EconAlliance is a
non-profit cross-industry alliance that fosters awareness, advocacy, support
and appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County industries and communities.
On August 15, 2022, EconAlliance held its second annual Cross-Industry Golf Tournament at the Santa Maria Country Club. A beautiful day of golf with breakfast burritos to start and a box lunch on the course was capped off with delicious appetizers at an award reception in the clubhouse.
Board volunteers checked in the teams- from left: Patrice Mosby and Suzanne Singh. Big winners of the day were the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (Low Gross) and the Pacific Premier Bank team (Low Net)! Once again our top awardees were from the industries of Wine/Tourism and Finance, and Pacific Premier Bank was a second time overall winner (although last year the bank team won Low Gross rather than Low Net).
Low Net Winner Pacific Premier Bank team (Left to Right) Ben Alaniz, Katie McPike, Erich Kortz, and Bobby Fox.
Low Gross winners with Tourney Co-Chair, Jay Conner (2nd from right): Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (Left to Right) Chris Jose, Nathan Shaw, Devin Shaw & Reggie Pagaling.
EconAlliance also recognized at the reception the teams winning various industry categories in this cross-industry tournament (story continues below slideshow).
Agriculture – Innovative Produce
Construction/Development – Solomon Hills
Energy - ExxonMobil
Finance – Pacific Western Bank (Team A)
High Tech/Advanced Manufacturing – Hardy Diagnostics
Retail/Wholesale – Duplicated Business Solutions
Space Enterprise – Sub-Par Shooting Stars
Service/Other – Steve Lavagnino Team
Wine/Tourism – Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
We wish to thank our sponsors for their support:
Shred2You, “Prosperity” Event Sponsor; Solomon Hills, “Success” Lunch Sponsor; and “Vitality” Beverage Sponsors: ExxonMobil, Allan Hancock College, Urban Planning Concepts, Duplicated Business Solutions, Law Office of Philip F. Sinco, Pacific Western Bank and all of our hole sponsors for their support of EconAlliance STEM education and workforce efforts!
A 501c3 nonprofit organization, EconAlliance drives positive impact through strategic initiatives, unique partnerships and creative programs. The organization champions Northern Santa Barbara County communities and the key industry sectors that fuel these communities and inspire regional economic vitality.
Contact: Victoria Conner
INTRODUCTION The Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) invites proposals for an element of work in The Northern Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategy & Business Plan project. The proposal invitation is being requested as one of the EconAlliance grant-funded consultant positions for The Northern Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategy & Business Plan, which is a federally-funded grant project of joint awardees The Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (Chumash). The overall grant project scope specifications is detailed in this attached document (PDF).
Deadline to Submit Proposals: September 12, 2022, 5:00 PM
Proposed Contract Start Date Selected Proposer: September 30, 2022
EconAlliance is a cross-industry alliance that fosters awareness, advocacy, support and appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County industries and communities. A 501c3 nonprofit organization, it promotes industry understanding, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the development of well-paying jobs, a highly skilled workforce and worker opportunity.
Contact: Victoria Conner
At the July Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board (WDB) & Partner Retreat, new EconAlliance Workforce/Education Director Alejandra Mahoney was able to meet and network with other workforce professionals and provide input to the County WDB strategic plan. She also shared preliminary info regarding her efforts to create a “Hire Local” college and possibly high school “bridge” program for industry to provide student internships at businesses and organizations in Northern Santa Barbara County. These internships would serve as a means of introducing students to industry careers and give employers a chance to recruit graduates before they take lesser paying jobs or relocate, perceiving more career opportunity in metropolitan areas.
Mahoney piloted the program this summer with two students working in an ag robotics company and is willing to talk to any organization interested in providing internships. Contact her at workforce@EconAlliance.org!
SANTA YNEZ, CA – June 30, 2022 – The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and The Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) have been awarded $444,787 in federal funding for their 2021 joint application to produce a Northern Santa Barbara County Fiber Ring Broadband Strategy and Business Plan. Funds are being awarded by the Economic Development Administration, which is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The bulk of the award will be funding for a telecom consultant to identify and assess two viable routes for a fiber ring addressing the “middle mile” broadband needs of the five cities and several unincorporated communities in Northern Santa Barbara County. Grant assessment work will include a market analysis and business plan analyzing route construction, operations, and governance options to determine recommendations.
