Bay Area Council Blog: Community Engagement Archive

welts hof

Warriors’ Rick Welts Adds Hall of Famer to His Title

Rick Welts hasn’t scored a single point, made a single steal or grabbed even one rebound since he began an almost 50-year career in the NBA in 1969 working as a ball boy for the Seattle Supersonics. While his on-court achievements may not rise to the level of a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, the Golden State Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer has amassed an incredible and historic record of achievement off the court that earned him induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7. The Bay Area Council Executive Committee member has been an innovator and pioneer in various leadership roles in the NBA, including as a top executive with the Sonics, the Phoenix Suns, the NBA front office and for the past seven years with the Warriors.

Watch Rick Welts’ NBA Hall of Fame induction speech>>

Long before he became the first prominent male figure in professional sports to publicly announce in 2011 that he was gay, Welts worked to make the NBA a leading advocate for AIDs awareness. His marketing and business prowess and creativity helped guide the NBA in the modern era. Welts created the NBA All-Star Weekend, was the driving force behind the marketing of the USA Olympic Dream Team and played a key role in launching the WNBA. His career with the Warriors has been equally spectacular, helping build a team that has won three NBA Championships and assembled one of the greatest player lineups in league history. Welts also has been the driving force behind the construction of the Warriors’ new Chase Center in San Francisco, which he has called one of his greatest challenges and will no doubt become another great achievement in a continuing career of excellence and leadership. Congratulations, Rick Welts!

“No one is more deserving of this Hall of Fame recognition than Rick Welts,” said Warriors Owner & CEO Joe Lacob. “Rick provided our business operation with instant credibility upon his arrival in 2011 and set the tone for the new direction of the organization. He has left an immeasurable mark on the franchise. His presence has helped boost our organization to new heights, just as it has at every stop throughout his decorated NBA career.”

“Rick’s tenure with the Warriors and the NBA has been defined by innovation and inclusivity,” said Warriors Owner Peter Guber. “From All-Star Weekend to the ‘Dream Team’ to the WNBA, his impressive résumé rivals that of any executive ever to work in the industry. He continues to add to it as the team prepares to open a world-class sports and entertainment venue, Chase Center, in 2019. He’s a Hall of Famer not only by virtue of his successes but also in the way that he leads and inspires people to achieve their own successes.”

“The Bay Area Council couldn’t be prouder of having the incredible Rick Welts as a member of our Executive Committee,” said Council CEO Jim Wunderman. “Rick has consistently shown amazing commitment to our organization and the region. Rick is a hall of famer in every sense of the expression.”


A Bay Area-Europe Collaboration on Cybersecurity Education

EIT Digital and Bay Area Council member UC Berkeley have joined forces to launch Cybersecurity 360, the first professional education program of its kind, which will take place this October in Berkeley and in Munich, Germany. The program includes experts from both the U.S. and Europe, who will equip industry leaders to effectively address relevant cybersecurity issues in their management decisions.

This collaboration between EIT Digital and UC Berkeley Executive Education couldn’t be timelier, as organizations increasingly discover the price of online carelessness. According to the 2017 “Cost of cybercrime” study by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of online crime globally climbed to $11.7 million per organization, a 23 percent increase from 2016. Through the Cybersecurity 360 program, decision makers are able to obtain the required level of proficiency in cybersecurity to safeguard their organizations. Program details are available HERE.


73rd Annual Dinner & Business Hall of Fame to Honor Business and Philanthropic Titans

Mark your calendar for the Bay Area Council’s signature celebration of the region’s top business, civic and community leadership. The 73rd Annual Dinner & Business Hall of Fame Awards presented by Alaska Airlines will honor phenomenal business and philanthropic titans with induction into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame. Golden State Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are the driving forces behind this NBA championship juggernaut. Under their leadership, the team is enjoying the most successful run in its history. Peter Magowan served for 16 seasons as the San Francisco Giants’ President and Managing General Partner and was instrumental in keeping the team rooted in the Bay Area and ensuring their continued success through the development of a world-class ballpark. Retail giant, The Magnin Family, is one of San Francisco’s most iconic and we’re thrilled to have Ellen Magnin Newman accept the honor on behalf of her family. Make your sponsorship reservation today!

Become a sponsor>>


November Ballot Positions Announced

The Bay Area Council Executive Committee has adopted positions on a range of state and local ballot measures that voters will decide in November.


Proposition 1: Authorizes $4 billion in bonds for affordable housing programs and veterans’ home loans.

Proposition 2: Authorizes state to use revenue from Proposition 63 (2004) for $2 billion in bonds for homelessness prevention housing.

Proposition 3: Authorizes $8.9 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects.

Proposition 4: Authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds for children’s hospitals.

Proposition 5: Amends Proposition 13 to allow homeowners 55 and older to transfer their property tax assessments from their current home to a new home anywhere in California.

Proposition 11: Allow ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during breaks paid.

Oakland Children’s Initiative: Proposed measure would support early childhood education programs and services through $198 annual parcel tax.

San Mateo County transportation: Funds wide range of traffic relief and transportation improvement projects over 30 years with ½-cent sales tax increase.

Marin County transportation: Extends existing voter-approved ½-cent sales tax to fund wide range of traffic relief and transportation improvement projects.


Proposition 6: Repeals 2017 fuel tax and vehicle fee increases (SB 1) to fund road, bridge and highway repairs and requires public vote on future increases.

Proposition 10: Repeals the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and allows local governments to enact rent control.

