2019 State of the Region

MBEP’s 5th Annual State of the Region on October 25th, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey will be another compelling gathering of leaders from across the region and the state with relevant topics to inspire collaboration and action. You’ll learn about innovations in housing, healthcare, workforce, and transportation, and exciting new technologies, tools, and models that are coming to our region.


8:00 – 8:30

Registration and networking

8:30 – 9:00

Welcome – Kate Roberts, President, MBEP

9:00 – 9:15

Opportunity Zones Update – Josh Metz, Assistant Executive Officer, Fort Ord Reuse Authority

9:15 – 9:50

Morning Keynote – Betty Yee, Controller, State of California

State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, and re-elected for a second term in 2018. Ms. Yee is only the tenth woman in California history to be elected to statewide office. As the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards.

9:50 – 10:35

Panel Discussion – Removing Barriers to Workforce Housing

Moderator: Matt Huerta, Housing Program Manager, MBEP

Panelists:    Megan Hunter, Community Development Director, City of  Salinas 

                    Abby Lindsay Ostovar, Water, Climate, & Environmental Governance Specialist 

                    Sibley Simon, Managing Principal, Envision Housing

Matt Huerta will facilitate a panel discussion on removing barriers to workforce housing development. He will be joined by three professionals engaged in this work. Sibley Simon will discuss progress toward implementing MBEP’s Nine Recommendations for Realistic Housing Policy Changes. He will lean on both his experience as the principal author of the white paper and his recent experience as a housing development practitioner. Megan Hunter will highlight progress in Salinas removing barriers including but not limited to deferring all impact fees to certificate of occupancy, waiving impact fees for ADUs, including flexibility to convert commercial space to residential in the Future Growth Area, and streamlining CEQA review for Adaptive Reuse of historic properties for housing in the Downtown area. Abby Ostovar will discuss the key obstacles to allocating water for higher density workforce housing on the Monterey Peninsula and realistic opportunities for near term policy change.

10:35 – 11:00


11:00 – 12:00

Morning Lightning RoundsShort inspiring talks that will address an issue pertinent to our region, propose a solution, and offer ways for attendees to get involved.

Transportation Transformation at the Block Level
Ariana Green, Transportation Specialist, Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC)
Rick Riedl, Public Works Director, City of Seaside 

Are you someone who likes to sample a product before you buy? If so, you’ll appreciate Safe Street Demos (aka “Pop Ups”), which allow community members to test-out new street designs and provide feedback on whether or not the improvement should be made permanent. Safe Street Demos temporarily reconfigure the street to provide better and safer opportunities for kids, seniors and community members to walk, bicycle and access transit. The Transportation Agency for Monterey County and City of Seaside will share their experiences implementing the Broadway Avenue Safe Street Demo earlier this year, and learn how to implement Safe Street Demos in your own community.

Creating the Right Regional Scenario for Prosperity and Equity
Alicia John-Baptiste, CEO, SPUR   

SPUR is the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, a member-supported nonprofit organization, bringing people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems our cities face. They are recognized as a leading civic planning organization and respected for their independent and holistic approach to urban issues. Alicia will share SPUR’s unique perspective on scenario planning and how we could adopt this type of thinking here.

Creating a Pipeline for Entry-level IT jobs
Barrie Hathaway, CEO, JobTrain

In early 2019, JobTrain launched its IT Service and Support Training Program incorporating Google’s IT support certificate into the curricula. Learn how they support Silicon Valley students’ completion of the Google training and provide job placement services. We’ll share an exciting update about bringing this model to our region to create a pipeline for the growing entry-level IT jobs!

New Learning Ecosystems
Matt Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, KnowledgeWorks Foundation

Since 2006, KnowledgeWorks has been partnering with school districts and states by exploring the future of learning to help communities anticipate change and identify ways of creating better opportunities for all learners. Come hear how this nationally acclaimed education solution could be used here.

