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May / June 2017





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Incoming Chamber Board Chair engages membership


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> Oakland businesses “speak up” in Chamber citywide business census


N RECENT YEARS, THE Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has emerged as a regional research and data leader on a host of issues pertinent to government operations, business and industry sector analysis, workforce trends as well as priorities of local voters. The Chamber engages in these projects so that its members, elected leaders and the community at large can make informed policy and business decisions that support both city and regional economic and workforce development efforts. As part of its ongoing research, the Chamber recently concluded its 2017 Oakland Business Census and Outlook to obtain quantifiable data regarding how Oakland businesses perceive the economy, realities of doing businesses in Oakland, an evaluation and ranking of the most pressing issues facing employers today, as well as how city leaders can support business development going forward. The 2017 Oakland Business Census asked questions about general business conditions and emerging trends. Over 540 businesses citywide responded to the request, providing a statistically relevant 95 percent confidence level and 4.1 percent margin of error. The census was distributed to all Oakland businesses with an active and/or verified email address via an online survey tool, and respondents / businesses / nonprofits were only able to answer once. The survey was available in English only. Census respondents included brand new businesses, to legacy businesses that have called Oakland home for many decades. Results represent all sizes of local businesses, with 65 percent of those polled employing 1-15 full-time employees, a number consistent with the Chamber’s annual economic reporting, which provides a high degree of confidence responses are reflective of Oakland’s current business ecosystem. Respondents were also well distributed among Oakland’s business, nonprofit and service sectors, with 51 percent indicating they were a minority or women-owned enterprise either in full or in part. The census found the most pressing issues facing businesses today is the overall cost of living, and more specifically, the availability and cost of commercial space, a strong indicator the city needs to increase supply. When asked what the biggest obstacles are for business expansion, respondents listed crime as the number one reason for their reluctance to expand their businesses, followed by the city’s growing homeless population, as significant obstacles for growing locally. However, the outlook is not entirely grim, and most businesses are positive about their future, as well as Oakland’s. As noted in the accompanying set of graphs, poll respondents are cautiously optimistic on economic growth, with 48 percent believing the economy will improve slightly to significantly over the next year, and 35 percent believing the economy will weaken either slightly or substantially. Respondents have a greater sense of optimism regarding their own businesses, with 73 percent of those polled indicating their businesses are doing the same or better than a year – continued on page 13

> 112th Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon captures #OAKPROUD spirit

The Chamber’s annual meeting and awards lunch sold out well in advance of the event, setting the stage – and expectations – for a celebration of epic proportion. Chamber President and CEO, Barbara Leslie, presided over the festivities, which started in the pre-function area off the Oakland Marriott City Center’s Grand Ballroom. Guests deposited canned goods in Alameda County Community Food Bank donation bins and in exchange received raffle tickets good for a drawing, with the winner receiving two, round trip Southwest Airlines tickets to a domestic U.S. or Puerto Rico destination. A Silent Auction featuring “Made In Oakland” gift baskets, donated by ten local organizations, and with a hidden Southwest pin inside one of the baskets, good for two round trip tickets to anywhere Southwest flies, domestic and internationally, upped the ante and raised additional money for the Food Bank, while Oakland A’s mascot, Stomper, mugged with guests taking selfies. Once inside the event venue, guests were greeted by

“#OAKPROUD” centerpieces, ▲ The Interfaith Gospel Choir of Oakland performed shiny tin buckets filled with at the 112th Annual Meeting branded #OAKPROUD tees, & Awards Luncheon. window clings and smart wallets, festooned with blue and silver bead bling. A heartfelt, inspired performance by the Interfaith Gospel Choir of Oakland got things off to a rousing start. With over three dozen sponsors, from event sponsors Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, and award sponsors – The Clorox Company, Southwest Airlines, Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean LLP, Colliers International, Lowney Architects, and Donahue Fitzgerald – to twenty-nine table sponsors, the event, attended by a sellout crowd of over 450 businesspeople, was a celebration of the members of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and the often behind-the-scenes work done that betters the city for everyone who lives, works and plays here. The awards ceremony, which has grown to eight, with the addition of the T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award, celebrated organizations and individuals who are making positive, lasting impact, day in and day out, throughout the city and region. With the passing of the gavel from outgoing Board of Directors Chair Mark Everton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Visit Oakland, to Elñora Tena Webb, Ph.D., Chair, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, Principal, Signature Solutions Corporate Results, the Chamber turned a page, stepping boldy – continued on page 14 forth into its 113th year.

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> #OAKPROUD – News in brief • Congratulations to The East Bay Times winner of a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its coverage of December’s “Ghost Ship” fire – the fifth time a Bay Area News Group paper has been honored with journalism’s highest award. • Congratulations to Ruth Stroup, Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency, Oakland, Farmer’s Insurance agent and active OCC member and community asset. The Chamber is #OAKPROUD of your accomplishments and your unwavering commitment to Oakland's business community! Shown at left, Ruth Stroup is honored by (L to R) Oakland Councilmember and President Pro Tem Abel Guillén (left); and Oakland City Council President Larry Reid during Oakland’s Small Business Week. • Visit Oakland, the city’s official destination marketing organization, is proud to announce the creation of the Visit Oakland Public Mural Grant Program (PMGP) that will offer anywhere between $500 to $5K per project. Visit Oakland has allocated a total of $25K in the first year of PMGP. Visit Oakland hopes to increase the number of public murals for display in the city, while supporting the talented artist community within Oakland. Visit Oakland will identify and fund projects that highlight positive images of Oakland’s history and culture. See for details, applications. • Starbucks is planning to set up shop on a vacant lot at the corner of 73rd Avenue and Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland (District 6), with a sizable set-aside for community gatherings included. Starbucks is proposing to create its second “Core 2” store to support youth training programs by constructing a larger-than-usual building to accommodate a community room for use by local nonprofits. Starbucks has just one other such site, opened in Ferguson, MO, in April 2016, the first of 15 it says it intends to open nationwide by next year. Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) is delivering on the promises of Measure BB to fund transportation projects in Alameda County, including public transit, pedestrian/ bicycle pathways, highway and local road improvements. Projects and programs that support all modes and are in all different phases are included (from design, pre-construction through construction). Plans call for Improving Oakland’s streets, freeway access points, trucking infrastructure and alternative transportation options, such as bus shuttles and bike programs. As part of the Oakland/Alameda Freeway Access Project, (formerly the Broadway-Jackson Interchange Improvements Project), Alameda CTC funds will help improve freeway access and roadway interchanges that will reduce local and regional traffic congestion, and improve connectivity and safety for cyclists and pedestrians. This will ultimately reduce the barrier effect of the I-880 freeway between Downtown Oakland/Chinatown and Jack London Square/Alameda. • AT&T announced eight innovative ed-tech startups, including four organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area (two in Oakland; one in Berkeley), to the AT&T Aspire Accelerator 2017 class. The program is in its third year and is part of AT&T’s $400 million commitment since 2008 to help students succeed. The Accelerator supports for- and nonprofit organizations driving student success and career readiness. • Peralta Hacienda Historical Park – in Oakland’s Fruitvale District – won the 2017 National Museum Medal, chosen as one of only five museums and historic sites nationwide out of hundreds nominated, validating the organization’s decades of work on a national level. U.S. Representative Barbara Lee nominated Peralta Hacienda, and community members testified to Peralta Hacienda’s importance in their lives. Peralta Hacienda made the finalist list of only 15 museums, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Museum and Library Services granted the award to Peralta Hacienda “for outstanding service to the community.” • Oakland’s 2017 Mother of the Year honors go to Malia Lusia Latu Saulala. Mrs. Saulala is a mother of five children (two sons and three daughters), six adopted children and two more children with her beloved late husband. An active member of the Maxwell Park Neighborhood Council, Mrs. Saulala has been engaged in her community since 1978 providing outstanding leadership and dedication, while addressing and raising awareness on living conditions, safety concerns, available programs and community services that help and serve youth, seniors and adults. Mrs. Saulala completed the Oakland Police Citizen Academy in 2014 and volunteers with the Oakland Police Department (OPD) in various capacities such as the OPD Open House, Toy Drive for Kids and Thanksgiving Give-away. The honoree was recognized during the 64th Annual City of Oakland Mother of the Year Award Ceremony. n


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> From the president – Reflections and planning . . . – by Chamber President and CEO Barbara Leslie Reflections from the Oakland Chamber of Commerce 2017 Economic Development Summit On March 31, the Chamber held its 2017 Economic Development Summit – Planning Today for Oakland’s Tomorrow. During the half-day session at the Oakland Museum of California, Summit participants heard from key community leaders regarding their development, workforce and philanthropic priorities as they lay the groundwork for Oakland in the year 2030. The Chamber was deliberate in choosing the speakers and topics for this year’s Summit. Our goal Barbara Leslie was to shed light on how discrete projects – whether it is housing development, construction of a ballpark or advancement in technologies In addition – can have a transformational effect on laying the to the Chamber’s groundwork for a vibrant and inclusive Oakland. In addition to the Chamber’s core mission of securing core mission Oakland’s economic future, we believe thoughtful of securing planning for Oakland in the year 2030 must also include strong partnerships with education, workforce and our Oakland’s NGO community. Working towards – and being deliberate economic future, about – an educated and equitable city is vital to ensuring we believe that Oakland in the coming years represents all that we value today. thoughtful The Summit began with a local market overview by planning for Cushman & Wakefield, who shared a positive outlook on Oakland’s current development and leasing markets. There Oakland in the are a few things worth highlighting in the presentation, year 2030 must most notably the fact that Oakland’s rising cost of living also include (although still lower than our neighbors in San Francisco and San Jose) is the largest impediment to strong, strong equitable growth. The slow pace of housing production partnerships and the need to invest in our region’s transportation infrastructure are significant priorities to ensure with education, Oakland’s economic growth and workforce mobility. workforce and The Chamber has been front and center on these two our NGO important issues by: • Strongly advocating at the city, county, and state community.


