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Monday, October 31, 2022 | View as Webpage
Economic Uncertainty Draws Sellout Crowd for OCBC/CSUF 28th Annual Economic Forecast Conference
This past Thursday OCBC and Cal State Fullerton co-hosted their 28th Annual Economic Forecast at Disneyland Hotel with about 500 attendees. CSUF economists Dr. Anil Puri and Dr. Mira Farka shared their expert analysis of the complex landscape impacting the national and local economies with a particular focus on recessionary trends. The conference also marked the release of the 2023 CSUF Economic Forecast Report. Farka and Puri walked through different scenarios of how the recession could impact Orange County housing, employers and consumers. New to this year's conference was a commercial real estate panel examining interest rate risks, post-pandemic trends and projected market conditions. Moderated by OCBC President/CEO Jeff Ball, panelists included Allen C. Buchanan, Principal at Lee & Associates Real Estate Services, Jeff Manley, Senior Managing Director and Board Member of Savills USA, and Michael Nguyen, Managing Director, Real Estate Banking at Banc of California. The event was made possible through the generosity of title sponsor Commercial Bank of California and presenting sponsor Experian.
Photo credit: Tsutsumida Pictures
12th Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Nominees
The nominees for the 12th Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards are announced, and OCBC thanks all nominees for their hard work! More than 20 public agencies submitted a total of 34 nominations in six award categories this year. From a recycled water program to free transit rides for community college students, the Awards recognize public agencies and leaders for implementing policies and programs that cut through red tape, eliminate barriers to economic growth and open the door to private sector jobs creation. Winners will be announced live at the Awards Reception on November 17, 2022, in Irvine. Nominees featured this week include:

Category: Leadership in Public Service
Irvine Police Department
  • IPD’s Violence Prevention Program was created to help prevent mass shootings and other large-scale acts of violence by partnering with schools, faith-based organizations, businesses, youth and others to learn about best practice active shooter responses and crisis intervention to stop tragic events before they happen.
Transportation Corridor Agencies
  • In July 2022, TCA executed an early $125M paydown in bond debt by utilizing cash to pay off bonds, which is expected to save about $180M in interest payments. This is the first of six early paydowns planned over the next seven years. TCA has also saved more than $700M in debt service payments without extending bond maturity dates.
City of Placentia
  • The Placentia City Council has taken action on several key issues over the past six years, including improving its historic district, developing its Transit-Oriented/Packing House Plan, cutting costs to keep a balanced budget, opening a 100-bed Navigation Center for homeless individuals and saving millions by contracting with a private company for fire/EMS services.
City of Santa Ana
  • The City of Santa Ana adopted its General Plan Update in April 2022, the first comprehensive update in 40 years that guides development, quality of life, economic health and sustainability efforts through 2045. The Plan changes allowable uses in focus areas to add residential, office and hotel opportunities.
Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen
  • Clerk-Recorder Nguyen has served in the role since 2013. In recent years, he has implemented numerous tax-cutting and streamlining initiatives. In 2022, the Clerk-Recorder expanded the South County branch in response to demand and reduced passport photo fees. His department received national attention for offering wedding services safely at Honda Center throughout the pandemic.
Irvine Ranch Water District
  • IRWD’s Recycled Water Program keeps the community green and vibrant amid extreme drought by irrigating nearly all public and commercial properties with recycled water. This system increases property values and reduces dependence on costly imported water while freeing up local drinking water supplies.
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner
  • Supervisor Don Wagner initiated the “Safe Zones” program, which designates Orange County Sheriff’s Department locations with good lighting and surveillance cameras for residents to complete online sales helping to reduce violence and theft during e-commerce transactions. The first site launched in Lake Forest and another is planned for Yorba Linda.
City of Costa Mesa
  • The City of Costa Mesa has invested in addressing homelessness by working with business and community partners to purchase and operate a bridge shelter that also serves Newport Beach and has housed 238 individuals since 2019. The number of unsheltered people in Costa Mesa dropped by 20% compared to the previous count.
County of Orange Chief Procurement Officer Maria Agrusa
  • Maria Agrusa was appointed Chief Procurement Officer for the County of Orange in December 2020. Ms. Agrusa launched a countywide training series for all deputy purchasing agents to address inefficiencies, held the office’s first vendor outreach event and led an alliance of cities, schools and the County to reduce costs and increase market power.

Category: Sustainable and Green Development
Orange County Transportation Authority: OCTA College Pass Program
  • The College Pass Program provides Orange County’s 120,000 community college students free access to OCTA bus routes, reducing transportation costs by more than $10M while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4,000 tons.
City of Santa Ana: General Plan Update
  • The City of Santa Ana comprehensively updated its General Plan for the first time since 1982, prioritizing development in five focus areas along major transportation linkages. The Plan’s development was accelerated by including interim development standards.

