|Broadening the Council's communications capacity and influence
By Kristin Connelly, President and CEO, East Bay Leadership Council
I reported in February about our very successful visit to the state Capitol, where a group of Council directors met with legislators and legislative aides. On April 21, I had the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Coalition's advocacy day in Sacramento with CEOs of the state's other major economic development organizations, including Jim Wunderman from the Bay Area Council, Cynthia Murray of the North Bay Leadership Council, Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Gary Toebben from the Los Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. It was an excellent day, and Assemblymember Jim Frazier shared with us a compelling vision for new revenue for transportation, which he had referred to when we met with him in February. Jim is collaborating with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on the specific proposal, which will be released shortly, to make this vision a reality.
It has been a very busy and productive year since I joined this great organization as president and CEO. I want to commend the committed work and dedication of the Council board and task forces, and of our staff. I know I speak for everyone in recognizing Terry Shoaff, executive vice president of the Council and deputy director of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership, whose outstanding contributions and deep institutional knowledge have enabled us to continue to build the organization's asset base and to plan for the future. As many of you know, Terry quietly retired on April 10 to enjoy some well-deserved personal time. We wish him and his wife, Cheryll LeMay, a past president of the Council who is retiring from Diablo Valley College later this month, great good fortune.
Anticipating Terry's retirement, and recognizing the need to build our membership base and broaden our outreach and influence, we recently advertised for a communications and outreach manager for the Council and a director of research and projects for the Partnership. We have been gratified by the response and interest in these positions and look forward to announcing the hiring of two new staff members soon.
Our recent membership survey supported making these new hires and increasing our communications capacity. (See the article, below, with key findings of the survey.)
Website has a new look
On May 1, we launched a refreshed EBLC website at www.eastbayleadershipcouncil.com. Please visit it, and let us know what you think. We hope you will find it intuitive and user-friendly. And please take a look at the video about the Council on the home page, which premiered at our East Bay USA dinner in January.
Also check out the video from 2014 promoting our 5th annual Philanthropy Awards Breakfast in November (the deadline for nominations is September 7). The Philanthropy Awards is part of the Council's continuing commitment to social responsibility, as is our involvement in two important campaigns to cut poverty in our region--Ensuring Opportunity, the Contra Costa County campaign, and the Tri-Valley Poverty Awareness initiative.
If you would like to get more involved in any of these efforts, please contact me at (925) 246-1880 at the Council office.