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TRAVEL WITH THE CHAMBER TO CHINA ‘Above and beyond your expectations!’ | Page 3

Oakland’s Ambassadors Safety and maintenance of the community – Page 7

SPECIAL SECTION Transportation update Page 11

July 2011 Oakland Restaurant Scene Test your knowledge Page 24

Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Chamber helps break

> Meet Jesse Ortiz

> The stars come out

ground for Remember Them monument

at Chamber Golf Classic Aug. 29

at Chamber’s 106th Annual Meeting

photo by Photographer@Large

A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the construction and installation phase of the Remember Them: Champions for Humanity monument was held on June 20. The monument, which will honor 25 humanitarians and have a corresponding K-12 educational curriculum, will be unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in Fox Square on 19th Street between Rashida Muhammad St. and Telegraph Ave. “We never gave up, never once believed we could not make it happen,” said Chamber President Joe Haraburda, who then introduced Beaie Coles, the former senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente, the principal financial sponsor of the monument. “It was easy for me to go to Kaiser Permanente and talk about how important it was for the community to have something meaningful right here in the middle of the city,” she said. Sculptor Mario Chiodo, whose dream of a monument has finally been realized, said, “It’s really two stories. We set out to make a monument about 25 people and that’s one story. But there’s really the story about this community coming together to make this project happen. What a positive testament and story about Oakland.” ■

▲ Breaking ground for the Remember Them monument (left to right): George Granger, AT&T; Joe Haraburda; Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; Audree Jones-Taylor; Oakland Parks & Recreation; Victoria Jones, The Clorox Company; Mario Chiodo, sculptor, Chiodo Art Development; Robert Wilkins, YMCA of the East Bay; City Councilmember Jane Brunner; Vice Mayor Desley Brooks, Bettie Coles, retired, Kaiser Permanente; and City Councilmember Nancy Nadel.

> A’s tickets, memorabilia available Chamber members can now purchase vouchers for field-level outfield seats at a discount for any remaining home game of the Oakland A’s. The vouchers, which can be redeemed at any Coliseum ticket window, cost $20 apiece for Chamber members – a $25 value.

In addition, the Chamber has pieces of A’s memorabilia available free of charge. To get in a drawing for these baseball prizes, or to purchase the A’s tickets, contact Hank Masler at ■

When the Chamber presents its annual Golf Classic on Monday, Aug. 29, participants will have an opportunity to meet and learn from Jesse Ortiz, highly regarded as one of the best golf club designers in the industry. Ortiz, the executive vice president of the Bobby Jones Division and chief designer of golf equipment for the HMX Group, will be on hand to share his expertise with Chamber members and guests. Ortiz, who has more than 40 years of golf industry experience, began his club designing career as a teenager in 1968 with guidance from his father Lou, founder of Orlimar Golf. Together, Jesse and Lou hand-crafted golf clubs for many of golf’s greatest, from Ken Venturi to Johnnie Miller. The Ortiz’ became personal craftsmen for Northern California’s finest golf professionals. And this year, Jesse Ortiz will personally pass on his knowledge to participants at the Chamber Golf Classic at the Tilden Park Golf Course in the Oakland/Berkeley Hills. This annual, all-day tournament brings together some of the top business leaders in the city for breakfast, a shotgun start, and the 19th Hole Awards Reception. Restaurants that wish to provide food for 100 golfers at various holes throughout the course can do so at no charge. An introductory golf academy for beginners is also available, where participating players will be taught basic golf skills, business golf etiquette, and how to use golf as a business tool. The annual golf tournament is an important fundraiser. Help support the Chamber and become a Corporate Sponsor for $2,500 or a Chamber Challenger for $1,750. Or how about a Business Hole Sponsorship for $500 where you can have a display table and a member of your staff on hand? Or a Tee Sign Sponsorship for $325? Golfers can register as individuals for $325, or for the Academy for just $50. For reservations and sponsorship information, visit www.oaklandcham or contact Amanda Medina at the Chamber at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or at ■

▲ Celebrate the winners at the Annual Meeting – (seated left to right) C.J. Hirschfield (Children’s Fairyland), Ron Guerra (KaiserAir), Chamber Chairman of the Board John Nelson, and Giovanna Tanzillo (Uptown Body & Fender). Standing left to right are guest speaker Manette Belliveau (Visit Oakland), Debbie and Mark Everton (Waterfront Hotel); Brian Rogers (Rogers Family Foundation), Steve Eckert (East Bay Agency for Children), Suzan Bateson (Alameda County Community Food Bank), Gary Wolff (, guest speaker Michael LeBlanc (Pican) and Lisandro Allende (Uptown Body & Fender). For more pictures and a wrap-up of the event, see pages 4-5. ■

> Council divides – Mayor decides – Budget passes by Paul Junge

The city of Oakland has a budget. The City Council split – four votes in favor and four votes opposed – to a plan authored by Councilmembers Reid, Brooks, Brunner and De La Fuente. Mayor Quan cast the vote breaking the tie in favor of the plan that now becomes the city budget. Aer months of threats to close libraries and recreation centers, cut public works, cultural arts, the Film Office, senior centers and other city services, close fire stations, furlough city employees and layoff hundreds – most of those cuts will not occur. The city was projecting a $58 million shortfall in FY 2011-12 which begins this month and a $76 million the following year. To close the gap the city negotiated with all labor groups and secured savings for the general purpose fund that is reported to average about $15-$16 million the next two years. The city also approved sale of the Kaiser Convention Center to the Redevelopment Agency for $28.3 million. Savings were realized by moving operation of the Oakland Museum of California from the city to the Museum Foundation, a move that is being challenged in court by one of the employee unions. Other measures to balance the budget included changing assumptions about aarition rates for the police department and shiing the cost of more city employees on to the Redevelopment Agency and other city funds. Positions were eliminated in the city aaorney’s office, the Public Ethics Commission, and other city departments. Revenues will be raised by converting the I-580 underpass lot to 169 metered parking spots and restoring 100 meters in Eastlake. Commercial fire inspections will be increased to raise $500,000 and taxi cab inspection fees are another example of fee hikes to raise revenue. The fate of the parcel tax or a possible hike in the – Continued on page 6

April 2010 |


C O U N T D O W N T O S E P T E M B E R 2 011 U NV E I L I N G


e’re not done quite yet

Yes, it’s true – after years of planning, we’ll unveil the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument on Sept. 6. But that’s not the whole story – at this time three of the four sections will be unveiled as we continue to fundraise to allow us to unveil the final section. Be part of history. Don’t delay. The sooner the remaining money comes in the sooner the fourth section will be unveiled. Give now. For more information or to make a donation, visit or contact me directly at (510) 874-4810 or at Remember Them: Champions for Humanity, a 501(c)3 nonprofit project in Oakland, is a world-class monument honoring 25 humanitarians with a corresponding K-12 educational curriculum. The largest bronze monument in the west, Remember Them will weigh more than 40,000 pounds, cover more than 1,000 square feet and measure 25 feet tall and 52 feet wide. The monument will be unveiled and dedicated Sept. 6-11, 2011, at The Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in Fox Square on 19th Street between Rashida Muhammad St. and Telegraph Ave. Make your taxdeductible donation today at www.remember Five of the 25 humanitarians are featured here. ■

malcom x 1925-1065 Malcolm X left a life of crime and dedicated himself to the civil rights movement in the United States by becoming a disciple of the Nation of Islam. After an enlightening trip to Mecca, he saw a vision of global unity that changed his perspective and he devoted the last years of his short life to peaceful activism.

Malcolm X

change the world. Faced with apartheid, Mandela chose nonviolence as a strategy to achieve an open democracy and through his personal sacrifice and suffering, went on to become the first democratically elected State President of South Africa in 1994. Even when faced with the indignities of prison, Mandela used the time to continue to educate himself and other prisoners.

harvey milk 1930-1978 Harvey Milk, known as the “Mayor of Castro Street,” was a leading activist for San Francisco’s gay community and minority rights. Elected as San Francisco City Supervisor in 1977, he was the first openly gay official in the United States and sponsored a gay rights bill. As a community leader for social justice, Harvey Milk promoted pride in a person’s unique identity and an individual’s ability to make a difference in society.

rosa parks 1913-2005

Rosa Parks is known as the mother of the civil rights movement for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. A petite woman of courage and strength, she stood up to segregation and became an activist in the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1987 she established an institute for youth Nelson Mandela Harvey Milk devoted to self-development through study of history and the global human condition. Parks exemplifies the point that one person can make a difference.

franklin delano roosevelt 1882-1945 nelson mandela 1918-present Calling himself “an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances,” Nelson Mandela has the kind of courage and perseverance that can


Rosa Parks

| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt obtained the highest governmental position of our nation as President, despite the fact that he was a paraplegic. After leading the nation in WWII, he initiated the United Nations Charter in the hope that it would help prevent future wars. On Jan. 6, 1941 President Roosevelt proclaimed that four freedoms are essential to a flourishing democracy – freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom of want, and freedom from fear.

> Chamber’s China trip departs

From the Chair

March 2012

Chamber Chairman of the Board John Nelson

The Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Citslinc International, invites you to join us for the 2012 Trip to China. This nine-day adventure is scheduled for March 22-30, 2012.

With the assistance of my fellow members of the Chamber Board of Directors as well as input from you – our Chamber members – we’ll continue to strive to be coalition builders, to meet members’ needs, and to be the finest and most influential business organization in the East Bay. And as chair, I plan to solicit your help. Now, more than ever, we need volunteers who can assist us through this critical time in Oakland’s history. It’s your turn to bring your expertise to the table, becoming a collaborative partner in the quest to move Oakland forward. Remember that the strength of the Chamber is in our members. As has been said by many past Chamber leaders, a member only gets out of the Chamber what he or she puts in. Whether it’s an event, a committee or a task force, there’s something for everyone. Do don’t just be a member – be an active member. Get involved. And show your continued support for this organization, which works so hard on your behalf. Help us extend our voice to City Hall, to Sacramento and beyond, to push for a successful, prosperous local business community. Be a member in good standing, renew your membership at the appropriate time with a promise to help, and assist in recruiting new members. Remember, the Chamber works for all businesses, as evident by the work in the Central Estuary, standing up for businesses – Chamber members or not – in the Tidewater area. Let’s strive in the coming year to take a little more time to put your caring into action. Together, let’s work to make Oakland a truly great city. If we combine our efforts, our ideas and our expertise, and add a dash of civic pride and responsibility, the result will be an improved business community and a greater Oakland. ■

For detailed information on the trip, attend an informational meeting on Monday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber offices, 475 14th St. There is no obligation to sign up. The trip, which costs just $1,999 per person (based on double occupancy), includes roundtrip airfare, four- and five-star hotel stays, three full meals every day, deluxe bus tours, Englishspeaking tour guides, and admission to countless tourist attractions in Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. An optional – and highly recommended – side trip to Xi’an to see the famous Terracotta Warriors is available. To RSVP for the informational meeting on July 25, contact Amanda Medina at the Chamber at or at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319. ■

> Learn online marketing tools with seminar series

“Digital Equity for Small Businesses” is a new morning seminar series of one-hour classes that are designed to educate small businesses in a broad range of online marketing tools. Classes will be offered on key topics, such as building a successful website, driving traffic to your site with search engines, using social media, video and mobile marketing, and creating an effective online marketing plan for your business. The suggested donation is $20 per class. All classes will be held at the Chamber offices, 475 14th St. To register for the seminars, visit http://digitalequity/, email or call (510) 435-2945. ■

John Nelson, the principal in the architectural firm of murakami/Nelson, has just entered his second term as the Chamber’s chairman of the board.

July 2011 | 3

“Volunteer of the Year” Mark Everton is honored by Kim Delevett of Southwest Airlines. photo by Photographer@Large

Award winner Brian Rogers of Rogers Family Foundation (right) received his “Education First” award from Micky Randhawa of Wells Fargo.

photo by Photographer@Large

“Lifetime Achievement” award winner Ron Guerra of KaiserAir is honored by Pamela Calloway of the Port of Oakland.

The “Community Service” award was presented to Suzan Bateson of the Alameda County Community Food Bank (center) by Victoria Jones of The Clorox Company. They were joined by Annual Meeting guest speaker Michael LeBlanc of Pican.



The 106th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recognized and celebrated its members, the lifeblood of the organization. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ron Guerra, the president of KaiserAir, Inc., with the Volunteer of the Year going to Mark Everton, the general manager of the Waterfront Hotel and Miss Pearl’s Jam House, who has been so active with the Chamber’s new Oakland Restaurant Association. Five companies and organizations were also honored, as was Steve Eckert, Leadership Oakland’s Alumni of the Year, who is currently executive director of the East Bay Agency for Children. Other winners were Alameda County Community Food Bank, Community Service; Children’s Fairyland, Nonprofit Impact; Rogers Family Foundation, Education First;, Green Business; and Uptown Body & Fender, Small Business Innovator.



