Bay Area Council Blog: Events Archive

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Ross Program in Real Estate Info Session September 21

Please join us for the next info session for the USC Ross Program in Real Estate, presented by the Bay Area Council. We will be joined by Ross Program alumni as well as Connie Moore, President & CEO, BRE Properties, who will be speaking on “The Changing American Dream.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
6:00 – 8:00 PM
at the offices of the Bay Area Council
201 California St., 14th Floor, San Francisco

Please RSVP to: or 415-946-8729

About the Ross Program:
The USC Ross Program in Real Estate is a comprehensive educational program for the working professional to elevate skills and expand understanding of real estate development and investment, while building the networks necessary to succeed in urban renewal. The nine-day program will be held between November 11 and December 4.

White House Adviser Nancy Sutley Visits Bay Area Council

By Andrew Michael

Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and principal environmental policy adviser to the President, stopped by our offices this week for an engaging discussion with Bay Area Council members. Sutley tackled many issues important to the Bay Area, including the challenges of sea level rise and climate change in the Delta region.  Sutley also pointed to the increased level of engagement by the federal government in addressing the decline of the Bay-Delta, namely the creation of a Federal Leadership Committee on the Bay-Delta co-chaired by her and Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Sutley also discussed the new efforts the federal government is working on with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement new standards for trucks. Additionally, she mentioned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon be releasing a report that will provide scientific monitoring tools to local and state governments to help adapt to climate change. We look forward to working closely with Nancy Sutley and the Obama administration on these, and many other issues in the coming months, to improve the quality of life in the Bay Area.


BAC and Alliance of CEOs Join Forces to Discuss Investment in China

By Jim Wunderman

Last week, the Bay Area Council and the Alliance of CEOs brought together CEOs from across the region for a roundtable discussion on “Doing Business in China Today.”  Having just opened our new office in Shanghai, I shared my first-hand insights and tips with the group.  Much of the discussion centered on the business culture in China and how Chinese businesses put a premium on established relationships and working through Chinese partners.  Since the Council already has boots on the ground in the Yangpu District of Shanghai and established ties to the Chinese Party Secretary, it was a great venue to highlight our upcoming trade mission to China with Governor Schwarzenegger in September.  And with China passing the U.S. as the world’s biggest energy user this week, the imperative for American companies to set up shop over there is only growing.


Bay Area Council to Hold Forum on AB 32

The Bay Area Council is conducting a forum on AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, tomorrow, Thursday, July 22.  Supporters and opponents of AB 32 will present their arguments, and Proposition 23, the ballot measure to repeal AB 32, will be discussed at length.  Leaders from business, academia, environmental groups and politics will be voicing their opinions on AB 32.

“With Proposition 23 on the ballot this November, the stakes are high for California,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “This forum will be a lively discussion about AB 32’s impact on the economy, jobs and climate change.”

WHO: Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council

Professor W. Michael Haneman
, Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Agricultural &   Resource
Economics, University of California at Berkeley

Aaron Singer, Managing General Partner, Pacific Carbon Exchange

Dave Fogarty, Yes on Proposition 23 campaign

Donald Simon, Attorney, Green Business Practice, Wendell Rosen Black & Dean, LLP

WHAT: Forum discussing AB 32 and Proposition 23, with supporters and opponents presenting arguments.

WHERE: Wendel Rosen Black & Dean, LLP
1111 Broadway
19th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
(Office is located near 12th Street/Oakland City Center BART station)

WHEN: 4pm – 6pm
Thursday, July 22, 2010

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Blythe Goodell at All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 946-8725.


BAC Convenes Leading Superintendents to Strategize Improving Student Achievement

By Linda Galliher

The magnitude and complexity of the challenges facing California public schools is no secret. California’s public education system is not only one of the nations largest and most diverse, but is also one of the lowest funded per pupil. Despite recent “silver bullet” attempts at reform, drop-out rates and poor performance on standardized tests continue to plague the system.

Recognizing the status quo as morally and economically unacceptable, education stakeholders across the state have been mobilizing to find a comprehensive, sustainable solution. As part of the Race to the Top second round application, experienced superintendents have been meeting to discuss and plan innovative strategies to improve college-readiness in their districts. Despite shrinking budgets, these leaders plan to meet the challenge of preparing every student for a career or college head-on.

