78th Annual Dinner and Business Hall of Fame Dazzles
A record and very energetic crowd, including a Who’s Who of the region’s business leaders, celebrated two incredible Bay Area business and philanthropic icons at the Bay Area Council’s Annual Dinner and Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony last night (Dec. 5) presented by Kaiser Permanente. San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended, thanking the business community for its partnership in working to re-energize the economy, highlighting the success of the recent APEC Leaders Summit—the Council co-authored the application to bring APEC to San Francisco and held our own weeklong series of APEC meetings–and noting progress on the issues of crime and safety and homelessness, among other issues, and the continuing work to address them.
The event also featured the traditional passing of the gavel, with Council Chair Kristina Lawson, Managing Partner of Hanson Bridgett, taking the baton from outgoing Chair Kausik Rajgopal, Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer for PayPal. Both Lawson and Council CEO Jim Wunderman thanked Rajgopal for his leadership over the past two years before Lawson delivered stirring remarks outlining her priorities. Franco Finn, legendary hype man for the Golden State Warriors and California Public Affairs Manager for Alaska Airlines, got the house thumping ahead of the show.
Business Hall of Fame Chair and Sunset Development Company Chairman Alex Mehran led the ceremony to induct Prologis Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Hamid Moghadam and trailblazing attorney Mary Cranston, former Chair and CEO of Pillsbury, into the Hall’s Class of 2023. Pillsbury Managing Partner Roxane Polidora led a conversation with Cranston about her pioneering work to elevate the role of women in the legal profession while Moghadam talked with Kaiser Permanente Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Janet Liang about the importance of civic leadership and his thoughts on everything from artificial intelligence to global supply chains. Liang also serves on the Council’s Executive Committee. Both Cranston and Moghadam talked about their optimism in the outlook for San Francisco and the region, but also challenged business leaders to lean into solutions. Read the story in the San Francisco Business Times.
With a moving introduction by Bank of America Managing Director and Market Executive Gioia McCarthy, we paid tribute to Richard “Dick” Rosenberg, who founded the Business Hall of Fame in 1995 after a legendary career leading Bank of America to national prominence. Dick passed away earlier this year.
Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Kaiser Permanente and major sponsors Pillsbury and Hanson Bridgett for their generous support. And thank you to all of our other incredible sponsors. The record financial support generated by the Annual Dinner is critical in powering the Council’s public policy and advocacy work.