“Our Board members, staff and volunteers are here today to thank the hundreds of local businesspeople who continue to work on the critical issues that make this Chamber the finest and most diverse business organization in the most diverse city in America,” said Chamber President Joe Haraburda. The event was sponsored by Visa, Inc., The Preferred Card, and was aaended by some 350 local businesspeople at the Oakland Marrioa. During his remarks, Haraburda touched on a number of areas where the Chamber has taken the lead: • Oakland Restaurant Association – Provides education, advocacy, cost-saving measures, and marketing, and has introduced restaurant roundtables and open house receptions. • Remember Them: Champions for Humanity – The Chamber recently assisted with the groundbreaking for the project, which will be officially unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the new Henry J. Kaiser



Memorial Park. • MegaRegion Summit – This year’s event brought local, regional, state and federal leaders together to communicate and leverage resources that impact the effectiveness of the region. Eight mayors from various cities signed the Regional Export Initiative, the first time so many mayors met to improve exports. • The ‘REAL’ Coalition – Just over a year ago the Chamber joined the Regional Economic Leaders Association Leaders of California with 17 statewide organizations from San Diego to Sacramento. We have joined together to insure that business voice is heard in our state capitol. • Retail – The Chamber assists with its convening of the Oakland Retail Advisory Commiaee to provide direction and retail expertise to the city enhancement efforts. • Business Improvement Districts – The Chamber has been hosting meetings that allow the groups to share best practice and develop strategies to work with the city

chamber’s and promote their businesses. • Working for all businesses – by urging the City Council to save industrial land, most recently along the Central Estuary, where the Chamber stood up for businesses in the Tidewater area. During the awards ceremony, Ron Guerra was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The president of KaiserAir, Inc., Guerra was recently honored by the Federal Aviation Administration with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. He joined KaiserAir in 1960 as a captain on a DC-3 and has flown to six continents. Prior to joining KaiserAir, Guerra was a pilot for various airlines including Resort Airlines and World Airways in Oakland, during which time he became, at the age of 23, the youngest four-engine airline captain in the United States. Info: (510) 553-8437. Mark Everton, the general manager of the Waterfront Hotel and Miss Pearl’s Jam House in Jack London Square, sees his volunteer work as an opportunity to work

> ronald guerra: Honoring a lifetime of achievement by Sarah Kassab KaiserAir, Inc. President Ronald J. Guerra was honored by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce with the Lifetime Achievement Award on June 22 at its Annual Meeting. Guerra received the prestigious lifetime achievement award for his contributions to Oakland’s growth and success over the past 30 years as sole owner and president of KaiserAir. Pamela Calloway, Port of Oakland Commissioner and First Vice President, recognized Guerra at the luncheon, attended by family members, friends, and KaiserAir employees. Guerra joined KaiserAir in 1960 as a captain on a DC-3, which was the extent of the company’s flight department. He was elected to his current position as president in 1979, when he and other senior pilots purchased the organization following the voluntary liquidation of Kaiser Steel Corporation. Under Guerra’s leadership, KaiserAir today is an independent, successful company with a staff of over 125 employees in two locations: Oakland, at Oakland International Airport, and Santa Rosa, at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport. With more than 25,000 hours of flight time, Guerra has flown to six continents including flights into China, Australia, and Russia. He has flown all of the Gulfstream products, from the GI to the GV, along with Cessna Citation, Learjet, Hawker, Falcon, and Lockheed JetStar. Guerra served as a member of the NBAA Board of Directors from 1967 to 1976, and was chairman of the NBAA Safety and Awards Committee from 1968 to 1973. He served on the boards of Aeronautical Radio Inc. and ARINC Research. He was also a member of the Gulfstream Pilots Advisory Board. In 2005, Guerra was the recipient of the


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

John P. “Jack” Doswell award, which recognizes lifelong individual achievement in support of the aims, goals, and objectives of business aviation. In 2010, he accepted the NBAA 60 Year Safe Flying Achievement Award for KaiserAir’s history of unblemished aviation safety. In March 2011, KaiserAir (led by Guerra), was the first air carrier to successfully complete FAR 121 Certification and ETOPS simultaneously and become a member of a small special group of air carriers certified to operate aircraft under FAR Parts 91, 121, and 135. The company is the second Oakland homebased air carrier in Oakland’s airport history. Most recently (April 2011), Guerra was honored by the Federal Aviation Administration with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for his aviation expertise and more than 60 years of safe pilot operations. Prior to joining KaiserAir, Guerra was a pilot for various airlines including Resort Airlines and World Airways in Oakland, during which time he became, at the age of 23, the youngest fourengine airline captain in the United States. For the past 60 years, he has been and continues to be totally involved in the flying industry. KaiserAir offers more than 65 years of safe flying experience and expertise worldwide to private and corporate business jet owners under the Federal Aviation Administration’s FAR parts 91, 21, 35 and 145. The company is also well known for its full-service fixed-base operator line services, fueling and maintenance services under KaiserCare at Oakland International North Airport and Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa. ■ Sarah Kassab is marketing manager at KaiserAir, Inc.

Guy Philips of Visa (center) presented the “Small Business Innovator” award to Giovanna Tanzillo and Lisandro Allende of Uptown Body & Fender.

Gary Wolff of (right) received the “Green Business” award from Gary Foss of Recology East Bay.

photo by Photographer@Large

photo by Photographer@Large

The “Nonprofit Impact” award was presented to C.J. Hirschfield of Children’s Fairyland (center) by Nate Oubre of Kaiser Permanente. They were joined by Annual Meeting guest speaker Manette Belliveau of Visit Oakland.



for causes in which he feels he can make a difference. Besides, he says, there’s a chance to network with other business leaders and work on his own personal development. Working with co-chair Michael LeBlanc on the Oakland Restaurant Association, Everton has introduced restaurant roundtables, open house receptions and training classes to assist at both the management and employee levels. More than 70 restaurants and sponsors have already joined the organization. Info: (510) 836-3800. In the last ten years, the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s operating budget has gone from $3.7 million to $10 million, the roster of employees and volunteers has increased, and – most importantly – the total of food distribution to those in need has increased by 100 percent. The Food Bank now serves 49,000 people each week with a total of 20 million pounds of food each year – ten million of which is fresh produce. Info: (510) 635-3663. Children’s Fairyland is now an urban wildlife refuge, a haven for at-risk youth who are introduced to gentle animals, a library of literacy programs for low-income children, and the only performing arts children’s theater in Northern California. The nation’s first storybook theme park, Fairyland encourages our youngest children to create, imagine, play and learn. With more than 30 storybook sets, the children’s theater program, rides and animals, it’s a place where kids can still be kids. Info: (510) 452-2259. The Rogers Family Foundation has a vision that all Oakland students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in life, college and career. Its focus is on Oakland education and youth development. In a partnership with Lighthouse Community Charter School, for example, the foundation purchased and renovated a new building for the school, gave it a long-term lease, and now services some 700 youth in kindergarten through 12th grade. The result? Lighthouse now graduates more than 95 percent of its students and sends the majority off to four-year colleges. Info: (510) 899-7914. The StopWaste Business Partnership helps companies and institutions in Alameda County lower operating costs, increase efficiency and protect the environment through recycling and waste prevention improvements. All services are free of charge and include publications and tools, technical assistance such as onsite waste assessments and phone consultations, grants and loans, and an annual recognition program. The Partnership has worked with numerous Oakland businesses and organizations, collectively saving them millions of dollars and keeping thousands of tons of waste out of the landfill. Info: www.StopWastePartnership.Org or email . At Uptown Body & Fender, owners


Giovanna Tanzillo and Lisandro Allende have not only run a first-class vehicle collision repair center for the past 20 years, but have also opened up their facility to members of the community, especially arts organizations and nonprofits. In an industry typically known for grease and grime, Uptown has added something a bit unusual – grace and charm – and a dedication and commitment to the

community it serves. Info: (510) 251-8009. The Chamber thanks the many sponsors that made the Annual Meeting such a great event: • Presenting Sponsor: VISA, The Preferred Card • Award Sponsors: The Clorox Company, Kaiser Permanente, Port of Oakland, Recology East Bay, Southwest Airlines and Wells Fargo

• Patron Sponsors: Bank of America; Barney & Barney; Claremont Resort & Spa; Clear Channel Outdoor; Colliers International; East Bay Municipal Utility District; Fitzgerald, Abboa & Beardsley; Full Court Press; Grubb & Ellis; KaiserAir, Inc.; KTVU Channel 2; Matson Navigation Co.; McGuire & Hester; murakami/Nelson; Rogers Family Foundation; and Swinerton Management & Consulting ■

July 2011 |


Public Policy

> Using hearts and feet to fight cancer

Creating a strong economy

> Parker wants to remove ‘acting’ from her title by Paul Junge

Acting City Attorney Barbara Parker was our guest at June’s Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum.

She told the group that she would like to remove the word “acting” from her title and complete the term of recently departed City Attorney John Russo. The City Council has 60 days (until approximately Aug. 12) to select a new city attorney. If the Council fails

Walkers will go around the clock in the battle against cancer when the seventh American Cancer Society Relay For Life® of Oakland gets underway with teams of residents gathering at Bishop O’Dowd High School on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m.

Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their camp sites during Relay – all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. The event needs the community’s support through teams, donations for a silent auction, food for survivors and participants, sponsors, entertainment, volunteers and – most important – survivors of people who want to honor those who have lost the battle. Relay for Life’s Luminaria Ceremony takes place after sundown, honoring the community’s cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. Participants will circle a track that is surrounded with glowing luminaria that bears the name of someone who has battled cancer. Luminaria may be purchased for $10 by calling (510) 258-3458 or by visiting ■

> Standing ovation at Stagebridge’s year-end celebration

to act by the deadline an election must be held within 120 days (by about Dec. 10).

▲ Pictured at Inside Oakland (left to right) are Chamber President Joe Haraburda; Bielle Moore, chair of Inside Oakland; Barbara Parker, acting city attorney; Chamber Public Policy Director Paul Junge; and Alex Nguyen, director of the Neighborhood Law Corps.

Parker has been a trailblazer for much of her personal and professional career. A native of Seattle, she spoke movingly about family visits to the segregated South of her youth. She was one of the first AfricanAmerican women admitted to Harvard Law School and she graduated in 1975 determined to use the law as a tool to help underrepresented communities. She served as an assistant U.S. attorney and has now served 20 years, the last 11 as chief assistant in the Oakland city attorney’s office. Continuity and the ability to affect a smooth transition were two themes Parker emphasized as she explained her reasons for wanting to stay in the role of city attorney. She acknowledged that she has long preferred her role behind the scenes, but says she is eager to take on the more public role as the face of the city attorney office. She says she would work collaboratively with the Mayor and City Council, and says she would be a city attorney for all of Oakland. The budget, risk management and public safety were the top three priorities for Parker during this transition time. She says that in the last seven years the city attorney’s office has lost one-third of its staff and that this has led to increased costs for outside council. She says keeping staffing levels at higher levels will reduce the need for outside council and save the city money. Under the heading of “public safety,” Parker identified problem liquor stores, blighted, vacant properties and prostitution as particular areas of interest. When asked about the gang injunctions, Parker noted that the City Council had recently voted to use them as a tool in the effort to reduce violence, and said like any tool it should be examined for its effectiveness. ■ Paul Junge is the Chamber’s director of public policy.

> City budget

– continued from page 1

local sales tax awaits Council action later this month. To get to a budget the Council divided in to two groups. Councilmembers Nadel, Kernighan, Kaplan and Schaaf (called NKKS) formed one group and Council President Reid, and Councilmembers Brooks, Brunner and De La Fuente (RBBD) formed the other. What had been a fairly constructive dialogue among the Councilmembers Tuesday night, June 28 got a liale more acrimonious Thursday night. One point of contention was the hiring of police officers. The plan everyone was working from envisioned 22 officers being hired this month from among a group of 44 officers recently laid off or graduated from an academy. The NKKS group wanted to hire the other 22 immediately to guard against future aarition, arguing that among future hiring options this would be the least expensive and they may not remain available much longer. Ultimately the plan called for only 22 officers to be hired. Council President Reid predicted the Council may be coming back to the budget soon. With Governor Brown signing into law a measure eliminating Redevelopment Agencies, uncertainties about other state and federal funding and other assumptions that may prove inaccurate – that prediction may prove true. Paul Junge is the Chamber’s director of public policy. ■


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Tears, laughter and applause marked the day as more than 130 guests honored two of their own at Stagebridge theatre company’s recent annual awards luncheon in Oakland. After more than six years at the helm as Stagebridge’s marketing director, Maryann Maslan will join the generation of Baby Boomers saying goodbye to punching a time clock and saying hello to retirement. “It’s been quite a ride and I’ve learned from all the wonderful students at Stagebridge that retirement will be the greatest adventure yet,” said Maslan.

Oakland-based Stagebridge is the nation’s oldest senior theater company since 1978. They offer classes to elder adults and have a mission to give back to the community by bridging the generation gap through the performing arts. No Stagebridge event is complete without entertainment. To honor the 15 years Barbara Johnson, schools program coordinator, has been with the organization, Sally Holzman, Olithia O’Toole and Eloise Farren gently roasted the honoree with a story, a poem and recollections. Terrance Kelly, known locally for his work with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, led his Stagebridge choir class in a series of songs. But it was their rendition of “Marvelous,” offered as a tribute to Maslan and Johnson, that was the cause of more than a few glistening eyes. “All of us at Stagebridge, including community supporters, board members, teachers and staff, can give each other a well deserved pat on the back for a year of many accomplishments,” said managing director Gary Osteraas. ■


> Summer’s here and it’s time to fly OAK by Rosemary Barnes and Lakita Logan

Oakland International Airport (OAK) is in the midst of the peak summer travel season.

Bay Area travelers have many choices as OAK offers more than 140 daily nonstop departures on 13 airlines to 33 cities in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. Here are a few tips to ensure your travels are smooth through OAK this summer.