The Santa Ynez Chumash and EconAlliance, both partners of the tri-county Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast for several years, have helped launch broadband study and analysis efforts in North County with informational forums, a Chumash broadband strategic plan and finally with development of the North County fiber ring concept.
“Partnering with EconAlliance on this project and receiving this federal grant brings us closer to improving internet access throughout Northern Santa Barbara County," said Kenneth Kahn, Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. "We look forward to producing a sound plan and working with area cities to make broadband connectivity a reality in our community.”
“EconAlliance identified broadband as a critical economic development need in 2013, and the concept of a North County fiber ring developed by our Infrastructure/Broadband Lead and Broadband Advisory Group chair Chris Chirgwin has helped catalyze our stakeholders around a common priority,” stated Joe Halsell, EconAlliance past president and board member, and early supporter of the organization’s broadband efforts.
Both the Santa Ynez Chumash and EconAlliance also are part of the Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategy Project Team, working closely with the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), the Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast (BCPC), REACH and others to integrate countywide broadband planning and development efforts.
“This is great news for efforts to increase affordable access to high-performing internet access in areas where it matters the most,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director of SBCAG. “Funding like this strengthens the partnerships we have in place to make our communities better and improve lives. We commend the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and EconAlliance for looking beyond what’s next for our region. Together, we remain committed to finish the countywide vision for broadband by this fall.”
Bill Simmons, coordinator of the Broadband Task Force, added: “The Chumash have really provided the model for the rest of us to follow. From the development of an initial strategy to the application to the state for a technical assistance grant, followed by this funding request for design and engineering, they’ve been a trailblazer for what is now occurring across the region.”
Grant work on the EDA award will commence later this summer, according to the EDA grant award start-up timeline.
The Santa Ynez Indian Reservation is located in Santa Barbara County and was established and officially recognized by the federal government on December 27, 1901. Today, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians remains the only federally recognized Chumash tribe in the nation. The tribe is a self-governing sovereign nation and follows the laws set forth in its tribal constitution.
Contact: Mike Traphagen
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, four Santa Barbara County mayors, numerous district representatives of elected officials, as well as a wealth of County and city government policymakers and over 100 industry and community leaders gathered to hear a presentation and panel discussions on the opportunities and challenges of the energy transition now in progress. The EconAlliance event – Energy Transition to Net Zero – was held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and featured as keynote Sarah D. Saltzer, PhD, Managing Director of both Stanford University’s Center for Carbon Storage and Carbon Removal Institute.
Dr. Saltzer (pictured) emphasized the importance of the transition – one that will impact rural and metropolitan areas alike, and one that will touch every demographic and economic sector. She also described a three-phase Stanford study in progress that first executed a grounding needs assessment with interviews and workshops, then took “deep dives” into the five largest greenhouse gas-emitting sectors, analyzing for each its sources, emitting fuels, strategies to de-carbonize and costs.
The last phase, now beginning, will summarize and integrate findings and develop and analyze possible transition scenarios. Preliminary findings highlight the importance of grid upgrades and development of carbon sequestration and storage strategies. Her in-depth presentation (PDF Link Here) was very well received.
Dr. Saltzer’s keynote was followed by two panel discussions. Story continues below slide show!
The first paneled discussion, Industry Sector Perspectives, moderated by Noozhawk Founder/Publisher Bill Macfadyen, included industry sector representatives Kevin Kester (cattle ranching), Bob Brown (petroleum), Phil Adam (agriculture) and Tim Walters (commercial and residential design and engineering, housing). Panelists described both the impacts and opportunities of the energy transition specific to their industries.
Energy Supply: Benefits, Challenges and Economics was the title of the second panel, which was moderated by Jorge Mercado, Pacific Business Times reporter on energy, utilities, technology and agriculture. Featuring Meredith Morford, PG&E clean energy transportation manager; Jennifer Miller, responsible for Pacific regional renewable energy projects for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; and Nate Taylor, Southern California Gas strategy and analysis manager as panelists. Panelists shared information about renewable efforts and projects in progress, highlighting the costs, challenges and opportunities of these transition-supporting activities.
