West Coast Urban District Forum 2018 Presentations

Walnut Creek, CA   |   March 13-15, 2018

Selected presentations are accessible by clicking the [DOWNLOAD] button. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 8:30 am | Master Talks

Legislative Update
Jason Bryant, CDA’s Legislative Advocate, Bryant Government Affairs (Sacramento, CA)

Cities Can’t Do It Alone – How Do We Tackle Homelessness at the Regional Level?
Tomiquia Moss, CEO, Hamilton Families (San Francisco, CA)

The Art of Leadership [DOWNLOAD]
Dr. Steven Goodwin, TurningWest


Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 10:30 am | Breakout Sessions 

Improvement and Benefit for Who? The Hows, Whys and What-To-Dos About Gentrification  [DOWNLOAD]
We know of and have experienced the correlation between Economic Growth and Economic Disparity. As we work to improve our Downtowns and make our cities more desirable places to live work and visit, are the unsustainable impacts on racial, cultural and economic diversity avoidable? This session will explore the complexities of gentrification in California Cities and the role of BID leaders and Place makers in advocating for social equity.
Domain: Economic Development
Louis Mirante, Legislative and Partnerships Director, California YIMBY (Sacramento, CA)
Kelly Snider, President, Kelly Snider Consulting (San Jose / Silicon Valley, CA)

Changing Face of Economic Development: Land Use, Sustainability, and Housing  [DOWNLOAD]
Millennial demographics, internet-fueled lifestyles, and a sharing economy (rides, workplace) alter land use and tax generation priorities for cities. Retail is no longer just about retail, with “place,” authenticity, and “trips,” becoming the defining components of a successful town center. Concurrently, the state is driving cities to change land use processes based on climate control and affordable housing mandates, while providing development incentives through new incentives and districts. Cities can comply with state mandates using new “sustainability and housing districts” (EIFD, HSD, WHOZ, NIFTI, CRIA) that blend zoning incentives and tax increment to yield taxes, jobs and housing. Learn how to accomplish economic development and fortify downtowns while complying with state housing and sustainability mandates and attract uses and tenants that will thrive, not collapse in a digital economy.
Domain: Planning, Design and Infrastructure
Larry Kosmont, President and CEO, Kosmont Companies (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Ken Hira, Executive Vice President, Kosmont Companies (Manhattan Beach, CA)

The Art of Leadership
What does the art of leadership look like in practice? Join our panel of experts as they unpack a vibrant conversation centering in on the heart of the art of leadership. How do you motivate people? What does it take to build a championship team? How does holding power lightly actually produce better results? How does a leader use conflict to build a stronger team and produce better outcomes? Our panel will discuss actual case studies that are directly applicable to your situation to show how you can improve your leadership art.
Domain: Organization Management
Dr. Steven Goodwin, TurningWest
Kraig Kojian, President & CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance (Long Beach, CA)
Kate Joncas, Partner, PlaceStrategic (Seattle, WA)
Maggie Campbell, Director of Urban Experience, MIG San Diego

Growth Without Gridlock: Making the Case for Mobility Investments Downtown  [DOWNLOAD]
Downtowns are transforming into more people-centered places by actively prioritizing transit, biking, and walking: the key to moving more people in the same street space. Not only does this require a different approach to planning and street design, but it also requires a paradigm shift in thinking. In previously automobile-centric cities, changing the status quo takes significant political will and intentional effort. In this session, hear cities’ strategies for making the case for sustainable mobility.
Domain: Planning, Design and Infrastructure
Jessica Zenk, Division Manager, Transportation, Planning, Policy & Sustainable Options, City of San Jose (San Jose, CA)
Ryan Russo Director of Transportation, City of Oakland (Oakland, CA)
Joshuah Mello, Chief Transportation Official, City of Palo Alto (Palo Alto, CA)

Social Media: How to Tell the Story of a Place in Eight Seconds  [DOWNLOAD]
With the human attention span reportedly at eight seconds (less than a goldfish!), how do we get people to stop scrolling and pay attention? In this session we will discuss strategies and tactics to help you break through the online noise including best practices for visual storytelling, content creation engagement, and analytics.
Domain:  Marketing, Communications and Events
Amy Blaschka, Storyteller & Founder, AmyBlaschka.com (San Francisco, CA)
Kerry Inserra, Associate Director, Walnut Creek Downtown Association (Walnut Creek, CA)
Ariana Gomez, Marketing Manager, LA Fashion District BID (Los Angeles, CA)
Jason Gilbert, CEO, Saltwater Software (Santa Monica, CA)


Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 2:30 pm | Breakout Sessions 

Internet VS IRL and the Power of FOMO  [DOWNLOAD]
So much living is done online now, but how do you harness humans desire to show off to each other via social media? Producing effective events takes more today than just having the right decorations, catering, and purpose. You must have your Instagram moments, your tweetable tidbits, but most of all you need FOMO-inducing Facebook buzz even before you open the doors! This session features speakers who have gotten people off the web and into their districts with exciting, innovative events. The resulting #hype is the gift that keeps on giving. YOLO!
Domain: Marketing, Communications and Events
Location: Capital One Café, 1139 S. Main Street
Megan Furey, Westwood Village Improvement Association
Brooke Fox, Executive Director, Downtown Vacaville BID (Vacaville, CA)
John Harman, Director, Downtown Tulare Association (Tulare, CA)
Devin Strecker, Director of Communications and Social Media, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (Hollywood, CA)

