By Gary Quackenbush
North Bay Business Journal
The North Bay can be a productive growth medium for biotechnology and life sciences companies, but it needs investment dollars, both public and private, and talent, say area officials working to grow the industry.
“For us, the goal is how to use data to attract more bio/life science firms and researchers to the North Bay, as well as how to retain those who have chosen to come here,” said Jim Cordeiro, CEO of San Rafael-based Marin Economic Forum.
He, along with a host of other life science industry leaders, attended the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco in June, where the consensus was that this industry is complicated — and not good at communicating its core messages.
Founded in 2012, Marin Economic Forum is a nonprofit organization that collects, analyzes and disseminates information that affects local businesses while also collaborating with communities in which their employees reside. Industries targeted include biological and life sciences, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.
“Our goals include building greater collaboration and communication by integrating information technology into life sciences,” Cordeiro said. “This involves the use of good story-telling techniques to create an emotional connection to engage the imagination and communicate what science is all about in basic terms.”
The process begins with identifying the types of research being done today at the Buck Institute in Novato and other North Bay life science firms, as well as within the University of California system. Finding out what the life science industry wants is the first step leading to attracting capital and talent matching those needs.
“Life sciences start with capital for essential research, and there is local and private capital here for generating initial research, before seeking venture capital,” Cordeiro said. “At the same time, measurable metrics are required, as well as a strategic plan for utilizing data being collected.”
He said the end result will be a series of “product potential” models the forum can sell to life sciences firms, the community and investors going forward, as part of his organization’s plan to establish mechanisms for gaining funding support.
1,000 MORE JOBS
Cordeiro’s plans for the forum include establishing a firm connection between increasing economic development and job growth in life sciences, including a related goal to add 1,000 more life sciences jobs in Marin by 2020.
Read more at the North Bay Business Journal
By Adrian Rodriguez
Marin Independent Journal
A life sciences and biotech industry veteran has been tapped to lead the effort to attract and grow new business in Marin.
Jim Cordeiro, a co-founder of the now-defunct Oceana Technologies, a San Francisco-based firm, has been named CEO of the Marin Economic Forum, the San Rafael-based nonprofit.
“Jim is a great hire for this job,” said Robert Eyler, the forum’s chief economist and founding CEO. “He had a life sciences-based company and he was CEO of that company — he knows the industry very well. Jim also comes with some nonprofit board experience, where there was a political advocacy piece of it.”
Cordeiro, a 42-year-old Novato resident, succeeds Steve Lockett, who relocated to North Carolina after a half-year stint in the post, the forum announced last month.
Cordeiro has 18 years of industry experience working as a leading scientist at Nodality, Affymetrix and other biotechnology and academic organizations.
“One of the things the Marin Economic Forum is likely to do is get a little more involved in higher-level socioeconomic and sociopolitical issues in Marin County that affect Marin County business, and Jim has some experience in that, too,” Eyler said.
Cordeiro has served as an adviser and on the board of directors for the Pacifica Education Foundation, which has a focus on 21st-century learning and technology.
Marin Economic Forum’s $400,000-a-year budget is funded by the county of Marin, contributions from businesses and individuals, and revenue generated from economic reports prepared by the forum. The county provides matching funds up to $150,000 per year. Founding sponsors, who contribute a minimum of $10,000 a year, include Autodesk, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Marin General Hospital, Whole Foods Markets, the city of Novato and the county of Marin.
The Marin Economic Forum has teamed with the city of Novato, the Buck Institute and other regional organizations to form the North Bay Life Sciences Alliance to promote further biotech development in the North Bay.
“The focus of the economic forum is how we can build a sustainable pipeline in the innovation space and life sciences,” Cordeiro said. “Through partnerships and collaborative efforts we are working on with them to commercialize the intellectual property that is generated through them.”
Marin Supervisor Judy Arnold, vice president of the forum’s executive board, said Cordeiro’s resume is impressive and he will serve the nonprofit well.
