MARIN COUNTY -- The growing impact of tourism and entertainment -- including the coming America's Cup -- on Marin County's economy and the developing biotech cluster in the region will be the focus of the Business Journal's annual Impact Marin conference from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, in San Rafael.

While the pressures of the recession have strained economies across the Bay Area, Marin County has managed to outperform other regions on a number of metrics, including the strength of its housing market and an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, the lowest in California.

Yet experts say Marin is missing out on capturing tourism dollars from travelers to the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country and sustaining a vibrant biotech cluster will require efforts to keep companies in the county.

"The conference will be a unique opportunity to hear first-hand about exciting opportunities for Marin, starting with the arrival of minor league baseball, the international attention of America's Cup and new efforts to enhance the visitor experience." said Business Journal Associate Publisher and Editor Brad Bollinger. "Meanwhile, some of the most promising developments in life-changing medical research and pharmaceutical development are occurring right here."

Discussing hospitality opportunities in Marin County will be Michael Shapiro, general manager and president of the San Rafael Pacifics baseball team, Karl Hoagland, founder and chairman of the Larkspur Hotels and Restaurants, and Mark Essman, president and CEO of the Marin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Following those presentations, attendees will hear from a panel discussing the county’s economy and biotech industry, featuring Dr. Dan Moshavi, dean of the School of Business and Leadership at Dominican University of California, Remy Gross, director of technology transfer at the Buck Institute, and Mark Wood, senior vice president of human resources and corporate affairs at BioMarin.

Registration for Impact Marin ends March 9, costing $39 per person or $410 for a table of 10. The event will be held on Wednesday, March 14, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Embassy Suites hotel in San Rafael. Registration is from 7:30 to 8. Register at or call 707-521-5270.