Leaders Circle:
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Message from the President & CEO


June 2017

Leadership has never been more important than it is right now:
“…it’s not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.”
– Chris Hadfield.

I am proud to congratulate the 23 participants that have graduated in the 2017 class of the San Rafael Leadership Institute. The graduates are leaders from a cross-section of Marin businesses, nonprofits, media and government. They were focused as a team this year and motivated to implement a successful class project and they did just that. Their “Pedal Power” project was an excellent exercise of collaboration across agencies and touched three of the Chamber’s priority focuses including transportation, homelessness and sustainability. I look forward to seeing how the knowledge they learned this year will help them make an even greater impact in their businesses and in our community for years to come. Congratulations graduates!

The Chamber would also like to congratulate Jeff Schoppert for his recent appointment to the City Planning Commission. Jeff is a long-time member, Director and Past Board Chair of the Chamber and also a Leadership Institute graduate. Jeff is extremely knowledgeable of the San Rafael community. He has lived and worked in our city for nearly twenty years. He is very civic-minded, offering his time, expertise and service in many different capacities including the San Rafael Public Library Foundation, committee to support Measure D, committee for Measure E, Civic Center SMART station area plan advisory committee, and a member of the critical facilities advisory committee. Jeff is fair, inclusionary, and reasonable and cares deeply about San Rafael and its future. We look forward to working with Jeff and his colleagues on the Planning Commission.

In other Chamber news – we have been an active participant in the Downtown Parking and Wayfinding study working group. Chamber members Roger Smith of Circle Bar Trust, Wick Polite of Seagate Properties, Dirck Brinckerhoff of HL Commercial Real Estate, Bill Carney of Sustainable San Rafael, Jeff Brusati of T&B Sports and Adam Dawson from Mike’s Bikes and I have been meeting regularly since February with city staff and others to review and weigh-in on the study. We are tackling parking management and pricing, future demand and impact from SMART, zoning and development standards, bike/pedestrian network and wayfinding. A final report with options provided will be prepared and presented to City Council. Please stay tuned for specific dates on the Council agenda. View the full study.

The Chamber will soon begin its involvement with the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Transportation Sales Tax Expenditure Plan Advisory Committee. We will be a part of a group of individuals representing diverse stakeholders in the County organized to explore what transportation needs are most important to Marin. As you may know, TAM was interested in renewing the sales tax measure and exceeding the sales tax cap. They were encouraged to present to each city and town and ask for their support in order to move forward with state legislation that would authorize a local sales tax cap exemption. The City of San Rafael took no action on the item earlier this year, citing the need for more community input. The TAM Board has now approved an expenditure plan committee process and directed staff to form an advisory committee of 20+ people to meet during the summer-fall. Ultimately we are being asked to consider both a renewal-only effort in Marin and a renew-and-augment effort. The Chamber is most pleased to have a voice at the table to represent your concerns and needs as an employer in Marin County.

We know that you are busy running your business, so no fear – know that the Chamber is showing up and working for you, Promoting Business and Building Community at the same time. When you have a question, need a resource or face a problem, we’ll be here for you.


Joanne K. Webster

President and CEO  
415 454 4163 x 101