Bay Area Council Blog: Press Releases Archive



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The U.S. Department of Transportation today redirected $1.2 billion in high-speed rail funds from Ohio and Wisconsin to 14 other states, including California, which will now receive an additional $624 million for high-speed rail.

In response to this news, Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement:

“These additional funds will keep California high-speed rail on the fast track.  The infusion of new federal money will help to extend the first segment of high-speed rail to another urban center in the Central Valley, quelling concerns that California is building a ‘train to nowhere’.  Today’s news also means more jobs for California at a time when we are still facing 12.4% unemployment.

High-speed rail will re-establish California’s leadership across the nation and around the globe, provide an environmentally sound alternative to the country’s busiest air route (SFO to LAX) and take nearly 70 million auto trips off the road every year.

The Bay Area Council applauds the Obama administration and Department of Transportation for supporting high-speed rail in California.”

PDF Statement



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The 2010 USC Ross Program in Real Estate, presented by the Bay Area Council, will hold a case competition and graduation ceremony at 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 9 at the CitiGroup Center, 1 Sansome St., San Francisco.

The three-week program, taught by faculty from the University of Southern California (USC), as well as over fifty local industry experts and professionals from the Bay Area, helps participants gain technical expertise and expand their understanding of real estate development and investment, while building the networks necessary to succeed in urban renewal.  Each year, the program culminates in a case competition in which participants present their solutions for a local development issue.

“The depth of knowledge that this year’s students bring to the table is quite remarkable,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “We are proud to offer training and resources to such talented real estate professionals through the Ross Program and I am confident that these participants will positively impact future development in the Bay Area.”

This year, the case competition focuses on redevelopment of the Midway Village and an adjacent site in the Bayshore neighborhood on the border between San Francisco and Daly City.  Ross Program participants will present their proposed plans for the site in front of a panel of judges, including representatives from the City of San Mateo Housing Authority and the City of Daly City, the two organizations that control the site. Judges include: Greg Vilkin, MacFarlane Partners; Michael Barker, Barker Pacific Group; Michael Johnson, UrbanCore, LLC; Margo Bradish, Cox Castle Nicholson; Libby Seifel, Seifel Consulting; Vince Gibbs, Intequity LLC.

Participants in this year’s program include Benjamin Brandin, a Green Project Analyst with Eden Housing; Catherine Etzel, Assistant Project Manager at BRIDGE Housing Corporation; Daryl Thomas, Managing Director, NID Housing Counseling Agency; and Lena Robinson, Regional Manager of Community Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

A pdf overview of the program can be downloaded at:

PDF Press Release



The Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) today announced the launch of its new science and technology online innovation hub:  The site provides the Bay Area’s high level science and technology professionals a virtual hub here they can interact and discuss ideas for advancing the region’s global competitiveness.

“With the region’s most innovative thought-leaders and professionals spread out all across the Bay Area at public universities, companies and research institutions, there’s no way for them to constantly interact and share their ideas with each other,” said Dr, Mark Bregman, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Symantec and BASIC’s Chairman.  “This online innovation hub will harness all of the region’s collective knowledge and ideas into a central location where we can foster a conversation about how to make the Bay Area more competitive in the 21st century global economy.”

The new site will be the only one of its kind in the Bay Area.  It not only will help connect the foremost thought-leaders on science and innovation in our region, but also will provide the Bay Area community with the opportunity to participate in online “open forums” to discuss regional actions to address the issues impacting the region’s global innovation competitiveness.

“As the parent organization of BASIC, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute is proud to be fostering such a unique project,” said Sean Randolph, President and CEO of the Economic Institute.  “This new innovation hub will prove to be an incredible tool for promoting the science and technology sectors in our region and showcasing the innovation of the Bay Area in the national spotlight.”