Planning for your trip at home

Before packing, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website,, to brush up on bag packing skills and what to expect when going through security screening. Also, consider the following so you board your fight on time:

• Plan to arrive at OAK at least 90 minutes prior for domestic departures and two hours prior for both Hawaii and international departures to allow for increased passenger volume at airline check-in and security screening; • All passengers must have a boarding pass or airline-approved document, and travelers age 18 and older must show government-issued photo identification before going through the passenger security checkpoint; • Leave gifts unwrapped, both in carry-on and checked baggage, as they may need to be inspected; and • Remember that most airlines allow you to check in for your flight and print boarding passes up to 24 hours before flight departure time. Also, airline policies differ regarding how many bags you can check for free. Visit your airline’s website for more information. Rock star parking Convenient parking is available in all of OAK’s lots, which are open 24 hours a day. Special discounts of up to $10 off per day in all of OAK’s lots are available at The Premier Lot, the most convenient parking option, is located within walking distance of the terminals, and is competitively priced at just $36 per day. For travelers parking for multiple days, the Economy Lot is a great value at $16 per day. Travelers should look for roadway signs or tune to 1700 AM near the airport for additional information.

The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport and fourth largest airport in California, offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the city of Oakland. Visit and Facebook / Oakland International Airport. ■ Rosemary Barnes is the head of media relations/marketing for Oakland International Airport, and Lakita Logan handles the airport’s visitor information program.

> Promotional offer for Microsoft Office 2007 training courses The Alameda County Training & Education Center has a promotional offer for all Chamber members to enroll in their upcoming Microsoft Office 2007 Training Courses at a discounted rate. The course schedule begins on Thursday, July 7 and ends in September. Each all-day class is $175 and half-day class is $110. The courses will cover Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Publisher. For more information, or to enroll in any of the courses, visit the Events section at or contact Amanda Medina at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or at amedina@oak There are only seven spots available at the discounted rate, so register today. July 7 July 12 July 26 July 26 Aug. 2 Aug. 9 Aug. 25

– “Excel 2007 – Formulas, Functions & More,” 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – “Power Point 2007 – Intermediate,” 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – “Outlook 2007 Fundamentals,” 9 a.m. to noon – “Outlook 2007 – There’s More to Outlook Than You Think,” 1-4 p.m. – “Publisher 2007 Fundamentals,” 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – “Power Point 2007 Fundamentals,” 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – “Excel 2007 Fundamentals,” 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ■


> Making a daily impact on the community At 9:40 a.m. on a Tuesday, May 10 morning in downtown Oakland, an elderly Asian American woman showing obvious signs of distress flagged down Soupou Saechao, a safety ambassador at 1221 Broadway. Enlisting the help of another passerby, one familiar with the woman’s language, Saechao was able to understand that the woman was the victim of theft: while riding the bus, a young woman had approached the victim and asked to see her Clipper card and when the victim handed her the card, the suspect took the card, hid it on her person and exited the bus at the next stop. Saechao contacted the Oakland Police Department, which dispatched two officers to interview the victim, take a statement and make contact with the young suspect. That was the first of a series of incidents that day in which the safety ambassadors, like Saechao, ▲ Michael Edwards (left) and interacted with members of the public and OPD. Durrell Sanders are safety “No day is typical, there is always something ambassadors. new in this job, but on any given day we may handle a dozen or more requests from members of the community – from helping them with simple directions to find their way around to instances of distress which may need police to get involved,” said Saechao. Saechao is one of 18 “ambassadors,” employed by two specially-funded community benefit districts – the Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations – to provide street-level services to residents, workers, landlords and visitors in downtown Oakland. The Ambassador program is headed by operations manager for Block by Block, Ted Tarver. “At first I think some people in the community feared we were creating a private police force in Oakland; that’s definitely not the case,” said Tarver. “Our ambassadors are eyes and ears on the street for the Oakland Police Department and we have the same powers as any other private citizen – no more, no less.” The program has evolved into one of mutual respect and a strong working relationship with the Oakland police officers, allied law enforcement agencies and the safety ambassadors, according to Tarver. There are daily interactions and communication with the police officers working in the area to keep it safe and clean. “The main strength of the program is that we deal with quality of life issues that most urban cities have historically lacked the resources to deal with such as loitering, panhandling and even public urination,” he said. “The ambassadors also have training on dealing with the mentally ill and have a professional ability to communicate with them. Even dealing with homeless individuals, the first offer is always of assistance to help get services.” Like any large city, Oakland has its public safety issues and challenges in dealing with them, not least the least of which is paying for policing. The ambassador programs in the Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt Uptown districts were formed before the economic downturn took firm hold, but are paying off in an era when public funds are dwindling. “The folks who live, work and play in our districts know that we are out there every day and we are making sure not just that the area is as secure and safe as possible, but also that it’s being cleaned regularly, that graffiti is being dealt with in a timely and effective way, plants are being tended to, that we are reporting incidents to the appropriate authority, even providing maps or information to visitors coming into the districts,” says Tarver. In addition to safety ambassadors, the districts employ maintenance ambassadors and, last year, initiated a hospitality ambassador program assisted by a grant from Bank of America. “One of our early goals in forming the districts was to make the streets clean and safe because that would help toward our ultimate goal of attracting businesses and people to the area over the long term and drive economic growth,” says JC Wallace, president of the Downtown Oakland Association. “Ted and his team have done a fantastic job of working with the community, OPD and the city to make the program a tremendous success.” Deborah Boyer, president of the Lake Merritt Uptown District (LMUDA), echoes Wallace’s view. “We know the program is working because we receive evidence every day – from the many emails and letters received in the district office thanking us for having ambassadors out on the streets – to the feeling we get when a new restaurant opens or a company moves in or a business with a presence here announces it is expanding,” she says. “Our ambassadors really are the biggest tangible evidence that the people of Oakland see on a daily basis that shows what we have here is working,” says Marco Li Mandri, executive director of the LMUDA and Downtown Oakland Association. “Ted and his team have honesty, integrity and a genuine desire to change the perception of Oakland and show that, contrary to what many see on the nightly news, this city has its fair share of good people,” Li Mandri says. One recent example that didn’t make the news, but probably should have – Safety Ambassador Nikolay Levin was on foot patrol when he picked up what he thought was litter during his normal duties – a discarded envelope on the sidewalk in the Uptown district. As he was about to throw it into a nearby trash can, he noticed something was inside the envelope and upon further investigation realized it was a Cashier’s Check…for $20,000. Levin called Tarver to the scene and the operations manager was able to contact a local businessman to whom the check was written. “The man was actually at a nearby bank, where he had gone to deposit the check, when he realized the check was lost,” recalls Tarver. “Nikolay and I walked the check over to him and he was pretty relieved and thankful. It’s perhaps a cliché to say ‘It’s all in a day’s work,’ but it really is,” Tarver says. ■

July 2011 |



| OBR Oakland Business Review |


Small business


> The new healthcare laws and Medicare: What they mean for individuals and business owners by Frank Paré

Unless you’ve just emerged from Sleepy Hollow, you’ve heard about proposed changes to healthcare laws. If you are a business owner, you are wondering how these new laws will affect your bottom line. These laws are particularly important for baby boomers aged 55 and older because of Medicare. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 This law requires that most individuals have minimum health insurance. The legislation creates new public plans and expands the Medicare and Medicaid programs to include more beneficiaries, while requiring that all health plans extend coverage to individuals, regardless of health status. Employers are generally not required to offer coverage, but those who don’t may be subject to a penalty tax. Specifically, any employer with more than 50 employees who does not offer health insurance faces a potential monthly tax penalty of To help you understand the $166.67 per full-time employee complexities of (excluding the first 30 employthe new healthees) for any month that insurcare laws, longance is not offered. term care and Similarly, even employers Medicare, we invite you to with more than 50 employees join us for a that do offer coverage could be complimentary workshop on assessed a fee. Employers with Tuesday, July 19 from 11:45 200 or more employees must a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oakland Chamber offices, 475 14th St. automatically enroll employees Lunch will be provided. in health insurance plans offered

by the employer, though the employee may voluntarily opt out of the plan. This legislation has caused an uproar in many circles, and unless certain provisions of the law are repealed, business owners with 50+ employees will have to comply with the requirements. The good news – there are ways to save Business owners will find that while insurance for older employees may cost more, younger employees may qualify for less expensive coverage. An individual between 60 and 64 costs three times as much to insure as someone in his/her 30s. To continue this trend, a person aged 65 is about 25 percent more expensive to insure than a 60-year-old. Using a real company of 40 people with a $500 deductible and a favorable rating, an individual aged 30-39 costs $344; aged 60-64 costs $1,049 and at age 65 costs $1,291. But employers can realize cost savings because of Medicare, and all people aged 65 and older are eligible, whether they’re working or not. Signing up for Medicare is easy and can be completed online or by phone. A workshop that addresses the complexities To help you understand the complexities of the new healthcare laws, long-term care and Medicare, we invite you to join us for a complimentary workshop on Tuesday, July 19 from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oakland Chamber offices, 475 14th St. Lunch will be provided. The topic will be “What you Need to Know about Medicare.” Joining me will be Lynn Caffrey of Caffrey Insurance Solutions, a benefits administrator with more than 30 years of experience and an expert on the new healthcare laws; and Jain Williams, a State Farm agent with more than 20 years of experience in long-term care. To register for the workshop, contact Lynn Caffrey at (510) 444-5447; Jain Williams at (510) 530-3222, or you can call me and RSVP with our receptionist. ■ Frank Paré, CFP® is president of PF Wealth Management Group, LLC. a Registered Investment Advisory firm in Oakland. He can be reached at (800) 750-5764. He sits on the CFP Board of Standards Public Policy Council in Washington D.C., and is the co-chair of the Government Relations Committee for the FPA – East Bay chapter.

– Frank Paré

July 2011 | 9


Small business


> Hey, boss, which long-term care policy should I get? by Paula R. Taylor

A new employee benefit is coming for millions of employees throughout the United States – access to affordable long-term care insurance (LTCI). LTCI provides funds for in-home, assisted living or nursinghome care in case of longer-lasting illnesses or disabilities not covered by regular health insurance. The CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services Paula Taylor and Supports) is expected to become operational sometime after October 2012. It’s the part of health reform that provides an employeradministered “public option” for long-term care insurance. But many employers will also educate their employees on their options for private long-term care insurance in lieu of the public option. Now is not too soon to start doing that. LTCI will become a mainstream benefit at last. The very existence of the new public option, the CLASS Act, will raise the issue of private alternatives, so employees and companies that did not previously consider LTCI in their benefits offerings are now starting to do so. Employers of all sizes are presenting their employees with the full range of options, private as well as public. Why this surge of interest? In addition to the nudge from Uncle Sam, a high proportion of employees are currently caregivers to loved ones and are beginning to be concerned about their own long-term care. They know they’re at risk but often don’t know their options. Companies that participate in the CLASS Act need to be aware that their employees will automatically be enrolled in the public plan, with payroll deductions, unless they opt out. Why? That’s what the law mandates. So it’s incumbent on employers to let their people know they CAN opt out. Many employees will be upset if they haven’t been told about all their options – for public or private coverage. For example, the average private plan has a 90-day waiting period before one can collect benefits, but with the CLASS Act there’s a five-year waiting period. Today only a small percentage of companies include long-term care insurance as an employee benefit. That is changing. More employees are asking about it and as a consequence of the attention brought by the CLASS Act, LTCI is becoming the new big thing in benefit packages. It’s about time for this new focus. Prudential Financial Inc. notes that 74 percent of consumers age 55 to 65 polled for a recent survey said they are concerned about needing some kind of long term care. That’s about three in every four of us. And according to a survey by MetLife, the national average cost of a private room in a nursing home is now about $80,000 per year, and rising. With this kind of risk, LTCI warrants a more prominent place in benefits packages. But there’s a catch for companies. Long-term care insurance is more complex and requires more time to understand than vision, dental, and even health insurance. Few companies are prepared to explain the complexities so employees can make the best choice – not only between the CLASS Act and private options, but the best choice among the many private options. It’s time for employers to look for help in revamping their benefits programs but also to educate their employees. It’s a crash effort to get everyone up to speed. Long-term care specialists teamed with employee benefits consultants are helping companies decide what type of program to implement – a Group or Multi-Life long-term care program – or go for the CLASS ACT. Often when an employer offers a plan the employee can extend the discounts and free educational resources to any family member anywhere in the country. Individuals as well as organizations have the opportunity to decide between the CLASS Act and private long-term care alternatives. Long Term Care insurance is not for everyone. But, education is free and no employer wants to hear, “I wish I had known I had options. Why didn’t you tell me?” For information on free educational seminars for the management and employees of companies of all sizes and free literature, visit or call Paula Taylor at (510) 764-5002 or (800) 303-1103, or email ■ Paula Taylor, MA is a partner and the regional sales manager, Northern California, for LTC Partners & Insurances Services, LLC.

