Page 1





Welcome new members Pages 6-7


April 2016

Oakland A’s

Leadership Oakland

Chamber calendar

A team in transition Page 10

Transportation & Environment Page 18

Make plans to attend Page 19


Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Chamber Annual

> Chamber supports Kiva loan program

Meeting theme – ‘Education is Everyone’s Business’


he Chamber’s 111th Annual Meeting Luncheon on Thursday, June 23 will explore the theme “Education is Everyone’s Business.” Oakland is a national leader in creating innovative schoolto-work pathways, which is in large part due to the commitment of local businesses to create good local jobs for area residents. The Annual Meeting will also feature Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics, who will present an update to the Oakland Chamber District Economic Indicators Report, an annual district-by-district, in-depth analysis of Oakland’s economy. Every year the Chamber’s Annual Meeting celebrates the achievements of businesses in furthering Oakland’s growth and prosperity. As part of that recognition, Chamber members vote to recognize outstanding contributions from business with awards. This year’s ballot will be sent out in the coming weeks so please be sure to vote.

2015 AWARD WINNERS The following is a look at last year’s winners: • Heart of Oakland – Derreck Johnson makes sure that Home of Chicken & Waffles has more than just outstanding food and service. He also gives second chances to people from all backgrounds and ages who wish to work. He conducted his own job fair in April 2015 at Santa Rita jail and hired a number of people who were scheduled to be set free. • Tech Oakland – Naveen Jain has a dream – a quite ambitious dream, he admits – to rid the world of the AIDS virus once and for all. Jain, who founded Sparkart in Oakland, an award-winning technology and creative firm, is also the chief marketing officer and co-founder of Immunity Project, a bio-medical start-up dedicated to developing an HIV vaccine and distributing it worldwide at no cost. • Oakland Newcomer – Gensler, the largest architectural firm in the country, has moved its East Bay offices to Oakland. Not only has it expanded its staff from 30 to 160, it’s taken on the task of transforming the former Sears department store at 20th and Broadway into one of the city’s signature office buildings. • Oakland on the Map – Who better to be honored with this award than an airline with more than 100 arrivals each day into Oakland International Airport, bringing thousands of visitors through the Oakland metropolitan area? With 2,200 employees working in Oakland, Southwest Airline remains committed to the city and the region. • Deep Roots – The Oakland law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP was established at the corner of 12th and Broadway in 1909, and they’re still there today (24 floors up). The 60-attorney firm has represented parties in many significant Oakland developments, business ventures, public projects and nonprofits – all of which have helped to build our city. Watch for an announcement regarding your chance to nominate an Oakland business for a 2016 award. Register for the Annual Meeting by contacting Shaterica Sullivan at ■

> Join us for ‘Battle of the Bay’ June 29 The Oakland A’s have started their quest to compete for a winning season in 2016, and the Chamber will be with them all the way. On Wednesday evening, June 29, in fact, the Chamber has reserved a section at Coliseum that should be of particular interest in the Bay Area. Join Chamber members and staff at Coliseum for the Battle of the Bay – the A’s versus the San Francisco Giants. And, just to make the game even more exciting, the Chamber has acquired reserved seats on the field level just past first base down the right field line. The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the A’s Giants showdown are $55 per person ($65 for nonmembers) and the ticket price is guaranteed – even as regular ticket prices will increase for this great rivalry. To reserve tickets for the A’s-Giants game – always a sellout – visit or contact Shaterica Sullivan at (510) 874-4800, ext. 0 or at ssullivan@ Help the Chamber cheer the A’s on to victory! ■

The Oakland Chamber of Commerce hosted several workshops in the weeks leading up to the launch of Kliva Oakland to educate potential borrowers about the Kiva process. Small business owners Ron and Rhonda Persons of Chef Ron’s Pastries were able to sit down one-on-one with Kiva at the Chamber to set up their loan. As a result, Chef Ron’s Pastries was not only highlighted by Mayor Schaaf at the launch, but had their $7,000 loan fully-funded in two and a half weeks from 104 lenders around the world. The loan will provide them with the working capital to purchase the equipment needed to cater festivals and farmers’ markets and rent additional kitchen space. Chef Ron’s Pastries will also look to hire staff, with a particular focus on providing job opportunities for Oakland youth.

>Kiva micro-lending kicks off in Oakland


ORE THAN 800 PEOPLE GATHERED AT the Oakland Museum of California on March 16 to celebrate the launch of Kiva Oakland. Kiva, a Chamber member, is a nonprofit that facilitates the crowdfunding of person-to-person 0 percent interest loans to small businesses that might not otherwise qualify at traditional lending institutions. Kiva operates in 84 countries and is responsible for $833,293,100 in loans worldwide. Domestically Kiva works in 14 cities and in 2015 facilitated $4.7 million in loans to 800 small businesses from over 39,000 individual lenders. At the kickoff event on March 16 Oakland became the newest Kiva city, with 115 local borrowers to date. Most loans are for between $5,000 and $10,000 and are intended to help entrepreneurs bridge the gap in funding to grow their business to the next level. Individuals can lend as little as $25 to a business, with most choosing to reinvest their money in new borrowers as it gets paid back. Oakland borrowers have the highest repayment rate nationwide at 95 - 98 percent. Once a loan is repaid, borrowers can either crowdfund another loan through Kiva or use their experience to move on to a traditional lender with Kiva’s guidance. ▲ Small business owners Ron “Talk about and Rhonda Persons of Chef Ron’s Pastries. feeling powerful – we can be the bank of our community because we love this community, we understand it and we’re going to invest in our neighbors,” Mayor Schaaf said at the Kiva Oakland launch. To lend to local Oakland entrepreneurs, visit Visit Chef Ron’s Pastries at ■

1 1 April 2010 |

> Names in the news •

Elnora Webb, the former president of Laney College and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, has accepted the role of Executive Vice Chancellor, Strategic Planning and Advancement, for the Peralta Community College District. The position provides support for strategic direction and faculty funding for innovation, Elnora Webb develops partnerships and initiatives, and builds community collaboration while providing government and corporation advocacy. The position enables her to serve the district-at-large, and, more directly, address the needs of each college in the district – Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Merritt College as well as Laney. She will work more closely with (and on behalf of) District Chancellor Jowel Laguerre. • Victoria Jones, the vice president of Global Government Affairs and Community Relations for The Clorox Company, and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, has been inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. Jones was one of 12 community and business leaders Victoria Jones who received the honor at an awards luncheon last month. “Each of these outstanding women is a living example of why Alameda County is a place that is second-to-none in terms of its vibrant culture and rich diversity,” said Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi. “Their stories inspire us all to work to make our community a better place.” • Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center plans to donate Thunder Road, an adolescent substance abuse treatment center, to Bay Area Community Services (BACS), a leading and well respected nonprofit provider of behavioral health and housing services for teens, adults, older adults and their families. Thunder Road has provided chemical dependency treatment to more than 7,000 adolescents since 1987. Services include both short and long-term residential care in its 50 beds, a full range of outpatient services, an on-site high school, and an innovative Culinary Arts Institute, which allows clients to earn high school credits as they receive vocational training. Alta Bates Summit continues to focus on its core mission and believes Thunder Road can be best served with a long term plan managed by a well-respected organization specializing in youth treatment. • The Port of Oakland has received a Community Service Award from the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement. The Port was recognized for its contributions to the West Oakland community at the Center’s recent 20th Anniversary Gala & Awards. The Port of Oakland’s contributions to the Prescott-Joseph Center include providing seed funding for the Northern California Breathmobile in 2008 and on-going support to provide asthma-related support services to communities in need. Since its inception, the Breathmobile has provided asthma treatment, evaluation and education not only to many children in the West Oakland community, but also students throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. ■


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

$1.50 each 1/2 hour • $12.00 Max.

$1.50 each 1/2 hour • $7.00 Max. Monthly parking rate: $190.00 Reserved monthly parking rate: $215.00 Closed Sunday

> City Council passes moratorium on certain rent increases by Aly Bonde At the end of a marathon meeting lasting well past midnight on April 5, the Oakland City Council passed a 90-day moratorium that prohibits rent increases above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on rent controlled units and brings owneroccupied duplexes and triplexes under rent control, which have historically been exempt.

