COVID-19 has severely affected the hospitality and dining industry and other businesses across the San Gabriel Valley. The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments are excited to partner together and host a webinar that provides recommendations and resources for San Gabriel Valley jurisdictions to support business owners and boost their local economies.
Executive Director, LISC LA
A native Angeleno, Tunua Thrash-Ntukis the Executive Director of Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISCLA). She is a seasoned community and economic development practitioner of more than 15-years with both non-profit and private sector experiences. Her strengths range from community advocacy to asset and real estate development around neighborhood revitalization. Prior to joining LISC, Tunua served as Executive Director of West Angeles Community Development Corporation, during her tenure she was responsible for the asset management and oversight of the WACDC real estate portfolio valued at $150 million. Tunua serves as a board member or advisory board member to many entities, including Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Council, Housing California, City of LA Measure HHH Citizens Oversight Commission, Greenlining Institute, Union Bank’s Community Advisory Board, Frontier Communications Community Advisory Board and the Los Angeles Development Fund, which is the City of Los Angeles’ New Market Tax Credit implementation group. Tunua is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)where she earned her Master’s in City Planning as well as an alumna of UC Berkeley where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Senior Business Development Specialist, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Trelynd “Tre” Bradley serves as the recently appointed Senior Business Development Specialist for the Greater Los Angeles region in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Tre facilitates GO-Biz’s local and place-based economic development assistance in supporting California communities, developers, and investors. Tre additionally provides tailored no-cost consultation to businesses, corporate executives, and site location consultants looking to expand and grow in California. Before GO-Biz, Tre was the appointed Policy Analyst and Executive Fellow for the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), where he managed key projects in climate, renewable energy, and urban planning. Prior to joining the State, Tre managed a small business, served as an assistant for U.S. Representative Raul Ruiz, and interned for two airport CEOs under Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA). Tre holds a bachelor degree in Business Economics and in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside, as well as a graduate certificate in Applied Policy and Government from California State University, Sacramento.
District Director, Business Assistance, LAEDC & SGV Economic Partnership
Bob Machuca has over 15 years of experience at the LAEDC, both at the headquarter level and in the field, coordinating numerous business attraction, retention and expansion efforts to sustain companies and the jobs they provide within Los Angeles County. Over the years, Bob has been involved in business attraction and retention proposals highlighting County strengths and helping C-level executives make a business case for relocating or retaining their operations in Los Angeles County. Prior to joining the LAEDC, Bob worked for IBM for 16 years gaining valuable experience in marketing and sales working with both large, medium, and small companies. After IBM, Bob worked for a small a high-tech company in the field of metrology (the science of measurements with applications in high-tech industry clusters). The experience working for a small high-tech company has given Bob first-hand insights and passion into what issues and challenges that small businesses have to deal with in the area of sustaining and growing their business.
At the LAEDC, Bob was instrumental in the development of the business-assistance programs, procedures, tracking systems, Business-Assistance Incentive Guide and has been part of numerous Regional Economic Development (RED) teams to attract or retain businesses and the jobs they provide in Los Angeles County. As a Senior Regional Manager for the San Gabriel Valley, he provides free assistance services to businesses in the San Gabriel Valley’s 30 cities and is often tapped for his extensive experience on high-level projects. Bob has also been involved in special projects with other organizations, such as AQMD, LA County Dept. of Public Works, LA County Public Health, working on regulations to be more “business-friendly” to the general business community. Due to Bob’s extensive experience and knowledge of the economy in the San Gabriel Valley, he is often sought after by the media and requested as speaker on economic and business-assistance for the San Gabriel Valley. Bob has assisted on the Layoff Aversion Program contracts and holds a BA in Business and Economics from Whittier College.
Come meet the Mayor of Pasadena, Victor M. Gordo!
This event is organized by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.
The meeting will take place via Zoom.
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Victor immigrated to the United States with his parents as a young child. The oldest of six, Victor grew up in Pasadena and is a proud product of the Pasadena Unified School District. Both of his parents worked two jobs. Victor’s father was a dishwasher and cook at Ranchero's Mexican Restaurant for 50 years. His late mother, who died when his youngest brother was four years old, was a seamstress. From age nine until he was 17 years old, Victor delivered the Pasadena Star-News newspaper every day before school and every weekend.
Victor played football, baseball, and soccer at Pasadena High School and received a number of athletic honors including All Pacific League honors and All San Gabriel Valley Ambassadors Co-Athlete of the year. The Pasadena High School faculty awarded him the George Stewart Memorial Scholarship established to “honor the graduating senior whose character, determination, and quiet leadership best reflect the memory of George Stewart.”
When Victor enrolled at Pasadena City College, he became the first person in his family to attend college, continuing his education at Azusa Pacific University, studying business management and finance. Shortly after his mother passed away, Victor was forced to postpone his college dreams to help raise his siblings. As his siblings got older, Victor was able to continue his formal education while still working full-time. He worked his way through school as a waiter and restaurant manager (at the Rose City Diner and at Ranchero’s) to help contribute to his family.
