SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

April 30, 2007 21:42 ET

San Jose Hosts National CEOs for Cities Meeting

Gathering to Help Influence the Future of America's Cities

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 30, 2007 -- City of San Jose and San Jose State University are co-hosting the CEOs for Cities National Meeting, May 1-2, throughout San Jose and Silicon Valley.

CEOs for Cities -- an organization with a membership that includes mayors, corporate CEOs, university presidents, foundation officials, and business and civic leaders -- serves as an idea lab and develops new innovations for urban leaders working to strengthen American cities.

Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, said, "We chose to host our first west coast meeting in San Jose because it is a dynamic international city that is rebuilding a vital urban center through creative partnerships, such as with the city-university joint library."

Utilizing the theme, Leveraging Anchor Institutions for Urban Success, members and invited experts will discuss how to turn traditional urban amenities into new urban assets that contribute significantly to urban success.

According to Kim Walesh, assistant director of economic and cultural development, City of San Jose, the evolution of tomorrow's cities will depend greatly on how municipalities integrate and partner with significant establishments.

"Engaging urban assets like higher education institutions, libraries, performing arts venues, museums, and hospitals as powerful engines of competitive advantage can help further differentiate a city. This is extremely crucial when courting both global companies and talent to a city as well as nurturing home-grown businesses," Walesh said.

Inspired by CEOs for Cities' 2002 study by Michael Porter on "Leveraging Colleges for Universities for Urban Economic Revitalization," the national CEOs for Cities meeting in San Jose aims to use a broader range of anchor institutions and pave the way for the implementation of new strategies that advance both city and anchor institution success.

Highlights include:

--  Tours of the Googleplex, 12:30-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, in Mountain
    View, and eBay Park, 5-6 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, in San Jose.
--  An opening workshop session, 4:30-6:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, at Dr.
    Martin Luther King Jr. Library -- an anchor institution built from a unique
    partnership between the City of San Jose and San Jose State University --
    exploring examples of the innovative strategies that have made San Jose,
    capitol of Silicon Valley and the nation's most international city, the
    powerhouse that it is today. Opening remarks by Silicon Valley Leadership
    Group President and CEO Carl Guardino.
--  A reception, hosted by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and San Jose
    Redevelopment Director Harry Mavrogenes, 6:15 p.m., May 1, at San Jose's
    stunning Richard Meier-designed City Hall, sponsored by the San Jose
    Redevelopment Agency.
--  At Adobe System's award-winning headquarters, 321 Park Avenue, in
    downtown San Jose, candid discussion of how far cities have come since the
    2002 publication of Michael Porter's "Leveraging Colleges and Universities
    for Urban Economic Revitalization," 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, May 2.
    The efforts of progressive university presidents have revitalized cities
    across the country. Can their successful strategies be adapted for other
    types of anchor institutions? Panelists include San Jose State University
    President Don Kassing along with Virginia Commonwealth University President
    Eugene Trani.
--  A dialogue with the leadership from America's most innovative anchor
    institutions about the payoffs and pitfalls of their engagement efforts, 9-
    10:15 a.m., Wednesday, May 2, Adobe headquarters, 321 Park Avenue.
    Moderated by CEOs for Cities President and CEO Carol Coletta.
--  Lunch and keynote remarks by Elliot Schrage, vice president of Global
    Communications and Public Affairs at Google, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.,
    Wednesday, May 2, Adobe headquarters, 321 Park Avenue.
--  What are the policies and development strategies that can transform
    anchor institutions from urban amenities into urban assets that generate
    value beyond their walls?, a full group discussion, 2:30-3:30 p.m.,
    Wednesday, May 2, Adobe headquarters, 321 Park Avenue.

Following the meeting, national experts will turn our conversations into actionable strategies and produce a report and recommendations for distribution to all participants.

Scheduled to lead discussions:

--  Bob Bangham, creative director, RipBang Studios
--  Tom Barrett, mayor, City of Milwaukee
--  Omar Blaik, president and CEO, U3 Ventures
--  Rich Braugh, senior vice president, UBS Financial, and Co-Founder, 1st
    ACT Silicon Valley
--  Joe Cortright, principal, Impressa Consulting
--  Hiram Fitzgerald, associate provost for University Outreach and
    Engagement, Michigan State University
--  Martín Gómez, president, Urban Libraries Council
--  Carl Guardino, president and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
--  Ned Hill, vice president of Economic Development, Cleveland State
--  Paul Holdengräber, director of Public Programs / LIVE, New York Public
--  Don Kassing, president, San Jose State University
--  Dan Keegan, executive director, San Jose Museum of Art
--  Paul Krutko, chief development officer, City of San Jose
--  Ted Levitt, Office of the President, Miami Dade College
--  Sam Liccardo, district three councilmember, San Jose City Council
--  Rick Lincicome, CEO, Ellerbe Becket
--  Michelle Mann, senior group manager, Corporate Affairs, Adobe Systems
--  Connie Martinez, executive director, Children's Discovery Museum, and
    co-founder, 1st ACT Silicon Valley
--  David Maurrasse, president and founder, Marga Inc.
--  Lynn Osmond, president and CEO, Chicago Architectural Foundation
--  Josephine Ramirez, vice president of Programming and Planning, The Los
    Angeles Music Center
--  Steve Rountree, president, The Los Angeles Music Center
--  Carmen Sigler, provost, San Jose State University
--  Eugene Trani, president, Virginia Commonwealth University
--  Kim Walesh, asst. director, Economic and Cultural Development, City of
    San Jose
--  Ru Weerakoon, senior policy advisor, Office of the Mayor, City of San
--  Irene Wong, executive director and CEO, eBay Foundation
--  Jo Ann Yee, senior director of Strategy Development, Achievement,
    Diversity, and Urban Affairs, California School Boards Association
--  Nancy Zimpher, president, University of Cincinnati

About CEOs for Cities

CEOs for Cities serves as an idea lab for urban leaders working to strengthen American cities. We help members of our national network -- mayors, corporate CEOs, university presidents, foundation officials, and business and civic leaders -- discover the trends that will affect cities, decipher what can be done to respond, and develop new innovations to put to work in cities. CEOs for Cities conducts original research, holds national meetings for its members, conducts Urban Innovation Workshops and helps to drive the national agenda for cities through policy recommendations and public relations efforts aimed at telling the new urban narrative -- one of progress, promise and opportunity for cities. For more information, visit

About San Jose State University

San Jose State is Silicon Valley's largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 4,000 employees. SJSU is part of the California State University system, the nation's largest senior system of higher education. SJSU's 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation's 10th largest city. For more information, visit

About the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art, sporting and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit

About the City of San Jose

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Steven Brewster
    (408) 535-8168
    San Jose Office of Economic Development