Willie Brown

Da Mayor Honored for Lifetime of Civil Rights Leadership

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. was awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal on Wednesday, July 18 for his lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights. President Bill Clinton presented Brown with the prestigious honor during the NAACP’s 109th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which was also attended by San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Brown, Jr., two-term mayor of San Francisco, renowned speaker of the California Assembly, and often regarded as the most influential African-American politician of the late twentieth century, has been at the center of California politics, government and civic life for four decades. Today, he heads the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, where he shares his knowledge and skills with a new generation of California leaders. The Bay Area Council extends its warmest congratulations to our good friend Willie L. Brown Jr. on this richly deserved honor.


Member Spotlight: Landed

Founded in 2015 by Stanford Business School alumni facing the uncertainty of being able to afford to buy a home in the Bay Area themselves, Landed seeks to help essential professionals build financial security in the communities they serve. In the last two years, Landed has partnered with more than 50 public school districts across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Denver to offer an innovative shared equity down payment assistance program. Educators receive up to $120,000 towards the down payment on a home in exchange for sharing in the future appreciation in the home’s value at sale or refinance.

Earlier this year, Landed launched Landed Housing Solutions (LHS) to help employers – companies, nonprofits, and municipalities – create and manage their own shared equity down payment programs. In May, LHS launched its first university partnership with Santa Clara University to help their faculty buy homes near campus. These custom housing programs allow employers to invest directly in the homes of employees, sharing in the long-term gain of the properties, without the support being taxed as income. Employers interested in exploring home ownership programs for their employees can contact for more information.

brisbane bayland

Voters to Decide on Housing at Brisbane Baylands

The Bay Area would add 2,200 units of badly needed housing at an idle former industrial property located near transit under a proposal the Brisbane City Council approved this week that voters will now decide. The decision was a victory for the Bay Area Council and other groups that for years have been advocating for including housing as part of an overall project that would include 7 million square feet of commercial office space and significant open space and recreational amenities. The city previously had said it wouldn’t allow any housing on the 684-acre site, a position that drew strong condemnation from many housing advocates as the region confronts an epic housing shortage and affordability crisis. Whether voters in the small city will agree to add housing that would about double the size of Brisbane remains to be seen. UPC General Manager and Director of Development Jonathan Scharfman said “we are encouraged by Brisbane’s courageous decision to double the housing stock in their city.”


Careers Take Flight at Working@SJC

Amid San Jose’s warm and sunny weather Tuesday afternoon, roughly 70 job seekers, educators, and talent trainers on Tuesday (July 17) attended Working@SJC at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) – an aviation career fair the Bay Area Council co-hosted with Alaska Airlines and SJC. The event attracted a wide array of job seekers ranging from aviation students and recent-college graduates to adults looking for new opportunities to transfer their skills.

Employers in attendance included Alaska Airlines, McGee Air Services, SJC, TSA and airport concessionaries, providing job seekers with a taste of the wide variety of career opportunities available at the airport and across the aviation industry. Attendees also had the unique chance to hear remarks from aviation trailblazers such as Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (via a recorded video), Alaska Airlines Regional Vice President Marilyn Romano and SJC’s Assistant Director of Aviation Judy Ross among other representatives from British Airways, Hainan, LinkedIn, and the FAA.

Tuesday’s event continues the Workforce of the Future’s efforts to connect local talent, regional educators and employers together to build and strengthen sustainable career pathways. For more information on how to get involved with the Workforce of the Future’s initiatives, contact Senior Vice President, Policy, Linda Bidrossian.



It was a star power celebration Thursday as the Bay Area Council joined with member company Alaska Airlines to co-host a reception for Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden and his executive team to highlight the airline’s almost 40 years in the Bay Area. Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant also joined the festivities, sending ecstatic guests into selfie clamoring mode with the newly minted NBA Finals MVP. In a gorgeous setting atop of the Commonwealth Club’s rooftop deck at their newly built headquarters, more than 200 VIPs were treated to a lively and fun fireside chat with Tilden, Council CEO Jim Wunderman and Alaska Airlines President and COO Ben Minicucci. Tilden talked about the importance of community investment and growing a diverse workforce, and he highlighted the more than $1 million Alaska Airlines Group has contributed to almost 70 community organizations across the region in the past year.

Tilden has served as Chairman and CEO since 2012 and is a 25-year veteran of Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and Virgin America. The combined airlines have over 20,000 employees, 285 aircraft and fly to more than 115 destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. Under the leadership of Tilden and his team, Alaska Airlines is now the fifth largest airline in the U.S.

Durant wasn’t the only local sports celebrity in attendance donning a championship ring. San Francisco Giants CEO and Council Executive Committee member Larry Baer dropped by and brought his team’s three World Series Championship trophies.

Click to see photos from the event>>


Three important Bay Area water storage projects that originally were slated to receive zero or only a small portion of available state funding are now in line to get a healthy share of voter-approved Proposition 1 money after the Bay Area Council intervened. The proposed projects—the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion, Pacheco Reservoir Expansion, and the new Sites Reservoir—are critical to improving the region’s drought resilience. Following an advocacy push by the Council and other groups, the California Water Commission on Thursday (June 28) reversed an earlier staff recommendation that failed to allocate any of $2.7 billion in Prop 1 funding to the Los Vaqueros and Pacheco projects and provided just half of what was being requested for Sites. The Commission is expected to finalize the funding awards at its July meeting. To engage in the Council’s Water Committee, please contact Vice President of Public Policy Adrian Covert.