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April 01, 2011 at 14:52 PM EDT
Regional Mayors, Expert Panelists to be Featured at MegaRegion Summit, April 15

The third annual MegaRegion Summit, “Competing Globally, Succeeding Locally,” will bring local, regional, state, federal and international leaders together to communicate and leverage resources that impact the competitiveness of the region.

The event will be held on Friday, April 15 at the Oakland Marriott City Center.

Joe Quinlan, senior economist for Bank of America and well known international expert, will share his perspective on the case for exports as a competitive regional advantage. Given the current fluctuations in the Chinese economy and the tragic events in Japan, the landscape of international trade is changing.

One of four panels will feature regional mayors who will provide their perspectives on regional competitiveness, the global marketplace and opportunities to collaborate regionally. Confirmed mayors include Oakland Mayor Jean Quan; San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed; West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon; and South San Francisco Mayor Kevin Mullin.

The panel will be moderated by Henry Gardner from Gardner, Underwood and Bacon, LLC.

The MegaRegion Summit will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the admission cost is $125 per person, which will include a continental breakfast and sit-down lunch. Sponsor tables of ten begin at $1,500.

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is working with the city of Oakland, Port of Oakland and other stakeholders to maximize the impacts of the 2010 Northern California MegaRegion collaboration. Participants will brainstorm solutions, identify obstacles and develop strategies to keep the region competitive.

Bank of America, the title sponsor, supports the concept that we must plan together for the future of the MegaRegion.

Growing the industrial and export economy is critical for regional success. A strong export economy leverages the region’s assets. That means jobs, revenue and commerce that support economic vitality.

A second panel at the Summit, moderated by Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, will feature regional experts, including Ezra Rapport from the Association of Bay Area Governments and Mike Dozier from Fresno State University, who will share their perspectives on how we work together to build and plan the MegaRegion.

As the conversation continues, Ro Khanna, deputy assistant secretary for the United States and Foreign Service, Department of Commerce, will provide an overview of the National Export Initiative and present a local Oakland business, Ted Jacob Engineering, with an Export Achievement Award for its strong presence in global markets.

The “Importance of Exports” will be an exploration and discussion of depth and variety of exports that comes from the Northern California MegaRegion. Panel participants will include Mo Qayoumi, outgoing president of California State University East Bay (recently named the new president of San Jose State University), Malcolm Appelbe from Lam Research, and Lisa Kelly from FedEx. The local “clean tech” economy and agriculture will also be represented in this dynamic overview of the MegaRegion’s capacity and opportunity.

Another panel discussion, “From Challenge to Opportunity,” will feature moderator Isaac Kos-Read, director of external affairs for the Port of Oakland, and speakers that include John Coleman from the Bay Planning Coalition. Panelists will ponder the impact of labor, environmental, and other issues that add to and challenge the region.

Finally, a regional export initiative, a call to action for the region, will be signed by mayors in attendance and presented to Ro Khanna for presentation to President Barack Obama.

For more information on the third annual MegaRegion Summit, visit www.oaklandchamber.com or contact Morgan Crow from the Chamber of Commerce at (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or at mcrow@oaklandchamber.com.

Contacts:

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Hank Masler, 510-874-4808
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