Business Group Emphasizes the Power of Leadership and Empathy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – yahoo! finance: Pleasanton, CA – May 13, 2020  When Tri-Valley leaders convene, the conversation quickly turns to how innovation and entrepreneurship often runs counter to economic downturns.  “This is a time when people collaborate at high levels, build new companies, and pivot to reinvent success in ways never imagined before,” said John Sensiba, Past Chair of Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) and Managing Partner in the accounting firm, Sensiba San Filippo.

ITV gathered top executives from dozens of leading Tri-Valley based organizations last week to share ideas and progress as the region fends off impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  ITV is a collaboration of business leaders, educational institutions, research labs and government leaders driving the innovation economy in the Tri-Valley, an East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Rick Shumway, CEO of Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, stated “we have strong new collaborations with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories working on coronavirus testing and treatment.  Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare is one of the only hospitals in the world chosen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to participate in clinical trials on Remdesivir, a virus medication showing some early promise.  And, we have just successfully increased our overall hospital capacity by 70 percent in the event we ever need that to serve our region in a future pandemic surge. The Tri-Valley has also benefited from new connectivity in our work with the cities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore, establishing an early testing site at the Alameda County Fairgrounds,” said Shumway.

Rich Rankin, who serves as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Innovation and Partnership Office stated that the lab was named part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Virtual National Biotech lab and is now unleashing the full capacity of their supercomputers to advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine through a public-private computing consortium spearheaded by the White House, the DOE and IBM.  This collaboration may shorten the total amount of time needed for FDA approvals – a pandemic gamechanger.

Jonas Moe, Senior Vice President at Ellie Mae noted “Our company is performing well because of our strong online capacity. Success with people working from home means that the tech sector is now thinking differently about the need for corporate travel, major conferences and big events. In the future, if people can work from anywhere, it makes it even more attractive to live in a region with great schools, safety, and quality of life. Every company is rethinking what it takes to attract and retain key talent and this region will maintain strategic advantage by continuing to invest in our infrastructure,” says Moe, “especially our schools.”

“We must work now to create upward mobility for everyone,” stated Brandon Cardwell, Executive Director of iGATE.  “Businesses and employees that are directly serving customers have been hugely impacted.  While economic downturns are often when people take the time to create and build new companies, we need to be sure we have all it takes to support everyone equally in our Tri-Valley communities – entrepreneurs and employees alike. The high concentration of talent we have in this region helps with our resiliency,” said Cardwell.

Les Schmidt, founder of the artificial intelligence accelerator BRIIA stated that “for every start-up that stumbles in this crisis I believe there will be another new company that emerges even stronger. The life blood of entrepreneurs is solving problems. Our innovators have many problems to solve right now, including how to be most successful in this dynamic environment.  BRIIA continues to be a big believer and investor in artificial intelligence, technology and innovation.”

Greg Hitchan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Tri-Valley Ventures, the region’s first venture fund, reported an acceleration of entrepreneurs moving to the Tri-Valley in the first quarter of 2020. “In an environment like this, we see that people are largely going to invest with people who they already have a relationship with.  That means it is a great benefit to be integrally connected with our Tri-Valley innovation network.”

Mark Triska, Executive Vice President of Colliers International, offered that while it is a tough time for the real estate business in the short-term, bringing together the public and private sectors in innovative ways to collaborate is creating long-term optimism. “Helping lenders who are working with businesses to keep them going, supporting key sectors like manufacturing and distribution operations that are doing well, and crafting regional approaches to economic development are all helpful strategies right now,” said Triska.

Sensiba noted a long list of companies in the area have successfully pivoted their businesses to meet new demands, including many that have adapted manufacturing facilities to produce PPE.  #TRIVALLEYtogether  “Those businesses that are able to respond, come together in new ways, and work well with community leaders are already delivering a positive impact in this health crisis,” said Sensiba.


ABOUT Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and civic leaders in the region. The Tri-Valley is a technology and innovation powerhouse, outpacing the Bay Area mega-region in both job creation and economic growth. According to the Tri-Valley Rising report published by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the Tri-Valley is home to 450 technology companies and the regional innovation economy drives a $42 billion GDP.

Media Contact:
Lynn Wallace Naylor, CEO, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group
[email protected]