to the economy and create jobs. Today there’s a growing list of government, nonprofit and private organizations that provide resources for women in business, and Wells Fargo wants women to be aware of their options. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) operates Women’s Business Centers across the country. These centers are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. There are four centers that provide assistance in downtown Oakland – Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, Oakland U.S. Export Assistance Center, Alameda County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and East Bay SCORE. The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is also a valuable resource helping to propel women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. There is a San Francisco/Bay Area chapter and they host monthly events. Wells Fargo wants to help all small businesses succeed financially, and wants to work closely with business owners to help them access the capital and financial services that they need to operate and grow their businesses.

surge of lending to local businesses. Torrey Pines Bank clearly saw opportunities to serve more customers at a time when business owners were most in need of a conscientious financial partner. They must be meeting an unmet need – in the past two years alone, the bank’s loan portfolio has grown by 42 percent while being only one of only 35 California banks to be recognized by the Findley Reports for achieving “Super Premier” performance in 2012. Along with their business success, they also take pride in their ability to contribute to the vitality of the community in which they do business. Every company owes their success to the communities they call home. And based on the $2 million in donations they’ve provided through the years, it’s clear they welcome the opportunity to give back whenever they can. How are they able to do all of this? I asked Larry Fountain, who is the bank’s Bay Area division president. Here’s what he said: “Throughout the economic storm, we adhered to the same prudent banking fundamentals we had when we started. We had a long term vision and protected it over short term interests. Our bedrock principles helped us remain viable for our clients who trust us with their dreams, and we do our best to help bring those visions to fruition. “We are led by an all-star team of seasoned bankers, and we tap their experience to provide careful guidance to our clients in their business thinking and consequences of such thought.” It’s easy to imagine other financial institutions being envious of this bank’s good fortune – but very little of their success is owed to sheer luck. Setting aside all the financial metrics one could use to measure success, their tenets have allowed them to evolve, grow, and expand with a compass that navigates towards ethical conduct. These are uncompromising values that endure over time. That is a very good thing, because as they approach their ten-year anniversary, we should expect to see more history being made. ■ David Stratton is a Chicago-based business writer who writes on a variety of topics including business, finance, sports and technology.

> Banking on good service

Micky Randhawa is the East Bay president for Wells Fargo. ■

> More history being made by David Stratton

When it comes to new banks coming to town, the East Bay can definitely tout, “Been there, done that.” For five years now I’ve been following one California-based community bank – Torrey Pines Bank. In 2008 I wrote an article entitled the “History Making Success of Torrey Pines Bank.”

My research and financial analysis of data dating back to the 1970s found that the community bank, which started in 2003 with $20 million in initial capital and seven employees, had grown to achieve recordsetting growth and stability. When I first became aware of Torrey Pines Bank, I wanted to find out their secret to business success. And as I continue to follow the company, I’m amazed that, in spite of challenging economic times and an industry in flux, Torrey Pines Bank never reached any plateaus, rather they continually win new customers and grow market share. Today, the bank boasts of $2 billion in assets, close to 250 fulltime employees and 11 offices, including Oakland and Los Altos. Of course, being one of the fastest growing California and U.S. banking start-ups in the past ten years would have been impressive in good times, but the near collapse of the financial markets and the general business slow-down of the Great Recession retreated many rising tides. And yet, through that turmoil, they kept growing and lending. They know the impact their lending has for helping businesses create jobs and stimulate the local economy. In fact, during the height of the recession is when they experienced their greatest

Like many of the entrepreneurs it serves, Torrey Pines Bank (TPB) is a California business success story. Founded in 2003 with $20 million in capital, one office and seven employees, TPB has grown into a thriving regional commercial bank with more than $2 billion in assets and 240 employees as of December 31, 2012. During its ten years in business the bank has committed to providing the highest level of personal service and guidance to local business owners and professionals. It prides itself on offering the resources of a large financial institution with the personalized service and attention of a community bank. At the reception, above, Torrey Pines Division President Larry Fountain receives a “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument book from Chamber Chair of the Board Shannon Pedder. Others at the mixer included Chamber President Joe Haraburda (left), Torrey Pines Bank vice president and private banker Dale Marie Golden, and Chamber Board member Eric Kisshauer (Pankow Builders). ■

Torrey Pines Bank at 1951 Webster St. in downtown Oakland was the site of the Chamber’s After Five Reception in March.

May 2013 | 13


Banking & Finance

> CPAs vs. non-CPAs – A look at the differences by Iryna Oreshkova, MBA, CPA

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what the difference is between CPAs and non-certified accountants. Essentially, non-certified accountants can simply hang up their shingle and open their doors for business. There are no educational requirements. By contrast, CPAs have usually majored in accounting in college; sat for CPA exams covering theory, practice, auditing, and law; worked for an established accounting firm for two years; and, acquired 500 hours of auditing time to earn their certification. In addition, they are required to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education to maintain their license. Why is it that one individual has to go through rigorous testing and on-the-job training to become certified to practice accounting and another can practice accounting without any Iryna Oreshkova formal training? It has to do with the concept of “free enterprise.” Remember the old adage, “Caveat Emptor?” It means, “Let the buyer beware.” In other words, it is the buyer’s responsibility to choose a qualified professional. But there are some legal restrictions that define the range of services that can be performed for certified and non-certified accountants. For instance, there are three main types of financial statements that can be prepared by accountants: (1) audited, (2) reviewed, (3) compiled. Only a CPA can prepare an audited financial statement. This process requires the CPA to methodically examine and test the financial records of a company. A report is then issued by the auditing accountants stating whether they found the information contained in the financial statements to be presented fairly, in all material respects. In addition, only a CPA can prepare a reviewed financial statement. The review process is less involved than an audit, but some testing is done to verify information. The CPA issues a report describing the scope of the review, its limitations, and findings. Both CPAs and non-certified accountants, including bookkeepers, can prepare compiled financial statements. A report is issued with compiled statements indicating that no auditing or review methods were used and that the financial statements were compiled using information provided by management. This means that, if you want to have your financial statements audited or reviewed, you must have a CPA perform that work. Obviously, those services cost more than a compiled financial statement. Your circumstances may dictate a need for such services. For example, it may be a requirement for a bank loan to have your financial statements audited. Or, other partners or stockholders may insist that the books be audited or reviewed in order for them to feel secure in their investment. Usually, these are businesses that have a substantial net worth. Does your business need an outside accountant? It all depends. If you require an audited or reviewed financial statement, then, yes, you need a CPA. In any event, it is always a good idea to maintain a relationship with an accountant no matter how small your business. Whether your accountant is a CPA is up to you. ■ Iryna Oreshkova, MBA, CPA is founder and president of Iryna Accountancy Corporation. She can be reached at (510) 467-9506.

