New Council Chair Mary Huss Outlines Her Vision

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The Bay Area Council Board of Directors this week held its final meeting of 2019, taking stock of an extremely productive year and looking ahead to an ambitious 2020 agenda. New Council Chair Mary Huss, President and Publisher of the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal, outlined the broad strokes of her vision for the organization over the next years, emphasizing the importance of maintaining laser-like focus on the key issues of housing, transportation and homelessness. She praised the Board for its leadership in tackling these immense challenges and strongly encouraged Board members to promote deeper engagement within their organizations in the Council’s policy and advocacy work. She welcomed new Executive Committee members Frank Calderoni, Chairman and CEO of Anaplan, Phillip Mazzie, Managing Partner of EY, and Brandon Shorenstein, Co-Chairman of Shorenstein Properties. Huss also introduced new Bay Area Council Economic Institute Chair Mark Duggan, Director of the Stanford University Institute for Economic Policy, who is succeeding Kausik Rajgopal of McKinsey & Co.

Council CEO Jim Wunderman highlighted some of the Council’s key accomplishments over the past year, including important legislative wins on the housing front, the release of a groundbreaking report on homelessness that is spurring new regional approaches to the problem, and great progress on a bold $100 billion plan to invest in the region’s broken transportation system. The Board also heard from Executive Committee member Keith Knopf, President and CEO of Raley’s, on the great work he is leading for the Council on an initiative to advance megaregion planning. Knopf announced that Raley’s will provide dedicated staff resources as part of its commitment to helping the Council realize the awesome economic potential of a highly integrated megaregion.

Meeting host and Executive Committee member Ivar Satero, Director of the San Francisco International Airport, delivered an insightful overview of the airport’s incredible growth and the massive economic benefits it provides to the region, including directly and indirectly supporting 330,000 jobs. The meeting was held at the gorgeous new Grand Hyatt at SFO, which only recently opened its doors but is already wowing visitors with its amenities and seamless connections to airport terminals. Satero also described the continuing capital investments SFO is making to keep pace with the region’s growing economy and maintain the airport as a premier facility connecting the Bay Area to the world.

In a presentation that was both enlightening and sobering, Tomiquia Moss outlined how a new organization she’s leading—All Home—is working to apply regional solutions to the growing problems of homelessness and poverty. All Home will focus heavily on the needs of the region’s estimate 740,000 extremely low-income residents, people who make less than 30 percent of median income and are the most economically distressed group in the region, the least able to afford housing and among the most vulnerable to falling into homelessness. Moss highlighted the significant links between housing security and economic security, and said the majority of existing programs and services too often approach the issues separately. Moss said employers can help by adopting hiring practices and training programs that don’t exclude whole segments of the workforce and help upskill workers for better-paying jobs. The Bay Area Council will be partnering with All Home to ensure this talent pipeline is upskilled and trained to access today’s jobs. Certain requirements on job applications, including college degrees, make middle-skilled jobs harder to fill while discouraging potential applicants from accessing employment that can provide a stable income and higher quality of life. Moss also credited a seminal report the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released in April on homelessness that called for stronger regional coordination and collaboration in addressing the problem. Learn more about All Home>>

Barry Deach, Championship Director of the PGA of America, shared with the Board his organization’s exciting plans to partner with the region over the next 12 years as part of the PGA’s golf tournaments, including the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in May. Deach announced that the PGA of America will name a luxury tent at the PGA Championship in memory of former Council Chair and Kaiser Permanente CEO and Chairman Bernard J. Tyson.

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