Friday, August 30, 2013

EBWIBR 15th Anniversary-Early Bird Pricing ends today!!


Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and to our lovely recipient Dale Marie Golden, she is well deserving of this award.


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Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce urges the CPUC to be Constructive not Destructive

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is an important and responsible corporate citizen serving the energy needs of residents, businesses and others throughout the Bay Area.  In serving this mission PG&E is a major job provider and one of the top taxpaying and philanthropic organizations in the region.  The company will soon be facing a major test before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The explosion in San Bruno is nearing its third year anniversary. Since that horrific tragedy which claimed the lives of eight people and destroyed 37 homes, the gas transmission and distribution industry has undergone significant changes of operation.

In the aftermath, PG&E has provided over $100 million to the City of San Bruno and has settled nearly all lawsuits filed by the affected parties. PG&E has also invested more than $2 billion dollars improving the gas system at shareholder expense.

With that backdrop, the CPUC is now weighing a very important issue, the imposition of penalties on the company.  While penalties are inevitable, our concern is what is truly fair and just without creating any unexpected consequences.

In the complex world of financing infrastructure improvements, an excessive penalty will only create financing challenges that could have detrimental effects. PG&E’s investment since San Bruno including the siting of their system-wide headquarters in the East Bay has been remarkable. Here in Oakland, tens of millions of dollars has been spent on gas pipeline inspections, testing and replacement rendering the City safer than ever before. This has also brought significant economic stimulus to the area and additional revenue to our cash strapped City in need of more public safety and general services.

We encourage the CPUC to consider the many contributions PG&E has made to Oakland such as the Greenery Project, moving power lines underground, and lighting projects which are helping to save energy. 

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce will be reviewing this CPUC process with interest and will be commenting more in the future.  Suffice it to say, as we approach this Labor Day Weekend, an iconic company with a strong history of union employment and community support – hangs in the balance. Let’s hope the CPUC proceeds with a sense of fairness and balance as they move forward on this delicate but extremely important decision

Joseph H. Haraburda

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

OMCC President featured in San Francisco Chronicle

As members and friends of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce know OMCC President/CEO Joe Haraburda will retire at the end of this year.  He shared some thoughts with Andrew S. Ross in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

 Read the complete article here:


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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BART Running 24 hours a day during Bay Bridge Closure

BART will run trains 24 hours/day from the start of service this Wednesday morning at 4 am thru and including Monday night until midnight. Trains will stop running from midnight Monday night until 4 am. Tuesday morning so crews can prepare the system for the Tuesday morning commute. Caltrans plans to open the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge Tuesday morning.


While the Bay Bridge is closed, BART will continue to operate trains on their normal schedules from all of BART’s 44 stations during the agency’s regular service hours. On Labor Day, however, BART will operate on a Saturday schedule.

During regular service hours, BART will increase its passenger capacity by running longer trains all day and will adjust train service to match the needs of weekend events, including A’s home games, Cal Bears football and America’s Cup finals.

Please visit and use the “QuickPlanner” to plan your trip.


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Monday, August 26, 2013

Bell Investment Advisors’ Youth-in-the-Arts Grant 2013

For a second year, Bell Investment Advisors ( will be awarding its annual grant of $5,000 to an Oakland-based organization or program dedicated to supporting arts programs for Oakland youth.

The Bell Youth-in-the-Arts Grant program reflects the firm’s belief that the arts enrich the community and contribute to its vitality as well as being essential to a well-rounded education for youth.

"As ongoing cuts in public education typically result in the elimination of the arts programs from schools, we want to be part of the solution to the problem by supporting arts for youth in our community and encouraging other businesses to follow suit.” – Jim Bell CFP®, President and Founder

Local arts organizations can download the 2013 grant application, guidelines, and obtain additional information from Bell Investment Advisors’ website, Applications must be received no later than September 13, 2013.

