Who We Are

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional member-supported
nonprofit organization consisting of public, private, and civic entities located throughout
the counties of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz. Founded in 2015, our mission
is to improve the economic health and quality of life in the region.

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Meet Our Team Members

Our staff helps convene people to find solutions, catalyze new regional resources, and share best practices across the Monterey Bay region.

Tahra Goraya

President & CEO

Celeste L. Baird

Director of Economic & Community Development

Alia Elyas

Policy & Research Associate

Jessica Gilden

Marketing & Communications Manager

Ameer Othman

Director of Economic Development & Digital Equity

Gabriel Sanders

Director, Housing and Community Development Policy

Jahyzanna Wieder

Administrative & Operations Manager

Meet Our Board of Directors

Supported by regional leaders who are committed to making a difference.

Teresa Alvarado

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Elissa Benson

County of Santa Cruz

Katy Castagna

United Way Monterey County

Sonia M. De La Rosa

Monterey County

Sandi Eason

Pacific Valley Bank

Matt Huffaker

Santa Cruz

Cynthia Larive

University of California, Santa Cruz

Tom Moran

Goodwill Central Coast

Benjamin Ow

Ow Commercial

Vanya Quiñones


Miles Reiter


Francine Rodd

First 5 Monterey County (F5MC)

Faris Sabbah

Santa Cruz County

Bonny Simi

Joby Aviation

Krista Snelling

Santa Cruz County Bank

Susan True

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

Matt Wetstein

Cabrillo College