PDF Press Release


The Bay Area Council plans to hold a “Gold Medal” reception in honor of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16, 2010, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  The reception will celebrate Curry for his role in helping Team USA win the gold medal in the FIBA World Championships for the first time since 1994.  Executives from the Bay Area Council’s member companies will have a chance to meet and learn more about Curry, see the gold medal, hear about his experiences in his second season in the NBA and maybe even shoot a few hoops with the Warriors guard.

“Stephen Curry is one of the most promising rising stars to enter the NBA in quite some time,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “Last year, as a rookie for the Warriors, he electrified the Bay Area with every 3-pointer and drive to the hoop.  More recently, he helped Team USA clinch its first world championship in 16 years.  We look forward to introducing him to the Bay Area business community and can’t wait for him to show us his jump-shot.”

“I am really excited to get to know many of the local business leaders who make the Bay Area such a great place to live and work,” said Curry. “Now that I’m in my second year in the NBA, I am really looking forward to getting further involved in the community. My experience with Team USA this summer was unforgettable and I love to share those memories with everyone I can.”

About Stephen Curry:

Last year’s NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up and a unanimous first-team all-rookie selection, Curry is off to a solid start this season, averaging 21.7 points per game and a team-best 6.8 assists per game. Drafted by Golden State in the first round (7th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry starred collegiately at Davidson College, where he went on to rewrite the school’s record books in several categories and earn first-team consensus All-American honors.  A native of Charlotte, NC, Curry was named the 2008 College Athlete of the Year by The Sporting News.

WHAT: Gold Medal Reception for Golden State Warriors Star Stephen Curry

WHERE: Golden State Warriors Training Facility
1011 Broadway
Oakland, CA
(Located on top of Oakland Convention Center garage)

WHEN: 6pm – 8:30pm
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NOTE: *** Curry will be made available to the media at approximately 7:15 pm ***
*** All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 606-2337 ***

About the Bay Area Council

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the voice of Bay Area business. Today, approximately 275 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member. Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion, worldwide.

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PDF Media Advisory


Press Release: Business Confidence Drops Due to Slowing Economy, According to Bay Area Council Survey

The Bay Area Council today released the results of the Summer 2010 Business Confidence Survey. It shows a slight downturn in business confidence and hiring this quarter. Even though we’re seeing a downward trend in business confidence in this survey, the strength of the Bay Area economy continues to provide optimism to CEO’s and executives. Overall, the Bay Area economy is in better shape than it was six months ago. However, uncertainty about what lies ahead continues to affect the key indicators, such as hiring. The Bay Area needs to continue pushing for smart, business-friendly policies that encourage hiring to pull our region out of the recession. The initiatives and policies that we are focusing on at the Bay Area Council, such as supporting infrastructure projects and financing for sustainable energy will help move the Bay Area economy in the right direction.

Learn More:
Press Release


Press Release: Bay Area Council To Hold “Battle Of The Pundits” Discussion On November Elections With Garry South and Jon Fleischman

The Bay Area Council is holding a discussion on the November elections this Thursday, September 23, 2010, with widely respected Democratic political strategist Garry South and famous California conservative commentator Jon Fleischman.  The “Battle of the Pundits” discussion will be moderated by Joe Garofoli, the San Francisco Chronicle’s politics and media reporter.

“Garry and Jon are known for three things: politics, punditry and pugnaciousness,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “They are also two of California’s most respected and sought after political consultants and commentators.  It will definitely be an afternoon filled with fireworks.”

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

Garry South, Democratic Political Strategist, Principal of The Garry South Group

Jon Fleischman, Founder and Publisher of, President of the Fleischman Consulting Group

Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle Politics and Media Reporter (Moderator)

WHAT: Discussion on the November elections

WHERE: Wells Fargo Boardroom
420 Montgomery St., Penthouse
San Francisco, CA 94104

WHEN: 4pm – 5pm
Thursday, September 23, 2010###

*** All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 946-8725 ***

About the speakers:

Jon Fleischman is the founder and publisher of, which was formerly the FlashReport e-mail newsletter on California Politics. The primary mission of the website is to advance the conservative cause here in the Golden State. Dubbed the “Matt Drudge of California” by Congressman Darrell Issa, Fleischman’s commentary and insights are read by over 25,000 unique visitors each day. to the website.