In 2012, the first annual Bell Youth in-the-Arts Grant was awarded to Cal Performances’ Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, a dance camp for underserved and at-risk youth that integrates life skills training with professional dance technique, thereby yielding transformational change in the lives of the participants. The organization was selected from a group of 34 outstanding organization applicants. The  AileyCamp is a superb example of an organization that enriches the lives of its participants as well as the entire community, thereby reflecting the mission of the Bell Youth-in-the-Arts Grant.

Bell’s advocacy for youth is not limited to the arts grant. The firm also strongly supports the Muse Program, the Oakland Symphony’s own program that assures music excellence in the Oakland Public Schools by augmenting existing services. Bell also advocates that all families become aware of the value of financial planning in order to be able to support their own children’s future educational needs.

In a webinar available for free on the firm’s website,, Forrest Bell, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor, presents Why Education Planning Should Be Part of Your Financial Plan. The webinar provides essential information regarding funding children’s future educational needs, including how to choose the most effective 529 Plan, and in addition, the importance of not jeopardizing the adults’ own financial future and retirement.

Check out the video to see more!

For more information on the grant, click here-

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About Background Checks & Screenings

Greater access to police records and social media have made it easier than ever for employers to conduct background checks on potential new employees. This surge of information has also led to increased cases of mistaken identity, false positives, and incomplete records which discriminate against perfectly qualified employees.
Join Employers Group and Universal Background Screening for a review of recent changes and regulations in background screening including 

  • How the background screening process works 
  • Recent litigation/class action lawsuits against employers and how you can stay compliant
  • Recent articles of why to follow best practice procedures
  • Federal (FCRA) and state guidelines/legislation
  • EEOC and FTC regulatory updates
  • Trends in background screening– including the topic of social media screening

Register today to learn the latest information on background screening. Don't fall victim to problems that occur when you conduct your own background check.   

Tuesday, August 27

10:00-11:00 a.m (PDT)


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

OPD Meets with Merchants and Residents to Offer Tips on Fighting Crime

A rash of robberies in the Rockridge area, including a robbery of a KGO producer which led to discussion of crime in Oakland at that radio station this past weekend, led to a get together this morning with area merchants, residents and Oakland Police Department (OPD) Area 2 Captain Anthony Toribio at the Rockridge Library.

Toribio offered a few comments about OPD strategies and staffing and responded to questions.  The Captain told the group that many of the robberies were occurring between the hours of 10 pm to 2am.  To try to add patrols at that time he indicated that Problem Solving Officers (PSOs) who usually had their work shift ending at 11pm were being re-scheduled to have their shifts end at 2am.  He also indicated that where swing shift and graveyard shift overlap (that 10pm to 2am time frame) extra patrols would be made available.   

Efforts are also being made at OPD to better manage response to emergency calls.  Toribio indicated that in a recent three month period patrol officers were being asked to respond to 42 calls during a 10 hour shift. This means officers are moving call to call almost the entire shift rather than patrolling. By making appointments, postponing non-emergencies and better allocation of officers, Toribio hoped to free up more officers to engage in regular patrols.  He did indicate however that officers, including Crime Response Teams, are often called to parts of the city facing higher rates of violent crime.

Toribio was asked about Neighborhood Watch and he encouraged people to join and be involved.  He did emphasize that people should observe and report and not attempt to engage a suspect.  When asked about the hiring of private patrols, Toribio expressed support for the idea and said he directed his officers to get to know private security personnel in their areas.  Toribio did say any private patrol should be identifiably and professionally dressed, he suggested they should patrol an area and engage people (rather than just standing against a wall) and they, like citizens should be eyes and ears and not crime fighters themselves.

People were encouraged to keep their property well lit, porch lights as well as lighting on the side of buildings.  The use of security cameras was also encouraged.  And in addition to monitoring your own property it is permissible to aim cameras in public space as people do NOT have a reasonable expectation of privacy in those public spaces.
Among the 45 people who turned out this morning were Chris Jackson of the Rockridge BID, Paul Junge of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Oakland City Council member Dan Kalb. 


