Executive Director Reports

First, thank you for checking into the Council of Business & Industries’ (COI) website. We are a business trade organization that started over 50 years ago to support business, industry and economic growth in the East Bay. For those returning members, you will see we have revamped our website to provide more information regarding how COI supports business and industry located in the County and additional marketing and promotional opportunities as well as resource information for our member companies.

The last several months have been challenging for our businesses, employees, families and friends. The additional response and cry for justice punctuated by the death of George Floyd brings further recognition to inequalities that still remain in our cities, community’s, country and working world. We need to build on the City of Richmond’s rich diverse history that should be preserved and nurtured. COI is committed to work with the cities and businesses to restore economic growth. I want to remind all businesses that you have many opportunities to support a diverse workforce and community needs by involvement in local programs such as the following. The COI is here to help you.

  • RICHMOND BUILD – is a public private partnership focused on workforce training and development of talent and skills in the high growth, high wage construction and renewable energy fields. Matching local businesses to locally trained talent.
  • RICHMOND RAPID RESPONSE FUND – an effective way to help our most vulnerable families, recently established to provide financial support to residents in need, stabilize small businesses and community-based organizations, and support needs assessment work to ensure that funding goes to our community’s greatest needs.
  • THE RYSE CENTER’s mission is to create safe spaces grounded in social justice for young people to love, learn, educate, heal, and transform lives and communities.
  • RICHMOND PROMISE is a community-wide college success initiative created to build a college going and graduating culture throughout the city of Richmond.

We will continue to provide updates on the pandemic return to work plans, business loans and grants and continued support of all reopening local businesses.

Stay well. Stay Safe.

YEAR 2022 IN REVIEW AND PLANS FOR 2023

Firstly, we would like to thank all of our member companies who are managing to work through the challenges of the health pandemic and demands that it has placed on their business and workforce. The City of Richmond has lost many businesses due to this and the impact that the business license tax has had on their financial situation. The COI continued to work with the city and correct errors in classification for several businesses, wrote an article for the Neighborhood Councils on the impact of the tax, formed a coalition of business organizations (Pt. Richmond Business Association, 23rd St. Merchants, Chamber and Main St. Initiative) to educate businesses and our community on the tax and provide support, and delivered or submitted comments at more than 5 council meetings. We will continue to monitor this and educate the new council on the impact this has on our businesses.

We want to welcome several new businesses that joined the COI over the last year: Kaiser Permanente, EBMUD, StorQuest, Channel Lumber, and Republic Urban. As of January, 2023 we will be welcoming Moxion Power and Raven SR to Richmond– two very interesting companies. Moxion Power manufactures commercial-scale electric generators and provides temporary-power-power-as-a-service to customers in the construction, events and entertainment, data center and electrified transportation industries. Their batteries have the same performance capabilities as traditional diesel generators with the added benefits of being clean, perfectly-quiet and offering superior load flexibility. Raven SR is partnering with several organizations including Republic Services to transition green waste into hydrogen energy sources. They take any organic waste and convert it to clean hydrogen and synthetic Fischer-Tropsch fuels through their patented Steam/CO2 Reforming process. We wholeheartedly welcome these two new businesses to Richmond.

The addition of consultant Desiree Heveroh has resulted in an enhancement our social media outreach and initiate our e-newsletter! We are happy to see that the majority of our members are logging in to obtain information about upcoming meetings, local/county/state and national potential and new regulations, and local highlights.

COI continues to have representatives on the AB617 Air Monitoring Committee, Hazardous Materials County Commission, Executive Director attendance on East Bay Economic Development Committee’s Resilient by Design sub-committee focused on promoting manufacturing in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, City of Richmond’s Blue/Green Jobs committee, and continue to work with the California Manufacturing and Technology Committee, East Bay Leadership Council, Bay Planning Coalition and Goods Movement Alliance in support of lobbying efforts to preserve and promote economic development in the area.

2022 presented challenges as we supported the development of the Pt. Molate project which unfortunately has not progressed, however, the Quarry and Brickyard Cove residential developmental has seen positive progress. We will continue to monitor the these projects in the new year.

COI will continue to develop relationships with the city council, neighborhood council representatives, and county and state elected officials. Local, county and state meetings will continue to be monitored and any issues of importance or of impact will be shared with our member businesses. We want to continue to promote networking amongst our businesses and form partnerships to enhance activities.

We want to thank our outgoing President – Aaron Winer (West County Wastewater District) and incoming President Larry Ficken (AAK, formerly California Oils), and welcome our new board member – Melissa Macho of Prologis. And, also thank our current Board Members: Bob Connolly VP/Treasurer (retired Mechanics Bank), Aimee Lohr (Phillips66), Barbara O’Neill (Levin Richmond Terminal/Richmond Pacific Railroad), Bielle Moore (Republic Services), Fred Glueck (Plant Reclamation), Hakim Johnson (Chevron), Jill Rodby (Sims Metal), Scott Sexton (Harder Mechanical), Stan Teaderman (AlliedProGas).

Here’s to a prosperous 2023. Cheers-

Katrinka Ruk
Executive Director