Professionally, Jon is the President of the Fleischman Consulting Group, a consulting firm which specializes in governmental, public and political affairs at the local, state, and national levels.

Jon was elected in February of 2007 to the position of Vice Chairman, South, of the California Republican Party. In this post, he serves on the party’s Board of Directors, and is a liaison between the CRP and the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial.

Garry South, Principal of The Garry South Group, has been called the “Carville of California” by The New York Times, and “one of the top political strategists in the Democratic Party” by, one of the nation’s most influential political blogs. Newsweek described him as “a one-man brain trust on the battlements of Fort California.” The National Journal finds him “shrewd and widely feared.” The Hotline labeled South the “über California Democratic strategist.”

South has 37 years’ experience at very high levels in government, politics and business consulting. He has worked for both the federal government and state governments in three different states, including as Special Assistant to a U.S. Cabinet Secretary, Senior Political Advisor to a Governor, Communications Director to another Governor, Chief of Staff to a Lieutenant Governor and Public Information Director of a State Legislature.

In addition, he has managed or played leading roles in campaigns for President, U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Legislature, County Executive, County Supervisor, Mayor and City Council, and served as Midwest Regional Finance Director of the Democratic National Committee.

Joe Garofoli writes about politics for the Chronicle. Over his two-decade career in the Bay Area, he has also written about media and culture, the “culture” portion being a ridiculously large umbrella under which huddle his stories about SM dominatrixes, the Raider Nation, and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey.

A native Pittsburgher and obsessive Steelers fan, his family offers a different window into the political system. During Prohibition, a couple of his (now deceased) elderly cousins cut a hole in the bottom of wooden ballot boxes, then when the ballots dropped to a floor below, the then-teens invalidated them to favor the candidate preferred by the local mob boss. God bless America. (His mother hates this story, insists they were not from her side of the family and NOT blood relatives.)

He is a Northwestern University graduate who has written extensively about the peace movement, made up a beat called “Red-and-Blue” to examine the nation’s divisions, been personally mocked on-air by both Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, and traveled to swing states during the 2004 and 2008 election. And won a bunch of regional and national awards.

As a sign of either his versatility, ineptitude or short attention span, he has covered two Olympic games, Seventh Avenue fashion shows, national political conventions, the Jeffrey Dahmer serial killings and his own vasectomy — which he discussed on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” after being told he couldn’t say the word “balls” on the air. He can be found on Twitter @joegarofoli and Facebook and at The Chronicle’s Politics Blog, where he is one half of the production crew of its infamous video crew called Shaky Hand Productions.

PDF Press Release


Press Release: Bay Area Council Economic Institute Announces Host Committee for 21-Economy Asia-Pacific Pre-Summit in San Francisco Next Year

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute today announced that its public-private CalAPEC Organizing Committee, which was responsible for organizing San Francisco’s selection for the 21-economy Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) pre-summit, will officially become the CalAPEC 2011 Host Committee. White House Council of Economic Advisors former chairperson Laura D’Andrea Tyson will serve as an honorary committee chair.

“After nearly three years of work to bring APEC meetings to California, we welcomed acceptance of our bid to host government and business leaders for an intensive series of APEC meetings in September 2011,” said Sean Randolph, president of the Institute. “The APEC economies include our major trading partners on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. We need business growth for economic recovery, and these meetings will help drive an open playing field for growth behind the borders, at the borders, and across the borders of our trading partners.”