Victor worked as a Program Director for Pasadena’s Day One Community Partnership where he brought together over 100 agencies to create Youth Month, an effort which provided Pasadena young people with free daily activities during the month of August. He also worked closely with City staff and residents to rid neighborhoods of problematic bars and liquor stores. As a result of his efforts with Day One, Victor was asked to work with the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council to help develop a system of Service Area Planning Councils aimed at making Los Angeles County government more responsive to local needs, as well as more efficient and effective in delivering services to children, youth, and families.
Victor began his direct service to the City of Pasadena in 1997, when then–Vice Mayor Bill Crowfoot appointed him as the field representative for District 5. Pasadena’s District 5 is one of our City’s most ethnically and socially diverse districts, and includes several of its most important and notable historic landmark districts—Bungalow Heaven, Garfield Heights, Washington Square, and Orange Heights. In his capacity as field representative, Victor successfully handled many types of constituent issues, from problems affecting a small number of residents or businesses to issues of citywide concern.
While working as the field representative for Vice Mayor Crowfoot, Victor undertook the grueling task of attending law school at night, commuting 4-5 nights a week to the University of La Verne College of Law for classes and spending weekends in that institution’s law library in order to compete with students who did not work. He excelled at his studies and graduated with honors one year ahead of his class. Victor passed the California Bar Exam on his first attempt in July, 2001.
Following Vice Mayor Crowfoot’s retirement from City service, Victor was elected to represent Pasadena’s District 5 on the Pasadena City Council in March, 2001. In 2009, he was selected by the Pasadena City Council to serve as its representative on the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC) and was its longest-serving President/Chair, leading the Stadium’s successful renovation efforts. Victor has served on the Council’s Finance Committee and as Chair of the Economic Development and Technology Committee of the City Council.
Throughout his time as Councilmember, Victor has focused on fostering an improved quality of life in District 5, promoting safe, family-friendly environments throughout the District and the City as a whole. He advocated for economic growth and stability in local business districts, opposed overdevelopment, championed a living wage, fought for efforts to improve educational outcomes for our children, supported our public schools, and pushed for increasing government transparency and accountability.
Once again, Victor led efforts to combat nuisance liquor stores that were negatively affecting residential neighborhoods, chairing a work group that developed a process for dealing with this issue, which had plagued the City for decades (adopted by the City Council, the Deemed Approved Ordinance withstood legal challenge in 2012). Utilizing the City’s Deemed Approved Ordinance, Victor was successful in ridding the District of two nuisance liquor stores and, more critically, working to replace these nuisance businesses with quality affordable housing.
Professionally, Victor serves as the Business Manager and attorney for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 777. Victor enjoys a wonderful family life in Pasadena’s District 5 with his wife Kelly, an elementary school teacher in the El Monte Unified School District, and their two children— Michael and Emma.
Victor was elected Pasadena’s third Citywide-elected Mayor on November 3, 2020.
Join business leaders from across eastern Los Angeles County for an up-to-the-minute discussion of where the economy is headed. This year we are excited to host Geoffrey Okamoto, First Deputy Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund (the 2nd highest position at the IMF).
Click here for full details about sponsorship levels.
Contact us to become a sponsor at email@example.com.
Geoffrey W.S. Okamoto, a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus (2008, Computer Information Systems) is the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the number two position at the IMF, which he assumed in March 2020.
Before joining the IMF, Mr. Okamoto was Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Finance and Development in the United States government. In this role, he oversaw global financial markets, coordination with the G-7, G-20, and the Financial Stability Board, regional and bilateral economic issues, and international financial institutions. Previously, he served as the U.S. Treasury’s Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs.
Prior to joining the Treasury, Mr. Okamoto held prominent positions in the U.S. Senate, such as Majority Staff Director for the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, and Policy Director for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade.
Dr. Robert Kleinhenz is an Executive Fellow at the College of Business Administration, Cal Poly Pomona and the Principal Economist with the firm Kleinhenz Economics. He is leading voice on the economy and the housing market at the national, state, and local level and taps over 30 years of experience to present his outlook for the economy and its industries, and to offer his perspectives on leading policy issues.
Dr. Kleinhenz has held several positions over the course of his career, most recently as Economist and Executive Director of Research with Beacon Economics. He previously served as the Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and Deputy Chief Economist with the California Association of Realtors, and held academic positions USC, UC Riverside, and Cal State Fullerton. Kleinhenz has worked with numerous clients in the private sector, the public sector, and academia, producing a variety of economic forecasts, economic impact studies, land use, economic development, and industry studies, and public policy analyses.
Dr. Kleinhenz is known for his extensive knowledge of the economy and economic policy. He speaks to a variety of audiences that include leaders in business, government, the nonprofit sector, and education. A frequent contributor to the media, he has appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg, and NPR, and has been quoted in news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury-News, and numerous Southern California publications. He is a member of the National Association for Business Economics, past President and Treasurer of the National Association for Business Economics-Los Angeles Chapter, and past Treasurer of the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California.