14 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

‘... there are some legal restrictions that define the range of services that can be performed for certified and non-certified accountants. For instance, there are three main types of financial statements that can be prepared by accountants: (1) audited, (2) reviewed, (3) compiled.’


Banking & Finance

> Small business lending is the bread and butter of community banking by Stephen Andrews

As Bank of Alameda celebrates its 15th anniversary, it can look back with pride in its role of serving our communities and the small businesses that reside in them. A snapshot of financial life in the U.S. points out that community banking has always supported small businesses in a substantial fashion. Small business lending is the bread and butter of community banking. In fact, besides being Stephen Andrews described as a powerful economic engine for the economy, community banks are often referred to as a small business themselves. Bank of Alameda, along with small community banks in general, operate in the same communities as their customers and understand the unique challenges they face better than anyone else in the marketplace. Lending decisions are always kept local and the dollars remain at home, also benefiting the local economy. Although community banks only make up about 20 percent of all bank assets and 20 percent of the deposits, they make about 60 percent of the small bank loans according to the Independent Community Bankers of America. This translates into a powerful economic engine that propels small business growth and is a valuable source of working capital. On the political front, Congress is finally recognizing that poor policies have allowed the largest financial institutions to place the burdens of their risk-taking on the average American taxpayer. Hence the recent clamor to rein in the too-big-to-fail or largest financial institutions by Congress. We are seeing large bank customers migrating to local community banks. All change comes at home, and by utilizing a community bank, the local business customer will quickly come to realize the benefits of convenience with working with a local banker, as well as the value of keeping money in the community benefiting friends and neighbors. Community banks are engaged in their communities, and the local communities are where the banks’ interest lie. The employees and their families live in the community, the children attend the local schools and the bank customers happen to be local too. In fact, community banks are immersed in their community as part of local chambers, nonprofit and charitable concerns, and with the organizations that improve the quality of life at a local level. Bank of Alameda is proud to be local and urges you to patronize local businesses. ■

2. You are too optimistic. Back in the 1990s, investors took it for granted that they would generate annual returns averaging 10 percent or even higher. But that is no longer a realistic outlook. If you lower your expectations slightly, you can better position yourself for what might happen. 3. You pay excessive fees. Of course, you usually “get what you pay for,” but that does not mean you should pay exorbitant fees in connection with investments. Rely on trusted financial advisers to steer you in the right direction. 4. You do not have enough insurance. Insurance is a key component of most financial plans. This includes various forms such as life insurance, health insurance, disability income insurance, etc. Try to have your needs quantified based on your current and future objectives. 5. Your risk exposure is too great. It’s been said often that there is an inherent risk in making investments. Recognize that it is possible to make money, lose money or stay in the same basic position. Do not risk more than you can reasonably afford to lose. Consider your “risk tolerance” as part of your investment decisions. 6. You do not have emergency funds. It is generally recommended that you keep enough financial “cushion” to sustain your family through six to 12 months if financial disaster should strike. Consider an emergency fund that will last even longer if you are contemplating retirement or already retired. 7. You refuse professional guidance. This does not mean you are unqualified to manage your own financial affairs. But almost everyone needs a little help. As mentioned in #3, you should not pay excessive fees, but you should still obtain guidance when the situation calls for it. Do not let your pride get in the way. Otherwise, this could turn out to be the “deadliest” financial sin of all. ■

Robert Griffin is managing partner of Williams, Adley & Company LLP in Oakland. He can be reached at (510) 893-8114.

Stephen Andrews is president and chief executive officer of Bank of Alameda.

> Don’t commit the seven financial sins by Robert Griffin

The “seven deadly sins” often referred to in religious literature are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. Although it usually does not involve the same soulsearching, you may be guilty of some other “financial sins” in the way you handle your personal affairs, particularly as it relates to your investments. Fortunately, redemption does not have to be difficult. Here is a list of seven common mistakes you Robert Griffin may be guilty of making that may be rectified with relative ease. If you have not committed any of these “sins” before, continue to avoid them. 1. You are overly emotional. Do not let your emotions dictate financial strategies. For instance, when the stock market is booming, greed can lead you to make bad decisions. On the flip side, if you are faced with a declining market, you cannot let fear overtake your financial sensibilities. Try to maintain an even keel.