During the 90-day moratorium, the Council will look to introduce a range of items to strengthen renter protections and expand rent control. The Council is restricted from extending rent control to units built after 1983 because of a state law that exempts new construction in order to encourage housing development. It could, however, permanently extend rent control to owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes, which would increase the total percentage of controlled units from 49 percent to 60 percent, according to the Mayor’s office. The Council could also put a measure on the November ballot to expand the city’s Just Cause for Eviction law to newly constructed units, which are currently exempt. Over 200 members of the public signed up to speak on the moratorium. Many were activists from the community coalition pushing

the item, but a large number were small property owners and realtors who would be hurt by the changes. All speakers acknowledged that the pain of the housing shortage in Oakland is very real, but they differ about how best to address it. Many of them pointed out that this moratorium prevents them from recouping their investments in capital improvements to their properties that benefit tenants. They also pointed out that CPI limits yearly rent increases on rent controlled units to 2 percent, but property tax alone can increase by that much each year as well as 3-6 percent increases for utilities, rising insurance costs, and the recent 30-700 percent increase in garbage costs under the city’s new garbage contract. Property owners said they feared the moratorium and the options being considered in the next 90 days will only tighten the rental market, decrease the supply of available units, hurt low-income landlords, and discourage new construction in Oakland. ■

Southwest now serving Long Beach

Aly Bonde is the Chamber’s director of public policy.

> Oakland to celebrate Small Business Week – May 2-7

Southwest recently announced new service linking Long Beach Airport and Oakland with four flights a day in each direction beginning Sunday, June 5. In celebration of the new service, Southwest is offering special pricing of $49 one-way (book through April 14, 2016, 11:59 p.m.) for travel June 5 through Nov. 4, 2016. Once operational, Long Beach will become Southwest’s 98th city served, the carrier’s fifth service point in the L.A. Basin and its tenth airport in California. ■

The City of Oakland will host Oakland Small Business Week on May 2-7 as part of the National Small Business Week activities occurring across the country. This annual celebration is a time to reflect on the importance of our business community and remind our residents and leaders that small businesses power Oakland’s economy and create many jobs for Oakland residents. More than 90 percent of Oakland’s businesses are small businesses in all industries, employing 20 or less individuals. Our business community is extremely diverse, reflective of Oakland’s population and types of industries from traditional industrial sectors to the new creative economy. Our businesses are comprised of self-entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises, small, corporate companies. Oakland businesses operate locally, regionally and increasingly in international import and export activities. Many Oakland companies have been recognized at local, state and national levels over the years. Oakland’s Economic Development staff work actively to support and promote Oakland’s evolving business community. We believe it is important to value our business community – small or large – all contribute to the vitality, health and economic well-being of our community. The City of Oakland has several events and workshops slated for this year’s Small Business Week; here are some of the events and workshops planned for Oakland: • Access to Capital: Business Lender Concurrent Workshops in English, Mandarin and Spanish. Event will include a Business Resources & Lenders Fair • Digital Solutions for Small Business • Worker-Owned Cooperatives • LGBT, Women Entrepreneurs & Minority-Owned Businesses Panels • Oakland’s Creative Industry: Makers & Artists Workshops • Veteran-Owned Business Panel • Oakland City Council District Small Business Recognitions In addition, Mayor Schaaf will host a reception on Monday, May 2 to honor five long-term family-owned and operated businesses, and on Friday, May 6, U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet will tour Oakland’s Revolution Foods as part of her national tour. We will highlight Oakland’s Food Manufacturing Sector at this event. On Saturday, we are asking Oaklanders to Shop Local – Shop Oakland by visiting, shopping and dining in Oakland’s many shopping districts. For more information call the Oakland Business Assistance Center at (510) 238-7952 or visit http://oaklandbusinesscenter .com/. For a roster of Oakland Small Business Week, visit Check often for event details and registration at ■

APRIL 2016 |


> Depreciation for trusts invested in real estate partnerships by Sally McColloch, CPA

With interest rates at historic lows and a gyrating stock market, many trustees have turned to real estate as an investment vehicle. While the potential for appreciation and steady income may be appealing, there are certain traps that a trust faces in owning depreciable assets such as rental real estate.

Sally McColloch

This article discusses one of those traps facing a trust which invests in a partnership or limited liability company that owns rental real estate – the treatment of the deduction for depreciation and the requirement that the partnership separately state this expense apart from rental income. In general, partnerships and S Corporations are required to separately state all income and expense items on the K-1 form if the tax treatment relies on the situation of the of the owner/partner. It is due to this rule, for instance, that the deduction arising from the IRC Sec 179 expensing election is required to be shown separately – the ability to take advantage of the deduction depends on the partner’s tax situation and net income, not that of the partnership. For individuals who are partners in a partnership that owns rental real estate, there is usually no difference in how rental income and the direct expenses such as depreciation are treated on their tax returns – therefore, rental income is

usually shown net of depreciation expense on line 2 of form K-1. However, in the case of trusts and estates, depreciation itself can change the taxable income of a trust. This is due to the way the Internal Revenue Code requires depreciation to be allocated between a trust and its beneficiaries. As a result, a partnership is required to separately state, apart from the rental income, any depreciation expense on any K-1 for a trust or estate partner. For example, take Trust T. Trust T is a limited partner in a partnership which owns rental real estate. The trust has one beneficiary. The partnership passes through to Trust T $5,000 of rental income and $1,000 of depreciation expense. The trust has distributed $3,000 to the beneficiary. For purposes of this example the partnership has distributed $5,000 to Trust T, and the accounting income of the trust equals that amount. On the face of it, it would appear that Trust T has $4,000 of net income, with $3,000 being reported on form K-1 and taxable to the beneficiary (as reflected by total distributions) while the remaining $1,000 would be taxable to the trust. However, due to the application of the rules related to the calculation of trust income, this would be incorrect. The trust is required to allocate the depreciation expense to both the trust and the beneficiary. In this example, the $1,000 of depreciation expense should be allocated 60 percent to the beneficiary ($3,000 distribution received by the beneficiary, divided by the $5,000 of trust income before depreciation) and 40 percent to Trust T. As a result, the Trust T K-1 will show $3,000 of income taxable to the beneficiary, $600 of depreciation expense passed out separately to the beneficiary (60 percent of the $1,000 depreciation expense) resulting in net taxable income to the beneficiary of $2,400. The taxable income of the trust would be $1,600 ($5,000 rental income less $3,000 distribution less $400 depreciation). This potential problem could lead to possible unforeseen tax burdens for trusts. In practice, most partnerships do not separately state depreciation for their estate or trust partners. In the case of large partnerships, the partnership itself may not even be aware that their partners include any trusts. And trusts, given their accounting rules which differ significantly from those of business entities, it may be near impossible for a real estate partnership to determine the tax effect of separately stating depreciation expense. This is a very nuanced and tricky area of tax law. With more and more trusts acquiring depreciable assets, either through direct ownership or via investment in partnerships and other business entities, there must be careful consideration of the possible tax consequences. The tax professionals at RINA are here to help guide you through these decisions and to find the ownership structure most beneficial to your unique situation. ■ Sally McColloch, CPA, is a principal with RINA Accountancy Corporation.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |




Editor’s note: The following is another in the continuing series of stories from Aly Bonde, the Chamber’s public policy director, on the projects and discussions at Oakland’s City Council meetings. This report covers Council activity since the March isssue of OBR. ■

> Bowling a strike at Chamber reception Albany Bowl, one of the top choices for family entertainment in

