The businesses in the East Bay provide much more than just world-class products and services. Together, they form a community that can offer a variety of mutually beneficial elements. Making the most of that community is a specialty of a number of local and regional organizations, be it through business development, networking, or advocacy. The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, Pleasanton Downtown Association, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, East Bay Leadership Council, Innovation Tri-Valley, Visit Tri-Valley, and the Bay Area Council all work to enhance the business environment to provide greater opportunities for success.
The mission of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce is to support our over 750 members as well as other businesses both large and small through three focus areas: to be the catalyst for business and economic growth, the convener of leaders and influencers and the champion for a stronger and healthy community.
The organization's roadmap to meeting these goals is a comprehensive document entitled, "Pleasanton 2025: A Community Vision." The document outlines the Chamber's platform on a host of important local and regional issues, including arts, culture, and recreation; education; health and human services; housing; leadership; the local economy; public safety and infrastructure.
"Our Vision 2025 goals set the platform for our decision making process. It also keeps us laser focused on providing programs and services that help us reach these goals", says Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO of the chamber. "Our goals were formed by leaders in our community that are engaged in our focus areas. For example, when we make decisions about public safety, we confer with our chief of police, and with the superintendent of schools when we are discussing education. A committee continues to meet on a monthly basis to review the vision goals, and we encourage our members to participate in that process." Judging from the most recent official review of the 2020 document, the Chamber's focus has been rewarded with over 88% of the 2020 goals being achieved. These achievements contribute to the long-term health and well-being of Pleasanton, not only for the business community but for the city as a whole.
The Chamber also offers numerous ways for its members to save time and money while providing unique promotional opportunities. The Chamber's bi-monthly newsletter is distributed to its members as well as 14,000 homes and businesses in Pleasanton, as an insert to the Pleasanton Weekly. The Chamber's website and robust social media postings provide additional exposure for their members.
The Chamber also stresses the importance of "community involvement through volunteer opportunities," says Van Dorn. Chamber Ambassadors attend ribbon cuttings ceremonies for new businesses and staff monthly mixers, giving them plenty of opportunities to make contact with potential clients. Perhaps the best example of business improvement via self-improvement is "Leadership Pleasanton," a program co-sponsored by the Chamber and the City of Pleasanton to develop community leaders. "It's a very valuable and popular program. We receive testimonials all the time from participants who tell us, 'This program changed my life.' It's an outstanding opportunity to get to know the leaders in our city, and it encourages participants to give back to the community by being a volunteer or serve on a board or commission."
Learn more about the value of membership and the Chamber's many programs at www.pleasanton.org or by calling (925) 846-5858.
"Downtown Pleasanton is truly at the heart of our incredible City, and is home to over 600 businesses," says Tiffany Cadrette, executive director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association. True to the idea that an important part of Pleasanton's identity can be found in its historic core, the PDA provides a broad menu of events and other activities to make downtown a key focus for every business in the city - even those without a downtown address.
The PDA was created in 1984, when the City Council recognized the need to have an organization help oversee and support this special business area. The PDA operates an assessment district used to fund efforts that help develop and promote a vibrant downtown community. Operating as a non-profit organization, funding is provided by member assessments, matching City funds, sponsorships and revenue producing events. As a certified State and National Main Street Community, the PDA is organized under a four-point strategy that incorporates the elements of organization, economic restructuring, promotion and design or physical appearance. Successful implementation of this strategy involves a mutual effort by the PDA staff, business owners, property owners, sponsors and community volunteers.
The PDA is perhaps best known for the massive slate of events it sponsors, along with its members, every year. In all, the group sponsors over 20 events in downtown annually, including the very popular Concerts in the Park, Antique Fairs, Brew Crawls, Wine Stroll, Forkful, Small Business Saturday and Spirit and Sweater Stroll. In addition, downtown Pleasanton holds a year round Farmers' Market every Saturday from 9am to 1pm at W. Angela and Main.