10 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Mayor Quan leads Oakland Port/city trade mission to China A month and a half ago Mayor Jean Quan led a historic trade mission to China with the Port of Oakland, covering the cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. The mission was focused on bringing investment, business, and jobs to Oakland, and was historic for two reasons – it was the first time in recent history that the Port and city came together to jointly promote seaport, airport, and real estate opportunities – and, it was also the first time the Mayor and City Council President traveled jointly with Port Commissioners and executives to China, Oakland’s #1 trading partner. “This trade mission was a great opportunity for the Port of Oakland,” said Port Executive Director Omar Benjamin. “We demonstrated unity and strength to our overseas business partners by having Mayor Quan, Council President Reid, Port Commissioners Pamela Calloway and Michael Lighty, and Port staff all aligned and promoting the compelling investment opportunities in Oakland: marine terminals, air passenger and cargo service, and real estate sites like those around the Coliseum District and Airport Park.” Most of the Chinese businesses involved in overseas trade and investment are either officially state-owned enterprises or receive significant support from the state. They therefore like to see similar public sector support from potential business partners. Benjamin remarked, “And they often get it, but usually from places like Canada, which rolls out a coordinated ‘Red Carpet’ on which local, regional, and federal officials jointly pitch initiatives such as Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway Initiative – Canada: Gateway to America’s Heartland – which is about direct competition with U.S. ports like ours.” Port Commissioner and 1st Vice President Pamela Calloway commented, “The Port/city trade mission supports the competitiveness ▲ The Oakland Port/city delegation met in of our three core businesses Beijing with a leading Chinese company with – aviation, maritime, and interests in shipping, airlines, real estate, and investments. commercial real estate, the heart of our five-year Strategic Plan. On the maritime front, we are competing for “discretionary” cargo that can go through any port to reach its final destination.” Currently, about 20 percent of the Port’s business is discretionary, 80 percent local or regional. For comparison, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 43 percent discretionary cargo. Transforming the former Oakland Army Base into a world class, intermodal trade and logistics center will aid the Port in this competition because it will improve Oakland’s efficiency in transferring cargo between ship and train in and out of the Northern California megaregion to destinations around the world. The Port also promoted its Export Program, in line with President Obama’s

National Export Initiative, which calls for doubling exports by 2015. Oakland is the only West Coast container port that exports more than it imports, approximately 55 percent versus 45 percent. Developing a “cold supply chain” between California and China will further improve the Port’s positioning as the gateway for California agriculture and food products to the world. The delegation also highlighted the strengths of Oakland International Airport, seeking to develop direct air passenger service with China. “The future ▼ “The Oakland Port/city delegation at the Shekou Container Terminal, a China Merchants Holdings (Int.) trade and logistics center in Shenzhen, similar to the intermodal logistics center planned for the former Oakland Army Base. Pictured left to right: Port of Oakland Aviation Marketing Manager John Albrecht; Port Maritime Director James Kwon; Port Secretary of the Board John Betterton; Port Director of External Affairs Isaac Kos-Read; Port Commissioner and 1st VP Pamela Calloway; Port Executive Director Omar Benjamin; Oakland Mayor Jean Quan; Carl Shem, VP Commercial, Chiwan Container Terminal Co., Ltd.; Port Commissioner Michael Lighty; Robin Li, chief commercial officer and deputy general manager, China Merchants Maritime Logistics (Shenzhen) Ltd.; Port Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint; Port Maritime Administration and Finance Manager Jean Banker; and Special Assistant to the Mayor Maisha Everhart. of air travel will be in international markets including Asia, particularly China,” observed Port Aviation Director Deborah Ale-Flint, adding, “To capitalize on this requires us to market aggressively abroad, and to continue our advocacy with federal agencies at home, which is essential to expanding our international service.” With FedEx's Asia-Pacific Hub located at Oakland; as well as Oakland’s central location and surrounding development opportunities, air cargo is a catalyst for additional major opportunities. Port Director of External Affairs Isaac Kos-Read also noted, “We weren’t just talking, we were also listening. This was an opportunity for us to hear first hand what our potential business partners want. They all asked us, ‘What does Oakland offer?’ We pitched our smart, productive, and diverse workforce; local and regional attractions; California Enterprise Zones, federal Empowerment Zones, and Free Trade Zones; as well as additional regulatory support and willingness to work with them.” Mayor Quan is already focused on next steps, commenting “The city and Port are working together, along with our partners in the private sector, to reach agreements that will lead to more jobs, tax revenue and economic benefits. The Port and city have already had multiple follow-up meetings locally and hosted a visit by a Chinese delegation that we met with in Beijing.” Port analyses indicate that the potential benefits of this work are significant: doubling exports would create 5,000 more jobs; and the economic benefit of just one new international air service to Oakland amounts to as much as $25 million for the regional economy. ■

“The city and Port are working together, along with our partners in the private sector, to reach agreements that will lead to more jobs, tax revenue and economic benefits.” – Mayor Jean Quan July 2011 | 11



> Matson – A proud supporter of the Oakland community “While Matson has had a long relationship with the Port of Oakland from a maritime perspective, we have really embraced the city as our home base since relocating the company’s corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Oakland in 2003,” says Ron Forest, Matson senior vice president, operations, and outgoing board member of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Supporting the communities in which we do business is a strong part of Matson’s corporate culture. Our involvement with Oakland includes financial support to nonprofit organizations through our parent company’s charitable arm, the A&B Foundation, as well as hands-on activities that involve our

▲ Matson employees and their employees donating their time in perfamilies spent a Saturday last forming community service for Oakland September participating in a organizations.” Coastal Cleanup effort at Matson’s Oakland employees work Alameda’s Encinal Boat Ramp. at either the company’s headquarters at 555 12th St. or Howard Terminal where Matson ships call twice a week. In addition, the Matson subsidiary, Matson Logistics, also operates a warehouse facility in Oakland, as well as Hayward. The company has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1882 and was the Port of Oakland’s first container terminal operator beginning in 1968. “We have long, deep ties with the Bay Area, particularly as it pertains to the region’s maritime history,” says Forest. “In the past eight years, we’ve really become much more East Bay-centric, focusing our community involvement on a number of Oakland-based organizations. Twice a year, Matson works with the United Way of the Bay Area (UWBA) in organizing community service activities for Matson employees. During the UWBA’s annual “Week of Caring,” Matson employees have shown their support for the region by donating their time by working for organizations such as the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Wardrobe for Opportunity, as well as other East Bay nonprofits. In addition, Oakland personnel organize their own initiative, “Matson Gives Back,” a program in which the company partners once again with the United Way in supporting local nonprofits by donating employee time to community service. Matson’s commitment to promoting “green” initiatives also extends to the company’s community service efforts, particularly the Ocean Conservancy’s Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. Each year, a large group of employees and their families come out on a weekend to participate in a clean up effort, generally at the Port of Oakland. Last year, the Matson team spent the day cleaning up Alameda’s Encinal Boat Ramp. “Matson employees throughout the organization – in Oakland, Hawaii, Guam, Long Beach and even Phoenix – volunteer to spend a Saturday every year cleaning up trash and debris in their respective location as part of the program,” says Forest. “We take a great deal of pride in the high level of participation by Matson employees.” Financial support through the A&B Foundation reaches a wide range of Oakland nonprofits, including Friends of the Oakland Public Library, International Maritime Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland, Oakland Ballet Association, Children’s Fairyland, Oakland-based Urban Gardens, Oakland Military Institute, and Oakland Museum of California Foundation. “While the economic downturn of recent years has necessitated that Matson focus on controlling costs and ▼ Outgoing Oakland Chamber Board member Ron Forest (front, left) joins other Matson employaddressing declines in ees at a recent community service day at the virtually every aspect Alameda County Community Food Bank. of our business, we have nevertheless continued to demonstrate our commitment to support the community of Oakland,” says Forest. “We truly believe in giving back to the communities we serve.” ■

12 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Towering achievements accelerate

> Port’s future success rests

progress on new Bay Bridge

in our collective resolve

by John Goodwin

by Mike Jacob

Bay Area residents monitoring the progress of the self-anchored suspension portion of the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge have witnessed a dramatic transformation of the construction site in recent weeks. The $2 billion project – slated for completion in 2013 – took a huge step forward in mid-May when workers carefully placed the world’s largest cable saddle atop the new span’s signature single tower. Less than a month later came installation of the first catwalk, which will provide access for workers putting into place the nearly mile-long single main cable for the 2,047-foot structure. Beginning early in the morning of May 19, strand jacks slowly hoisted the 450-ton, steel cable saddle, which was custom crafted at Japan Steel Works, more than 500 feet into the air and then eased it onto another custom-built steel component, known as the grillage, which evenly distributes the weight of the saddle – and eventually the cable as well – amongst the four legs of the bridge tower. The cable saddle, which is nearly 33 feet tall at its highest point, features a flat base measuring about 24 feet by 20 feet with a curved top to better carry the cable over the top not just once but twice. This makes it one of the few double cable saddles used in bridge construction, and the largest and heaviest for any suspension bridge anywhere. The tower will reach its full 525-foot height later this summer when an ornamental crown known as the tower head is set into place. The tower’s position closer to the west end of the self-anchored suspension span will create a ▲ Installation of the cable saddle atop the distinctive asymmetrical design, tower of the Bay Bridge’s new east span this with the main cable presenting May brings the signature element of the new a sharper angle on the 607-foot span to nearly its full 525-foot height. segment west of the tower and a more sloping appearance on the 1,263-foot east end. Unlike traditional suspension bridges where the cables are anchored into the ground, a self-anchored suspension bridge’s cable is anchored in the road decks. The cable will anchor into the east end of the roadway, travel up and over the tower to wrap around the west end before traveling back up and over the tower to anchor back into the east end. As Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney puts it, “The 2.6-foot-wide cable will act like a giant, unbelievably strong sling.” Positioned between the San Andreas and Hayward faults, the new east span is engineered to withstand a massive earthquake. Each of the tower’s four pentagonal legs consists of five vertical sections, or lifts, and is connected to the others by shear link beams, which function much like a fuse in an electrical circuit. The shear link beams are designed to absorb most of the impact from an earthquake, thus preventing damage to the tower legs. And if one of the legs is damaged, the others will provide support to keep the bridge standing. In addition to strength and flexibility, aesthetics rank high on the list of design priorities for the new east span. The faceted forms of the tower legs are tapered and slender to enhance their appearance and to allow light to permeate through the interior of the tower and between the legs. All vertical elements of the self-anchored suspension span – including the tower, piers and even the lights – have been designed to emphasize its clean modern lines. Because the new east span is being constructed north of the existing bridge and will feature side-by-side ▼ A newly-installed catwalk will be used by workers to roadways rather than position the nearly mile-long single main cable for the selfthe double-deck anchored suspension portion of the new Bay Bridge east design of the current span. bridge, drivers traveling in either direction will enjoy unobstructed views of the bay as they pass beneath an angled canopy of suspension cables. John Goodwin is a public information officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority.

The Port of Oakland and its tenants, the marine terminals and ocean carriers that

While volumes have recovered from the depths of 2009 – a year in which ocean carriers lost a record $20 billion – we are by no means out of the woods.

This is because the recession only served to amplify long-term trends that are symptobusiness of trade, are matic of deteriorating trade competitiveness still emerging from the in California. The double whammy of the recession and increased competition has led to worst recession in the reductions of port container volumes and jobs collective history of from their peaks in 2006. Even before the the maritime industry. recession was in full swing, in 2007, every single one of the world’s 50 largest container ports was growing, with two exceptions: the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland. And, Savannah passed Oakland to claim the spot of the fourth largest container port in the U.S. The trade community knows that we will not simply reclaim our North American market share on the West Coast through recession recovery alone. And with the Panama Canal expansion looming on the horizon and new investments in expanded marine terminals, roads and rail infrastructure at competitive ports and trade gateways that didn’t even exist in 2006, the competition for intermodal cargo that might otherwise come to Oakland will only become more intense in the years to come. We can recapture market share at the Port of Oakland, but it must be done by starting from a point where we work with the fact that our supply chain is burdened with substantial expenses that simply don’t exist in the rest of the country. For example, the Port, the maritime industry and our supply chain partners now labor under a series of regulatory air quality measures in California that will cost approximately $5 billion. There are many good things about these rules and benefits for the state, but to compete we must acknowledge these are rules and costs that simply do not exist anywhere else in the nation and be smart about improving competitiveness in other ways. In other words, if we are to keep the Port of Oakland competitive, every stakeholder in our supply chain must demonstrate a commitment to longterm trade competitiveness and put the tools in place to grow our container volumes. In practical terms, this commitment must manifest itself in both conduct the actual

holding the line on any new, additional costs and in creating additional incentives to ship through, and invest in, California ports generally and the Port of Oakland in particular. And it’s not just holding the line on operating costs. If we want to promote trade at the Port of Oakland everyone must work together to avoid the imposition of new fees, mandates or financial burdens on the Port and its customers. It means standing together to reject even higher pilotage tariffs than what are among the highest on the coast. It means finding creative ways to help the Port and its customers and supply chain partners, including trucks, ships and trains, implement and finance compliance with new environmental rules before any additional regulations are proposed. It means giving the Port of Oakland the political support it needs when seeking federal and state funding for its key infrastructure improvement initiatives. And, it also means we must never allow any raids on port funds by other local jurisdictions looking for a fast buck, a practice which has decimated port finances in other jurisdictions. We must all recommit ourselves to these keys to growth and success. Or, we can do nothing, rest on our laurels, and risk stunting our ability to finance new infrastructure, environmental mitigation and the thousands of trade and logistics jobs that come with it. The choice is stark, and it is ours alone. ■ Mike Jacob is vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, an independent trade association representing marine terminal operators and ocean carriers operating U.S. and foreign-flagged cargo and passenger vessels engaged in trade at U.S. West Coast ports. The association maintains offices in Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle.