Paul Oliva, the Institute consultant who spearheaded the CalAPEC bid, said “APEC is the first high-level international government meeting won through bid by either San Francisco or California in over a decade. We succeeded with the support of the California Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, business and civic leaders around the state, and Governor Schwarzenegger and Mayor Gavin Newsom. Senators Feinstein and Boxer worked with Speaker Pelosi on joint support, and George Miller and Wally Herger rallied the House delegation. It’s a great win.”

The APEC gathering in San Francisco lays the final groundwork for a heads of state and CEO APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu in November 2011, chosen for security reasons and as the home state of President Obama.

The CalAPEC Host Committee will undertake fundraising to support gracious hosting of the meetings and will look at ways in which Bay Area and California innovative policies, products, people, and services can inspire support for job-creating growth throughout Asia-Pacific. CalAPEC extends the Institute’s ongoing work on China, Canada, and international business ties of the Bay Area, and it sets the stage for the region’s bid on the 2020 World Expo.

As announced by the State Department Monday, envisioned for San Francisco is an intensive series of meetings, including the ambassador-level Senior Officials’ Meeting, working group and committee meetings, public-private forums involving senior government and private sector leaders, and a high-level meeting of energy and transportation officials. Issues addressed at these meetings will include those related to APEC’s core mission to promote free and open trade and investment and strengthen economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as making regional economic growth more inclusive and sustainable.

In addition to honorary chair Laura Tyson and director Paul Oliva, the CalAPEC Host Committee includes Organizing Committee members continuing their participation: Sean Randolph, Bay Area Council Economic Institute; Kim Benson, Cange International; Greg Hardy, Chevron; Helga Ying, Levi Strauss & Co.; Greg S. Slater, Intel Corporation; Everett Golden, Otis McAllister; Jim MacLellan, Port of Los Angeles; Tim Shear, San Bernardino County; Michael Obermire, USS-POSCO Industries; and Susanne Stirling, California Chamber of Commerce. Visa’s John Barry and Accenture’s Tracy Iseler contributed to the Organizing Committee.

An advisory group includes Joel Ayala, Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Nancy Kirschner-Rodriguez and Mark Chandler of the City of San Francisco, Bill Lee, San Francisco International Airport; Leonie Patrick, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau; Jim Lazarus, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce; Jeremy Potash, California-Asia Business Council; Bob Sakai, East Bay Economic Development Alliance; Bella Heule, San Diego World Trade Center; Carlos Valderrama, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Abe Lowenthal, University of Southern California; and Vinod K. Aggarwal, University of California, Berkeley.

The CalAPEC Host Committee, which is a program of the 501c3 Bay Area Council Foundation, is accepting financial contributions from interested parties.

APEC is a 21-member association of economies from the Asia-Pacific region working together to advance regional economic integration and prosperity. The APEC economies account for 40 percent of the world’s population, 56 percent of world GDP and 48 percent of world trade. Attending the San Francisco meetings will be representatives of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Republic of the Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States of America, and Viet Nam.

PDF Press Release


Press Release: Governor Schwarzenegger, Bay Area Council, Announce Bid for 2020 World Expo

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman to announce that California will bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Silicon Valley. The announcement was made at the World Expo in Shanghai before the Governor toured the U.S., Austrian and Chinese pavilions. World Expos typically occur every five years and attract exhibits from countries around the globe and bring as many as 70 million visitors. The Governor and Council will work together to bring this prominent international event to the Golden State.

“Shanghai has demonstrated that when you host the World Expo, the world comes to you, and I want the world to come to California. Our state is a leader in entertainment, agriculture, the environment, high-tech, green-tech and bio-tech, and we are ready to showcase our innovation to the world,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “As the hub of innovation, Silicon Valley is the most natural place to hold the Expo, which will promote the international exchange of ideas, create jobs and increase revenues in our state.”

The proposed site is Moffett Field, next to the pristine San Francisco Bay. The area is heavily served by international and local transportation and is surrounded by some of the largest and most respected companies in the world.

