How’re We Doing, San Mateo County?
SAMCEDA, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, for the third year in a row presented its own answer to the “TED Talks.” The County’s business organization hosts “THRED Talks” at its annual meeting, focusing on solutions for the region’s “Big 5” challenges: Transportation, Housing, Regionalism, Economy and Development.
Kicking off the group’s luncheon was SAMCEDA CEO Rosanne Foust who surprised and delighted the Bay Meadows team with a shout-out to our neighborhood, spotlighting it as a model of well-designed smart growth.
Below are a few of the region’s key leaders who provided success stories on how their organizations are tackling the challenges we face as a region.
- Genentech – Headquartered in South San Francisco for over 40 years, this leader in life sciences is committed to environmentally sustainable development. With a portfolio of assets that includes 5M square-feet of office space and is valued at $2.4B, Genentech’s impact is meaningful and its focus on sutainability delivers real results.
Through an employee-driven initiative called “Green Genes,” Genentech focuses on greening its workplace in 6 different ways: energy, water, waste reduction, transportation, workplace wellness and green biopharma. The result is in everything from installing a 6 megwatt solar installation to building a first “net-zero” building for its latest campus structure.
- Webcor Builders – Offering a birds-eye view into building was Shelley Doran, SVP with this leading construction firm. Doran discussed how public-private partnerships (P3s) work and are contributing to significant impacts in our communities. Among Webcor’s signature projects are Bay Meadows, UC Merced, LaGuardia Airport and the Doyle Drive at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Shelly outlined how P3s can play an invaluable role when addressing issues of aging infrastructure, a lack of capital improvement money for public projects, and in navigating entitlement processes. A recent example of a potentially huge P3 down the road is Facebook partnering with the Dumbarton Bridge to explore the redevelopment of a rail line across the bridge as a response to regional congestion.
- ProTerra – Just 3 years ago, this electric-bus vehicle maker was staffed by only a handful of people working out of a temporary office space on the Peninsula. Today, the company is innovating out of four advanced manufacturing and design research facilities throughout the country (Silicon Valley, Detroit, Los Angeles and South Carolina), ProTerra is driven by a vision to provide clean, quiet transportation for everyone. Its revolutionary vehicle, the ProTerra Catalyst bus, is the first vehicle designed and built to be all-electric. With zero tailpipe emissions, ProTerra’s bus runs on all clean energy and now serves transit systems as geographically varied as Milwaukee, Wisconsin and our own SamTrans system.
To hear from all five speakers, view the full SAMCEDA meeting here >
An ideally located community, Bay Meadows is only 10 minutes from Palo Alto, 20 minutes from San Francisco, and has 3 airports (SFO, OAK, SJC) within 30 miles. Bay Meadows is also located on Caltrain, which makes travel and commutes that much easier. Talk about convenient! Bay Meadows is the centralized place to reduce commutes, meet friends and play. Looking for ideas of where to ride? Check out our bike map here.