level for more local and regional housing production that will add much needed housing stock at all income levels, relieving market pressure and increasing availability. • Highlighting that regional housing development has not come close to keeping pace with population growth, adding only one unit of housing for every 6.3 new residents since 2012. • Being on the “right side” of recent election outcomes impacting the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure and housing production, supporting vital regional measures to build more affordable housing and to ensure that our workforce and residents are able to move efficiently throughout the Bay Area, while reducing traffic congestion and pollution. The Summit’s panel, Planning Today for Oakland’s Tomorrow, included representatives from Oakland’s largest employer Kaiser Permanente, The Irvine Foundation, A Great Place to Work and Signature Development Group. The discussion included the very real issues around impediments to housing production, inclusion, education and workforce development. It provided attendees the opportunity to reflect on their own roles and responsibilities in ensuring that opportunities for all Oaklanders exist in our continued renaissance. The panelists, whose significant contributions have set a standard for community engagement, challenged attendees to get involved; to hire, shop and invest locally if we want to preserve the essence of Oakland. We also have an opportunity not to shun, but instead embrace Oakland’s new residents, while showing them what it means to be committed to preserving what brought them here in the first place, so they too can become stewards of Oakland’s future. As I stated at the close of the panel discussion, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce works every day to align educational opportunities with the workforce needs of industry. We have successfully placed local youth in internships, while strengthening our school district’s industry pathways. If you want to hire an intern, provide a teacher with the opportunity to learn about your business or engage as a volunteer in our local schools, contact the Chamber’s dedicated workforce staff; Mark Butler or Courtney Riley. An investment in education, either with time or money, may be the single biggest economic development activity you can engage to ensure that we have a thriving Oakland in the year 2030. Thank you to our speakers, attendees, and sponsors for making important community discussions like this possible. n

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> Employee pride drives success Capture Technologies provides technology solutions for businesses. From security to communications, Capture Technologies provide the solutions needed to make lives and jobs safer and more efficient. Capture Technologies has been in business for 69 years and is proud to be an employee-owned company headquartered in Oakland, CA, where so much growth is happening quickly. As employee owners, all employees take ownership in their roles and beyond, because each voice counts. The company’s employees care deeply about the customer experience, because it makes a difference in the performance of Capture and to their individual futures. Capture Technologies local sales, support, service and installation represenCapture tatives keep customers informed on the latest technology solutions. From access Technologies has control and video surveillance, to call been in business recording and unified communications, Capture Technologies has a long list of for 69 years solutions for business roadblocks. providing The company has the ability to technology create custom systems for many markets including healthcare, publicsafety, solutions for transportation, finance, government, businesses. As education and contact centers of all sizes. As change happens and new employee owners, businesses open their doors, Capture Capture cares Technologies offers solutions to help make deeply about Oakland the best city to work in, while maintaining its unique charm and beauty. the customer




For more information visit


> Personal CFO available for your business

Grigsby Finance and Tax Services brings over 32 years of finance, accounting, cash management and tax expertise to its clients to assist in achieving your personal and professional financial goals. Founder Mittie Grigsby is an enrolled agent and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University, Hayward. She built an impressive career and reputation in the Bay Area working for local and national retail giants such as the Gap, Inc, Mervyn’s, The Nature Company, Inc., and Crescent Jewelers, Inc. At the peak of her Mittie Grigsby corporate career, Ms. Grigsby achieved the level of Chief Financial Officer for two Bay Area corporations. She successfully managed one of these corporations through financial difficulties to a multimillion-dollar recapitalization. Ms. Grigsby has served on the Board of Directors of the Alameda 4C’s and is now an active advisor to the board. Ms. Grigsby now brings her expertise to the Oakland and East Bay business community, serving as personal chief financial officer to area businesses. She brings her exceptional analytical, managerial and problem-solving skills to her own firm to help individuals, families and business owners achieve financial success. She is affiliated with legal, financial and other professionals throughout the Bay Area to ensure she brings her clients the most talented team possible to fill needs and ensure success. Ms. Grigsby is the quintessential business and tax specialist for the 99 percent, and notes, “Your money matters!” Grigsby Finance and Tax Services provides a full array of tax and financial services to individuals and small businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you are an individual with a need for personal income tax return preparation or accounting, a business in need of income and sales tax preparation and filing or consulting, they are dedicated to serving you. Superior service at competitive rates is just a phone call away! n For more information call (510) 638-4878 or visit www.

> Family-owned legacy businesses honored

During Oakland’s Small Business Week, the city held a special ceremony and reception, Oakland's Family-Owned Legacy Business Awards 2017. This year’s honorees are Oakland Chamber member Valva Realty Company, founded as a hardware store and now celebrating 82 years in business; Gill’s Electric, founded in 1952 and builders of Lake Merritt’s necklace of lights around sparkling Lake Merritt-Uptown Oakland; La Finca Tortilleria, 34 years in Oakland; Everett & Jones BBQ - Jack London Square, 44 years; Yuen Hop Co, 2017’s oldest legacy award-winning business at 86 years; and Mr. Espresso, 39 years. n

> California Senator Nancy

Skinner featured at Women In Business Roundtable luncheon

Senator Nancy Skinner, California Senate District 9, addressed a large crowd at the Waterfront Hotel June 2, part of the EBWIBR luncheon series sponsored by Southwest Airlines. “Women in Business, Power and Politics” was the featured fare during the event, which brought together a diverse, engaged crowd. n


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

> Oakland is cover story

> “The Lot” on Broadway

HE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, publishing in partnership with the City of Oakland, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, and Visit Oakland, launched its inaugural Oakland destination section, debuting Sunday, June 25. Anticipated to reach an audience of more than 650,000, the special section acquaints readers about the latest things to do and see in and around town, and re-engages the Bay Area with longtime favorites in Oakland, including exclusive content covering Oakland’s unique local business community, events, outdoor activities, entertainment and more. A team of writers explored Oakland’s diverse business ecosystem, ranging from restaurants, independent retail shops, and artisan workspaces, to Euro-style market halls, capturing the diversity, authenticity and Oakland pride in its thriving business centers, from Temescal and Rockridge, to the Dimond, Downtown and Lake Merritt/Uptown Districts. A digital version of the section runs concurrently on, the Bay Area’s largest news and information site. n


for special SF Chronicle section


goes off the grid

akland Central and Downtown Oakland Association are co-sponsors of a new business lunch market at “The Lot,” 1100 Broadway at 12th, Oakland’s new alfresco event and dining space. Off the Grid, organizer of street food festivals across the state, takes over the lot three times a week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., with food trucks and live music. City Council President Pro Tem Abel Guillen worked with the property owners, Ellis Partners and Intercontinental Real Estate Corp., to maximize the potential of the vacant lot until construction starts this winter on an office tower. Featuring a rotation of three to six food trucks each event day, the lineup has brought El Porteño’s South American dishes – Turnt Up Tacos’ fusion tacos, and American fare from Licensed 2 Grill; Caribbean Spices and Southern Comfort Kitchen, with ice cream from the Sweet Spot; Flavors of Ethiopia and Hungry Kong Chinese, with Real Cool Frozen Treats – to hundreds of hungry office workers and passersby. People line up early, make their selection, find a seat under brightly colored market umbrellas and catch up on fresh air, fresh beats, and sunshine. For weekly vendor lineups at “The Lot,” check the-lot. Bon appetit! n

> “Hella Hustle” heralds A’s 2017 season

he Oakland Athletics continue to demonstrate their “#RootedInOakland” commitment to the city as an 80-foot tall, commissioned mural went up on the side of the PG&E building at 355 19th Street, at Webster. The Bay Area’s Illuminaries, street art muralists known for their contemporary, often massive murals, with several depicting local sports organizations and stars, were given artistic freedom by the A’s, giving rise to an elephant in armored catcher’s equipment carrying the city of Oakland on its back. While not the cuddly vision of A’s mascot “Stomper,” the muralists captured the strength, grit, determination and passionate spirit of Oakland and its baseball team. With new A’s president Dave Kaval at the helm of the organization, the wave of #OAKPROUD signals coming from the organization are a welcome sight. “Hella Hustle,” a nod to coined-in-Oakland ‘hella,’ and its never give up mentality, “Welcome to the Beast Bay,” “A Fastball Nastier than the Bay Bridge at Rush Hour,” and “We Never Give Up, Unless it’s a Seat on BART. Because We’re Gentlemen” is at the core of the A’s organization’s PR and advertising campaigns as they prepare to announce an Oakland location for a new ballpark sometime during the 2017 season. n


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Oakland Politics

Editor’s note: The following is another in the continuing series of stories from Aly Bonde, the Chamber’s public policy director, on the projects and discussions at Oakland’s City Council meetings.


he The Oakland City Council continues to grapple with a full slate of issues, while also writing a two-year budget that must be adopted by June 30. Below is rundown of some of the issues before the Council. MacArthur BART: The Council approved an amendment to the Development Agreement with Boston Properties to build a 24-story tower with up to 402 dwelling units, 13,000 square feet of groundfloor commercial space, and up to 262 parking spaces at the MacArthur BART Transit Village. The project includes 45 onsite affordable units, and a Project Labor Agreement with 50 percent local hire. The developer sought a height increase that was opposed by some in the surrounding neighborhoods. Planning Commission approved a community benefits agreement valued at $1 million dollars, which Councilmember Kalb asked the Council to distribute to various neighborhood groups and causes. The developer also made a $95,000 contribution towards a Pedestrian Scale Lighting program near the BART station, managed by the Temescal-Telegraph Business Improvement District. Quarterly economic development tracking report: The Economic and Workforce Development Department presented their report of activities from June 1 to December 31, 2016. The report highlighted Blue Shield’s decision to lease 200,000 SF and bring 1,200 employees to Oakland once the 24-story Shorenstein building at 601 City Center is built. Costco is showing renewed interest and possibly wants a smaller footprint than originally thought, while still preferring to be northwest of Broadway. The proposed 220-room Mandela Hotel project across from Target, is working with the city to get access to nearby Caltransowned parcels for parking. The former Walmart building has been sold to a new owner, and brokers are looking for a tenant as soon as possible. In District 5, at 955 Kennedy an adaptive reuse of 130,000 SF industrial space is looking to attract food manufacturing tenants. • In Q3 of 2016, the city’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, down from 5.8 percent this time last year, with total employment of 203,900. • The city took in $12,631,766 in sales tax (which reflects activity from Q2), which is up slightly year-over-year. • The city collected $22,932,938 in Real Estate Transfer Tax and $5,816,491 in transient occupancy taxes, which are both about level, year-over-year. • In Q3, Oakland’s retail vacancy rate was 2.8 percent at $22.74 per SF; citywide office vacancy was 4.6 percent at $32.39/SF, while downtown office vacancy was 3.2 percent at $43.87; and industrial vacancy was 2.6 percent at $9.56/SF. Housing report: The Planning Department issued its annual Housing Element update to the Planning Commission to report on Oakland’s progress toward meeting its housing goals in 2016. Key points included the city issued 2,121 building permits in 2016, up from 771 in 2015. A total of 479 units received occupancy permits in 2016, which is expected to grow considerably in 2016 and 2017. It’s worth noting however, that given Oakland’s low housing production for many years in comparison to population growth, there is still considerable need for new housing. Chamber district report: At the March 2nd Council budget workshop, Chris Thornberg, Beacon Economics, presented the Chamber’s 2017 Council District Economic Indicator Report, which is an economic analysis of Oakland broken down by city council district prior to the budget discussion. The presentation is available on the Chamber website. Public Bank Feasibility Study: The Finance Committee heard a report about the city’s chosen vendor to perform a feasibility study on establishing a public bank. The committee, although generally supportive of the idea of exploring the creation of a public bank, agreed with staff’s recommendation to discuss the $100,000 contract with Global Investment Company as a part of the budget process. The committee also urged consultants to look at creating a regional public bank, which would be more feasible. Illegal Dumping Update: The Public Works Committee heard an update about efforts to stop illegal dumping. The city received 30,000 requests to clean up illegal dumping in Fiscal year 2015-16, and spent


