THE AWARD-WINNING PUBLICATION OF THE OAKLAND METROPOLITAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Welcome new members Page 4
We congratulate the graduates Page 5
www.oaklandchamber.com | VOL XXXVIII NO. 6
Oakland’s Urban Wine Trail
Oakland’s hotel occupancy is raising the roof
Roundup of the hospitality industry
OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW
Visit www.oaklandchamber.com for more business opportunities, news and event registration.
> Seven businesses to be honored at Chamber’s 111th Annual Meeting
been selected – Pandora and Clef. ach year the Chamber takes time to celebrate our Heart of Oakland – One enduring truth about Oakland is great city and the extraordinary leaders who have that our city has heart. No matter what comes, Oakland rises to guided us the last 12 months. And our 2016 meet it. This award honors a local business or individual who Annual Meeting is no exception. Every resident, visitor, Every year has contributed to Oakland’s persistent spirit. Winner – business owner, nonprofit leader and member of the Children’s Fairyland. local and national media has a story about Oakland’s the Chamber’s Secret Sauce Award – It’s hard to put into words what emergence as the city to live, work and play. And aren’t exactly makes Oakland so special. This award honors a business we lucky because we are already here. Annual Meeting or individual who contributes to what Mayor Schaaf likes to The Chamber’s Annual Meeting is an opportunity to pause and honor the truly remarkable businesses and people celebrates the refer to as Oakland’s “Secret Sauce” – that unquantifiable and who embody the essence of Oakland. Please join us to unique ingredient to Oakland’s allure. The winner of this award achievements celebrate the award winners below, mix and mingle with will be selected by Mayor Schaaf. Mayor Schaaf will be your peers while supporting the work of Oakland’s leading announcing the winner during the event. of businesses business organization. Leadership Oakland Alumnae – Leadership Oakland is This year’s award categories and winners are: a nine-month Chamber program that gives the city’s current in furthering Oakland on the Map – Both new and long-time and future leadership the opportunity to gain an in-depth Oakland businesses are exposing the myriad of opportunities understanding of the role leadership plays in our city. This award Oakland’s growth our home town has to offer. Oakland on the Map recognizes a recognizes a graduate of Leadership Oakland who has gone on local company or businessperson who has been particularly to exemplify the skills honed in the program by contributing to and prosperity. effective at championing Oakland to both our residents our city and business community as a leader. Winner, Kim and those outside Oakland that want to be part of our Bardakian, formerly of Visit Oakland and now working for renaissance. Winner – Golden State Warriors. Kapor Center for Social Impact. Deep Roots – As Oakland continues to grow, it’s The Annual Meeting will also feature an update to the important to honor those long-time stewards of our economy Oakland Chamber District Economic Indicators Report, an who helped to build our city’s foundation. Deep Roots honors annual district-by-district, in-depth analysis of Oakland’s a local company or individual who has been a major player in economy by Beacon Economics. Oakland for many years. Winner – Kaiser Permanente. We thank our current sponsors – event sponsors Kaiser Community Catalyst – Oakland has always had a solid Permanente and Southwest Airlines, award sponsors The Clorox foundation of organizations and individuals dedicated to Company; Donahue Fitzgerald LLP; United Business Bank; and the betterment of our community. They strive to lift up our Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP. Table partner sponsors are citizens and spark change where it’s needed the most. This Colliers International, EBMUD, Farmers Insurance (Ruth Stroup award recognizes those contributions above and beyond the Agency), Full Court Press, Gensler, Lane Partners, Lowney norm that benefit Oakland. Winner – Mike Hannigan, Give Something Back. Architecture, Oakland Public Education Fund, Oakland Unified School District, Peralta Tech Oakland – Our city’s tech industry is growing, but aiming to grow the Community College District, Port of Oakland, Samuel Merritt University, The Inn at Jack Oakland way. Oakland tech could lead the way in being a model for inclusive, London Square, The Swig Company, Torrey Pines Bank, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital sustainable growth that creates jobs and opportunities for new and existing Oakland, Visit Oakland, and the Waterfront Hotel. residents alike. This award honors an organization or leader in Oakland’s tech To register for the Annual Meeting or become a sponsor, contact Shaterica Sullivan field who contributes to both the industry and the city. Two winners have at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.oaklandchamber.com. ■
> Now accepting applications for Leadership Oakland 2016-2017 The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Leadership Oakland Class of 2017. Since 1991, Leadership Oakland has offered our city’s current and future leadership the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the role leadership plays in Oakland. Participants receive a ﬁrst-hand view of the range of private businesses, public agencies, nonproﬁt organizations, and elected oﬃces that make up the economic and political engine that drives Oakland. Leadership Oakland builds a network of colleagues with similar interests from diverse business and personal backgrounds. This network oen serves participants in both professional and personal opportunities well aer graduation. The program gives participants the know-how to serve on city boards and commissions as well as the boards of nonproﬁt organizations active in Oakland. The program oﬀers graduates avenues of opportunity to engage in, and are encouraged to assume leadership roles. With the knowledge, network, and know-how acquired through Leadership Oakland, graduates gain the skills and contacts to move forward to help lead our city into the future. The program begins Oct. 14 and runs the second Friday of every month through May. Topics include leadership development, city government, public safety, media and communications, transportation, and more. Visit www.oaklandchamber.com to apply or contact Aly Bonde at email@example.com. ■
> Join us for ‘Battle of the Bay’ – A’s vs Giants, June 29 The Oakland A’s have started their quest for a winning season in 2016, and the Chamber will be with them all the way. On Wednesday evening, June 29, in fact, the Chamber has reserved a section at O.co Coliseum that should be of particular interest in the Bay Area. Join Chamber members and staff at O.co Coliseum for the Battle of the Bay – the A’s versus the San Francisco Giants. And, just to make the game even more exciting, the Chamber has acquired reserved seats on the field level just past first base down the right field line. The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the A’s-Giants showdown are $55 per person ($65 for non-members) and the ticket price is guaranteed – even as regular ticket prices will increase for this great rivalry. To reserve tickets for the A’s-Giants game – always a sellout – visit www.oaklandchamber.com or contact Shaterica Sullivan at (510) 874-4800, ext. 0 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help the Chamber cheer the A’s on to victory! ■
April 2010 |1 1
Names in the news • Branden Clary, a business and real estate attorney, has been named to the Business and Corporate Transactions Practice and Real Estate Practice at Donahue Fitzgerald LLP, one of the East Bay’s leading law firms. Clary represents companies of all sizes in business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions, Branden Clary joint-ventures, leases, purchase and sale agreements, licensing, and in negotiating and settling business disputes. • The City and County of San Francisco, through its Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), has engaged global real estate firm Colliers International to represent the SFPUC in the marketing and disposition of seven underutilized properties located throughout the Bay Area. The Colliers team includes senior vice presidents John Jensen, Tony Park, and Chris Twardus, and executive vice president Robert Rowland, executive vice president. They have a combined industry experience of more than 80 years. • Kim Bardakian, the former director of public relations and community relations with Visit Oakland, has joined the Kapor Center for Social Impact as the organization’s media relations director. She will be responsible for handling the organization’s communications strategies around diversifying tech and establishing Oakland as the hub of tech done Kim Bardakian right. This summer, the Kapor Center will open its new building at 2148 Broadway, creating a space for tech leaders and community partners to develop innovative solutions to the gap of access and opportunity to underrepresented people of color. • The Institute for Local Government (ILG) and REV, a sustainability services firm, have announced their new partnership under the Institute’s Partner Program. This public-private partnership aims to help California municipalities become more sustainable and help the businesses and organizations within their communities accelerate sustainability impact. San Francisco-based REV provides a unique hybrid of sustainability education, expert resources, and individualized consulting that enables businesses, municipalities, and institutions to enhance engagement, save resources, and build resiliency. To date, the company has served over 350 organizations though their flagship Sustainability Circle® Program. • Mark Estes, the law library director at the Bernard E. Witkin Alameda County Law Library in Oakland, has been named as a Hall of Fame Award winner by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). The award was established in 2009 to recognize AALL members who have made significant, substantial, and long-standing contributions to the profession of legal information management, such as writing for legal publications, serving in AALL leadership roles, working with outside organizations on behalf of the profession, or serving as an exceptional role model for their colleagues. • The annual Beer & Wine Celebration in Montclair Village will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. The intimate experience will allow attendees to taste more than 20 artisan wineries and craft brews. Info: (510) 339-1000. • Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Lynette McElhaney recently celebrated the addition of new bike lanes on Telegraph Avenue in the Koreatown neighborhood (KONO) with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Telegraph Avenue is an extremely busy street in Oakland that averages one bike accident per week. Adding new protected lanes begins a safe, modern era for cyclists. ■
| OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
1316 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 832-1416 Contact: Gloria Wohlfarth
Monday - Friday • 6:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. $1.50 each 1/2 hour • $12.00 Max.
Saturday – 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. $1.50 each 1/2 hour • $7.00 Max. Monthly parking rate: $190.00 Reserved monthly parking rate: $215.00 www.downtownmerchantsparking.com Closed Sunday
CITY COUNCIL CORNER by Aly Bonde
Editor’s note: The following is another in the continuing series of stories from Aly Bonde, the Chamber’s public policy director, on the projects and discussions at Oakland’s City Council meetings.
• The Oakland City Council unanimously passed updates to the city’s medical marijuana regulations to come into compliance with new state laws. The changes would also allow eight new medical marijuana dispensary permits each year, as well as establish a permitting process for delivery-only dispensaries and allow non-smoking onsite consumption. The eight dispensaries already operating in the city generate $4 million in taxes each year. At the request of Councilmember Brooks, the Council included an equity amendment which ensures that 50 percent of the new permits go to applicants living in certain parts of the city identified as having higher marijuana-related arrest rates and that a prior marijuana arrest does not disqualify an applicant. • The Council also unanimously placed a measure on the ballot to create a 1 cent per-ounce tax on sugary beverages. Estimates are that it would raise $10-$12 million annually that can be used to support health education programs as determined by a panel of experts who will guide funding. The money would go into the General Fund. • The Council passed a resolution to request that the City Planning Department and Planning Commission initiate action to include hotels with 25 rooms or more on the list of activities that require a major conditional use permit, meaning all permits would be appealable to the City Council rather than the Planning Commission. The resolution also requests the city to amend the planning code to evaluate supplemental material when reviewing applications for a conditional use permit such as the anticipated wages and benefits in the business plan and whether the business plan for each development demonstrates the applicant's commitment and ability to comply with the Oakland Minimum Wage Law. When the item was in committee, Councilmember Reid abstained because he said the item was truly about singling out one industry that unions have historically had a difficult time organizing. • The Council approved the hiring of Environmental Science Associates for $120,000 to study the health effects of exporting coal from the former Oakland Army Base. The contract was formerly opposed by environmental groups based on the company’s previous work. After staff scaled back the scope of work and clarified that all final determinations rest with the Council, the groups mostly supported the contract. The Council also scheduled a date for a final public hearing on the matter and to present options for action on June 27. • The Council heard a presentation of the city’s annual Housing Element Report on new building in Oakland. In 2015, the city issued a total of 771 building permits with 128 of those being for affordable housing. Oakland needs to permit approximately 1,800 units per year to meet its Regional Housing Needs Allocation goal. ■
> Chamber’s Small Business and Nonprofit Fair set for Sept. 14 Save the date! The Oakland Chamber of Commerce will host a Small Business and Nonprofit Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be opportunities to participate and sponsor the event in various ways, such as exhibiting, hosting mini-presentations to a captive audience, and featuring your business in the event programs, with ads and banners printed and online, and in Oakland Business Review. More details will follow.
