Is The Grass Still Greener in California? The Changing Climate of Business
Thursday, November 21, 2019
226 West Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Ask CEOs where California ranks for being business-friendly and you might be surprised by the answer. In a recent survey by Chief Executive Magazine, California came in dead last for states with a pro-business climate. But the fact remains that California, and specifically the Bay Area, is still the epicenter of technology innovation and investment.
So is it the best of times or the worst of times…or both? Is California changing its business climate or are other states just finally catching up to the Golden State’s model?
With our distinguished panel, we’ll sort out the business and political myths and realities of doing business in California.
Our Distinguished Panel
VP Real Estate & Facilities
Mike Bangs has been responsible for providing a ‘work home’ to Oracle employees since 2013 – currently at 140,000 globally. Mike has had senior roles responsible for facilities and real estate at notable Silicon Valley leaders including Adobe, Sanmina, Juniper, and others.
Mike is actively engaged in the community on business and regional planning topics which includes his leadership on the executive committees of SPUR and the Silicon Valley Organization. Mike holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo and an MBA from San Jose State University.
Managing Director – Real Estate & Location Strategy Consulting
Matt Szuhaj specializes in helping companies align business strategies with locations to realize cost advantages, access new markets, tap deeper labor pools, and optimize organizational structure and deployment. Since 1992 at Deloitte, he has supported clients to develop global deployment strategies; create market entry strategies; evaluate infrastructure and real estate; review operating costs and conditions; and negotiate business incentives and entitlements.
Matt holds a B.S.C.N.E degree in Engineering & Management from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University – Bloomington.
Senior Director, Global RE
Scott Ekman has been responsible for Adobe’s corporate real estate strategy and planning since 2015. Scott has also had senior roles responsible for strategy, planning, development, and facilities at notable technology leaders including T-Mobile and Sun Microsystems. One of the many responsibilities that keeps Scott busy in 2019 is the oversight of the construction of a new 18-story Adobe tower in downtown San Jose that will accommodate doubling Adobe’s headcount in San Jose.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo and is a California Licensed Architect.
Sr. Advisor, Econ. Dev. & Transportation
California Governor’s Strategic Growth Council
Since April 2019, Egon has been a leader focused on the Regions Rise Together initiative for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz). He is also an adjunct instructor at both Stanford University and the University of San Francisco where he teaches courses in urban and regional planning. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Egon was the Regional Planning Director at SPUR, the Bay Area’s urban policy think tank.
Egon holds a Bachelors from Swarthmore College and a Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
Our Distinguished Moderator
Managing Partner – Silicon Valley
Garrett has served since 2011 as the managing partner of Deloitte’s Silicon Valley practice which includes Deloitte’s audit, tax, advisory, and consulting practices. Garrett is also an M&A Transaction Services partner supporting domestic and international client’s due diligence and mergers and acquisitions efforts.
In addition to his experience with Deloitte, Garrett has also worked for a New York based private equity group, a Palo Alto-based wireless equipment company, and a public internet services company. Garrett holds a B.A in Economics and Accounting from College of the Holy Cross.