Dr. Kleinhenz holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California with a specialty in urban and regional economics. He also holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Laura Pohopien teaches undergraduate classes in the College of Business Administration in Communication for Business and Organizational Behavior at Cal Poly Pomona. She is an avid follower of businesses who emerge successfully amidst chaos and her dissertation focused on creative destruction and the complexity of entrepreneurship within established industries. She is an alumna of Cal Poly Pomona and is heavily involved in advancement activities; allowing her to give back to her Bronco community for whom she holds high regard. She works closely with the dean of the college on innovative instructional developments.
Dr. Pohopien is also a trained chef. She has instructed thousands of would-be culinarians in the art of bringing delicious food to the table. She has a prime-ingredient philosophy of cooking- “have at least one ingredient from your recipe be the best you can afford.” Her cooking show in 2003 aired nationally - and her new cooking show, The Prime Ingredient, aired on several online platforms in 2020.
The Partnership will host Representative Grace Napolitano (D-32nd District) on Friday, February 19th by Zoom.
This is a Partnership members-only event. Partnership members are welcome to invite selected guests to join us.
Congresswoman Grace Flores Napolitano represents California’s 32nd District. Her Los Angeles County-based district covers several cities and communities in the San Gabriel Valley – El Monte, West Covina, Covina, Baldwin Park, Azusa, Duarte, Irwindale, Industry, La Puente, Avocado Heights, West Puente Valley, Valinda, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne and Monrovia.
Napolitano is the highest-ranking California member and Hispanic member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure where she currently serves as Chairwoman on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which oversees EPA’s Clean Water Act and US Army Corps of Engineers water programs.
Recently as a conferee to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) House and Senate Conference Committee, Napolitano was able to secure major victories for California, which will receive over $26 billion to fix crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems. $450 million per year of this funding will go to the Los Angeles region for transit funding, benefiting Foothill Transit, LA Metro, and Metrolink. Funds will also relieve congestion and reduce the negative impacts her district takes on as a primary shipping corridor from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Napolitano also serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and is a long-time advocate for conservation, water recycling, desalination, and groundwater management as solutions to Southern California’s water needs.
She introduced H.R. 291, the Water in the 21st Century Act, which would provide $700 million in grants and $500 million in loans for water recycling, groundwater management, storm water, and water infrastructure projects.
Congresswoman Napolitano is perhaps best known for her groundbreaking work on mental health. Her 2001 pilot program providing mental health and suicide prevention services on-site in four schools has expanded to 35 K-12 schools throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Southeast LA County with assistance from Los Angeles County Mental Health, which now serves as a model for H.R. 1109, the Mental Services for Students Act.
As the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, she was active in securing mental health parity in the Affordable Care Act, and she dedicates tremendous energy to promoting mental health legislation and working with key players to increase funding and access to mental health services.
Napolitano was appointed by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi under the direction of Vice President Joe Biden to serve as a Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Her main focus on the task force is the intersection of mental illness and gun violence, most notably suicide prevention.
In January 2016, Napolitano met with President Obama, fellow Task Force members, and other Democratic colleagues, to dialogue on possible executive actions. She then joined the President at the White House on January 5, 2016, for his announcement of new executive actions to curb gun violence and make communities safer. Napolitano ensured that adding mental health services was a component of those comprehensive actions to prevent senseless gun deaths. She remains strongly committed to expanding background checks and other measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who might use them to harm themselves or others.
Napolitano is also the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Youth Challenge Caucus, which supports Youth Challenge: a program run by the National Guard cadre using military discipline and education to help at-risk youth complete high school to emerge better armed with knowledge and training for success.
Congresswoman Napolitano is also deeply aware of the issues facing Hispanic families in her district. She served as the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and still actively participates in Caucus business.
During her tenure as Chairwoman, Napolitano played a key role in working with President George W. Bush and congressional leadership to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and fought for a Democratic immigration overhaul proposal that would have created a guest worker program and provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Grace Flores Napolitano was born in Brownsville, Texas. After high school, she married and moved with her husband to California where they raised 5 children.
She began her political career in 1986 as a member of the Norwalk City Council, and in 1989 Napolitano’s fellow council members selected her to serve as Mayor. During her tenure, she addressed the city's need for jobs and reliable public transportation.
Napolitano was elected in 1992 to the California Assembly, where she quickly earned a reputation as a hard worker and champion for international trade and economic expansion, environmental protection, transportation, immigration, small businesses, and women’s issues.
As a member of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Napolitano has dedicated herself to improving the lives of returning veterans and their families, standing up for labor unions, bringing sustainable water solutions to Southern California, and improving mental health care for all.
She has served the people of Los Angeles County for over thirty years and is currently in her 11th term in Congress.
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