> Business Referral Network to launch June 15! Please join us for the Business Referral Network launch event which will occur on June 15 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. at the Oakland Chamber’s Board Room. At the launch, entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals will learn about the structure, fees and goals of the program, and can submit an application. Meeting twice a month, the Network’s purpose will be to exchange leads, learn skills and business tools, and make valuable and lasting relationships. The ultimate result will be revenue growth for its members. Beginning July 6, the Network’s regular meetings will occur on the first and third Wednesdays from 12 – 1.30 p.m. at the Oakland Chamber. One representative per industry will be permitted into the Network, so be sure to attend the launch event to secure your spot! Participation in The Network requires active membership in the Oakland Chamber. Join us if you interested in making deeper connections with members of our community, growing your and others’ businesses collectively, and expanding your professional network. RSVP is required. For more information contact Paola Castellanos at email@example.com. ■
JUNE 2016 |
NEW MEMBER PROFILES
Greenerprinter, based in Richmond, is a high-quality commercial printer that offers sustainable printing and
The following is a list of new members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Please refer to these members when you have a need for goods and services.
marketing services, using recycled paper and soy and vegetable based inks. Greenerprinter specializes in printing trade show materials, business cards, marketing collateral, retail packaging, large
Arcsine 414 13th St., Suite 350 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 444-2410 Website: www.arcsine.com Kate Barton Architects, Engineers, Planners Beacon Economics 5777 West Century Blvd., Suite 895 Los Angeles, CA 90045 (310) 571-3399 Website: www.beaconecon.com Victoria Pike Bond Economic Consultants
format banners and posters, and more for businesses of all sizes. As a certified green business, Greenerprinter is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of printing, and goes through third-party audits of its energy usage, water conservation, and other areas. Third-party certifications include B-Corporation, Forest Stewardship Council certification, Bay Area Green Business Program certification and Green America Seal of Approval. For more information, visit www.greenerprinter.com. ■
Cloud10 2950 Buskirk Ave., Suite 300 Walnut Creek, CA 94597 (925) 407-2063 Website: www.cloud10.solutions Evan Junker Coaching Drake’s Brewing Company 1933 Davis St., Suite 177 San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 847-4717 Website: www.drinkdrakes.com Dow Tunis Brewers GreenerPrinter 1003 Canal Blvd. Richmond, CA 94804 Website: www.greenerprinter.com Printers International ProInsurance 142 Sansome St., Suite 500 San Francisco, CA 94104 (415) 223-5549 Website: www.proinsurance.com Michael Snearly Insurance Kornas Corporation 500 Laurelwood Road, Suite 2 Santa Clara, CA 95054 (510) 358-3224, ext. 100 Website: www.kornas.us Piotr Kornas Computer Systems & Services Oakland Unified School District 1000 Broadway, Suite 680 Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 879-0202 Website: www.ousd.k12.ca.us Brigitte Marshall Schools – Secondary & Elementary Prescott Circus Theatre 2425 E. 28th St. Oakland, CA 94601 (510) 967-0355 Website: www.prescottcircus.org David Hunt Nonprofit Saybrook University 475 14th St., 9th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 593-2900 Website: www.saybrook.edu Nathan Long Educational Professionals TitleMax – Oakland 10327 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94603 (510) 777-9521 Website: www.titlemax.com Emilio Gaytan Loans
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we teach science Our mission is to inspire K-12 students to excel in math and science. Our Remote Tutoring and Mentoring (RTM) program connects STEM professionals with students struggling in math. The program is focused on serving economically and/or academically underserved students in selected middle and high schools. This program is currently in place in select districts located in California and Texas. • The RTM program enables students to receive one-on-one mentoring and tutoring in middle or high school math via a remote platform. • Students range from 6th-10th grade • Online sessions are for one hour per week during regular school hours. • we teach science has successfully developed strong partnerships with more than 30 corporations from which we recruit, train, and match STEM professionals. Participating companies include AT&T, Microsoft, Apple, Google, eBay and other dedicated companies within the STEM industry. The Remote Tutoring & Mentoring program allows students and mentors the flexibility of connecting from two separate locations, using existing equipment. Mentorship is essential to human development; it provides us with a means to be purposeful in supporting others both in and outside of our communities. Volunteer today and help change a student’s path. ■
> Congratulations to the Leadership Oakland class of 2015-16 by Lily Marquez
On May 13 the Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with other community members, celebrated the graduation of the Leadership Oakland Class of 2016. During the celebration, Cat Brewer was honored for her years of service and leadership. Leadership Oakland alumni are very proud of her involvement in planning, organizing and facilitating the Leadership Oakland sessions throughout the years. She left an indelible mark on the program and by extension, the community at large. The Leadership Oakland Alumni Association welcomes the Class of 2016 to the Association. The Leadership Oakland Alumni Association (LOAA) provides graduates of Leadership Oakland opportunities for continuing education, networking and community trusteeship. Active participation in LOAA is an opportunity for alums to take their leadership to the next level. Congratulations to all the 2016 Leadership Oakland graduates! To learn more about Leadership Oakland or apply to the Class of 2017 visit www.oaklandchamber.com. ■ Lily Marquez is a financial aid counselor at Samuel Merritt University.
The graduating class of 2015-16
potential in our own community? “There is a desire to learn what Oakland is all about. [Leadership Oakland] offers the ability to see that structure…the key players in private-sector business and government,” Leslie acknowledged. “For me, Leadership Oakland was the beginning of the journey that circled back to the Chamber.” Leslie expressed the business community’s common desire for building deeper connections, investment in education and supporting small businesses, one that can be fulfilled through the long-standing leadership program. Hundreds of local business leaders, community organizers and creative influencers have participated in Leadership Oakland over the past two decades, sparking noteworthy ideas, innovative concepts and provocative viewpoints. And there is an increasing effort to find those interested in developing their talents to advance Oakland and its goals. “We need an array of volunteers for projects,” she said, underscoring the necessity of educating the community on the needs of our city. She cited the city’s Link Learning initiative, an effort to recruit high school interns to infuse young talent in the community. Leslie noted a lack of coordinated tactics to recruiting students into such internship programs. “Is there a regional approach to these conversations?” She is constantly asking what can be done better, and what innovative approaches can be taken. This is exactly the kind of probing, provocative introspection this city craves. And one that is cultivated through Leadership Oakland. If you’d like more information on Leadership Oakland, contact Aly Bonde at firstname.lastname@example.org. ■ Michele Joseph serves as secretary of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Oakland. She is also the director of marketing and communications at the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District.
Laura Brief, BUILD Bay Area Claudia Burgos, AC Transit Jose Hernandez, Office of the Honorable Barbara Lee Monica Lau, Family Bridges, Inc. Julie Johnson, Ray’s Electric Kim McCarl, AC Transit Lauren Messmer, MeetGeraldine Gail Nott, Nott Ltd. Social Media Yasmeen Omidi, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP Steve Payne, Oakland Symphony Andrew Reyes, reddit, Inc. Mimi Kirsten Rohr, Montclarion Newspaper / Bay Area News Group Louise Rothman-Riemer, DHR Investment Counsel / League of Women Voters of Oakland Rob Selna, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP Ingrid Severson, Waste Management of Alameda County Mark Smith, The Clorox Company Joseph Tanios, City of Oakland Jack Tse, Northern California Community Loan Fund ■
> CEO links Leadership Oakland to Chamber role by Michele Joseph
Oakland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barbara Leslie has a clear vision for tomorrow’s trailblazers – one that underscores participation in the Leadership Oakland program, a path that offers Oakland’s current and future innovators the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the role leadership plays in our city. Leslie articulated the Chamber’s redefined commitment to Leadership Oakland in a recent “Conversation Series,” a Leadership Oakland Alumni Association (LOAA) program designed to engage in intimate, stimulating dialogue with today’s community leaders. More than a dozen alumni joined a recent talk with the Chamber’s chief at locally-owned Spice Monkey in downtown Oakland. During her conversation with fellow alumni, Leslie posed the challenge of cultivating the Leadership Oakland program: What do we need to do to attract more talent to Leadership Oakland? How do we cultivate the intrinsic
JUNE 2016 |
> Chamber members learn
> Oakland Planning
about the ‘last mile’
Commission upholds approval of hotel project
by Aly Bonde
The Chamber’s monthly Economic Development Forum in May was dedicated to exploring “last mile” transportation solutions. The event featured a panel discussion about how key public and private sector transportation actors are striving to provide better options to get transit users from their final stop to their final destination – the “last mile.”