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

$5.5 million removing illegally dumped garbage. The dity is divided into four areas, with each one having a dedicated team and garbage truck. East and West Oakland each have two teams. The target goal for crews is to remove 85 percent of garbage within 3 business days. Staff acknowledges this is difficult to achieve, as the same crews are responsible for homeless camp removals, special event cleanup, among other tasks. The installation of cameras in certain hotspots has yielded mixed results. Public Works is currently working with Waste Management to determine if businesses in hotspot areas pay for garbage service. n

> Chamber influences city’s food truck policy overhaul, fights for small biz

Since August, 2016, the Chamber has convened numerous meetings, taking stakeholder input and this Spring scored a victory at City Council to protect Oakland’s small brick and mortar businesses. The Chamber’s aim is to develop a program acceptable to all parties, while maintaining its goal of spurring economic development in areas with limited food options. City staff have been responsive partners and the Chamber believes this legislation – although not perfect – has come a long way since August. Originally, staff was considering an option that would have opened the streets of downtown to permitted mobile food vending in the public right of way, without a buffer from restaurants. Restaurants and many small businesses had concerns about what this change would mean for their business and neighborhoods; through the Chamber’s series of meetings and advocacy at City Hall, a new policy was put forward by the Chamber, and passed by the Council March 21st. When the Chamber began this work, the policy had no buffer from restaurants, and now has a 300-foot buffer, making Oakland’s one of the higher in the state. ▼ Oakland has The Chamber thanks city staff for their willearned a reputation ingness to work with membership to explore difas a food truck ferent policy options. The collaboration between foodies’ heaven; small business and the Chamber changed this striking the correct policy for the better, and believes this program balance between strikes a better balance between encouraging brick and mortar economic development through food vending, restaurants and and supporting Oakland’s existing brick and street fare has been a Chamber priority. mortar small businesses. n The Chamber has been deeply engaged for many months in working with everyone from vendors to restaurant owners to city staff to develop the City of Oakland’s expansion of its food trucks program.

> Inside Oakland highlights hot-button policy issues Inside Oakland is a long-running monthly breakfast forum for members of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and guests to hear from decision makers and leaders about the day’s pressing public policy issues. Held on the fourth Friday of every month at 8:30am, a diverse group of businesses, nonprofits of all sizes, and interested community members convene to have informal dialogue about Oakland’s political and economic landscape and where we’re headed.

▼ Capacity crowd convenes in Chamber boardroom to hear Assemblymembers Thurmond and Bonta address sensitive issues around California’s budget projections, and the impact of a new administration on federal funding.

▲ Assemblymember Rob Bonta, California’s 18th Assembly District, updates Chamber members and guests at the Oakland Chamber’s annual “State of the State” gathering.

March Inside Oakland – “State of the State” The March 24 program featured the Chamber’s annual “State of the State” discussion with Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond. Assemblymember Rob Bonta, 18th Assembly District, ▲ Assemblymember which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and Tony Thurmond, San Leandro, is Assistant Majority Leader and Chair California’s 15th of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus. Assembly District, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents discusses plans for California’s 15th Assembly District, which includes funding early childhood education the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 with Chamber corridor from Hercules to Oakland. He serves as Chair members and guests. of the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment and is a member of the Assembly Committees on Education, Health, Human Services, and Water, Parks and Wildlife. Both legislators spoke about their priorities to fight to keep as much federal funding coming to their districts as possible despite the threats from the new administration. Assemblymember Thurmond highlighted his commitment to education and efforts to provide more funding for early childhood education by taxing the private prison system via AB 43. Assemblymember Bonta spoke about authoring AB 423, a bill sponsored by the City of Oakland to add Oakland to the list of cities with special exemptions from the Ellis Act, which allows a landlord to evict tenants if they are going out of business. The exemption would apply to Single Room Occupancy hotels, which often serves as housing of last resort for those in poverty. He faced some tough questions from the crowd about his decision to author AB 1506, which would repeal Costa Hawkins, a 20-year-old law that prevents cities from imposing rent control on newly constructed homes – a move many economists believe will have a chilling effect on new construction during a housing shortage. April Inside Oakland – “Meet the City of Oakland’s Lobbyist” The April 28th breakfast forum continued the discussion of state issues affecting Oakland with a presentation from Niccolo De Luca, Northern California Senior Director, Townsend Public Affairs. Townsend Public Affairs represents the City of Oakland’s interests in both state and federal legislation. De Luca spoke about the importance of making sure local governments’ interests are well represented at the state and federal level. When the City sponsors legislation, such as Assemblymember Bonta’s AB 423, De Luca’s team is tasked with helping it pass, as well as monitoring state and federal budget processes to guard Oakland’s interests. May Inside Oakland – “Coffee with the New Council President” Attendees at the May 19th breakfast heard from Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, who represents District 7 in deep East Oakland. While Councilmember Reid is the newly-elected President of the Oakland City Council, he’s also a lifelong public servant currently serving his sixth term on the council. Councilmember Reid made it clear that for him, and the residents of his district, once dubbed “The Killing Fields,” economic development and creating jobs are always the focus. He stressed building more hotels, particularly in his district around the airport, is a way to both create jobs and bring more tax dollars into city coffers. As the Councilmember for the Coliseum site, he also spoke about the news of the Raiders moving. “It’s taken me awhile to accept the fact the Raiders won’t be here,” Reid said. “That’s the choice they made. But we have 130 acres of land there and an incredible opportunity to build hotels, restaurants, and retail. I also hope the A’s will make the decision this is the best site for them.” Councilmember Reid is currently developing the city’s two-year, $2

billion dollar budget in response to the Mayor’s proposed budget released April 28. He said he’s working with three colleagues to put the Council’s budget proposal together, which will be released in mid-June. “The future of this city is bright,” Reid said in closing. “It has been ‘our time’ for a long time. We’re going to continue to keep moving forward.” n


> Growing Oakland’s tech workforce The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the East Bay College Fund held a tech industry education and workforce briefing April 5th, at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, in Oakland’s Uptown. Attended by a group of Engineers, Workforce Planners, Recruiters, Operations Managers, Senior Executives, and other industry representatives, a panel discussed local initiatives, including addressing the development of a more

robust and inclusive IT and computer ▲ Panelists included L to R, David Gruber, Courtney Brown, science workforce pipeline for the Tim Ahern and Diane Dodge. region, and learned how industry leaders are participating to insure their organizations have the talent to innovate and grow. The panel, moderated by Barrie Hathaway, Director of the East Bay Information and Communication Technology Partnership, included David Gruber, principal of Growth Sector LLC; Courtney Brown, CIS Department Chair at Merritt College; Tim Ahern, Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Leader, Workday, and Co-Chair of the East Bay Information and Communication Technology Partnership, and Diane Dodge, Executive Director, East Bay College Fund. After sharing their background and their experiences in approaching various issues, panelists took questions from briefing attendees. The consensus from participants was the group synergy be channeled in to a broader, more in-depth Oakland Chamber conference venue to discuss resources, successes and approach the issues in a guided setting. n

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Economic Development HIGHLIGHTS

> 2017 Economic Development Summit HE CHAMBER HELD ITS 2017 ECONOMIC Development Summit – Planning Today for Oakland’s Tomorrow on March 31, at the Oakland Museum of California, bringing together a variety of business leaders to look at how to best plan now for a bright Oakland in the year 2030. From housing to transportation, to creating the right mix of industry and achieving balance across quality of life touch points, the summit highlighted bright points, while serving as forum to foster dialogue as participants explored how to work together effectively. (See Message from the CEO, page 3, for in-depth coverage of the event.) A sold-out crowd started the day early with networking breakfasts, including a VIP reception featuring a Southern-inspired breakfast and appearance from Chef Tonya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, and then filed into a “green and gold” theatre at the Oakland Museum of California, with every seat decked out with an Oakland A’s baseball cap. Following a presentation on the improved market outlook of Oakland and the East Bay by Robert Sammon, Regional Director, Cushman & Wakefield, Northwest U.S. Research, a summit panel discussion focused on Planning Today for Oakland’s Tomorrow. Representatives from Kaiser Permanente, The Irvine Foundation, A Great Place to Work, and Signature Development Group delved into mission critical issues including housing production, inclusion, education and workforce development. Oakland Athletic’s president Dave Kaval, keynote speaker at the event, revved up ontinue making the crowd as he addressed an investment in attendees and talked of the A’s commitment to Oakland, and the education, to keep organization’s plans and timeline engaged with for building a new ballpark. Lively discussions lit up social activities that media during the event on a variety of topics in 140 characters or less, move Oaklanders with attendees – and speakers – all forward and to weighing in on the event’s Twitter hashtag #OAKPROUD keep dialogue #OAKLAND2030. The Chamber and actions aligned team kicked things off with its tweet, with ‘creating a “#OAKProud #OAKLAND2030 is vibrant, inclusive under way!” A well-fed crowd filed into the theatre Oakland in 2030.’ @oaklandmuseumca after a @BrownSugarKitch inspired – Barbara Leslie, President, breakfast,” a special nod and thank Oakland Chamber of you to Chef Holland, for the tasty Commerce networking breakfast before the conference began. Oakland Athletic’s President Dave Kaval, got the ball rolling with his tweet, “Great conference by @OaklandChamber on Vision for Oakland in 2030 #OAKProud #RootedInOakland ”; and Michael Colbruno, Oakland Port Commission President, tweeted, “Great hearing Oakland @Athletics prez @DaveKaval talk about the team's commitment to this city. #OakProud.” Mike Ghielmetti, founder and President, Signature Development Group, tweeted “reinvestment, new approaches, systems. Build baby build! Embrace energy, diversity #OAKPROUD!” Denise Kees, Kees Realty, tweeted out, “Housing policy and supply keeps up to help Oakland remain diverse and affordable. Keep Oakland Oakland #OAKPROUD #OAKLAND2030.” And Dan Cohen, Full Court Press, tweeted his appreciation for “truth-telling on amazing @OaklandChamber panel. @jcorona44 @MBushGPTW, @Gonzalez4Irvine, #oakproud, #diversity, #greatplacetoliveandwork.” In conclusion, Oakland Chamber of Commerce Dave Kaval President and CEO Barbara Leslie exhorted the crowd to continue making an investment in education, to keep engaged with activities that move Oaklanders forward and to keep dialogue and actions aligned with “creating a vibrant, inclusive Oakland in 2030.” n


#OAKLAND2030 was green and gold, courtesy of the Oakland Athletic’s #OAKPROUD spirit. The gift prompted several attendees to tweet a newfound allegiance to the team, including long-time fans of the other Bay Area-based team.