12:00 – 12:15

Community Impact Award Presentation

12:15 – 1:30



Opportunity Gift Basket Drawing – Must Be Present to Win!

1:30 – 2:30

Afternoon Keynote –  Dr. Victoria Sweet, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Francisco

Dr. Sweet practiced medicine for over twenty years at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. In her book “God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine” she lays out her evidence—in stories of her patients and her hospital—for some new ideas about medicine and healthcare in this country. Dr. Sweet calls her approach “Slow Medicine”, and she believes that, put into wider practice, it would be not only more satisfying and beneficial for patient and doctor, but also less expensive for everyone.

2:30 – 3:30

Afternoon Lightning RoundsShort inspiring talks that will address an issue pertinent to our region, propose a solution, and offer ways for attendees to get involved.

Solutions to Childcare Conundrum
Katy Castagna, CEO, United Way Monterey County
Daneen Guss, Superintendent, Monterey County Office of Education

Childcare in Monterey County is not affordable for most families. Research shows the correlation between high quality pre-K education and enduring positive effects on earnings, health, IQ and crime reduction. Providing childcare for working parents allows them to get more education, get more work experience and achieve higher earnings gains. You will learn about an innovative solution happening in our region, and how employers can be part of the solution.

Why Internships Matter
Malina Long, Associate Executive Director, Your Future is Our Business 

Did you know students who intern on average earn a starting salary of $20,000 more than students who don’t and are over 10% more likely to receive at least 1 job offer? Help cultivate the next generation of our local workforce by providing work based learning experiences like internships for students. Learn from a former intern, who is now leading a local nonprofit, about the benefits of work-based learning and how you can actively participate in the lives of youth.

Forest Resilience and Economic Development 
Barbara Hayes, Chief Economic Development Officer, Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) 

In this Lightning Round you will learn about the costs associated with wildfire and the extensive implications for our region’s cherished landscape. This will include a summary of the government’s actions to date, strategic guidance around coordination of public, private and civic sector activities, and innovative solutions to wood product development that improve forest resiliency and rural economic opportunities.

Climate Action Planning for a Sustainable, Equitable Region
Ben Eichert, Director, Greenpower 

Ben has led the development of Community Choice Energy programs in our region by significantly expanding the environmental and social justice benefits of Monterey Bay Community Power. MBCP will reduce California’s carbon footprint by nearly a billion pounds per year for the next decade. There are many other ways to address Climate Change and achieve a sustainable more equitable economy. Ben will lead a lighting round presentation on what is currently underway in our region in terms of Climate Action Planning and look to other local governments for helpful models. The primary example is the San Luis Obispo’s Climate Action Plan which sets the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 and supports climate adaptation and community resilience efforts.

3:30 – 3:50

Afternoon Break


Opportunity Gift Basket Drawing – Must Be Present to Win!

3:50 – 4:30

Fireside Chat – Admiral Ann Rondeau, President, Naval Postgraduate School

President Rondeau is a retired United States Navy Vice Admiral. During her tenure in the Navy, she earned four Legion of Merit awards, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. She was the president of National Defense University and, after serving as the president of the College of DuPage, was chosen by United States Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer to be president of the Naval Postgraduate School in 2019.

4:30 – 4:45

Closing Thoughts: Bay of Life — Monterey Bay as Wellspring of Well-Being  

Introduced by John Laird, Former CA State Natural Resources Secretary

Frans Lanting, Photographer, Author, Speaker
Chris Eckstrom, Writer, Videographer

Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom are partners in life and work. They are longtime contributors to National Geographic and have received numerous honors for their publications. For more than three decades they have covered our living planet from the Amazon to Antarctica—all while calling Monterey Bay their home. Frans and Chris will share images and insights about the unique nature of the Monterey Bay as an ecosystem and as a place to live.

4:45 – 5:30

Adjourn to wine and beer reception

Attendify Event App

We will be using the Attendify event app in an effort to go green, please download the app today and search for MBEP State of the Region.


Thank you to our generous sponsors!





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