photos by Barrie Rokeach

July 2011 | 13

14 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Airport Connector

> New service

scheduled to open in spring of 2014

at Oakland International Airport

by Tom Dunscombe

Large publicly funded transit projects are often controversial, coming to fruition as they do after years, sometimes decades, of studies and starts and stops. The Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is no ▲ The project was given Notice To Proceed on Nov. 1, 2010 and has a exception. Study began on the project in the 1970s; it was approved by three-year duration. It’s scheduled the voters for funding in 1999, and selected by the BART Board in 2002. to open in the spring of 2014. The project inched forward and finally reached construction only through strong regional support, and adequate funding in a competitive APM marketplace. Having languished for nearly nine years – through two successful attempts to procure the system, while chasing excessively increasing costs in the midst of two wars and a worldwide construction boom – the OAC finally caught a break. In 2009, the combination of a slowing world economy, federal stimulus funding, and the emergence of a new APM system technology, set the project in motion again. In 2004, when the first OAC procurement documents were issued, no real interest was shown by cable system providers. The performance criteria required a proven system complex enough to operate in a pinched loop configuration. At that time, the world’s largest cable system providers were still relatively limited players in the APM market, providing mostly short shuttle or shuttle bypass systems. Doppelmayr Cable Car (DCC) had only a single shuttle APM system operating in Las Vegas. Over the next five years, DCC would go on to build four more APM systems – in the U.S., Britain, Canada and Italy – while garnering positive reviews from owners, and improving their technology with each installation. On the funding side, the situation took a turn for the better in early 2009, benefiting from the distribution of over $350 million in Federal Stimulus funds to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the agency responsible for prioritizing and allocating transportation funds in the region, allocated $70 million to the OAC because of its “shovel ready” status, and the need to create jobs in an area with a very high unemployment rate. The project was on again, and a third OAC Request for Proposals quickly followed in May 2009. Four months later, the Joint Venture of Parsons Transportation and Flatiron Construction, teaming with DDC, submitted a proposal that was selected as the best value among three other competitive proposals. The cost was well within BART’s budget, and DCC was able to demonstrate their experience in building a multi-cable pinched loop system over three miles long. Still the project would not go forward without a monumental fight: the $70 million in federal stimulus funding that had sparked the third successful attempt to get the project built, became a source of contention, and came very close to being the straw that broke the project’s back. A small group of local bus advocates felt strongly that federal stimulus funds would be better spent on filling the regional transit operators’ budget shortfalls than on new infrastructure projects. They fought a public campaign to strip the project of stimulus funds, but the region backed the project at every opportunity. The new FTA administration, however, agreed with the advocates, and in early 2010, shortly after the initial OAC award had been given, FTA Administrator Rogoff insisted on pulling the stimulus funds from the project. That seemed a death blow to the project as a battle ensued between its proponents voicing its support and its opponents trying to strip it of any remaining public funds. While the project award that occurred in December 2009, the contract could not be executed due to the unexpected Construction is funding shortfall created by the FTA. Surprisingly, the loss of the stimulus funds did not kill the project just beginning with because even though there was a small group of local opposition, nothing could subdue the strong local and regional support. Time and again the region guideway foundation supported the project, understanding the long-term need to connect the region’s second largest international airport, carrying up to 14 million piles being driven passengers a year, to BART, the region’s transit operator. A long-time coalition of local and regional project supporters made up of the business community, between the airport state and local funding agencies, and the labor unions, the region rallied at every public hearing to not only keep the funding intact, but also fight for roadway and the golf new funding. The region successfully cobbled together enough new local and course on the airport state fund sources for the contract to finally be signed. On Oct. 1, 2010, one year after the proposals were received, BART executed a contract for the property. By the end Design-Build of the OAC project with the Joint Venture of Parsons Transportation and Flatiron Construction. The APM system provider and the of summer there will follow-on 20-year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract went to DCC. BART would like to extend a very special thanks to the Lea+Elliott staff, be similar foundation past and present who did most of the hard work. Elaine Cartwright (now with BART), Bill Leder (retired), Jackie Yang, Harley Moore and John Kennedy all construction along the took turns working tirelessly to keep the project inching along. In the end it was Lea+Elliott who opened BART’s eyes to the possibility of a cable technolentire Hegenberger ogy, and turned the cable technology providers on to the OAC project. The Corridor. timing was perfect – BART could not be more excited about bringing a newly innovative cable technology to the Oakland side of the Bay Area for the benefit of the entire region.. ■ – Tom Dunscombe

Tom Dunscombe is project manager, TSD for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART).

Oakland International Airport (OAK), the second largest Bay Area airport and fourth largest airport in California, offers more than 300 daily passenger and cargo flights. The following represents new service: Delta Air Lines – Delta will launch five daily nonstop flights between Oakland and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning Aug. 1. The new service will connect OAK with Delta and SkyTeam’s airline alliance hub to destinations around the globe. “Delta Air Lines’ service expansion at Oakland International Airport means more options for travelers through the vast Delta and SkyTeam network at LAX,” said Deborah Ale Flint, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland, which owns and operates OAK. She elaborated, “Convenient connections are available via LAX to cities such as Atlanta, Miami and New York/JFK. Bay Area travelers going beyond the U.S. now have more choices and great connections to Europe, South America and Asia, including desirable cities such as Moscow, Istanbul, Rome, Cancun, Sydney and Guangzhou.” Spirit Airlines – Spirit will launch service between Oakland and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS). Spirit, the ultra lowcost carrier, will begin serving OAK with two daily nonstop flights on Aug. 18, and service will increase to three daily nonstop flights on Sept. 7. Volaris Airlines – Volaris, headquartered in Santa Fe, Mexico D.F., expanded its low-cost service at Oakland International Airport in May with daily nonstop flights to Mexico City (MEX). Now, Bay Area travelers have 21 weekly flights to choose from between OAK and Mexico as Volaris also operates two daily nonstop flights to Guadalajara. “We are pleased that Volaris is increasing its economic impact in Oakland by adding convenient nonstop travel between Oakland International and Mexico City, the capital of Mexico and largest city in the Americas, in addition to their double- daily service to Guadalajara,” said Flint. “Volaris, Mexico’s second largest carrier, began service at Oakland in July 2009 and operates from Terminal 1. OAK is the fourth largest airport in California and the additional flight will make it the third largest gateway to Mexico. ■

> A new Bay Area gateway to Cuba Oakland International Airport (OAK) requested and received authorization by United States Customs and Border Protection to offer nonstop charter passenger service between the Bay Area and Cuba.

It is the only Bay Area airport to hold the designation, and flights to Cuba from OAK will be the first to bridge the Bay Area and the small island nation. OAK has partnered with California-based travel company Cuba Travel Services (CTS), which expects to begin offering charters for sale to the public beginning in late-summer for flights commencing as soon as year-end 2011. The decision to allow airports to schedule flights to and from Cuba is part of a broad effort to reach out to the Cuban people for academic, religious, humanitarian and news-gathering purposes as announced by President Obama in January of 2011. Prior to this, charter flights to the island nation were only allowed from Los Angeles, Miami and New York/JFK. ■

July 2011 | 15



> Local car dealer

But such direct contributions play a limited role in Fitzpatrick’s support for Oakland. More importantly, he seeks opportunities to conduct business with other local businesses to co-sponsor events, “I support the host events, and generally demonstrate his unwavering faith in community It helps to know where Ed Fitzpatrick has been to understand Oakland’s economy. where he’s heading. The journey began with his parents, whose strong That strong bond with Oakland is why Ed Fitzpatrick is because the work ethic set the tone for his career. His father worked his way up from disappointed when he hears that potential customers shy away from janitor to parts manager at a large auto dealership in Ohio. His mother, a his dealership because of its location. Particularly because auto community domestic worker, earned just $1 an hour but taught Fitzpatrick invaluable dealerships have the ability to contribute significant sales tax revenues lessons about hard work. supports us. to the city. “It pains me to see people from Oakland leave Oakland to From that foundation, Ed Fitzpatrick launched his own automotive do business elsewhere simply because they assume their options are I believe that’s career as a management trainee with the Chrysler Corporation in 1968. greater through the tunnel or across the bridge,” he says. “It’s just not Now, more than 40 hard years later, he owns and operates three luxury true. But, the perception persists, and that means we have to try even the way dealerships, including Coliseum Lexus of Oakland. He’s grateful for every harder.” customer who steps through his dealership’s doors, and makes it a point Such focus on the interrelationship between business and community businesses to express that gratitude in the form of community involvement. is not new to Fitzpatrick. In 2005, while serving as chairman of the should behave.” “Business owners need to realize that what they ‘get’ from their California Motor Car Dealers Association (CMCDA), he was selected by community is in direct proportion to what they ‘give’ their community,” Minorities in Business magazine to receive the MIB Entrepreneurial Spirit – Ed Fitzpatrick, he says. “First in terms of the products or services they offer, and second Award, during the 10th Annual Multicultural Prism Awards Gala. The gala owner of Coliseum in the extent of their involvement as citizens.” Fitzpatrick delivers that celebrates and honors outstanding individuals across a number of statement as if teaching a class on the fundamentals of business; not as a professions for the positive changes they have brought about in their Lexus of Oakland theory open to debate, but as a proven principle. Not coincidentally, he businesses and communities. spent four years as a teacher upon leaving Ohio University. What’s more, in 2009 Time magazine honored Fitzpatrick with their Among the community organizations with which he has become Dealer of the Year Award, which salutes the exceptional performance of involved is East Oakland Youth Development Center, a nonprofit agency dedicated to new-car dealers, including distinguished service to their community. helping children become healthy, self-supporting adults. Coliseum Lexus makes an annual For Oakland’s sake, we’re just glad he’s part of our community. ■ donation to the organization as part of its efforts to support the Oakland community.

supports local groups

> ‘I want my car detailed’ Have you ever taken a good look at your car and decided that you wanted it detailed, only to call a detailer and find that the actual detailing process is very complicated? Some people may have gotten their cars detailed and realized after the work that certain areas of concern were not addressed. Another common scenario is a potential client confused about the difference between detailing packages and the effect each package will have on his or her car. Have you ever wondered why previous auto ▲ Founder Ryan Woodlee and details did not meet your expectations? At Magic Magic Detailings offer a 10 percent Detailings, expectations are discussed before acdiscount to all Chamber members. cepting your business. This ensures that they are the correct detailers to achieve your goals. The company believes in explaining why “a detail inside and out” is not a sufficient request when seeking to get your car detailed. The staff at Magic Detailings needs to know what you are trying to accomplish in your particular detailing experience. As a result of this discussion, they can create a personal detail package for your car and your budget. For example, if you are concerned about the center console cup holders then that issue should be discussed before beginning any work. Magic Detailings has enhanced the auto detailing experience by demonstrating that they can meet their clients’ requests and often times exceed expectations. The secret to their success? Educating clients about auto detailing from washing and waxing to interior leather treatments and carpet spot removal. The company can even help the “do it yourself” clients, showing them the basic techniques for detailing their own cars. So if you find yourself thinking, “I want my car detailed,” make a list of the things you would like to see carefully detailed, so you can have the best experience this summer. ■

> Douglas Parking – Celebrating 81 years Douglas Parking was founded by Sanford Douglas in 1930, and the company has remained one of Oakland’s oldest family-owned and operated businesses. It’s also one of the first parking companies in the country. According to family lore, Sanford Douglas started parking cars in 1930 after a motorist offered him a nickel to park cars for the day at his Claremont Avenue service station in Oakland. Slowly, as more and more people drove to Oakland to shop at the city’s bustling downtown retail stores, parking became the focus of his business. Today, Douglas Parking is run by the second and third generation of the Douglas family – Leland Douglas, Sanford’s son, and Leland’s two sons, David and Steven Douglas. The Douglas family business operates under one simple rule. Off spring could come to work at Douglas Parking after working somewhere else – anywhere else – for at least two years. The two-year “sabbatical” could be spent doing anything as long as they gained valuable work experience. Both David and Steven followed this rule by working for parking companies – David in Ohio and Steven in New York. While still based in Oakland on Webster Street, Douglas Parking is now a national parking company with more than 140 locations in seven states. The company offers a range of parking services that include parking and garage lot management, valet parking and shuttle service. It is a progressive organization with an ethnically diverse workforce. Despite the distinction of a national parking company, Douglas Parking is proud to also be known as a local business that has called Oakland home for 81 years. ■

16 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


Transportation AC Transit honored

> AC Transit ‘Freedom Bus’ honors Civil Rights movement

The bus was the focal point of the Freedom Bus Project, a joint effort by the Alameda County Office of Education and AC Transit in conjunction with West Contra Costa Unified School District and Art IS Education. Specifically, the Freedom Bus Project commemorates the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in Alabama. Parks sparked the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott that ignited the nation’s Civil Rights movement. Along with Parks, the project salutes the East Bay’s rich diversity and legacy of community activism by encouraging youth to express their visions of social justice through art. “Considering that a passenger on a public bus was the catalyst for a civil rights movement that literally swept the world, it is only fitting that AC Transit – a public bus agency – be a part of this historic educational project,” said AC

photo by Noah Berger

The AC Transit Freedom Bus, and its rolling art exhibit honoring America’s civil rights era, was unveiled this spring with a grand celebration at the Oakland School for the Arts.