• Amidst protest from affordable housing activists on March 15, the Oakland City Council approved a one-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with UrbanCore to purchase a city-owned parcel on East 12th Street for $4.7 million. UrbanCore proposes to build 252 market-rate units in a 26-story tower along with 108 affordable units in an adjacent eight-story building with a shared lobby and amenities. The city had previously been poised to sell the land to the same developer for an all-market-rate project, but was required to re-open the process for legal reasons. • The Council accepted $180,000 in state grant funds on March 1 to begin developing the mapping system capabilities to accept 9-1-1 calls from cell phones. Currently, emergency calls from cell phones are routed to California Highway Patrol in Vallejo which then redirects most back to OPD. Oakland is the last metropolitan city in the country that hasn’t at least started the process of taking its own wireless 9-1-1 calls. OPD estimates that this will result in an additional 156,000 calls and the need to hire an additional 14 dispatchers as the process ramps up over the next three years. OPD requested the immediate hiring of an additional four dispatchers be included in the mid-cycle budget adjustments this May. • The Council also approved a one-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with OliverMcMillan-SUDA to build a 27-story residential tower with 330 units at 1911 Telegraph Ave. near the Fox Theater. The project also includes a seven-floor boutique hotel with 168 rooms, 56,450 square feet of retail and 283 parking spaces, as well as 15 percent affordable housing to low and moderate income levels. • The Finance and Public Works Committees heard presentations from Deputy City Administrator Christine Daniels on the potential infrastructure bond being considered for the November ballot. The bond is proposed to be a total of $600 million with $400 million of that going to streets/roads/sidewalks, $150 million for Library/Parks & Rec/Fire/Police, and $50 million for the acquisition and rehab of affordable housing. The estimated cost to property owners is $69 per $100,000 of assessed value. A draft ballot measure will be presented to the committee on May 10. The presentation also included the results of a poll which showed that support for the measure is above the two-thirds threshold needed for passage, but is vulnerable to opposition arguments about its cost and complexity. • The Finance and Management Committee heard an informational report on the projected available fund balance for the end of the fiscal year on several key city funds on March 8. Based on the second quarter reports, staff projects a deficit of $1.02 million in the General Purpose Fund at the end of the fiscal year. Projected year-end expenditures are $4.58 million over the budgeted amount primarily due to overtime costs in the Oakland Police Department. • Sales tax revenue is projected to end the year $730,000 (-1.31 percent) below what was budgeted primarily due to low gas prices and the closing of Walmart. • Business License Tax revenue is projected to end the year $3.05 million (+$4.36 percent) over the budgeted amount primarily due to the compliance audit of rental property owners. ■

the East Bay, was the host of the Chamber’s After Five Reception in March.

Located at 540 San Pablo Ave. in Albany, the facility hosts 20 corporate parties per month and some 800 family birthday parties each year. Besides its 36 lanes for bowling, it also features a sports bar, café, pool tables, arcade games, darts and a pro shop. It’s 67 years old and still prides itself on being clean, family friendly and active in the community. Pictured at the reception below were owner John Tierney (center) and – left to right – daughter Brittany, wife Joey, Chamber Chairman of the Board Mark Everton, and Kevin Parker, the director of player personnel for UC Berkeley football. ■

APRIL 2016 |


Member update

> DIRECTORY ADDENDUM The following is a list of new members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Please refer to these members when you have a need for goods and services.

100 Black Men of the Bay Area 1638 12th St. Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 763-3661 Frank Tucker Nonprofit Certech Environmental Services 2244 Oak Grove Road, Suite 3188 Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (925) 286-7563 Website: Justin Sinclaire Pest Conrol Services CityLift Parking, LLC 2335 Broadway, Suite 100 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 338-9142 Website: Scott Gable Parking Stations & Garages City Ventures 1675 7th St., Suite 23032 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 238-1128 Website: Trisha Guido Real Estate Eden Housing 22645 Grand St.

Hayward, CA 94541 (510) 582-1460 Website: Nathan Ho Nonprofit Flax Art & Design 1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 867-2324 Website: Howard Flax Retail Genesys Works – Bay Area 101 2nd St., Suite 500 San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 442-0280 Website: Jamie Firmage Nonprofit – continued on page 7


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

NEW MEMBER PROFILES California CASA Association Every day in California, more than 88 children enter foster care, having experienced the grave injustice of abuse or neglect. All too often these babies, children and young adults get lost in the system and their critical needs go unmet. California CASA Association, located in Preservation Park, serves a network of 44 programs with more than 8,000 volunteers who advocate for more than 11,000 foster youth in 50 California counties. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are volunteers and ordinary citizens doing extraordinary work. They stand with the child in court to make informed recommendations to the judge regarding the child’s best interest, including requesting referrals to critically-needed services. CASAs interview important adults in children’s lives, review their case files and medical records, and identify wellness needs. They can change the trajectory of a foster child’s life through their caring attention and consistency. These volunteers improve the outcomes for many foster children – 90 percent of those with a CASA do not re-enter the child welfare system; 50 percent spend less time in foster care; and 20 percent are more likely to pass all school courses. California CASA Association provides leadership and support to local CASA programs, allowing them to devote more of their resources to directly ensuring the children they serve live better lives because they have CASAs by their side. For more information or to get involved, visit or call (510) 663-8440. ■

Eos Human Resource Consulting Eos Human Resource Consulting, owned by Sara Skowronski, SPHR, offers proficiency in human resources programs to those small business owners who are unable to meet the expense of hiring a full-time HR department. Located in Oakland, Skowronski imparts her expertise to small-business employers and start-ups with a maximum of 25 employees. Knowing her companies well, she is proactive to situations rather than reactive, where circumstances create positive results. Organizing, structuring, and directing her clients’ human resources functionality, Skowronski oversees employee relations and compliance, worker’s compensation, upholds state and federal employment laws, need-toknow employment procedures, performance management programs, and benefits administration. She also analyzes compensation issues, navigating through the science of HR technology. Skowronski’s clients, without a system in place to administer to HR programs, regulations and needs, works with her on a continuing consultative basis. Educating her clients on the ever-changing regulations, and the myriad of policies and services which usually encompass a full-service HR department, Sara Skowronski thrives as she immerses herself in her passion…to help others on a regular basis. ■

Sara Skowronski

Flax Art & Design Since 1938 the Flax family has been catering to the needs of Bay Area creatives, from Ansel Adams to Benny Bufano to Tony Bennett. With the exception of a few satellite stores for shorter periods of time (including Oakland in the 1950s), Flax Art & Design has peddled our artists’ materials in San Francisco. After a furious two-year search, Chief Executive Officer Howard Flax finally found a new home for the Flagship store – at 1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland. In many ways, Flax is just following the exodus of talented artists to their new center. The outpouring of love from our new neighbors has been humbling and motivating. Virtually all of our “advertising budget” will instead be used to support the arts in Oakland schools, nearby galleries through the East Bay Open Studios and Art Murmur, the Museum of Children’s Art and other local collaborations. With our catalog and website, we’ve enjoyed success on a national level before, but nothing feels as satisfying as participating in an ongoing vibrancy on our home turf. Flax officially opened with a grand opening event on April 2. ■

Member update



Gray, Greer, Shelby & Vaughn

ADDENDUM – continued from page 6

Iron Workers Local 378 3120 Bayshore Road Benicia, CA 94510 (707) 746-6100 Website: Robert Lux Labor Organizations Pandora 360 22nd St., Suite 440 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 451-4100 Website: Mike Herring Technology REV 82 Levant St. San Francisco, CA 94114 (925) 963-0613 Website: Ann Spaulding Training Programs & Consultants Robert Arnold & Company 505 14th St., 9th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 (888) 688-4502 Website: R. Maurice Arnold Consultants SecureLion Security 1150 Manley Drive Tracy, CA 95377 (888) 572-5545 Website: Ajmal Boomwal Security Guard & Patrol Services SLATE Art LLC 473 25th St., Suite A Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 652-4085 Website: Danielle Fox Art Consultants TMG Partners 100 Bush St., 26th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 (415) 772-5900 Website: Denise Pinkston Real Estate Zap Payroll 2601 Blanding, Suite C428 Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 263-8333 Website: Cheri Corfey Payroll Services

As experts in corporate supplier diversity, government relations, and strategic partnerships, we specialize in 21st century solutions that empower your business. Let us leverage our platinum relationships to influence decision makers, mobilize constituencies, and shape public dialogue to increase financial, political, and social capital for your organization. We specialize in creating innovative, winning solutions through our proven advocacy strategies to extend your network, strengthen your position, and enhance your bottom line. Whether advocating for a legislative policy enacted in California to increase economic development opportunities for diverse firms within California’s $259 billion insurance industry that accounted for $1.5 billion in goods and services procured in 2014 from firms owned by disabled veterans, LGBT, minority and women-owned businesses, securing the historic multimillion dollar sports complex ( Coliseum and Oracle Arena) in Alameda County through focused community engagement strategies, developing an economic impact report for the country’s largest gas utility which demonstrated how $1 billion (over two years) spent with diverse firms increased local hiring, jobs and taxes through infrastructure investments in roads, schools and public safety, or educating stakeholders to support, neutralize or oppose a host of legislative efforts, we create gamechanging results. ■

