April 4, 2016
San Bernardino County hosts its annual State of the County and Business Roundtable on April 6th at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. More than 1,000 business, government, and community leaders are expected to attend. Connect Media checked in with San Bernardino County’s CEO Greg Devereaux for his insights on growth in the region, and how companies can leverage County advantages to make an impact on their future.
Q. What is the focus for this year’s State of the County event?
A. The emphasis for 2016 is on Making an Impact. We spent time with companies that are investing in the County to uncover what is driving their growth. We found a strong desire from entrepreneurs to create jobs here at home, as well as a global opportunity for international firms to establish a foothold in our county because it is such an important consumer market. It is this unique combination of infrastructure with a skilled workforce that is driving business expansion now, and will continue into the future.
Q. What is important to communicate to the businesses considering the County for investment?
A. We are in the midst of a demographic shift, as more millennials move into our county in search of an achievable quality of life that includes affordable housing, good schools and safe neighborhoods. We want to encourage this migration, as well as continue to bring in economic investment that provides for good jobs.
Q. Where are the greatest opportunities for the County from an economic investment perspective?
A. For this year’s State of the County, we convened a roundtable of business leaders in transportation, investment, commercial real estate, and international trade. Their insights included the importance of public – private partnerships, expanding education to support manufacturing and trades, and educating our businesses on how they can leverage international markets.
Additionally, a NAIOP Inland Empire panel entitled “Making an Impact Throughout San Bernardino County” will include successful real estate investors and developers from office, industrial, multifamily and retail sectors. They will share insights into why they continue to find value in San Bernardino County. Their commentary will include what makes a deal work today, where they think the next greatest real estate opportunities will be in the County, and how they are positioning themselves and their projects for success.
The County of San Bernardino’s Terry Thompson will moderate the panel that includes: Watson Land Co.’s Kirk R. Johnson, Greenlaw Partners’ Wilbur Smith, Lewis Operating Group of Co.’s Randall Lewis, and Principal Real Estate Investors’ Russ Beecher.