"Our events draw tens of thousands of community members to Downtown annually. Needless to say, while we are currently prohibited from hosting events under the ACPHD's order, we are monitoring all State and County mandates closely and are eager to hold events and bring our community together in our beautiful downtown once again." Farmers' Markets are deemed essential and the downtown Pleasanton market was able to return Saturday, May 9th and will continue to be held weekly.
For more information on the Pleasanton Downtown Association, including support, sponsorship and future Farmers' Market opportunities, visit www.pleasantondowntown.net or call (925) 484-2199.
Founded in 1990, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) was born out of the recognition by top leaders of the need to work together and tackle shared regional challenges. Today, East Bay EDA is a cross-sector regional economic development organization that convenes diverse networks of business, government, and community leaders throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties who embrace the extraordinary value of our region as an unrivaled place to live, work, and do business.
East Bay EDA seeks out diverse members who recognize the extraordinary value of our region's assets and who can help the East Bay unlock its full potential as a global leader and an unrivaled place to live and work. We develop and publish original studies and economic reports about the region and connect local community entities and businesses to regional, state and national resources. Our organization promotes local and regional economic development efforts through regular peer engagement, assists with data analysis, conducts legislative advocacy, aligns business and education leaders, coordinates professional development, directs assistance to chambers and small business, and markets the East Bay's abundant regional assets.
East Bay EDA membership includes key corporate and private sector CEOs and executive management, including representation from Fortune 500 companies and local businesses; elected leadership and key management of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and cities; the Port of Oakland; the University of California, Berkeley; all three national research laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories); California State University, East Bay; the region's community colleges; labor organizations; environmental stewards; regional nonprofit organizations; community development corporations; and philanthropic entities.
To learn more about East Bay EDA, please visit our website at www.eastbayeda.org .
The mission of the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC) is to advocate on public policy issues affecting economic vitality and quality of life in the East Bay. The organization is employer-led and represents leaders in business, industry, education, government, and the nonprofit community.
"Advocating for strong economy and a high quality of life requires us to be well-informed on the issues that impact East Bay employers. EBLC's priorities include finding ways to better invest in regional infrastructure, improve the workforce development system, and make housing more affordable," says president and CEO, Kristin Connelly.
The EBLC's bold policy platform is driven by its task forces, which meet monthly and are led by top professionals in their field focused on everything from state legislation, innovative water technology and policy, local ballot measures, consequential land use decisions, environmental regulations, and apprenticeship programs. Participation on the task forces is open to all members.
"Being involved in the EBLC's advocacy work means flexing our collective muscle to make the East Bay a better place to live and work, says owner of Tunbridge Associates and 2016-17 EBLC Board Chair, Steve Van Wart. "It means staying informed on the issues, creating a space for thoughtful dialogue, and taking decisive action."
The EBLC also provides opportunities for their members to connect with the most influential leaders in the region. Their frequent events and luncheons feature elected officials from the local, state and federal level, as well as special industry forums and workshops, an Advocacy Day in Sacramento, the East Bay Philanthropy Awards, and Small Business Awards.
"When you attend an EBLC event, you know that you will be in good company. Whether you employ two or twenty thousand - you and your colleagues will have the opportunity to connect with the right people to help your business succeed," says Partner at CFOs2Go and EBLC VP of Membership, Jodi Avina.
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a business-led collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and government leaders in the Tri-Valley region. ITV has built awareness of the region as a technology and innovation powerhouse, now outpacing the Bay Area mega-region in both job creation and economic growth. The Tri-Valley is home to more than 450 technology companies, more than 120 venture backed companies, and delivers a regional gross domestic product (GDP) of $42 billion.