“He comes from a focus in life sciences, and the Marin Economic Forum is focusing on bringing more of that to Marin,” she said. “We are very excited about the possibilities to grow and for Marin County to become more of a go-to place for businesses and work.”
Cordeiro said there is room to grow in the existing industry, pointing out Marin’s biotech and life sciences leaders, including BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. and Cytograft Tissue Engineering,
“Life sciences is my background — it’s a passion of mine,” Cordeiro said. “These are the kind of jobs we want to make available, so people can afford to live and work here.”
Cordeiro holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz as well as several patents.
Perspectives by MEF CEO Steve Lockett, MBA
Signs of Progress
This month I’d like to briefly highlight two examples of how our economy in Marin continues to grow and progress. The first is the recent testing of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter train in San Rafael. On March 4th, 2016, a two-car SMART train arrived at the San Rafael station. This was a sight not seen in San Rafael for several decades. Over the coming months SMART will be undergoing testing up and down its 70 mile corridor. The Marin Economic Forum is pleased to be involved on a number of SMART working groups, and we will be providing important updates on our website as they occur. When SMART begins operations later this year it will certainly impact our local and regional economy, and we will be working with our partners to promote the usage of SMART by Marin workers, visitors and travelers. For updates and progress reports please visit www.sonomamarintrain.org.
I’d also like to highlight EO Products, the San Rafael-based company that produces personal care products with natural ingredients. EO Products is a great example of a successful Marin-based business that is continuing to grow. The company is looking to upgrade and expand its facilities in San Rafael over the coming years in order to hire upwards of 200 more employees! In addition to its business success, EO Products exemplifies the Marin ideals of community engagement as well as sustainable manufacturing. It is important to take the time to recognize our local businesses that are engaged with our community and working to improve the economic vitality of Marin through expansion and job creation. MEF congratulates EO Products on its continued success!
MEF Chief Economist Update
Peak Oil and the Oil Peek — By Dr. Robert Eyler
I actually saw someone clapping at the gas station due to prices that were under $2 a gallon recently, and (of course) those prices went away again. Oil has a wild history in the United States and in world affairs since the automobile was invented, adopted, and spread throughout the world as a mode of transport. The violence by which people and markets have pursued oil interests is well known. In Marin County, many environmental groups focus on peak oil (the idea that we are reaching a global peak of oil reserves that may tip society to a place of adopting new technologies or devolving due to our insatiable appetite for oil and gasoline) as coming attractions when oil prices rise and stay high. Marin County is probably one of the most politically-active places about global petroleum markets per capita, and has some of the highest gas prices of any non-urban area in California.
However, when oil prices drop, there is a direct effect on gasoline prices, and most people directly interact with a commodity called West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil at the pump. Gas prices can take only a wild psychological quality that for an economist creates a simple smile, but can lead to some wild decision-making. When oil prices are moving, and gas prices move with it, we get a real peek at both how those markets work and also how society works. Why do we queue up at gas stations that are 10 cents less a gallon for gas when two other stations down the street have just as good of gas to put in the car and would cost $3-$4 more and not spend 30 minutes waiting for savings. The Costco gas lines in Rohnert Park are a good social experiment on any given Sunday.
There are confounding effects for businesses and governments when gas prices fall. Commuters get a price break, almost like a tax break, which is good for low-wage workers that drive to work. This can mean more people driving rather than carpooling, until natural traffic conditions increase the cost of commuting alone. For businesses, more commuting means less productivity due to being in traffic; using public transportation with good wifi can change that. However, businesses that use oil and gas as inputs (transportation, delivery, and construction are examples) also get a price break. The lower gas prices can also reduce wage demands; when gas prices rise violently, lower-wage workers see the gains above disappear quickly. Generally, society loves lower gas prices, given the last 15 years of prices structurally rising.
