Bay Area Council Blog: Events Archive



Four little letters, so much headache.  CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, has been on the Bay Area Council’s wish list for reform for two generations.  At a packed meeting of clean tech companies, developers, lawyers, consultants and others, Jim Wunderman opened the meeting waving a 1976 “Bay Area Council Plan to Reform CEQA.”  Wade Crowfoot and Christopher Calfee of Governor Brown’s Office of Planning & Research responded by waving Governor Brown’s 1978 plan to reform CEQA.

Hope for bringing meaningful change to California’s landmark law has waxed and waned over the decades, but Governor Brown’s campaign promise to reform CEQA has created new excitement.  Jennifer Hernandez of Holland and Knight, one the state’s top lawyers on the topic, said that movement for reform has reached a tipping point.  The Governor asked the Bay Area Council to assemble business leaders to begin working collaboratively on change.  We did so on Friday and heard from the Governor’s team on the issue.  They laid out initial plans to ease CEQA requirements for renewable energy and infill development and then took about an hour and a half of thoughtful – sometimes emotional – feedback.  They took pages of notes, listened quite actively and said they would work with the Council, who is forming a task force to work with the Governor on an ongoing basis.  If you are interested in hearing about the task force or want to join, please contact Matt Regan at or 415-946-8710.



With strong signals coming from the House, the Senate and the White House, real cybersecurity legislation seems destined to become law in late fall of this year.  This issue affects nearly every one of our members and is a multi-sector top priority.  The Bay Area Council Cybersecurity Committee traveled to Washington D.C. to tee up influencing the language of this legislation, plus related issues earlier this year.

The Council’s Cybersecurity Committee will have a legislative policy meeting next week at Google at 3 p.m. to revise our “straw man” legislative language.  We believe now is our time to weigh-in with one of our key strengths as a united, multi-sector voice, and as we suspect from our interactions in DC and with policy makers, we believe our voice will be heard.  For more information about the Council’s Cybersecurity Committee, please contact Linda Galliher at



Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that “in too many instances, the march to globalization has also meant the marginalization of women and girls. And that must change.”  Secretary Clinton has vowed to make women’s empowerment across the globe a legacy of her time at the State Department and has enlisted the Bay Area Council to help.  In conjunction with a major APEC meeting in San Francisco this September, the Council will help Secretary Clinton deliver a global Women and the Economy Summit.  The gathering of global leaders, including Secretaries of State, Commerce or related Ministers from countries including China, Japan, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Vietnam, and Australia, will focus on topics such as women as agents of economic growth, increased female employment impacts on the global economy and financial inclusion for women-owned business.  The summit will not just be a setting for a conversation about the status of women globally, but will be a key vehicle for implementing important policies to empower women across the 21 APEC countries.  These countries represent more than half of the world economy.

The event, as part of the overall APEC effort, will be the largest diplomatic meeting here since the founding of the United Nations in 1945 – the very first project of the Bay Area Council, led by Governor Earl Warren, Stephen Bechtel and Henry J. Kaiser.

A few, very high-profile, sponsorship opportunities exist for the Women and the Economy Summit, putting your company in front of an impressive gathering of world leaders on a fundamentally important issue.  (Contact Emily Finkel, below, for more information on this opportunity.)

Special thanks to Paul Oliva, who led the charge to bring these meetings to our region on behalf of the Bay Area Council.  The Council, having formed an important partnership with the State Department to work on the Summit as well as the bid for the 2020 World Expo in Silicon Valley, is honored to have the opportunity to take the lead on this event.  San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be hosting a CEO briefing on the Women and the Economy Summit and APEC Summit at the Asian Art Museum Thursday, May 12, with members of the APEC organizing committee and Kurt Tong, U.S. Senior Official for APEC.  To attend or for more information, contact Emily Finkel at or 415-946-8712.



Join the Bay Area Council for lunch with Senator Mark Leno, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Senator Leno will discuss California’s current fiscal situation and what possible budget solutions are available.

Date: Friday, May 20, 2011
Registration: 12:00 – 12:30 PM, Boxed lunch will be provided upon registration
Discussion: 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Location: Bay Area Council, 201 California St., 2nd Floor Conference Room, San Francisco

Please RSVP to Kristina Frost: or (415) 946-8740

For more information please contact George Broder: or (415) 946-8728

Sponsored by:



Many thanks to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown for his glowing review of the Outlook Conference in his Sunday column in the San Francisco Chronicle.  Mayor Brown highlighted the great speech made by Governor Jerry Brown, as well as the enlightening presentation given by Dr. Jerry Weast during the conference’s panel on education reform in California.  Many attendees were also enthused about Dr. Stanley Prusiner’s presentation, which will hopefully build momentum for UCSF as they work to construct a new neuroscience center at Mission Bay.



This week, we held our 2011 Outlook Conference, and what a day it was!  We’ve received incredibly positive feedback on the conference, which covered topics ranging from the future of sports in the Bay Area to the new infrastructure of the 21st century.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, fresh off his recent victory helping keep Twitter in San Francisco, delivered the welcoming remarks to help us kickoff the morning and then we jumped right into the first topic of the day – education reform.  Our panel featured Dr. Jerry Weast, California Senate President Darrell Steinberg and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a discussion on how we can fix our state’s broken education system.  It was great to hear an outside voice on education reform – and people are still talking about Dr. Weast, the amazing strides he made in Montgomery County and how he can help replicate that success in California.

