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Superintendent of Schools Gary Yee education update

A Chamber Public Policy Update

Covered California Option

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Health care coverage

Women in Business Small Business Innovators panel April 4 – Page 19


Education & the Arts Page 20

Oakland Business Review

Visit for more business opportunities, news and event registration.

> Minimum wage increase gaining momentum by Isaac Kos-Read

> Chamber’s ‘illuminating ideas: ENERGY & Sustainability Summit’ set for April 16 The Chamber’s spring economic development event tradition continues. Join us for an educational halfday conference and the fifth annual economic development summit entitled, “illuminating ideas: ENERGY and Sustainability Summit” on Wednesday, April 16 at the Oakland Convention Center. The event will continue the strong Jon Wellinghoff tradition of work in the Northern California MegaRegion and identify priority economic development goals moving forward – the lasting message underscoring that Oakland’s port, city, and unique geographic position in the state makes it “open for business,” ready to capitalize on positive trends in the energy and sustainability sector, and expand the promise in our region for future generations. The summit will include a keynote address by the immediate past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, and two consecutive panel discussion sessions on “Green Infrastructure and Smart, Resilient Cities” and “Innovative Energy Technology and the Public Private Partnership.” The summit will also feature an exclusive “Insider Real Estate Update and Forecast Session” with Garrick Brown of Cassidy Turley. Wellinghoff, an internationally recognized law attorney and clean tech energy expert, is currently a partner at the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP in San Francisco, and is co-chair of the firm’s energy team. He has nearly 38 years of leadership experience in federal and state energy policy, regulation and project development, and has a particular expertise in the integration of renewal resources into the nation’s electricity supply. The April 16 summit features presenting sponsor Chevron, session sponsor PG&E, inner circle sponsors Marstel-Day, LLC, Peralta Community College District, and the Port of Oakland, and event sponsors AC Transit, BART, Community Bank of the Bay, and Matson. The Chamber also thanks media sponsors San Francisco Business Times, Live Work Oakland, and Berkeleyside. This year the Chamber will engage a diverse group of stakeholders including technology innovators, government leaders, small business owners, educators, development planners, and community partners in this innovative halfday summit. Through a series of dynamic speakers and engaging panel discussions, participants will be invited to

The issue of raising the minimum wage is gaining momentum at every level of government and is one that the Chamber and its members must consider this year. In early February 2014, the President signed an executive order to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour for federal government contractors; Governor Brown late last year signed legislation increasing the state minimum wage from its current level of $8/hour to $10/ hour by July 1, 2016; and now there are proposals moving forward in Oakland and other jurisdictions in the region to increase the minimum wage sooner to $12.25 or as much as $15/hour. All of the various minimum wage proposals have implications for the Oakland Chamber and its members, some of whom could benefit from the increased spending power that it would generate in the economy, and others who could be hurt by the increased labor costs, especially as competing neighboring jurisdictions preserve lower minimum wages. In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama elevated the debate over increasing the minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour translates to a $15,000 salary and prevails in the approximately 30 states that don’t mandate a higher one. Pres. Obama called for increasing it to $10.10/ hour, throwing his weight behind a piece of federal legislation backed by Senator Harkin (D-IA) and East Bay Representative George Miller, which would do just that, and subsequently signed an executive order that would mandate $10.10/hour for all federal contract workers making minimum wage. The bill pending in Congress – the Fair Minimum Wage Act – would increase the federal minimum wage in three steps of 95 cents, and then peg the wage to annual cost of living increases. For the first time in more than 20 years, the bill would also increase the minimum wage for tipped workers (currently $2.13/hour) to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage. – continued on page 3

> Barbara Leslie named Chamber’s President/CEO Barbara Leslie, a long-time Oaklander and former AT&T, city and Chamber executive, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She was elected by the Chamber’s Board of Directors Barbara Leslie following a national search. Leslie was most recently Director of Government Affairs at AT&T. She replaces interim CEO Dan Quigley and will begin in April. Oakland Chamber Board Chair Shannon Pedder said, “Barbara Leslie is a proven leader and a long-time Oaklander. We welcome her as someone ready to lead, grow, and engage the business community to improve lives and the business climate.” “This is my dream job,” Leslie said. “I’ve dedicated my professional career to growing the Oakland economy. Now I get to make it a reality.” Leslie added, “I am honored to be able to lead the Chamber at a time when Oakland is realizing the potential that we have all known is here. Oakland’s unique strength is its combination of innovation, diversity, and commitment to community. I look forward to helping the Chamber be the engine of Oakland’s expansion.” Barbara Leslie has 20 years of experience in local, state and federal advocacy on behalf of business in Oakland. In her most recent role, she was a key player in government affairs for AT&T in Alameda County. Previously, she was the head of the Oakland Realtors Association, an executive in the City Manager’s office, and a long-time advocate to elected leaders on the business climate. She has an extensive network of personal relationships across the business, government and civic community. She has already held leadership positions at the Oakland Chamber including serving as executive director of the Leadership Oakland program, serving as a founder of OakPAC, and as a volunteer chair of the Public Policy Committee. She has also been a Board member of chambers as diverse as Hayward, Berkeley, the Oakland African-American Chamber and Walnut Creek. She also served as a member and chair of Oakland’s Workforce Investment Board. Pedder added, “Our members wanted someone who could implement the Chamber’s vision for Oakland. Someone who could build on the positive momentum in Oakland – whether it be the major infrastructure improvements, the growing presence of technology companies, building consensus on public safety issues and supporting the rising restaurant scene. We looked far and wide across the state and the country and found our ideal leader right here in Oakland.” ■

– continued on page 5

April 2010 |




> How do we find great

> Oakland Schools

leaders for our schools?

Foundation opens new chapter as city’s education fund

by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Yee

I had the privilege of being part of a panel for last month’s Leadership Oakland program put on by the Chamber of Commerce. This program of the Chamber provides “…current and future leadership the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the role leadership plays in our city.”

In addition to sharing our new “Fast Facts” snapshot of our school district (you can get one off our website at, I spoke about the importance and value of finding and hiring leaders with experience within our local context. While it isn’t the only factor that matters, local experience can make the difference when we are talking about building a strong positive culture in our schools, and partnerships with our community for our students. I shared with the Leadership class my excitement in meeting with two Oakland educators who attended our schools themselves. Skyline High School has not one, but two assistant principals who not only grew up in Oakland, and were educated in Oakland public schools, but actually attended Skyline High School themselves. Christina Macalino and Elin Peinado both attended Skyline, and both were part of the Future Teachers Pathway (now the Education Academy). Elin commented that the Academy consisted of a team of teachers who were great teachers, but even more, who knew the kids. A third member of the administration team, Anya Gurholt, was the Academy director for many years, and through her efforts, it has become one of our premier Linked Learning Academies (for more about linked learning, see Dr. Gary Yee The school leaders feel that being from Oakland really makes a difference; the students know that they are from Oakland, that they understand the challenges and opportunities of growing up here. They are able to help students imagine a bright future if they work hard and are focused on their social and academic development. Both shared that their work on the front line is full of relentless daily tasks, surprises and problems that require immediate attention, but there are benefits too. They also experience wonderful, fabulously rewarding interactions with students. They are spearheading two big projects that have the potential to change the culture of Skyline. The first is a “life map” project that they are doing with small groups of academically struggling students; in this work, they share what shaped their lives, and then invited the students to do the same – their past, their present, and their goals for the future. They will use these “maps” as an organizer for future conversations with these same students. The second is an initiative we have begun across the district – restorative justice (RJ). RJ asks adults to work with students to understand the consequences of their actions, and provides alternative disciplinary options for students who agree to participate. Through this process, Skyline has been able to resolve student conflicts that had previously led to long suspensions from school. Across the district this and other new strategies have led to a significant decline in the numbers of referrals to the office, suspensions, and expulsions. At the end of my session with Leadership Oakland, I was reminded once again how important it is for our school district to be connected with our business leadership. I asked how many had attended an Oakland school, and I was pleasantly surprised that many had, and in fact, two graduated from my alma mater. Martha Hernandez, a manager at Inner City Advisors, joined me at the Castlemont High School Alumni Association annual luncheon two weeks later! What could be better for the future of Oakland than to have our own children choose to be educational leaders in our schools, and for our schools to have academies like the Education Academy, where our young people can have an early peek into a wonderful career of public service in our schools? If you know of any local residents who may be interested in a career in the Oakland Public Schools, please have them check out a great local recruiting and support program, Teach Tomorrow in Oakland ( ■

Dr. Gary Yee is superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District.

To expand the reach of this resource-building success, OSF recently announced a transition to become the Oakland Public Education Fund. OSF hit the ground running in this new role with its recent School Supply Drive. Throughout the fall, they delivered $35,000 worth of much-needed materials to 23 schools across Oakland. As one school leader said after distributing supplies to students, “It is obvious that OSF and its donors and partners understand the true meaning of community schools: making sure that all students have what they need to perform.” Making an impact like this – a city-wide impact – is a big piece of OSF’s vision as they become the Ed Fund, and forging new partnerships was a key factor in making it happen. Through both donations and volunteer efforts, business partners like Google, Kaiser Permanente and Symantec were responsible for OSF easily surpassing its Supply Drive goals. They recognize that building partnerships of all kinds will help it have the greatest impact across the three main areas of focus as the Ed Fund: • Funding essential programs that strengthen Oakland schools, like the Elementary Literacy Collaborative (ELC). The ELC brings together OSF, OUSD, and 13 schools to offer support for struggling readers. They have seen remarkable gains among ELC participants; in one subgroup, 97 percent of kids were on pace to reach reading proficiency and exit the intervention program. In the coming year they will extend this impact to twice as many schools. • Championing the students, staff, and district leaders who are doing inspiring work every day across Oakland. By doing this, they can shift the narrative and boost public support and responsibility for Oakland’s public schools. • Creating even more partnerships that support the visionary leadership, innovative teaching, and dynamic learning opportunities that give all students what they need to learn, grow, and thrive.

Since its founding in 2003, the Oakland Schools Foundation (OSF) has partnered with individual schools and the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to raise more than $25 million for critical programs that accelerate learning and achievement.