See the complete list of the 12th Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards nominees here. A big thank you to our event sponsors for making these awards possible: silver sponsors—The Boeing Company, CalOptima Health, SoCalGas, Spectrum and Verizon; supporter sponsors—Cox Communications and Transportation Corridor Agencies. Registration for the November 17 awards reception is now open. 
Image courtesy of OCBC
OCBC Releases 2022 Legislative Scorecard How Well Did Your Legislator Represent Biz This Year?
OCBC’s Legislative Scorecard measures how well Orange County’s elected leaders in the State Legislature aligned with OCBC’s policy priorities, including its core initiatives of economic development, infrastructure, workforce and housing. This year, 18 bills were identified as most critical to the region’s business community and economy. Congratulations to OCBC’s 2022 Legislators of the Year, Senator Pat Bates and Assemblymembers Phillip Chen and Tom Daly, for aligning with OCBC most frequently in their respective chambers. How did your Assemblymember and Senator do? Click HERE to see the full press release and HERE to see the 2022 Scorecard. CalChamber also released its 2022 Vote Record—see how your legislator performed on their priority bills HERE.
Image courtesy of OCBC
New "Making a Difference" Series Now Live
The inaugural launch of OCBC’s “Making a Difference” feature series is here, and what better way to commemorate National First-generation College Student Day November 8 than by featuring the heads of three Orange County universities who are, of course, first-generation college graduates. Learn how Concordia University President Michael Thomas, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and CSUF President Fram Virjee navigated the road to college, balanced family and studies and who inspired them. See how the same grit and perseverance that helps first-generation college students cross the finish line to earn their degree is the same grit and perseverance that they bring to the workplace.

Image courtesy of OCBC
Concordia Celebrates #CaliforniansForAll College Corps 
Earlier this month, Concordia University Irvine (CUI) marked the swearing-in of 60 students as fellows of the university’s inaugural #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program. Concordia, selected as one of only four private universities in California, has partnered with Irvine Valley College and Vanguard University to form a College Corps consortium of 200 fellows. Students receive $10,000 toward their education for completing 450 hours of service. Some of the organizations that Concordia fellows are serving include tutoring at The Wooden Floor and Irvine High School, improving food security by partnering with South County Outreach, Trellis and the Laguna Food Pantry, and making an environmental impact at Tanaka Farms and Laguna Ocean Foundation.
Photo courtesy of Concordia University Irvine
Goodwill OC Opens Training Center for Success
Goodwill of Orange County recently opened its new Training Center for Success, a customized work simulation environment designed to provide hands-on, process-based training for individuals facing barriers to employment. The 665-square-foot Training Center, located inside the organization’s corporate campus in Santa Ana, is a mock Goodwill retail store that provides a stress-free learning environment for individuals with disabilities to train and prepare for today’s jobs. Individuals served through Goodwill’s workforce development programs include those with physical and developmental disabilities, veterans, people with a mental health diagnosis and more.
Photo courtesy of Goodwill of Orange County
Cox Communications and Angels Baseball Foundation Team Up for Classroom Connections
Classroom Connections, a program of Angels Baseball Foundation, in partnership with Cox Communications, promoting STEM education, held assemblies at San Juan and Melinda Heights Elementary Schools in South Orange County recently. Angels players Jared Walsh and Jimmy Hergert joined Cox representatives for a Q&A assembly with students. Each school received a $2,000 grant, four tickets per student and staff to an Angel’s game, and a Classroom Connections banner.
Photo courtesy of Cox Communications and Angels Baseball Foundation
2023 Annual Dinner and
Installation of Board of Directors
The 2023 Annual Dinner and Installation of Board of Directors will be a night dedicated to reflecting on the year’s successes while looking toward opportunities. Join us in recognizing the leadership of 2022 Board Chair Dave Bartlett and welcoming new 2023 Board Chair Jodi Duva. Thank you to chairman sponsor Cox Communications, silver sponsor Automobile Club of Southern California, and bronze sponsor Girl Scouts of Orange County. Additional event and registration details coming soon.
Committee meetings are an exclusive benefit offered to Business Council investors.
Click the committee meeting link to learn more about the specific topics and issues that will be covered and any special guest speakers.
November 4
9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Email Connor Medina for registration details.
November 8
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Connor Medina for registration details.
November 9
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Emily Jackson for registration details.
November 16
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Emily Jackson for registration details.
November 17
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Connor Medina for registration details.
  • Verizon & coLab are accepting applications for the Verizon Forward-for-Good Accelerators newest cohort: Health Equity. This Accelerator will support startups working to break barriers to quality care with solutions leveraging next-generation technology. Selected Seed or Series A startups will receive $50,000 in funding, hands-on technology coaching, industry mentorship, and additional resources to help scale their technology. Applications close November 11, 2022. 
  • The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is planning an in-person clean energy trade mission to Japan from March 11-18, 2023. The trade mission, co-led by California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis and GO-Biz Director Dee Dee Myers, will anchor the World Smart Energy Week trade show in Tokyo. Organizers are recruiting a business delegation of 30-35 representatives, including 8 SMEs, to join the California pavilion as co-exhibitors at World Smart Energy Week Tokyo. The pavilion, subsidized by the California STEP program, gives qualified businesses the opportunity to promote their products and services to the Japanese market. Registration closes December 15, 2022.
  • Join the Orange County Sanitation District for its annual State of OC San Tuesday, Nov. 15. The free virtual event will be followed by an optional virtual Plant tour. 
  • As a result of recently expanding its Medical Baseline program, thousands of additional SCE customers enrolled in the program and living in high-fire-risk areas may now qualify for a free, portable solar-powered backup battery. Customers are encouraged to be as prepared as possible for potential outages caused by unexpected weather and other emergencies.
  • In partnership with Founders First CDC, Inland Empire Regional Chamber is excited to announce the Southern California Job Creators Quest Grant focused on supporting diverse-led small business entrepreneurs. A total of $100,000 will be awarded to 30 diverse-led businesses in Southern California. Apply or learn more about the grant.
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