Together with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, ITV recently published 'Tri-Valley Rising'. The report highlights the Tri-Valley as the geographic center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a hub for innovation and business as well as a highly desirable place to live. The Tri-Valley is remarkably unique:
o 60% of Tri-Valley residents have a bachelor's degree or higher level of education making the region significantly more educated than the Bay Area as a whole.
o The Tri-Valley is at the heart of the Northern California Megaregion and is geographically connected to the most economically productive regions in the world.
o Our robust innovation ecosystem makes the Tri-Valley a hot-bed of entrepreneurship. Fueled by two national laboratories who have been leading innovation in the region for 50 years, and working alongside incubators like iGATE and accelerators like BRIIA, the region's businesses thrive.
o The Tri-Valley's quality of life, natural beauty, tight knit communities, top-notch schools and charming downtowns are key reasons entrepreneurs and business leaders choose to locate and expand their businesses here.
This business-led organization welcomes new partners who are interested in advancing the economic vitality and economic sustainability of the region.
For additional information on Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, or the Tri-Valley business region, visit TRIVALLEYCONNECT.org or www.innovationtrivalley.org or e-mail Lynn Wallace Naylor, CEO, at LNaylor@innovationtrivalley.org .
Visit Tri-Valley is the region's destination marketing organization, responsible for attracting visitors to the area. Funded by an assessment paid by hotel guests, Visit Tri-Valley repays that investment by marketing the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and Danville primarily to overnight visitors, but also by raising awareness of the Tri-Valley as a destination.
With more than 50 percent of its annual budget allotted to marketing, the company has made large strides in reaching its target audience. According to the company's most recent annual report, travel spending by visitors reached $723 million in 2019, an average increase of 4.4% since 2014. Visitor spending supports 6600 jobs in the Tri-Valley while $78.9 million is generated in taxes by this industry.
"Visit Tri-Valley is known in the industry as a real economic driver in the region, which is one of the reasons I couldn't wait to get here. The strong numbers are an indication that VTV's efforts are working and that the Tri-Valley has become an attractive addition to the Bay Area's visitor experience," says Tracy Farhad, Visit Tri-Valley's President and CEO.
Visit Tri-Valley has become internationally known for their ingenuity when it comes to the "trails" that visitors and locals have come to love. In a sign of the times, they are upgrading to new mobile passports for the Tri-Valley Beer Trail, a new wine trail, the award-winning Tri-Valley Ice Cream Trail and the recently unveiled Tri-Valley Caffeine Trail. In addition to its innovative marketing campaigns, the company also focuses its sales efforts on attracting sports tournaments to the area and reaching independent travelers both domestic and international.
Visit Tri-Valley was recently awarded with the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal by Destinations International in recognition of the organization's commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of destination organizations around the world.
For more information on Visit Tri-Valley, call (925) 846-8910, or go to www.VisitTriValley.com .
The Bay Area Council was founded in 1945 as a way for the regional business community to concentrate and coordinate their efforts as public policy advocates. The group focuses on three interlocking goals: a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for all the area's residents. Today, almost 350 of the largest employers in the Bay Area support the council, with CEOs and other top executives serving as members.
"We are business leaders committed to working with public and civic leaders to make the Bay Area the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world," reads the group's mission statement, and they undertake a variety of efforts in pursuit of these goals. Specifically, the council informs and mobilizes business, civic, and political leaders on the most critical issues and opportunities facing the region; develops solutions for an ambitious vision for the region's future with participation of business, government, labor, science and education; and achieves results through advocacy and committed leadership to realize this vision. The Council is a leading voice for creating affordable housing, improving regional transportation and ending traffic, addressing homelessness, expanding workforce opportunities, increasing climate resilience and deepening the region's connections with the world.
Meeting this commitment requires significant research and communication among the group's members to identify critical challenges and opportunities confronting the region and study these issues to create a coherent platform of advocacy. Once these positions have been conceived, the council works to promote understanding and collaboration among stakeholders in an ongoing effort to drive implementation of strategic policy solutions through political, business, and civic leadership.
For additional information on the Bay Area Council, call (415) 986-9777 or access www.bayareacouncil.org .