How you can get involved • Sign up now to be an official partner for the 2014-15 School Supply Drive. Email to start the conversation. • Become an official corporate sponsor of the Oakland Public Education Fund. Call (510) 221-6968 to put this in motion. • Make a donation at to support OSF and Oakland public schools today. The Oakland Schools Foundation, soon to become the Oakland Public Education Fund, secures and manages resources for Oakland public schools so that all students have the opportunity to achieve excellence. For more information visit OSF is an independent nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status. ■

is becoming . . .

L ike to partner with us as we take on this exciting new role? Visit to learn how.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> Nonprofits are our priority too by Chamber Interim President Dan Quigley

A year of change and engagement at your Chamber – we are connecting with new ideas and key issues across the city. Nonprofits: We are one of the few chambers with a special committee focused on the needs of our 100+ nonprofit members. At its monthly meeting on Feb. 18, the Nonprofit Committee shared comments on the high quality of current Chamber services and brainstormed on the potential for increased value for nonprofit members. As the Chamber develops new strategies for serving Dan Quigley members and advancing our mission, these and other ideas will be added to the dialogue: • The diversity of events offered by the Chamber helps all members. • Could the Chamber be branded as representing both for-profit and nonprofit members? • The Chamber might develop a specific education initiative that connected students with real-world business experience. • The Chamber could help businesses that want to support community projects by connecting them to the Chamber’s nonprofit members.

Locally and within the region, there is great variance and more debate, especially as we enter the election season. San Francisco voters passed a 2003 ordinance pegging the minimum wage of $8.50/hour in the 2004 base year to inflation. Currently, and as of Jan. 1, 2014, it is $10.74/hour. Meanwhile, in November 2012, San Jose voters increased their city’s minimum wage to $10/hour with inflation indexing, with the current minimum wage at $10.15/hour. In Oakland there are at least three proposals on the table currently. The local proposal driving the debate is put forth by a coalition of labor interests and would enact a $12.25/hour minimum wage for all workers without exception, and includes additional benefits such as paid sick leave. At least one Oakland mayoral candidate has proposed $15/hour (a number that some say is circulating in debates in San Francisco as well), though subsequently threw his support behind the $12.25/hour proposal. Meanwhile, Councilmember Larry Reid in early February called for the city to conduct its own analysis and bring a proposal forward in April for the City Council to consider. The Chamber is working with city staff and other stakeholders in the region to determine what would be the best public policy to grow jobs and economic development. A first step will be to work with Chamber members to evaluate how many would be impacted and by how much, studying both the potentially positive and negative impacts. With proposals at every level gaining so much momentum, the Chamber must act quickly to develop a compelling and effective position ■ Isaac Kos-Read is the Chamber’s new public affairs consultant.

Join us March 8 The Chamber is joining the Oakland Police Foundation and Make Oakland Better Now! to recognize and honor citizens and police officers who are making a difference in addressing violent crime in East Oakland. Chamber members and the public are welcome at a community event on Saturday, March 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Acts Full Gospel Church, 1034 66th Ave. in Oakland. Awards will be presented to Oakland police officers, outreach and human services workers, district attorneys, and the faith-based community. New Chamber Board member We are honored to welcome Pamela Kershaw of the Port of Oakland to the Board of the Chamber. Please take a look at her bio in the summary below. Pamela’s experience and wisdom will be a great asset to the Board’s work. Pamela Kershaw has been serving the Port of Oakland in the role of director of commercial real estate since January of 2010. She is responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of property containing more than 100 tenant agreements that generate approximately $12 million in annual revenue for the Port. Pamela Kershaw Pamela has more than 23 years of experience working for various public agencies in the Bay Area in the field of real estate, planning and development, and has been at the Port of Oakland for the past 12 years. She worked for the city of Oakland for several years prior to that. ■

> Minimum wage

– continued from page 1

California, however, is one of at least 19 states that have already increased its minimum wage – currently at $8/hour – above the federal level. Last year Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 10 (Alejo), which will increase the state minimum wage to $9/hour effective July 1, 2014 and to $10/hour July 1, 2016, a 25 percent increase over two years. This was one of 38 bills identified last year as a “job killer” bill by the California Chamber of Commerce. Proponents of the minimum wage increases, however, contend that they can in fact be good for businesses as well as workers. First, proponents point out that the minimum wage has lost its buying power from its peak in 1968. If it had merely kept pace with inflation, it would in fact be around $10.56/hour today. Even at that level, generating an annual income of about $22,000/year, in many regions, including most in the Bay Area, some contend that it would still not be a wage that would keep someone – let alone a family – above the poverty line. Further, proponents note that the increase in wages for low-wage workers produces money that is immediately and locally reinvested in the economy through increased purchasing power. The jury is still out on what the real effect would be, with both sides celebrating the conclusions from at least one important study. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just concluded an analysis of an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9 with no pegging to inflation and an increase to $10.10 with subsequent pegging. Opponents are quick to point out that the study concludes an increase to $10.10 / hour will lead to a loss of 500,000 jobs or 0.3 percent of the labor force. Whereas proponents note that the study concludes the increase would lift 900,000 families out of poverty and increase the incomes of some 16.5 million low-age workers.

March 2014 | 3

> Oakland companies

> The Chamber and Oakland

lead the way at East Bay Innovation Awards

welcome Blaisdell’s

by Steve Lautze

Leading the way with more than 20 nominations, eight finalists, and five winners across nine categories honoring innovation in specific disciplines, Oakland firms dominated this event, for which any outstanding firms in Alameda or Contra Costa counties could be nominated. Kaiser Permanente (KP) received perhaps the highest honor of the night in the Legacy category, essentially a “lifetime achievement” award for an arc of excellence beginning with Henry J. Kaiser’s innovations in manufacturing and construction during and after World War II, as well as KP’s auspicious “invention” of the health maintenance organization or HMO, and Kaiser’s ongoing investment in leading edge medical facilities and tech- niques in Oakland and beyond. Other Oakland winners included: • Back to the Roots (food category), the home food production firm that grew its business with home mushroom growing kits, and more recently has created a home aquaculture kit; • Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (life sciences category), which provides leading edge health care to children throughout Northern California regardless of income level, and has recently announced a partnership with the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of San Francisco; • Techbridge (education category), a nonprofit organization offering hands-on experience for girls from all backgrounds designed to foster capacity and confidence in science, technology, and engineering; • Youth Radio, which won the cross-cutting Catalyst category for its work imparting media literacy and skills development to thousands of young people in the East Bay from underrepresented communities, which has also led to impressive educational attainment of its participants as well. Other Oakland finalists, which were runners-up in their highly competitive fields, include solar innovators Sungevity (cleantech category) and Mosaic (information technology); CyArk (engineering and design), which uses leading edge technology to preserve images of global heritage sites; and children’s nutrition path-breaker Revolution Foods, which made the food category an all-Oakland affair. Oakland sponsors for the event included the Port of Oakland; Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP; Pandora; and the East Bay Community Foundation. In fact, even the award statuettes hauled off by the winners were indicators of innovation in Oakland, since they were created on 3D printers at the city’s own Studio Fathom, a local design and advanced manufacturing firm. City economic development staff is very proud to have nominated the Oakland finalists for these awards. For more details on the event, including videos highlighting all of the finalists and winning companies and more, visit _home.html. For information on Oakland’s overall economic development efforts to attract more innovation and creative companies, contact Aliza Gallo, economic development manager, at (510) 238-7405 or at For solar and green tech industry users, contact Steve Lautze at or at (510) 238-4973; and for food production and creative industries, contact Margot Prado, or (510) 238-6766.

On Feb. 13, the city of Oakland affirmed its status as the region’s center of creativity and ingenuity at the 2nd annual East Bay Innovation Awards, produced by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (EBEDA) and held at the Fox Theater.

■ Steve Lautze is a member of the city of Oakland’s economic development department.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Blaisdell’s Business Products, which carries everything for your breakroom to your boardroom, has moved its offices to Oakland at 474 Roland Way in the airport area just off Edgewater Drive. Blaisdell’s offers more than 40,000 business products – 10,000 of them recycled and recyclable – including toner, breakroom and janitorial products, furniture and more. To make it more convenient for your business, you can order online, by phone or fax, or in person. And, there’s next day delivery – free. Supplies include everything from computer accessories and software to ergonomic office chairs, sitstand work stations, keyboards, back supports and adjustable tables. At the recent ribbon cutting, above, chief executive officer Margee Witt (holding the scissors) is joined by executives Mike Witt and Jim Masingale as well as staff and friends. For more information on Blaisdell’s, which is one of the fastest growing companies in the Bay Area, visit or call (510) 483-3600. ■


> Port of Oakland – At a glance by Eleanor Hollander

On Feb. 12, attendees at the monthly Economic Development Forum were treated to an update on the state of capital projects at the Port of Oakland.

Jean Banker, the principal assistant to the executive director of the Port, gave an overview of the Port’s operations in the Oakland area and explained how trade routes and goods that arrive in Oakland get distributed throughout the county. She then answered several questions on a variety of topics on the Port’s activities and upcoming projects. Banker explained the business lines at the Port of Oakland and articulated that most of the business of the Port is in a “landlord role.” The Port itself is governed by seven commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor of Oakland. It is the county’s sixth largest port, serving more than seven million people and generating nearly 73,000 jobs across the region. Banker said that the Port of Oakland is somewhat unique in that it also includes an airport, similar to its Pacific Northwest neighbors Seattle and Portland (but rather uncommon across the nation). A few of the main projects that the Port is working on in 2014 include meeting the

sustainability goals of the institution, including decreasing the diesel emissions by 85 percent from the 2004 baseline by the year 2020. In order to do this, most of the trucks at the Port are emissions compliant and are less than seven years old (2007 or newer). All ships that park at the Port take advantage of “shore power” and are now able to plug into the grid and use electricity while at the docks, which helps cut down emissions from idling. With the combination of these efforts and others, in 2013 the Port was able to make 75 ▲ Jean Banker makes a point percent progress on its emission while addressing Chamber reduction targets. members and guests at a Banker reviewed some of the financial recent Economic Development elements of operating the Port – mainly Forum. that the debt service is almost 24 percent of their budget, and 3 percent of the revenue comes from real estate leases. When questioned about when the burden of the debt service might be retired or reduced, Banker answered “in 2035,” which got a few surprised murmurs from the crowd. Despite this, Banker was optimistic about the state of the Port for the remainder of 2014, citing six of the organization’s forthcoming goals, including (1) making Oakland the first port of call for ships from Asia, (2) providing competitive rail service, (3) encouraging intermodal expansion and development, (4) bulk cargo development at Howard Terminal (5) exploring "transloading" efficiencies, and (6) cold storage and logistics building development. ■ Eleanor Hollander is the Chamber’s director of economic development.