EconAlliance will host a cross-industry forum, Energy: Transition to Net Zero, on Wednesday, June 15th at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon.
Kicking off the program will be a keynote address “Pathways to Carbon Neutrality in California,” presented by Sarah D. Saltzer, PhD (right), Managing Director, Stanford Center for Carbon Storage & Managing Director, Stanford Carbon Removal Institute. Click here to register: REGISTER
The discussions of carbon footprints have become very familiar but to what extent have the policies, practices, technologies and resources had an impact in Northern Santa Barbara County? The cross-industry Energy Forum hosted by EconAlliance will explore these issues making special reference to practical results and current challenges.
“With California’s drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and with the federal government proposing regulations requiring SEC registrants GHG reporting, the EconAlliance Energy Transition to Net Zero event is timely,” says Vicki Conner, Initiatives Director for EconAlliance.
It is likely that all suppliers anywhere in the value chain for SEC registrants will have reporting requirements. A broad cross-industry slate of panelists and speakers will share insights at the forum. A stakeholder roundtable on Industry Sector Perspectives will be moderated by William Macfadyen, Founder/Publisher, Noozhawk. Presenters to include Kevin Kester, Past National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President; Western States Petroleum Association; Agriculture Sector, Manufacturing and others.
A paneled discussion, “Energy Supply: Benefits, Challenges, Economics of Transitioning” will follow the roundtable. Panelists include moderator Jorge Mercado, Tech, Energy & Utilities, Pacific Coast Business Times; Meredith Morford, Manager, Project Delivery, Clean Energy Transportation, PG&E; Sara Guiltinan, Renewable Energy Specialist, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; and Colby Wells, Southern California Gas Regional Public Affairs Manager. Other panelists will represent Solar, Community Choice Aggregation and more.
The California Energy Commission reminds us that the goals for California state we are to have 60 percent renewable generation by 2030, 100 percent of new vehicles should be emissions-free by 2035, and 100 percent carbon-free grid by 2045. This provides both opportunities and challenges for local industries as they transition to Net Zero.
The Economic Alliance Foundation (EconAlliance) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. EconAlliance drives positive impact through strategic initiatives, unique partnerships and creative programs. The organization champions Northern Santa Barbara County communities and the key industry sectors that fuel these communities and inspire regional economic vitality.
Mission Statement: EconAlliance builds awareness, advocacy, support and appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County industries and communities.
805-345-0688 | initiatives@EconAlliance.org
Santa Barbara County is asking residents to complete an online survey and speed test to help identify areas of the county with poor internet connectivity. Phase one of a project to improve internet access in Santa Barbara County started Tuesday, March 22nd.
Please take a minute to complete a Santa Barbara County broadband internet needs assessment survey and speed test on a personal computer or laptop at home, work, or wherever you connect. Click here to start: www.sbcag.org/broadband
Please complete before May 31st. You can also simply scan the QR code to the right to get started.
Information collected helps to improve affordable access to high-speed internet countywide. Individuals can also identify areas with low or no service, or where access to the internet is unaffordable within this test. Privacy controls protect responses and anonymous participation is an option. If you do not have internet, please call Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) at 1-805-961-8902 to report why you don’t.
The Broadband survey and speed test is available in English and Spanish.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light what many residents were already unnecessarily enduring, the lack of reliable and affordable access to internet,” said SBCAG Board of Directors Vice-Chair Jenelle Osborne, mayor of the City of Lompoc. “The broadband survey and speed test is vital to our efforts to advocate for fast, flexible, affordable, and reliable internet service for all residents and businesses in our county.”
The Broadband Alliance of Santa Barbara County (Alliance) formed in October 2021 to develop a regional broadband strategic plan through a partnership between the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, County of Santa Barbara, and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Solvang, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC), and regional economic development organizations.
The plan will be completed by the end of 2022 and with that, the Alliance will seek funding opportunities for projects to improve internet access in homes, schools, businesses, healthcare, and facilities to high-speed internet countywide. “Each of us can do one very important thing to improve internet access and affordability. If your internet is too slow or unreliable or expensive, take the one-minute broadband internet survey and speed test before May 31,” said SBCAG Director Joan Hartmann, county supervisor.
