Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 42

n DISCOURSE volunteer hours over this last year, and staff, [to] distill down, distill down, dis- till down, what are those core issues? We came to our four-point business plan. Then at our board retreat, we did a future experiment, where we imagined five years, 10 years, 20 years from now, what might the business environment look like if we had environmental change? If how we do business changes? If everything is now online and there are no more storefronts? If your infrastructure changes? And we vetted our four-point focus, and found in that exercise these are just as relevant in 20 years as they are right now. The specific ask [at Cap-to-Cap] will change year over year — because it will be topically relevant and budget relevant and timeline relevant — but at the core these are our four areas of focus .... If you really understand that vibrant communities are essential to us, that inclusive economic development is an essential focus for us, 916 619 8256 44 | that being able to bring everybody up to- gether is essential for us, then we can start to have a different relationship in D.C. that is not so transactional and is more of a proactive partnership. The same is true at the state level. You’ve spoken about the need for in- creased diversity within the chamber — how do you propose the chamber creates a more inclusive environment? We have to do that intentionally, that doesn’t happen by itself. Something I’m very excited and proud of is Nicole How- ard, chief customer officer of SMUD, [is in] a new position on our executive commit- tee that is vice chair of equity and inclu- sion. … As we create programming, [we have] to continue to bring the lens: Have we been inclusive in how we’re doing this? Does the room look representative, and if not, let’s address it. That in itself is going | March 2019 | | to help us never lose sight. So bringing in [Howard’s] expertise and leadership is a game-changer. We also are very intention- al in our staffing, and we’re making some new hires. So are the voices in the room internally bringing perspectives from all communities — from our nonprofits, from our large businesses, from our small busi- nesses, from our rural, from our urban? I’ve got a large board, which is great because I have a space to have diverse perspectives. But if we’re talking about the future of workforce, is the future of workforce in the conversation? Are they represented? If we’re talking about small business and innovation and supporting our startup entrepreneurial community, are they here? Because they need to be. If you get feedback that it’s just a big-busi- ness perspective, well, look at the table. Our large employers are essential to our region, but they’re not the only part of the conversation, so how are we active- 1507 21st Street, 2nd Floor, Sacramento CA 95811