What Now – How Can Downtowns Survive and Prosper in a Time of Growing Homelessness?
Domain: Public Space Management and Operations
Location: Bourbon Highway, 1677 North Main Street
Moderator: John Caner, CEO, Downtown Berkeley Association (Berkeley, CA)
Jackie St. Louis, Homeless Outreach Coordinator, City of Seattle (Seattle, WA)
Chris Richardson, Chief Program Officer, Downtown Streets Team (San Francisco, CA)
Andrew Mills, Police Chief, City of Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
Kerry Morrison, Executive Director, Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (Los Angeles, CA)
Tomiquia Moss, Executive Director & CEO, Hamilton Families (San Francisco, CA)

Urban Agriculture in Your Downtown   [DOWNLOAD]
The importance of agricultural sustainability has grown more prevalent in everyday in life. Innovative ideas abound as pop-up farms, rooftop gardens and agri-hoods are becoming more common in urban environments. This session will explore a variety of ways in which public/private partnerships can further the mission of agricultural sustainability and at the same time enhance the surrounding community.
Domain: Planning, Design and Infastructure
Location: Encore Room at the Lesher Theater, 1601 N. Civic Drive
Nicholas S. Kosla, Principal, Kosla Ventures (Orinda, CA)
Bob Simmons, Former Mayor, City of Walnut Creek (Walnut Creek, CA)
Lara Hermanson, Principal, Farmscape LLC (Oakland, CA)
Vince Cantore, Senior Development Manager, THE CORE Companies, San Jose (San Jose, CA)

The Pros and Cons of Different Approaches to Funding Downtown Improvements and Programs
Are you looking for ways to sustain and/or diversify funding for your organization? Considering implementing a tourism or property-based BID or looking to expand the current boundaries of your district? Bring your questions to this session, and hear from three experts in the industry who work across California and the country assisting downtown and neighborhood districts with funding models.
Domain: Organizational Management
Location: Massimo’s, 1604 Locust Street
Moderator: Maggie Campbell, Director of Urban Experience, MIG San Diego
Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates (Denver, CO)
Nichole Farley, Project Manager, Civitas (Sacramento, CA)
Steve Gibson, President, Urban Place Consulting, Inc (Long Beach, CA)

Resilience on the Street: Preparing for the Unexpected  [DOWNLOAD]
Imagine a disaster hitting your community. Who will lead the response and recovery? What are the impacts you need to prepare for? This session will cover man-made issues and natural hazards. What might be unexpected to you has been studied by our expert panel – from active threats to flooding, earthquakes and fires – our panel has seen it all. Don’t miss the chance to learn from national leaders in risk and resilience as you gain tactical information to prepare your district for the expected and unexpected.
Domain: Public Space Management & Operations
Location: City Hall Council Chambers, 1666 N. Main Street
David Schuld, Lead of Hagerty’s Active Threat Portfolio, Hagerty Consulting (Evanston, IL)
John Bwarie, Founder & CEO, Stratiscope (Los Angeles, CA)

Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 8:30 am | Breakout Sessions 

Downtown and the Green Rush Economy  [DOWNLOAD]
Taking a look at the legalization of adult use marijuana in California and surrounding states, panelists will discuss best practices as well as the challenges of incorporating this new industry into their districts. Colorado, Washington and California have opened the door for this business, but have left much of the regulatory oversight up to the local governments to develop. Will the pot industry be overly regulated or be the financial salvation of state and local budgets? This session will help to debunk the hype and share best practices to help downtowns navigate the Green Rush Economy.
Domain: Policy & Advocacy
Location: Capital One Café, 1139 S. Main Street
Sean Maher, CEO, Downtown Boulder Partnership (Boulder, CO)
David McPherson, Cannabis Compliance Director, HDL Companies (Diamond Bar, CA)

Preserving the Golden Goose  [DOWNLOAD]
Did you know that restaurants are the number one generator of sales tax? Learn more about the changing face of the restaurant industry from an operations viewpoint of the local restaurateur as well as policies affecting restaurants at the state and national level. Participate in an in-depth discussion about how the laws around employee benefits and minimum wage are impacting the industry. Share stories from your district and learn how others are handling situations such as food trucks, employee parking and robot delivery.
Domain: Economic Development
Location: Massimo’s, 1604 Locust Street
Katie Burke, Reporter, San Francisco Business Times (San Francisco, CA)
Jot Condie, President & CEO, California Restaurant Association (Sacramento, CA)
Jim Telford, Owner, Rooftop Restaurant and Residual Sugar Wine Bar (WC), Board Member, Walnut Creek Downtown (Walnut Creek, CA)
Kraig Kojan, President & CEO, Downtown Long Beach Alliance (Long Beach, CA)