▲ Catching up: first order of the day at the VIP Networking breakfast.

▲ Sold-out VIP networking breakfast at 2017 Economic Development Summit.

▲ (L to R) Elñora Tena Webb, Ph.D, incoming Oakland Chamber chair, and Dale Marie Golden, Bridge Bank, catch up prior to the start of the Summit.



| OBR Oakland Business Review |

Chef Tonya Holland’s Southern Shrimp & Grits highlighted the VIP networking breakfast.

Economic Development

> Economic Development Forums highlight crucial development projects


HE Chamber’s Economic Development Forums are gatherings on the second Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m., intended to inform participants and engage members and the community in meaningful dialogue about economic development issues in Oakland. While Oakland’s economy is seemingly headed in the right direction, there are key issues to be discussed about how Oakland is growing and to what goal. The April 12th forum featured an indepth look at Carmel Partners’ transformative project at 1314 Franklin Street to build over the existing Merchant’s Parking Garage. Greg Pasquali, the Real Estate Development Project Manager for Carmel Partners, gave an overview of the project, which would be 40 stories high with 630 ▲ 1314 Franklin, 630 residential units; 16,000 units, 16,000 square feet sq.ft.; Carmel Partners of retail, and onsite affordable housing. The proposed project would add 634 much-needed new housing units, including on-site affordable housing. Pasquali stressed the project would house almost 1,000 residents, who will activate the surrounding streets and patronize local small businesses. “What downtown Oakland needs is people here at night and on the weekends,” Pasquali said. “It needs public safety.” It’s estimated the project would create an average of 240 construction jobs and 75 jobs on site. The project is projected to pay $18.4 million in impact fees and other funding for OUSD and EBMUD. It will also add ongoing tax revenues that fund Oakland services. Pasquali pointed out Carmel Partners, a San Francisco-based company, has investors that largely represent the community. “Eighty-five percent are nonprofits, educational endowments, retirement systems and the like,” he said. “There’s this great story of the money we make in this project circling right back into the community.” After facing backlash and demands for monetary concessions from some in the neighborhood at the planning commission, Carmel Partners, along with an assist from the Chamber, was able to secure planning approvals in April and expects to start demolition at the end of 2017. The May 10th forum looked at what is an equally transformative project, the Eastline development at 2100 Telegraph. Eastline is a project development joint venture including Oakland-based Strategic Urban Development Alliance (SUDA) and Lane Partners. Together, they’ve assembled a number of underutilized sites near the 19th Street BART Station, and propose to redevelop those parcels, along with a City of Oakland parking garage. The 3-acre site comprises one full downtown block and a proposed 800,000+ square foot, large floor plate office space, large and small retail spaces, community arts spaces, and residential units, as well as open space and parking. Manan Shah, an associate at Gensler on the project team and Chamber board member, gave the overview of the ambitious project that is currently in an exclusive negotiating period with the City of Oakland over some cityowned parking. The building would bring much-needed Class A office space onto the Oakland market, as well as contribute about $20 million in one-time impact fees for affordable housing, transportation, capital improvements, OUSD, and public art. Currently, the city receives $440,000 per year in revenue from the existing parcels, but stands to realize $7 million annually from this project, with 80 percent of that coming from the office and jobs component, according to project economic consultant Linda Hausrath, Hausrath Economics. n

> Wendel Rosen appoints COO W

ENDELL, ROSEN, BLACK & DEAN LLP, the largest law firm in the East Bay representing businesses throughout the Bay Area and state, adds Ginger Wilson to the firm’s management team as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Wilson will help oversee firm infrastructure, business development and strategic planning. “As Wendel Rosen continues in its evolution, working to do so in conjunction with our clients and to truly partner with them to get business done in the Ginger Wilson dynamic East Bay market, Ginger’s experience as an organizational leader, relationship builder and HR expert will undoubtedly serve both our law firm and our clients well,” said Richard Waxman, managing partner of Wendel Rosen. With nearly 25 years experience in business operations and human resources, Wilson has been immersed in the legal and healthcare industries, implementing organizational development and strategic HR initiatives, developing and maintaining budgets and financial plans, and coaching leaders. Most recently, she served as Director of Human Resources for Marin General Hospital since 2014, and her career includes 17 years experience as the Firm Administrator for a San Francisco-based, mid-sized law firm. Wilson is active in the community, assisting women and underrepresented students entering the professional workforce with resume writing and interview techniques, and co-taught an employee-coaching course at Dominican University. She is also a member of the Association of Legal Administrators, Golden Gate Chapter, and a former Advisory Council Board Member for Jewish Vocational Services. Wilson has a business management degree from Saint Mary’s College. n

Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP serves a diverse clientele of business, public and individual clients located throughout California and the United States. With offices in Oakland and Modesto, California, the 108-year-old firm advises clients on transactional and civil litigation matters in several related fields of law, including business/corporate; construction; eminent domain; employment; environmental; estate planning, trusts and probate; green business; insolvency, restructuring and creditor rights; insurance; intellectual property; land use; real estate; taxation; and technology. In 2003, the firm became the first law firm in the country to gain third-party certification as a green business and has won numerous recognitions for its leadership in the green economy. The firm was recognized by The National Law Journal on its “Midsize Hot List” in 2009 and 2014. Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at

▲ 2100 Telegraph (Eastline), 800,000+ sq.ft.; Strategic Urban Development Alliance and Lane Partners

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Healthy business

> Alta Bates Summit Stroke Center recognized for continued dedication to quality and excellent patient outcomes


OR THE SEVENTH YEAR IN A ROW, SUTTER HEALTH’S ALTA BATES SUMMIT MEDICAL CENTER was awarded the Get With the Guidelines® Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association. A decade ago, Alta Bates Summit was the first hospital in Alameda County to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The hospital’s stroke center is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with an expert rapid response stroke team and state-of-the-art equipment to immediately evaluate and diagnose stroke patients. “What distinguishes our stroke center is our collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to stroke care,” says Debra Blanchard, R.N., Stroke Center Coordinator at Alta Bates Summit. “Our team includes a team of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, case managers, social workers and other caring professionals who follow patients from the emergency room to discharge.” To attain this recognition, Alta Bates Summit complied with sets of indicators set forth by the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) for at least two consecutive years. The hospital also met or exceeded at least five of eight additional stroke quality measures. According to the AHA/ASA, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, approximately 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Every second counts when it comes to stroke Since 2007, the Alta Bates Summit Stroke Center has met or exceeded the national benchmarks for the amount of time it takes to administer t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator) – the powerful, clot-busting drug which greatly increases a patient’s chance of surviving a stroke. In 2016, Alta Bates Summit administered intravenous t-PA within 45 minutes to at least 50 percent of patients and within an hour to at least 75 percent of patients. This distinction earned the medical center the Target Stroke Elite Plus Award from the AHA/ASA. “We continue to improve our processes to ensure patients are diagnosed and arrive at the hospital as quickly as possible,” says Brian C. Richardson, M.D., Alta Bates Summit’s Stroke Program Medical Director. “Fast, expert action within the first hours is critically important. This results in improved outcomes for patients through the use of advanced treatment methods.”

Nationally recognized acute rehab center To support stroke patients, Alta Bates Summit also provides a fully accredited Regional Acute Rehabilitation Center, which has been rated in the top 10 percent in the country for successful patient outcomes and continuous service improvements. The rehabilitation center also offers robotic exoskeleton therapy to help survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury and other injuries and illnesses walk again. Called the Ekso GT, the body suit adjusts continuously to support every step a patient takes, offering new hope for greater independence and a better quality of life for a broad range of recovering patients. “One of the reasons we have continuously achieved the top 10 percent of hospitals for clinical outcomes in the nation is the ability to offer expert therapies and equipment such as the Ekso GT to help our patients regain their mobility and improve their activities of daily living,” says Mary Cafarella-Ake, Director of Rehabilitation Services, Alta Bates Summit Medical ▲ Alta Bates Summit’s Acute Center. Rehabilitation Center offers robotic In 2016, Alta Bates exoskeleton therapy to help Summit Medical Center survivors of stroke and other provided care to close to injuries and illnesses walk again. 700 stroke patients and the nationally recognized acute rehab program provided care to more than 400 stroke patients with clinical outcomes exceeding regional and national benchmarks. May is Stroke Month: Learn how to identify a stroke by acting FAST Being able to recognize stroke is everyone’s responsibility. FAST is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. FAST is: Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven? Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly? Time to Call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. Learn more To learn more about the comprehensive programs and services offered by the Alta Bates Summit Regional Stroke Center, please visit n

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Member update

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

Aisle5 3320 Grand Ave Oakland, CA 94610 (510) 879-7053 Michael Graves Restaurants BOMA Oakland/East Bay 1000 Broadway, Suite 200K Oakland, California 94607 (510) 893-8780 Julie Taylor Associations BriteThings 5356 Locksley Ave. Oakland, CA 94618 (844) 329-7808 Mike Wilson Energy Management & Conservation Consultants

