Veronica A. Smith founded Impact Brands Inc. (IBI) as a vehicle to realize her vision for positively impacting some of the most economically disadvantaged individuals and communities in her adopted home state of California. After working in the profession of economic development for nearly 15 years, Ms. Smith witnessed $100’s of millions being invested into California communities by the public sector with little to no change in the socio-economic status of the individuals and the communities where the investments were being made. With the dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies in 2011, Ms. Smith witnessed diminishing government resources, continuous declines in investments being made, and little to no solutions being derived in these disadvantaged communities. The above, coupled with being a mother of two children who have taken interest in the fields of economic development, entrepreneurship and real estate development inspired Ms. Smith to take a strategic, capitalistic approach to aggressively developing solutions around disadvantaged communities, organizations, and businesses.
David Bitner is Head of Americas Capital Markets Research at Cushman & Wakefield. His research focuses on how macroeconomic trends, real estate fundamentals and dynamics in the broader
capital markets interact to shape commercial real estate risks and opportunities for investors. David works closely with Cushman & Wakefield capital markets professionals and clients to further the firm’s goal of promoting thought leadership within the commercial real estate niche. David’s responsibilities include producing capital markets thought leadership content, and directing a
program of market presentations, written analysis, surveys, forecasts, and data collection that will support the capital markets business and advance the strategic plan in Americas Research.
Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, David was an investment professional at Makena Capital, a leading endowment-style investment manager located in Palo Alto. At Makena he worked closely
with the Global Investment Strategist to develop the fund’s views on macroeconomic and market developments across asset classes and geographies, and subsequently translated these into investment-worthy strategies. In this role, he researched, developed, and produced a wide range of white papers, presentations and investor letters for internal and external clients, including some of the largest sovereign wealth funds.
David began his career as a corporate finance and restructuring investment banker at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch in New York.
Tim is a manager at Petrinovich Pugh & Company, LLP (PP&Co.), a mid-sized local accounting firm with offices in San Jose and Santa Cruz. He provides tax and consulting services to privately held businesses and high net worth individuals and chairs PP&Co’s Real Estate Practice Group.
Tim has a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a B.S. from Miami University. He is a CPA and a member of the State Bar of California. Tim is the co-chair of the Tax Committee for the California Society of CPAs, Silicon Valley/San Jose Chapter; he serves on the Finance Committee of Life Services Alternatives, Inc.; and he is an active member of the Rotary Club of San Jose.
Since September 2015 Kate Roberts has been the President of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), 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 Monterey Bay Region.
Prior to joining MBEP, Ms. Roberts spent seven years running her own independent management consultancy, The Wired Woman, that helped organizations solidify strategies and accelerate growth. Over her 25 years in the high-tech industry Ms. Roberts held leadership positions in sales, marketing, partner management, and corporate social responsibility. She spent a decade at Cisco Systems, Inc. leading strategic initiatives and creating successful partnerships with the United Nations, USAID and other global partners to further tech education and workforce development in the developing world.
Kate’s varied nonprofit board experience spans both the social and environmental spectrum at the regional and national level. As a volunteer ambassador with Save the Children, she led a women’s empowerment delegation to Ethiopia and Uganda, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with CARE to raise funds and awareness for their community-based programs in Tanzania and Zanzibar. She is an active community member, supporting a number of social and environmental causes.
Michael A. Houlemard, Jr., is the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Executive Officer. FORA is a broadly representative agency located on the Monterey Bay, responsible for former Fort Ord conversion to civilian reuse program – which was declared a military base reuse national model by the Department of Defense.
Having served as the Executive Officer since 1997, he has guided planning, implementation and financing of redevelopment for one of the largest and most comlex Base Realignment and Closure
projects in the nation. Mr. Houlemard also oversees a $100 million munitions and explosives cleanup of 3,400 former Fort Ord acres. In June of 2019, Mr. Houlemard was the recipient of the 2019 Association of Defense Communities (ADC) John Lynch Community Leadership Award. The award recognizes and is given to an individual whose outstanding leadership has served as a model for other base closure communities across the country.
Between 1999 and 2014, Ian provided urban design and economic development services to more than 35 cities, focusing his work at the intersection of public and private sector efforts to guide new investment supportive of community goals. Ian founded OppSites.com to accelerate and democratize the city building process by connecting real estate professionals, city leaders, capital partners, economic developers, service providers, and business and property owners in real time, so they can share knowledge, and pursue opportunities.
Ian received a BA in economics from the University of Rochester and an MLA with emphasis on urban design and town planning from Cornell University. This background in combination with over 15 years of professional economic development experience informs both his passion and insights into the complex nature of real estate, economic development, and making successful places.