May 2013 | 15


Banking & Finance


> Five things to think about when considering a payroll service by Molly Addington

Are you comfortable keeping up with approximately 400 legal and regulatory changes every year? Are you confident about making up to 268 tax calculations annually? Do you prefer to do routine administrative tasks instead of serving your customers? If you answered “yes” to these questions, you can stop reading. But if you’re like most business owners, these issues are among the very last things you want to deal with. And yet, they’re exactly what you need to be doing if you process your own payroll. Molly Addington Sooner or later nearly every business owner realizes it’s time to let someone else handle the time-consuming, risky and unproductive task of processing payroll to a specialist provider. But how do you choose the right one? When you make that decision, here are five key things to consider – and to ask potential providers about as well. Tax liability Tax issues are probably the number one pitfall of handling payroll yourself. Every year federal and state penalty notices, levies, and legal action not only reduce productivity, but put many small companies out of business entirely. Often the business owner was trying to do everything correctly, but was simply unaware of all the rules for calculating paychecks, timing tax payments and filing. If you hire a CPA or accountant to do your books, that person can handle your payroll as well. But that individual isn’t going to pay your penalties and interest if something goes wrong. A professional payroll service company will. And a good one will even work with the tax authorities on your behalf if you ever face a payroll tax problem. Payroll expertise Any reputable payroll service you choose will be able to cover the basic needs, such as calculating hours and vacation time, cutting checks and mailing them to your employees. The trouble is, those might not be your needs. An experienced, trained payroll professional will get to know your business, understand what it requires, and work with you to make sure your payroll solution is a good fit. For example, you may want to combine your online banking with online payroll processing or offer your employees a 401(k) plan. A trusted provider Of course, the provider you select needs to be someone you can trust. For something as critical as handling your payroll and taxes, look for an established brand with a solid history, extensive resources and experience, and a reputation for great service. The last item is particularly important since at some point you’ll probably face an urgent situation – if your administrator unexpectedly went into labor tomorrow, could your provider step in and make your filings on time? The right features All businesses have different needs, but those of small companies are especially diverse – and are becoming more so. These days, even with just a handful of employees, you might need payroll deductions for 401(k), a flexible spending account, and perhaps a Health Savings Account (HSA) for your health plan, plus direct deposit. And because every minute you spend on administration keeps you away from your core business responsibilities, you want it all to work as smoothly as possible. To simplify your finances, consider working with your bank. Full-service banks can offer payroll services that have some unique advantages, such as tying payroll directly to online banking for maximum convenience. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to move money very rapidly, you will appreciate having payroll services as part of your overall banking relationship. Cost effective If you’re still wondering whether hiring a payroll provider is worth the cost, consider that one in three1 business owners will face a tax penalty each year. After several years the question will no longer be if you’re one of them – it will simply be a matter of when. Even if you’re a very hands-on manager, working with the IRS or state agencies on payroll issues is one task you’ll be glad to give to a professional payroll provider. When that time comes, the pennies per week you spend on payroll processing may turn out to be the best business investment you ever made. ■

Oakland City Councilmember

Libby Schaff Friday, May 24 • 8:30 - 10 a.m.

Come to “Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum” and hear from people who affect the policies and progress of the city in which we live and do business.

JOIN Chamber members for this informative breakfast at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street. This event is free to Chamber members and $10.00 for non-members. To attend, you must RSVP by Wednesday, May 22. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND REGISTER ONLINE Have questions? Contact Paul Junge at (510) 874-4817 or at

Molly Addington is vice president, Business Payroll Services West Area manager for Wells Fargo. 1

U.S Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Nation

16 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

A Global Company with a Local Focus

Public Policy

> Chamber’s Public


Policy Committee tours Schnitzer Steel

> Inside Oakland looks at fighting crime in Oakland by Paul Junge

Public safety is a bigger issue in Oakland than any of us wish it to be. And so it was no surprise that Oakland Police Department (OPD) Chief Howard Jordan would be a popular draw at April’s Inside Oakland breakfast. Perhaps it was a surprise to some that when Jordan was unable to make it, his assistant chief Anthony Toribio was such a strong replacement. Toribio, a 23-year OPD veteran, told the full house about many of the initiatives being pursued by OPD to make our city safe. Two of these included the dividing of police responsibilities into five parts with a captain responsible for each area and a Call Reduction Strategy. The assistant chief explained that each of the five captains has four responsibilities. First, he or she must simply manage the day-to-day operations within the geographical area. Second, the captain and his or her entire staff need to develop specific strategies to address the unique criminal problems in the area. Third, they must address police and community relations and are responsible for compliance and administrative issues. Toribio told the group that responding to calls from dispatch is another area of changing focus and priorities. He said officers often hear those calls as though they were “the voice of the chief,” when in fact they may just be dispatch trying to clear his or her board. Toribio said that instead of area captains, lieutenants and sergeants needed to help establish priorities. Toribio told the group he gets an update every 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the number of calls standing (waiting for response). On this Friday morning the previous 10 p.m. number was 141 and the 6 a.m. number was down only to 40. This means ▼ Assistant Police Chief Anthony instead of addressing proactive Toribio addressed the Chamber’s crime reduction strategies Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum officers are racing from call to in April. call. It also frustrates citizens waiting for service. To reduce the number of calls, several strategies are being implemented. Some calls that don’t require officers will get assigned appointments or be handled by others. For example, when a car is blocking a driveway the plan is for parking enforcement to handle the call, not a police officer. Another example is child custody exchange. Oftentimes courts require this be done with a police officer, but OPD intends those exchanges should all happen at a police station where an officer is stationed instead of calling officers to other locations. Because of Operation Ceasefire, the better use of technology, computer statistics (Compstat) to understand Toribio told the group problems and develop solutions that responding to calls and a developing crime reduction strategy, and a from dispatch is another growing number of police area of changing focus officers due to a steady stream of new recruits being trained in and priorities. He said Academies, Toribio painted a officers often hear those positive picture of OPD improving its performance and calls as though they were improving the public safety “the voice of the chief,” conditions in Oakland. Oakland City Council when in fact they may member Libby Schaaf is the just be dispatch trying next featured speaker at Inside Oakland on Friday, May 24. ■

to clear his or her board.