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't miss Inside Oakland Breakfast with Jody London & James Harris

   Breakfast is included, Register today!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lungomare hosts August Dine & Unwind- Very Limited Seats Left, Reserve Today

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Monday, August 19, 2013

The impact of SBDC’s mentors can be significant

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has become the administrator for the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (, whose mission is to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed in their ventures.

SBDC has a team of professionals with decades of real world experience who mentor businesses in all functional areas – sales, marketing, manufacturing, venture capital, web design, government contracting, SBA loans, and government grants.

The impact of SBDC’s mentors can be significant, as demonstrated by Cool EarthSolar, an innovative start-up company located in Livermore, which won more than $2 million in government grants.
Only at the prototype stage with its technology and with tight budgets, Cool Earth needed grants that would help it complete product development and deploy systems for field trials.

As a technology company, Cool Earth required advisors with specialized knowledge and experience. Cool Earth applied to the Tech Futures Group (, a new initiative of the SBDC that has assembled a team of technology specialists with expertise in technology commercialization, raising equity capital through angels and venture capitalists, intellectual property protection, and special government grants, such as SBIR.

Cool Earth met with two SBDC advisors, Charles Eason and Gerry Barañano. Eason is the SBDC expert in Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants that provide funding for research in specific areas. Barañano is a technology commercialization expert with deep knowledge of all aspects of technology companies.

Both advisors helped Cool Earth improve the quality of their grant applications. Following Eason’s advice, Cool Earth won two $150,000 SBIR phase 1 grants and is line to win much larger amounts in subsequent phases.

Barañano recommended that Cool Earth reach out and develop a strong relationship with
Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL), and also write a white paper geared to first customers. Using their LLNL relationship and the body of the white paper, Cool Earth won a $1,732,000 grant from California Energy Commission.

“We owe much of our success with these grants to the experience, knowledge, and cheerful assistance of these two gentlemen,” exclaimed Tony Chen, Cool Earth’s director of business development.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Latham Square's Grand Opening- Tomorrow Friday, August 16, at noon

For more information- Please Click Here.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Music at Jack London Square by Yoshi's-August 25th

Yoshi’s Jazzfest brings all things music to Jack London Square for an afternoon of free live music, tasty eats, jazz festivities and more on August 25! Bay Area locals are invited to a free, festival afternoon of live jazz on the waterfront including performances from Salvador Santana, the Julian Coryell Trio, Dos Four and the Oakland Jazz Workshop Performance Ensemble. Additional details are below, I thought this annual summer event might be a fun fit for your readers. Let me know if you need a cool photo have handy. Thank you!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Turner School of Construction Management 2013 San Francisco

"Your Roadmap To Success"
Turner is deeply committed to supporting and expanding the social, economic and educational growth of the construction community though our construction management training program. This program is uniquely designed to enhance the participant’s technical, business, and administrative skills. Individuals enrolled in the program gain insights and meaningful tools that help them target their business for quality and growth while at the same time, develop new strategic business relationships.
Minority-owned, women-owned, disabled veteran owned, disadvantaged and small emerging businesses that are general contractors, specialty contractors, construction managers, construction consultants, and other companies that work closely with construction firms. There is NO COST to program participants however, participation in the 2013 San Francisco Turner School of Construction Management training program is a commitment to attend a minimum of 11 classes in order to receive a Certificate of Completion.
Classes will be held twice a week in San Francisco from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM beginning September 10th and ending October 24th. Classes begin with a light dinner followed by two-hour courses in: Accounting Basics for Contractors, Estimating, Bidding & Procurement, Field Operations, Insurance & Bonding, LEAN practices, Management, Marketing & Sales, Project Delivery Systems & Contract Risk Management, Safety, and Scheduling.
Application must be filled out in its entirety. Preference will be given to completed applications.
Space is limited - only ONE participant per company will be accepted.
Your firm must have actively performed work in the construction industry for a minimum of one year.
Must be a minority-owned, women-owned, disabled veteran or a small emerging business in construction.
If your company is selected, you will be notified no later than August 27, 2013.
Jabril Portlock
Community Affairs Intern,1111 Broadway, Suite 2100,
Oakland, CA 94607
Fax: 510-267-8118