SLATE Art SLATE Art is both a contemporary art gallery and a commercial art consulting firm. SLATE contemporary gallery was founded in 2009 in a Victorian storefront in Temescal and has been growing ever since. Now in its third location, SLATE opened a new 1,0000-square-foot gallery on 25th Street, in Oakland’s Uptown arts district, in January 2016. The gallery features rotating group exhibitions and stocks additional inventory that is available for viewing in the “salon,” in the office, and by appointment. The gallery shows all media and styles, but is best known for abstract painting and photography, ranging from very quiet and peaceful images, to more energetic urban expressions. SLATE Art also offers private residential and corporate art consulting services, working with clients to identify works of art for specific locations. This might mean helping a private client to finally find that perfect piece for the living room, or to build a collection of a dozen works for a new home. In the business world, it might mean finding one statement piece for the main reception area or creating an art program that extends to boardrooms, hallways, and offices. SLATE Art Consulting works with clients in all industries, including finance, law, engineering, healthcare, hospitality, and residential development throughout the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe regions. ■

Zap Payroll (with owner Cheri Corfey) Twelve years ago, when I started my first bookkeeping and tax business, I was required to hand-enter my clients' payroll journal entries from multiple paper payroll reports. These were then filed into a binder, only to be looked at again for the annual Workers' Comp audit. I thought, "There has to be a better way." So a year later, I sold my bookkeeping practice to focus solely on providing the best, easiest, least time-consuming and most affordable online payroll services possible, while continuing to provide my clients the local, personalized services to which they were accustomed. Today, thanks to technology, online payroll services have advanced for the entire payroll industry. Almost every payroll provider now offers online services and we know you have many choices. How do you choose? Let Zap Payroll help you with that! During your FREE consultation with us, we will find a way to save you money and ZAP the time and pain out of your payroll. We won't recommend that you switch payroll services unless we can benefit your business. If you are new to being an employer our knowledgeable and professional Payroll Advisors will support you every step of the way. ■

APRIL 2016 |


> Employee performance management by Margaret J. Grover and Evelin Y. Bailey

Employee claims of retaliation, disability discrimination, and sex discrimination, and sex harassment comprised more than half of the 65,388 employment complaints filed in California in 2014 according to a March 2015 report from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Employee allegations of discrimination or retaliation often arise when employees are held to different standards of conduct. Despite having guidelines stated in employee handbooks and work rules, Margaret J. Grover managers are too often reluctant to discuss performance concerns because they wish to avoid conflict or have never been trained in these matters. In an at-will employment relationship, the employer is not obligated to follow any formal discipline process, such as progressive discipline. This approach, however, is an excellent management tool for several reasons. First, the progressive tools give the employee an opportunity to understand and correct performance issues. The employer has invested time and energy in training the employee. Depending on the complexity of Evelin Y. Bailey the position, it can take months for an employee to understand the responsibilities of the position. Saving the employment relationship prevents having to invest in training a new employee. Second, if the employee is not able to achieve performance expectations, he may decide to seek employment elsewhere. This could be within the organization or at another company. The process of progressive discipline allows time for the employee to look for another position while still employed, thus avoiding the difficulty of explaining a gap in employment. Even if the employment relationship ends through involuntary termination, the employer will have a record of trying to help the employee succeed. This record will be useful in avoiding or defending wrongful termination lawsuits. The primary purpose of progressive discipline should be to communicate the employer’s performance expectations and help the employee achieve those expectations. It is, however, difficult to overcome the perception that discipline is a form of punishment. The typical order in progressive discipline is oral counseling, written counseling, formal performance improvement plan, suspension and finally termination. In all of these steps, the performance goals should be clear, objective, and achievable. There should be a specific time frame to achieve goals. It is also helpful to explain why the expectations are important and how the failures affect the company’s goals. The employee should also be provided with ample opportunity to seek clarification or instruction. Conducting regular meetings helps management develop the desired performance and/or behavioral


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

change. Personalizing training is another area in which the supervisor and subordinate can collaborate. For example, are there any internal resources that the employee could utilize to improve performance? What external courses would be helpful? It is also important to document each step of the process. Performance management experts recommend that managers spend at least 30 minutes a week documenting employee performance. By documenting counseling discussions with the employee, including verbal warnings, the company creates a record of the expectations required of the employee and evidence that the company attempted to work with the employee in correcting the performance issues. Finally, it is important to properly train managers in documenting employee performance which increases the likelihood that management is acting in a consistent and compliant manner. When defending claims of discrimination and/or retaliation, an employee’s performance record, when properly documented, can help demonstrate that the employer’s reasons for taking action were based on legitimate, non-discriminatory business reasons and not for any illegal purpose claimed by the employee. Maggie Grover and Evelin Bailey are employment attorneys at the Oakland firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP, where they represent employers in the day-to-day counseling on a wide range of employment law issues, including wage and hour compliance, employee performance counseling, and leave entitlements. They can be reached at or, respectively, or at (510) 834-6600. ■

> BART GM Crunican speaks at Women in Business


RACE CRUNICAN, WHO WAS appointed general manager of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) in 2011, was the guest speaker at the East Bay Women in Business Luncheon on April 1. In an entertaining address, Crunican discussed BART’s past, present and future, and touched on subjects that ranged from the transit system’s birth in 1972 to current problems and concerns to what will hopefully be a bright future Grace Crunican ahead. Prior to coming to BART, Crunican was director of the Seattle Department of Transportation for eight years, the director of the Oregon Department of Transportation for five years, and the deputy administrator for the Federal Transit Administration for three years. Crunican recently released a new book, “Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom: Transportation Women Tell Their Stories,” which details the rise of 18 pioneering women in transportation who tell their stories in their own words. One of the books was raffled off at the luncheon. The next East Bay Women in Business luncheon will be held on Friday, June 3, and will feature a hospitality panel. For more information, or to get involved with Women in Business, visit ■


Oakland A’s

> A’s community support is truly a winner by Catherine Arlin

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining and the start of the 2016 Major League baseball season is here.

While last year’s season didn’t take Oakland to the World Series, that didn’t dampen the A’s community spirit. The A’s have a strong, long-time commitment, serving underprivileged children and seniors throughout the Bay Area. Their support endeavors to improve educational programs, promote health awareness and assist in crime and drug prevention. The A's Community Fund provides support in the form of tickets, autographed memorabilia and monetary donations. The A’s also participate in fundraising through special events and programs, such as “Mathletics” Math Program, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, a golf tournament and Root Beer Float Day. The Mathletics Math Program provides mathematics workbooks that have incorporated baseball statistics and formulas as a teaching tool for students in grades 1-8. Each child that completes the program is rewarded. To date more than 200,000 students have participated. Over 100 Bay Area schools are enrolled in Oakland A’s Home Run Readers Program, which promotes the importance of literacy and encourages reading in the classroom. Students and schools that achieve their goals receive an entry into a drawing to receive a visit by an A’s player or coach and an invitation to attend the Oakland A’s Home Run Reader Day. Every Sunday afternoon game children under 14 are invited onto the field to run the same bases the A’s do. Each Wednesday during the season fans can donate five cans of food or $5 to one of the Alameda County Community Food Bank tents and receive a 2-for-1 ticket voucher for a future A’s game – up to four vouchers per person. In 2015 the A’s fans helped raise $12,104, the most ever collected in one season since the program began in 2001. The A’s Community Fund believes in the need to invest in the community’s future – as does Colliers International. “The underlying thing people forget about is community,” states Ken Meyersieck, managing director of Colliers International in Oakland. “The presence of sports teams in a city bolsters commerce and retail, which translates to jobs, entertainment, and community pride – a flourishing, business-friendly environment.” Let’s play ball! Go Oakland A’s! Catherine Arlin is operations director at Colliers International, an industry leading global real estate services company with more than 16,000 skilled professionals operating in 66 countries. With an enterprising culture and significant employee ownership, Colliers professionals provide a full range of services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide. Services include strategic advice and execution for property sales; leasing and finance; global corporate solutions; property, facility and project management; workplace solutions; appraisal, valuation and tax consulting; customized research; and thought leadership consulting. For more information, visit

APRIL 2016 |



Oakland A’s

> The A’s – A team in transition in 2016 by Carl Steward

The Oakland A’s will be a team in transition in 2016, but that will be a significant improvement from the team in turmoil that fans were subjected to watching last year.