> Summit’

– continued from page 1

revisit a strong regional sector of the East Bay economy as identified by the Chamberproduced Oakland Partnership/McKinsey report of 2007 – “ENERGY, sustainability and green technology.” Following on the success of the 2013 Economic Development Summit, which re-examined the other identified sectors of strength from the Oakland Partnership report including healthcare, trade+ logistics, and arts + entertainment, 2014’s Economic Development Summit topic will complement the previous year’s work. For more information visit

> Cold storage – An essential part of Oakland’s food and freight trail by Margot Lederer Prado

The international trade and logistics sector is an important driver of Oakland’s economy. One of the fastest growing segments of this sector is cold storage – actually the entire refrigerated supply chain from farm and production to market.

Cold storage is also one of the competitive advantages of the Port of Oakland and regional maritime business community. Most of the Port’s top exports – and it is a majority export seaport – are all agricultural and food products: dried fruits and nuts, wine and spirits, meat and poultry, dairy. Oakland is also home to several large firms in the sector such as Dean’s Services, Pacific Coast Containers, and Dreisbach Enterprises. In addition, Oakland has specialty companies such as Lehar Foods, which deals solely in the storage and distribution locally of poultry. These companies have deep roots in Oakland, employing many Oakland residents in jobs with strong career pathway potential. Overall, the East Bay I-80/880 Corridor, including the cities of Richmond, Oakland, San Leandro, Union City, and Hayward, are home to a number of national, globally-oriented cold storage enterprises, and demand is growing for their services from both the import and export side, as well as from local food manufacturers and national companies with local distribution networks. Since the 1950s the logistics industry has made radical advances in the way it does business, leveraging technology for enhanced supply chain efficiencies from facility and cargo temperature control and tracking systems to sophisticated warehouse management systems that utilizes both radio frequency warehousing and internet inventory access. The logistics and warehousing sector has diversified its activities to include container drayage (from Port to local carrier and vice versa), point of manufacturing delivery, USDA and FDA Inspection Services, and organic food handing, in addition to temperature-controlled warehousing, transportation and distribution. Supply chain partner businesses multiply employment in the sector, including freight forwarders and air and marine cargo operators, to name a few. Oakland is home to over 250 businesses and nearly 3,000 jobs in “Freight” categories (based on NAIC codes) and not including air cargo and specialty or household movers, including five firms dedicated to cold storage.* Additionally, the “Wholesale” sector (which includes some manufacturers) includes 1,073 businesses employing over 7,386 in Oakland, and “Warehouse and Delivery” includes another 72 businesses with 962 employees in Oakland. Altogether this represents over 10,000 private sector jobs in Oakland. Temperature-controlled logistics and warehousing operations vary, and may consist of various aspects of facilities and infrastructure: • Temperature-controlled warehouse facilities with multiple temperature storage and freezing options. • Refrigerated trailers whose reefer units must meet the latest California Air Resources Board compliance regulations. • Refrigerated insulated containers, which can be lifted by cranes direct from truck to ship, and can be powered by attached energy systems, or land-based energy systems; and • Internal “bladders” which house bulk wine, cooking oils, juices and other liquids imported for domestic production and bottling for wholesale and retail distribution. Cold storage facilities also serve the strong domestic East Bay food manufacturing industry. Oakland’s food manufacturers are demanding more cold storage and refrigeration as their production grows. Many such manufacturers are not able to invest in expensive insulated refrigeration facilities, and need short-term storage. Specialty cold storage facilities benefit both domestic and the import-export markets. As the Port of Oakland moves to enhance its reputation as the cold storage leader on the West Coast, so will I-80/880 Corridor cities benefit from maintaining a sufficient private side supply of specialty cold storage warehouse and logistics enterprises. ■

*(InfoUSA, April2013) Margot Lederer Prado is the senior Economic & Workforce Development specialist for the City of Oakland.

March 2014 | 5


> Oakland State Legislative delegation goes ‘Inside Oakland’ by Isaac Kos-Read

> Chamber developing more proactive 2014 policy agenda by Isaac Kos-Read

At its first meeting of 2014, the Public Policy Committee unanimously called for having a more proactive public policy agenda. With it being an election year and mid-way through most budget and legislative cycles, a more proactive policy agenda must capitalize on work to date and external developments already underway. And with the Chamber going through a significant leadership transition, it is important to consider how that Isaac Kos-Read transition can help drive such an agenda. The case for a strong public policy voice is clear. Most businesses are too busy running their businesses to have time for advocacy. Some participate directly, but most rightly rely on the Chamber to deliver them a voice in city government and beyond. As an organization with diverse membership, however, it is not simple to define what the Chamber policy agenda should be. Small businesses may have different priorities from larger businesses. There are other differentiators, but there are even more commonalities. Two of the most significant commonalities are public safety and economic development. Whether you are a franchisee of a large corporation, a Fortune 500 company, a hot new restaurant, or a pop-up boutique, if you and your customers do not have confidence in public safety, your business will face challenges. Similarly, if you have a great business, but the environment around that business – the streets, facades, signs, and community – are run down, the business will struggle. There is thus a compelling case to be made for a dual public policy focus of the Chamber on economic development and public safety. There are many things going on this year that relate to these two vital issues. On the public safety front, the city is in the midst of looking at a comprehensive public safety plan. At the same time, at the end of the year, a special measure that has provided about $20 million a year for various public safety, police, and fire initiatives is about to expire. Should it be renewed? Is $20 million enough? Ideally, the Chamber should be helping make sure the voice of business is heard in the discussions over the optimal public safety plan, and then making sure that plan informs the development of the right revenue measure. Similarly, on the economic development front, there are many opportunities. In the wake of the demise of redevelopment in California, the city of Oakland is taking a look at its economic development strategy. Throughout this year, the city’s economic development team is going to be developing and rolling out what they say will be a simple, succinct, and actionable economic development plan – “not one that will sit on the shelf.” Indirectly but fundamentally connected to economic development, the Oakland Unified School District is looking at measures – including potentially new funding measures that businesses would have to pay into – to fund “linked learning” or career pathways programs to help high school students prepare to be productive members of the workforce of the future. Meanwhile, the Alameda County Transportation Commission has already moved to put the renewal, augmentation, and extension of the county transportation sales tax –which failed last November by just 721 votes – back on the ballot for this November, making strategic changes to aid its passage (it now has a sunset date and stronger oversight provisions, among others). Any business knows that strong education and transportation systems are essential public goods that support private enterprise. The Chamber’s public policy team is actively engaging and refining its policy agenda as they relate to public safety and economic development and invite your input in that process. There is also no doubt that the arrival of a new president and chief executive officer will add even more momentum to the development and implementation of this new proactive public policy agenda. ■ Isaac Kos-Read is the Chamber’s new public affairs consultant.


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

The Chamber was proud to host Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, and Jim Oddie, the District Director for Assemblymember Rob Bonta, for February’s Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum. More than 50 leaders from across Oakland attended to learn about the “State of the Districts” that encompass Oakland and what our representatives are doing to solve problems in our region. Also, it was an opportunity for businesses to have their voices heard by our state legislators. Senator Hancock kicked things off with a focus on education, emphasizing “career pathways” funding that the state is offering to help high school kids become productive members of the workforce. Assemblymember Skinner spoke of her role as chair of the Budget Committee at a time when the state finally has some money. Rather than spend the state’s current “surplus” on on-going expenditures, they are focusing on one-time infrastructure investments and putting aside money

▲ At Inside Oakland (left to to protect against future shortfalls. right) – incoming Chamber District Director Oddie spoke President Barbara Leslie, about a package of business-oriented Interim President Dan proposals including two that would Quigley, City Council President directly benefit Oakland and the Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan, sponsor Kim Cohn Wilks of Chamber – the creation of three Family Paths, Senator Loni economic development districts Hancock, BART Director around key opportunity sites in Robert Raburn, Oakland and an effort to restore state Assemblymember Nancy matching funds for the Small Business Skinner, and Jim Oddie, Development Center, which is located District Director for Assemblymember Rob Bonta. in Alameda County and is run out of the Chamber office. We were joined by a host of leaders from multiple sectors who came with great questions. Our first-ever Inside Oakland sponsor, the local nonprofit mental health counseling organization Family Paths, gave a pitch for their services and asked about what the state was doing to support victims of violent crime. City Council President Pro Tem Rebecca Kaplan offered that the state should consider spending some of its one-time funds on police academies, an idea that Assemblymember Skinner said she would absolutely pursue. And BART Director Robert Raburn put in a strong plug for investing in transit infrastructure as a way to spend money wisely today and create jobs that will help address recidivism. Inside Oakland meets every fourth Friday, and is coordinated by Jackie Ray (Schnitzer Steel), who serves on the Public Policy Committee, which helps inform the schedule of speakers. The next two will focus on public safety, with future forums on tourism, transportation, and education. To attend, inform, or sponsor a future event, please contact the Chamber. ■


Health Care > Let’s make sure

federal health care reform is successful by Rebecca Rozen

2014 is a crucial time for health care professionals working to successfully implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is seen as the most significant change to our health care system in almost half a century. Our nonprofit hospitals here in the East Bay, and across California, are gearing up to handle the needs of more than three million residents who will have access to health care coverage for the first time. But while much of the attention has been focused on helping to expand health care coverage, success also depends upon the ability to actually deliver medical care. An important part of that success depends on what are called “community benefit programs.” These are the investments that nonprofit hospitals make in health care programs and services that benefit the entire community and address local unmet health care needs. Under California law, nonprofit hospitals must have a community benefit plan designed to help underserved populations. These plans are developed in collaboration with local governments, community-based organizations, and community members in order to meet specific local health care needs, and are an important part of a nonprofit hospital’s obligation. Community benefit plans are public and available for review online through the Office of State Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) website. In Alameda County, hospitals invest $698 million annually in community benefit programs and free clinical services. They include mobile health clinics that provide free preventive and urgent medical care for the uninsured and those who lack the means to pay, programs that allow young adults to separate themselves from past gang or drug activity by having their tattoos removed at our facilities, and performing surgeries free of charge for patients without health insurance.