Rotunda Dental 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Ste. 100 Oakland, California 94612 (510) 893-0808 Giovanna Farley Dentists Signature Flight Support 8433 Earhart Road Oakland, CA 94621 (510) 633-1266 Norman Ramirez Aircraft Service & Maintenance Sleep Number Store 5683 Bay Street Emeryville, CA 94608 (510) 594-7410 Andy Shukla Retail Spyglaz, LLC 55 East Third Avenue San Mateo, CA 94401 (510) 387-1486 Rafael Scott Software Development

Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt/Uptown District Associations 388 19th Street Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 238-1122 Steve Snider Business Associations

Tamar's Training Health & Fitness 2433 Mariner's Square Loop #105 Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 912-4152 Tamar Schwartzbart Health & Fitness Clubs

Inxpress 1633 Harrison Street, Suite 607 Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 479-4735 Albert Mensah Shipping Service

Temescal/Telegraph Business Improvement District 4430 Telegraph Ave #49 Oakland, CA 94609 (510) 860-7327 Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner Nonprofit, Business Associations

Land Home Financial 1535 North Main Street, #200 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 (510) 918-9001 Richard Thornton Mortgage Loans Linscheid Enterprises, Inc. 2198 Myrtle Beach Lane Danville, CA 94526 (415) 624-4022 Bob Linscheid Public Affairs Consulting LMC, A Lennar Company 492 9th Street, Suite 300 Oakland, CA 94607 (415) 975-4980 Alex Waterbury Real Estate

The Laurel District Association Business Improvement District 4222 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94619 (510) 530-3222 Daniel Swafford Nonprofit, Business Associations T.Y. Lin International 111 Broadway, Suite 2150 Oakland, CA 94607 (415) 291-3700 Andrew Dohrmann Engineers – Civil, Consultants, Structural

Rockridge District Association 785 7th Street Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 604-3125 Susan Bernosky Business Association

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NEW MEMBER PROFILES AIM farmers markets AIM is a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about the nutritional and economic benefits of buying locally grown food directly from farmers, and connecting and supporting communities and agriculture. We are committed to quality over quantity, and are working diligently to build the most productive markets for our participating members that best reflect the communities they serve. Our education and outreach programs keep us rooted in the diverse and beautiful communities of Oakland. By offering farm tours as well as classroom presentations and market tours, we are teaching Bay Area youth the importance of sustainable agriculture and eating healthy. While we operate seven local farmers markets, it’s easy to see why the Oakland – Grand Lake Farmers Market is widely acclaimed as the best in the East Bay. Oakland residents have made a ritual of this farmers market; anxiously awaiting Saturday morning to head over to Splash Pad Park to pick up their produce direct from their farmer and enjoy lunch on the lawn. The Oakland Farmers market is open every Saturday, year-round, rain or shine, from 9am to 2pm and features over 40 local farmers, 30 specialty food purveyors, and a handful of local artisans. See you there! n

Bay Area Bin Support Bay Area Bin Support is the Bay Area’s first push/pull bin service company. Established in 2015 to give Oakland property owners and businesses an alternative option to expensive push/pull fees, locally owned Bay Area Bin Support specializes in push/pull service for multifamily and commercial properties. The company provides same-day, curbside service for garbage, recycle and compost containers ranging in sizes from 4-cubic yard bins to 20-gallon carts. Bins are pulled out to the curb in the early morning hours and, after they have been emptied, returned to their original location. As a commitment to customer service and cleaner communities, the team sweeps and clears the dumpster enclosures free of excess garbage and debris. From start to finish, the Bay Area Bin Support team gives Oakland property and business owners an alternative to push/pull service at affordable rates. The company puts customer service and reliability at the forefront of its operation while striving to save the community money on push pull service. Call for an estimate to compare against your current garbage and recycling push fees at 1-888-920-BINS (2467) or visit n

BriteThings Cut your company’s carbon footprint by 30 percent or more! Reduce your company’s energy use and carbon footprint automatically while saving hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bill. Our patent-pending smart plugs and power strips learn how and when your workers use electricity and then provide you with a “smart schedule;” turning off devices that are not being used (think nights and weekends). It’s all automatic! Free energy assessment survey for all Chamber members. Give us a call at (844) 329-7808 or visit for details. n

Coffman Engineers Coffman Engineers is a multidiscipline engineering firm that brings creativity to its designs and proven results in practical engineering solutions. This is reflected in the lasting relationships we have with our clients. For more than 38 years, Coffman has provided civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection, and corrosion control engineering. We also provide project management and code consulting services. The company collaborates on large, small, and diverse projects from commercial, industrial, to municipal work as a prime or sub-consultant with offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Spokane, Seattle, Honolulu, Washington DC, Anchorage, Bozeman, and Guam. We provide fully coordinated multidiscipline engineering services that save owners time and effort. The leadership at Coffman has decades of multidiscipline coordination experience executing complex and challenging projects. Also, we provide the same high quality consulting services for individual engineering disciplines to our clients. We believe that our success depends on our clients’ success. We are a good neighbor and support our community’s endeavors. As an example, we recently participated in a tree-planting effort here as part of the Earth Day recognition. While we work hard, we also try to maintain a sense of humor, understanding that camaraderie and mutual respect are essential for developing strong relationships. n


> Business survey – continued from page 1

Great Place to Work® is a global research and consulting firm that helps businesses excel by creating high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Based on over 30 years of research and data analysis of Best Workplaces, we offer solutions to help organizations of all sizes and industries measure, improve, and leverage their company culture as a strategic business priority. Our Great Place to Work® Certification Program™ and our world-renowned Best Workplaces™ Lists, published with Fortune, help companies assess their culture, benchmark their performance against leading businesses, and earn national recognition as a best workplace. Great Place to Work-Certified Companies gain invaluable data on their employee experience, insights to improve their culture, and respected third-party validation to strengthen their employer brand. Our High-Trust Culture Consulting Services help companies accelerate culture change. Our expert team of consultants works with companies’ senior leadership to create data-driven, customized culture strategies to meet and exceed business goals. Learn more about how we can help you engage and retain employees, recruit top talent, and drive business results at n

Merrill Lynch Where you’re going is up to you. Our job is to help you get there. The things that are important to you are what really matter. That’s why we’ll take the time to understand life priorities like your family, your work, your hopes, and dreams. Then we can help you get ready for the future with a financial strategy that’s just for you. JTW Team: Al Fuentes, Financial Advisor, (510) 208-3865 and Josephine White, First Vice President-Wealth Management, Senior Financial Advisor, (510) 208-3826 Merrill Lynch • 1111 Broadway, 22nd Floor, Oakland CA 94607 • (510) 208-3800 n

ago. Given those numbers, it is no surprise that when asked about their employment plans going forward, most respondents plan on maintaining or growing their workforce, with only 5 percent considering layoffs over the next year. There was clear agreement amongst respondents in all categories that they chose Oakland for its location and quality of life, closely followed by its transportation infrastructure and diversity as key reasons to locate here. When asked about their business’s interaction with the City of Oakland, responses were decidedly mixed, with 36

Nelson For nearly five decades, Nelson has provided innovative workforce solutions to help companies efficiently build and manage their teams. We collaboratively identify and construct flexible, scalable programs to help our partners rapidly adjust to shifting workforce needs and priorities. Our specialized teams serve staffing needs in administration, HR, manufacturing, accounting and finance, technology, engineering, and more; and we work with companies and organizations of all sizes in nearly all industries. As a family-owned company, and one of the largest independent staffing companies in the U.S., Nelson is committed to involvement and investment in the communities where we live, work, and play. Through our communityfocused initiatives and our partnerships with companies and candidates, we’re not only matching talented, hardworking people with companies who need them; we’re building the future world of work. We get business. We get careers. We get work. With offices throughout California, including 12 across the San Francisco Bay Area, Nelson can help you build your most important asset: your team. Call our Pleasant Hill office today at 925.933.0505 or visit to learn more. n

CPM Logistics, LLC Based in Oakland, CPM Logistics, LLC is small, woman owned business in the San Francisco Bay Area. CPM specializes in small business advocacy for small contractors working in the transportation and heavy civil industry. Their diverse and experienced team brings innovation and excellence to projects, but what sets them apart is their ongoing commitment to their mission: to engage businesses large and small that are willing and able to do what it takes to be successful. Combining their big picture vision with strong technical skills, CPM provides project management consultation and mentoring, as well as capacity building services, for small businesses in the industry. They believe their success depends on the success of their partners and peers. They are an active player in substantial projects such as the Presidio Parkway Project; CMGC SR-99 Realignment Project in Fresno; CAHSR CP 2-3 project; and the Prime-DBE Cooperative in Oakland. CPM is part of a greater movement to bring construction to the next level; through collaborative partnering and relationship-based work they exceed their project goals in publicly funded and heavy civil transportation projects. Please visit the to be part of the growing network of businesses contributing to greater economic vitality. n

percent of those polled saying they found the city helpful, and about 27 percent saying their experience was less than adequate. When asked what city government could do to support local businesses, open-ended responses were varied, and as evidenced by the word cloud, comments suggest some important themes for consideration. Top of mind for the city to tackle include: the need to streamline planning and building services for business (particularly small businesses); addressing issues of homeless encampments and trash; focusing efforts locally, resisting the temptation to take positions on state and federal issues not relevant to local needs, and ensuring availability of housing and commercial space allows businesses to stay local. n

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> Awardees honored at Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon N

OMINATIONS poured in from Chamber members right up to the 6 p.m. deadline June 1st. Dozens of people from Oakland’s civic, business and nonprofit communities were nominated by peers and admirers who have participated with, witnessed, or felt the direct impact of all the nominees #OAKPROUD work in the city, making it a better place for those who live, work and play here. The Chamber’s leadership sifted through heartfelt testimonials, and pages of documents and letters attesting to the positive influence all 2017 award winners and nominees have had on the community. According to Chamber President Barbara Leslie, “the 2017 field of nominees was outstanding, as it is every year, and we did see a definite surge in nominations this year. Every one of the nominees was a deserving, hardworking and compassionate person or organization, often doing work that gets little attention, but which has so much positive impact on the city’s various constituencies. Oakland’s biggest resource are its people, and when these people lean into issues and causes, they benefit and inspire every one of us through example and deed.”