On Tuesday June 22, The Bay Area Council hosted a meeting between these superintendents, other education reform leaders, and Dr. Jerry Weast of the Montgomery County School District in Maryland. Dr. Weast has been leading a dramatic transformation in student achievement in Montgomery County for the past 11 years, boasting an unprecedented reduction in the achievement gap while simultaneously improving student performance at all student levels. Since Montgomery County has similar characteristics to many Californian districts, Dr. Weast shared his experience and strategy with the group.

It was clear from the meeting that while challenges persist and grow for public education, California has the leadership, talent, and drive to drastically improve student outcomes. However, turning California’s public education system around will take leadership on several levels and partnership across sectors. The Bay Area Council has been a leading voice for education reform in California and views the business community as an invaluable player in the future of California public education.

Watch the video clip below to see a portion of Dr. Weast’s presentation.


Senate Leader Dean Florez visits the Bay Area Council

By Matt Regan

Senate Leader Dean Florez (D) Shafter, visited the Bay Area Council this week to give us the inside scoop on the state budget woes and what we should expect to see coming our way in the next month in terms of cuts and taxes. He was surprisingly upbeat and optimistic given the current fiscal situation in Sacramento and stated unequivocally that a bipartisan budget deal would be sent to the Governor by the end of the month that would not involve any new taxes.

The Senate appears to have put together the framework for a $21 billion program of cuts to state programs and services that would close the deficit, with just some minor details yet to be worked out. The only potential roadblock to a resolution appears to lie with the Governor who would like to see an additional $4.5 billion in cuts to establish a rainy day fund to offset future deficits and avoid unnecessary harmful cuts. Senator Florez and his caucus is making the argument that, while they agree in principle to the rainy day fund, the rainy day is actually here today, and that any additional cuts would cause irreparable harm to too many Californians.

Having made almost $15 billion in cuts already this year and witnessing the voters reject any new revenue streams, our legislators are faced with the very painful task of making deeper and more impactful cuts to vital programs and services, particularly to our already underfunded education system. Senator Florez was hopeful that the education cuts would not reach into the classroom that that the savings could be made by eliminating many of the burdensome state mandates that generate tons of paperwork and eat up thousands of man hours per year.

On a somewhat brighter note, the Senator left us with the good news that he fully expects a water bond to pass this year with bipartisan support. The bond would include provisions for two surface storage projects as well as conveyance and conservation. If there is a silver lining to our current fiscal crisis it appears that it just might be forcing the warring parties in Sacramento to sit down and work together to accomplish something important for the greater good.

Thanks to Chevron for hosting this enlightening policy discussion and to Caroline Rodman for making it happen.


State Senator Abel Maldonado to discuss Budget, other issues, with Bay Area Council

By Matt Regan

Senator Abel Maldonado, who represents the 15th Senate District, which stretches from Santa Maria in the South, through San Luis Obisbo, Monterey, Carmel, Watsonville, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, to Saratoga in the North, is the latest speaker scheduled to meet with the Bay Area Council Leadership Forum at noon on Friday July 25th.  The lunchtime event is being hosted by member company Del Monte at their corporate headquarters at One Market Street in San Francisco.

Senator Maldonado, who is known in Sacramento for his straight talk and pragmatism, will no doubt bring a unique perspective to the big issues currently facing California namely, the budget impasse, the water crisis, and the current state of public education.

Leadership Forum events are open to all member companies. To reserve  a seat at the table please RSVP as soon as possible to


Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Breaks Bread with Council

By Matt Regan

On Friday April 4, Bay Area Council member Hanson Bridgett LLP hosted the latest “Leadership Forum Luncheon” with guest of honor the incoming Pro Tem of the California State Senate Senator Darrell Steinberg.  Also in attendance were fellow Hanson Bridgett Alumni, former Congressman Doug Bosco, and soon to be Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

Over fifty of the region’s top business leaders packed the room to hear Senator Steinberg’s vision for the future of California and the agenda items that he will be focusing on in the year ahead.  His twin messages of increased funding for education and in particular rolling back the state’s terrible rates of High School drop outs and an increased focus on regionalism were music to the ears of the audience.

Thanks to Andrew Giacomini, Hanson Bridgett ,and Senator Darrell Steinberg for helping put together another great event. The next Leadership Forum lunch is in the pipeline, watch this space.