The panelists were Rena Davis, public policy manager for Lyft; Robert Del Rosario, director of service development and planning for AC Transit; and Carlos Hernandez, bike share coordinator for the City of Oakland. All three organizations have given last mile solutions considerable thought and highlighted their efforts in presentations and Q&As. Davis stressed that Lyft supplements the region’s transportation network by connecting transit users to their final destination. “Twenty percent of Lyft rides originate near a BART or Caltrain stop,” she said. “We can partner with folks in a transportation desert to contribute to the transportation ecosystem.” Lyft has entered into a partnership with General Motors to test selfdriving vehicles in the near future, as one of the possible solutions to the last mile issue. “I’m amazed at how Lyft is always pushing boundaries on how we can collaborate with the private sector, nonprofits, and government,” Davis said. Del Rosario highlighted the importance of providing last mile solutions, especially given that 51 percent of riders are transit-dependent, meaning they do not have a driver’s license. AC Transit is embarking on the ambitious Bus Rapid Transit project along International Boulevard, which will provide service every five minutes during peak hours. “BRT is light rail without the rail, so it can be more flexible,” Del Rosario said. “It’s part of the first and last mile transit solution because at five minute intervals, it’s ‘show and go.’ Hourly service is just not conducive to use.” AC Transit is also reviving a service once popular in the 1970s and 80s before it was eliminated due to lack of funding – Flex Bus Service. “It used to be you’d call the agency and ask for a pickup, and they’d say ‘here’s a 20-minute window,’” he said. “That was a person-to-person interaction, which is expensive. Now there’s software that can accomplish the same thing. It will give a result similar to Lyft and Uber, but new technology gives transit agencies the opportunity to do it.” AC Transit is testing out Flex Bus Service in low density areas like Fremont, Newark, and Castro Valley. In some cases, it’s reducing the time to get to BART using transit from one hour to 20 minutes. If it’s successful, it could come to higher density areas like parts of Oakland and the Hayward hills. Hernandez, who coordinates the city’s bike share program, outlined how bike sharing will be expanding in Oakland. Bay Area Bikeshare, operated by Motivate, is expanding the regional bike share program from 700 bikes to 7,000. The membership-based service gives users unlimited 30-minute rides. Oakland will eventually have 70 stations and 800 bikes, with the first phase of 21 stations currently in the planning stages. ■
▲ Rena Davis, the public policy manager for Lyft, makes a point during the Chamber’s recent Economic Development Forum.
Aly Bonde is the Chamber’s director of public policy.
| OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
The Oakland Planning Commission has upheld the decision by Oakland Planning Director Rachel Flynn and her staff to approve construction of a Hampton Inn in downtown Oakland on a site owned by the Patel Family/Ridgemont Hospitality at 11th and Franklin streets.
The hotel, when completed, will provide nearly $1 million in general tax revenue to the city, along with 25 permanent jobs and hundreds of construction jobs. The project’s approval was upheld at the Commission’s May 4 meeting and the decision is final and non-appealable. Dhruv Patel, chief operating officer of Ridgemont Hospitality, pointed to the rising demand and increased tourism as the key elements that make the project attractive. Patel said, “We are grateful that the Planning Commission validated our project and to the generations of employees who have helped us serve our customers and grow our hotel business. We hope to break ground and complete the project as quickly as we can. The business and leisure travel market in Oakland is booming and we want to help fill the needs for rooms and jobs in this community.” The Patels, who have run a hospitality business for nearly 40 years in the East Bay, have seen the market grow and contract. However, success in the hotel market is cyclical and holds far greater risk than other commercial development. Dhruv Patel added, "Timing is extremely important in all classes of real estate but particularly hotels. Hotels can take years to ramp up and stabilize depending on cycle timing and have tremendous operating costs compared to other product types. We are thankful to receive this approval and hope to open to the public in 2018." The approved hotel is located in the Lake Merritt Station District General Commercial Zone. It sits nearby Broadway, downtown Oakland’s central artery, and the City Center and Lake Merritt BART stations. ■
> Urban Wine Trail is East Bay’s answer to Wine Country by Frances Wong
When you think wine, you think Napa or Sonoma. But be prepared to change your mind. Oakland is giving traditional wine country some competition. The Oakland Urban Wine Trail is home to ten wineries within a ten-mile radius. Visitors no longer need to leave the East Bay to taste world-class wines. Tasting rooms are located in renovated warehouses, in the middle of art galleries and along the beautiful waterfront. Absolutely unique and truly urban. But where are the vineyards? The grapes are sourced from all over the state based on relationships developed through the vintners’ long history in the winemaking world. “The most important thing is where the grapes are grown – grapes don’t care where they’re crushed!” says Michael Dashe, winemaker at Dashe Cellars. “We can get grapes from every top area in California; we are perfectly located from everywhere.” The Oakland Urban Wine Trail officially launched last fall and was received with great welcome and surprise. A kick-off event was held at Campovida where 100 media and Visit Oakland partners sampled wines from the trail. The Oakland Urban Wine Trail represents a growing interest in winemaking outside of traditional wine country. Wineries include Campovida, Cerruti Cellars, Dashe Cellars, Jeff Cohn Cellars, Periscope Cellars, Rosenblum Cellars, Stage Left Cellars, Two Mile Wines, and Urban Legend. Brooklyn West will be opening up its tasting room in the Jack London neighborhood this summer. The wineries were already in existence but no one had officially packaged them together specifically for Oakland. That’s where Visit Oakland stepped in. In partnership with East Bay Vintners Alliance and the Oakland wineries, Visit Oakland set out to create a brand and attraction that was identifiable for the city. “We wanted the trail’s branding to be familiar to our visitor. The same fonts and overlapping wine bottles in the
– photo by Drew Bird Photography
Oakland Urban Wine Trail logo are strategically consistent with the branding we have for Visit Oakland,” say Natalie
▲ Media and Visit Oakland partners sampled wines at the recent kick-off event.
Alvanez, vice president of Marketing & Business Development. To help visitors navigate the trail, an Oakland Urban Wine Trail brochure with a map and microsite have been launched. Visit Oakland installed street decals
throughout the city to help wine enthusiasts find the closest tasting room. A digital video campaign was also activated, with the videos being pushed out online and on television. Most recently, the viewers of the Golden State Warriors playoff games were greeted with the Oakland Urban Wine Trail spot during the commercial breaks. To experience the Oakland Urban Wine Trail, visit oaklandurbanwinetrail.com. ■ Frances Wong is the public relations manager at Visit Oakland.
JUNE 2016 |
| OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> The Bayside Hotel –
> Fountain Café a local
#1 with TripAdvisor
favorite in City Center
Looking for the best hotel in Oakland? According to TripAdvisor it’s the Bayside Hotel, a Best Western Plus property on the Embarcadero located right next to Executive Inn & Suites. From the lobby’s beautiful staircase to sunset views on the patio, the Bayside offers all of the perks of an upscale destination. The rooms are spacious (480 to 650 square feet) and most offer commanding views of the Oakland Estuary. Each room features contemporary furnishings, including sofa and chair, 42” TV, oversized executive desk and tiled bathroom, all with separate shower and oversized bathtub. With a business center, fitness room and guest laundry, the Bayside has all the amenities you need when you’re on the road. The Bayside is also an excellent location for your meetings and receptions, with more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space – and audio-visual services are available. For more information, call (510) 536-6633. ■
> Food in the workplace: Survey
Oakland’s City Center has always been a popular lunch spot for the local workforce with a number of excellent eateries. And since 1995, Fountain Café has anchored that local food scene, becoming popular not only as a lunch spot, but as a caterer for area businesses. Owned and operated by brothers Elias and Samer Salameh, Fountain Café is a family business with a metropolitan flare, and is located just steps away from the City Center/12th Street BART station. The brothers have joined forces and dedicated their knowledge and culinary backgrounds to offer lunchtime delicacies. The atmosphere is busy, energetic and dynamic, filled with hungry patrons satisfying their appetite. “We have a unique concept,” says Elias Salameh, president and chief executive officer in charge of kitchen operations, catering and menu planning. “Make your own plate the way you like it.” That’s because Fountain Café offers an exceptional variety of healthy, seasonal choices. Food ranges from the well stocked and colorful salad bar to a hot buffet station with daily gourmet specials that range from panko crusted fish filet and roasted chicken to potatoes au gratin, pasta de giorno, Yankee pot roast and southern barbecue pulled pork. Not in the mood for salad or a hot entrée? “You have to visit our deli for a sandwich that you would appreciate,” says Samer, who manages the deli and the front of the house operation. The deli comes complete with everything from house roasted turkey sandwiches, an American favorite, to European delights such as fresh mozzarella and pesto sandwiches on focaccia bread and chicken cordon bleu. ▼ Elias (left) and Samer Salameh, With dedication to quality and attenowners of Fountain Café. tion to detail, Fountain Café offers a variety of catering options for any corporate event and office meeting. Morning orders range from coffee and tea service to house baked muffins, scones, danish and fresh fruit platters. The lunch menu includes cookies and brownies. For more information, visit www.fountaincatering.com or call (510) 451-6400. ■
finds employees want perks more than pay raise by Cheryl Miraglia
While Google’s food perks for their employees are almost legendary – several multi-ethnic cafés with fare designed by top chefs and available throughout the day free of charge – nearly any business can bring in a box of donuts or pastries now and then. But there are also a lot of options in between. Meals can be catered in daily or once a week and the offerings are vast – from health conscious salads and box lunches to themed hot buffets. Or, if meals are out of the question, cater in a “Build Your Own Sundae Bar” or a “Make Your Own Trail Mix Bar” to give employees a lift in the afternoon. No budget for a full sundae bar? Bring in some gelato and sorbet cups for a fun pick-me-up. If the end of the day works better in your environment, opt for a weekly or monthly social such as Taco Tuesday, Wine and Cheese Wednesday or a Friday Pizza Night. It often adds to the fun to have the chief executive officer and executive team staffing the buffet or pouring the sangria. And of course, a company barbecue is always a welcome treat whether it’s a simple parking lot barbecue at your facility or a fun-filled weekend event at the park for your employees and their families. No matter what food avenue you choose to show appreciation to your employees, the morale boost it provides will surely affect the bottom line. As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” Well, maybe game rooms. ■ Cheryl Miraglia is the owner of Miraglia Catering and Picnic Time Productions.
JUNE 2016 |
> Oakland hotel occupancy is raising the roof
– by Mark Everton
The occupancy rate for Oakland hotels has seen consistent growth since 2010. The average occupancy for the 243 hotels/motels in Oakland comprising 24,373 rooms in 2010 was 62.6 percent. That occupancy has grown to 79.5 percent in 2015.