Next up was our panel on the future of sports in the Bay Area, moderated by the fantastic  Brian Murphy, aka Murph of “Murph and Mac” on KNBR 680, and featuring San Francisco Giants President Larry Baer, Gary Cavalli, Executive Director of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dave Kaval, President of the San Jose Earthquakes, Craig Thompson, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority and San Francisco 49ers President & CEO Jed York. The panel was one of the highlights of the day for many attendees, with discussions on the growth of soccer in the Bay Area and whether there will be a 2011 NFL season because of the lockout.  The Giants were also generous enough to lend us the World Series trophy for the day, which made for lots of great photo opportunities.

The day also included a panel on the infrastructure of the 21st century, which featured an important discussion on the workforce training needed for the jobs of tomorrow.  The panel of top executives from Silver Spring Networks, Coulomb Technologies,, AT&T and SolarCity also discussed the need for monitoring our mobile data usage, as smartphones and tablet computers consume an ever greater amount of our broadband capacity.  We also heard a fantastic presentation from Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner on the groundbreaking research being done at UCSF, and the day was closed out with an engaging discussion on national politics with Burson-Marsteller’s Mark Penn and Karen Hughes, expertly moderated by Bay Area Council Chairman and Catholic Healthcare West President and CEO Lloyd Dean.

But by far, the highlight of the day was the address by Governor Jerry Brown, who was in great form on his 100th day in office.  Governor Brown held court on a number of topics, including how large we can expect the state deficit and education spending cuts to grow without any permanent solutions for the budget.  Governor Brown also called on the 1,000 business leaders gathered for the conference to “be part of the solution” by helping to put his tax extension proposal on the ballot.  The witty Governor also mixed in a number of jokes that had the entire room in stitches.

Videos of the day’s panels will be available on our Youtube page and you can check out photos from the event here.  A big thanks to all of our sponsors, speakers and all who attended.  They all made the 2011 Outlook Conference a day to remember!


Breakfast Discussion with Vincent Lo: A Firsthand Account of China’s 12th Five Year Plan

April 22: Breakfast talk with Vincent Lo

Please join the Bay Area Council and the Asia Society of Northern California for a breakfast talk with Vincent Lo, Chairman of the Shui On Group and the Yangtze Council. Mr. Lo is a visionary land developer in China, leading particularly groundbreaking projects in the areas of urban renewal and historical preservation, and live-work-learn technology campuses.  Mr. Lo is also a strong proponent of region-to-region collaboration, and has been working with the Bay Area Council since our first delegation went to China in 2007.

Come hear his reflections on deliberations of China’s 12th 5-Year Plan as a member of the National People’s Congress, directions for China’s economy and innovation industries as a result of the new plan, and how trans-Pacific partnerships like that between the Bay Area Council and Shanghai’s Yangpu District will shape the future of doing business between our two nations.

Date: Friday, April 22, 2011

Time: 7:30 – 8:00 AM Registration
8:00 – 9:00 AM Presentation and Q&A

Location: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco

Please RSVP to Blythe Goodell (415) 946-8727

For any further questions, please contact Kristen Durham (415) 946-8736


Press Release: Bay Area Council’s 2011 Outlook Conference to Feature Governor Jerry Brown

The Bay Area Council today announced the lineup for its 2011 Outlook Conference, the region’s premier discussion on the economy, business and politics.  The conference will take place next Tuesday, April 12, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown San Francisco.  The day will feature an address from Governor Jerry Brown, as well as Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at UCSF.

The Bay Area Council has assembled CEO’s, elected officials and national thought-leaders to speak on panels on topics including education reform, the future of sports in the Bay Area, the new infrastructure of the 21st century and national politics.  Over 1,000 Bay Area CEO’s and top level executives, as well as elected officials from throughout the region, will be in attendance.

“The 2011 Outlook Conference will bring together leading executives, elected officials, scientists and political analysts to discuss a host of issues affecting the Bay Area, California, and the United States,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council. “The day will be anchored by an address from California Governor Jerry Brown on the state of the state. Limited space is still available, so I encourage anyone interested in attending to visit our website,”

For more information, visit

PDF Press Release

Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown to Speak at Outlook Conference April 12

We got word yesterday that Governor Jerry Brown will be speaking at our 2011 Outlook Conference on April 12. We are excited to hear from Governor Brown on a wide range of state issues and hope that you will be able to join us for this exciting event. Click here for more information on the conference agenda and how to register.



UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who tuned in and participated in our public pension forum yesterday. Check out the links below for video and photos from the event.


With tensions flaring all across the country over public pensions, tomorrow, March 9th at 8:45 a.m., the Bay Area Council will bring together a panel of California’s leading voices from both sides of the spectrum for an open, honest, and frank discussion on the current state of California’s public pension system. With the cast of speakers we’ve assembled, we know the sparks will fly.


  • Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender
  • Bob Foster, Mayor of Long Beach
  • Marcia Fritz, President of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility
  • Dave Low, Chair of Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security
  • Joe Nation, Stanford Professor and former State Assemblymember
  • Harvey Robinson, President of the Retired Public Employees Association of California


  • Corey Cook, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, University of San Francisco

We invite you to watch the event streaming live at You will have the opportunity to participate in this candid discussion by tweeting questions via Twitter during the forum, using the hashtag #BACpension. For those interested in hearing just the audio of the forum, a conference call number is available upon request.  We hope you will tune in online tomorrow morning!

PDF Media Advisory