Carl Steward

After three straight trips to the playoffs, the A’s plummeted to their most abysmal season in 19 years in 2015. They had the worst record in the American League at 68-94. They tied for the worst home record in baseball at 34-47. They made the most errors (126) in either league. They had one of the worst bullpens, and aside from ace starter Sonny Gray, who challenged for a Cy Young Award amid all the chaos, the rotation was in constant flux, particularly after No. 2 man Scott Kazmir was traded away. Outfield fixture Coco Crisp played in just 44 games due to injuries and hit just .175. Closer Sean Doolittle missed almost the entire season with a shoulder injury. Free agent acquisition Billy Butler proved a major disappointment as the designated hitter, batting just .251 with 65 RBIs, career low totals for a full season. New shortstop Marcus Semien, acquired for pitcher Jeff Samardzija, had more errors than any player in baseball with 35. Trouble went beyond the numbers. Once one of the happiest, most cohesive clubhouses in baseball, the A’s had chemistry issues in the wake of trading third baseman Josh Donaldson, who went on to win the A.L. MVP with Toronto. Replacement Brett Lawrie, dealt himself in the offseason, proved to be less than palatable replacement. OK, enough bad stuff. Where do the A’s go from here? Will they be improved? Will there be a reason to get excited about a team that has so many new, unfamiliar faces? Can theycompete in a division which is expected to be very tough? Getting back to the top from 68 wins is highly unlikely. That said, there are many reasons to believe the A’s will be a more respectable club this season with even more promise for subsequent seasons. “We feel we’ve addressed a lot of the problems we had last year,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Our bullpen is much deeper this year. Our offense should be good if we stay healthy. And

10 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Closer Sean Doolittle

the defense will be improved. We lost a lot of games last year, but it wasn’t like we were getting blown out. We had a lot of close losses we should be able to reverse with the adjustments we’ve made.” Despite the rough season, the A’s gave Melvin a two-year – continued on page 11


Oakland A’s

> The A’s

> The return of Mark Kotsay

– continued from page 10

Remember Mark Kotsay, the Oakland A’s center fielder? Kotsay spent 17 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1997 to 2013, including a four-year stint with Oakland from 2004-2007. Now he’s back with Oakland, but this time as bench coach. Kotsay retired as a player following the 2013 season and spent 2014 in the San Diego Padres front office as a special assistant to the general manager and baseball operations.He was involved in all aspects of the club’s baseball operations. Last season he made his professional coaching debut as the Padres’ hitting coach. A lifetime .276 hitter, Kotsay batted a career high .313 when he was a member of the A’s in 2004.

extension through 2018 to guide the team out of the abyss. There was other restructuring as well – general manager Billy Beane became executive vice president of baseball operations and ceded his former title to longtime right-hand man David Forst. Beane will now focus more on the organization’s bigger picture – the draft and the rebuilding of the club’s depleted farm system, essential components to the team’s recovery. Perhaps the most dramatic immediate improvement on the field will be in the bullpen, which is where the A’s lost a lot of their games last season. Doolittle is expected to be healthy again, but the key will be the overhaul to the set-up cast. Oakland signed capable veteran right-handed relievers Ryan Madson and John Axford and traded for a dependable experienced left-hander Marc Rzepczynski, and the stability that trio presents was already being felt in spring training. Gray will anchor a rotation that should be better simply as a function of experience. Young starters Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt all showed promise in 2015, and Hahn, who could be the No. 2 starter, is healthy again after missing the second half with a forearm injury. To that group the A’s added a bargain gamble in veteran free agent Rich Hill, who turned in a brilliant September for Boston last year and looks to deliver that kind of high-level performance over a whole season. The A’s should score runs. They have speed with one of last year’s top rookies, Billy Burns, and Crisp showed at camp healthy. Oakland added power in trade with left fielder Khris Davis, who hit 27 home runs for Milwaukee last year. Josh Reddick quietly had a solid year in 2015 and is back in right field. Infield coach Ron Washington made incredible strides turning Semien into a competent shortstop after being re-hired in May. Semien had 28 errors by the All-Star break, but only seven after the break. Oakland reacquired veteran Jed Lowrie from Houston to stabilize second, and the corners should be better as well with the acquisition of defensive whiz Yonder Alonso at first base and hard-hitting Danny Valencia at third. The catching will continue to be in the capable hands of Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley. It may take a month or two for the retrofitted A’s to jell, but Melvin has worked magic with an unfamiliar cast before. On paper, it’s a club that should be on its way back up. If nothing else, the A’s couldn’t possibly be much worse than they were a year ago. ■

▲ Mark Kotsay, a member of the A’s from 2004-2007, is back as the team’s new bench coach.

Let’s go A’s! Piedmont Grocery Co. • 4038 Piedmont Avenue Oakland, CA 94611 • 510-653-8181

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

> Did you know? • Mark Mulder, who pitched for the A’s for nine seasons, will be a television analyst for Oakland games this year. He’ll join Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper in the TV booth. • Reliever Fernando Rodriguez allowed 13.3 percent of inherited runners to score in 2015, which tied for the lowest percentage in the American League. • First baseman and outfielder Mark Canha led American League rookies and ranked fourth among Major League rookies in RBIs with 70 in just 124 games. They were eighth most in Oakland history by a rookie. • Relief pitcher Liam Hendriks is not only a pet lover, but is also on the board of the Remember Me Thursday campaign (urging people to adopt a pet) and works with Players for Pits, a foster organization led by athletes fighting animal abuse. • Marc Rzepczynski’s name is pronounced Zep-CHIN-ski. • Relief pitcher Sean Doolittle attended the University of Virginia and left as the school’s career leader in RBIs. He also compiled 21 wins as a pitcher, which is the best in school history. • Pitcher Kendall Graveman has allowed just six home runs in 231.1 innings (0.23 per nine innings) during his Major League career. • New A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was ten years old. His sister is married to Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado. • Infielder Jed Lowrie, who attended Stanford University, was a 2004 national semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate player. • Josh Phegley, a native of Terre Haute, Indiana, was named the state’s Mr. Baseball in 2006 as a high school catcher.

APRIL 2016 | 11


Oakland A’s

> Vogt named recipient of ‘Catfish’ Hunter Award Near the end of the 2015 Major League season, Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt was named the recipient of the 2015 Jim “Catfish” Hunter Award. The award, which honors an A’s player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher, is voted on by A’s players, coaches and staff. Vogt became the first A’s player to win the award in consecutive years and the second to win the award twice, joining Mark Ellis (2005, 2007). Vogt and his wife Alyssa are active supporters of the “School of Imagination” program in Dublin, California, and make multiple visits to the school each year to work with autistic and special-needs children. Vogt also hosts the school at Coliseum various times throughout the season, meeting with students on the field during batting practice and offering them tickets to A’s games. The program is sponsored by the A’s and Azusa Pacific University, where Vogt went to school. Vogt was named to his first American League All-Star team last year and batted .261 with 21 doubles, three triples, 18 home runs and 71 runs batted in. In addition, Vogt was honored as the A’s nominee for the prestigious

Roberto Clemente Award and was selected as the recipient of the Dave Stewart Community Service Award. Catfish Hunter posted a 224-166 record and 3.26 ERA in 15 Major League seasons with the Kansas City/Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and is one of five Oakland players to have his number retired, along with Rollie Fingers, Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley and Rickey Henderson. He won five World Series rings during his career, was the 1974 AL Cy Young Award winner, an eight-time American League All-Star, and has the most wins in Oakland history (131). Hunter was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) in September of 1998 and died of complications from the disease on Sept. 9, 1999 at the age of 53. ■

> Newcomers to watch The Oakland A’s spent much of the offseason building up their bullpen and signed four strong arms to set up closer Sean Doolittle. Those hard throwers, John Axford, Liam Hendriks, Ryan Madson and Marc Rzepczynski, are featured in a story on page 16. The following are other new valuable additions. Yonder Alonso – This 28-year-old first baseman is a .273 career hitter in six seasons with Cincinnati and San Diego. Rated the Padres’ number two prospect in 2012, he set a team rookie record with 39 doubles that same year. Last year he batted .282 in 103 games in a season shortened by injury. ◀ Rich Hill – This starting pitcher began last year at Triple-A Syracuse in the Washington organization and finished it by going 2-1 with a 1.55 earned run average in four September starts with Boston. During those four games he struck out 36 batters in 29.0 innings (11.17 per nine

innings) and walked just five. ▶ Jed Lowrie – The switch hitting infielder is no stranger to A’s fans. He played for the team in 2013 and 2014 and was then was lost in free agency to Houston last year, where he had an injury-filled season, missing 83 games with a torn ligament in his right thumb. He has a lifetime .257 batting average.

> Major League leader A’s outfielder Billy Burns led Major League rookies with 26 stolen bases in 2015 and set an Oakland record for batting average by a switch hitter (.294).