The 27 percent growth in occupancy was accompanied by a loss of hotels/motels in Oakland over the same five-year period. The 2015 Smith Travel Research report reflects that Oakland has 201 hotels/motels with 19,148 rentable rooms. The available rooms have dropped by more than 21 percent since 2010. The demand for Oakland as a business destination has consistently increased as has the demand for Oakland as a tourist destination. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Lonely Planet have all acknowledged Oakland as THE place to visit. Oakland’s vibrant culinary, arts and music scene has all drawn visitors to our city from throughout the world. In the meantime, Oakland International Airport has launched international flights to Mexico, Norway, Denmark and London in recent years. European travelers are discovering Oakland’s diversity and finding Oakland the preferred gateway to San Francisco and the Napa Valley. Some 2.1 million visitors called Oakland home during their visit in 2015. As the demand for hotels has increased so have the hotel room rates increased. The average daily rate for Oakland hotels has increased from $82 in 2010 to $137 in 2015. The 67 percent increase in rates combined with the increase in hotel occupancy has helped fuel the tourism economy. That increase provides strong wages and benefits for many Oakland residents that live in Oakland and work in the tourism related businesses. The Oakland hotels employ more than 3,000 workers. Hotel revenue experienced an increase from $456 million in 2010 to $761 million in 2015. The $305 million increase in hotel revenue resulted in an additional $33 million of hotel tax revenue to the city’s general fund. In total, Oakland hotels provide over $83 million each year to the city’s general fund. PKF has identified Oakland as the third fastest growing U.S. metropolitan market for increasing hotel room rates in 2016. It appears that the demand for Oakland will continue to grow. Oakland desperately needs additional hotel rooms to meet the demand for travel to Oakland. According to Smith Travel Research, in 2010 there were four hotel projects planned accounting for 445 additional rooms. The actual loss of hotels/motels and rooms over the past five years has been a loss of 42 hotels/motels and a loss of 5,225 rentable rooms each night. The most recent PKF report indicates that a single hotel with 175 rooms is under construction and there are 14 additional properties in the planning stage that will add 1,800 additional rooms. The generation of well paying, stable jobs with family benefits and the contribution of tens of millions of dollars to the city’s general fund require that Oakland focus on supporting new hotel development and re-development of existing building into hotels. As the demand increases and the shortage of hotel rooms continues, Oakland may find itself pricing guests out of the Oakland market. Frequently Oakland’s hotel rates compete with San Francisco’s hotel rates. With the long lead time for hotel planning, permitting and construction it is vitally important that we focus on moving the 14 projects in the pipeline forward and look to ways to encourage additional hotel developers to give Oakland serious consideration. ■ Mark Everton, general manager of the Waterfront Hotel, is also the Chamber’s Chairman of the Board.
> Mark Everton named president, CEO at Visit Oakland Mark Everton, the Chamber’s Chairman of the Board, has been named president and chief executive officer of Visit Oakland, the city’s destination marketing organization. The announcement comes after an extensive search over the past several months conducted by Horizon Hospitality. The move becomes effective on June 15. Everton has been serving as interim president & CEO of Visit Oakland after the departure of Alison Best. He brings along more than 30 years of experience in hotel and hospitality management. Most recently, he served as the area managing director at Commune Hotels & Resorts for their Silicon Valley and San Francisco hotels and the general manager of the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square in Oakland. He has managed three of Oakland‘s full service hotels during his tenure in the industry. Everton is an established community leader in Oakland. Besides being the Chamber’s Chair, he also served on the Visit Oakland Board of Directors, most recently holding the title of CFO. His Mark Everton involvement with Oakland’s hospitality and business communities is multi-faceted as he also co-founded the Oakland Restaurant Association. “Mark’s experience in hotels and his relationships with key city and community leaders is incredibly valuable,” says Michael LeBlanc, chairman of the Visit Oakland Board of Directors. “As Oakland continues to emerge as a top national and international destination, we’re confident in his leadership and feel that he will be able to build onto the work that has been done and propel Oakland to the next level.” “I’m very excited to be joining the great team at Visit Oakland,” say Everton. “We’ve already launched a successful Oakland Urban Wine Trail and have created buzz among the culinary and tech scenes. My vision for Visit Oakland is to leverage the city’s recognition as one of the most diverse cities in America and a top travel destination to continue the positive trend in generating room night and visitors in Oakland.” Visit Oakland is a nonprofit organization marketing Oakland as a travel destination. It offers a wide variety of complimentary services and materials for travelers interested in visiting Oakland. For more information, visit www.visitoakland.org. ■
10 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> Jack London Square – A waterfront hotspot for visitors Jack London Square is a bustling hotspot on the Oakland waterfront filled with hip restaurants, recreational activities, history and nightlife. Visitors are invited to spend the day or weekend discovering this waterfront playground year-round.
From on-land to in-water activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Jack London Square including bike rentals from Bay Area Bikes; kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding with California Canoe & Kayak; a playground for little ones; tours of the historic Presidential Yacht USS Potomac; and more. Catch the best views of San Francisco from the water by taking a yacht charter with Sun Country Marine and Passage Nautical. From two to 20 passengers, private yacht charters are available for all occasions. Home to some of the Bay Area’s biggest free events year-round, Jack London Square hosts the one-of-a-kind “Pedalfest” celebrating all things cycling, as well as free dance lessons at Dancing Under the Stars; an eclectic mix of artisans, music and food at Jack’s Night Markets; the Eat Real Festival; Fourth of July Festival of Family Fun; and free full screen outdoor movies at Waterfront Flicks. From holidays in December to warm evenings in July, Jack London Square offers a plethora of free events along the waterfront – a place to come for friendly fun. ■
– photo by Darrell Sano
A plethora of culinary delights await visitors. Those in search of a chic experience can try Italian-inspired Lungomare or Michelin-star-rated chef Daniel Patterson’s Haven. Forge Pizza offers a California hip ‘n’ casual experience with its fire roasted artisan pizzas, while Pan-American kitchen Bocanova has become known for embracing the cultural sensibilities of Central and South America. Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House offers the perfect waterfront spot to enjoy classic California seafood with interesting twists. Newcomer Steel Rail will delight with fresh casual local dishes. Those looking for food and fun will enjoy Plank, an entertainment and restaurant venue featuring diverse urban cuisine, 18 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, an outdoor beer garden with bocce ball courts, three full-service bars, interactive games, live entertainment and more. Set on the waterfront, Rosenblum Cellars pours more than 20 types of wines and is open daily for tastings. For a sweet treat, stop by Miette to enjoy a selection of seasonal cakes, cupcakes, cookies, confections and more. Visitors can also revel in several long-standing establishments – Il Pescatore Ristorante, Kincaid’s, Scott’s Seafood Restaurant and Yoshi’s Oakland, or step back in time with a libation at Oakland’s first beer tavern, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon.
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> Award-winning boutique hotel opens in Temescal – The Inn at Temescal ready to play host during Oakland’s tourism boom Oakland’s newest, hip hotel has opened its doors in Oakland’s burgeoning Temescal neighborhood. The Inn at Temescal is an upscale boutique hotel inspired by the city in which it resides: Oakland.
The concept was simple – design a distinctly modern, comfortable, locally inspired, “green” focused hotel in the heart of Oakland’s transportation district. An eye-catching exterior color scheme makes it hard not to notice. Local artist and craftsmen from the Temescal neighborhood were consulted and put to work throughout the renovation process. Even the general manager of the hotel is a Temescal resident. Inside, all rooms feature hardwood floors, plush double-pillow top beds with premium linens, sustainably sourced furniture, flat screen TVs with 150+ DIRECTV HD channels, and coffee makers complete with a mix of Tully’s coffee and Bigelow tea selections. Outside, new drought-resistant landscaping was not only designed to add additional natural elements to the exterior but also reflect the hotel’s responsibility to conserve water during the unprecedented statewide drought. When it’s time to experience Oakland, the Inn's location really shines. It’s situated just blocks away from delicious, locally owned restaurants with cuisine ranging from Indian Fusion to Burmese, Korean, Italian, Ethiopian, and Latin Fusion. Many eateries in the Temescal District have
been featured on television. However, food is not the only nearby attraction. Piedmont, Uptown, Oakland City Center and Lake Merritt are all within two miles. The Inn at Temescal is a recipient of the “Independent Hotel of the Year 2015” award by the California Lodging Industry Association. Guests have taken notice of the new hotel and location. From Jake T. on Tripadvisor: “If you want a clean, modern, comfortable boutique-style lodging experience, the Inn at Temescal is an excellent choice. They’ve gotten the big stuff AND the little stuff right.” The Inn is one easy block away from the MacArthur BART Station, making it simple to travel within Oakland and the Bay Area. ■
Oakland’s New Hip Hotel
• Centrally located between Temescal district, Lake Merritt and Downtown Oakland • Complementary Bike Rental • 100% Smoke Free • Free High-Speed Internet Access • Discount on room rates for using public transportation or bike 3720 Telegraph Ave. • Oakland CA 94609 • 510-652-9800 • www.innattemescal.com
12 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> Governor reappoints Sima Patel to the Board of Visit California Hospitality veteran Sima Patel, chief executive officer of Ridgemont Hospitality, knows all too well the challenges facing women in her industry. Yet her leadership acumen, industry know-how, and overall passion for the hospitality industry are exactly what make her a trailblazer. When her journey began 35 years ago upon arrival to the United States from Surat, India, she never dreamed that working in her husband’s family lodging business would bring her to where she is today. She made history in 2004 as the first Indian woman in the country to chair a state or national lodging association when she served as chairperson for the California Lodging Industry Association (CLIA). And she was just recently reappointed by Governor Brown to the California Travel and Tourism Commission. Her allegiance to the industry is unparalleled. Patel was elected to the commission by her industry peers prior to being appointed by the Governor. When asked about her impact, Patel said, “In 2015, California Travel Industry contributed $4.6 billion in tax revenue for the state and local governments, $122.5 billion in direct travel spending and over $1 million in travel generated employment in the state. I am proud to be part of the efforts to promote tourism and bring more visitors to California and Oakland.” Despite having no formal training, Patel has become an industry leader. She is a recipient of the AAHOA "Woman Hotelier of the Year 2001" award as well as the "Richard L. Speece Destination Oakland Leadership Award 2006.” She is a member of the Board of Directors of Visit Oakland and the Independent Lodging Industry Association. One could even argue that Patel’s positive influence in the industry led to this month’s historic passing of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 166, recognizing the significant economic affects and quality of life benefits of California tourism, to officially acknowledge May as California Travel and Tourism Month. She was present at the occasion, which was introduced by Assemblymember Chu and Senator Allen on May 11. With more than three decades of experience, Patel, along with her husband Pravin Patel and son Dhruv Patel, own and operate several branded and boutique hotels in the Bay Area and have a strong development pipeline. The future is bright for Sima Patel and her family as they live out the American dream. “My parents have made Oakland their home for over 40 years. With hard work and passion for hospitality, we’ve grown into a successful family owned business,” says Dhruv Patel. In addition to putting her heart and soul in the hospitality industry, Sima Patel is an avid believer that women deserve role models and advocates, and is active in promoting opportunities that involve women’s empowerment and gender equality. “I’m truly blessed to have met her,” says Dorothy Green, front office manager at Holiday Inn Express Oakland Airport. “Sima’s determination to better and uplift young women everywhere and her strong work ethic is an inspiration.” ■
▼ The proclamation recognizing the historic passing of
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 166 is celebrated by (left to right) Commissioners Gary Buffo, Benjamin Webster, Visit California CEO Caroline Betata, and Sima Patel.
