Introduction of New CEO
It is with great excitement that I begin my tenure as CEO of the Marin Economic Forum (MEF). I am honored to join an organization with the reputation of MEF, and I look forward to contributing to the economic vitality of Marin County.
One of the many things that drew me to MEF is its mission statement: “The Marin Economic Forum enables Marin County’s economic stakeholders to collaborate on improving Marin County’s economic vitality, focusing on Marin’s targeted industries, while enhancing social equity and protecting the environment”. This view of economic development, of including social and environmental issues along with maintaining a robust economy, perfectly mirrors my own view of economic and community development.
I have familiarity in many areas of economic development, including regional strategic planning, technology commercialization, workforce development, funding development, and supporting entrepreneurs and startups. One area in which I have strong experience is incorporating the life sciences industry into a regional economic ecosystem. I have enjoyed working in this area during my time with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Virginia Tech, and the University of California, Davis; I look forward to growing this industry – marked as one of MEF’s targeted industries – in Marin County. I feel fortunate to find an already robust, life-science community blossoming across Marin, from BioMarin to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and including the North Bay Life Science Association. With San Francisco hosting the 2016 BIO International Convention next June, we will be well placed to showcase Marin’s accomplishments and advantages, as well as how we fit in the greater San Francisco Bay life science cluster.
Of course, the beauty of the Marin County economy is that it cannot be categorized in one field alone, but that it is made up of many industries, with businesses of all shapes and sizes, involving people and organizations from every corner of the county. Some specific items I have on my radar include: the forthcoming Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) and how it will impact our economy; the issues and economics of new housing, particularly around San Rafael, and; tourism across the county, from Sausalito to West Marin, and how it impacts each community differently.
I look forward to working with all of you to continue strengthening the economic vitality of Marin County. I hope to speak with as many of you as I can, and I promise I will listen and learn from everyone. It is together that we make up a community, and it is only through working and communicating together that we will accomplish anything.
I foresee MEF growing, so that it can connect more businesses to resources, increase its educational outreach, and promote sustainable growth while being environmentally conscious. I am excited to be here, excited to be working with the talented MEF staff and Board of Directors, excited to be working for the benefit of Marin County, and I look forward to working with all of you. Thank you.