> Inaugural T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award With the passing in May of Oakland resident, business owner and community leader T. Gary Rogers, Chamber leadership created the T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award as a way to not only honor Gary this year, but to remember and celebrate his dedication to Oakland every year going forward. “We’re proud to honor someone who has, over their lifetime, been committed to Oakland,” said Barbara Leslie, Oakland Chamber President and CEO. “Gary certainly exemplified this and we believe memorializing his work is the right choice. Each year a member of the community will be chosen and Gary will be remembered. Our challenge will, of course, be finding an individual who has lived up to the standard Gary has set for us all.” n

• T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award This newest award category, the T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award, is established in the memory of the late Gary Rogers, Oakland business owner and community leader, and celebrates his dedication to Oakland. The award will be given each year to a member of our community who lives the high standards Gary has set for us all. Awarded this first year to Bertram "Bert" Lubin, MD, Associate Dean of Children's Health, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland • Oakland on the Map Both new and long-time Oakland businesses are exposing the myriad of opportunities our hometown has to offer. Oakland on the Map recognizes a local organization or businessperson who has been particularly effective at championing Oakland to both our residents and those outside Oakland that want to be a part of our renaissance. Awarded to the Oakland Zoo • Deep Roots As Oakland continues to grow, it's important to honor those long-time stewards of our economy who helped build out the city's foundation. Deep Roots honors a local company or individual who has been a major player in Oakland for many years. Awarded to the Oakland Athletics • Community Catalyst Oakland has always had a solid foundation of organizations and individuals dedicated to the betterment of our community. They strive to lift up our citizenry and spark change where it's needed the most. The Community Catalyst award recognizes those contributions above and beyond the norm that benefit Oakland. Awarded to OCHO Candy • Innovate Oakland Oakland entrepreneurialism is helping lead the way in being a model for inclusive, sustainable growth that creates jobs and opportunities for new and existing residents alike. Innovate Oakland honors an organization or leader in Oakland whose entrepreneurial activities contribute to both unique industry solutions, and benefit the city and those who live, work and play here. Awarded to Kiva Oakland • Leadership Oakland Alumnus Leadership Oakland is a nine-month Chamber program giving the city's current and future leadership the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the role leadership plays in our city. Leadership Oakland Alumnus recognizes a graduate of Leadership Oakland who has gone on to exemplify the skills honed in the program to our city and business community as a leader. Awarded to Tom Limon, Oakland Planning Commissioner • Heart of Oakland One enduring truth about Oakland is that our city has heart. No matter what comes, Oakland rises to meet it. Heart of Oakland honors a local organization or individual who has contributed to Oakland's persistent spirit. Awarded to Bishop Bob Jackson, Acts Full Gospel Church of God In Christ • Secret Sauce - Award presented by Mayor Libby Schaaf The 2017 "Secret Sauce" Award was presented to Mills College, in recognition of their contributions to higher education, their history as the first women's college west of the Rockies, and for enriching Oakland since moving to the city in 1871. “The Chamber congratulates the 2017 award winners and award nominees and the good work they’ve accomplished. And we have gratitude for the great contributions, large and small, made by every person and organization in this city who shares in the #OAKPROUD spirit that makes Oakland a special place,” Ms. Leslie concluded. n

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Editor’s note: The inaugural 2017 T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award has been awarded to Bertram “Bert” Lubin, MD, Associate Dean of Children’s Health, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.



1 In an interview with Dr.

Bertram “Bert” Lubin before the lunch began, he noted he was grateful to receive the T. Gary Rogers Community Commitment Award, citing Gary’s mentorship, friendship and the impact Gary had in helping shape his commitment to the city. Dr. Lubin noted he is equally committed to the health and wellbeing of our community.

2 Dave Kaval, accepting the award for the Oakland Athletics, winner of the “Deep Roots” award. 3 Denis Ring, founder, OCHO Candy, recipient of the Community Catalyst Award. 4 Tom Limon, Leadership Oakland Alumnus Award winner; Class of 2000. 5 Oakland on the Map recipient, The Oakland Zoo, accepting the award, Dr. Joel Parrott, President, (L) and award sponsor presenter Mark Fratzke, Senior Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente. 6 Valerie Bellande, Senior Business Development Manager, and Brian McKeown, Program Coordinator, Kiva, accepting the Innovate Oakland Award. 7 Award winners (L-R) Brian McKeown and Valerie Bellande, Kiva; Denis Ring, OCHO Candy, Dr. Bertram “Bert” Lubin, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Joel Parrott, president, Oakland Zoo, display their awards. 8 Mayor Libby Schaaf presents the “Secret Sauce” Award to Mills College; accepting is Renée Jadushlever, Chief of Staff, Vice President for Communications, Mills College. 9 Bishop Bob Jackson, Acts Full Gospel Church In God Christ, accepts the “Heart of Oakland” award, and urges the crowd to keep education front and center for Oakland’s youth.









CCORDING TO Chamber President Barbara Leslie, “the 2017 ffield of nominees was outstanding, as it is every year, and we

did see a definite surge in nominations this year. Every one of the nominees was a deserving, hardworking and compassionate person or organization, often doing work that gets little attention, but which has so much positive impact on the city’s various constituencies. Oakland’s biggest resource are its people, and when these people lean into issues and causes, they benefit and inspire every one of us through example and deed.”

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> Thank you to all our sponsors for your support! 1) (L) R. Zachary Wasserman, partner, Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean, LLP, and Mark Everton presented awards. 2) A special thank you to the Silent Auction partners who made these fabulous Gift Baskets, AIM Farmers Markets, Oakland First Fridays, Oaklandish, Oakland Museum of California, OCHO Candy, Ume Yoga, Starbucks, Oakland Symphony, Paramount Theatre of the Arts,

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Southwest Airlines, and Alameda County Community Food Bank, for making this possible! Over $15K in aid goes to the food bank; thank you, all, for your generosity! 3) Chamber President/CEO Barbara Leslie (left), Elñora Tena Webb, Ph.D., incoming Chair, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Kaval, President, Oakland Athletics, get quality time with A’s mascot Stomper.

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4) The Interfaith Gospel Choir of Oakland kicks off the luncheon with a stirring performance. 5) (L-R) Stephanie Bangert, Sasha Solomonov and Alejandro Rodriguez, all from Samuel Merritt University, show their #OAKPROUD spirit.

8) (L) Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller, Southwest Airlines and Kim Delevett, Community Affairs & Grassroots Regional Leader, Southwest Airlines. 9) A’s mascot Stomper, and Suzan Bateson, Executive Director, Alameda County Community Foodbank.

6) Incoming Board Chair, Elñora Tena Webb, (L) begins her term greeting guests after the luncheon. 7) Stomper and his fans

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> The dilemma of the family business – To sell or not to sell – by Daniel Fan

• Management of day-to-day operations As family business owners near retirement age, they face • Family employment that is based on merit rather than many difficult decisions. Will they be able to support their entitlement retirement needs? Should they pass down the business to If any of these issues are not properly addressed it could the next generation or sell to a third-party? Are they going cause considerable family disharmony. Even if these issues to be able to truly let go of the business? are addressed, planning is still Helping business owners clarify needed to transfer ownership of their retirement goals, plan the business while minimizing any ahead for the tax impact and possible gift or estate taxes. This loss of recurring income due What an exiting business is especially the case if the value to the sale, and navigate of the business is substantial. through complex family owner ultimately does with their dynamics is key to successfamily business is often a very Selling the business – fully advising these clients. difficult decision. There are Increasing value and minimizing taxes tax issues, and often times underUsing cash flow modeling to Ultimately, a business owner may organize and assess goals lying family dynamic concerns. It determine the best thing to do for The first critical step in the is important for a business owner the family is to sell the business. If planning process is for a busito seek the expertise of advisors this is the case, the two primary ness owner to determine and goals are likely to be to obtain the organize their goals. It is a who can help navigate through highest possible sale price, and challenge to create a financial these various complex and minimizing the amount of taxes as most business owners do difficult issues. incurred from the sale. not have knowledge of all of Increasing the value of the the possible options available business is often directly linked to to them. If they are provided increasing the overall profitability. clarity as to their options and To minimize taxes, planning will the impact of these decisions, likely need to be done well before they will likely be more definithere is binding agreement to sell the business. One area to tive as to their desired financial direction and the actions examine is how the business is incorporated. The selection they need to take to achieve it. of corporation entity and the structuring of the purchase (asset sale vs. stock sale) can have significant tax conseKeeping the business – Family dynamic concerns quences which should be analyzed before the sale is The statistics regarding family businesses does not provide finalized. optimism regarding their long-term sustainability. If the owner is philanthropically minded, making • Estimated that 40.3 percent of family business owners 1 charitable gifts of company stock could be a viable option expect to retire. to minimize their tax exposure, while also fulfilling their • 70 percent of family businesses would like to pass their charitable wishes. business on to the next generation, of which only 30 percent 2 As has been outlined, what an exiting business owner will actually be successful. ultimately does with their family business is often a very • Nearly 43 percent of business owners have no succes3 difficult decision. There are tax issues, and often times sion plan in place. underlying family dynamic concerns. It is important for a The lack of success in transitioning the business from one business owner to seek the expertise of advisors who can generation to another results from the difficulty in balancing help navigate through these various complex and difficult the personal well-being of the founder/patriarch-matriarch issues. n and maintaining family harmony, while continuing the prosperity of the business. Daniel Fan serves as the Director of Wealth Planning for First If the founder/owner is able to address the following Foundation Advisors. In this role, he oversees the firm's Wealth Planning department and advises clients on sophisticated wealth issues as they transition the business it will help maintain strategies. Mr. Fan has over 15 years experience as a wealth planner this balance: and specializes in evaluating and optimizing all clients' wealth plans • Founder’s transition – What do I do now? to meet their financial needs. Mr. Fan is a Certified Financial PlannerTM and holds his juris doctorate and master's in taxation from Pepperdine • Ownership, today, tomorrow and over time University School of Law and Golden Gate University respectively. He • Effective governance, to maintain long-term decision earned his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los making Angeles. Please contact Daniel Fan at for additional



1 2016 Family Business Survey. Retrieved February 2017 ( business-survey-2016.htm). 2 Peak Family Business Survey. 2011.

