San José State University 2016 Economic Summit
Mr. Mahood (pronounced May-hood) is the President & CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, representing nearly 1,400 member businesses that employ roughly 275,000 employees throughout Silicon Valley. His extensive background as an executive in business operations spans over three decades in both the for- and non-profit sectors.
Under his leadership since July 2011, the SJSV Chamber has reengineered its scope of work to increase member value and community relevance by becoming more actively engaged in economic development activities that provide businesses with the connections, information, tools and resources they need to be successful. Mr. Mahood oversees a staff of 15 and an operating budget of $2.7 million.
The Chamber is currently focused on serving as the region’s connector, convener, collaborator and champion on issues that affect business and the community’s prosperity. To that end, Mahood has recently served as the co-chair for both a countywide task force focused on solving the homeless housing crisis and a City of San Jose-focused jobs initiative for at-risk youth called SJ Works. Additionally, the Chamber is growing its business retention, expansion and recruitment efforts through its Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), focused on four industry- specific clusters within the Internet of Things wave of innovation—Agile Development & Manufacturing; Health Technology; Smart Buildings; and Transportation R&D. In conjunction with this effort, the Chamber has launched a private/public workforce education initiative called Strive San Jose in order to serve as the region’s connection point between youth and future employment opportunities.
Mr. Mahood started his career with United Parcel Service, later joining FedEx, BAX Global and Webvan.com in various management-level positions focused on operations, customer service, sales, human resources, marketing and general management. He previously served as the President & CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber for nearly a decade before coming to the Silicon Valley.
Mr. Mahood earned a B.S. in Business Administration – Organizational Communication and Public Relations — from California State University, East Bay. He has three children, 28, 24 and 15 and resides in Los Gatos with his wife Penny and youngest daughter, Melina.
Christopher Thornberg is Founding Partner of Beacon Economics, LLC and widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. He is also Director of the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development at UC Riverside’s School of Business Administration and an Adjunct Professor at the School. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy, and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007, and of the global economic recession that followed. Since 2006, he has served on the advisory board of Wall Street hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc. In 2015, he was named to California State Treasurer John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors, the body that advises the Treasurer on emerging strengths and vulnerabilities within the state’s economy. From 2008 to 2012, he served as economic advisor to the California State Controller’s Office, and as Chair of then State Controller John Chiang’s Council of Economic Advisors.
A highly sought after speaker, Dr. Thornberg regularly presents to leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations across the globe including Chevron, The New Yorker, City National Bank, REOMAC, the California State Association of Counties, Colliers International, State Farm Insurance, the City of Los Angeles, and the California and Nevada Credit Union League, among many others. He has testified before the U.S. Congress House Committee on Financial Services on municipal debt issues, and before the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation regarding rule changes related to Proposition 13.
Dr. Thornberg has been involved in conducting research and developing analytic products for international clients that explore the trade and economic connections between the United States and the world. This has included analysis and speaking presentations regarding the impact that U.S. trading partners have on U.S. global competitiveness for the Centre for Investor Education in Melbourne Australia, the state of U.S. and U.K. housing markets for the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and U.S. and international economic outlooks and their effect on global trade activity for the African Cashew Alliance in Cotonou, Benin. He has also conducted a number of special studies measuring the effect of important events on the economy including the NAFTA treaty, the California electricity crisis, port security, California’s water transfer programs, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Dr. Thornberg serves on the Residential Real Estate Committee at the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Residential Real Estate. He is also a panel member of the National Association of Business Economists’ quarterly “Outlook,” a contributor to the “Economic Consensus Outlook” published by the Journal of Business Forecasting, and a contributor to monthly economics polls published by Reuters.
Dr. Thornberg also serves on the boards of a number of business, civic, and nonprofit organizations including on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles), as a Business Leader Member of America's Edge, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening businesses and the economy through public investments in youth and education, and on the Advisory Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Lamda Alpha International, the honorary society for the advancement of land economics, and serves on the Advisory Committee of United Ways of California’s coming California Financial Stability Report.
Prior to launching Beacon Economics Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast where he regularly authored economic outlooks for California, Los Angeles, the East Bay, and developed specialized forecasts for a variety of public and private entities. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UCSD, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has also held a faculty position in the economics department at Clemson University.
A well-known media commentator, Dr. Thornberg has appeared on CNN and NPR and is regularly quoted in major national dailies including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Thornberg holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from The Anderson School at UCLA, and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.
Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California. She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010.
Now serving as the State’s Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion.
Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.
Ms. Yee currently serves on the board of directors for the Equality California Institute. She is a cofounder of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas.
A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.