The public sector gets hurts on both costs and revenues when gas prices fall. Revenue from the gas taxes fall because they are based on dollar consumption; when prices fall, you spend less at the pump and the tax revenues are less also. That reduces the resources available to fix roads and bridges. At the same time, lower gas prices imply more driving and thus more wear and tear on our roads and bridges and general public infrastructure around driving. Government costs then rise. This is parallel to gains like any other business in terms of what government pays for oil and gas, but most elected officials and their staffs will tell you the public sector hurts from lower gas prices.
As spring continues to show itself in 2016 and we start to drive more on vacation and due to good weather, we should also remember that the currently low gas prices are just that: current. The Chinese economy rebounding and global oil production adjusting may force (along with rising demand nationally) higher prices. The hope is our adoption of new technologies and less fossil-fuel use will structurally change demand; the cruel paradox is that this creates lower price levels and provides a peek at the above effects.
What To Watch
“Background Checks” — by Les Rosen, Esq.
“Employee problems are caused by problem employees.” Attorney Lester Rosen will provide a number of real-world case studies where employers stepped on legal landmines that could have been easily avoided with a safe hiring program. Mr. Rosen is a nationally recognized expert on safe hiring and pre-employment background checks. Previously, he was a criminal trial lawyer in Marin County. He is the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual – the Complete Guide to Employment Screening Background Checks for Employers, Recruiters and Jobseekers.”
Thursday March 24, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Drake’s Landing Community Room
300 Drakes Landing Road in Greenbrae
The Community Room is adjacent to Jason’s restaurant.
Click Here To Register
ASK THE LABOR COMMISSIONER
Presented by Roxanne Cornejo
California Deputy Labor Commissioner
The Marin Employment Connection (MEC) is offering a no-cost workshop for local employers on new regulations for wage and hour issues for 2016.
Update to Paid Sick Leave in California
California Fair Pay Act
Wage and Hour – Most challenging issues
April 6, 2016
Marin Economic Forum- Downstairs Conference Room
555 Northgate Dr., San Rafael 94903
Click Here For Information
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Marin County Office of Education
and College of Marin — Kentfield
Click Here To Register
Click Here To View Past Newsletters
Jacqueline Freeman Christensen
Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager
City National Bank – Royal Bank of Canada
Commercial Banking, San Francisco North Bay Market
Since 2010 Jacqueline has been a board member of the Marin Economic Forum (MEF). As a board member she was the chair for the Finance Industry working group, member of the Nominating Committee and Construction Development/Commercial Real Estate working group. Just recently she became Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee.
Jacqueline chose to become a member of MEF to participate in the economic growth and improvement of the county. She lives and works in Marin and wants to help in whatever way she can to see improvement and believes that MEF is the vehicle communicate and get this message out there.
In addition, Jacqueline has been a member of the Tiburon-Belvedere Rotary as former Secretary, former Treasurer and President Elect. She was formerly on the Board of the San Francisco LEAD (Leadership, Education Advocacy Development) for Women.
Jacqueline had recently retired from 36 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she served as a SVP & Senior Relationship Manager supporting Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. She managed a seasoned portfolio of commercial clients with annual revenues $10 million to $100 million. Jacqueline’s careers with Bank of America included management and sales positions in Consumer Banking, Private Banking, Corporate Real Estate and Commercial Banking.
Following her retirement, she was made an offer she could not refuse in again working with her former manager; Rod Banks, EVP Head of Commercial Banking for City National Bank – Royal Bank of Canada as of August 2015. As a Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking Middle Market, Jacqueline manages commercial relationships of companies with annual revenues that range from $25 – $350 million. Jacqueline is the primary bank advocate and key financial advisor for the client; accountable for new business and enhancing existing relationships. In this position she advises companies on their various commercial banking needs; credit, treasury management, 401k, leasing, merchant services, sale or purchase of company, to name a few.
Jacqueline has been a top producer rated in the top 5% of the 600 Commercial Client Managers in the nation for 5 years. She enjoys giving back to her community, through organizations, events and volunteering. She lives in Novato with her husband Dr. Robert Christensen. She enjoys cooking to relax and they both enjoy travel, golf, tennis, walking and riding bikes.
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