Paul Junge is the Chamber’s vice president and director of public policy.

In April, Schnitzer Steel Oakland opened its gates to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Public Policy Committee, which included representatives from Kaiser Permanente, Waste Management, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Oakland Association of Realtors, Chabot Space & Science Center, Recology, and East Bay Rental Housing Association.

▲ Public Policy Committee

The tour provided a glimpse into the world of metals recycling and Schnitzer Steel, which opened its Oakland facility in 1965. The facility was awarded the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year award in 1989 and has now grown to become one of Schnitzer’s largest facilities in North America. For more information on Schnitzer, contact Jackie Lynn Ray, public relations and government affairs manager, at or at (510) 452-8896. ■ members (left to right) Tom Guarino (PG&E), Minna Tao (Recology) and Jill Broadhurst (East Bay Rental Housing Association) tour Schnitzer Steel in Oakland.

> City Council districts are changing by Paul Junge

More people are living downtown and nearly every other district of the city saw small declines in population over the last ten years. That’s what the 2010 U.S. Census shows, and it means Oakland City Council districts will have to be redrawn. Districts for the Oakland Unified School District board will be affected as they match City Council districts. The city of Oakland has hired National Demographics Corp. (NDC) to hold public hearings and suggest to Council how to redistrict the City Council seats. The consultant says the consensus standard is any district whose population varies from mean by 5 percent or more should be adjusted. In Oakland that impacts D2 (Kernighan – down 6.9 percent), D3 (Gibson-McElhaney – up 12 percent) and D5 (Gallo – down 5.4 percent) will have to change. The plan calls for two meetings in June to get general input, and three meetings (one each in D2, 3 and 5) with draft maps in September. Those three districts share common borders and could therefore be the only three districts to see their boundaries change. It is possible, however, that all seven districts in the city could see changes. The new map required by the City Charter must be approved by the City Council no later than December 2013. City budget The city of Oakland will soon tackle its two-year budget (covers July 2013 to June 2015). The five-year forecast shows deficits for the next five years of $15, $24, $41, $38 and $48 million. It also shows bigger deficits if deferred payments were made of the following total amounts: $110, $120, $142, $141 and $152 million over the next five years. Mayor Jean Quan released a proposed budget in April that will serve as the basis for Council consideration in the coming months. One welcome highlight of that budget is a plan to hold two police academies each year of this two-year budget cycle. With current sworn police staffing levels below 650 officers and an average retirement rate of about four officers every month, recruiting and training new police officers is essential. The Oakland City Council will hold special meetings in May and June to take public comments and deliberate. The Council must pass a balanced budget by June 30. ■

May 2013 | 17


Leadership Oakland

> “Government Day’ is an education for Leadership participants by Bobbi Jo Price, Kim Arnone and Aaron Quaresma

April’s Leadership Oakland session focused on city government. This full day session allowed the Leadership Oakland class, which is comprised of private and public sector individuals, to understand who is involved and what their responsibilities are.

The Leadership Oakland participants felt fortunate that six city leaders took time out of their day to share their roles in the government, discuss what brought them to the decision of being a public servant, and then allow an open, candid question and answer session. The day started with Mayor Jean Quan, who spoke to the challenges and rewarding opportunities that being mayor of such a major U.S. city such as Oakland offers. The Mayor covered steps that were taken in her life that led to her election. She expressed many passions that continue to drive her, including providing a better education for children, having a safer Oakland, and building an improved economy that will provide more job opportunities for residences. All of these passions have a common thread – her love for Oakland and the desire to see the city prosper and continue to be one of the nation’s best. Following Mayor Quan, the group got to hear from Oakland’s public works director, Vitaly Troyan. Director Troyan explained in very tangible ways all that the Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining and operating. For many in the group it was eye-opening to appreciate the breadth of what this department accomplishes in a given year. The director discussed the efficiency and documented statistics that the department uses to continually improve at both the individual employee and department levels. The director also covered all of the ways that citizens of Oakland can get involved in public works on their own or in conjunction with the city or private organizations. The group finished the morning with City Auditor Courtney Ruby and Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell. Topics of discussion

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

included Oakland’s budget, transparency and engagement for citizens, economic development, and specific projects such as the Army Base, Brooklyn Basin, and Oak Knoll. Ruby and Blackwell shared a wealth of knowledge about current events. Ruby is a Leadership Oakland alumni, and was a past Alumni of the Year Award winner for all of her work through the years. Lunch was followed by a tour of City Hall and Frank Ogawa Plaza by Annalee Allen. It was a wonderful and informative way to spend the lunch hour. I think we are all going out to buy the new book, “Oakland, The Story of a City,” by Beth Bagwell. Two Councilmembers, Larry Reid of District 7 and Pat Kernighan, Council President and Councilmember of District 2, completed our day by sharing updates from their districts and allowing us to ask questions about the Council’s priorities. Both were ▲ The Leadership Oakland class extremely forthcoming on the of 2013 welcomed Mayor Jean challenges that the city currently Quan to its “Government Day” session in April. faces and the opportunities that are available for positive change. The economy is improving, they said, which is bringing in higher revenues, but many difficult discussions and decisions still are ahead to maintain our positive course. One main take-away from the day is that everyone needs to be involved to create a great city. It is not just the job of public officials. If you desire to be involved there are ways to be part of the process and people to guide you in the right direction. Thank you to all of the people who gave their time to be part of the Leadership Oakland “Government Day.” ■ ▼ Vitaly Troyan (second from the left), Oakland’s director of public works, was greeted by class participants Kim Arnone (left), Aaron Quaresma, and Bobbi Jo Price.