Transit Interim General Manager Mary King. “As an agency, we are both honored and proud to be a part of the Freedom Bus Project’s unprecedented effort to integrate fine arts with civil rights and public transportation.” Students at elementary, middle, and high schools in the AC Transit service area submitted social justice-themed artwork to be considered for the Freedom Bus Project’s mobile art exhibit. Winning entries were displayed in the interior advertising spaces of approximately 250 buses to make passengers a key part of the Freedom Bus Project experience. But the Freedom Bus – the actual vehicle itself with a bright mosaic on its exterior – was the main attraction. The bus was “wrapped” with artwork depicting scenes from the Montgomery bus boycott. Created by Berkeley High School Arts and Humanities students, the art showed silhouettes of would-be bus riders walking in the bus boycott, intertwined with powerful text – including quotes from Rosa Parks. The dominant color scheme of the wrap is traditional yellow and green, evoking the style of a 1950s bus from Montgomery, Alabama. The Freedom Bus was put into regular daily service and rotated to various routes so that its expressive design could be seen by everyone within AC Transit’s 13-city, 364-square-mile service area. “There is a gap in education when it comes to teaching civil rights,” said AC Transit Board Director Joel Young, the project co-chair. “And our goal is to bridge that gap by integrating civil rights and arts education.” With that in mind, the Freedom Bus went on special tour to four East Bay schools in Richmond, Berkeley, San Leandro and Hayward, displaying its artwork as part of more in-depth educational programs at each school. “It is inspiring to see that the passion of civil

rights is very much alive,” said Dria Fearn, the executive director of the Freedom Bus Project. “To see the artistic interpretations of social justice through the artwork of so many young people is very special.” In the end, the Freedom Bus demonstrated the learning and personal growth of students when they have the opportunity to study relevant and important topics, make their own meaning artistically, and share their creative ideas with real audiences. And like the civil rights movement itself, the bus is what made it happen. Sponsors of the Freedom Bus Project include Titan Worldwide; Clear Channel Outdoor; Kaiser Permanente; Waste Management; Booz Allen Hamilton; The Clorox Company; Comcast; Entrust Capital, Inc.; Union Bank; and Veolia Transportation. ■

> Great transport makes Oakland a great visitor destination by Manette Belliveau

AC Transit’s real-time bus information system, provided by NextBus, has been awarded the 2010 Project of the Year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers – San Francisco Bay Area Section (ITE.) AC Transit was honored for “innovative. . .technologically advanced” engineering in implementing the computerized system on every bus within the agency’s service area. Most notably, the transit agency was singled out for making “innovative approaches (under) unusual circumstances” that proved to be unique, cost effective and publicly embraced. AC Transit also announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has given its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project the highest overall rating of any project in the United States this year, marking another significant milestone in the agency’s effort to bring a much-needed new express service line to the East Bay. “The project would improve the speed and reliability of service to current riders, including large numbers of minority, low-income, and transit-dependent residents, by offering higher frequency service, reduced travel times, and greater schedule reliability,” according to the FTA’s 2011 New Starts report. The report also gives AC Transit’s BRT a cost-effectiveness rating of “high,” making this one of only four other transportation projects in the United States to receive that level of recognition. It was also announced that President Obama’s FY 2012 budget includes $25 million for AC Transit’s BRT project. AC Transit’s vision is to provide a truly world-class transit service that is convenient, reliable and safe; one that increases mobility, enhances the quality of life, and improves the health of the environment throughout the communities it serves. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will link one of the busiest traffic corridors in the country with a fast, economical and environmentally-friendly means of transportation. It will be a highcapacity rapid transit system that reduces passenger travel times. With dedicated lanes and signal priority, and prominent stations with convenient boarding of buses, BRT will offer residents a viable alternative to driving on congested city streets. It will reduce traffic levels, significantly cutting emissions and pollutants. BRT is essentially light rail without the tracks. It combines the express service and capacity of light rail with the convenience and affordability of riding the bus. It can be planned and built at much less expense, and more quickly than traditional light rail systems. ■

In travel, as with real estate, location is key Located in the hub of the Bay Area, Oakland is a convenient location for individuals from around the country to come by plane, train or automobile. Few cities in the country are as easily accessible as Oakland. Oakland International Airport’s value and on-time record are great draws, and it’s also easy to get here by car or train. Groups – Whether it’s an association meeting or a family reunion, planners choose locations that are easy for people in disparate locations to get to. Oakland International Airport offers hundreds of daily flights, while BART makes it fast and easy for attendees to get to Oakland from San Francisco International Airport. In addition to the halls and rooms at the Oakland Convention Center and adjacent Marriott City Center, some 17 other Oakland hotels at the airport, on the waterfront, downtown and in the hills offer meeting and event space. They include the Best Western Airport Inn & Suites, Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, the Clarion Hotel Oakland Airport, the Courtyard by Marriott Oakland Airport, the Courtyard Oakland Downtown, Days Hotel Oakland Airport, Executive Inn & Suites, Hilton Oakland Airport, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Holiday Inn Oakland Airport, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Red Lion Inn, The Inn at Jack London Square, the Washington Inn and the Waterfront Hotel. Individual travelers – Direct connections and affordable flights are an important draw for both business and leisure travelers. Many business travelers use Oakland hotels as a base when going to San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area for meetings, while leisure travelers can use Oakland as a base for exploring Napa and Sonoma as well as Berkeley and San Francisco – and of course Oakland’s many restaurants, entertainment events and attractions. Oakland hotels all have parking that is easy – and in many cases, parking is free. Many Oakland hotels also offer free shuttle service to BART, Jack London Square and the airport. International visitors – San Francisco isn’t the only Bay Area location attracting global visitors. As the tourism market improves, tour groups are starting to return to Oakland because of the good values and easy proximity to freeways. New direct flights from Mexico City on Volaris are bringing Mexican business and leisure travelers. Visit Oakland is marketing Oakland to the world in partnerships with Visit California and the U.S. Travel Association. ■

Manette Belliveau is chief executive officer/president of Visit Oakland, the city’s official destination marketing organization. For more information on Oakland as a visitor destination, visit

July 2011 | 17


Transportation > Port secures $18 million in

> Coming in 2013 – Plan Bay Area

funding for harbor deepening

by John Goodwin Slated for adoption in the spring of 2013, Plan Bay Area will be the region’s first such long-range plan to incorporate a Sustainable Communities Strategy, mandated by the 2008 passage of state Senate Bill 375, which requires the Bay Area and other California metro areas to develop integrated regional land-use and transportation plans to meet state targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. Following the March release of an Initial Vision Scenario, MTC and ABAG conducted a series of ten workshops – including a May 24 workshop in Oakland and a May 19 event in Berkeley – around the region to gather input from residents, businesses and local governments about how the Bay Area’s expected growth can be served by new transportation investments and about where new development should occur. The Initial Vision Scenario assumes a strong economy in which the region will add some 1.2 million jobs by 2035 and will need 903,000 more housing units than currently are available. Designed to make the most of the Bay Area’s existing infrastructure, the initial vision scenario for Plan Bay Area projects 97 percent of all new households from 2015 to 2040 being in already urbanized areas, with 70 percent of the region’s growth taking place in areas that have been designated “close to transit” by local governments. Indeed, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose together would account for nearly one-third of all new housing units in the region during these years. Initial projections show Alameda County as a whole adding more than 200,000 new residences over 25 years, growing by 38 percent to more than 770,000 households in 2040. Priority development areas include most of the city of Oakland, particularly along the Telegraph Avenue, San Pablo Avenue and International Boulevard corridors served by AC Transit’s 1R and 72R rapid buses. Other areas targeted for more intensive development include downtown Oakland, Jack London Square, West Oakland, and the Dimond, Fruitvale, Laurel and Temescal districts. Workshop results indicate a solid consensus among Bay Area residents to accommodate new households within the nine counties, rather than relying on in-commuting by workers living in adjacent regions such as the Central Valley. Less clear, however, is how East Bay residents want to grow. The largest portion of Oakland and Berkeley workshop participants (38 percent and 44 percent, respectively) supported a “most urban” future. Yet 25 percent of Oakland attendees and 10 percent of Berkeley attendees favored a lower-density, suburban development pattern described as “business as usual.” Between these extremes was a “more urban” model supported by 25 percent of participants in

The Oaklandbased Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) have kicked off development of Plan Bay Area, which will detail a 25-year transportation investment and land-use strategy for the ninecounty region from 2015 to 2040.

The Port of Oakland’s -50 Foot Harbor Deepening Project is set to receive $18 million in operations and maintenance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2011 work plan, funding that is vital to the Port’s competitiveness. Oakland Board of Port Commissioners President James Head expressed the Port’s reaction to this good news, “We greatly appreciate that Congresswoman Barbara Lee and the entire Bay Area Congressional delegation stepped up and helped the Port achieve this critical funding to keep the Oakland harbor navigable and safe for the efficient flow of commerce.” “I am very pleased to have helped the Port of Oakland secure this critical federal funding to maintain its position as the premier gateway for international trade in the region,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “As a major export seaport, maintaining Oakland’s channel supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative objective of doubling our exports by 2015, which is critical to our nation’s economic recovery and long-term competitiveness.” The initial deepening to -50 from -42 feet represented a $433 million investment, with $243 million contributed by the federal government and $190 million contributed by the Port, and took ten years from planning to completion in late 2009. Once initially deepened, channels begin to silt in as currents shift unsettled material onto the The Port of Oakland headquarters harbor floor. Annual located at 530 Water St. has earned maintenance dredging is the Energy Star label from the United necessary for clearing this States Environmental Protection material out and keeping Agency (EPA) and the United States channels deep. Department of Energy for the fifth The trend towards everconsecutive year. The Energy Star label larger ships requiring deeper is awarded based on a comparison of a channels, which shows no facility’s energy performance (electricity signs of abating, makes and gas usage) to that of similar facilities maintenance dredging all the around the U.S. more critical. The label shows a particular facility’s Port of Oakland Executive energy performance on a scale of 1 to 100. Director Omar Benjamin said, The Port of Oakland headquarters scored “It is essential for the Port to 84, which means that it ranked in the top be able to accommodate the 16 percent of EPA benchmarked facilities ever-larger container ships nationwide. that require a deeper harbor. Energy Star is commonly recognized This type of public-private from products such as computers, investment in partnership refrigerators and other electrical equipwith the federal government ment; however, buildings can earn this helps the Port of Oakland distinction as well. To achieve an Energy create over 50,000 direct and Star award, a facility must rank among indirect jobs in the region and the top 25 percent most energy-efficient support over 800,000 jobs buildings in the market. Factors that affect across the country.” scoring include building systems, hours Dredging also offers of operation, regional climate, equipment environmental benefits via scheduling and monitoring the habitat and wetland equipment. restoration. For example, the Since 2007, the Port of Oakland has Hamilton Wetland Restoration annually saved, through its operations Project received dredged port-wide, an average of 138,140 kilowattmaterial from the Oakland hours in energy efficiency and 30 kilowatts harbor which has helped with in energy demand. “The Port of Oakland flood damage reduction and strives to continually exceed former goals ecosystem restoration. Also, for energy efficiency,” said President of the larger ships carry more Board of Port Commissioners James Head. containers providing an “In March of 2010, the Port of Oakland important reduction in fuel adopted new energy efficiency savings use and air emissions per and demand reduction goals for 2011transported container. ■ 2020.” ■

> Port awarded

photo by Noah Berger

fifth Energy Star

Oakland and 40 percent in Berkeley. Interestingly, ▲ MTC and ABAG conducted a series of public workshops this spring to a “planned future” consistent with existing hear Bay Area residents’ views on transportation and housing policies won the the best way to accommodate the approval of just 12 percent of attendees in region’s anticipated growth over the Oakland and only 6 percent in Berkeley. next 25 years. In addition to the public workshops, MTC and ABAG worked with several community-based organizations – including Youth Radio and Causa Justa/Just Cause in Oakland – to learn more about the growth and development priorities of often underserved communities such as low-income, nonwhite, or non-English-speaking residents. The next step in the two-year Plan Bay Area process will involve analyzing several alternative scenarios to gauge the impact of different approaches on key performance targets such as reducing per-capita carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks by 7 percent by 2020 and by 15 percent by 2035; and housing 100 percent of the region’s projected 25-year growth without displacing current low-income residents. The alternatives will use different combinations of growth patterns (including job and housing distribution), transportation investment and supportive policies. Each will take into account constraints on housing production and transportation funding. The analyses will be used to establish a preferred scenario that best meets the region’s goals and complies with SB 375 and other metropolitan planning requirements. MTC and ABAG plan to conduct another round of public workshops beginning this fall to discuss the preferred scenario with Bay Area residents. For more information about Plan Bay Area, visit ■ John Goodwin is a public information officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority.