These are just a couple of examples of how California’s nonprofit hospitals help address local health needs with services that also include trauma centers, emergency services, neonatal care, and cancer research. Unfortunately, there is talk of legislation at the State Capitol that would impose new community benefit mandates on our hospitals that would come at the cost of access. These new rules would limit the ability of hospitals to meet local health care needs and sustain appropriate levels of care. Just last year, a similar measure, Assembly Bill (AB) 975, authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski and Rob Bonta, was rejected by the Legislature. It would have substantially re-written California’s community benefit law and would have imposed expensive new mandates on the state’s nonprofit hospitals. Discussion this year of another attempt at heavyhanded mandates should alarm patients as well as the hospitals that take care of them. According to economic research by Dr. Tom Campbell, a former Silicon Valley congressman and former California director of finance, new regulations that increase costs for nonprofit hospitals will result in decreased access to care. According to Campbell’s report, prepared with his colleagues at the Berkeley Research Group, a 10 percent increase in regulatory costs would shut 54,000 patients out of needed health care every year. That increase in costs would also mean $413 million in lost wages for health care workers, and a loss of $25 million in state income tax receipts, according to Campbell’s research. Let’s let the Legislature know that when it comes to community benefit programs, there’s no point in creating new expensive mandates for nonprofit hospitals that are already meeting the needs of the local community. Our focus should be on making sure that federal health care reform is successful, and that Californians have access to the care they need. ■ Rebecca Rozen is the regional vice president of the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California.

Rebecca Rozen

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Health Care

> Phasing in new buildings doesn’t ‘phase’ Kay Stodd For the past ten years, Kay Stodd, RN, MSN, has been spearheading the rebuilding of and transition to the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center campus – from planning to move-in.

Stodd is focusing on training, supplies, and support services for employees who recently moved to the new Specialty Medical Office Building (SMOB), and for additional staff who will move to the state-of-the-art hospital – an enormous effort that involves familiarizing providers with the layout of their departments, orienting them to new equipment, providing them with the supplies and tools they need to do their jobs, and simulating procedures and patient care. In all, she and 11 project managers will be helping providers and staff move “from their current life to a new life” in the new buildings. When the new Kaiser Permanente Specialty Medical Office Building – where 750 employees work – opened for business on Jan. 6, it was the culmination of ten years of work for Stodd. The new hospital will house 3,500 employees when it opens later this year. A registered nurse, Stodd began her Kaiser Permanente career more than 30 years ago as an operating room manager in Orange County. She helped open the Santa Rosa facility in 1990, working in both Perioperative Services and hospital administration. In 1997, she joined the Kaiser Permanente Regional Offices in Oakland as part of the Operational Consulting Group, and in 2003 she was hired as Oakland Medical Center’s director of Hospital Rebuild. For Stodd, it’s a natural building progression from a career in patient care to project management and operations. “I was always organized,” she said, “and moving from a good operating room to what I do now was very natural, since so much of what I did every day in the operating room was project management.” Stodd made her Oakland debut with the planning and execution of the first phase of the Kaiser Permanente campus rebuild – the design, construction and the move to the Broadway Medical Office Building and Cancer Center. Phase Two, the hospital and Specialty Medical Office Building, involved similar challenges, but on a scale that is larger and more

what functionally works for them in their new space,” she said. “I ask them how their department functions and what their needs are…and then we translate that into information about space and equipment that we relay to the architects.” For ten years, with every building that has been constructed or remodeled, Stodd has facilitated the design process, helping users articulate their needs and making sure that architects have understood and responded. In preparation for the Oakland hospital opening this fall, Stodd is overseeing everything from work flow planning to regulatory issues. “Documenting everything will be important, aer people have been functioning awhile,” she said. “We want to share our experiences so others can learn from them.” ■

> Opening of Kaiser Permanente Specialty Medical Office Building

Kaiser Permanente’s Specialty Medical Office Building in Oakland (SMOB) opened for business on Jan. 6 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by staff and physicians.

complex. Staff members and patients ▲ Some Kaiser Permanente senior leaders admire the will be moving. topping out of the new To prepare for this, Stodd said she Oakland Medical Center. has visited and studied every Kaiser From left, Shirley Steinback, Permanente hospital that has opened in Medical Group the last five years “to pick everyone’s Administrator East Bay; brain about the lessons they have Nathaniel Oubre, former learned so that we can take safe care of East Bay Senior Vice our patients as we move them across the President and Area street.” Manager; Kay Stodd, RN, In her role as coordinator, integrator, director of Hospital Rebuild; and liaison-in-chief, Stodd represents and John Loftus, MD, Kaiser Permanente department Physician in Chief. managers and physicians to the architects, construction companies, and the construction management team from Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Services. “My job is to see that, to the degree possible, the departments get

▲ The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Kaiser Permanente Specialty Medical Office Building was held in January. Senior Kaiser leaders, from left, include John Loftus, MD, physician in chief; Shirley Steinback, Medical Group administrator East Bay; Dennis S. Durzinsky, MD, assistant physician in chief; Claude Watts Jr., interim senior vice president and area manager East Bay; and Kay Stodd, RN, director of Hospital Rebuild.

The four-story building on the corner of Broadway and MacArthur Boulevard is now home to 750 employees, a number of specialty medical departments and a full service cafeteria and grill. The SMOB houses six out-patient operating rooms, seven out-patient procedure rooms and more than 100 provider offices. “Today we opened another amazing facility; this one represents what we stand for in the East Bay,” said John Lous, MD, physician-in-chief, Oakland Medical Center. The SMOB will be home to medical specialists who serve the East Bay as well as specialists who see patients from all over northern California. Oakland Chief Operating Officer and interim Senior Vice President and Area Manager Claude Watts Jr. thanked the many individuals who made the opening of the SMOB successful. Work on the adjacent 12-floor, 349-bed state-of-the-art hospital tower is moving along. When it opens later this year, it will have an emergency department, 14 in-patient operating rooms and eight labor and delivery rooms. Virtual Tour of the new Kaiser Permanente Specialty Medical Office Building: Virtual Tour of the new Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center: ■

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Health Care

> Alta Bates honored The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers has announced that Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has been selected as one of only six organizations in the nation to comprise a Hotspotting Advisory Group.

“Hotspotting” is a new tool designed to analyze data that focuses on the most frequent users of community health care resources. The findings will help inform decisions surrounding improved access to care through area clinics and other community partners to better identify and treat patients at risk of a major health event before costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations are necessary. “Improving patient outcomes and community health is vitally important to hospitals across America, just like Alta Bates Summit,” said Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and a 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient. “The Camden Coalition is partnering with six national communities in an effort to gain insight into how individuals are accessing care by using highly targeted ‘hotspotting’ research methods. As a part of this project, we are thrilled to have Alta Bates Summit join us in finding the right tools necessary to help address the needs of our communities. Ultimately, we believe these tools will help guide other organizations interested in bridging the gap in accessible health care, education and community engagement.” Throughout the country, a disproportionate concentration of patients

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account for the majority of health care costs, and experts theorize that hotspotting is a pre-emptive strike to reduce these costs by reaching out to those patients at greatest risk to better support them and their approach to preventive care. Pioneering hotspotting work in Camden, New Jersey found that just 13 percent of its population accounted for 80 percent of its health care costs. Experts at the Camden Coalition found they were able to reduce costs by designing “medical homes” and assigning health coaches to coordinate better care for these patients. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center will work with the Camden Coalition for a period of 12 months to gather and analyze data, and then develop patient engagement strategies. “We know that many people turn to their local emergency department for non-urgent care because they aren’t aware of alternatives,” said Buzz Stewart, Ph.D., MPH, vice president of Chief Research and Development at Sutter Health. “Through this project, we hope to work with emergency department patients who need non-urgent care and help direct them to primary care providers or clinics near them for more complete care.” To support the connection of patients with more appropriate resources closer to home, Better Health East Bay, the philanthropic organization supporting Alta Bates Summit, is able to fund a portion of this innovative project because of a recent estate gift. This $400,000 legacy gift will help further the research possibilities and mapping technology to produce visual and meaningful analytical data. The program is expected to uncover patterns in how people access health care and identify alternatives for non-urgent care, such as neighborhood clinics. ■


Health Care

> Walk on Oct. 18

> Better Health East Bay –

to fight diabetes

Launching a new philanthropy organization

You can make a difference in the fight against diabetes this year by joining the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” on Saturday, Oct. 18 at Lake Merritt.

Taking the motto that we’re stronger together, the philanthropic associations at Alta Bates Summit, Eden and Sutter Delta medical centers agreed late last year to merge into one East Bay-wide charitable foundation called Better Health East Bay. Along with the new name came the decision to use philanthropy to redesign how patient care is delivered in our communities and to improve access to care. The health care delivery system is changing across the nation. There is an increased focus on outpatient ambulatory care, wellness, centers of excellence and getting patients to the highest quality care in the right setting and the right time. While donors can still give to support technology and programs ▼ More than 150 at their favorite hospital, Better physicians, donors, Health East Bay will support health community groups and care’s evolution by also targeting physicians attended the approved donor gis on programs launch of Better Health that address some of the most East Bay, Sutter Health pressing health care challenges East Bay’s new fundraising facing our local neighborhoods. arm. Pictured at the event To reshape the health care are (left to right) Jim system, Better Health East Bay is Hickman, president and focused on three key areas of chief executive officer of improvement: Better Health East Bay; • Identifying and solving Jeffrey Brenner, MD, disparities in the delivery of care Camden Coalition; Sarah and removing obstacles through Krevans, chief executive community partnerships and officer of Sutter Health; implementing financially and Steve Lockhart, MD, sustainable solutions. Sutter Health East Bay regional vice president • Developing tools that help and chief medical officer. patients and physicians manage photo by Terry Lorant