Bobbi Jo Price is director and account manager of inside sales at Granicus, Inc., Kim Arnone is a senior attorney at the Katovich & Kassan Law Group (and is co-chair of the Chamber’s East Bay Women in Business Roundtable), and Aaron Quaresma is associate principal at Degenkolb Engineers.

> Five lessons learned for Oakland businesses from the Boston Marathon bombings


> O’Dowd breaks ground on Center for Environmental Studies

by Ana-Marie Jones

Bishop O’Dowd High School celebrated a momentous occasion on April 11, the groundbreaking for the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) – a destination for experiential learning and discovery in the natural world. Diocesan officials, CES capital campaign committee and O’Dowd Board of Regents members, donors, project architects and builders, parents, students, faculty and staff gathered in the sun-drenched Living Lab to watch shovels turn dirt for the $3.6 million state-ofthe-art teaching space. Situated on the hillside adjacent to the Living Lab, the center will feature two ▲ At the groundbreaking (left to right) – new science laboratory/ O’Dowd Board of Regents Chair Glen classrooms, an outdoor Hentges; Vice Chair Kim Walsh; classroom and dedicated Superintendent of Schools for the Oakland space for planning, research Diocese Sister Barbara Bray; O’Dowd President Steve Phelps; Apostolic and experimentation. Administrator of the Diocese of Oakland Also on hand was Archbishop Alex J. Brunett; O’Dowd former faculty member Brad Principal Pam Shay; and O’Dowd Vice Goodhart, who introduced President for Advancement Michael the first environmental Petrini. science class at O’Dowd in 1970, setting the wheels in motion for the expansive program. Tom Tyler, former O’Dowd science teacher, co-founder of the Living Lab and a colleague of Goodhart’s, detailed how the Living Lab and CES site have been transformed over the past 50 years, from a rock quarry to a certified wildlife habitat. Students have always played a part in the effort, he noted. Members of the Class of 1956 serving detention “voluntarily” planted the first trees on the site. Those trees were recently felled and carefully milled by current students so that the wood can be used in the construction of the center. Responsible for the construction of four high schools in a span of ten years in Seattle, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Oakland Archbishop Alex Brunett said he understands the great impact the CES will have on the lives of students, their families and the community. “This building will become a focal point of quality education,” he said. “A science lab is not simply a place where you learn a lot of facts, it’s a place that teaches you to evaluate ideas.” Meanwhile, Principal Pam Shay talked about O’Dowd’s commitment to be a model of environmental excellence and sustainability. To that end, new curriculum is being developed to integrate hands-on experiences and classical scientific content. O’Dowd will hire a director of sustainability to create a strategic program that will lead to a community-wide participatory effort in the “greening” of O’Dowd, Shay noted. The director will also administrate the center, working closely with the science department and all other departments to develop curriculum, programs and extracurricular activities that will best utilize the new building. ■ photo by Donovan Rittenbach

In just over 100 hours we witnessed diverse From the time businesses step forward to immediately the bombs went serve their community. The Westin Hotel off at the Boston became a command center for the official Marathon, until operation; the El Pelon Taqueria opened its four days later doors to provide refreshments, restrooms, a when suspected place to charge cell phones, and a calm place bomber Dzhokhar to rest; and countless other businesses and Tsarnaev was organizations helped the people of Boston found, the city of to respond with unshakable compassion Boston’s people, and courage. businesses, and Here are some of the simple but powerful emergency every business can help ensure the city ways response of Oakland will respond quickly, effectively, communities and powerfully to whatever we face. came together in 1) Make certain that you have rapid brilliant ways. access to any security camera footage you may have. Whether it’s a suspect on the run or a lost child, quick access to security videos can be crucial This includes making sure the footage is accessible via cloud or off-site backup. 2) Build your company’s ability to immediately send messages to and receive messages from your staff. Email, texts, Facebook, group phone messages – whatever methods you use, flex your ability to get messages in and out Ana-Maria Jones quickly. Whether you are sending a warning to keep employees safe, alerting them to a possible issue, or calling them in to address a critical situation, speed and having redundant, resilient systems is key. 3) Help your employees build their ability to reach their family members and loved ones quickly. A big part of your business resilience is the resilience of your employees. Remember: the heads, hands, and hearts of your employees will be focused on their families until they have made contact. 4) Feed your employees a steady diet of helpful stress-reducing information. Many people have negative reactions just from watching coverage of tragic events. Provide information about stress and grief counseling, and make sure they know they can call 2-1-1, crisis hotlines, and other free and confidential resources. Encourage them to sign up for local alerts from the police department. Send reminders for people to stay hydrated and to breathe deeply. 5) Empower employees to do the right thing in a crisis or emergency. One stress you can take away from your employees: having to wonder if your company will help in the aftermath of a crisis. Often there is no time to wait for approvals, and with a little bit of advance discussion you can help your employees step forward with confidence. Help your employees plan to be great! One of the most powerful messages to emerge from the Boston Marathon bombings is that the people of Boston will not be cowed – not by terrorists, not by hate-mongers, not by anyone. From the beginning of the event Boston’s people, businesses, and emergency response communities stood strong, united, and committed to each other and their great city. Let’s all do our part to ensure Oakland’s people, businesses, and emergency response communities are able to respond immediately, generously, and with true Oakland style. For more information or to schedule a quick response training for your team, call (510) 451-3140, or email ■ Ana-Marie Jones is the executive director of Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD) and is co-chair of the Chamber’s Nonprofit Roundtable Committee.

