Virgin America CEO David Cush Takes Over as Chair of Bay Area Council
With the ceremonial passing of an oversized gavel, Virgin America President and CEO David Cush on July 18 became the 36th Chair of the Bay Area Council in its 67-year history. Cush takes over from Janet Lamkin, California State President of Bank of America. Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman praised Lamkin for her leadership over the past two years, during which the Bay Area Council dramatically expanded its presence and influence. “Janet was instrumental in both growing the organization and re-focusing our work on the critical economic issues that matter to business, the region and California,” Wunderman said. “She leaves a tremendous legacy.” During her tenure, the Bay Area Council opened new offices in Sacramento and China, and was named by Governor Jerry Brown to lead the state’s new California-China Trade and Investment Office. The Council also achieved important statewide pension reform legislation last year, helped win $1.5 billion in funding for Caltrain and high speed rail and played a leading role in guiding the state’s healthcare reform. In taking over the reins, Cush talked about deepening the organization’s policy work and growing the Council’s Economic Institute. As President and CEO of Virgin America, the innovative Cush has led the fledgling airline to record-setting growth and made the carrier a global model for providing top customer service. “David is a transformational leader who will bring to the Bay Area Council a unique combination of creativity, energy and focus on fundamental business practices,” Wunderman said.