In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed historic legislation, Broadband for All, to advance the State’s commitment to bring affordable access to high-speed internet service across California. Many rural areas are hard-pressed to find high-speed internet, leaving the businesses and residents at a disadvantage for education, disaster preparedness and healthy industry competition.
Despite dozens of letters and 1-minute remarks from ~100 individuals and organizations (including EconAlliance) pointing out the millions of dollars in County public service and education tax benefits, tens of millions of dollars in local economic activity, and the positive economic impact of 250 high-paying jobs, Santa Barbara County Supervisors at their March 8th meeting denied ExxonMobil a temporary trucking permit that would have allowed operations at the company’s Santa Ynez Unit to resume.
Supervisors were split 3-2 on the decision, with Supervisors Lavagnino and Nelson supporting the permit and Supervisors Hart, Hartmann and Williams voting to deny it. Supervisor Lavagnino pointed out that renewables won’t be able to meet demand for many years, so no matter how much we all support that evolution, we must continue to produce fossil fuels as we transition. Others pointed out that, in addition to the loss of jobs and county revenue, denying domestic production increases the volume of U.S. oil purchases purchased from often unfriendly countries with little attention to the concerns of environmental and human rights. Supervisors voting against the permit expressed environmental and road safety concerns.
After 15 years with Peoples Self-Help Housing until her early retirement in 2021, as Director of Education, Alejandra Mahoney oversaw development and administration of Peoples' Self-Help Housing's (PSHH) K-8 After-School and College Club programs offered at PSHH’s 11 learning centers, interfacing with numerous local and grant funders on mutual priorities.
Born in Costa Rica, raised in Northern Santa Barbara County, Alejandra joined PSHH in 2006, bringing extensive experience from her career at Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Fitzgerald Community School, and Santa Barbara County Office of Education. She has guided education initiatives across the Central Coast, serving as a board member for the FUND, an ambassador for Allan Hancock Community College, and Leadership Santa Maria Valley. Alejandra was also a co-organizer, Charter Board Member and Founding Board President of the Central Coast Future Leaders (CCFL). CCFL is a local nonprofit serving Latino youth and parents and emphasizes youth leadership and empowerment. The organization launched the annual Latino Legacy Awards program in the North County area. Alejandra is proud of having personally assisted dozens of first generation Latino college students in securing university placement in some of the nation’s greatest institutions - Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, and others.
Alejandra is a former Board member and supporter of and volunteer with EconAlliance and was instrumental in developing the organization’s North County Industry video and STEM Industry Days. She helped initiate and implement in partnership with EconAlliance and United Way, the past multi-year “Working Neighborhoods” grant involving a dozen economic development and education stakeholders.
Before transitioning to a career in education, Alejandra had entered the family business – agriculture. As co—owner of TKP Farms, one of the first certified organic farms in the area, she became engaged not only in organic farming, but in organic farming development and public education. As a Board Member and then President of the California Certified Organic Farmers’ San Luis Obispo Chapter, she worked on organic system plans, policy, certifications, and outreach to farmers, communities, and policymakers.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has added a layer of uncertainty about the extent, outcome, and consequences of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Irrespective of the duration of military hostilities, sanctions and related political activities are likely to continue for some time. The potential effects upon Northern Santa Barbara County can include dislocated commodities markets (notably for oil and gas), supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures, weaker growth, and capital market volatility.
Even before this overseas crisis, the global economy was experiencing effects of the pandemic, including inflation and tangled supply chains. We are keenly aware of the effects of the military conflict, especially upon oil, natural gas and metals, and higher prices for those commodities. In addition, escalating gas prices have a ripple effect among industrial enterprises, like fertilizer makers who use a great deal of gas and have now slashed production. Farmers are paying more to run machinery and buy fertilizer.
We want you to know that we at EconAlliance will continue to prioritize the needs of our local industries, and keep our region front and center in our decision-making process. In particular the EconAlliance Global Trade Initiative, our Agricultural Initiative, and our Energy Initiative are focused on those sectors most impacted by the military events overseas. We will monitor market conditions while we hope that peace, human rights, and the international rule of law will prevail.
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