12 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


> Semien ‘a complete ballplayer now’ by Carl Steward

It’s every young baseball player’s ▲ A’s shortstop Marcus Semien has the potential dream to grow up and one day to become an play for his hometown major outstanding two-way league team. But for Marcus player – despite last year’s difficult fielding Semien, the dream turned into season, he demonstrated a bit of a nightmare. that he can handle the The 25-year-old Semien, who bat. grew up in nearby Albany, attended St. Mary’s High in Berkeley and then went on to study and play ball at Cal, made a grand return home in the winter of 2015 when he was acquired by the A’s from the Chicago White Sox to become their everyday shortstop. There was just one problem – he hadn’t played a whole lot of shortstop and wasn’t very good at it, even though he appeared to possess the athleticism and range to play the position well. Early on, he made error after error – boots, bad throws, poor judgments. By the All-Star break, Semien had already amassed 28 errors in just 89 games, which would be a poor total for an entire season. Semien would finish the year with 35 errors, not only the most for any player in baseball but the most by a major league shortstop in 15 years. But in the second half, he cut his miscues dramatically –

Oakland A’s he made just seven errors in 63 games after the break. What happened? Simple. Seeing that Semien needed much help, the A’s brought back their former infield guru, coach Ron Washington, to work with their troubled fielder in May. What Washington saw immediate was a young man with talent and desire lacking in confidence and expertise. “He was lost,” Washington said. “It wasn’t that he was a bad fielder. He just didn’t have any know-how, and he got thrown into the fire in a very prime position. So we had to start with the basics and build him on up.” As he once did with former A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, who went on to win six Gold Gloves for defensive prowess, Washington taught Semien the nuances of the position and instituted a set of drills that helped him make strides almost immediately. “After getting together with Wash, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t even holding my glove properly,” Semien said. “So I had a long way to go. There was just a lot of stuff he threw at me that I’d never practiced in high school or college. It was all pretty new to me.” Semien and Washington spent 15 extra minutes a day working on his defense, a regimen they picked up and continued during spring training. The metamorphosis has been remarkable. Semien is now a confident, competent shortstop, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he cuts his error total in half or more in 2016. “If Marcus makes a couple errors on back-to-back days, the first thing people are going to holler is, `Oh, here we go again,’ ” Washington said. “But that’s naysayers. There isn’t anybody on this earth that’s going to watch the Oakland A’s and can’t say Marcus Semien isn’t improved.” The allure of that is the fact that Semien has the potential to become a terrific two-way player because despite his difficult fielding season, he demonstrated that he can handle the bat. He hit .257 with 15 home runs, seven triples and also stole 11 bases. And once he began to make strides defensively, his hitting also improved – he hit .283 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs over his final 52 games. Needless to say, Semien’s prospects for 2016 look very bright. “He doesn’t have to think about (his defense) anymore,” said manager Bob Melvin. “More than anything, it was getting past the mental part and the mechanical adjustments he had to make inseason. He’s a complete ballplayer now.” ■ Carl Steward is a sports columnist for the Oakland Tribune and Bay Area News Group.

> Bank of America helps sponsor ‘Little A’s’

Good luck in the 2016 season! ABC Security Service, Inc.


HE LITTLE A’S PROGRAM GIVES 10,000 DESERVING YOUTH and their chaperones of nonprofit organizations the opportunity to attend an A’s game free of charge. In addition to a game ticket, each child receives a Bank of America souvenir and child-admission pass to the Oakland Zoo. The Little A’s program is presented by Bank of America and supported by the Oakland Zoo, the Clorox Foundation, and Capitol Corridor.

APRIL 2016 | 13


Oakland A’s

> Former big leaguer McCarty looks at baseball controversies



in Major League Baseball, including stints with the A’s in 2003 and with the Giants in 1995-96. He earned a World Series ring when the Boston Red Sox won it all in 2004. A utility player in the purest sense, McCarty was a first baseman and outfielder, and was even called upon to pitch. After completing his career he became a Red Sox analyst on NESN from 2005-2008 while still living in the Oakland area. Representatives of Oakland Business Review (OBR) caught up with him recently for this question-and-answer report. OBR: There’s been quite a bit of talk recently about bat flipping, staring down pitchers after a home run, and showboating. What’s your reaction? McCarty: I think it’s fine to show emotion, but it’s gotten to the point of being disrespectful to the game and to the opponents. A player should never stare down his opponent or their bench. The bat flipping Dave McCarty has gotten out of hand too. Baseball has a way of policing itself and while I like having more emotion in the game, players need to keep in mind that their antics can and do get teammates hurt. I like the old adage of acting like you’ve been there before. OBR: Another controversial subject has been baserunners going out of their way on a slide to break up a double play. But players have been purposely colliding with infielders since baseball began. That’s the nature of the game. Why all the fuss? McCarty: I think this is more a matter of enforcing the rules as they should be. A player is supposed to be able to touch the bag when he slides and to ’M LOOKING FOR BIG not carry past the bag. Players things from the bullpen. were routinely sliding way The A’s have done a great outside their reach of the base job of shoring up what was and also rolling through the bag a weakness last year by and both of those actions are very dangerous for the bringing in some good infielders. I’m all for a good veteran arms. Just like hardnosed slide to break up a everyone else, I’m also double play, but it needs to be – Dave season McCarty expecting a strong done within the rules in order from Sonny Gray, Josh to prevent unnecessary injuries. OBR: Critics say that every Reddick, and Jed Lowrie – major sport has instituted new if they can stay healthy.


14 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

rules to protect their players. Why has it taken Major League Baseball so long to follow suit? McCarty: Baseball is steeped in tradition and has always been slow to change. That is one of the great things about the game – you can compare players from different eras much more easily than in some of the other sports due to their many rule changes. I do think that baseball needed to make some changes to protect players from avoid-able collisions and I’m glad they have. I believe they’ve managed to keep to the tradition of the game while making it better for the players. OBR: What player or players on the A’s roster do you expect great things from this year? McCarty: I’m looking for big things from the bullpen. The A’s have done a great job of shoring up what was a weakness last year by bringing in some good veteran arms. Just like everyone else, I’m also expecting a strong season from Sonny Gray, Josh Reddick, and Jed Lowrie – if they can stay healthy. ■


Oakland A’s

> Winning in the community T

HE OAKLAND A’S, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE A’S Community Fund, strive to make a positive impact in the Bay Area and Northern California. A’s players, coaches and front office employees, together with fans and sponsors, are committed to meeting the social, cultural and educational needs of the community.

The A’s host numerous fundraising events, implement several educational programs, and support various organizations that reach out to people of diverse backgrounds throughout the community. The team’s many community programs include: • Breast Cancer Awareness Day – The A’s host a Breast Cancer Awareness Day presented by Zevia each year to raise funds for breast cancer education and research. Funds are raised through the sale of commemorative jerseys, pins, caps and necklaces, an A’s autographed quilt raffle and sponsor support. Pre-game ceremonies include the formation of a symbolic human pink ribbon on the field by more than 350 Bay Area survivors, the release of white doves as a symbol of hope, and a presentation of the “Gift of Faith” grant, which donated $5,000 annually to a local breast cancer charity in memory of longtime KTVU news reporter Faith Fancher. Since 1999, this event has raised more than $1.5 million for breast cancer education and research. • Root Beer Float Day – Since 2000, the A’s have hosted a Root Beer Float Day to raise funds for charity. Proceeds are raised through the sale of root beer floats, tips given to “celebrity scoopers,” the sale of autographed mugs and a silent auction of sports memorabilia. The A’s have raised more than $450,000 since 2003 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through Root Beer Float Day. • Mathletics – The Mathletics program stresses the importance of students using math in their daily lives. The A’s design and distribute workbooks – which use simple formulas for calculating statistics of A’s players – to participating schools. Students in the first through eighth grades who complete their workbooks correctly and submit their answer sheets to the A’s receive two ticket vouchers. In addition, one school that demonstrates great participation in the program receives a visit from an A’s player. The program is sponsored by ROSS and Comcast SportsNet California. • Take the Field with the A’s – Prior to select home games, members of local baseball and softball teams accompany A’s players as they take the field for the national anthem. Participants receive an autographed baseball, t-shirt and complimentary ticket to the game. • Science of the Game – The program, presented by Chevron, deepens interest and understanding among Bay Area youth by applying science to baseball. The A’s and Chevron design and distribute Science of the Game workbooks to local schools that utilize science formulas to answer questions related to various aspects of the game of baseball. The three workbooks, targeting grades 1-2, 3-5 and 6-8, are also available online. Students who complete their workbooks and submit their answer sheets to the A’s receive two ticket vouchers. • Home Run Readers – The A’s Home Run Readers program encourages teachers to establish reading goals for their students based on each child’s individual reading level. As incentives, A’s players, coaches, mascot Stomper and A’s staff visit participating schools to congratulate the students and to encourage them to continue reading, both inside and outside the classroom. Students who participate in the program attend the game on Home Run Readers Day as guests of the A’s. • Energize Your Field – The A’s Community Fund, in partnerships with PG&E and the Good Tidings Foundation, renovates a local baseball or softball field each year in order to provide local youth a state-of-theart facility. • A it Forward – The A’s and PG&E will donate up to 1,000 tickets in 2016 to fans who show their support for the A’s and for their community through the “A it Forward” program. The stories of selected fans will be shared on the A’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. • A’s Amigos – This program gives bilingual children of nonprofit organizations the opportunity to speak in Spanish with an A’s player and learn about the importance of hard work and education. In addition to a pre-game visit, each child receives a game ticket and an A’s cap. The A’s Amigos program is sponsored by Kelly-Moore Paints. • Little A’s – Each year 10,000 deserving children of nonprofit organizations are provided complimentary tickets to attend selected A’s games. All receive a children’s admission pass to the Oakland Zoo and souvenir item courtesy of Bank of America. The Little A’s program is sponsored by Bank of America and supported by The Clorox Foundation and the Oakland Zoo. ■