Ian is a professional urbanist and a humanist, and is fascinated by scalable solutions that empower people to improve the places they live and work. He has contributed to the American Planning Association Conference (APA), the American Development Community (ADC) Base Redevelopment Forum, the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), The California League of Cities, the International Downtown Association (IDA), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Peter has years of experience applying his private sector work to a public policy role in the California Legislature. His policy areas include economic development, technology, agriculture, water, energy, and transportation. Previously, as part of the executive management team at venture-backed companies in software technology, he developed excellent analytical, presentation, communication, and influencing skills.
He applies those private sector skills as a strategic partnership builder to a public policy role. As an experienced negotiator, he positions bill for the greatest chance of success, while maintaining the integrity of policy goals during amendment negotiations. Peter is a skilled communicator, comfortable speaking in private briefings, or in public hearings. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis and his Juris Doctor with Honors from the University of Miami School of Law.
David B. Smith is the co-founder of CalOZ, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to maximizing the transformative potential of Opportunity Zones (OZs) in California. He is also founder and CEO of X Sector Labs, a consultancy that advises executives to realize greater impact through the power of courage, connection, and community. His clients have included California Governor Gavin Newsom, WeWork, World Economic Forum, Accelerator for America, Points of Light, NationSwell, Morgan Family Foundation, California Forward, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, Partnership for Public Service, Hilinski’s Hope, Coastside News Group, and BeeMetal on issues including leadership development, executive coaching, economic development, corporate citizenship, green manufacturing, community journalism, mental health innovation, and leveraging networks for impact.
Dave is a social entrepreneur, coalition builder, convener, systems thinker, and cross sector leader, and he previously served as chief executive for the Presidio Institute, National Conference on Citizenship, and Mobilize.org. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and serves on the boards of Common Cause and Lafayette Partners in Education as well as several advisory boards including The Global Immersion Project, Davenport Institute, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and the United Way of the Bay Area. Dave is sixth generation San Franciscan, enjoys playing golf, traveling the world, and going to Cal Football games. He now lives in Lafayette with his wife, Maya, and two children.
Jovan Agee is the Deputy Treasurer for the California State Treasurer, charged with developing and directing Treasurer Fiona Ma’s housing and economic development strategy. He is a leader in the statewide effort to address the housing crisis by vastly increasing the number of affordable housing units built in California.
As Deputy Treasurer, he oversees six divisions that administer incentives to advance economic development and housing, including, the federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, tax-exempt private activity bonds, brownfield assessment and remediation, and the Sales and Use Tax Exclusion Program.
Previously, Jovan served as Deputy Treasurer for Legislative Affairs under former California State Treasurer John Chiang, Capitol Director for former Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Director of Political and Legislative Affairs for the United Domestic Workers of America/AFSCME Local 3930, and Senior Advisor to former Sacramento Mayor and NBA veteran Kevin Johnson.
Jovan was part of a team that help shape the direction one of Mayor Johnson’s biggest projects – the successful effort to revitalize the historically African American neighborhood of Oak Park. The 40-acre project is one of many he helped guide in his 16-year career, using his tenacity and ability to get people working together regardless of race, religion, gender, party affiliation, or socioeconomic status.
Josh serves the Monterey Bay region as the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) Assistant Executive Officer, supporting completion of key Fort Ord base reuse programs including economic development, planning, habitat conservation, building removal bond financing and capital improvements. In this role, Josh is a key member of the FORA leadership team providing internal staff management and mentorship, while providing staff support to 23 member Board of Directors comprised of elected leaders from 8 cities, County, State & Federal jurisdictions along with the California State University, University of California, US Army, and other regional agencies.
Joe Gunter was elected as Mayor of Salinas in November 2012.
After serving his country in the United States Marine Corps, Joe Gunter returned to Salinas and joined the Police Department in 1969. After 32 years as a Police Officer and Detective, he retired in 2002. Over the years he has served his community in many capacities.
Joe has always been involved in community events and served six years as Director of Security for the California International Air Show. He is now the Past President of the Air Show, having served two years as President. He sits on the Board of the Central Coast Federal Credit Union and is the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee, responsible for reviewing and signing off on millions of dollars in loans. He is a Past President of the Women’s Crisis Center for Monterey County and has been a volunteer for the California Rodeo and Alisal youth sports for over 30 years. For many years he was a board member of the Bobby Sox as a coach and served as President of the organization.
Joe is the first Police Officer ever elected to the position of Mayor of Salinas.