> Oakland Symphony announces new season
The Oakland Symphony and Music Director Michael Morgan have announced the 2016-2017 season, which will feature a signature mix of adventurous and wide-ranging music including a new violin concerto, a monumental choral work, a “lost” Romantic symphony, a trio as guest soloists, music from the time of the Black Panthers, an ebullient American musical theater gem and more. The six-concert season runs Oct. 14, 2016, through May 19, 2017, at the Paramount Theatre with pre-concert talks, lobby entertainment and drinks beginning one hour before each performance. In addition, the organization has announced details of the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra’s three-concert 2016-2017 season. Oakland Symphony Classical Series five-concert season subscriptions are priced $80$355 and are on sale now; single tickets, priced $20-$75, go on sale Aug. 15 at www.oaklandsymphony.org. “From Red States, Blue States (on Opening Night) to Music from the Era of the Black Panthers (December) to Notes from Native America (February), this season's music connects the orchestra to current events as well as the history of our community,” says Maestro Morgan. “A symphony orchestra can shine a light on the past and the present, while our collaboration with our Youth Orchestra shows us the future.” For complete information about the Oakland Symphony 2016-2017 season, visit www.oaklandsymphony.org. ■
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> Roundup of Oakland’s hospitality industry Many Oakland businesses that are tied to the hospitality industry are busy planning – or conducting – upcoming events, with specials at local restaurants, events at various attractions, and renovations at hotels.
Here’s a sampling of things to watch for in the city.
The Inn at Jack London Square Located at 233 Broadway, the Inn at Jack London Square has started a major renovation project, with an anticipated completion date of Labor Day 2016. The remodeling will include a completely redesigned façade, front entrance and lobby. The 100-room contemporary boutique style hotel offers privacy in a tranquil setting surrounded by a new updated landscaped courtyard and pool.
Home of Chicken & Waffles Enjoy daily specials with “Martini Mondays,” “Tequila Tuesdays,” “Wine Wednesdays,” house drinks half-off and all-you-can-eat drumettes on Thursdays, “Adios Fridays,” and “Bottomless Mimosas” on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call the Oakland restaurant – located at 444 Embarcadero West across from Jack London Square – at (510) 836-4446.
The Terrace Room The Terrace Room, the restaurant and bar in the famed Mediterranean Art Deco landmark located directly across from Lake Merritt at 1800 Madison St., is currently celebrating its second year as the city’s premier no-cover live music and dancing destination for weeknights and weekends. The venue offers a full-service bar and restaurant, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and spectacular views of the lake, with an ever-changing variety of live music on tap each week. Oakland International Airport Among new routes and flights added, a brand new nonstop flight to
London’s Gatwick Airport commenced on Norwegian Air Lines on May 12, from OAK. With the new route to London, Norwegian now offers more routes from California to Europe than any other airline. This month, Southwest will commence nonstop three-times-daily service to Reno-Tahoe, a daily nonstop to St. Louis, and four-times-daily nonstop service to Long Beach. Chabot Space & Science Center Chabot Space & Science Center has joined the excitement of Oakland’s First Friday nights. Starting this month, and every subsequent First Friday of the month, Oakland’s science center will be revving up its night time offerings from 6 to 10 p.m. The evenings will include a changing menu of favorite and new activities throughout the Center. Jack London Square Home to some of the Bay Area’s biggest free events year-round, Jack London Square hosts the one-of-a-kind “Pedalfest” celebrating all things cycling, as well as free dance lessons at Dancing Under the Stars; an eclectic mix of artisans, music and food at Jack’s Night Markets; the Eat Real Festival; Fourth of July Festival of Family Fun; and free full screen outdoor movies at Waterfront Flicks.
Oakland Zoo The Oakland Zoo will present its 24th Annual “Walk in the Wild: An Epicurean Escapade!” on Saturday, June 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. The event brings together the Bay Area’s finest bakeries, breweries, caterers, restaurants, and wineries for the zoo’s largest annual fundraiser. While strolling through the zoo on this summer evening event, guests will have the opportunity to explore and sample the food and beverages. Art + Soul Art + Soul Oakland, the city of Oakland’s flagship festival that launched a downtown renaissance, returns for its 16th year on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21. The popular event features two days of music, art, dance and food, including the 3rd annual Oaktown Throwdown BBQ competition on Saturday. ■
here hospitality meets the square
Located in downtown Oakland’s historic Jack London Square, this Oakland hotel offers 100 contemporary rooms offering privacy in a tranquil setting. We invite you to visit and become acquainted with the quietly refined pleasures that make the Inn at Jack London Square one of the finest hotels in Oakland.
• Beautifully landscaped courtyard • Meeting facilities • Fitness center • Heated pool • Complimentary Wi-Fi • Ferry to San Francisco
233 Broadway • Oakland, CA 94607 * (510) 452-4565 • www.innatthesquare.com
14 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> The Terrace Room – Complete with live music and dancing
Oakland’s The Terrace Room, the restaurant and bar in the famed Mediterranean Art Deco landmark located directly across from Lake Merritt in Oakland, is currently celebrating its second year as the city’s premier no-cover live music and dancing destination for weeknights and weekends. The beautiful venue, located at 1800 Madison, offers a full-service bar and restaurant, floor to ceiling glass windows with spectacular views of the lake, and an ever-changing variety of live music on tap each week. In addition, those who come for the sumptuous Sunday brunch, including families, couples on dates, or friends who like The Terrace Room’s bottomless mimosas, enjoy the fact that a talented live-music combo is making their weekend feel like a special event. Local musician and producer Ben Levine, who books the musicians for The Terrace Room, is known for bringing artists and audiences together. “It’s a unique venue for Oakland; a really classy place,” he says. “The food at the Terrace Room is great and not an afterthought, which can be the case with some of the music black boxes around town. We have a stage that can hold an eight-piece band and also offer a dance floor. There is a new sound system we put in last year and it is just the right size for the room. It doesn’t overwhelm the crowd or blast you out. All in all it’s an enjoyable audience experience for the dining and jazz crowd.” Levine has booked a number of groups that have become regular favorites in his monthly programming including Medicine Ball Ensemble, the Klipptones, and Steve Lucky and the Rumba Bums. Sonny Holland frequently performs a lively set for the weekend brunch crowd. This month’s highlight is the appearance by Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers who take center stage on Friday, June 17. The headliner of a seven-piece band whose expertise is sizzling jazz and blues, Smith has been hailed by critics throughout the country. The Terrace Room restaurant offers a wonderful bar menu of “quick bites,” created for music lovers on show nights. The regular menu is also available. Admission to musical events is free, with no cover or minimum, but seating can be limited. Music is presented weeknights from 7 to 10 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Programs are subject to change. Learn more about the many local performers making music at The Terrace Room by visiting www.theterraceroom.com or call (510) 903-3771. ■
strictly for little kids and their families. But now, all these years later, those little kids have grown up – and they cherish their Fairyland memories. Many of them are now Millennials, the young adults who make up 25 percent of the U.S. population. According to some research, 50 percent of Millennials are more willing to make a purchase from a company if that purchase supports a cause they believe in. And our nonprofit park, which has been serving our community’s kids for nearly 66 years, is clearly a cause near and dear to the hearts of young adults ready to partner up. But it’s not enough to be a worthy cause. Fairyland has a lot more to offer grownups. Take weddings, for example. Compared to many venues, we’re refreshingly affordable. Our park extends over 10 acres of lush gardens and whimsical sets, so there’s no need for additional decorations. We’re flexible about caterers (even food trucks). We have stages for entertainment and a miniature train for whimsy. Parking in Lakeside Park is plentiful. And let’s not forget the incalculable benefit of being an oasis of calm and magic in the heart of downtown Oakland. Couples who marry at Fairyland bring different approaches to their ceremonies and receptions. Although some choose a traditional outdoor sit-down event, others have opted for costume-themed events (fantasy, Renaissance). At one recent wedding, guests could play games, including one that involved suiting up in an inflatable Sumo wrestling outfit. And that’s just a taste of the enchanting opportunities Fairyland offers. Imagine a family reunion, a strategy retreat, or team-building exercises in the middle of a safe, sweet urban park that celebrates imagination and play. For almost 66 years, Fairyland has been making dreams come true for children. ■ cj Hirschfield is executive director of Children’s Fairyland.
