Pleasanton, CA – Oct 13, 2020
As millions continue to speak up for social equity around the world, Tri-Valley community leaders step forward as change agents with empathy.
“Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group’s (ITV) collective of leaders from the corporate, research, education and public sectors have notably stepped forward with action to face inequity in our region”, says ITV Chair, Steve Lanza. “The Tri-Valley is known as the heart of California Innovation in part because of our belief that our entire community should be given opportunities to contribute to and share the benefits of our economic growth. All too often, these economic benefits have not historically been distributed across all socio-economic groups in our community. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is essential to our region, to creating opportunity for all, to ITV as an organization, and to our community’s long term 2040 Vision Planning work as well.”
ITV Executive Board Member, Rich Rankin, who is Director of the Innovation and Partnership Office at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) connected ITV with the Diversity and Inclusion Director at LLNL, Tony Baylis. Baylis meet with ITV board members on October 9 and is advising the regional leadership organization on social equity change and inclusion strategies.
ITV is aligning and connecting DEI projects underway as the group believes united regional efforts will best result in job growth and community vitality.
Here’s how some of ITV’s leading innovators are making a difference in the fight for social equity in the Tri-Valley:
Hoge Fenton recently presented a panel on racial injustice titled “Black Lives Matter: No More Happy Talk”, moderated by the law firm’s Managing Shareholder, Dan Ballesteros. Among the notable speakers was the Honorable LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, the first female African American judge in Northern California and the first female African American Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County, California. Hoge Fenton has donated to the Equal Justice Society, the Margaret Walker Center, and the African American Composer Initiative. The firm’s owners today are 40%
women, and approximately one-third are an ethnic minority. ITV Executive Board Member, and Hoge Fenton attorney, Sblend Sblendorio, notes that a former Hoge Fenton partner founded the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program, a program the firm continues to support through funding and the hiring of program participants.
Steve Lanza, ITV Board Chair, Principal of Tri-Valley Advising and Senior Advisor to Lam Research reports that in September CEO Tim Archer was appointed chair of the National GEM Consortium board of directors, one of the premier organizations for the best and brightest underrepresented minority STEM talent in the country. “Lam shares GEM’s belief that greater diversity amplifies the technology industry’s positive impact on our communities,” said Archer. Lam Research also recently donated $250K to UNCF’s Emergency COVID Relief Fund to support black students facing increased financial hardship; and $250K to iUrbanTeen to support training and online programs for students that are homebound as a result of COVID – 19; $250K to the Center of Policing Equity working with police departments to change discriminatory practices across the country; and $250K to Equal Justice Initiative to fight injustice throughout the entire judicial system.
The City of Livermore has established a new Council Subcommittee on Equity and Inclusion led by Co-chairs Vice Mayor Bob Woerner and Council Member Trish Munro. Livermore has welcomed diverse community engagement in this process and an Equity and Inclusion Working Group has now created small focused teams to address structural racism and its impact on people of color. “Until all of us are welcome and included, none of us will be truly free of fear. Through including different voices, we are all strengthened as we share food and traditions, when we have conversation and exchange ideas,” said Council Member Trish Munro.
Sensiba San Filippo’s (SSF) managing partner, John Sensiba, signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion as a commitment to create and share a strategic inclusion and diversity plan and openly share the firm’s successes, failures and learnings. In a strategic effort to better connect SSF job opportunities with a more inclusive population, the firm now uses the Circa workforce compliance system to monitor how many women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and more diverse audiences have been reached. SSF has also joined forces with four other accounting firms to fund The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship and Internship Program to provide a scholarship and internship to five ethnic minority accounting students who intend to pursue a CPA career. SSF also participates in Cal Poly’s educational scholarship for first-generation female accounting students.
The ‘Black Professionals at Fremont Bank’ group was recently established to advise Senior Executives and the Board of Directors at the bank. The group’s initiatives include improving diversity within key leadership groups and allocating more corporate giving to organizations fighting for racial justice and equality. “Our senior leaders are listening carefully and learning what it means to be Black in our communities and at Fremont Bank, says Don Marek, Senior Vice President of Fremont Bank and Treasurer of the ITV Executive Board. The Bank has recently added Black associates to its Corporate Giving Committee and Corporate Ambassador Group and sponsored events including the Oakland Roots Justice Match that raises funds for organizations fighting for racial and gender equality.
In the Pleasanton Unified School District, teachers Betsey Belleville and Anaite Letona created an inclusion class that integrates typical 4th/5th graders and students with special needs at Alisal Elementary School. Finding opportunity in the face of adversity, the remote learning classes are taught as a group of approximately 30 students. “It’s phenomenal and what all of our classrooms should be striving for. The biggest challenge for doing this in person, which is space, is removed. It’s absolutely amazing to watch,” said Alisal Principal Karen Johnson, as students have gained significant language and social skill improvements.
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group will share updates about regional DEI initiatives underway as part of the #TRIVALLEY TOGETHER postings found at innovationtrivalley.org Please share your organization’s contribution to this movement with ITV at [email protected]
ABOUT Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a collective of leaders 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.
Lynn Wallace Naylor, CEO, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group
925.989.0188 [email protected]