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Winning More than Your Share of Business in 2013

Presented by Joe Diliberto, Sandler Training
Complimentary, with light breakfast

Most business owners we talk with tell us there is continuing pressure on price; that their sales teams continue to experience excessive stalls from their prospects; and
that new business remains difficult to close. Yet, most businesses have done little to significantly alter their prospecting strategies or their sales methods and processes.
Join us to discuss new approaches to the following issues:

  • Getting in front of more new prospects on a regular basis
  • Avoid wasting time chasing unqualified prospects
  • Why we frequently hear “I want to think it over” or some form of “maybe”
  • Shorten the time to close a sale (or get a decision)
  • Avoid cutting prices to get or keep the business
  • Balancing time servicing current clients and prospecting

About the Speaker
Joe is a nationally recognized speaker. His background includes executive level positions in Sales and Marketing with Fortune 100 and start-up companies. An expert in his field, Joe is the owner of Sandler Training. The Sandler System has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 Sales Management Training Program for the past five consecutive years.

To RSVP, Call 510/530-5060 or email

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Friday, August 9, 2013

The Bay Area depends on BART

It’s not just the 400,000 people who use BART every day who urge all parties to negotiate with purpose and avoid a strike.  Millions more will be impacted by congested roads, added pollution and lost time if service is disrupted.
On behalf of over one thousand members of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the thousands more who work with and for those members, we urge BART management and their unions to find a solution to their contractual disagreements.  And as you work diligently to come to an agreement that you not interrupt the service we depend on.  A strike is not just bad news for the parties involved, it is bad for the Bay Area and so we urge you to avoid a strike.   

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        Media Contact: Melissa Welles (415) 460-6565

In Partnership with Emeryville’s Vinity Wines and the Oakland Restaurant Association; Proceeds from Dinner Benefit Local Youth Organization

(Oakland, CA) On Wednesday, August 21st, Jack London Square’s Lungomare restaurant will partner with Vinity Wine Company to host the August “Dine and Unwind” event, with a special Italian-influenced evening of food, wine, music and conviviality.  Vinity Wines, based in Emeryville, is particularly focused on importing artisanal Italian wines with distinctive regionality and will be pairing wines with Lungomare chef Craig DiFonzo’s seasonal Italian/Californian menu. Also featured will be singer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Albini, known for his unique blend of Italian music, jazz and world rhythms.  A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Bay Area youth soccer organization My Yute Soccer.

The four-course menu and wine pairings is $50 per person, including tax and gratuity.
 Seating is available from 5:30 – 10:00 pm.  Please call (510) 444-7171 for reservations.


Featured Menu:

Carpaccio of Local Halibut, Concasse of Heirloom Tomato, Mint, Watermelon

Local Wild King Salmon, Caramelized Fennel, Fava Pistou

Fig and Mascarpone Tart

~ Plus an Additional Surprise Course ~


About Dine and Unwind: A partnership between The Oakland Restaurant Association, The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Visit Oakland, Dine and Unwind is a series of monthly events hosted by Oakland’s top restaurants. For more information about Oakland’s Dine & Unwind Restaurant Series, please visit contact Ivette Torres at or at  510-874-4800 x 319.

About Lungomare:  Opened February 11th, 2013, Lungomare was designed to appeal to visitors and Oakland locals alike.  Executive chef Craig DiFonzo has created a menu inspired by coastal Italian cuisine, with an emphasis on handmade and locally-sourced ingredients.

Vinity Wine Company: Based in Emeryville, Vinity Wine Company imports wines of character from artisan Italian producers who represent the best of their regional and local cultures.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Introduction to Performing Arts Summer Camp at Studio 1924!