> Grownup magic at Fairyland – by cj Hirschfield
When you think of events at Children’s Fairyland, you may think of kids’ birthday parties. But, weddings? Anniversary parties? Corporate team-building? Yes indeed. In fact, we’ve booked 16 weddings for this season alone. We’ve hosted vow-renewal ceremonies and anniversary parties. And with so many businesses opening or relocating in Oakland, we’re eager to prove that Fairyland’s magic works for corporate events too. For many years after Fairyland opened, way back in 1950, our park was
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> Now you can enjoy $5 First Friday Nights at Chabot Chabot Space & Science Center has joined the excitement of Oakland’s First Friday nights. Starting June 3, and every subsequent First Friday of the month, Oakland’s science center will be revving up its night time offerings from 6 to 10 p.m. The evenings will include a changing menu of favorite and new activities throughout the Center. Laser and planetarium shows, workshops and night hikes will be included with admission, which will be reduced to a $5 entry fee. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The three research-level telescopes will be open for public viewing, subject to weather conditions. “Each $5 First Friday at Chabot will be an exciting and immersive experience for all ages. As this program grows, we hope to become a destination spot where visitors can spend their entire evening engaging with hands-on science and participating in exciting activities that spark curiosity, creativity and also community,“ said Jessica Hicks, Programs & Community Partnerships Coordinator. The Center is also enhancing its daytime programming, offering a rotating menu of interactive visitor experiences for visitors of all ages. Chabot Space & Science Center is an interactive science center whose mission is to inspire and educate students of all ages about Planet Earth and the Universe. Located in the Oakland hills, the museum focuses on the earth, life, physical and astronomical sciences, with a 133-year legacy of serving the Bay Area. Chabot Space & Science Center is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. Parking is available and free. ■
16 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
Art + Soul Festival to celebrate 16th year
Art + Soul Oakland, the city of Oakland’s flagship festival that launched a downtown renaissance, returns for its 16th year on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21. The popular event features two big days of music, art, dance and food, including the 3rd annual Oaktown Throwdown BBQ competition on Saturday. Ten strollable blocks in downtown Oakland around Frank H. Ogawa Plaza are transformed with four big stages, hundreds of artisan booths and a mouthwatering array of cuisine from vendors and mobile food trucks reflecting the rich cultural diversity found in Oakland. During the Oaktown Throwdown BBQ Competition, professional and backyard pit masters from all over California will show off their skills while competing for cash prizes. The public is invited to view the action up close and, for a small fee, sample succulent BBQ ribs, chicken and pork. As in previous years, tens of thousands are expected for a festive weekend showcasing the Best of the East Bay. This year’s lineup will spotlight Oakland’s hot music scene and legacy, featuring dozens of top local bands performing Blues, R&B, Gospel, Funk, Jazz, Rock and more. The lineup will be announced later this month. Art + Soul Oakland has great music, but that’s not all. A family paradise, the festival boasts the largest Family Fun Zone of any festival in the Bay Area, complete with kiddie rides, children’s entertainment and free festival admission for ages 12 and under. The Family Fun Zone is jam-packed with interactive activities for children of all ages, as well as children-friendly carnival games, inflatable bouncers and hands-on activities to create their own art to take home. Additional highlights include the return of the mesmerizing Turf & AllStyles Dance Battle; the Bay Area’s hottest urban, world and modern dance troupes and scores of artisans. Easy to get to and fun for all, the 16th annual Art + Soul Oakland offers direct access via public transit in addition to $5 parking for vehicles and free bike parking. Admission to the festival remains a bargain at $12 for adults; $7 for seniors (65+) & youth (13-17) and children 12 & under free. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate. For more information, including entry applications for the Oaktown Throwdown BBQ Competition, visit ArtandSoulOakland.com or call (510) 444-CITY. ■
> Oakland International Airport: Ready for takeoff
With the summer travel season now upon us, Oakland International Airport (OAK) is well positioned to be the “Best Way to the San Francisco Bay.” Reliable on-time performance, convenient terminal access, and growing air service are making OAK a hit with travelers both locally, regionally, and beyond.
As the peak summer travel season goes into full swing, total seats are up 11.4 percent year-over-year with service to 54 nonstop destinations. The airport is preparing for one of the busiest summer travel seasons in recent history. This all comes as the airport is in the midst of a sustained growth pattern, having reported 29 consecutive months of year-over-year passenger traffic gains. As the number of passengers continues to grow, Oakland International Airport plans to upgrade its facilities to better handle future growth. Terminal upgrades include: • $152 million renovation of Terminal One including seismic upgrades and related life safety and building systems infrastructure upgrades. • Renovation of the Terminal One concourse access rotunda including a new, redesigned TSA security check-point. • $35 million expansion of the Customs and Border Patrol station and International Arrivals building including the installation of an additional bag re-claim carousel and eight additional Automated Passport Control kiosks. • New and updated interior refinished skylights and window walls in the International Arrivals building. Additionally, Port of Oakland Aviation Division staff will move into new and improved office space bringing the majority of airport departments under one roof in the terminal and allowing for commercial real estate development of vacated space at the airport's North Field. “We are very pleased to see passenger traffic continuing to grow at the airport. I believe that this growth pattern paired with the new markets coming this summer reflects confidence in OAK’s position as the ‘The Best Way to San Francisco Bay’ from both our airline partners and customers alike,” Port of Oakland Director of Aviation, Bryant L. Francis, notes of the airport’s trajectory. Among new routes and flights added, a brand new nonstop flight to London’s Gatwick Airport commenced on Norwegian on May 12, from OAK. Norwegian’s initial service from OAK began in May 2014, when the carrier launched service to Stockholm, Sweden, soon followed by service to Oslo, Norway. With the new route to London, Norwegian now offers more routes from California to Europe than any other airline.
On June 5, Southwest will commence nonstop three-times-daily service to Reno-Tahoe, a daily nonstop to St. Louis, and four-timesdaily nonstop service to Long Beach. It will also increase the popular OAK to Baltimore/Washington, DC nonstop transcontinental route from one to two daily. Oakland is Southwest’s largest base in California. With 2400 employees, Southwest is the largest private employer in Oakland. “Not only is OAK centrally located in the Bay Area with great access enabled by the new Oakland Airport BART station, Southwest's OAK customers now benefit from nonstop service to all five L.A. Basin airports. That is effectively interchangeable on-the-fly with our low fares and no change fees,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Network & Revenue. “It's effortless to fly into one L.A. airport and out of any of the other four without a penalty and only Southwest can bring that time-savings and fee-savings value.” The summer additions at OAK are expected to boost passenger traffic by more than 4 percent once incorporated. OAK is the closest airport to the majority of the Bay Area’s businesses and residences, and is the fourth largest airport in California. It is also the largest cargo airport in the San Francisco Bay Area with large-scale operations by FedEx and UPS. ■
> A place ‘where learning happens’
“This intimate setting was perfect for our small group business meeting. Staff are very flexible and accommodated our every need, and coffee/tea is included in the price!” by Elsie Lum The Alameda County Training & Education/Conference Center invites you to use its facility for your next meeting or seminar. The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has been a great partner for the past 20 years. Some of our amenities include: • Coffee/tea service included in price of room rental. • Rooms that accommodate meetings from 10 to 120 people. • Built in audio-visual systems. • Friendly, personalized service. • Accessible location (125 12th St.), with Lake Merritt BART only two blocks away. We are more than just a facility; we’re a place for meeting, connecting and learning. Also, open to Chamber members and the business community are: • Classes on developing leaders, communications skills, writing • Hands-on training in computer labs: Excel, Word, PowerPoint • Consulting for business/organizational development Visit www.acgov.org/conference or come in person to 125 12th St. on the fourth floor. Call (510) 272-6467 to inquire about our services, take a tour, or book a room. ■ Elsie Lum is the director of the Alameda County Training & Education Center.
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> Walk in the Wild comes to the zoo June 25 The East Bay Zoological Society will present Oakland Zoo’s 24th Annual “Walk in the Wild: An Epicurean Escapade!” on Saturday, June 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. Walk in the Wild brings together the Bay Area’s finest bakeries, breweries, caterers, restaurants, and wineries for the zoo’s largest annual fundraiser. While strolling through the zoo on this summer evening event, guests will have the opportunity to explore and sample scrumptious food and beverages from more than 100 restaurants, caterers, bakeries, wineries, and breweries. This foodie event has a reputation for being one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest epicurean offerings. With each reservation, guests receive a commemorative wine glass and butler tray to enjoy a vast variety of culinary cuisine paired with fine wine, beer, and specialty drinks. Reservation prices start at $150 per person. This adult-only engagement supports Oakland Zoo’s conservation, education, and animal enrichment programs. Visit www.oaklandzoo.org to purchase ▼ The zoo’s 24th tickets online. You may also contact the zoo directly at Annual “Walk (510) 632-9525, ext. 159. Due to the service of alcohol, in the Wild: An all guests must be 21 years of age or older. Epicurean Evening events (5 to 8 p.m.) include the walking Escapade!” will safari featuring music and ambiance inspired from the be held on Saturday, June 25 Caribbean. Then from 8 to 10 p.m., guests can dance from 5 to 10 p.m. and eat dessert at sunset in Adventure Landing. ■
> Zoo celebrates World Giraffe Day The Oakland Zoo will celebrate World Giraffe Day by hosting a special day focused on giraffes. On Tuesday, June 21 guests are invited to join in fun activities, meet zookeepers, learn all about the long-necked animals, and best of all have the once-a-year opportunity to feed the giraffes. All proceeds from the event will go to support giraffe conservation in Africa. Fun festivities will take place throughout the zoo’s African Savanna. Teen wild guides and docents will be on hand in the zoo’s African Veldt to lead fun and educational activities including face painting and crafts. Four times throughout the day, visitors will be given the opportunity to feed the giraffes for $15 per person. All funds raised will be donated directly to the Reticulated Giraffe Project to support their giraffe conservation efforts in Kenya. Tickets to feed giraffes can be purchased through www.oaklandzoo.org or directly on www.Eventbrite.com. ■
18 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> ‘Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center’ named at zoo’s California Trail Expansion
Construction of the Oakland Zoo’s new California Trail expansion, including a new state-of-the-art visitor center, is in full swing thanks to a generous $3 million grant from Kaiser Permanente’s fund at the East Bay Community Foundation. Slated to open in spring 2017, the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center at the Zoo’s California Trail serves as the entry point to the developing 56-acre expansion, with Zoo guests arriving via Northern California’s first urban gondola offering awe-inspiring views of the entire Bay Area. The 15,500-square-foot building will also feature viewing decks from 625 feet above sea level and the upper level will house an expansive, family-friendly restaurant. “The California Trail at Oakland Zoo will be the first-ever of its kind, giving almost a million visitors each year the opportunity to connect with and learn about many California native species, like the Grizzly bear, that vanished from our lands so long ago,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, president and chief executive officer of the Oakland Zoo. “We are so pleased to have Kaiser Permanente’s name added to this monumental structure which will serve as the first experience for guests exploring the many attractions of the California Trail.” In addition to securing naming rights to the Kaiser Permanente Visitors Center, the organization’s investment will support two prominent educational programs for youth at the Zoo, the Teen Wild Guide program and Field Biology workshops. Both programs offer Bay Area tweens and teens long-term, hands-on learning and research opportunities. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve,” explained Vice President of External and Community Relations Yvette Radford. “We’re excited to help support the Oakland Zoo’s California Trail because it encourages people of all ages to enjoy outdoor physical activity and appreciate the beauty and environmental diversity of our incredible state.” Slated to open in As construction continues on the Kaiser spring 2017, the Permanente Visitor Center Kaiser Permanente and all of the exhibits and attractions within the Visitor Center California Trail, several at the Zoo’s naming opportunities California Trail remain for the many new habitats, viewing stations, serves as the pavilion, classroom and entry point to the the only one of its kind in Northern California – urban developing 56-acre gondola. The first animal expansion, with residents are anticipated in Zoo guests arrivthe fall of this year with the addition of 20 American ing via Northern Bison from the Blackfeet California’s first Nation tribe in Montana. Other animals will be added urban gondola to the Zoo family from both offering awerescue situations and other inspiring views of zoos in need of relocating animals. the entire Bay The California Trail is Area. slated to open to the public in 2018. ■
> It’s ‘Walking Tours’
> Parks & Rec venues
season in Oakland
packed with character, charm and value
