Impact Sonoma Conference 2014

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The Business Journal‘s Impact Sonoma conference was held Friday, Oct. 10, highlighting a broad spectrum of trends and events impacting the county’s economy today and into the future.

Keynote speaker Michael Purvis, chief administrative officer of Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa, talked about the new state-of-the-art Sutter Health regional hospital opening later this month.

The conference was underwritten by Summit State Bank.

Other speakers included:

  • Hamish Gray, senior vice president and chief of staff of the newly formed Keysight Technologies based in Santa Rosa, who is leading the company’s spinoff from Agilent Technologies later this fall. [presentation]
  • Jim Happ, president of Labcon North America and who is in the process of creating what could become a medical-device hub near the company’s Petaluma campus. [presentation]
  • Floyd Ridenhour and Holly Scherette of American AgCredit, which is in the midst of building a new headquarters while at the same time creating an agricultural hub close to the Sonoma County airport in Santa Rosa.
  • Geof Syphers, head of Sonoma Clean Power, a company that is serving as a model for eco-minded communities around the country.

The conference also featured the results of the Business Journal‘s second annual business climate survey, as well as panel of transportation leaders:

  • Suzanne Smith, discussing the widening of Highway 101.
  • Jon Stout, talking about the airport expansion and how that may lead to increased airline service. [presentation]
  • Farhad Mansourian, speaking on the newest developments with the SMART rail system.

“The results of the Business Climate Survey will show an improving outlook on the Sonoma County economy,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger.

Commenting on the survey results [see the presentation] and talking about the potential of the region’s hospitality and local food industries were:

  • Summit State Bank CEO Tom Duryea.
  • Paolo Petrone, co-developer of the highly successful Healdsburg Hotel.
  • Tom Scott, vice president and general manager for Oliver’s Markets.