Santa Cruz Tech Beat


MBEP Announces Full Program and Public-Private Partnership Award Recipients for 4th Annual Regional Economic Summit


April 19, 2018 — Marina, CA

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is hosting its 4th Annual Regional Economic Summit at the Henry J. Mello Center for Performing Arts in Watsonville, CA on Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 9:30am – 1:00pm.

MBEP is pleased to welcome back renowned economist Dr. Chris Thornberg, Founding Partner at Beacon Economics. Also joining the conversation will be guest speaker Morgan Simon, an acclaimed community capital specialist. With over 300 attendees from public, private, and civic organizations throughout the counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito, this event is not to be missed. Due to limited seating at Mello Center, this event will sell out in advance. Lunch is included.


Keynote speaker, Dr. Chris Thornberg, Founding Partner at Beacon Economics, will provide insights into local, state and national economic trends. And from Morgan Simon, attendees will learn about building community capital, and the importance of local impact investing in creating social and economic benefits.

Public-Private Partnership Award

Hartnell College will be honored along with their Agriculture Steering Committee. MBEP’s Public-Private Partnership award is given to impactful cross-sector partnerships that demonstrate significant contribution to the well-being of our region, and inspire others to take action. Given the longevity of this partnership, a cumulative giving total surpassing $7 million in program and scholarship support, and the breadth of ag companies that have participated to further educational opportunities to serve the region, MBEP’s board felt this unique partnership deserved special recognition.

“The agriculture industry, through Hartnell’s Agriculture Steering Committee, was the catalyst in re-launching the agriculture program at Hartnell College,” says Hartnell’s Superintendent and President Willard Clark Lewallen, Ph.D. “The agriculture industry has provided tremendous financial support to our programs, but just as important, Hartnell has benefited from the expertise, insight, and guidance provided by industry leaders. This public-private strategic alliance has created a model of workforce and economic development for our region.”

Optional Tour

All attendees will also be invited to an exclusive Digital NEST Open House directly following the Summit until 3:00pm at 318 Union Street. Located two blocks from the Mello Center, Digital NEST is a non-profit, high-tech training and collaboration space for young people. Digital NEST offers the 21st century training, skills, exposure, and professional mentorship young people need to become competitive and self sufficient in the digital future. Attendees will be able to tour the facility and see some of the innovate work its members have done for local companies such as Martinelli’s and Annieglass.

For registration and sponsorship information, visit


MBEP’S  4th Annual Regional Economic Summit
May 3, 2018 – Henry J. Mello Center, Watsonville

9:30 – 10:00           Registration and Networking (light refreshments will be served)

10:00 – 10:30           Welcome by MBEP President Kate Roberts

10:30 – 11:30           Keynote: Dr. Chris Thornberg, PhD, Founding Partner, Beacon
Economics – Regional, State and National Economic Forecast

11:30 – 11:45           Break

11:45 – 12:40            Guest Speaker: Morgan Simon

12:40 – 12:55           Public-Private Partnership Award

12:55 – 1:05              Closing Remarks and Adjourn

Lunch boxes will be distributed at the close of the event; shuttles will run between Mello Center and Parking Garage until 2:00.

1:05 – 3:00                Attendees are invited to a special Digital NEST Open House directly following the Summit.

About MBEP. The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional nonprofit, membership organization consisting of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. MBEP’s mission is to improve the economic health and quality of life in the region. Visit for more information.


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