May 2013 | 19


Women in Business


> Oscar winner Chapman has advice for Women in Business

> Nancy Pfund, DBL Investors,

by Bedilia Ramirez

to speak about “Oakland’s Economy: Sustainable and Successful”

“There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us; you only have to be brave enough to see it.” – Princess Merida, heroine from “Brave”

by Sally Van Etten East Bay Women In Business Roundtable (EBWIBR) is excited to host Nancy Pfund as our next guest speaker in the “Women of Distinction” luncheon speaker series, Friday, June 7, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. Pfund is the managing partner for San Francisco-based venture capital investment firm DBL Investors which has helped launch a number of Nancy Pfund notable local East Bay firms including Revolution Foods, Solar City, and Tesla Motors. The firm’s name is derived from its intentional “Double Bottom Line” philosophy of not only funding promising new business enterprises that will create new jobs, but also focusing on those prospective new companies committed to being environmentally, socially and economically conscious and promoting sustainability. Pfund is one of those rare individuals who has managed to combine her immense skills and work experience with her deeply felt passions into one workplace. Prior to working at DBL Investors, she worked for the Sierra Club, Intel, Stanford University, and the state of California. She later rose in the The EBWIBR “Women of ranks from securities analyst to Distinction” speaker series managing director of the Venture is a lively and results-oriented Capital department of JPMorgan networking opportunity. For more (previously Hambrecht and information, contact Ivette Torres, Quist). Notably she also successOakland Metropolitan Chamber of fully raised two children while Commerce at (510) 874-4800, ext. working full time in a business 319. The event begins with checkenvironment where that was in and networking at 11:15 a.m. and rare. She continues to appreciate continues with the luncheon at Hambrecht and Quist for their 11:30 a.m., the program at noon, groundbreaking support in that and networking from 1 to 1:30 p.m. regard. $35 for Chamber members and $45 In addition to briefly for prospective members. describing her personal journey, Reservations must be pre-paid and Pfund will provide the group received by June 3 to guarantee with a brief overview of investseating. After June 3 and at the ment banking and venture door, a $10 fee will be added. ■ capital funding. Most of her talk, however, will focus on Oakland and the East Bay’s overall economic development and especially Oakland's continuing ability to attract successful, socially responsible businesses. With luck on the timing, Pfund may be able to announce one or more of the next local enterprises to benefit from DBL Investors expertise and funding. You will not want to miss this opportunity to hear EBWIBR Nancy Pfund speak! ■

Allison Rodman (Elder Care Referral & Information Services), Bedilia Ramirez (Rubicon Programs) and Sheila Simon (Rodan & Fields Dermatologists).

Bedilia Ramirez is a business service representative at Rubicon Programs and is a member of the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable Steering Committee.

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

SAVE THE DATE! 15th Anniversary Celebration, September 19th, Lake Chalet Bar & Seafood Grill ■

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TH • A 013 E 2 7 V SA JUNE CT. 4 •O

Sally Van Etten is currently working as a senior analyst for Hausrath Economics Group and is on the EBWIBR Steering Committee.


Brenda Chapmen greeted the audience with a warm smile at the April EBWIBR luncheon at the Waterfront Hotel. High on her recent Oscar win for co-director of “Brave,” the new Pixar animated movie, Chapman provided a delightful and colorful conversation that showcased her pioneering spirit. She discussed her triumphs and struggles, and described her love for animation, strong female leads, and storytelling. Chapman addressed four themes – passion, opportunity, perseverance and change. The Academy Award winner took the opportunity to share her passion for storytelling and how she succeeded in a field typically dominated by males. Originally from the Midwest, both her parents were working class. However, her mother was an incredible artist and encouraged her children to pursue a higher education. Despite having only an eighth grade education, Chapman’s mother attained a bachelor’s degree through a mail correspondence class so she could receive a promotion at work. Inspired by her mother, Chapman attended CALARTs, a feeder arts school for Disney animation studios. She was one of only three females accepted in a class of 32. After graduation, her dream was to be a storyboard artist and she received that position at Disney. It was there that she branched out from a storyboard artist to lead director. Through the encouragement of male mentors, Chapman learned how to cast actors and direct an animated film. This included her participation in “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and ultimately head of story for “The Lion King.” ▲ Members of the East Though she found success at Disney, Chapman took a leap and Bay Women in Business eventually landed at Pixar where she created and directed “Brave.” Roundtable Steering The Oscar-winning director said that her career did include Committee welcome setbacks and offered words of advice about the importance of guest speaker and Oscar having passion and loving what you do. winning director Brenda At the same time, she reiterated that everyone must be ready Chapman (third from the left) to the luncheon at for change. It was her relationship with her daughter that inspired the Waterfront Hotel. her to create “Brave,” a story about a strong-willed heroine who From left are Dawnn Hills clashes with her mother. This change has included the creation (Vantage Business of a production company with her husband – Chapman Lima Support & Insurance Productions. Like the heroines in her movies, Brenda Chapman Services), Karen Fisher demonstrates that going against the grain can be both a (Northern California challenging yet rewarding experience. ■ Court Accountings),



C ARTER = DESIGNS C O M M U N I C AT I O N D E S I G N T H AT R E A L LY M E A N S B U S I N E S S 510. 653. 2153 • c c @ c h e r i e ca r t e r d e s i g n s . c o m

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Managing Partner, DBL Investors June 7 • Waterfront Hotel 11:15a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

> A’s luncheon is another

> Walking on air

home run Some 200 fans turned out for the Oakland A’s luncheon, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and The Salvation Army of Alameda County last month at the Hilton Oakland Airport. The luncheon had everything you’d expect for a defending American League Western Division champion – cheers, chants, autograph hounds, a highlight video, and a prediction from pitcher Tommy Milone that the A’s would repeat as Western Division champions. Milone, second baseman Eric Sogard, and bench coach Chip Hale were on hand, with the luncheon featuring the radio voice of the A’s, Ken Korach, as master of ceremonies. The luncheon also honored the wives and fiancés of many of the players who have volunteered to support the mission of The Salvation Army. Capt. Dan Williams presented plaques to the women for their continued work with children in need. Since 1883, The Salvation Army has been serving Alameda County and helping to restore hope and transform lives. Its role is to serve and assist individuals and families in crisis through a myriad of programs and services. Go A’s! ■

▼ Four children from The Salvation Army’s Garden Street Child Development Center receive a hug from Stomper at last month’s Oakland A’s luncheon. The center is a year-round facility located in the Fruitvale District, and features programs that are provided to participating families at no cost.