Downtown Oakland is undergoing a renaissance that has captured national media attention, with the Uptown District emerging as a premier arts and entertainment destination. Local residents and visitors can glimpse both today’s happening scene and landmarks from Oakland’s past during the 2016 Oakland Tours season. Free 90-minute walking tours of downtown Oakland will be offered every Wednesday and Saturday through October. The twice weekly guided tours showcase the city’s changing skyline, landmarks, churches and high-rises. The six-month-long tour season ensures ample opportunity to take in each of the eight different tour itineraries. Each tour, led by a volunteer guide, begins at 10 a.m. from various starting locations depending on the itinerary. Reservations are recommended by leaving a message on the Tours’ 24-hour hotline at (510) 238-3234 or via email to email@example.com. The tour brochure, itinerary descriptions, dates and starting locations are available at www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours. Tour 1 – Old Oakland: This tour explores the 1870s business district where carefully restored brick commercial buildings now house offices, galleries and eateries. Offered on June 25, July 23, Aug. 3, Sept. 28 and Oct. 22 Tour 2 – City Center: Explore the upbeat style of modern City Center, alongside restored historic landmarks like the Tribune Tower, the Rotunda Building and City Hall. June 15, July 9, Aug. 10, Sept. 10 and Oct. 5 Tour 3 – Uptown to the Lake: Standing out among the many new restaurants and clubs, Oakland’s vibrant Art Deco-era landmarks – including the Fox Oakland Theater, the Paramount Theatre and the jazzy blue and silver Floral Depot Building – are the focus of this tour. June 11, July 20, Aug. 24, Sept. 14 and Oct. 1 Tour 4 – Preservation Park: On this tour, view fine details of the Victorian-style architecture of several 19th century houses, relocated and restored in a tranquil setting just west of downtown. Today they serve as offices for nonprofits, conference meeting spaces and special events. June 4, July 13, Aug. 13, Sept. 7, Oct. 8 and October 26 Tour 5 – Oakland Chinatown: Explore this multi-ethnic downtown district packed with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions, and learn about the contributions made by Chinese and other Asian immigrants to California’s history. June 29, July 6, Aug. 6, Aug. 31, Sept. 24 and Oct. 19 ▼ In Preservation Park, 19th century Tour 6 – Jack London Waterfront: Follow the foothouses now serve as offices for steps of Oakland’s famous literary son Jack London nonprofits, conference meeting spaces and special events. and see some of his favorite haunts. Visit a wholesale
produce market in operation since the early 1900s, located alongside newly built residential loft developments. June 8, July 2, Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and Oct. 29 Tour 7 – Churches and Temples: Visit historic houses of worship and learn about their influence on the history of Oakland. Featured buildings include the First Presbyterian Church, Temple Sinai and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Christ the Light. June 18, July 27, Aug. 27, Sept. 21 and Oct. 15 Tour 8 – New Era/New Politics: This tour highlights African-American leaders who have made their mark on Oakland. Learn how former Mayor Lionel Wilson, journalist Delilah Beasley, Oakland Tribune publisher Robert Maynard, state legislator Byron Rumford and others changed the city and the Bay Area. June 22, July 16, Aug. 17, Sept. 17 and Oct. 12 The annual free Oakland Tours Program is sponsored by the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts & Marketing Division in the Economic & Workforce Development Department. ■
Event and meeting planners searching for unique venues filled with charm and character may be surprised by the variety of facilities offered by the city of Oakland’s Parks & Recreation (OPR) Department. From product launches and corporate events to memorable receptions and team-building retreats, OPR’s rental facilities offer great value and unforgettable settings. Rich with history, the Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate offers both indoor and outdoor spaces that will wow your guests. Five beautiful indoor venues, the largest seating up to 300 guests, are found on the sprawling 50-acre estate that also features outdoor spaces including the South Pond with a picturesque gazebo and the Great Meadow, which is reminiscent of an English country estate and can accommodate up to 4,500 guests. Built in 1899, the 37-room mansion has served as a backdrop for weddings, special events, receptions and even movies. The Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate is also an unabashedly romantic setting for the picture-perfect wedding. Learn more about this historic meeting venue at dunsmuir-hellman.com. For event planners who want to stick closer to downtown, OPR has several meeting venues just across Lake Merritt from the corporate towers found in Uptown. The Lake Merritt Sailboat House offers a spectacular view of the lake, which is home to the oldest wildlife preserve in the nation and wrapped by “The Necklace of Lights.” The venue can accommodate 150 guests seated theatre-style, 125 for a banquet or 225 at a reception. Add a fun twist to retreats by renting canoes, kayaks or pedal boats for employees to experience Oakland from a different angle as they glide across Lake Merritt. Nearby, the Lakeside Park Garden Center offers versatile options for event planners needing a plenary session space and breakout rooms. The large Vista Room can accommodate 225 attendees theatre-style while the Garden Room and Ebell Room can accommodate 75 and 175, respectively. Surrounded by award-winning gardens, the Vista Room’s and Ebell Room’s expansive windows blend indoors with outdoors and access to the gardens allow for fun refreshment breaks or a Zen moment in the Japanese Garden with Koi pond. Need an even more relaxing setting? Imagine hosting your event among the soaring redwoods at the Joaquin Miller Community Center. The center’s Assembly Room can accommodate up to 175 guests theatre-style or divide the room and have two spaces that hold up to 90 each. Adjacent to the room is a wrap-around deck jutting out into Joaquin Miller Park, one of Oakland’s many natural treasures. The conference room is ideal for small group meetings or could serve as a green room for your keynote speaker. Just down a trail is the Woodminster Amphitheater, an open-air performance space with seating for more than 2,000. Back down the hills to the waterfront, drop anchor at the Jack London Aquatic Center on the Oakland Estuary. With a vaulted ceiling and deck area, the second floor conference room has great views down the water to San Francisco Bay and enough space for a reception for 375 guests or a banquet for 185. To learn about these and other OPR rental facilities, including the Sequoia Lodge, Morcom Rose Garden and Leona Lodge, visit http://bit.ly/1RedoaG or call OPR’s Central Reservations Unit at (510) 615-5999. ■
▲ The Old Oakland tour explores this 1870s business district.
JUNE 2016 | 19
PROVIDING EMPLOYEE SEATING
> Is anyone using this seat? by Cathy Arias
California employers are required to provide suitable seating to their employees when their duties can be performed sitting down. This basic proposition has been the law for many years, but a host of class actions finally forced the California Supreme Court1 to provide guidance that should assist employers in complying. The majority of California Wage Orders contain a section concerning an employee’s entitlement to a seat. Section 14(A) states that “employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats.” Section 14(B) states “when employees are not engaged in the active duties of their employment and the nature of the work requires standing, an adequate number of suitable seats shall be placed in reasonable proximity to the work area, and employees shall be permitted to use such seats when it does not interfere with the performance of their duties.” Cathy Arias
Background The California Supreme Court decision arose out of two Federal lawsuits. Kilby was a clerk for CVS Pharmacy. Her duties included operating a cash register, stocking shelves, gathering shopping baskets and removing trash. Henderson was a teller for Chase Bank whose primary duties were associated with the teller station, but also involved escorting customers to safety deposit boxes, working the drive-up, and inspecting the automatic teller machines. Neither Kilby nor Henderson was provided with seats while they worked and filed class action suits. The decision Nature of the work – In determining whether “the nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats,” courts must examine subsets of employees’ total tasks and duties by location. Employers should focus on tasks that are performed with more frequency or for longer periods since they are more important to the seating inquiry than work performed briefly or infrequently. The Court also clarified that if an employee’s task at a discreet location makes seated work feasible, she is entitled to a seat while working there. However, if the employee’s work takes her to another location where she must perform tasks while standing, she is entitled to a seat during “lulls in operation.” Reasonably permits – Whether an employee is entitled to a seat depends on the “totality of the circumstances.” The analysis should include “an examination of relevant tasks, grouped by location, and whether the task can be performed while seated or require standing.” Consideration must be given to the feasibility of providing seats which include whether providing a seat would unduly interfere with other standing tasks, whether the frequency of transition from sitting to standing may interfere with the work, or whether seated work may impact the quality and effectiveness of overall job performance. The Court allowed that an employer’s business judgment and the physical layout of the workplace are relevant factors but cautioned that an employer’s mere preference that certain tasks be done standing is insufficient. Likewise, an employer should not deliberately design workplaces to further a preference for standing. Employer’s burden – An employer seeking to be excused from providing seats bears the burden of showing that compliance is infeasible because no suitable seat exists. Recommendations 1. Employers who don’t provide seats at all times should examine the nature of employees’ duties and work areas to determine if amenable to seated employees. 2. Employers should ensure that employees have suitable seats when not actively engaged in their duties. 3. Employers should confer with experienced counsel to assist in developing a strategy to comply with seating requirements. ■ 1
Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., April 4, 2016, Cal. Supreme Court Case No. S215614
Cathy Arias is a partner with the law firm of Burnham Brown. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
> A discussion with Brenda Roberts
> Seven signs it’s time to invest
by Aly Bonde
by Joe Diliberto
The Chamber of Commerce’s May Inside Oakland Breakfast featured a presentation and informative Q&A with Oakland’s City Auditor Brenda Roberts, who has been in office for a little over a year. Roberts gave an overview of her office’s duties and purpose, starting with the fact that it’s a little unusual for a City Auditor to be elected. “It brings about a different kind of status for an auditor,” she said. “Usually they would report to Council, but that may bring bias as to what’s audited. Oakland’s constituents wanted a fully independent auditor.” Her office is tasked with looking at the areas of city government most vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse. The Auditor’s Office assesses the internal controls of all departments to ensure that strong checks are in place to reduce errors. They also conduct audits and reviews to identify problem areas and recommend findings on best practices, as well as administer an employee whistleblower hotline and develop fraud awareness training. Aside from conducting the yearly mandated audits – which include Measures M, N, D, Q, business tax refunds, the Public Financing Act, and a financial impact analysis of all ballot measures in Oakland – Roberts is also conducting a much-anticipated audit of the Rent Adjustment Program. The findings will have political implications for the city’s discussion of strengthening rent control. While the audit has taken longer than anticipated, Roberts stressed the importance of caution. “I prefer to do it in the right way, so that it is correct,” she said. “It’s an important topic.” Other current audits underway include an analysis of the city’s purchasing process to ensure that Requests for Proposal are structured and standardized and that there is monitoring of the procurement process. “When I see $250 million in procurement, that gets my attention to look at risk and the magnitude,” she said. “My role is to protect the city and to be a watchdog for the taxpayer.” The discussion was part of the Chamber’s monthly Inside Oakland series – a public forum for Chamber members and their guests featuring public and private decision-makers who affect Oakland. For more information, contact Aly Bonde at email@example.com or visit www.oaklandchamber.com. ■
Even though leadership styles vary, strong leadership is vital to a thriving, progressing company. Does your company have strong, motivating leaders? Are your leaders respected? Do they recognize talent? Can they see the big picture? The answers to these questions are key indicators to your venture's long-term viability. 1. Low employee engagement – Gallup estimated in a recent poll that only 30 percent of American employees are working at their full potential, and that disengagement costs "$450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year." If turnover is high and morale is low, analyze these key metrics to see if there is cause for concern. 2. Tasks instead of strategies – In meetings, are you hearing more discussion of checking items off a list than actual goal setting and strategic planning to reach them? Focusing on small tasks with little regard for the overall goal is a sign that leadership isn't "steering the ship." If small picture thinking takes over your organization, goals will languish and profits will suffer. 3. Lack of fresh ideas – Is it business as usual, same old thing, quarter after quarter? Managers who fail to keep abreast of breaking technology, current trends, and new products miss key opportunities to gain new customers and expand profits. Strong leaders encourage frequent brainstorming sessions and step out of their comfort zones to learn new, more productive ways of doing things. 4. Disorganized, mis-aligned teams – Every component of an organization should function in relation to the others to create success and reach common goals. If your company's sales team isn't connected to marketing's branding message, marketing has no idea about the new product sales is promoting, and customer support is being left out altogether, it's time to regroup. A critical aspect of leadership is working across departments with other leaders. 5. Little or no communication – Inconsistent or unclear communication typically does more to frustrate a team than motivate it. If there are grumblings that a manager is frequently unavailable, too busy to assist with issues, or unwilling to jump in to guide an initiative, there are problems brewing. 6. Unable to handle workplace conflicts – Unfortunately, workplace conflicts can escalate and impede the productivity of the entire team. Strong leaders are able to mitigate this from happening. If there are frequent issues between employees that never seem to find resolution, look closely at the leader. A good leader knows how to adeptly manage workplace conflict. 7. Outdated thinking and strategies – Managers with outdated leadership styles who are reluctant to embrace change and automatically tune out to new ways of executing strategies are detrimental to the entire workplace. Create a culture of change by continually promoting educational opportunities for leaders to understand how positive change can decrease mundane tasks and increase the bottom line. Ensuring your company maintains strong leaders is crucial to achieving long-term sustainability and success. Assisting your leaders in raising the bar elevates every employee, and keeps you forging ahead of your competition. ■
Aly Bonde is the Chamber’s director of public policy.
