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Monday, September 19, 2022 | View as Webpage
SoCalGas and UCI Announce Hydrogen Blending Project to Promote Clean Energy and Resiliency Goals
SoCalGas and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announced a proposed collaboration to demonstrate how electrolytic hydrogen can be safely blended into existing natural gas infrastructure on the university’s campus. "The use of existing natural gas networks to transport renewable hydrogen is actively being pursued around the world because clean fuels like hydrogen can do many of the critical jobs that natural gas does today," said Neil Navin, vice president for clean energy innovations at SoCalGas. The project aims to help better understand how clean fuels like renewable hydrogen could be delivered at scale through California’s existing natural gas system, either to existing customers connected to the gas grid or to generate clean electricity in zero-emissions fuel cells. "Research at UCI has shown that we cannot achieve high renewable power use without the features of hydrogen," said Jack Brouwer, UCI professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the UCI-based National Fuel Cell Research Center. If approved, SoCalGas could begin testing hydrogen blending at UCI as early as 2024.
Image courtesy of SoCalGas
Governor Signs CARE Court Bill
Last week, Governor Newsom signed SB 1338 (Umberg) into law. SB 1338 will enact the CARE (Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act) Court in several counties, including Orange County, so that members of the community suffering from severe mental health and substance use disorders can be connected to the services they need. OCBC strongly supported this bill on behalf of businesses across industries wanting to see the state more effectively assist homeless individuals. Thank you to Senator Tom Umberg for introducing SB 1338 and to the entire OC Assembly and Senate delegation for voting yes. Read more.
DoorDash Releases Economic Impact Report
DoorDash recently released its Economic Impact Report conducted by Oxford Economics. The report highlights the company’s impact in communities and local economies in 2021 by providing flexible earnings opportunities for Dashers, expanding the reach of local merchants, and connecting customers to meals, groceries and other essential needs.
Image courtesy of DoorDash

Kaiser Permanente OC Names New Vice President
Kaiser Permanente has appointed Payman Roshan as the new senior vice president and area manager for the Orange County Service Area. In his new role, Roshan will have Health Plan and Hospital operational responsibility for two major medical centers—Anaheim and Irvine—and 24 medical offices, which provide care for nearly 600,000 Kaiser Permanente Orange County members. Roshan, who has served in numerous leadership roles since joining Kaiser in 2005, succeeds Mark Costa, who will retire in October after seven years in the Orange County Service Area.

Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente
IRWD Receives $12.2 million Grant For Reservoir Improvement Project
Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) has received a $12.2 million federal grant to fund its Syphon Reservoir Improvement Project. The grant will support a ten-fold expansion of the reservoir located off of Portola Parkway north of the city of Irvine, enabling it to store more than 5,000 acre-feet of recycled water (1.6 billion gallons) for landscape irrigation and other uses. The Syphon Reservoir expansion will serve to enhance IRWD’s nationally acclaimed recycled water system, which already accounts for 28% of the water the District delivers.
Image courtesy of IRWD
FivePoint: New Great Park Uses
FivePoint Holdings LLC recently shared plans for its new phase of commercial efforts at Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods with the Orange County Business Journal. The article focuses on plans for the 23 million square feet of planned commercial opportunities in three communities with a focus on the Great Park and more.
Image courtesy of FivePoint
JWA ranked among Top 10 best Airports in US
Travel + Leisure has ranked John Wayne Airport in the Top 10 among large airports in the United States for 2021. Each year, the magazine asks T+L readers to rank their travel experiences based on access, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping and design. According to the magazine, the majority of travelers consider convenience—including easy parking and efficient security lines, along with cleanliness—their priorities when traveling.