▲ Port of Oakland employees and friends By walking and ‘walk’ to fight diabetes at Lake Merritt. raising funds for Step Out, you will take a huge step toward improving the lives of the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, and the 79 million Americans who are pre-diabetic. So how do you get involved? You can start a team with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors or you can walk as an individual. It’s not too early to start. In the weeks leading up to the Walk, ask your friends for donations to support your efforts. Every dollar you raise provides critical funds in finding a cure for diabetes. And you’ll get help every step of the way. Oakland’s own Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes will start at Snow Park and go around Lake Merritt. The three-mile morning walk/run includes music, entertainment, a healthy living fair and the chance for the community to stand together united in the fight against diabetes. Step Out is dedicated to the Red Striders (walkers with diabetes), and each Red Strider will be recognized for his or her courage with a special red cap that they wear. Step through the Step Out arch with the Red Striders. Join the American Diabetes Association to inspire and lead, as everyone Steps Out to find a cure for diabetes. Are you a Red Strider? Be part of the walk! The mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease. The ADA is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization supporting American children and adults living with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Register today for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. To register or for more information, visit or contact Sherga Kong at or (510) 654-4499, ext. 7409. ■

On Jan. 23, more than 150 members of the East Bay community gathered at Oakland’s Uptown Body & Fender to celebrate a new philanthropic merger and a unique approach to funding local programs that address some of the most pressing health care challenges facing our neighborhoods.

basic health care needs for diabetes and other chronic conditions and investing in helping people navigate the complexities of their health conditions. • Advancing the coordinated care among hospitals, outpatient clinics and providers of long-term and home care. “Health care transformation must begin with the discovery of new ideas grounded within our local health care system, where our care is delivered,” says Jim Hickman, vice president of philanthropy for Sutter Health East Bay and CEO for Better Health East Bay. “With Better Health East Bay, we will be able to provide ‘seed funding’ to develop and pilot new models of care delivery to improve the health of our neighbors.” You can stay abreast of what’s happening with philanthropy in the East Bay at ■

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Health Care

> Alameda Health System continues 150-year tradition of serving all Alameda Health System’s (AHS) long tradition of serving all patients in Alameda County began on Aug. 16, 1864. As the health system approaches the 150th anniversary date of this humble beginning, it is proud to report remarkable progress and continued growth this past year as the community’s leading provider of care for all.

Years of preparation and collaboration with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors culminated with the opening of the Highland Care Pavilion in June 2013. The new facility improves access to outpatient care, offering

largest employers, includes four

ten specialty clinics, an

hospitals and four ambulatory

expanded infusion center,

wellness centers staffed by more

cardiac and endoscopy

than 4,500 medical personnel,

services and modern labs.

employees and volunteers. Efforts

▲ Highland Hospital’s new acute care tower, part of Alameda County’s record $668 million building project, is on schedule to open in 2016.

The new Same Day Clinic located within the Highland Care

to expand the health system through strategic partnerships aimed

Pavilion connects patients with a medical home, improving

at improving access, such as the pending affiliation with Alameda

continuity of primary care by providing patients with a better

Hospital, continue. In response to the increased need for primary

alternative to emergency services.

and specialty care – demand that will increase as the Affordable

The Highland Care Pavilion is phase one of Alameda County’s

Care Act is implemented – AHS is working to expand access points

record $668 million building project to provide modern, state-

at its wellness centers. For example, concerted efforts at Eastmont

of-the-art facilities at the Highland Hospital campus. Phase two,

Wellness to expand space for specialty services, adding additional

replacement of Highland’s acute care tower, is on schedule and

hours for primary care and offering patients an after-hours nurse

will be completed in 2016.

advice line improved access and reduced wait times.

In October 2013, AHS expanded its growing network of topquality health care facilities by acquiring 93-bed San Leandro

In addition to increasing patient access through acquisition and expansion, AHS moved to electronic medical records in 2013

Hospital. As part

to improve patient

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safety, care quality,

Leandro Hospital

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Alameda Health

for underserved

System for 150

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years. In

previously had to leave the community to receive care. Additionally, San Leandro patients will enjoy access to specialty services not currently offered at their hometown hospital through referrals to the care provided throughout AHS. “The addition of San Leandro Hospital to the AHS family enables us to fulfill our goal of expanding health care services to the larger community while broadening our reach and our reputation as a provider of choice in the East Bay,” said AHS Chief Executive Officer Wright L. Lassiter, III. Alameda Health System, ranked among the county’s top 15

▲ Alameda Health System’s Highland Care Pavilion opened in June 2013. The new facility improves patient access to outpatient care, offering ten specialty clinics, a Same Day Clinic, an expanded infusion center, cardiac and endoscopy services and modern labs. The Highland Care Pavilion is phase one of Alameda County’s record $668 million building project to provide state-of-the art facilities at the Highland Hospital campus.

collaboration with community partners, AHS will continue its noble mission of “Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All” into the next 150 years. ■

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Health Care

> A fresh look at Covered California and the Small-Business Health Options Program (SHOP) by Tom Selvy Editor’s note: The information contained in this article is current and accurate as of the time it was written. The Affordable Care Act is a continuously evolving piece of legislation. Parenti & Associates Insurance Brokerage and its partners/employees do not give legal or tax advice. This information is not intended to be, and should not be, treated as legal advice, investment advice, or tax advice. Under no circumstances should you rely upon this information as a substitute for obtaining specific legal or tax advice from your own legal or tax advisors.

> SHOP online portal suspended

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought upon many changes since its passing in 2010, with one of the largest changes being the development of the health exchange marketplaces. Each state can choose to either establish its own exchange, or participate in the Federal exchange. California opted to create its own exchange marketplace, thus creating Covered California and the Small-Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Covered California is where individuals and families can go to obtain coverage and possibly qualify for premium assistance or Medi-Cal. SHOP, a separate part of Covered California, is different from the individual and family side. SHOP is for small businesses with less than 50 fulltime equivalent (FTE) employees. This is likely to expand the eligible group size from 50 to 100 FTE employees in 2015. The ACA also established tax credits for qualifying businesses with 25 or fewer FTE employees who enroll through SHOP. Small-businesses with less than 50 FTE employees are NOT required to purchase health coverage for their employees. Businesses with more than 50 FTE employees are required to provide minimum and affordable health coverage or face a penalty. However, this penalty was recently delayed until 2016.

In February 2014, Covered

SHOP tax credits There are two levels of tax credits that are available up to 35 percent for tax-exempt organizations and up to 50 percent for small businesses with less than 10 FTEs, an average wage less than $50,000 and the employer pays 50 percent of the health premiums. In addition to the 10 FTEs, employers with less than 25 FTE employees may also qualify for tax credits if the average employee wage is less than $50,000 and the employer must contribute a minimum of 50 percent of the employee’s health premium. Note that employers can only be eligible for the tax credit for two consecutive years.

applications, as this has

Offering coverage through SHOP The coverages offered have evolved as a result of the ACA, and has been restructured into metal tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These metal tiers are meant to reflect the value of the plan in terms of the cost sharing between the provider and the member. For example, a Bronze plan will have an actuarial value around 60 percent, meaning the member will be paying 40 percent of the health care expenses that are incurred, up to the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum. The Platinum plans will generally cover 90 percent of the health care costs but comes at a much higher premium. When an employer offers coverage through the SHOP they will select a metal tier to offer to their employees and within that tier select a “base plan” (i.e. Kaiser Silver 1000/40). This is the plan that your premium contributions are based off and employees can select any other plan within the Silver tier (i.e. Blue Shield Silver 70 PPO) and apply the premium contribution from the “base plan” to the plan that fits their needs. If you would like additional information or have questions, call Tom Selvy with Parenti Insurance at (650) 596-9500 or email ■

online portal will be

Tom Selvy

Tom Selvy is a health and benefit consultant with Parenti Insurance.

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California decided to suspend the SHOP online enrollment portal only. The individual and family portion of Covered California is still up and running. SHOP will continue to accept paper

been the most efficient and effective way of submitting SHOP applications. The SHOP’s

reworked and enhanced to accommodate employer and agent feedback on the application and enrollment process. The portal access is expected to be restored in the fall of 2014. ■


Health Care

> Investing in health care for all by Debra Barnes

Alameda Health System, one of the largest health providers in the East Bay with four hospitals and four outpatient centers that span the county, is one of the busiest medical care providers in our community.

It is also the only acute care provider dedicated to providing access to care for all, including our most vulnerable populations. Over the past 150 years, Alameda Health System and other public health providers have transformed themselves and are continuing to do so. The many positive ways Alameda Health System is expanding in the East Bay are highlighted on pages 12-13. A number of its inpatient and outpatient services and unique community programs are provided thanks to the philanthropic support and investment of the community. These include individual and family contributors as well as grants from local foundations and corporations. In the past year alone, more than $1.3 million in gifts were received by Alameda Health System Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing support to Alameda Health System. Of this, more than $300,000 came in support from local businesses and corporate foundations. Thanks to the business community, support was provided to

enhance trauma response training for clinicians at Highland Hospital Trauma Center, a first responder to accidents or disasters. Our youth development program known as Health Excellence and Academic Leadership (HEAL) benefitted from corporate grants to help at-risk youth see a bright future in a variety of health careers. Grants were received to fund the Patient Navigator program for newly diagnosed low-income women with breast cancer, helping them access the often confusing process of cancer treatment. Many other donors gave to support our preventive care programs. These include patient and family education programs to prevent childhood obesity, to reduce the risk of falls and injuries by seniors, and to teach new parents how to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for their newborn. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, (or “Covered California” statewide), Alameda Health System stands ready to provide care to the newly insured, as well as to continue to serve those who remain uninsured and in need of “safety net” facilities. Philanthropy will play an increasing role in our future, and we invite the businesses and organizations who, like us, are members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, to learn more about ways to become involved in our mission. Visit us at http:/ today, or see our ad below to learn how you can support the next generation of care in our 150th year of serving the East Bay community. ■

Debra Barnes

Debra Barnes is president of the Alameda Health System Foundation.

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Health Care

> A partnership to advance children’s health Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Children’s Oakland) and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital have affiliated, building on the hospitals’ mutual commitment to provide outstanding care to children in local communities, and advance medical discovery and treatment for the world.