The Chamber recently joined in a ribbon cutting ceremony for new member The Walking Company, which has opened at 6012 College Ave. The Walking Company wants you to walk in comfort in all aspects of your life, whether you are purchasing a fashion comfort sandal to wear while dining out, comfortable dress shoes to commute to work, an ultimate comfort clog to use while on your feet all day, or a new pair of performance shoes to reach your fitness goals. The staff is dedicated to bringing you the best brands available, and can provide you with the most technically-advanced comfort shoes on the market. Pictured above at the ribbon cutting were store business manager Brittany Jo McIntosh (holding the scissors with Chamber Vice President Paul Junge) and store district manager Allen Tapp (standing next to McIntosh). Also pictured – assistant store business manager Anjelica White (right) and sales associate Omar Evans. For more information on The Walking Company, call (510) 653-8430. ■

▲ Capt. Dan Williams of The Salvation Army honored the wives and fiancés of many of the players who have worked to support the mission of The Salvation Army and who have volunteered their time to help children in need. Above, Capt. Williams honors (left to right) Kaycee Sogard (wife of infielder Eric Sogard), Tina Sarnecki (fiancé of pitcher Tommy Milone) and Brooke Sizemore (wife of infielder Scott Sizemore). The flowers were presented by four children from The Salvation Army’s Garden Street Child Development Center.

May 2013 | 21


The Oakland Restaurant Association

> Oakland restaurant musings by Mark Everton

On a recent Friday evening, this author had the opportunity to stroll through Jack London Square, up Washington Street past the collection of Old Oakland restaurants, and finally up Broadway to Grand and back down to Telegraph.

Throughout the stroll, the focus was on restaurant and bar window voyeurism. Each establishment’s look, feel and vibe differed tremendously, especially as one passed by, noting the distinctions of The District and Mua. The common attribute of every bar, restaurant and lounge observed throughout the 25+ blocks traversed was they were all busy. Not just partially full, but really busy. No empty tables to be seen. No empty stools at the bar. In fact, most bars were several persons deep. While it was a beautiful warm evening, and it was Friday, the overwhelming level of activity in each and every bar and restaurant was amazing, especially considering that this wasn’t a single neighborhood or a block long occurrence, but was wide spread over a huge area. The interest in Oakland as a dining destination has received an untold number of articles, reviews and national media attention. The accolades have certainly piqued the interest of people that may not have considered Oakland as an alternative to their normal haunts in Walnut Creek, or Larkspur or San Francisco. To fill that many Oakland restaurants on a rather prosaic Friday night in April is remarkable. The media attention has been wonderful in getting the uninitiated to experience Oakland for the first or second time. The success of these restaurants to drive consistent business is their ability to identify their client’s wants and to satisfy them. Satisfy them through getting their product offerings right, but also getting the hospitality component placed firmly in front of their clients. The innovativeness and exploring the unproven is working in Oakland. There have been some recent examples: Homeroom (400 40th St.) has launched an app that enables a diner to order Homeroom’s interesting and sometime eclectic mac and cheese. Pay for it on line and pull up front and a staff member will bring out your M&C to your car. Innovative from the sense of “how can we do more, be more, sell more” with a very small restaurant. Clearly the “Drive Through mac & Cheese House” concept is working up on 40th. Blue Bottle (Broadway & 42nd Street) has opened a coffee shop in the 2,000-squarefoot-old WC Morse building. Two thousand square feet for BB is more than all of their other outlets combined. This large BB will have a café and also a place where clients can bring in their own coffeemakers for service and advice. With the other uber-large brands (S & P’s) dominating the “cup to go” market, Blue Bottle’s innovative thinking about what would appeal to their customers is brilliant. In addition to bringing the beagle down with you, tuck the Gaggia under your arm also. Marrow (325 19th St. between Harrison & Webster), a lunch-time, meat-centric, eatery that morphed from Jon’s Street Eats to a brick and mortar restaurant. One of the ongoing concerns about the food truck invasion into Oakland was the demise of the brick and mortar businesses. Jon has realized that the clients’ demand for his unique offerings can only be facilitated through the conventional restaurant. You will need to get there early as the food may run out each day before the 3 p.m. closing time. Toast Kitchen + Bar (5900 College Ave.) continues to grow. Recently expanding into the neighboring vacant space, Toast continues to flourish. The combination of the indoor atmosphere combined with the large patio on the great corner for people-watching has proven to be a success. On a street that has seen dozens of liquor license transfers over the past decade as the bright start-ups quickly fade, Toast has shown that their steadfast commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere with extraordinary service has been their key to success and expansion. ■ Mark Everton is the general manager of the Waterfront Hotel and is co-chair of the Chamber’s Oakland Restaurant Association.

