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Meeting Minutes - 11/5/20

Minutes from the general meeting held on November 5, 2020


DVTI Meeting

November 5, 2020

Present: Beth Arman, Jim Blair, Ryan Buckley, Ken Carlson, Nichol Carranza, Ed Del Beccaro, Jeanette Green, Joellen Heaney, Jags Krishnamurthy, Susan Lamb, Beth Lee, Kevin, John Matheson, Brian Nunnally, Carlyn Obringer

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Ryan opened the meeting at 3:05.

Approval of October 1, 2020 minutes:

  • Motion: Beth; Second: Ed; Unanimous with two abstentions

Public Comment:

  • Congratulations to Carlyn on reelection.

Chair Report:

  • Ryan community outreach:

  • Spoke to Olivia Herriford at Bay Area Community College Consortium about how can we interface with them. They are a fit with DVTI as an affiliation. Discussed what is happening with the tech sector and available resources at the community college level.

  • Spoke with Zantra Brusso. She is interested in a closer connection, specifically with the City of Concord. She may be interested in joining our meetings and eventually becoming a formal affiliation.

  • Steven Bader, East Bay Economic Alliance (EBEA): He believes that the Diablo Valley is underserved around technology and that there is a need for DVTI. Wants to help with strategic direction.

  • Reached out to both Drone Technology coordinators at DVC (Michael Quinn) and LMC (David Wahl). Had general conversations about drone programs - where they headed, who’s taking the lead, etc. David suggested we reach out to professors at Santa Rosa or Sonoma Junior College. They are organizing a database of every drone program across the US.

  • Talked to a friend at a drone start-up testing center based in San Mateo. Specialize in industrial-sized drones.

Standing Items:

  • Roster Changes - none

  • Affiliation Changes – none

  • Committee Updates - Jags, John and Ryan are discussing formalizing committees. Discussion will continue, but groups may form organically through our meeting discussions.

  • Business Survey Review - 27 responses

  • Worker Survey Review - Ryan and John are working on the worker survey.

  • Autonomous Valley Presentation – Jags, John, and Ryan are discussing the idea and the opportunities and costs.

  • Ed’s Real Estate Presentation – Real Estate Market: Current and Future

  • Trends: people are not going back to offices. 80% white-collar employees are working remotely; 20% - 15% will be permanently remote, impacting suburban office space with vacant space increasing.

  • Who will be winners in 2021-22: Biosynthetic food processing, contract manufacturing, infrastructure contractors, artificial intelligence

  • Losers: hospitals, hotels, tourism, ports, airports, refineries

  • Discussion:

  • Where did the rental market information come from? Was partial office vacancy taken into account?

  • No, the information was based on space that was put on the market. Shadow space could be 10% higher.

  • What do you recommend for areas struggling because of small businesses closing?

  • Make the startup process easy

  • High-speed fiber optics - high tech firms must be able to data stream

  • Use layoffs to create small entrepreneurial teams. Create entrepreneurial zones.

  • Look for site solutions for light or occasional manufacturing. Can the DVC ENGTECH department act as a stop-gap?

  • How do we change the mindset for city workers, etc. who have gotten complacent and don’t see outside the box?

  • Contextualization; form a panel of peers from other cities; provide case histories; merge economic development and planning departments to work together on a solution.

  • Ken recommended taking Ed’s presentation to the Mayor’s Conference which will have an audience of councilmen as well as mayors, and the planning staff can be invited. Ken, Carlyn, and Ed will help with that.

  • Jim, Ed, Beth, Carlyn, Nichol, and Jeanette to form small, tactically focused groups to work to make DVC a fountainhead of idea discussions.

  • COVID is accelerating older people selling buildings.

  • Possible terminology for contracts or leases: “you are willing to change as technology or society or the market changes.”

  • DVTI/DVC could host brainstorming sessions with key players to discuss how communities and cities can be nimble coming out of COVID.

Adjourned 4:10 pm


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Diablo Valley Tech Initiative

The members of the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative include mayors, presidents of Chambers of Commerce, professors, real estate professionals, and local technology professionals and entrepreneurs. It is incubated at Diablo Valley College in Contra Costa County, California.

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