APRIL 2016 | 15


> A’s shore up bullpen There are many reasons to believe the A’s will be a more respectable club this season as compared with its poor showing in 2015. “We feel we’ve addressed a lot of the problems we had last year,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Our bullpen is much deeper this year.” Indeed, the A’s shored up their bullpen during the offseason by signing veteran right-handed relievers Ryan Madson and John Axford and trading for a dependable experienced lefthander Marc Rzepczynski and right-hander Liam Hendriks. This gives the A’s a number of options in the bullpen, with a long list of pitchers who can set up closer Sean Doolittle. Madson returned to the Major Leagues last season for the first time since 2011 (following Tommy John surgery) and served as a key setup man for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals. He made 68 relief appearances and had a career-low 2.13 earned run average. He ranked ninth among American League relievers in ERA and opponents’ on-base percentage. Madson spent the first nine seasons of his career with Philadelphia before the surgery. Axford has pitched for five different teams in seven seasons and has a 3.52 ERA in 403 career appearances. He had a team-leading 25 saves in 60 relief appearances last season with Colorado and his save percentage of 80.6 percent was second lowest in the National League. He also struck out 62 batters in 55.2 innings, an average of 10.02 per nine innings. Rzepczynski, pronounced Zep-CHIN-ski, has pitched for four teams during his seven seasons in the majors and has a 3.96 ERA in 349 appearances. He began last year with Cleveland and finished with San Diego, striking out 41 batters in 35.0 innings and appearing in 72 games overall. Hendriks was used mostly as a starter during his two-year Major League career, but then pitched exclusively in relief for the first time last season and went 5-0 with a 2.92 ERA in 58 games with Toronto. He led all Triple-A pitchers with a 2.45 ERA in 2014 and was named to the All-Star Futures game in 2010 and 2011. ■

Ryan Madson

John Axford

Marc Rzepczynski

Liam Hendriks

Oakland A’s > Reddick on the rise

Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick led the A’s with 20 home runs, 77 runs batted in, 49 extra base hits, and a .449 slugging percentage in 2015.

2016 Oakland A’s Home Schedule April Mon., Apr. 4, Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m. Tues., Apri. 5, Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m. Weds., Apr. 6, Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m. Thurs., Apr. 7, Chicago White Sox, 12:35 p.m. Mon., Apr. 11, Los Angeles Angels, 7:05 p.m. Tues., Apr. 12, Los Angeles Angels, 7:05 p.m. Weds, Apr. 13, Los Angeles Angels, 12:35 p.m. Fri., Apr. 15, Kansas City, 7:05 p.m. Sat., Apr. 16, Kansas City, 1:05 p.m. Sun., Apr. 17, Kansas City, 1:05 p.m. Fri., Apr. 29, Houston, 7:05 p.m. Sat., Apr. 30, Houston, 1:05 p.m.

Just win, A’s


Full Court Press Communications

100 Filbert Street • Oakland, CA 94607 510.444.7959

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

Graig Brooks

Cynthia Dorsey

Cory and Gail Nott

Jaguar Productions

Oakland Chamber

Referral Institute

(510) 432-1429



(510) 919-6830

(510) 986-4775


16 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

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

May Sun., May 1, Houston, 1:05 p.m. Mon., May 2, Seattle, 7:05 p.m. Tues., May 3, Seattle, 7:05 p.m. Weds., May 4, Seattle, 12:35 p.m. Mon., May 16, Texas, 7:05 p.m. Tues., May 17, Texas, 7:05 p.m. Weds., May 18, Texas, 12:35 p.m. Thurs., May 19, New York Yankees, 7:05 p.m. *Fri., May 20, New York Yankees, 6:35 p.m. Sat., May 21, New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. Sun., May 22, New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. *Fireworks Night


Oakland A’s

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

Billy Butler – The A’s designated hitter and first base▲ Pitcher Sonny Gray with kids at the Oakland man was named the winner of the 47th annual Hutch Zoo. Award in 2011, presented each year to a Major League player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, both for on-field achievement and off-thefield work. He and his wife created the “Hit it a Ton” campaign in 2008, donating one ton of food for each home run and half a ton for each double to the Bishop Sullivan Center and St. James Place in Kansas City. He also helped create Billy’s Barbecue Sauce, which started selling in 2013 with a portion of each sale going to the “Hit it a Ton” campaign. Sean Doolittle – The A’s reliever was named the recipient of the 2013 Dave Stewart Community Service Award. Doolittle supports numerous local and national charities, including Freedom Alliance, an educational and charitable organization that supports and honors military service members and their families. Sam Fuld – A two-time All American at Stanford University, Fuld has lived with Type 1 diabetes since he was 10 years old. Since becoming a Major Leaguer, he has hosted an annual Sam Fuld Diabetes Camp for young diabetes patients in conjunction with the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. In 2014 he hosted SLAMDiabetes’ first annual Sam Fuld Classic Wiffle Ball Tournament in Tampa, Florida. Sonny Gray – The 2015 All-Star pitcher signed autographs for elementary school students at the Oakland Zoo and visited the Salvation Army as part of the A’s Holiday Caravan in 2014. According to zoo executive director Dr. Joel Parrott, “We’re thrilled to partner with the Oakland A’s in helping local community youth. This annual holiday event is a great opportunity to collaborate together while also serving children in our city.” The annual event features visits from A's players, Santa, and A’s mascot Stomper, as well as arts and crafts, face painting and is highlighted by an animal presentation by the zoo's education staff in the Wildlife Theater. Each child receives a wrapped gift, courtesy of the Good Tidings Foundation. Josh Reddick – The A’s right fielder is a member of the Advisory Board for Taylor Hooten Foundation, which advocates against performance enhancing drug use by the Youth of America. Stephen Vogt – The winner of the A’s 2015 Jim “Catfish” Hunter Award, Vogt and his wife Alyssa are active supporters of the “School of Imagination” program in Dublin, California, and make multiple visits to the school each year ▼ Stephen Vogt won to work with autistic and special-needs children. Vogt also the Jim “Catfish” hosts the school at Coliseum various times throughout Hunter Award for his the season, meeting with students on the field during batwork with autistic and special-needs children. ting practice and offering them tickets to A’s games. ■

Swing for the bleachers – Go A’s.