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

> Clorox, Kaiser among Bay Area Council winners The Clorox Company and Kaiser Permanente, along with the city of Oakland, were among the organizations recently honored by the Bay Area Council. Victoria Jones, vice-president of government affairs, and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, accepted the recognition on behalf of Clorox; Bernard Tyson, president and chief operating officer, accepted for Kaiser Permanente. Lynette McElhaney, a newly-elected City Councilmember, received the award on behalf of the city. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone living in the region. The honorees were recognized for their “leadership, vision and commitment in founding the Bay Area Council in 1945 and working to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive and sustainable region in the world.” ■

> Wendel Rosen honored Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP has received a first-tier ranking for its Bankruptcy Practice in the third annual “Best Law Firms” list, published by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers. Additionally, the firm’s Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation – Real Estate and Real Estate Law Practices received second-tier rankings.

Inclusion in the “Best Law Firms” listing is based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes data collection, evaluation and feedback from thousands of clients, lawyers and law firm representatives spanning a wide range of practice areas nationwide. The inclusion in the “Best Law Firms” list comes on the heels of five of the firm’s attorneys being named to The Best Lawyers in America 2013.

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 | May 23 | Faz Restaurant


A’S vs Giants

| May 24 | Councilmember Libby Schaaf

| May 28 | Coliseum

‘Remember Them’ dedication

Women in Business Luncheon

| May 31 |

| June 7 | Waterfront Hotel

Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park

Keeping you connected and informed



8 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m. EX ECUT IV E 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 GARY FOSS Recology East Bay JOHN GOODING The Quadric Group

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

7 | East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon

| 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. “Women of Distinction” series, featuring Nancy Pfund, managing partner of DBL Investors, speaking about “Oakland’s Economy: Sustainable and Successful”

15 | Young Professionals Mixer

| 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Terrace Room at the Lake Merritt Hotel, 1800 Madison St.

16 | Breakfast at the Chamber

no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members

18 | Nonprofit Roundtable

10 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m.


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

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

21 | Nonprofit Roundtable

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

Committee meeting

location to be announced


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


| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

ISAAC KOS-READ Port of Oakland

Executive Inn & Suites, 1755 Embarcadero, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

12 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m. 12 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m.

STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company

27 | After Five Reception

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


Committee meeting

10 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m.

19 | Young Professionals Mixer 16 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 20 | Breakfast at the Chamber 23 | Lunch & Learn

| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

17 | Young Professionals Mixer


| noon - 1 p.m.

KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture

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

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

featuring “Healthy Living & Eating” with The Vegetarian Gourmet

23 | After Five Reception

26 | Chamber’s 108th Annual

| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

Meeting & Awards Luncheon

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

ART MARTINEZ Bank of America KEN MAXEY Comcast IKE MMEJE Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

location to be announced

18 | Breakfast at the Chamber

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Faz Restaurant, 1111 Broadway, street level, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members


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

NATHANIEL OUBRE, JR. Kaiser Permanente

featuring Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf, no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members

| 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. honoring Chamber members in a number of categories, Oakland Marriott City Center

25 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. location to be announced




DAVE CANNON Barney & Barney LLC


GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District

RICHARD WHITE Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLC

JOHN DOLBY Cassidy Turley


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. Editor

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808 |

Design/Production Editor


28 | Oakland A’s vs San Francisco Giants, “Battle of the Bay”

| game begins at 7:05 p.m. Coliseum, with seats directly behind the A’s dugout in the Plaza level, tickets $40 per person for Chamber members, $50 per person for non-members



After Five Reception

31 | Dedication of “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument

| 3 p.m. featuring a number of special guests including Ruby Bridges, one of the humanitarians honored, Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park



5 | Lunch & Learn

| noon - 1 p.m. featuring a presentation from The Center for Independent Living, “From Lawsuits to Loyal Customers,” a guide on how to protect your business from nuisance disability lawsuits and comply with federal, state and local legal access requirements

1111 Broadway Street Level

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

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

May 2013 | 23

> ‘Remember Them’ monument to be dedicated May 31 After 12 years of tireless work by Oakland artist Mario Chiodo, and with the help of major sponsors, the Chamber of Commerce has announced that the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” bronze monument will be dedicated at the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park near the Fox Theater on Friday, May 31 beginning at 3 p.m. Incited by the horrific events of 9/11, Chiodo envisioned an educational monument dedicated to the compassionate spirit of humanity. The project has remained a collaborative work of art for the sake of education, justice and peace. Just one month ago, a steel remnant from the World Trade Center in New York was placed within Section 4 for its final resting place. The piece of steel was acquired by the Chamber of Commerce from the Port of New York and New Jersey. The tenpound piece, which was originally hundreds of pounds in weight (but reduced by the heat of the fire), was carried from the Chamber offices to City Hall, where it was kept on display, then moved to the monument via a Fire Department procession.

The remnant was placed within Section 4 by Oakland Fire Department Lt. John Farrell, who was a first responder in 2001 and aided in the recovery at the World Trade Center. The grand unveiling of Sections 1, 2 and 3 were originally held on Sept. 6, 2011, almost ten years to the day of the disaster in lower Manhattan; Arlington, Virginia; and an empty field in Pennsylvania. Since then Chiodo and his team have completed Section 4, the largest of the four sections, along with a visually impaired wall that contains the faces of the 25 humanitarians and one of their famous quotes in braille. ▼ Sculptor Mario Chiodo According to Chiodo, “This welcomes Maya Angelou to his studio to view one of the final monument represents an internaversions of the Remember tional cross-section of visionaries Them monument. Angelou is one of the 25 humanitarians throughout several centuries who honored. have inspired and aided others through their passionate beliefs in human rights and peace.” On May 31, the day of the dedication, the monument will be the largest bronze monument on the west coast, and the only monument in the country dedicated to civil rights. For more information on the dedication, contact Ivette Torres at the Chamber at or at (510) 8744800, ext. 319. ■

Oakland Business Review May 2013  

Banking, Annual Lunch and Awards

Oakland Business Review May 2013  

Banking, Annual Lunch and Awards