Retrieved 2014 (

3 Mass Mutual American Family Business Survey, 2007.

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> Beneficial State Bank wins StopWaste award – by Michelle Fay

In March, Beneficial State Bank (Beneficial State) in Oakland was honored with a 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Award for Excellence in Recycling & Composting. Beneficial State is among five Alameda County businesses recognized for outstanding environmental performance and business efficiency this year by StopWaste, the public agency in charge of reducing the waste stream in Alameda County. Founded in 2007, Beneficial State is headquartered in Oakland, with 12 branches in California, Oregon, and Washington. Their mission is to produce meaningful social and environmental benefits while being financially sustainable. Consistent with that “triple bottom-line,” Beneficial State has integrated sustainability into their Social and Environmental Operations Policy, including a zero-waste goal. Their waste reduction efforts go well beyond the requirements under Alameda County’s Mandatory Recycling Ordinance. In 2015, the Green Team at Beneficial State’s Oakland branch conducted a comprehensive waste assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of their existing recycling and composting efforts. The results informed a waste campaign to build awareness among employees through ongoing education and waste-reduction activities. The program has since expanded to all five original Beneficial State branches, including bi-annual waste stream audits, improved signage, educational brochures and “waste-less” lunch conversations, among other activities. To help reduce waste in the first place, Beneficial State’s purchasing policy promotes reusable food service ware and recycled content products. Annie Claybaugh, Director of Operations for Beneficial State Foundation, credited volunteers on the Oakland branch’s “Green Team,” as well as management, for Beneficial State’s success in reducing waste sent to the landfill. “Having a dedicated Green Team supported by Executive Leadership at the Bank and Foundation has been our key to success,” said Annie. “There is a strong commitment to zero waste at Beneficial State Bank.” Although recycling has been mandatory for many businesses and institutions in Alameda County since 2012, proactive and innovative waste reduction practices like those championed by Beneficial State are important. During the awards ceremony, StopWaste Executive Director Wendy Sommer stated, “Laws only get you so far. It is businesses like the ones we are honoring that give Alameda County an edge by going beyond requirements in their daily operations.” Beneficial State’s Social and Environmental Operations Policy goes beyond waste reduction and sustainable product purchasing to energy and water conservation, greenhouse

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gas and pollutant emission reduction, and worker and community safety. The Bank’s clean energy loan portfolio has produced more than 210 million kilowatts of clean energy as of January 2016 and will reduce CO2 emissions by over 145,000 metric tons during the life of the loans. The StopWaste Business Efficiency ▲ Beneficial State Bank proudly accepted the 2017 StopWaste Awards honor Alameda award. County businesses and institutions whose continuous efforts to improve environmental performance and business efficiency have achieved outstanding results. Since the inception of the awards program in 2000, more than 120 Alameda County businesses and institutions have been recognized. For more information about the 2017 StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards visit n Michelle Fay is a program manager at public agency StopWaste.

> Leadership Oakland 2017 has what it takes

▲ 2017 Leadership Oakland graduation

▲ Government Day, Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Leadership Oakland Class of 2017





▲ L to R: Thank you to: 1) Rosenblum Cellars, Graduation reception sponsor. 2) R. Zachary Wasserman, Advisory Board Chair; 3) Aisle 5 Catering, graduation reception sponsor. 4) Aly Bonde is Leadership Oakland Program Director

▲ Mayor Libby Schaaf, Government Day

▲ 2017 graduation reception


> Hire or host an intern this summer Do you remember your first job? The City of Oakland and Oakland Unified School District are expanding the summer jobs program to a year-round model that aligns with the regional effort to provide young people with career readiness experiences and pathway options. You can help develop young person’s skills and knowledge, while getting support for your business. “The Oakland Chamber is participating in helping to coordinate our efforts across the region, making it easier for businesses to realize the value

that comes with providing quality jobs, internships, and other work-based learning experiences on a for a young person,” said Barbara Leslie, President and CEO, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Leslie also noted subsidies to support hosting an intern may be available. “We are all helping to build a strong, future workforce. We encourage businesses to take part in this vital program.” Sign up NOW and Help Shape the Future! n

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> Leadership Oakland 2017 has what it takes

On May 12, 2017, a group of 25 graduated from the Leadership Oakland program, adding to the more than 400 alumni in the 27-year-old program. “As a graduate myself, I know how vital this opportunity is in developing stronger ties to and within the community which in turn leads to greater successes in the future,” said Barbara Leslie, president and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Oakland is a professional development, networking, and leadership training program of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Currently in its 27th year, the program offers Oakland’s current and future leaders the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of the role leadership plays and prepares participants for roles on City commissions, non-profit boards, elected office, and greater community engagement. With graduates’ friends and family crowding the conference center at Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean LLP, program chair, Zack Wasserman took the opportunity to discuss Oakland and the importance of the Leadership Oakland program. “Greek civilization was based on the development of the Polis – the small city-state like Athens. The basic philosophy of the democratic city-state described by Aristotle and Thucydides was that unless you participate in the Polis you are not fully a person,” noted Wasserman. According to Wasserman, the Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors of the Leadership Oakland program recognize businesses are the base of economic development. The people who own, operate and employed by businesses are the ones that create and offer jobs, pay taxes and produce the goods and services which make Oakland a successful city. Programs such as Leadership Oakland create leaders committed to the long-term well-being of the city. It is these “regional stewards” that know how to connect the dots creating opportunities for Oakland. “I hope you can develop a broad view as city stewards as you do several things,” added Wasserman. “Continue learning about Oakland. Maintain your contacts with each other. Reach out and push yourselves and others in your businesses and organizations to do more to help lead our city in better and healthier directions.” In closing, Wasserman left the graduating class of 2017 with a quote that helped guide him in his efforts to participate in the Polis. His father once said, “Good judgment is the result of experience. Experience is often the result of bad judgment,” adding, “never be afraid to make mistakes.” “Throughout this program, I’ve witnessed the graduates confront challenges with spirit, determination, knowledge, strength and flexibility,” said Aly Bonde, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce public policy director and director of the Leadership Oakland program. “I know Zack’s words mean a lot to the graduates.” n

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> Leadership Oakland 2017 participants

Blossom Albuquerque AC Transit

Robin Anderson AXIS Dance Company

Evelin Bailey Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean LLP

Leah Cerri Eden Housing

Michael Chavez Morgan Stanley

Benjamin Clyde Northern California Kaiser Permanente

Lilibeth Gangas Kapor Center for Social Impact

Helen Green Visit Oakland

Susan Groff Leavitt Pacific Insurance

Nicole Hankton San Leandro Chamber of Commerce

Riza Hernandez Wells Fargo

Rebecca Hopkins Oakland Public Education Fund

Jeremiah Jackson The College Preparatory School

Denise Kees Kees Realty

Piotr Kornas Kornas Corporation

Bonny Kuan AC Transit

Lyz Luke Oakland Symphony

Cathy Malone University of Phoenix, Bay Area

Sara Nolan Tsou Consulting, LLC

Rachael Ratcliff Jeffries Kaiser Permanente

Paulina Song Practyx, LLC

Mark Sutton Kaizen Tech Partners

Erica Vazquez City of Oakland, Police Department, Fiscal Services

Gerris Wilkinson 11 West Partners

Frances Wong Visit Oakland

Thank you to our Leadership Oakland sponsors

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> News and views from around town

Featuring, news and events from Oakland’s business community

> Wendel Rosen completes 13th project with Rebuilding Together Oakland Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP continues its 13-year partnership with Rebuilding Together Oakland/East Bay (RTO). The firm’s attorneys and staff participated in a two-weekend improvement project on the Oakland home of a disabled elderly widow. In addition to these direct efforts, Partners Les Hausrath and Matt Graham currently serve on the RTO Board of Directors. For more than 20 years, RTO has brought volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of the growing population of low-income homeowners in need, as well as community facilities in Oakland and the East Bay. Every April, RTO leads the Oakland/East Bay effort for National Rebuilding Day. This year, RTO will see more than 2,000 volunteers complete more than 40 critical home repair and community improvement projects in the local community. Wendel Rosen’s 2017 project brings together a full complement of attorneys, staff and firm clients for two consecutive Saturdays of improvement-focused labor on the home of an 85-year old disabled widow, who has lived in and raised her family in the house since 1968. The Wendel Rosen team is working together with Bell Investment Advisors to make significant and necessary improvements to the house, including cleaning and painting the entire exterior, rebuilding and painting the garage, and building a handicap access ramp and patio area to allow the homeowner to enjoy her backyard again after several years of inaccessibility. “All of us at Wendel Rosen thoroughly enjoy participating in Rebuilding Together Oakland year after year. We place a strong emphasis on community service at the firm, and we have a rich history of engaging in similar projects in the surrounding community,” said Graham, a Construction Practice partner and team leader of the RTO building project. “We value weekends like these, as they are deeply and directly gratifying for us, and they bring a different perspective to our legal work, client partnerships and employee teambuilding.” n Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP serves a diverse clientele of business, public and individual clients located throughout California and the United States. With offices in Oakland and Modesto, California, the 108-year-old firm advises clients on transactional and civil litigation matters in several related fields of law, including business/corporate; construction; eminent domain; employment; environmental; estate planning, trusts and probate; green business; insolvency, restructuring and creditor rights; insurance; intellectual property; land use; real estate; taxation; and technology. In 2003, the firm became the first law firm in the country to gain third-party certification as a green business and has won numerous recognitions for its leadership in the green economy. The firm was recognized by The National Law Journal on its “Midsize Hot List” in 2009 and 2014. Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at Rebuilding Together Oakland/East Bay is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home. For more information visit

> Marauding bears become Oakland Zoo educational ambassadors A black bear with a history of ransacking cars and buildings in search of food, was destined to be euthanized, but will now live at the Oakland Zoo, the first bears to take up residence in the Zoo’s upcoming 56-acre California Trail exhibit. Oakland Zoo requested to take the three cubs, as well as the sow, for their 56-acre California Trail expansion, its focus to highlight California’s natural habitat as part of an initiative to emphasize native species and educate the public about human-wildlife issues. In the interest of the cubs’ well-being and outreach opportunity, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) supported this unique strategy of placing the sow into captivity. Many, if not all, of native Californian animals that will be exhibited at the California Trail were anticipated to come from rescue situations. These animals will be coming to the zoo over the course of the next 12 months, but will not be publicly exhibited until the California Trail grand opening in summer 2018. “Oakland Zoo is very grateful to be in a position to provide a home for these bears,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, President and CEO of Oakland Zoo. “They are an important example of the human-wildlife conflict and highlight how we need to care for wildlife throughout California.” “We are so happy to be able to help these four bears,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research at Oakland Zoo. “As too often is the case when wild animals come into conflict with humans, it’s the animals that lose. Oakland Zoo’s purpose is to help people understand the challenges and the responsibilities of living with wildlife. Our first responsibility will be to provide these bears a rich life in a complex, natural habitat that will be part of our new California Trail exhibit opening in 2018. We will share their story and help people to understand the role we all have in preventing these types of situations.” The Zoo very recently opened its new aerial gondola and hilltop restaurant to the public, the first phase of the Zoo’s monumental California Trail expansion, which doubles the size of the park to 100 acres. Gondolas soar above The California Trail, providing a fun, environmentally sensitive, and inspiring way of getting there. n