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Ferries – Cross the bay the fun way by Elisa Williams You don’t have to be a tourist at San Francisco’s Pier 39 to enjoy a boat trip on San Francisco Bay. Commuter ferries offering daily service between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Oakland’s Jack London Square combine convenient transport with breathtaking views of the Oakland and San Francisco skylines, construction of the new Bay Bridge, activity at the Port of Oakland, and wildlife ranging from birds to marine mammals. What to expect – The commuter ferries are much more luxurious than the larger boats that service Alcatraz or tour the bay. The catamarans provide a stable ride, so skip the seasick pills. Comfortable seating is available inside upstairs and downstairs. Outdoor seating (with heat lamps, when necessary) is upstairs. Free bicycle parking is in the back downstairs. Beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks plus snacks are available at the bar. When to go – During the week, service begins from Oakland at 6 a.m. and the last ferry from San Francisco leaves the Ferry Building at 8:25 p.m. Weekend service varies by the season; in the summer, service begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in Oakland and the last ferry from San Francisco’s Ferry Building is at 9:55 p.m. What it costs – Buy your tickets onboard. Adults pay $6.25 each way for individual tickets. Rates vary by age and discounts are available for seniors, youth, active military personnel and the disabled. Park for free at the Washington Street garage with a dockside validation. (Group tickets and validation are not available on special ferries to Giants games at AT&T Park.) Great for groups – Plan a floating party on the ferry! Even small groups can take advantage of commuter discount booklets that bring the price down to as little as $8.50 round trip for adults and offer free connections on MUNI and AC Transit at each end. Buy your alcohol on board, but feel free to bring food and soft drinks. Where to stay – Oakland’s waterfront is a terrific base for a Bay Area visit, either for business or pleasure. Hotels at Jack London Square include the Waterfront Hotel and The Inn at Jack London Square. Located down the estuary, The Homewood Suites and the Executive Inn offer free shuttle service to Jack London Square. Jack London Square – Located at the bottom of Broadway on the Oakland Estuary, Jack London Square offers attractions, entertainment, recreation and great restaurants. Tour the USS Potomac, FDR’s Floating White House, and then sip a beer at Heinhold’s First & Last Chance Saloon, where Jack London used to drink. Rent a bicycle at Bay Area Bikes or a kayak from California Canoe & Kayak. Hear world-class jazz at Yoshi’s or enjoy a concert, dance lesson or movie outside. Check out more than a dozen urban wineries or join a “cupping” tasting

at Blue Bottle Coffee’s West Coast roasting plant. For a full list of restaurant options, go to the Food & Drink section of For more information: • • • ■ Elisa Williams is marketing communications director at Visit Oakland, which recently hosted a party on the ferry for more than four dozen international journalists and tour operators during San Francisco’s Pow Wow 2011, the largest global tour and travel show in the United States.

> Capitol Corridor: On track for super summer fun Skyrocketing gas prices shouldn’t keep you from having fun this summer. Ditch your car and ride Capitol Corridor trains for your summer “staycation” solution instead. The Capitol Corridor intercity passenger rail service serves 16 stations in Northern California from Auburn to San Jose, including two stops located right here in Oakland: Jack London Square and Coliseum stations. Capitol Corridor currently has three discounts aimed to help folks on a fuel-saving budget. There are two popular favorites – “Kids Ride Free on Weekends” and the “Seniors Half Off” midweek offer – as well as the new Oakland A’s 25 percent home game discount. The Capitol Corridor Coliseum station is steps closer to the field than BART’s Coliseum stop, so the discounted fare for A’s games is perfect for all of the out-of-town A’s fans you know. Getting the discount is easy. Kids Ride Free on Weekends applies when children 15 years and younger are accompanied by a full-fare paying adult who uses discount code V486 when purchasing a ticket. For the Seniors Half-Off offer, which is valid on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for passengers aged 62 years and older, use discount code V730. A’s fans using code H855 when booking their tickets save 25 percent off their regular adult train fare. Tickets can be purchased online, at a staffed station, or when using a Quik-Trak ticketing kiosk. For complete details about these and other Capitol Corridor seasonal promotions, visit Don’t let high gas and toll prices, congested highways and parking hassles prevent you from summer fun – ride Capitol Corridor and enjoy the ease of train travel. ■ photo by John Wright

July 2011 | 19

Economic Development Creating a strong economy

> ‘Free B’ gives Oakland competition

> Grubb & Ellis to lease former I. Magnin Building

The city of Oakland Broadway Shuttle (also called the “Free B”) capitalizes on downtown Oakland’s rich transit network by providing the “last mile” link between transit stations and final destinations.

By providing free and seamless connections from BART, Amtrak Capitol Corridor and the ferry to office buildings, the shuttle has become a valuable business attraction tool for the city. Businesses are aware that employees increasingly prefer to work where they can take transit to their jobs instead of a car. Making Oakland’s office buildings more accessible by transit gives the city a competitive advantage. The Free B has also been a boon for downtown’s retail and dining establishments by encouraging residents, workers and visitors to circulate and explore the different districts and businesses along the route. Operating since last August along Broadway between Jack London Square and Grand Avenue, Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the shuttle has quickly become an iconic fixture buzzing up and down Oakland’s central corridor. And beginning July 1, the shuttle also began operating on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturdays 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. between Jack London Square and 27th Street. The shuttles runs every ten minutes during commute and lunch times, and every 15 minutes other times. After operating for almost one year, shuttle ridership has more than doubled from 1,300 during the first month of service to more than 2,700 passengers each day – totaling 505,000 passengers since the shuttle’s launch. While the Free B may be a useful and fun service for commuters and restaurant-goers, the shuttle also has a very serious environmental goal – to reduce downtown Oakland’s carbon footprint. By making it easier for people to forgo their cars in favor of public transit, the Free B is reducing carbon dioxide emissions and removing cars from the road. In fact, 46 percent of Broadway Shuttle passenger survey respondents who walk, bike or take transit to work stated that they would be more likely to drive to work more often without the Broadway Shuttle. The Broadway Shuttle is funded primarily by the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, and grants from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Alameda County Transportation Commission. Additional funders include the developers of Jack London Square, the Downtown Oakland Association, Lake Merritt/Uptown Association, Forest City (developers of the Uptown Apartments), and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (operators of the ferry between Oakland, Alameda and San Francisco). The neighborhoods served by the Free B include Jack London Square, Old Oakland, Chinatown, City Center, Uptown and Lake Merritt districts. In order to better serve the post-work hour demographic, the nighttime route does not stop in the Lake Merritt Financial District, but instead services the burgeoning Valdez Triangle and KoreatownNorthgate districts. ■

> Economic Development Committee welcomes new chair The Economic Development Committee of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce welcomes Charissa Frank, business development manager at Swinerton Management and Consulting, as its new chair. Frank has been actively engaged in the Chamber and brings 20 years of experience in client management, sales, corporate development, and government affairs. She has worked with multiple public, private, and nonprofit organizations and community stakeholders on infrastructure and architecture projects during all phases, from concept to construction. Charissa Frank Recently she served as vice-chair for Oakland’s Transportation/Land Use Committee, executive board vice president for Women’s Transportation Seminars, past president of the American Public Works Association, Northern California Chapter, and on SPUR’s High Speed Rail/Transit Center Task Force. She succeeds Eric Kisshauer of Pankow Builders, whom the Chamber of Commerce thanks for his leadership of the Economic Development Committee. ■

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Grubb & Ellis Company, a leading real estate services and investment firm, has announced that Beacon Group Ventures selected John Dolby, senior vice president, Paul Adelman, associate, of the company’s Office Group, as the leasing agents of the former I. Magnin & Co. building located at 2001 Broadway. “This art deco gem is rich in history and unique in architecture with its green terra cotta and black marble façade,” said Dolby. “It’s well known from its years as an I. Magnin department store and has since gone through major renovations that resulted in an office building with both a historical and creative atmosphere. Space has not been available at the property for nearly six years and is ideal for a firm seeking a creative space with high ceilings 16 feet tall.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 2001 Broadway was originally built in 1933. The four-story art deco building offers 57,000 square feet of space, with nearly 18,000 square feet currently available. The building was renovated in 2000, which included a seismic upgrade, new electrical/mechanical data systems and new interior finishes. The property sits atop the 19th Street Oakland BART station and is adjacent to the Uptown Transit Center of the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit. “This building is a prime example of reuse and how you can take a historical retail space and convert it into a modern high-tech space with a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure,” said Scott Newman, principal of Beacon Group Ventures. For more information, call (510) 444-7500 or contact Dolby at ■

> Property left behind after a lease – What to do with all that stuff by Leonard Marquez As the comedian George Carlin famously observed, “A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.” Whether a residence or commercial space, it is often the

case that, at the end of a lease, a tenant may leave some portion of the tenant’s stuff behind, particularly where the tenant has been evicted. What is the landlord to do about making an orderly and legally permissible disposition of the stuff – the tenant’s personal property under the law – remaining on the premises? Under California law, a landlord is legally obligated to follow a statutorily proscribed and often cumbersome public sale process to dispose of personal property left behind by a tenant. The law does make an exception where the personal property is believed to be worth less than $300. In that case, the landlord may keep the property or dispose of it in any manner the landlord chooses. Civ. Code § 1988(a). Unfortunately for commercial landlords, the value of the personal property left behind by a tenant often far exceeds this statutory threshold, requiring a public sale. However, legislation that became effective Jan. 1, 2009 has given commercial landlords some, albeit small, relief. Under this law, a commercial landlord can rely upon a higher value threshold governing when a public sale will be required. The statute applies to all commercial real property except “self-storage units.” Civ. Code § 1993(a). In the case of a commercial tenancy, a public sale is not required if the total resale value of the tenant’s personal property is less than “the lesser” of $750 or $1 per square foot of the premises occupied by the former tenant. Civ. Code § 1993.07(a). Landlord groups advocated for raising the threshold because the existing law often required commercial landlords to hold public auctions for property whose sale failed to even cover the costs of the sale. The landlord must first give the tenant notice of the tenant’s right to reclaim

the personal property within a specified time period. Sometimes that notice will be given as part of proceedings leading up to an eviction if the tenant is not vacating the premises voluntarily. If not, the law proscribes the content of the notice to be given to the tenant. Civ. Code § 1993.05. In both scenarios, in order to reclaim the personal property, the tenant is required to pay the reasonable cost of storage and take possession of the property. Civ. Code § 1987. If the tenant fails to timely reclaim the property, the landlord may keep it if its resale value is under the threshold amount. Where the resale value of the tenant’s personal property exceeds the statutory threshold and a public sale is required, the landlord must undertake a multi-step process. The landlord is first required to give notice of the sale by newspaper publication. At the appointed time, the public sale must be conducted by competitive bidding. The landlord is entitled to reimbursement from the sale proceeds for the costs of storage and the sale, including advertising. Any balance of the proceeds not claimed by the tenant must then be turned over to the county treasurer. The tenant has up to one year to claim the proceeds of the sale. Failing to follow the law governing the disposition of tenant personal property can result in the landlord being liable for the value of the property and other damages. The landlord may be able to avoid resorting to a public sale based upon the landlord’s rights under the lease or other applicable security instrument. Landlords with bargaining power may be able to negotiate, at the inception of the lease, for broader rights with respect to the disposition of the tenant’s personal property at the end of the lease term (or upon breach) or may be able to obtain security interests in the tenant’s personal property that give the landlord greater rights. Given that the law regarding the disposition of tenant property is cumbersome and not particularly advantageous for commercial landlords, commercial landlords will want to consider the issue at the outset of a lease negotiation. ■ Leonard Marquez is a real estate litigation partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP. He can be reached at

“Failing to follow the law governing the disposition of tenant personal property can result in the landlord being liable for the value of the property and other damages.” – Leonard Marquez

> Chef’s Corner – Chef Shea Ohlott Shea Ohlott The Lake Chalet, 1520 Lakeside Drive • BACKGROUND Culinary degree in San Francisco. My first sous chef opportunity was at Restaurant Lulu.

First job? Sports Bar in Sonora, CA in 1997. Education? Graduate of California Culinary Academy in 2003. Residence? Alameda. BUSINESS STRATEGY How’s business? Increasing warm weather drives people here to enjoy our dock and patio, and our Lake Room with its amazing views of Lake Merritt and outstanding food and awesome cocktails. Plus we are doing a lot of banquet business – weddings, corporate meetings, social celebrations – you name it. Biggest challenge that you face? Life. Personal goal yet to be achieved? Culinary Director. Why people like working for you? I have a passion for culinary arts, and I love to spread my knowledge to all the up and coming cooks coming through my kitchens. Mentor? Jared Doob was my executive chef at Restaurant Lulu, who saw something in me and mentored me through the years. We have since worked together in multiple companies. Oh yeah you too DAD! What do you like most about your job? I enjoy the people I work with and the constant challenges of running The Lake Chalet. Best meal/dish you ever created and to whom was it served? The last meal I cooked for mom. PREFERENCES Stranded on a desert island, what cookbook would you want? “Medium Raw” by Anthony Bourdain.

Lunch with Julia Child – one question for her? Are you gonna drink all that? Favorite cause? Melanoma Research Foundation. Favorite movie? The Big Lebowski. Favorite restaurant? Commis. Favorite way to spend spare time? Golf and of course OAKLAND RAIDER FOOTBALL. On your iPod? Bad Religion, ACDC, Johnny Cash. ■

July 2011 | 21

> There’s healthy outdoor fun in the East Bay Regional Parks There’s plenty to do outdoors in Oakland this summer. Whether you have time for a quick pick-me-up walk, or a leisurely picnic and swim, there’s a regional park with something to offer. Here are a few ways to get in the summer spirit: Bring the family to Anthony Chabot campground in the hills spanning Oakland and Castro Valley for summer evening fun in the fresh air. Every Saturday in July and August from 8 to 9 pm, Park District naturalists host a classic campfire program with games, songs and entertainment. It’s free, and you don’t have to be camping at the park to attend. Dress warmly – and don’t forget the marshmallows! Meet at the Anthony Chabot campground amphitheater. Come on in, the water’s great! Whether you prefer splashing in the pool at Roberts Recreation Area or getting your toes in the sand at Lake Temescal, summer’s the time to go swimming in Oakland. Swim hours are posted online. For an invigorating walk by the water, stroll by the newly completed Tidewater Aquatic Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline.