The start to a wonderfully enriching season, this camp teaches students dance, musical theater and show choir basics. From here, students can continue taking classes in all three disciplines during the 2013-2014 season or pick from the three.

Sing, dance and act! This exciting week-long camp introduces young performers, ages 6 to 18, to all that Lyric Performing Arts Academy has to offer. Students will take dance fundamentals (a combination class of ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary), musical theater and show choir. The final day of camp, students will showcase  what they learned during the week for friends and family. This camp is a good starting place to find out what your student has a talent and/or a passion for. 


Camp dates are August 19th through August 23rd (Monday - Friday) from 2 to 5pm.
Online registration at
Cost: $150

For more information: or call 510-398-6398

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Career Fair

Thank you to our amazing chamber member,
Wells Fargo as the corporate sponsor for the upcoming
Bay Area's13th Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fair. 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

National Night Out

Tonight thousands of Oaklanders will celebrate in over 670 National Night Out parties, one of the largest efforts in the nation. For the third consecutive year we have made great leaps and broken our city record as we continue to organize block by block to strengthen our neighborhoods.

This year is particularly significant for two reasons:

First, we are pushing police resources out into neighborhoods this summer in a reorganization built on the work of Bill Bratton and Bob Wasserman. We are making police leadership more accessible and more accountable on a neighborhood level by creating five geographic policing areas across the city, each with its own police captain responsible for the area. You can look up your area captain, beat lieutenant and sergeant, and the problem-solving officer for your beat online at


Officers lining up for National Night Out assignments.

We have asked officers to spend more time out of their cars: walking, biking, attending meetings, talking with residents, and engaging in a friendly way more often. We are seeing some initial modest reduction of some categories of crimes in some areas.

Second, we are making significant progress in the reforms monitored by the federal court. In July our court-appointed Compliance Director, Tom Frazier, wrote in his first progress report that under our new police leadership, the pace of our work has been extraordinary: "The change in the atmosphere of cooperation, and the focus on citizen service and organizational improvement have been recognized by many observers familiar with the inner workings of OPD. Interim Chief (Sean) Whent and his newly-formed executive staff are young, energetic, and obviously hard working." Our reforms include building on our work on the use of force and racial profiling with strengthened policies.  


In recent weeks, the verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing and the release of the film Fruitvale Station, the story of Oscar Grant's last day, have provided the nation and our city an opportunity to open our hearts and minds about some tough issues.  

Tonight is  an opportunity to show the true spirit of Neighborhood Watch -- an opportunity to get to know and to care for each other's children, rather than fear them.

Finally, this year the City Council passed the major initiatives I proposed for public safety:

  • Two new police academies each year
  •  Funding for additional CHP officers
  •  Over 40 civilian positions to free up officers for crime fighting
  •  Major funding for updated police technology, tracking software, police cars, and laptops.

OPD Cadets at last year's NNO rally.

This year we have also recruited three of the most diverse police academies in Oakland history and graduated our first academy in more than four years. We are still trying to grow the number of officers who live in Oakland, and we encourage interested residents to call 888-673-5627.

We are determined to make Oakland safer. We still have a way to go, but we have a plan and new resources. Over the next months we will ask for your opinions on selecting a new chief and finding resources for more police officers. I hope to see you at one of tonight's parties.




Mayor Jean Quan

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Art & Soul 2013

Bay Area Blues Society- Put on a truly fantastic show on Sunday, the energy was felt by the large crowd in Frank Ogawa Plaza as they sang along and danced to the well known songs.

Have you seen Visit Oakland's new ride? Check it out here! A one of a kind custom car designed by ours truly Oaklandish

In case you didn't get a chance to go to church in the A.M., Art and Soul 2013 provided "Sunday Afternoon Gospel Hour" produced by Terrance Kelly and hosted by City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney.

Local talent Jovan Watkins is  seen here belting out original inspiring tunes from his new album, coming out soon!

Great event, already have it saved in my calendar for next year...Thanks City of Oakland!

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