Congressman Jerry McNerney brought a cadre of experts to Brentwood last week to discuss the state of the far East County economy.
The idea for it came up at the economic roundtable I held with the mayor and local business leaders in Brentwood back in February, McNerney said by e-mail this week. Holding a summit like this seemed like a great opportunity to showcase Brentwood's economic potential What impressed me was how enthusiastic our panelists, city officials and the chamber all were about holding the summit.
McNerney also learned more about the nature of business in the city.
I was surprised to hear a couple of things both that Brentwood has about 800 home-based businesses and that 84 percent of Brentwood farms are family-owned, he said.
Panelists scheduled to participate included Bethallyn Black from the University of California Cooperative Extension; Ken Hagan, president of Harvest Time; Jeanne Krieg, CEO of Tri Delta Transit; Kathryn Lyddan, executive director of the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust; Mark Quinn of the Small Business Administration; Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor; Dr. Kiran Kamath, dean of occupational education at Los Medanos College; Bruce Kern, executive director of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance; Bob Lanter, executive director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County; Susan Miller, director of projects for Contra Costa Transportation Authority; Bijan Sartipi, District 4 director of Caltrans; and Erick Stonebarger, Brentwood city councilman and farmer, G&S Farms.
We got some synergy going, got people with good ideas connected to each other, McNerney said. We got the conversation started.