The affiliation, which became effective Jan. 1, 2014, brings together two leading Bay Area children’s hospitals, strengthening their abilities to meet marketplace expectations, including the Affordable Care Act. The affiliation has the potential to provide better health care value to consumers through higher quality care, lower costs and more coordinated access to services at hospital locations on both sides of the bay, as well as medical facilities throughout Northern California. “This partnership between two world-class children’s hospitals

developing new treatments and achieving better health outcomes for children. Combined, the hospitals will be among the top ten largest children’s health care providers in the country when the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital opens in February 2015. The affiliation positions the hospitals to: • Integrate research activities to build on the strengths of each institution; • Provide leadership in adopting, measuring and publishing quality and patient safety best practice indicators related to pediatric care; • Retain and attract outstanding faculty, physicians and staff; and • Improve the combined financial operating performance of both Children’s Oakland and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to support state-of-the-art equipment purchases, facility expansion and upgrades, and seismic compliance. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Oakland have worked together for decades. Both have leading pediatric residency programs, a number of unique pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs, a research base for the next generation of discoveries, and expertise in pediatric clinical care. ■

> Controlling stress with touch and massage medicine “You must change in order to survive.” – Pearl Bailey by Chantelle Lorenz

▲ Mark Laret (right), chief promises to elevate the health executive officer of UCSF Medical of all children, especially our Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s most vulnerable patients,” Hospital, shares a light moment as said Mark Laret, chief he speaks to an audience of UCSF executive officer of UCSF physician faculty members about Medical Center and UCSF the affiliation of the two children’s Benioff Children’s Hospital. hospitals. He was joined by Bert “Both institutions have a Lubin (left), MD, president and chief longstanding commitment to executive officer of Children’s public service, and by working Oakland; and Sam Hawgood, MBBS, together we are better able to dean of the UCSF School of Medicine. deliver on that commitment.” The affiliation allows children and their families to have access to what is now the largest network of children’s medical providers in Northern California, including a coordinated network of high-quality pediatric care from the Oregon border to San Luis Obispo, and as far east as Reno. In addition to the two main hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, patients can access more than 800 pediatricians and pediatric specialists delivering specialized care daily at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Children’s Oakland, as well as hundreds of community-based pediatricians affiliated with the two hospitals who provide pediatric diagnostic services and specialty care. The two hospitals jointly offer more than 65 different pediatric medical specialties and subspecialties including transplant, sickle cell, orthopedics, neurology, cardiology, thalassemia, pediatric rehab, and asthma and diabetes care. “The synergies created by these two respected institutions coming together allows children and families to benefit from greater depth and breadth of pediatric expertise as well as innovation that is possible by working together,” said Bert Lubin, MD, chief executive officer of Children’s Oakland. “The affiliation of these two well-regarded children’s hospitals is good news for children and their families,” said Diana S. Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “Together, they will serve children throughout Northern California who need the state-of-the-art care they can provide.” While Children’s Oakland will remain separately licensed and retain its own board of directors and separate medical staff, the hospitals will collaborate and share best practices for the delivery of the highest quality pediatric care. Individually, the two hospitals are highly regarded nationally as well as internationally, each having made significant advancements in

Stress – if we don’t handle it, it will handle us. Cortisol, the stress hormone, does a fine job responding to stress in the short term for self-preservation, keeping us alive and safe. It is derived from the sympathetic nervous system which responds to fear – controlling the fight or flight responses in the body. Thankfully the autonomic nervous system has dual and complementary divisions, which includes the parasympathetic system, the rest and digestive functions. On a fundamental level, noticing the Chantelle Lorenz signs that stress and cortisol are affecting us is essential to making a positive shi. Stress is unavoidable but manageable. Uncontrolled, it is the cause of extinguishing life energy as high cortisol levels wreak havoc on our being – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Simply put, it interferes with our rest and digestive functions, thereby lowering our immunity. Chronic stress = lowered immunity = sickness/disease. Generally our everyday activities are not life threatening. Noticing your body’s responses to cortisol gives an opportunity to do something to counter it and gain more control over your experience. Cortisol may present as muscle tension, disrupted/shallow breathing, having to urinate, isolation, feelings of anxiety, etc. Sustained levels of high cortisol may manifest as indigestion, anxiety, low libido, wrinkles, weight gain, insomnia, depression, illness, adrenal fatigue, muscle/bone loss, heart disease, diabetes, extra facial hair, cancer, and the list goes on. By understanding our body’s signals to stressors and thus choosing to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, we can produce more rest and digest experiences, which equates to wellness. We can lower cortisol many ways such as: taking deep breaths, resting, touching, meditating, eating whole foods. Think twice before grabbing that second cup of coffee since one cup raises cortisol approximately 30 percent. Remember, nurturing touch and massage therapy engage the parasympathetic nervous system – it decreases cortisol. Studies also show the hormone oxytocin is released through touch, which is the bonding hormone – it encourages people to work through conflict, reciprocate, be less aggressive, and trust. That sounds peaceful. To name a few benefits, massage increases the “feel good” endorphins dopamine and serotonin, helps us sleep better, lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety and depression, promotes digestion, and reduces fatigue. Touch and massage therapy is increasingly getting more attention as studies prove efficacy and we acknowledge touch as a cradle to grave need. It proves to be the salve for humanity as the world is in such desperate need for healing, for it promotes awareness, connection, sanity, empathy, and comfort. ■

Chantelle Lorenz is a professional massage therapist with an office in Oakland and offers onsite services at the workplace and special events. She can be reached at (510) 463-4330 or at

March 2014 | 17


Health Care

> State software glitch addressed by SMU faculty and students by Justin Berton

As state officials struggled to install a new computer system designed to make online licensing for nurses easier, journalists from around the state turned to experts and students at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) to understand the impact of the delays. In October, the Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento started using BreEZe – a new $52 million soware system meant to improve efficiency for online licensing and enforcement for thousands of incoming and current nurses. But a glitch has le more than 4,000 recent graduates in the lurch, seeing their applications caught in a bureaucratic hold and delaying their employment start dates at California hospitals. Hundreds of recent graduates still have not been issued a date to take their licensing exam. KTVU Channel 2 visited the Oakland campus to interview Audrey Berman, dean of the nursing program at SMU. Berman, an expert on the

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issue, outlined the controversy for reporters and was also quoted in the Sacramento Bee and The Los Angeles Times. She told the outlets the unprecedented delay was adding stress to an already stressful situation for nursing grads entering a tight job market. “They have done what they’re supposed to do and they found a job, but they can’t start without their license in hand,” Berman told the Times. Nursing student Thania Salazar told KTVU, “It makes me nervous because I Audrey Berman, PhD, honestly don’t want to wait too long aer RN, Dean of Nursing. I graduate from Samuel Merritt University to take my test.” A spokesman for the Department of Consumer Affairs told KTVU he expected the delays to be ironed out before 2014 spring graduates entered the licensing process. To watch the KTVU video clip, visit: ■

Justin Berton is associate director of media relations at Samuel Merritt University.


Women in Business Roundtable

> What does gender have to do with it? by Sally Van Etten Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the Lokey School of Business at Mills College, spoke to a capacity crowd last month at the Waterfront Hotel to kick off the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable’s (EBWIBR) 2014 luncheon speaker series on “Women Rising to the Top.” Dean Merrill-Sands tackled the topic “Women in Leadership – What Does Gender Have to Do With It?” She began by referring to challenges to women breaking through the “glass ceiling” to upper management identified in Sheryl Sandberg’s recent best-selling book, “Lean In.” Adding to those insights, Dean Merrill-Sands drilled further down to some of the underpinnings of women’s inability to significantly influence or improve upon past progress towards equality in the workplace that has essentially plateaued. She cited anthropologically based research to illustrate some of the unspoken and often subconscious barriers to leadership positions that women as a group still face. Specific mention was made of certain stereotypic perceptions of women still firmly held by both men and other women, such as the common assumption that women are naturally nurturing, and therefore do not get credit for that attribute in workplace team situations whereas it is celebrated and rewarded as an exceptional trait in male leaders. She also offered practical Dr. Deborah Merrill-Sands

advice such as to how to step up and appropriately take credit when credit is due, how to identify and keep sight of an organization’s “currency for advancement,” and how to be prepared for (and not take personally) the inevitable barbs encountered by women who do manage to rise to leadership positions. The prepared talk was followed by a notably lively question and answer period which could have easily gone significantly longer had time allowed. The Lokey Graduate School of Business, located in the East Bay at Mills College in Oakland, is one of only three predominantly female business schools in the country. More information can be found at And for further reading, a link to Dean Merrill-Sands’ article challenging us all to expand upon some of the concepts described in “Lean In,” can be found at Registration is already open for EBWIBR’s next luncheon in the series, scheduled for Friday, April 4. The program will be “Small Business Innovators: Connection with Community,” with a panel of speakers including Sarah Filley, co-founder, PopUpHood; Erin Kilmer-Neel, executive director, Sustainable Business Alliance & Oakland Grown; Konda Mason, co-founder Impact HUB Oakland; Anca Mosiou, founder of Tech Liminal; and Angela Tsay, chief executive officer and creative director at Oaklandish. ■ Sally Van Etten, a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Oakland program, is an urban economist consultant to cities, counties and other local agencies for more than 20 years, most recently affiliated with Hausrath Economic Group in Oakland.

> Community Connection: Small Business Innovators Panel April 4


by Kim Y. Arnone

Alison Best

Save the dates Feb. 7

Suzan Bateson

April 4

Margo Dunlap

June 6

Sarah Filley

August 1

Lori Fogarty

October 3

Erin Kilmer-Neel Dana King Konda Mason Dr. Deborah Merrill-Sands Anca Mosoiu Angela Tsay Carol Williams (invited)




Each time you register for a “Rising to the Top” luncheon, you will enter a drawing to win two roundtrip tickets to any Southwest Airlines destination (the winner must be present at the October luncheon to win).

The East Bay Women in Business Roundtable has compiled an amazing panel of women who are some of the best small business innovators in Oakland.

On Friday, April 4, we will hear from five women who are running successful and acclaimed businesses – each one with a strong and unique community focus and connection. Learn how each one of them harnesses their personal connection and commitment to Oakland to drive their businesses. Join us and learn how you can put their experience, resources and know-how to use to strengthen your own business and community ties. The guest speakers are: • Sarah Filley, co-founder of PopUpHood, sharing how her small business incubator is revitalizing Oakland one block at a time; • Erin Kilmer-Neel, executive director, Sustainable Business Alliance & Oakland Grown, highlighting the power of co-marketing Oakland’s local sustainable businesses and artists; • Konda Mason, co-founder and chief executive officer of Impact HUB Oakland, talking about how the HUB helps grow businesses by offering co-working space, an entrepreneurial incubator and community of socially engaged people; Kim Y. Arnone • Anca Mosoiu, founder, Tech Liminal, discussing how her company is assisting small and solo technology businesses by offering co-working space for technology projects, classes, web design and technology consulting; and • Angela Tsay, chief executive officer and creative director of Oaklandish, discussing the development of one of Oakland’s most successful communityfocused retail businesses. How does their focus on community help their businesses thrive? How do they build and nurture their community connection? What are the rewards and challenges of doing business in Oakland? These questions and others will be addressed at the luncheon, which will also provide time to network with other business and civic leaders. The luncheon will be held on Friday, April 4 at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. Networking begins at 11 a.m. and lunch and the program begin at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $35 for members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and $45 for prospective members. Register now to reserve your space – visit or call Ivette Torres at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319. ■

Kim Y. Arnone is a senior attorney at Katovich & Kassan Law Group focusing on assisting businesses with corporate formation, capital raising, securities offerings, and employment issues.

