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Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside

1441 Canyon Del Rey Boulevard

Seaside, CA 93955

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Join us for the 4th Annual State of the Region!

Over the past four years, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership has brought people together to solve problems and do grand things that they cannot do on their own. Our 4th Annual State of the Region 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, transportation, and exciting new technologies, tools, and models that are coming to our region.

Event Agenda

8:00 - 8:30 Registration and Networking

8:30 - 9:00 Welcome: Kate Roberts, President, MBEP

9:00 - 9:45 Keynote: Designing Your Region

Dave Evans, Co-founder, Stanford Life Design Lab, Co-founder of Electronic Arts and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller "Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life"

After years as a successful tech executive at Apple and Electronic Arts, Evans started the Life Design Lab at
Stanford University to apply the innovative power of Design Thinking to the wicked problem of designing a
thriving life. Evans' talks are transformative, inspiring his audiences to view life not as a problem that needs
to be solved, but as a creative, collaborative adventure. He will share his Design Thinking methodology to
inspire us on the path to innovating a thriving region for all.

9:45 - 10:45 Housing For All

Affordable housing in California and in the Monterey Bay region is the number one issue for most
policymakers and residents today. Housing For All will examine concrete and innovative ways housing of all
types is being built in our region.

Moderator: Matt Huerta, Housing Program Manager, MBEP
Panelists: Stephanie Sonnenshine, CEO, Central California Alliance for Health
Lisa Li, Founder, California Sunshine Development, LLC
Meea Kang, Senior Vice President, Related California
P.K. Diffenbaugh, Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula School District

10:45 - 11:15 Break

11:15 - 12:15 Re-thinking Transportation

Transportation infrastructure costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time to build. Where is the most “bang
for the buck” for future infrastructure investments? What opportunities do we have available to us today to
help us re-mode, re-time, re-route, and reduce our travel around the region? Come learn which optimization
strategies organizations are implementing to leverage talent and existing infrastructure.

Moderator: Aaron Gaul, Director, Urban Trans North America
Panelists: Matt Huffaker, City Manager, City of Watsonville
Ariana Green, Associate Transportation Planner, Transportation Authority of Monterey County
Claire Fliesler, Transportation Planner, City of Santa Cruz
Takamori Saito, Senior Administrative Director of Facilities Management Services, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Larry Pageler, Director Transportation and Parking Services, UC Santa Cruz

12:15 - 12:30 Presentation of MBEP Community Impact Award

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 2:15 Keynote: The Election is Over — How Did Housing Do and Where Do We Go
From Here?

Scott Wiener, California State Senator
A longtime advocate for affordable housing solutions, Senator Wiener has repeatedly shown a commitment
to making housing more affordable by confronting California’s severe housing shortage. He will update us on
the midterm election outcomes and implications for continuing to work toward housing solutions.

2:15 - 2:30 Break

2:30 - 4:00 Roundtable Discussions

Housing and Water

Water is in short supply in California and in the Monterey Bay region. Our population continues to grow and more people want to live (and are living!) in our beautiful region. How do we increase our water supply or live within its limits, while providing affordable housing for our diverse residents? Is there an overall policy framework on which to base individual housing decisions so we don’t litigate every project?

Moderator: Dave Stoldt, Director, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
Contributors: Sarah Hardgrave, Associate Director of Conservation, Big Sur Land Trust
Alfred Diaz-Infante, President and CEO, CHISPA
Bruce Delgado, Mayor, City of Marina

How Do We Create a “Blue Zone” in the Monterey Bay Region?

Come find out about Blue Zones and how they are helping people all over the world live longer. How do we improve street and park designs, public policy, and social involvement so that it’s easy for people to make healthy choices? The Blue Zones Project is a proven model for transforming the health of large populations. Most Blue Zones experience double digit drops in obesity, smoking, and body mass index (BMI), millions of dollars of savings in healthcare costs, and measurable drops in employee absenteeism.

Moderator: Kendra Howell, Director, Government Affairs, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Contributors: Katy Castagna, President and CEO, United Way Monterey County
Lupita Renteria-Galvan, Human Resources Benefits Manager, Ocean Mist Farms

Drones in the Monterey Bay Region

Flying cars, delivery drones, and precision farming are all linked through a rapidly changing aerial arena. A handful of companies in the Monterey Bay region are leading the way. With close proximity to Silicon Valley, an entrepreneurial and educated workforce, and increasing market demand across many sectors, this emerging field offers strong economic development potential. Come learn about exciting new ventures in our region.

Moderator: Josh Metz, Economic Development Manager, Fort Ord Reuse Authority
Contributors: Chris Bley, Business Development, AirSpace Integration
Scott Berry, Flight Test Engineer, Joby Aviation
Tom Swoyer, Co-Founder, GrandSkyND

Designing Your Region — A Deeper Dive

Join Dave Evans to dig in and start applying the ideas from his morning keynote. Dave will help us learn how to avoid some all-too-common traps that keep us working on the wrong problems. Then we'll do a collaboration exercise to prototype how we can work together to get traction on real, immediate issues.

Moderator: Dave Evans, Co-founder, Stanford Life Design Lab, co-founder of Electronic Arts and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller "Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life"

Leveling the Playing Field in Education

How do we address the needs of those who aren’t succeeding with traditional education models? What are the obstacles they face on the journey from education to employment and how can new models of education and training level the playing field? Come learn about digital badging, prior learning assessments (PLAs), and new tuition-free financing models, and how they could be put in practice in our region.

Moderator: Jacob Martinez, Founder and Executive Director, Digital NEST
Contributors: Hayley Mears, Workforce Development Program Manager, MBEP
Barrie Hathaway, President and CEO, JobTrain

Innovations in Sport Tech Manufacturing

Santa Cruz is known for its leadership in surf and bike manufacturing. Innovations in these industries, plus the addition of up-and-coming electric rideable companies such as Inboard, have made Santa Cruz an epicenter of the action sports manufacturing realm. Come learn more about what's happening in this exciting space.

Moderator: Kristina Chavez-Wyatt, Client Advisor, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC)
Contributors: Chris Naegele, VP of Sales, Inboard Technologies
William Ow, Principal, Ow Family Properties

Aiming Higher in Broadband Coverage and Access

MBEP and the Central Coast Broadband Consortium (CCBC) have joined together and assembled a Broadband Leadership Team, which has researched user needs and has established a new regional broadband standard of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds. The question is how do we get to full coverage in the region? Join this working session to help determine how we implement this new standard to make high-speed broadband a reality for all of our residents.

Moderator: Steve Blum, President, Tellus Venture Associates
Contributors: Zach Friend, Supervisor, District 2, Santa Cruz County
René Mendez, City Manager, City of Gonzales

“Smart Commuting” Employer Toolkit Workshop

Building on the morning panel on Re-Thinking Transportation, come get inspired about bringing Smart Commuting (aka TDM) practices to your organization. As part of an interactive workshop led by a transportation expert who have implemented hundreds of commuting programs, you will learn about practical ideas to implement the right program for your organization to decrease Single Operator Vehicle (SOV) trips among employees.

Moderator: Aaron Gaul, Director, UrbanTrans North America

4:00 - 5:00 Wine and Beer Reception — Marketplace Open

Don’t miss out! Register today!

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Date and Time


Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside

1441 Canyon Del Rey Boulevard

Seaside, CA 93955

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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