Image courtesy of John Wayne Airport
UCI Earns Two Top 10 Rankings in U.S.
The University of California, Irvine was recently ranked as a Top 10 public university by two national ranking lists. Forbes 2022 America’s Top Colleges ranked UCI #9 in the nation among public universities. According to Forbes, the top colleges ranking spotlights schools that offer an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields. UCI was also ranked eighth among the nation’s public universities—and 34th overall—on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 list of “Best Colleges.” The U.S. News rankings, now in their 38th year, assess the country’s bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on more than a dozen measures of academic quality.
Image courtesy of UCI
2022-23 Orange County Community Indicators Report and Rollout
The 2022-23 OC Community Indicators Report and Rollout will be held Tuesday, October 4 at 11 a.m. at the Westin Anaheim Resort. Presented in collaboration with CalOptima Health, Orange County Community Foundation, First 5 Orange County and OC United Way, this year's report examines how educators can better prepare students for careers in a world of remote/hybrid work, how Orange County can better attract and retain young professionals in light of housing prices, and how local business leaders, policymakers and other stakeholders can prepare for a coming recession and its impact on the nation's sixth largest county. Appreciation goes to sponsors--title: Amazon, platinum: Cathay Bank, City of Hope Orange County and Orange County Regional Consortium, gold: Goodwill of Orange County, Kaiser Permanente, Orange County Education and Research Institute and Orange County Department of Education, and silver: Chapman University, Disneyland Resort, Rancho Mission Viejo, SDG&E, SoCalGas, South Orange County Community College District and Wells Fargo for making the event possible.
28th Annual Economic Forecast Conference
Join the 28th Annual Economic Forecast Conference co-hosted with OCBC investor CSUF College of Business and Economics on Thursday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Disneyland Hotel. Learn from leading CSUF economists Director of the CSUF Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting Anil Puri, Ph.D. and Co-Director Mira Farka, Ph.D. as they share their insights into the current environment, including recessionary risks, stagflation, potential limitations for growth and other concerns. The presentation will be followed by a discussion on the current commercial real estate market with a panel of experts examining interest rate risk, post-pandemic trends and projected market conditions. Thank you to sponsors--title: Commercial Bank of California, platinum: Cathay Bank, Kaiser Permanente and Orange County Regional Consortium, media sponsor: The Orange County Register, gold: Disneyland Resort, Infinity Bank, Orange County Department of Education, Titan Capital Management and corporate: American Business Bank, Brookfield Residential, California Bank & Trust, CHOC, Friendly Hills Bank, LSA, Marcum LLP and University of California, Irvine.
12th Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards and Reception
The Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards is OCBC's groundbreaking program that honors outstanding public agencies, leaders and public-private partnerships for implementing programs that cut through red tape, eliminate barriers to economic growth and open the door to job creation. Join OCBC on Thursday, November 17 to celebrate the nominees and congratulate the award winners announced live during the reception. Thank you to sponsors--silver: SoCalGas, Spectrum and Verizon and supporter: Cox Communications. Registration for the event is now open.
If your company, business, or nonprofit is a member of OCBC, send your news for consideration to the Communications Team.
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.
September 21
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Emily Jackson for registration details.
October 7
9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Email Connor Medina for registration details.
October 11
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Connor Medina for registration details.
October 12
8 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Email Emily Jackson for registration details.
  • If you’re an Orange County employer looking for STEM interns, join OCBC investor California State University, Fullerton’s In-Person and Virtual STEM Internship & Career Expo! Meet undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and the College of Engineering & Computer Science at the career expo. Register to attend in-person on Oct. 19, or virtually on Oct. 20
  • Bloom Energy sponsors "Mission Critical Microgrids" white paper which explores the paradigm shift from "the cost of power" to "the cost of not having power" and how microgrids can provide energy security to protect against outages.
  • WSP USA helped create a toolkit and dynamic database, Ready-to-Fund Resilience Toolkit, for state and local agencies to develop fundable climate resilience plans.
  • Join UCI's Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute (CPRI), the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), Orange County IoT device innovators Thirdwayv, and the Diabetes Technology Society on Sept. 22 for Securing the IoT Ecosystem for Medical Devices event. Learn about the current state of IoT firmware security and new ways to secure medical devices.
Join Orange County Business Council and connect with the most influential companies and top executives actively engaged in creating a pro-business environment and prosperous economy. Hundreds of Orange County's leading businesses, cities and non-profit organizations represent an elite group from every industry cluster. But we need YOUR VOICE! For more info, contact Natalie Rubalcava, The Business Council's Chief Operating Officer.