March 2014 | 19


Leadership Oakland

> Leadership class goes ‘back to school’ to learn about Oakland’s education and arts landscape by Sanam Jorjani, Marc Martin, Estrella Parker and Asena Tui’one

The group kicked off the day building a wall of appreciation for the educators and mentors in their lives who were instrumental to their childhood development. With a feeling of gratitude in their hearts, they were inspired by the opening speaker, Martha Hernandez, who shared her personal journey in facing challenges of growing up in Oakland. With the help of education programs and mentors, she successfully maintained her focus and determination to make the most of opportunities. The first panel featured highly knowledgeable community leaders who have dedicated their careers to advancing education – Gary Yee, superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD); Curtiss Sarikey, associate superintendent, OUSD; and Romeo Garcia, executive director, Peralta Colleges Foundation. They shared valuable insight into opportunities and challenges with public education in Oakland, and provided an overview of the strategic platform in public education for Oakland and shared various perspectives regarding initiatives in education, igniting passionate discourse on the impact of education to the vitality of Oakland. The panel left the group with four key words to take away regarding OUSD’s strategic plan – community schools, thriving students. They shared key areas the group can support – resources, personal connection with the children of Oakland, and jobs that enable students’ transition from secondary and collegiate education into the workplace. A second education panel was focused on “Why Partners in Education Matter.” The panel included Kathy Schultz, co-chair of the Oakland Education Cabinet (OEC) and dean of professional education at

The Leadership Oakland 2014 class spent Valentine’s Day filling its hearts and minds learning about our city’s education and arts scene.

▲ A second education interactive session identifying panel – left to right, four values that describe Oakland. Robert Menzimer, Sandra The team landed on diversity, Taylor, Nolan Jones and vitality, resilience, and unique. Katherine Schultz. Using these values as inspiration, they created individual art pieces which will be mounted together as a singular piece of art. The day ended with an arts panel consisting of the following guests: Margo Dunlap, executive director of Pro Arts; Maya Rath, general manager of Oakland East Bay Symphony; Steven Huss, cultural arts manager for the city; and Jazz Hudson, renowned poet and teaching artist in Oakland schools. Hudson began the hour with a vivid poem around the educational disparities of African American youth in Oakland. This was followed by a conversation around the power of the arts to change Oakland as well as the need for more arts advocacy, mentorship and funding. Artists and arts programming were described as essential in the fabric of what makes our city unique and what will enable it to prosper. After some reflection, the class left the day feeling hopeful about the track that education and arts in our city are on – though there is work to be done, they felt that we are headed in the right direction to creating the city in which we and our youth can thrive. Special thanks to DeVry University for providing an excellent venue for the day. The staff was remarkable in preparing the rooms and ensured that each guest was treated with world-class customer service. ■ Sanam Jorjani is program manager of Oakland Reads 2020 at the Rogers Family Foundation, Marc Martin is the director of admissions at DeVry University, Estrella Parker is senior director of human resources at The Clorox Company, and Asena Tui’one is director of Sylvan Learning Center Piedmont.

▲ The day’s first education Mills College; Sandra Taylor, panel – left to right, Curtiss human services manager for Sarikey, Superintendent of the city of Oakland; Robert Schools Gary Yee, “storyteller” Menzimer, executive director Martha Hernandez, and Romeo at WriterCoach Connection; Garcia. and Nolan Jones, director of the Holy Names University Upward Bound Project. The discussion covered how the OEC drives critical work to address education related opportunities; how the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth is distributed to nonprofits and public agencies to support the well-being and success of children; how Writer Coach Connection provides programming that raises writing proficiency, critical thinking and academic confidence in students; and how the Upward Bound Project helps students acquire the skills, motivation, and vision to complete post-secondary education. It became clear that partner activities are necessary compliments to what is currently provided inside the classroom to fully educate Oakland’s youth. After a morning packed with engaging speakers, the group enjoyed a school-themed lunch catered by Fountain Cafe. With their bellies full, the class took a walk over to Pro Arts Gallery where they enjoyed the exhibit titled “Artists Inspired by Artists.” Margo Dunlap, executive director of Pro Arts, and Holly Wach, resident artist, led the group in an

20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

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

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


Small Business


> Trusts are not just tools for the wealthy by Trang La

The predominant reason people create trusts is to avoid Probate, the court process by which assets are distributed. Probate can be a long, expensive, and frustrating process.

A simple Probate can take a full year to go through the court system. More complex Probates take longer. You may need an attorney to guide you through the process of appointing an executor/administrator, providing an inventory of estate assets, obtaining appraisals of real property, giving notice to creditors (which may include publishing notice in a paper), payment of creditors, and distribution to heirs. All the while, your heirs will not have free access to the assets in Probate, but may petition for a “family allowance.” Furthermore, the process is public. Fortunately, assets in which you designate a beneficiary do not need to go through Probate, e.g. retirement plans, life insurance policies, property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, and Pay on Death (POD) / Transfer on Death (TOD) accounts. These assets will go directly to Trang La your designated beneficiary with no need for court approval. These assets are also not subject to distribution by your will. It is imperative that you review your beneficiary designations regularly, particularly if there is a major life event such as marriage, divorce, birth, or death. A benefit of Probate is that executors of your estate are courtsupervised, creditors must make their claims or be forever barred, and distributions to creditors and beneficiaries are courtsanctioned and final. Expedited Probate procedures are available for small estates (under $150,000) and when all assets are passed to a spouse. On the other hand, if you create a Revocable Living Trust, the assets placed in the trust are not part of your probate estate and do not have to go through Probate. You can name yourself as trustee and beneficiary of the Revocable Living Trust. You retain full rights to the assets and can revoke the trust at any time. You must also designate beneficiaries and name a successor trustee to manage the trust after you pass. The trustee distributes the trust assets according to your wishes without delay or court supervision. Trusts allow you to set limits on how, when, and to whom your assets are distributed. You may provide for your beneficiaries over a number of years instead of giving them a lump sum; you may create a spendthrift provision to protect the trust assets from your beneficiaries’ creditors; or you may provide for your surviving spouse for his/her lifetime and leave the remainder to your children from a prior marriage. Special Needs Trusts can be set up for the benefit of a disabled person while still allowing them to qualify for needs-based public assistance. Pet trusts can be established for the care of a loyal companion. Trusts are generally tax neutral documents. How much estate taxes you pay depends on who receives your assets. The estate tax exclusion amount for 2014 is $5.34 million with a tax rate of 40 percent. You may pass an unlimited amount of assets to your spouse or to charity without incurring estate taxes. Any amount over $5.34 million passed to anyone else is subject to an estate tax rate of 40 percent. High net worth individuals may be able to use trusts to minimize taxes their heirs would otherwise pay. If you are interested in learning more about how a trust can help you, The Law Offices of Trang La would be happy to discuss your options and create an individualized estate plan that fits your family’s needs. ■


> Ambassador of the Month Cory Nott, co-owner of Referral Institute Oakland, and a recognized expert in referral marketing, has been named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month. Nott offers consulting, coaching and training on the three “C's” of referral marketing: clarity, collaboration, and compensation. By utilizing the Referral Institute system, business owners dramatically increase their Cory Nott profits by referral. For example, one client received a return on his investment within the first month of working with Nott. Another client increased his business by 40 percent within three months, and doubled his rates. Nott is passionate about helping business earn the income that matches their image or industry and expand what they believe is possible in their business. The Referral Institute itself is an international franchised referral training and consulting company with locations all around the United States and 14 different countries. While new to the Oakland Chamber and to the Ambassador team, Nott is a native of Oakland and has lived in the Bay Area all of his life. His first business, which he still operates, is in software development and technical consulting for small business. Now he is committed to building a community of missiondriven, highly relational business owners in the Oakland area who strive to create business while spending more time with people that they know, like and trust. They are building quality, life-long relationships, and creating Referrals For Life®. Are you tired of making cold calls? Do you wish that you had more of your favorite clients? Do you wonder how to get more referrals from people who could be referring you? Cory Nott offers the “5 Simple Steps to Gain More Business by Referral” at the Oakland Chamber office every month. His seminar is open to Chamber members and guests to learn, and immediately implement, some powerful referral marketing techniques. For more information on an upcoming class, visit the calendar at For more information about the Referral Institute Oakland, visit or call (510) 986-4775. ■

Trang La, Esq. is the owner of The Law Offices of Trang La in San Francisco. She can be reached at (510) 508-7093.

March 2014 | 21

Names in the news Good news from Wendel, Rosen • Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

Partner Carl Ciochon has begun a twoyear term on the City CarShare board of directors. City CarShare is the only nonprofit car sharing service in the Bay Area. A partner in Wendel Rosen’s Litigation Department and co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate Litigation Group, Ciochon is Carl Ciochon an experienced trial lawyer with particular focus on real estate matters and representations involving investment funds. A second partner at Wendel, Rosen, Christine Noma, has received the Individual Lawyer Distinguished Service Award from the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) for her longstanding commitment and support Christine Noma of the organization. Noma has been actively involved with ACBA for many years, particularly with the organization’s various diversity initiatives and as chair of the recently created Environmental Law section. In addition, William C. Acevedo, another partner at the firm, has been elected president of the Regional Parks William C. Acevedo Foundation Board of Directors for a twoyear term. He originally joined the governing board as a member in 2008 and most recently served as its vice president.

