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MBEP Welcomes New Board Members

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new cohort of six members to the Board of Directors. Bringing diverse and extensive experience in agriculture, construction, philanthropy, housing, energy, and job training, these new board members share MBEP’s mission of improving the economic health and quality of life in the region.

The six new board members are Alfred Diaz-Infante, President and CEO of CHISPA; Tom Habashi, CEO of Monterey Bay Community Power; Tom Moran, President & CEO of Goodwill Central Coast; Miles Reiter, CEO of Driscoll’s; Steve Snodgrass, CFO of Graniterock; and Susan True, CEO of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

“MBEP will benefit greatly from the vision and leadership of this cohort,” said Dr. Eduardo Ochoa, President of CSU Monterey Bay and Board Chair of MBEP. “Especially during these times of crisis, the broad diversity of industries and expertise that they represent will help inform MBEP’s decisions and strategic direction. I look forward to working with them.”

Alfred Diaz-Infante is the President & CEO of Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc., (CHISPA) and CHISPA Housing Management, Inc. (CHMI). He serves on the board of Housing California and the California Coalition for Rural Housing.  He also serves as a trustee of several local nonprofit and educational institution boards, including Big Sur Land Trust, Hartnell College Foundation, York School, and Salinas Regional Sports Authority. Mr. Diaz-Infante served on the Monterey County Planning Commission from 1993-1998. He is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Fellow Award from California State University, Monterey Bay for his work in Community and Public Service, the 2015 Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, and the 2018 Hartnell College Foundation Leadership Award.

Tom Habashi is the first CEO of Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), which was established in 2017 to serve electric generation to Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties. He previously served as CEO at startup Silicon Valley Clean Energy in Santa Clara County. Habashi has worked 30 years at community-owned utilities in Burbank, Palo Alto and Roseville, acquiring energy, developing rates and overseeing finances. MBCP serves 95% of homes and businesses in Monterey County. Since its inception in 2018 MBCP has saved $17.1 million on electricity cost for its customers and has reduced carbon emissions by 560,000 tons. It has recently expanded to San Luis Obispo County and in 2021 will further expand to Santa Barbara County.

Tom Moran has recently been named as the new President and CEO of Goodwill Central Coast. He had been CFO of the organization since the beginning of 2018. He previously served on Goodwill Central Coast’s Board of Directors from 2009-2014, including holding the Chairman’s role in 2013. Tom has over 20 years of experience in retail strategic planning and finance, including CFO roles at Conn’s, Inc., and at West Marine, with prior experience at ARAMARK, Limited Brands, and CarMax Auto Superstores.

Miles Reiter is a fourth-generation berry farmer in Central California, dating back to the family’s first farms in the Pajaro Valley established in the late 1800’s. He has chaired the Driscoll’s organization since 1988 and served as CEO for most of that time. Miles led the diversification from only strawberries into raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Under his leadership Driscoll’s expanded globally and established itself as one of the leading consumer brands in produce. He has served on numerous local boards, including Greenway, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School, the CSUMB Foundation and the California Strawberry Commission.

Steve Snodgrass has more than 40 years of executive leadership managing several large organizations. He has worked at Graniterock since 1993, and has served as CFO, Chief Information Officer and Corporate Controller. In addition to his professional responsibilities, he has served in a senior leadership role on numerous nonprofit and community boards such as United Way Santa Cruz County, Cabrillo College Foundation, Dominican Hospital Community Board, Monterey County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and Pajaro Sunny Mesa Community Services District.

Susan True continues her lifelong commitment to work that makes life measurably better for those whom she serves in her role as CEO of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Before joining the CFSCC in 2018, she led the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s education investments – creating programs that dramatically increased literacy skills among Oakland children. She led the design of the Bay Area Council’s early childhood Talk, Read, Sing campaign – winning an Effie award for the work. Formerly, she served for eight years as Executive Director of First 5 Santa Cruz County where she led the county’s investment in children birth to five years old. Prior to leading First 5, she served as the Executive Director of CASA of Santa Cruz County. Susan was elected to the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees in 2008 and reelected in 2012, serving until 2014.

About MBEP 

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is 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 region. www.mbep.biz. 

About CHISPA

Since 1980, CHISPA has developed more than 1,400 affordable apartments and 800 single-family homes in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. CHISPA  manages all of its 32 apartment developments and supports apartment residents with on-site classes and community services. CHISPA’s construction subsidiary Central Coast Residential Builders is the general contractor for all of CHISPA’s construction. CHISPA is a 501 (c)(3) California Not for Profit Corporation. www.chispahousing.org

About Monterey Bay Community Power

Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) is a community-owned public agency that sources competitively priced electricity from clean and renewable energy resources. MBCP is locally controlled and governed by board members who represent each community served by the agency. Revenue generated by MBCP stays local and helps keep electricity rates lower for customers, while also funding innovative energy programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate economic development. MBCP serves more than 400,000 customers throughout the Central Coast, including residential, commercial and agricultural customers in communities located within Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties. http://mbcp.org

About Goodwill Central Coast

Goodwill Central Coast, a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization, began in 1928 in the city of Santa Cruz and today has expanded into three counties: Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo. Goodwill Central Coast now employs over 600 people, including employment training professionals, sales personnel, donation center attendants, warehouse and distribution workers, and administrators. Its programs strengthen communities by improving job growth, the lives of individuals and families, and the health of our environment. Each year Goodwill assists more than 13,000 job seekers get back to work and reclaim financial and personal independence. Goodwill provides a positive learning environment that creates brighter futures through connecting people to meaningful work. https://www.ccgoodwill.org

About Driscoll’s

Driscoll’s has become the world’s most prominent fresh berry company, with operations in over 20 countries and six continents. The company works with approximately one thousand growers, hundreds of which have been startups, established with very limited means. It makes available leading genetics and production technologies to growers of a wide range of sizes and backgrounds and connects the fruit of their work to the global marketplace, in most of its many forms. The guiding mission is to delight consumers and give them a compelling reason to keep buying Driscoll’s berries. https://www.driscolls.com

About Graniterock

Graniterock is a family-owned construction company founded on Feb. 14, 1900. Based in Watsonville, Graniterock has operations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast. The company supplies high-quality construction materials and operates a construction division specializing in heavy civil engineering projects such as major highways, airports and private commercial and residential projects. www.graniterock.com

About Community Foundation Santa Cruz

Since 1982, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has brought together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things. The Community Foundation helps donors and their advisors invest wisely in causes they care about, to provide grants and resources to community organizations, and to offer leadership around key local issues The Foundation manages more than $145 million in charitable assets, and provides customized and tax-smart giving solutions that resulted in more than $12.5 million in grants in 2019. Thanks to generous donors, over $100 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded locally since 1982. The Community Foundation seeks to make Santa Cruz County thrive for all who call it home, now and in the future. Learn more at www.cfscc.org.