Wake Up and Smell the Residents: How Residents are Changing the Place Management Industry [DOWNLOAD]
This session will review the growing role of residents in downtowns and the importance of integrating residential uses into place management. Panelists will offer tools to accommodate residential needs for healthy and complete communities, and will also explore how organizations incorporate residential uses into business improvement districts. Highlights of IDA’s Living Downtown: The New Residential Paradigm
Top Issues Council report will set the stage for the discussion about successfully working with residents.
Domain: Planning, Design and Infrastructure
Location: City Hall Council Chambers, 1666 N. Main Street
Brian Scott, Principal, BDS Planning (Seattle, WA)
Valerie Tran, Project Manager, BDS Planning (Seattle, WA)
Bill Schrader, The Austin Group and Board Chair, Downtown Berkeley Association (Berkeley, CA)

Enlivening Conventional Space with Unconventional Activation  [DOWNLOAD]
This session allows you to let your mind wander and think creatively about your downtown! Do you have a corner of your city that needs renovation and activation? Is there an existing street, garage or alley that poses a challenge for your BID? Session panelists will share examples of enlivening conventional public spaces with unconventional activation – think outside of the box! You’ll review logistics BIDs should consider when working with city staff, stakeholders and community. Activation is the key to carrying out the vision. Hear about successful programs both large and small. We will share ideas and look forward to hearing about what has worked in your city.
Domain: Public Space Management and Operations
Location: Bourbon Highway, 1677 N. Main Street
Steven Donaldson, Principal/Founder, RadiantBrands (Berkeley, CA)
Blage Zelalich, Downtown Manager, City of San Jose (San Jose, CA)
Andrew Jones, Program Director, Uptown & Downtown CBDs, Oakland Central (Oakland, CA)
Adam Perkins, Senior Manager, Urban Planning, Downtown Denver (Denver, CO)


Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 10:30 am | Breakout Sessions 

Demographic Inversion and Ethnic Sub-Markets [DOWNLOAD]
Drawing on case studies from across California and the West Coast, this timely session will explore in detail the kinds of business districts and retail mixes that appeal to different sorts of ethnic and immigrant submarkets. The phenomenon of “demographic inversion” will be unpacked and its impacts on such settings and populations analyzed. Finally, specific roles and responsibilities for urban place management organizations in mitigating such effects will be proposed.
Domain: Economic Development
Location: City Hall Council Chambers, 1666 N. Main Street
Michael J. Berne, President, MJB Consulting (Berkeley, CA)
Jeremy Liu, Senior Fellow for Arts, Culture and Equitable Development, PolicyLink, and Managing Partner, Creative Development Partners (San Francisco, CA)
Madeleine Spencer, Activist and Consultant, Santa Ana Business Council (Santa Ana, CA)

NIMBYs, Elites and Socialist, Oh My! How Downtown Organizations are Navigating Political Turbulence [DOWNLOAD]
In many cities and downtowns, our newfound success is leading to higher housing costs, spiraling labor rates and rapid gentrification of neighborhoods. Without interventions and investments to promote affordable housing, stabilize neighborhoods, workforce training, public education and other social equity measures, many cities are at risk of losing what makes them authentic, and arguably the DNA for their economic vitality. Downtown organizations have a role in this debate and can help shape local policies and responses.
Domain: Policy & Advocacy
Location: Bourbon Highway, 1677 North Main Street
Brad Segal, President, Progressive Urban Management Associates (Denver, CO)
John Caner, CEO, Downtown Berkeley Association (Berkeley, CA)
Karin Flood, Executive Director, Union Square BID (San Francisco, CA)

Incubators – A Shot in the Arm for your District  [DOWNLOAD]
A panel of experts from successful incubator programs will present on how fostering entrepreneurial spirit through co-work and incubator spaces are strengthening downtowns. Learn how this business model can add residents, businesses and vibrant activity in your district. Panelists represent downtowns of varying size and economies to help you develop your own strategy to get that added shot in the arm.
Domain: Economic Development
Location: Capital One Café, 1139 S. Main Street
Karen Wertman, Chief Operating Officer of The Port Workspaces (Oakland, CA)
Heidi Harmon, Mayor, City of San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Iris Kavanagh, Founder, Coworking with Iris (Santa Cruz, CA)

Autonomous Cities: Reinventing the City Starting with the Street   [DOWNLOAD]
As technology continues to reshape our society, cities are being forced to adapt and to rethink livability and the economic strength of downtown environments. Arguably at the center of this dialogue is how we travel our streets, and how emerging technologies are challenging the way our streets should look and how our urban transportation systems should function. What can we do? We can reinvent streets. We can design more green, complete and smart street concepts. We can build a more livable and prosperous city of tomorrow, today.
Domain: Planning, Design, and Infrastructure
Location: Massimo’s, 1604 Locust Street
William (Billy) Riggs, Ph.D., Professor, University of San Francisco School of Management (San Francisco, CA)


Thursday, March 15, 2018 | 12:30 pm | Closing Keynote

Rethinking Downtown ‘Vibrancy’ in a New Age of Technology [DOWNLOAD]
Keynote Speaker: Kish Rajan, Principal, Kish Rajan Public Affairs (San Francisco, CA)


WCUDF 2018 | Speaker Bios