The Economic Future of Marin - Housing Our Workforce
Time & Location
About the Event
Join us to hear from our dynamic speakers for a discussion on workforce housing in Marin, how different sectors like healthcare, labor, and education are impacted by the housing crisis, and what employers are doing to address it.
Our speakers include:
- Michael Allen (North Bay Labor Council)
- Mary Jane Burke from the (Marin County Superintendent of Schools)
- Pat Kendall (Kaiser Permenente)
- Joanne Webster (CEO of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce)
Michael Allen Union Labor Leader A community leader for over 30 years, Michael has a record of activism and extensive legislative experience that makes him uniquely qualified to tackle the diverse issues facing our neighborhoods and our state. Michael has had an extensive career as a registered nurse, lawyer and then labor leader right here in the North Bay. He raised his five children here and was proud to see them go on to graduate college and become successful in their own right. Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles by his Latina mother who immigrated to the United States after she married an American mining company attorney. When his mother was widowed when he was just 6 years old, Michael learned first-hand the value of hard work as his mother raised him on her own and worked as a seamstress to support them. He began his career as a psychiatric nurse for the Sonoma County Crisis Clinic. Michael put himself through law school and joined the Sierra Club Legal Defense Team on the Warm Springs Dam initiative before ultimately finding his calling as a negotiator, mediator, and consensus builder at the Sonoma County Organization of Public Employees. As Executive Director of the Service Employees International Union Local 707, Michael worked to resolve labor disputes, create local jobs, and protect working families. Michael is also a respected labor attorney and served nine terms as the President of the North Bay Labor Council. In 2007, State Senator Patricia Wiggins asked Michael to accept the position of District Director for her five regional offices that serve over 880,000 constituents. Michael’s work in the community is just as extensive as his professional work. In the 1980s, Michael helped establish the Sonoma County Day Care Center, which still serves the community today. In 1992, Michael negotiated an innovative and groundbreaking housing benefit for Sonoma County workers that helped hundreds of North Bay families to realize their housing dreams. Michael previously served on the Santa Rosa Planning Commission and as Chair of the SMART Train Citizens Oversight Committee, working to create a more sustainable economy through this groundbreaking project. Michael is also a founding member of Solar Sonoma, a coalition of community leaders and private sector organizations that promotes development of alternative energy sources and reductions in fossil fuel dependency and green house gas emissions. Allen continues to advocate for green job creation as a creative means to jumpstart California's economy. Elected to the State Assembly in November 2010, Michael was appointed to serve as the Assistant Majority Leader shortly thereafter. Since then, he has worked to improve safety at our state hospitals, help working families, and create local jobs. He was recently appointed to the joint legislative committee on pensions, where he has worked to advance critical solutions to the pension issues facing our state. Michael’s legislative priorities also include increasing access to quality healthcare in the state and improving education through increased funding.
Mary Jane Burke
Marin County Superintendent of Schools
Mary Jane Burke began her career in education as an Instructional Assistant and has gone on to serve as a Teacher, Principal, Special Education Director, Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent. In 1994, she was elected Marin County Superintendent of Schools and continues to serve in that office. Mary Jane is known for her enthusiastic championing of all students in public and private schools. Because of her belief that educating our youth must involve every segment of the community, Mary Jane has built strong ties with business, local government and community organizations to enhance student success in school and life. She serves on the School/Law Enforcement Partnership, School to Career Partnership and the Marin Early Childhood Education Partnership. She leads efforts countywide to develop shared and collaborative services maximizing efficiency and the effective use of resources. Mary Jane has championed the SchoolsRule Marin effort focused on equity to raise funds for ALL students countywide in support of technology, literacy, the arts and health. Her office, the Marin County Office of Education, operates schools and a variety of programs for students as well as vital services to school districts and the community. Mary Jane is a voice for equity and opportunity and is committed to seeing that all students are given a strong start by receiving a quality 21 st Century education so that they possess the knowledge, skills and values needed for success in school and in life. Pat Kendall Kaiser Permanente Medical Group Administrator Pat Kendall is the medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente’s San Rafael Medical Center and has held the position for the past 18 years. She’s been with Kaiser since 1973. In 2008, Ms. Kendall, a registered nurse, received theSan Rafael Chamber of Commerce Ann Weston Community Services Award and the Community Action Marin Award in 2004. She specializes in emergency medicine and holds a bachelor’s degree in businesses administration and a master’s in organizational development and human resources development with an emphasis on leadership and change management. For three decades, Pat Kendall has worked tirelessly to build a healthier Marin. Pat steps courageously beyond networking; modeling leadership and volunteerism, linking .individuals, agencies, leaders and policy-makers; creating sustainable community change. She champions a spirit of working together across all physical, geographic and organizational boundaries – to create a community that lives healthier, committed to one another. Pat, individually and through her leadership, is everywhere all of the time – giving 150% to assure individual and community needs are met. Her eyes and ears are always scanning for opportunities to link individuals and efforts for maximum and enduring success. Joanne Webster San Rafael Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Born and raised in Massachusetts. Lived in California since 1985. Joanne was appointed President and CEO and took office on May 1, 2014. Prior to her appointment, Joanne was the Director of Marketing and Community Promotion for three years. Since 2011 she has involved the Chamber is a wide variety of activities including Economic Vitality, Business Retention and Expansion, Education and Workforce Readiness, Member Support, Marketing and Communications, Social Media, Signature Events and Special Programs, Community Relations and Civic Engagement. Over the past two years, Joanne has helped the Chamber build meaningful and engaging partnerships with other business organizations including the Business Improvement District, the Marin Economic Forum, the City of San Rafael and the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has over 20 years experience in small business as the sole proprietor of Double Rainbow Cafe, San Rafael and 10 years experience in downtown business management as the former Director of the San Rafael Business Improvement District. Joanne has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College; majoring in math and computer science. Joanne worked as a software programmer for Design Options in Boston, MA before moving to California in 1985 to open her first small business. She worked for Double Rainbow Gourmet Inc. as Franchise Marketing Director from 1989-1990. Joanne is a current member of the Western Association of Commerce Executives, past President of the Marin Forum, former Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement District and current Board member Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a graduate of the San Rafael Leadership Institute and is a past Board member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City of San Rafael. For over 20 years Joanne has been an active member of the San Rafael and Marin business community, winning Small Business of the Year and the Spirit of Marin Award in 1998 and 2008. Joanne lives in Fairfax with her husband Charlie Garfink and they have two daughters; Anna and Meghan. She enjoys hiking, mountain biking and yoga.