Other names in the news: • Visit Oakland has received the “Committed to Tourism”

2014 Poppy Award for its Adopt-A-Spot initiative to maintain the Broadway Corridor connecting City Center and Jack London Square. The Poppy Award is a biennial honor presented by Visit California at its annual gala in recognition of the best in California tourism. • German Huerta, who has been a visual communications expert at FASTSIGNS in downtown Oakland for the past seven months, recently completed an extensive three-day Sales Boot Camp training program at corporate headquarters in Dallas. Prior to joining FASTSIGNS, he worked at ADT in administration and sales. • The Paul J. Cushing Library at Holy German Huerta Names University (HNU) is one of only 14 institutions nationwide to receive a 2013 Sparks! Ignition Grant for Libraries and Museums. The grant, which was awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, supports the development of multimedia recordings. • The 2014 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards Celebration, set for Thursday, March 13, will recognize businesses from around the county for outstanding achievements in waste reduction and energy efficiency, throughout a wide range of industries. The celebration will run from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the Zero Net Energy Center, 14600 Catalina St. in San Leandro. The event is free, but an RSVP is required at ■

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

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.

CHAMBER 101 Maximize your Chamber benefits

| MARCH 20


Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum


Illuminating ideas: ENERGY & Sustainability Summit

Golden Gate Fields Turf Club

| MARCH 28

Panel of Oakland small business innovators

| APRIL 16


| MARCH 27

Keeping you connected and informed

> MARCH 6 | OCYP Lunch-n-Learn

| noon - 1 p.m. E X ECUTI V E COM MI T TEE

RON FOREST Matson Navigation Company


JOHN GOODING The Quadric Group

Vice Chair MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel

STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay

DAN COHEN Full Court Press



VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company

DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County

PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland

ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP KEN WHITE Fidelity Roof Company Immediate Past Chair JOHN NELSON murakami/Nelson

B OA RD O F D IR ECTOR S KIM ARNONE Katovich & Kassan Law Group (representing Women in Business Roundtable) HARMINDER BAINS Securitas ALICIA BERT PG&E ALISON BEST Visit Oakland DAVE CANNON Barney & Barney LLC GREG CHAN East Bay Municipal Utility District CYNTHIA CHIARAPPA Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland JOHN DOLBY Cassidy Turley

“Marketing, PR, Advertising I Need it All!” with presenter Y'Anad Burrell

12 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m. 12 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m. featuring Emily Kirsch, founder and CEO, SfunCube, speaking about “Solar Entrepreneurs”

18 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting


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

KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture

19 | East Bay Women in

KEN MAXEY Comcast ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International IKE MMEJE Alta Bates Summit Medical Center SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Corporation NATHANIEL OUBRE, JR. Kaiser Permanente HILARY PEARSON Sungevity MARK PHILLIPS Chase CHUCK RAMANUJAM Bank of America

Business Roundtable committee meeting

| noon - 1 p.m. 20 | Chamber 101

| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

join OCYP as they run in the Oakland Running Festival to raise money for nonprofit Youth Radio. Register: Ivette Torres at or (510) 874-4800, ext. 319, fee $40

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

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

16 | East Bay Women in Business Roundtable committee meeting

| noon - 1 p.m.

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

16 | Oakland Chamber Young Professionals (OCYP) mixer

15 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

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

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

Somar Bar and Lounge, 1727 Telegraph Ave.

16 | “Illuminating Ideas: Energy & Sustainability Summit,”

17 | Chamber 101

| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

| &:30 a.m. - noon Oakland Convention Center, featuring keynote address by the immediate past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, and two consecutive panel discussion sessions on “Green Infrastructure and Smart, Resilient Cities,” and “Innovative Energy

learn how to maximize your Chamber benefits. Free marketing and networking opportunities. Special offers available

24 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar, Jack London Square, Harbor View Room

23 | OCYP 5K for Charity


SOLOMON ETS-HOKIN Colliers International

“Building a Great LinkedIn Profile” with presenter David Mitroff, a business advisor with the Small Business Development Council

| 7:45 a.m.

27 | After Five Reception & Oakland Chamber Young Professionals joint mixer

RICHARD WHITE Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLC

| noon - 1 p.m.

learn how to maximize your Chamber benefits. Free marketing and networking opportunities. Special offers available



Technology and the Public Private Partnership.” Summit will also feature “Insider Real Estate Update and Forecast Session

7 | OCYP Lunch-n-Learn



After Five Reception

& Oakland Chamber Young Professionals joint mixer

Golden Gate Fields Turf Club, 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley

28 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum

| 8:30 - 10 a.m.

> APRIL 4 | East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon

| 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. “Small Business Innovators: Connection with Community,” featuring successful small business owners – Sarah Filley (PopUpHood), Erin Kilmer-Neel (Sustainable Business Alliance & Oakland Grown), Konda Mason (Impact HUB Oakland), Anca Mosoiu (Tech Liminal), and Angela Tsay (Oaklandish), Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square

Golden Gate Fields Turf Club 1100 Eastshore Highway, Berkeley

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

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808 |

Design/Production Editor

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

March 2014 | 23

Small Business Development Center The Alameda County SBDC gratefully acknowledges the support of Wells Fargo in 2014.

> An SBDC success in Livermore by Deagon Williams

What started out as a “hole in the wall” restaurant has grown into a long-standing, award-winning catering company in Livermore. Cabana Dave’s started 18 years ago and has enjoyed growth through an evolutionary process. It’s now a thriving catering and event planning company. Cabana Dave’s has earned a reputation for extraordinary cuisine, impeccable planning and a range of services to accommodate most every catering need. It has enjoyed an evolutionary process unparalleled in the industry. Some of that reputation has come through by being nationally published in Martha Stewart Weddings, featured on KPIX-TV’s “Eye on the Bay,” referred by many local wineries and event centers, and loved by an ever-growing family of loyal customers. At SBDC, our formula for success has been to infuse a personal, friendly experience with a professional, creative and hardworking ethic. As an SBDC business advisor, I worked with the client to develop a strategic road map for successful growth navigation during challenging circumstances. We made the necessary changes to establish a foundation for growth rather than a stop gap immediate solution. We assisted the client in selecting, interviewing and hiring a chef for the new venue. We assisted with team building efforts, internal auditing of the company culture, and worked with the management team to begin creating a culture of accountability and excellence. We wrote and created a human resource manual for the client along with job descriptions. We assisted the client with writing a business plan. And we created production sheets and ordering guides as a means of tracking purchases and expenditures to even out and stabilize costs. Cabana Dave’s has been graced with the opportunity to serve many esteemed corporate and private customers through the years, and has established itself as the premiere caterer for the Oakland Raiders for the past 12 years and counting. Cabana Dave’s kitchen went mobile in the spring of 2011. Its state-of-the-art truck has been a part of many events – serving 200 press and 800 public guests at the 2012 NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway; serving 2,000 guests at the Golden State Warriors season ticket holder gala with Stephen Curry assisting; catering two intimate, all natural and organic dinners for actress Shailene Woodley; and facilitating the newest trend of catering for numerous happy couples on their wedding day – food truck style! Cabana Dave’s was met with some formidable growth challenges at the end of 2012. Owner Dave Victor met these challenges with his hallmark upbeat, calm and optimistic management style. The result of his style and willingness to believe in growth along with a well-honed team was a 66 percent growth in 2013. One recent success was when Cabana Dave’s event planning expertise shined at a “Mad Men” themed party at a local residence. Special guests in attendance were Governor Jerry Brown, congressional candidate Eric Swallow, and 100 other eloquently dressed 1960s party goers. No detail was overlooked as we transformed food, drink, furniture and attitude into the by-gone era of the 60s! Whether you are coordinating a corporate gala event for 3,000 guests, planning the most memorable wedding reception, or simply having an intimate gathering of friends at your home, the team of event managers, wait staff, and talented chefs will execute a fabulous celebration that will make entertaining a pleasure. ■ Deagon Williams, an SBDC advisor who specializes in restaurants, hospitality, operations and strategy, is the owner of Culinary Business Strategy, and is a 25-year veteran of the culinary industry. Both a French-trained chef and an MBA, she offers the best of the kitchen and business worlds.

24 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


> How routine systems foster freedom and creativity in the food industry by Deagon Williams

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? In my experience as a hospitality industry business consultant it seems that most often people start their own business for two primary reasons – to have the freedom of working for themselves and to express their creativity for their passion. Oh, and there’s that little old need to make money Deagon Williams as well. The need to earn a living soon becomes blaringly obvious as we soon find that running a business also brings an inordinate amount of work. As a consultant who assists clients in growing food businesses and realizing the next level of success, I get a lot of questions about the juggling act. The life of a small business owner seeking to earn a living, having professional freedom and expressing creativity in their work becomes a tiresome juggling act. I adore the restaurant and food business, but let’s be honest, it’s not an easy one. At some point there seems to be more on the to-do list than any one person can possibly handle in a day. Subsequently, the undone work is added to the next list which eventually ends up feeling like an avalanche. It’s common and certainly nothing to be ashamed of; it’s the nature of the beast. The solution? Create and implement strategic system tools that make daily tasks routine and simple so that you can do what you do best. I believe that the six most effective and chaosreducing systems are: 1) Create human resource files and an HR manual. This makes hiring and training a breeze rather than a chore that gets pushed to the end of the list and then becomes part of the avalanche. 2) Create and use an opening and closing checklist. This allows employees to know what needs to be done without you having to manage the same daily tasks over and over again. It also sets a standard of excellence and infuses into the culture. 3) Create and train employees to use par sheets. Par sheets establish the base level of daily prep and set-up needed. This insures a smooth consistent delivery of the end product rather than running out of product or scrambling to produce enough products (which often creates sub-par quality). It also eliminates expensive waste by making too much product. 4) Create and use an inventory guide. This helps to reduce over or under ordering which evens out cash flow. Stabilizing cash flow is critically important in small business. 5) Create and look at a sales tracking tool daily. 6) Create and use a recipe book. This creates consistency. ■

o learn more about the business counseling, technical assistance, seminars, online courses and other services offered by the ACSBDC, visit

Deagon Williams, an SBDC advisor who specializes in restaurants, hospitality, operations and strategy, is the owner of Culinary Business Strategy, and is a 25year veteran of the culinary industry. Both a Frenchtrained chef and an MBA, she offers the best of the kitchen and business worlds.

Oakland Business Review March 2014  

Oakland Business Review, OBR is a monthly publication brought to you by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.