July programs in the East Bay Regional Parks: • July 2 – Beginning Bicycling – Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline • July 10 – Saturday Stroll – Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline • July 14 – Fuel Break Program – Redwood Regional Park • July 20 – Wednesday Walk – Leona Canyon • July 23 – Biggest Trees in the World? – Roberts Regional Recreation Area • July 24 – Sunday Stroll – Redwood Regional Park • July 30 – Three Parks in Day – Redwood, Huckleberry and Sibley Parks • July 31 – Gopher Snake Meet & Greet – Temescal Regional Recreation Area For program times, directions and more information on outdoor opportunities available in the regional parks, visit or call (888) 327-2757. ■

▲ A leisurely day of fishing at Lake Temescal in Oakland.

> Elnora Webb – Truly an

inspirational leader by Annie Wenzel

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

Laney College President Elnora Webb was born to a 13-year-old, raised in more than six foster homes, beaten and emotionally abused. Certainly, she didn’t have the most ideal upbringing.

▲ Laney College President Dr. Elnora Webb (fourth from the left) is greeted at the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable by Steering Committee members (left to right) Chamber Board member Kim Delevett, Donna Singer, Annie Wenzel, Cherie Carter, Dawnn Hill, Sherri Goldsmith, Kim Arnone, and Gini Graham Scott.

Growing up being viewed as an “economic resource,” Dr. Webb heard the word “no” a lot. It did not defeat her. In high school she asked to enroll in college prep classes, but was told that “McDonalds’s is down the street.” She did not take this offense personally. Instead she learned to be self-sufficient, and chose to dare. The Laney College president was guest speaker at the June East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. While most of us grew up in a household with loving parents and a feeling of belonging, Dr. Webb grew up on a farm slaughtering chickens and cultivating crops. She grew to be a responsible child and young adult. She looked at college as a means of survival, a roof over her head, but during her undergraduate years she was diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Webb kept her illness a secret from her peers and most professors. She did not want this situation to be seen as a crutch. She willed herself back to health after multiple surgeries, and returned to school after she was declared cancer free. Many doctors and medical professionals saw this recovery as a miracle; Dr. Webb saw it as the only possible outcome. Dr. Webb’s positive attitude and adverse childhood experiences had prepared her for what was next. As a self-proclaimed education ambassador, she went on to finish her undergraduate studies and eventually ended up with her PhD from UC Berkeley. She has helped to create more than 60 fellowships at Cal and continues to help others find their own personal spirit in her position at Laney. ■ Annie Wenzel is the assistant director of MBA Program & Corporate Outreach at Holy Names University. She can be reached at (510) 436-1642 or at

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

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

Meet Jesse Ortiz at the Chamber Golf Classic Monday, Aug. 29 For info, visit

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.

East Bay Women in Business networking event “The Business Connections Game” | July 14

China trip orientation July 25 |

Breakfast at the Chamber July 21 |

Fifth annual trip information

Hosted by Homewood Suites

Keeping you connected and informed



13 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m. EX ECUT IV E CO MM I T T E E Chair of the Board JOHN NELSON murakami/Nelson

Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m.

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


14 | East Bay Women in Business

Pacific Coast Brewery, 906 Washington St. in Old Oakland, no charge for Chamber members, $15 for non-members


STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

ZACK WASSERMAN Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

WRIGHT LASSITER, III Alameda County Medical Center MICHAEL LEBLANC Pican

KENNETH WHITE Fidelity Roof Company

ELSIE LUM Alameda County Training & Education Center


KEN MAXEY Comcast Cable

Immediate Past Chair PATRICIA SCATES Wells Fargo

BOAR D OF D I RE C TO RS MANETTE BELLIVEAU Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau ALICIA BERT PG&E TERRY BRADY Securitas Security Services DAVE CANNON Barney & Barney LLC JOHN CASAS JT2 Integrated Resources DIANN CASTLEBERRY Port of Oakland ANA CHRETIEN ABC Security Service

25 | After Five Reception

13 | Economic Development

TODD HANSEN Clear Channel Outdoor

ERIC KISSHAUER Pankow Builders

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

RONALD FOREST Matson Navigation Co.

Vice Chair MARIO CHIODO Chiodo Art Development

DAN COHEN Full Court Press

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

MARK MCCLURE California Capital and Investment Group VIC MEINKE Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NATHAN NAYMAN Visa NATHANIEL OUBRE, JR. Kaiser Permanente MICKY RANDHAWA Wells Fargo DAVID ROUNDS Bay Area Newsgroup

networking event, “The Business Connections Game”

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. free for Chamber members, $10 for non-members, Holy Names University, Brennan Lounge, Building G, 3500 Mountain Blvd.

15 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30 - 10 a.m. no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members

19 | Nonprofit Roundtable

MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel / Miss Pearl’s Jam House


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

HA NK MA SLER, (5 10) 87 4 -4 808


Champions for Humanity” monument | 1 p.m.

14 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m. 15 | Breakfast at the Chamber

| 7:30 - 9 a.m. hosted by Principal Financial Group, an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members

20 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Uptown Body & Fender, 401 26th St., just off Broadway, no charge for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

21 | Breakfast at the Chamber

| 7:30 - 9 a.m. hosted by Homewood Suites, an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members

25 | China trip orientation

| 5:30 p.m. for those thinking about joining the Chamber for the 2012 trip from March 22-30

28 | After Five Reception San Leandro Marina Inn, 66 Monarch Bay Drive off Marine Blvd. in the San Leandro marina, $15 for non-members

RICHARD WHITE Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLC


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

22 | After Five Reception

6 | Unveiling “Remember Them:

DICK SPEES Consultant

KIM DELEVETT Southwest Airlines

start begins at 10 a.m. and 19th Hole Reception follows event. Tilden Park Golf Course, Corporate Sponsorship $2,500, Chamber Challenger $1,750, Business Hole Sponsor (with display table) $500, Tee Sign Sponsor $325, individual players $325, Clinic participants $50.

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

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


| Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., shotgun

Committee meeting

EMILY SHANKS Bank of America

DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County

29 | Annual Golf Classic & Clinic

Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park in Fox Square,



5 | East Bay Women in Business luncheon |11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. featuring a panel of inspiring women: Manette Belliveau, president/CEO, Visit Oakland; Karen Engel, executive director, East Bay Economic Development Alliance; and Samee Roberts, director of marketing, city of Oakland, $35 members, $45 non-members, Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington St. in Jack London Square


> Ambassador of the Month Bridgette Mckernan, the sales manager for the Executive Inn and Suites located on the Oakland Estuary, has been named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month for May. Mckernan, who relocated to the Bay Area from Dallas, has quickly fallen in love with the city of Oakland and all it has to offer. She’s currently looking forward to the excitement of the America’s Cup. From training runs to the Challenge races in 2012, to the big event in 2013, it will be a stimulus for Oakland area businesses. Bridgette The Executive Inn, which has been ranked #1 on Mckernan TripAdvisor for all hotels in Oakland for the last 18 months, is Oakland’s third largest hotel with 224 guest rooms and over 6,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 1,500 square feet of outdoor patio space. Mckernan is happy to see the newest updates to her hotel taking form, such as the installation of 37” x 42” flat panel televisions in the rooms. And guests will find incredible speeds available with the new 20mbps pipe to the worldwide web on all hard-wire connections and wireless connections. The hotel has also just added new workout equipment in the main building to complement those in the fitness center. Other amenities include a free shuttle to and from Oakland International Airport and locally around town, a free hot breakfast daily, free internet, free parking, and free use of the two business centers. For more information contact Mckernan at Bridgette.mckernan@■

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

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

16 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting



After Five Reception |

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

Design/Production Editor

18 | Breakfast at the Chamber

San Leandro Marina Inn


| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

Monarch Bay Drive off Marine Blvd. in the San Leandro marina

hosted by The Bread Project, an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members

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

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

July 2011 | 23


The new Oakland Restaurant Association

See our Chef’s Corner, featuring Chef Ohlott from the Lake Chalet, on page 21.

> Eat! Drink! Fight Poverty! The East Bay Food Fight, scheduled for Saturday, July 23 at the Jack London Square Pavilion, brings together some of the country’s top culinary talent to support the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen of Champions. This event will showcase the East Bay’s dynamic dining scene and help the Kitchen continue to lead the charge for a sustainable response to poverty through its innovative culinary training program. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has long provided hot meals to the homeless and the hungry. But it takes more than a meal to change people’s lives. The Kitchen of Champions integrates classroom instruction and hands-on job training to bridge the transition from unemployment to living-wage food service jobs. In addition to classroom work on food preparation, nutrition and food safety, students work on key skills with visiting chefs from local restaurants, support special catering projects, and help prepare the 1,000 hot lunches served daily in the

St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room. The program also includes Job Club instruction emphasizing soft skills, financial literacy and employment preparation, along with key support services and placement support. The Kitchen of Champions partners with several local businesses to place graduates in jobs. Here are some of their stories: Jerry’s* family moved to Oakland when he was six. As a child, his love for sports was matched only by his love of helping his mother in the kitchen. In 11th grade, Jerry decided to enter the Army rather then get recruited by the local gangs. Since he was a minor, he got his mom’s

permission by telling her she was signing a school progress report. He served three years in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1983. Jerry got a janitorial job but soon started meeting up with old friends, hanging in the streets and doing drugs. He supported his addiction by writing bad checks and hustling on the streets, which led to shoplifting and stealing cars. Jerry went to prison for 12 years. He was admitted into the Kitchen of Champions and showed great precision and speed in the prep room, excellent culinary math and vocabulary retention. Jerry graduated with distinction and got a job as a cook in a health care setting, where he plans to work his way up to sous chef. Connie was born and raised in Oakland. One of eight kids in a single-parent family, she remembers eating in the St. Vincent de Paul Free Dining Room when times were tough. As a young adult, she visited the women’s drop-in center at the St. Vincent de Paul Community Center for help with diapers and clothes for her kids – and she ate in the dining room when times were tough. She heard about the Kitchen of Champions program and figured she could certainly cook, so she’d give it a try. Connie completed the 12-week course and, when challenged by the speaker at her graduation ceremony, applied to Laney College’s two-year culinary program. She was accepted and became the first member of her entire extended family ever to attend college. Today, she is one semester away from graduating into an advanced position on her culinary career pathway. Rodney has been in Oakland since his family moved from Alabama when he was four. As an adult, he had done some work as a cook but then hit a rough patch in life. Recently released from prison, 50-yearold Rodney wanted to “get a fresh start on the future.” He had always loved cooking and always hoped to be a chef on a cruise ship. He heard about the Kitchen of Champions from a presentation at the halfway house where he had been placed when first released on parole. He enrolled in the program and quickly became a class leader. When he completed his 12-week term with St. Vincent de Paul’s Kitchen of Champions, he had no trouble landing a job. Today, he works full-time as a line cook in a local restaurant. “I got my fresh start,” he says with a smile. For more information about the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen of Champions Culinary Training Program, visit For tickets and information about the East Bay Food Fight, visit * Graduate names have been changed to protect privacy. ■

> How well do you know Oakland’s restaurants? Brought to you by the Oakland Restaurant Association

Oakland restaurants have made a splash on the national scene with articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and other national publications. People outside of the Bay Area are coming to Oakland to experience the “Dining Scene” that Oakland has created. Oakland restaurants have blended into the city’s urban scene by integrating the restaurants into historic and iconic buildings. Please take a minute and test your knowledge of Oakland’s restaurants. Match the restaurant with the description of the historic and iconic Oakland building. 1. Pacific Coast Brewing Co 2. Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill 3. Flora 4. The Fat Lady 5. Bocanova A. The core structure that has become the building housing this restaurant was constructed in 1909 as a high pressure salt water pumping station for the Oakland Fire Department. B. This restaurant is housed in the beautifully ornate Oakland Floral Depot Building, a landmark Art Deco jewel of Oakland architecture, located across the street from the Fox Theatre. C. The building itself, built in 1876, has been beautifully restored inside and out. The elaborate stained glass window, which adorns the storefront, along with the ornate bar and beer cooler, once graced the interior of the historic Cox Saloon, formerly located not far from their present day home in Old Oakland. D. This restaurant has transformed a former icehouse into a stylish post-industrial milieu perfectly in tune with Oakland’s citywide restaurant renaissance, and the best of Jack London Square’s recent additions. E. The building housing this restaurant dates back to 1884 and was once a house of ill repute. The namesake of this restaurant was reported to be the nickname of the Madame that ran the former establishment. It is rumored that Jack London also spent a night or two in this building. Answers: 1. (C), 2. (A), 3. (BI), 4. (E), 5. (D) Scoring: Give yourself 3 points for each correct answer. Deduct -2 points for each wrong answer. Deduct -1 point if you guessed (and got it right). Add +1 point for each of the restaurants that you have visited. If you scored: 15+ points You should be a food writer 5-15 points Visit the website and bone up Less than You need to get out more often 5 points Prize: A $10 gift card for Pican or Levende East or Miss Pearl’s Jam House If you scored 12+ points, email your snail address to Mark Everton at

24 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

Oakland Business Review July 2011  

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce monthly newspaper, July 2011 Issue. Contains a special section on Transportation.