Following the short tenure of its last executive director, the Marin Economic Forum today announced it has hired a University of California Berkeley jobs program administrator and former deputy commissioner for a Midwestern state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development Department as its new administrator.
Kentfield resident Robin Sternberg takes over as CEO of the public-private partnership with a mission to help build the economy of the North Bay county. The announcement stated Sternberg will “promote Marin County’s economic interests and growth through a variety of business support and community engagement programs as well as other new initiatives she will develop in concert with MEF’s thirty-six-member board of directors.”
Jim Cordeiro resigned as CEO the Novato-based organization in January after serving less than a year. He was the third chief executive to leave the organization since 2011. Neil Stone, who had previously served as president and CEO of the Napa Valley Economic Development Corp., was hired as the forum’s first CEO in June 2011 but left after serving for six months.
Steve Lockett was hired in 2015 but left after about six months as well.
Sternberg most recently worked as the senior economic development adviser on the American Jobs Project at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was a lead adviser and author of a report focused on job creation in the clean energy efficiency sector.
From 2012 to 2015, she was the deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development where she managed over $180 million in programs. A Minnesota native, Sternberg previously was the executive director of that state’s governor’s Jobs Initiative for Minnesota. Earlier, she was the National Director of Business Development and Marketing for Minnesota Public Radio, based in St. Paul. She has also held various consulting positions.
“We are thrilled to have hired a professional with Robin’s skills and background in economic development, politics, marketing and fundraising. The fact that she is a Marin County resident was also very appealing to our board of directors, as well as her collaborative nature, because most of our work occurs in partnership with other organizations throughout the County,” said Haden Ongaro, executive vice president for Newmark Knight Frank overseeing the commercial real estate firm’s North Bay offices in Marin and Sonoma counties. Ongaro is forum board chairman.
In the announcement of her hiring, Sternberg stated, “My goals for the Marin Economic Forum is to support the success of our 90,000 business entities, provide create solutions to problems, and protect the abundance of natural resources that make Marin County so special. It is such an exciting time in Marin and I am fortunate to be a part of this amazing community.”
Sternberg earned a bachelor’s in business administration and in political science from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She also holds a masters of International Management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She moved to Marin County in 2015 with her husband and their three teenage sons.