david cush passes gavel as bay area council chair to michael covarrubias

The Bay Area Council Executive Committee and Board of Directors on Thursday (July 17) applauded Virgin America CEO David Cush for his two years of strong leadership as Chair of the regional business and economic policy group and welcomed Michael Covarrubias, Chairman and CEO of development firm TMG Partners, as his successor. Covarrubias’ selection to the two-year leadership position came during a meeting generously hosted by member company Google at their Mountain View campus.

Cush’s two-year tenure as Chair marked a period of significant growth and accomplishment for the Council. Covarrubias, the 37th Chair in the organization’s 70-year history, has been a stalwart supporter of the Bay Area Council and is actively engaged in driving the Council’s work to create more housing in the region. Covarrubias chairs the Council’s Housing and Sustainable Development Committee, and serves on several of the Council’s key governance groups. His TMG Partners is one of the region’s leading real estate development companies whose landmark projects include some of San Francisco’s most prominent buildings. Covarrubias is highly regarded within the real estate community and in 2008 was named Dealmaker of the Year by the San Francisco Business Times.

The Council was warmly received by Google executive Mark Golan. Golan spoke about Google’s strong alignment with the Council’s continuing work to address the region’s serious housing shortage and crisis-level traffic. At the Executive Committee meeting, the Council’s top leadership discussed pending legislation to expand California’s battle against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, reviewed a bold strategy for addressing the state’s historic drought and water infrastructure needs, and discussed options currently being considered during a special session of the Legislature for how to fund the state’s massive transportation infrastructure needs. The Council will announce more details about its positions on these various issues in coming weeks.

In a series of lively reports, the Board of Directors heard from policy committee chairs on the great progress the Council is making on its priority issues. Rosemary Turner, Northern California President for United Parcel Service, reported on transportation; Michael Covarrubias on housing; Suffolk Construction West Region President Andy Ball and Montezuma Wetlands Jim Levine on water; AT&T California President Ken McNeely on 21st Century Infrastructure and Signature Development Group CEO Michael Ghielmetti on the Council’s China activities. During the water report, Levine and Ball unveiled a fun, new drought awareness public service announcement featuring San Francisco Giants ace Sergio Romo that will begin airing statewide compliments of Bay Area Council member Comcast, whose Hank Fore was in attendance Thursday.

The Board of Directors was also treated to an update from Executive Committee member and San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and Super Bowl 50 Host Committee CEO Keith Bruce on the plans for the Super Bowl next year. Bruce shared images of the exciting Super Bowl City that will erected at the base of Market Street in San Francisco, described the unprecedented charitable component of the event and talked about the many activities that will surround the eight-day extravaganza. Thanks again to Google for hosting us.

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