Visit us on the web at APRIL 2016 | 17

> Leadership Oakland class look

> Colliers honors

at transportation, environment

Bay Area brokers

by Steve Payne, Monica Lau and Jack Tse



HE MARCH SESSION OF LEADERSHIP OAKLAND INVOLVED the important topics of transportation and environment, and started at AC Transit’s headquarters at 1600 Franklin St. with a spirited presentation by Michael Hursh, AC Transit’s general manager. A veteran of more than 25 years of experience in public transportation throughout the Bay Area, Hursh provided an overview of AC Transit’s vital

T ITS RECENT ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE, LEADING commercial real estate services firm Colliers International Group Inc. recognized 47 brokers from the Bay Area as being among the company’s top performers for 2015 across the United States, Canada and Latin America. These professionals were honored in Washington, D.C., during Colliers International’s largest annual meeting, the Americas Conference 2016. The following Oakland professionals were inducted into the Colliers 2015 Everest Club, which recognizes the firm’s top 10 percent of producers annually across the Americas – Aileen Dolby, Craig Fordyce, Brandon Geraldo, Kevin Hatcher, Greig Lagomarsino, Mark Maguire and Ken Meyersieck. “Following the spin-off of Colliers into an independent publicly traded company in 2015, this has been a transformational year for the firm—and these award winners helped propel our success, both in the Americas and globally, delivering service seamlessly wherever our clients do business,” says Craig Robinson, president of Colliers International | USA. ■

> Museum to present ▲ At Environment & Transportation role in keeping Alameda County Day, Leadership Oakland moving while making progress participants heard from (left to on important environmental and right) Danny Wan, attorney for the sustainability goals. He spoke Port of Oakland; Robert Raburn, a at length about the improving BART Director (District 4); and Chris economics of cleaner buses, Kidd of Transport Oakland, a Board integration with new technology member and bicycle transport advancement such as ridesharing planner. and the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit project that will better connect and serve the communities along the International Boulevard corridor. The next speaker was Robert Doyle, general manager of the East Park Regional Park District. Having been with the District since 1977 and starting out as a ranger, Doyle’s knowledge and passion of the East Bay parks system is unparalleled. The Leadership Oakland group was very engaged with his presentation, especially in regards to the District’s connection to the region’s transportation system (e.g. East Bay Greenway) and a commitment to growing public/private partnerships and education program through its Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative. Next up in the morning session was Tom Guarino, head of PG&E’s East Bay Government Relations Team. Guarino offered the group a snapshot of PG&E’s vast infrastructure network around Oakland and discussed the Net Energy Metering program that allows customers to generate electricity from their homes and receive a credit on their bill. Sacha Constatine, the director of policy at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), joined us next. Constatine is a passionate advocate for sustainable community energy and spoke to the group at length regarding the CSE’s work on establishing energy policy goals that will create better economic, social and employment outcomes for underserved communities in Oakland. After lunch, the group moved to the Port of Oakland in Jack London Square. In keeping with the day’s theme, all participants either took transit or rode a bicycle between locations. The session began with a guided bus tour of the Port of Oakland outer and middle harbors. It’s fair to say that despite most Leadership participants being long-time Oaklanders, very few have ventured into the heart of the Port and in particular, experienced the spectacular views of the bay available at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. Many thanks to Yen Kelly, the Port’s assistant management analyst, for that guided tour. Happily back indoors on a windy day, the afternoon session resumed at the Port of Oakland’s board room with Danny Wan, Port attorney and former Oakland City Councilmember. Wan shared with us the Port’s role as a “large real estate holding company’ managing the vital trade and transportation infrastructure for Oakland and the Bay Area as a whole. He also spoke about the unique sets of challenges and opportunities that the Port faces as it set to expand its operations to accommodate growing demands to and from the Asia Pacific region and make the Port of Oakland a key player on the west coast of U.S. and Canada. To close the day’s activities, the group hosted Robert Raburn, Bart Director of Oakland, and Chris Kidd from Transport Oakland in an engaging panel discussion over the role of non-vehicle transportation in this city. Raburn spoke of the opportunities that exist in making critical infrastructure improvements to the reliability of the BART system as well as making stations more visible and user friendly as a key to improving ridership. Kidd, who is a bicycling advocate, argued that the city has an important role to play in investing in much needed bicycle infrastructure such as bike lanes to help improve connectivity for Oaklanders. ■ Steve Payne, Monica Lau and Jack Tse are members of the Chamber’s Leadership Oakland class of 2015-16.

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

West Oakland exhibition In July 2016, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will present a new exhibition that explores current and accelerating social, economic, and demographic changes in West Oakland as seen through the eyes of the community.

Entitled “Oakland: I want you to know...,” the exhibition will feature artworks co-created by artists and members of the West Oakland community, and will invite museum visitors to share their thoughts about what’s happening in Oakland right now. On view in OMCA's Gallery of California Art, the exhibition asks the question, “How can new and longtime residents of Oakland play an active role in shaping the changing identity of our city while preserving the aspects of what make West Oakland unique?” West Oakland, a neighborhood that has dramatically changed in recent years, is the point of departure for this conversation that delves into significant issues that affect all of Oakland and other communities in California and the United States. Exhibition visitors will encounter video installations, images, and community projects contained in environments inspired by some of the iconic structures found in West Oakland such as a Victorian home, a contemporary loft, and the now-shuttered Ester’s Orbit Room bar and blues hall. Within each space, visitors will be introduced to different key conversations from the neighborhood through the voices of the people, organizations, and businesses that call West Oakland home. The exhibition is curated by OMCA Curator of Public Practice Evelyn Orantes in collaboration with artist and social justice practitioner Chris Treggiari, and will run from July 23 through Oct. 30, 2016. “Oakland: I want you to know…” is part of a multi-year artist/community-driven series designed to respond to important community needs and inspire residents of the Oakland Museum of California's surrounding neighborhoods. ■

10% off Southwest SWABIZ® Business Select® & Anytime Fares Take advantage of 10 percent discounts off Anytime & Business Select fares now through June 15, 2016 when you book your reservations on To receive the discount, apply promo code “SPRING2016” in the promo code box on the flight selection page of Anytime & Business Select fares are fully refundable (check refundable policy for details) and are Southwest Airlines’® most flexible fares. Business Select fares also guarantee an A1-15 boarding position, a Rapid Rewards® earning bonus, FlyBy® security lane access (where available), and a premium drink onboard. SWABIZ® is Southwest Airlines’® free online corporate booking tool, with benefits that include travel management reports and access to exclusive offers and promotions. Find out more about what SWABIZ can do for your company’s travel program at ■

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

Economic Development Forum “State of Manufacturing in Oakland and the East Bay” | April 13

Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum Councilmember Abel Guillen | April 22


@OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #TheOaklandAdvantage

Lake Merritt Sailboat House | April 21

Keeping you connected and informed

> APRIL 13 | Economic Development Forum EX ECUT IV E CO MM I TTE E

VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company

Chair of the Board MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel

PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland

GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District DAN COHEN Full Court Press HILARY PEARSON Sungevity ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

B OAR D OF DI RECTO RS KIM ARNONE Cutting Edge Capital HARMINDER BAINS Securitas ALICIA BERT PG&E ANDREW BIANCHI Pandora DAREN CHAN AT&T JOHN DOLBY DTZ RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company BENJAMIN HARRISON Colliers International STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay MICHAEL HESTER McGuire & Hester

MICHAEL LEBLANC PICÁN Restaurant KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture ROBERT LUCCHESE Bank of America KEN MAXEY Comcast ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation MICKY RANDHAWA Wells Fargo JACKIE LYNN RAY Schnitzer Steel Industries JENNIFER SCANLON Kaiser Permanente DENNIS SCHRAG UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland DAVID STEIN Donahue Fitzgerald LLP Bj WASHINGTON J.P. Morgan Chase ELÑORA TENA WEBB, PH.D. Peralta Community College District STACEY WELLS Sutter Health East Bay


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

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

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808

| 3 - 4:30 p.m. featuring a panel discussion on the “State of Manufacturing in Oakland and the East Bay,” with panelists Denis Ring, OCHO Candy; Dorian Ferlauto, Britehub; Kate Sofis (SFMade); and Mark Martin (California Community Colleges), free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

Design/Production Editor

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


After Five

19 | Nonprofit Committee meeting | 3 - 4:30 p.m.

21 | After Five Reception | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. hosted by the City of Oakland Parks & Recreation Department, Lake Merritt Sailboat House, 568 Bellevue Ave., free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

Lake Merritt Sailboat House, 568 Bellevue Ave. No charge for Chamber members. • $15 non-members. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

22 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30 - 10 a.m. featuring guest speaker Oakland City Councilmember Abel Guillen (District 2), free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members



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

panel discussion on “Last Mile Transit Solutions,” featuring representatives from AC Transit and Lyft, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

19 | After Five Reception | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. hosted by the DZH Phillips, location to be announced

27 | Inside Oakland Breakfast

Brochures 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,

| 8:30-10 a.m. free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

brochures, logos, corporate newsletters, Emma marketing


email, advertising, sales kits , post card marketing and web sites.


3 | Women in Business Roundtable Luncheon | 11:15 a..m. - 1:30 p.m. featuring a hospitality panel, Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square, $40 for Chamber members, $50 for non-members |


Thursday April

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

23 | Chamber’s 111th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon | noon to 1:30 p.m. - luncheon and program

APRIL 2016 | 19

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Oakland Business Review - April 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you