Joe Diliberto is the president of Sandler Training serving the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, call him directly at (510) 967-7446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his website www.joediliberto.sandler.com.
JUNE 2016 | 21
> A bit of beer with your networking
> Wells Fargo launches FastFlexSM Small Business Loan
The Chamber’s After 5 Reception in May was held at Drake’s Dealership at 2325 Broadway in the Uptown District of Oakland
Wells Fargo has announced the launch
and was hosted by DZH Phillips, one of the largest majority
of “FastFlexSM” Small Business Loan,
women-owned accounting and advisory firms in the Bay Area with
an online, fast-decision loan that is
offices in Oakland, San Francisco, San Rafael and Burlingame.
funded as soon as the next business
The firm provides a full range of accounting and audit services and
day and offers a competitive interest
maintains an extensive knowledge of tax strategies, audit best
rate to small businesses with short-
practices, forensics, wealth management and business advisory
term credit needs. An innovation built
expertise to serve the needs of businesses, nonprofit organizations,
in-house by Wells Fargo, the new loan product is now available to
families and individuals. Backed by more than 50 years of industry
existing customers, and joins the Wells Fargo family of small busi-
knowledge and experience, the staff is attuned to their clients’ most
ness products and comprehensive support offered through Wells
critical opportunities and challenges.
Fargo Works for Small Business®.
Tucked into an alley off Broadway and 23rd Street, Drake’s Dealership is a full-service wood-fired pizza restaurant with 32 beers
FastFlexSM Small Business Loan builds on Wells Fargo’s focus on small businesses, a market in which the company has set a five-year $100 billion
on tap. The crown jewel of the space is the grand open-air beer garden
lending goal. Since setting the goal in 2014, Wells Fargo has provided
featuring fire pits, Adirondack seating and a live music stage.
$40.7 billion in new loans to small businesses1 (Jan. 2014 – March 2016). “Because small businesses want faster, more convenient loan options, online and at competitive rates, we created Wells Fargo FastFlex Small Business Loan,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo’s head of Small Business. “With a $100 billion lending goal, we want to make every responsible small business loan we can. FastFlex Small Business Loan will help by offering short-term credit through an easy, fast-decision application process that includes competitive interest rates, clear terms and as-soonas next day funding. This will put short-term credit within reach for many small businesses seeking to achieve financial success.” The FastFlex Small Business Loan was developed by Wells Fargo Business Direct, a team that provides small business loans under $100,000 each. The typical FastFlex Small Business Loan customer is expected to have strong cash inflows, and short-term credit needs for funding ranging from facility expansion to cash management. The
Pictured above at Drake’s are (left to right) Mark Everton, Chamber Chairman of the Board; Dow Tunis, vice president of business development for Drake’s Brewing; and Cecilia Angat, a partner at DZH Phillips. For more information about DZH Phillips, call (510) 834-6542 or email email@example.com. ■
FastFlex Small Business Loan will be available with one-year terms, at amounts ranging from $10,000 to $35,000, with required payments made on a weekly basis automatically deducted from the customer’s businessdeposit account. It will be available to Wells Fargo business-deposit customers who have been a customer of the bank for at least one year. ■
> Hire a summer intern Youth employment rates have decreased dramatically over the past decade, especially during the summer, while the youth population continues to grow. In response, each year, the City of
Oakland and its community partners provides summer jobs for
We work with you and your team to connect your product or service with your target. We help build your brand – designing and refreshing logos, annual reports, brochures, corporate publications, Emma marketing email, advertising, sales kits, post card marketing and websites.
young people with the goal of improving workforce readiness. Summer 2015, we provided a network of employment, training, and educational enhancement for 2064 Oakland youth and young adults. This year over 6,000 Oakland youth will be looking for gainful employment. Summer employment is a critical resource for youth and provides an avenue for gaining the competencies that will help them transition to responsible adulthood. It helps youth develop the skills they need to be successful in the workplace. For Oakland businesses, hiring a youth in the summer is an opportunity to increase the skills and capacity of Oakland’s youth workforce, as well as a chance to recruit and train potential employees. Last year, Oakland businesses stepped up by donating funds, providing jobs and/or mentoring for our young people through the Classroom2Careers program. Our goal is to increase the number of employment opportunities for Oakland youth this summer and this can only be possible with the help from our employer partners. If you can provide a paid employment opportunity, an internship, or can sponsor a youth (the average cost is $2000), please contact Tamara Walker, Oakland Workforce Investment Board Program Analyst at 510-238-3630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
22 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com
C O M M U N I CAT I O N D E S I G N T H AT R E A L LY M E A N S B U S I N E S S 510.653.2153 email@example.com
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.
Battle of the Bay
LAUNCH OF BUSINESS REFERRAL NETWORK
Economic Development Forum Convention Center renovation
A’s vs. Giants JUNE 29
| JUNE 15
| JUNE 8
ANNUAL MEETING & CHAMBER AWARDS | June 23
Keeping you connected and informed
> JUNE 8 | Economic Development Forum E X ECUTI V E COM MI T TEE
MICHAEL HESTER McGuire & Hester
Chair of the Board MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel
NAVEEN JAIN Sparkart
CHARISSA FRANK FMG Architects
VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company
GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District
PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland
DAN COHEN Full Court Press BENJAMIN HARRISON Colliers International HILARY PEARSON Sungevity JACKIE LYNN RAY Schnitzer Steel Industries ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
28 | After Five Reception
5 | East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon
| 3 - 4:30 p.m.
| 11:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
featuring a presentation by Nick Orton and Carole Ann Bradley of Orton Development on the Kaiser Convention Center’s $52 million renovation, free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members
Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square
15 | Business Referral Network
| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. hosted by Direct Line Tele Response, location to be announced
26 | Inside Oakland Forum | 8:30-10 a.m.
@OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #TheOaklandAdvantage
free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members
Launch MICHAEL LEBLANC PICÁN Restaurant
| noon - 1 p.m.
KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture
exchange leads, learn skills and business tools, and make lasting relationships
ROBERT LUCCHESE Bank of America
16 | After Five Reception
KEN MAXEY Comcast ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation
| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. hosted by Wells Fargo, at its Oakland Main branch, 2040 Franklin St. in downtown Oakland
23 | Chamber’s 111th Annual Meeting and Awards luncheon
| noon - 1:30 p.m. B OA RD O F D IR ECTOR S KIM ARNONE Cutting Edge Capital HARMINDER BAINS Securitas ALICIA BERT PG&E ANDREW BIANCHI Pandora DAREN CHAN AT&T JOHN DOLBY Cushman & Wakefield RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay
CHUCK PROSPER Sutter Health East Bay MICKY RANDHAWA Wells Fargo JENNIFER SCANLON Kaiser Permanente DENNIS SCHRAG UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland DAVID STEIN Donahue Fitzgerald LLP Bj WASHINGTON J.P. Morgan Chase
with seven local businesses honored and celebrated, plus update on Chamber's District Economic Indicators Report
29 | “Battle of the Bay,” Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants | first pitch at 7:05 p.m. O.co Coliseum, reserved seats on field level past first base, $55 per person for Chamber members, $65 per person for non-members
ELÑORA TENA WEBB, PH.D. Peralta Community College District PETER WEINGARTEN Gensler
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
hosted by Wells Fargo at its Oakland Main branch 2040 Franklin St. in downtown Oakland Free for Chamber members. $15 non-members.
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
8 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30-10 a.m. free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members
28 | After Five Reception | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. hosted by SLATE Art, 473 25th St., Suite A
HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.oaklandchamber.com
CARTER DESIGNS The articles published in this publication do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
JUNE 2016 | 23
24 | OBR Oakland Business Review | www.oaklandchamber.com