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MBEP President & CEO Kate Roberts

Presented With 2021

California Regional Steward Leader Award

Congressman Jimmy Panetta presented the California Regional Steward of the Year Award to Monterey Bay Economic Partnership President and CEO Kate Roberts during the second day of the California Economic Summit. Roberts, who has led MBEP for the past six years, has announced her retirement at the end of 2021.

“Kate has been so influential in creating partnerships in the region, expanding membership, and driving positive change through our key initiatives – affordable housing, equitable access to broadband, workforce development, and climate change,” said Eduardo Ochoa, MBEP Board Chair. “We are a better region because of Kate’s leadership.”

“The first word that comes to mind when describing Kate is bold,” said CA FWD CEO Micah Weinberg. “Her charisma, talent, and instinctive ability to put the interests of her community first make her choice as California Regional Steward Leader of the Year richly deserved.”

Roberts has grown MBEP into one of California’s truly impactful regional organizations which has made progress on key initiatives of housing, workforce development, broadband access, and climate change.

“We founded the Monterey Bay Housing Trust which has leveraged $1.4 million into $24 million for local affordable housing projects in partnership with Housing Trust of Silicon Valley. We’ve also helped create hundreds of new farmworker family housing units, brought more local and state resources to our region, and have been a key player in creating new land-use policies to unlock more sites for farmworker housing. And we’ve created 17 project-specific campaigns that have led to the approval of over 2,400 new units serving residents of all income levels,” she said.

In broadband, MBEP has been a key part of establishing a regional broadband standard of 100 Mbps down/20 up, and it recently launched the Equal Access Monterey Bay fund with the Community Foundation of Monterey County to provide gap funding for broadband infrastructure projects that would otherwise not pencil out.

Also honored during the Summit was Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), who received the 2021 California Steward Leader Award for her work to provide broadband for all.