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Tri-County MBEP Announces Board of Directors

By Sara Isenberg
Editor-in-Chief, Santa Cruz Tech Beat

April 22, 2015 — Marina, CA

Board designates workforce development and tech ecosystem as initiatives for coming year

The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), a new nonprofit organization focusing on regional economic development in the Monterey Bay area, convened its first board meeting on April 13, and elected its Board of Directors. The board members come from a wide range of companies and organizations, representing the diversity of the region. They include:

  • Dr. George Blumenthal, Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz
  • Bud Colligan, Founder and CEO of South Swell Ventures and Co-Chair of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
  • Ray Corpuz, City Manager of Salinas
  • Larry deGhetaldi M.D., President of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Santa Cruz
  • Gary Griggs, Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences and Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC
  • Claude Hoover, Owner of Veritas Real Estate
  • Lorri Koster, Chairman and CEO of Mann Packing Company
  • Mary Ann Leffel, President of the Monterey County Business Council
  • René Mendez, City Manager of Gonzales and Co-Chair of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
  • Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, President of California State University Monterey Bay
  • George Ow, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Ow Family Properties
  • Nina Simon, Executive Director of the Museum of Art and History
  • Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms
  • Brad van Dam, President and CEO of Marich Confectionery

“We are very pleased that so many distinguished leaders have come together to explore the opportunities and challenges in creating a vibrant regional economy with good jobs, education and quality of life for all residents,” said board Co-Chair Bud Colligan.

Formed in late 2014, MBEP consists of public, private and civic entities from the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz.  Its mission is to create a thriving region with quality jobs, excellent education, and a high quality of life for all residents, while preserving the natural beauty and healthy lifestyle.

“I am impressed with the new MBEP Board and its very broad and regional representation, from education to health care, technology to agriculture, public and non-profit,” said board member Gary Griggs. “We not only have a representative group, but also thoughtful and respected people who are all good communicators.”

The Board has designated workforce development and building the regional technology ecosystem as the two top priorities for the coming year. The technology ecosystem, including a modern broadband infrastructure, is critical to all companies, organizations, civic entities and individuals in the region. Workforce development is seen as essential to enable our economy to flourish, lower the unemployment rate, and foster local jobs.

“The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership will focus on fostering new jobs, catalyzing local economic opportunities, and convening all stakeholders to find consensus solutions that move our region forward,” said Jennifer Dossett, President of MBEP.  “In the next twelve months, we will focus on initiatives and projects around workforce development and the technology ecosystem.”

The first regional Economic Summit, held January 29, 2015 in Seaside, brought together regional stakeholders to discuss the various the economic opportunities and challenges in the tri-county region.

MBEP plans to host an Economic Summit each winter and a State of the Region Conference each fall. The date and speakers for the first annual State of the Region Conference will be announced in the summer.

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