“The World Expo is the Olympic Games of the economic, scientific and industrial world, and we think it is time for Silicon Valley to serve as an ambassador for the United States and host this event,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “For 30 years, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley have been the pre-eminent hot spots for the innovation that drives the world’s technological advances.  Imagine what a Silicon Valley Expo will look like when we put all of the region’s collective brainpower to work.”

World Expos can generate tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs for host regions.  Shanghai’s World Expo will leave the city with an additional $40 billion of roads, subway lines and airport terminals.  The net economic impact for the Shanghai Expo has been estimated at $11.6 billion, according to Chen Xinkang, professor of marketing and business management at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

The State of California and the United States will submit their formal Expo 2020 candidacy application in 2011 and the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) – the governing body of World Expositions – will likely announce the winning bid for Expo 2020 at the end of 2012.  Currently, the United States is not a member of the BIE. The Bay Area Council plans to work with Congressional Representatives and the U.S. State Department over the next few months to reinstate the U.S. as a contributing member.

The last Expo that was held in the United States was in 1984 in New Orleans.

PDF Press Release


Press Release: Bay Area Council To Hold Awards Reception For Scholarship Program

The Bay Area Council will be holding its annual Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program awards reception this evening at the offices of Nixon Peabody LLP. The scholarship program supports students of exceptional ability from underserved neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Financial assistance of up to $5,000 and leadership training resources are provided to high achieving students attending Bay Area colleges. Tonight’s awards reception will feature a keynote address from Catholic Healthcare West President & CEO Lloyd Dean, as well as addresses from past and present scholars.


Keynote Speaker: Lloyd Dean, President & CEO, Catholic Healthcare West

Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council

Past and present Bay Area Council Scholars

WHAT: Awards reception for the Bay Area Council Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program.

Nixon Peabody LLP
One Embarcadero Center, 18th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

WHEN: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All media planning to attend should RSVP to, (415) 946-8725

PDF Press Release


Press Release: Bay Area Council Statement On Tour Of Peninsula High-Speed Rail Route

Today, representatives of the Bay Area Council joined stakeholders and elected officials from Peninsula cities to tour the Peninsula rail corridor and discuss issues related to the future California High-Speed Rail.

The tour, hosted by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, was convened in response to a July 29, 2010 letter from Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman that expressed concerns about an attempt by five Peninsula cities to slow down the implementation of high-speed rail.

The tour also came on the heels of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declaring this week that California is, “…way ahead of the curve on high-speed rail,” and High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Roelef van Ark remarking that, “If you don’t get the environmental process done by September 2011, you won’t get the funding…”

After today’s tour, Bay Area Council Vice President and Spokesman Joe Arellano issued the following statement:

“Those who oppose high-speed rail understand that delay is their best weapon to kill the project.  There are ways to resolve issues and there are ways to stop progress.  We greatly appreciate Assemblyman Hill’s effort to bridge the differences amongst his constituents.  However, the cities of Menlo Park and Atherton are continuing to move forward with a challenge to the environmental impact report of the San Francisco-San Jose portion of the high-speed rail line.

We refuse to stand by and let two small cities de-rail this historic multi-billion dollar project.  By slowing the environmental process down, Menlo Park and Atherton are trying to run out the clock on high-speed rail.

We understand the concerns of Peninsula residents and we are sensitive to their apprehension about having high-speed rail in their community.  But we need to remember that Prop 1A was supported by over 60 percent of San Mateo and Santa Clara County voters, and statewide it passed with over 53 percent support.  The people of California and the Peninsula are counting on all of us to deliver.

High-speed rail is the perfect opportunity to execute a bold, statewide vision to prove to the people of California that we are still capable of accomplishing big things.  However, doing big things takes big people.  Instead of filing their petition to stop the EIR, Menlo Park and Atherton should take a step back and work with the High-Speed Rail Authority to address the concerns of residents, find an agreeable resolution and continue to move the process forward.”

PDF Press Release