> Working to keep Oakland clean Dozens of Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) employees volunteered on a recent Saturday afternoon to help Mayor Libby Schaaf and various community organizations clean up sections of busy thoroughfares in East Oakland. District Manager Todd Nienhouse led a team that included administrative staff, route managers and drivers representing Teamsters Local 70. In just three hours, volunteers removed more than 5 tons of trash, 20 tires and several mattresses off the streets. Following on the heels of the Chamber’s in-depth business census during the month of May, in which respondents stated trash on the streets and illegal dumping are impediments to business operations, the clean up activity and additional city and public focus on the issue were welcome steps in working to find long-term solutions. n

> May 3 Small Business Week:

East Oakland Business Resource Fair

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In celebration of Oakland Small Business Week May 3-11, 2017, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce partnered with several community organizations as a sponsor in presenting the East Oakland Business Resource Fair, held at Allen Temple Baptist Church. Businesses and entrepreneurs were invited to come learn about business development services, including free legal, marketing, and financial resources to help start or grow their business. Over 20 nonprofit and business service organizations serving the East Oakland small business community participated, sharing information, technical assistance, and answering questions to help existing and new businesses create success. Workshops included Successful Business Tips Workshop, with the Oakland Business Assistance Center; Access to Capital, a workshop covering microfinance and 0% loans, presented by Kiva; and Online Marketing Workshop covering design and social media with Oakland Digital. n

◀ Leadership Oakland (LO) partnered with Kiva at East Oakland Business Resource Fair. Helen Green 2nd from left, and Riza Hernandez, LO Class of 2017, pictured here with the Kiva team.

Keeping you connected and informed

All events are held at the Chamber offices, 475 14th St., unless otherwise noted. Call 874-4800 to confirm dates and times. Meetings are open to all Chamber members. > JULY 12 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m. Free for Chamber members, $15 for non-members EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair of the Board ELÑORA TENA WEBB Principal, Signature Solutions Corporate Results Immediate Past Chair MARK EVERTON Visit Oakland DAN COHEN Full Court Press BENJAMIN HARRISON Colliers International JACKIE RAY Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

PAT KERNIGHAN Former Oakland City Councilmember PAMELA KERSHAW Port of Oakland NEIL KRAETSCH Oakland Athletics MICHAEL LEBLANC PICÁN Restaurant KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture ROBERT LUCCHESE Bank of America KEN MAXEY Comcast ED MCFARLAN JRDV Urban International SAM NASSIF Creative Hospitality Group



ALICIA BERT Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

CHUCK PROSPER Alta Bates Summit Medical Center




JENNIFER SCANLON Kaiser Permanente

STANLEY P. HEBERT, III California State University, East Bay


MICHAE L HESTER McGuire and Hester VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company

MANAN SHAH Gensler DAVID STEIN Donahue Fitzgerald, LLP BJ WASHINGTON Oakland Market

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 by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612-1903. Membership dues include subscription. Periodicals postage at Oakland, CA. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

18 | Community Impact Committee | 3 - 4:30 p.m. For nonprofit leaders. Empowered introductions, guest speakers, skills building exercises, and harnessing the wisdom of the roundtable participants. Open to Chamber members only. Register at

19 | Business Referral Network (BRN) | 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Exchange leads, and learn business skills, with the goal to generate potential growth opportunities for its members. Chamber members only. For info contact Paola Castellanos at

> AUGUST 1 | After Five: A's Game | Battle of The Bay – 2017 Oakland Chamber Day with the A’s | 7:05 p.m. first pitch Group seats, Coliseum section 125R Tickets $55 for Chamber members; $65 non-members, Contact Grace Lunardi, 510.874.4802 or 2 | Business Referral Network (BRN) | 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Exchange leads, and learn business skills, with the goal to generate potential growth opportunities for its members. Chamber members only. For info contact Paola Castellanos at 16 | Business Referral Network (BRN) | 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Exchange leads, and learn business skills, with the goal to generate potential growth opportunities for its members. Chamber members only. For info contact Paola Castellanos at 25 | Inside Oakland | 8:30 - 10 a.m. free for Chamber members; $15 for non-members

Editor in Chief: JULIA LEHMAN (510) 874-4800

LATE SUMMER AND FALL CHAMBER EVENTS LINEUP SAVE THE DATES! Weds., Sept. 13 Small Business and Nonprofit Fair Fri., Sept., 22 Inside Oakland Fri., Sept., 29 Oaklander’s Talk Tech Fri., Sept., 29 Leadership Oakland Class of 2018 application deadline Fri., Oct., 6 East Bay Women in Business Roundtable (EBWIBR) year-end program luncheon Thurs., Oct. 26 AfterFive reception Fri., Oct., 27 Inside Oakland Weds., Nov. 8 Pulse of Oakland, Chamber annual poll breakfast

Design/Production Editor: CARTER DESIGNS

Fri., Nov. 24 Inside Oakland

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

@OaklandChamber #OaklandChamber #OAKPROUD

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> From the Chair

I am honored to be the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The future of Oakland and the Chamber is very bright. The Chamber Board of Directors, along with President and CEO Barbara Leslie, are committed to continued implementation of our strategic direction to secure future growth and sustainability for all Oakland.

Having lived and worked in this community for many years I have observed the evolution and growth of its neighborhoods and downtown areas. The continuing development of Business Improvement Districts throughout Oakland is helping to transform our city’s neighborhoods and our downtown corridor has become the place to locate, incubate and grow business. I have witnessed the emergence of Oakland’s vibrant entertainment and dining scenes as a catalyst for business and tourist attraction. Yet there is still a divide in Oakland that needs to provide for more of our residents participating in Oakland’s renaissance. The Chamber’s policy and workforce advocacy, speaking for a broad and varied membership base, works to ensure we meet these objectives. Oakland’s city leadership listens to the voice of Oakland’s business community now more than ever. The Chamber’s focus on public policy and economic growth has yielded positive results in the City Council and Mayor’s decisions. The Chamber strives to educate its members on relevant public policy matters and as well as represent business to government daily. Of course, coupled with a dynamic Oakland there must be a more dynamic Chamber. With the assistance of my fellow directors as well as input from you – our Chamber members – we will continue to be the center and most influential business organization in the East Bay. Your Chamber works for all businesses – large and small – as evidenced by our advocacy efforts and legislative successes. Together, let’s work to improve Oakland for all residents and businesses. If we combine our efforts, our ideas and our expertise, the result will be an enhanced business community, a greater Oakland and a stronger region. n Elñora Tena Webb Board Chair Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce


> The choices of Robert A.D. Schwartz A

> Golden State Warriors. Picture perfect


AKLAND WAS AWASH IN A SEA OF BLUE AND GOLD, CONFETTI, AND roaring with chants of “Warriors,” the team’s rally cry, as a crowd estimated in excess of 1 million plus fans gathered Thursday, June 15, to watch the Golden State Warriors take their victory lap around the city for the second time in three years. Dub Nation began lining up for prime viewing spots near the Henry J. Kaiser auditorium near Lake Merritt at 4 a.m., and along a long, winding parade route through the city. BART and local freeways were jammed early, with fans pouring in to Oakland to party East Bay style. Thousands of workers had prime viewing from above the parade route as they pressed up against the glass or opened windows in offices and residential buildings from Broadway to Lakeside Drive. The sunny day and the happy, cheering crowd made for a picture-perfect ending to what was a picture-perfect season. Nail biters at times to be sure, but in the end, Golden State was on top, with their 129-120 Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the 2017 NBA Championship 4-1, and taking possession of the Larry O’Brien trophy. The win came on their home court at Oracle Arena in front of thousands of fans, as they dispensed with the Cavs for a second time in three years. And the party started early, with Oakland erupting Monday night with impromptu celebrations, and dancing in the streets as the full import of the team’s accomplishments sank in. The title this year marks the fifth championship for the team. The Warriors are ranked as the third most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, with a value estimated at $2.6 billion. n

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LIFE IS THE SUM OF ONE’S CHOICES, OR SO the saying goes. Some choose to squander the one and only they’ve been given. Others cower at the prospect of living life to its fullest. Rarer are those who embrace the opportunity to fill each day with a bold purpose and determination that gives their life meaning. In honoring his wholehearted pursuit of the latter – in the persistent and unabashed manner he did – the family, friends, and Robert A.D. Schwartz 1925 -2017 colleagues of Robert (Bob) A.D. Schwartz gathered in the Oakland hills on a recent spring day to pay homage to his life and legacy. From the podium, those who knew him best revealed, in no uncertain terms, an enduring love and respect for Bob, and insights into what made him tick – what made him remarkable in life and in business. “Bob Schwartz is inextricably linked with my love for Oakland and to my understanding of the word ‘citizenship,’” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “I cannot tell you what it’s like to have inspirational people around you who don’t just live in a city, but believe in it and invest themselves in making it comport with a vision of justice, of compassion. That’s who Bob Schwartz was every single second of his life.” In the end, Bob was a product of every choice he made over the course of his 92 years walking this earth – walking the corridors of Oakland. Bob chose education – first his own, then the next generations’. A World War II veteran who worked his way to a BS degree from MIT, Masters of Business, and JD, Bob became a member of the California State Bar in the mid-70’s before making a pivot from law to business. The value he placed on education and lifelong learning would later drive his formation of Peer Tutoring Institute, a long-running Oakland nonprofit, instrumental in advancing the education of disadvantaged OUSD students. “Bob fought racial inequality and believed strongly in education as a means of combatting poverty and injustice,” recalled Phil Bruno, CEO of Key Source International. “History and learning from the past was something he never stopped talking about.” n

Oakland Business Review May/Jun 2017  
Oakland Business Review May/Jun 2017  

The quarterly publication of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Oakland, CA. News and features about the greater East Bay, with a...