[caption id="attachment_34812" align="alignleft" width="162" caption="Neil Stone"][/caption]

MARIN COUNTY -- The Marin Economic Forum today announced the appointment of Neil Stone as the organization's first chief executive officer.

Citing Mr. Stone's previous roles as a consultant, administrator and a director in both the public and private sector and on the state, local and national levels, the forum's board of directors in a statement said he "brings a wealth of experience."

He will help lead the Economic Forum in creating an environment that supports start-up, expanding and entrepreneurial businesses within Marin's economic sustainability strategy, according to the statement.

Mr. Stone joins the forum from the city of San Jose, where he served as the division manager in real estate services and asset management for 14 years.

"We are thrilled to welcome Neil to our growing MEF team," board President Harry Thomas said. "We were fortunate to have dozens of applicants for the position and a group of truly stellar finalists from which to make our final selection.

With the hiring of Mr. Stone, the forum said it is expanding the CEO position to a full-time role. The group "will continue to gain momentum as we advance our efforts to bolster economic vitality as the key to a beautiful, thriving Marin.," Mr. Thomas said.

Before San Jose, Mr. Stone was the president and CEO of the Napa Valley Economic Development Corp. and development manager for the Southern California Rapid Transit District Development Agency. He also worked as a consultant to the President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration and as a consultant to the U.S. Senate on terms and conditions for the leasing of federal lands.

He was appointed as adviser by governors Brown and Deukmejian to the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Appropriate Technology.

Mr. Stone also worked as an instructor and lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Policy and Social Research and the University of Southern California schools of Business Administration and Policy Planning and Development.

"Marin is a wonderful place for businesses to attract employees to live, work and play, and MEF is playing an important role in focusing on industries that will thrive here," Mr. Stone said. "I am honored to be selected by the board to build on the excellent work done over the past year and a half by Dr. Rob Eyler, who served as both interim CEO and chief economist during MEF’s start-up phase, in addition to his duties as chair of Economics at Sonoma State University.  I am very pleased that Dr. Eyler will continue with MEF as our chief economist, and look forward to working with him, the board, and the broader community."

The Marin Economic Forum is a public-private partnership that works to enhance Marin’s economic vitality, with a focus on targeted industries, as the key to achieving local civic, environmental and social goals.