2018 Economic Summit
Mr. Matthew R. Mahood
Matthew Mahood (pronounced May-hood) is the President & CEO of what local media call ‘Silicon Valley's flagship business lobby’ The silicon valley organization. The nonprofit business association represents nearly 1,400 member businesses that employ roughly 275,000 employees throughout the region.
Under his leadership since July 2011, The silicon valley organization, formerly the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, has reengineered its scope of work to focus all efforts around regional economic development. Mahood has increased member value and community relevance by becoming a leader in the regional discussions of key issues that impact the business community’s ability to attract and retain a talented workforce while growing their business.
With his leadership, The SVO has become the region’s connector, convener, collaborator and champion on issues that affect business and the community’s prosperity. He has 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, with Mahood’s guidance The SVO launched silicon valley IDEA, the evolution of his five-year effort to grow and promote the region. silicon valley IDEA is convening 28-industry groups that represent the region to better understand the common issues facing business. Once identified, a solutions team made up of Silicon Valley’s brightest innovators will tackle the issues and create out-of-the-box solutions, all the while branding and promoting Silicon Valley to the region, nation and world.
No stranger to taking charge, Mahood has also pushed The SVO into the workforce development space, launching strive san jose. strive convenes the education sector, business and government to help create, guide and influence the talent pipeline to ensure a talented workforce that will allow our businesses to continue to innovate and grow. In its first six months, the program launched an internship program that placed 41 local high school students into paid summer internships with 31 SVO businesses, representing 13 industries, and generating $50,000 into the local economy.
Mahood’s extensive background as an executive in business operations spans over three decades in both the for- and non-profit sectors. His career began at 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, helping to spearhead the efforts with the Mayor’s office to retain the Kings in Sacramento and being named “Executive of the Year” by the Western Association of Chamber Executives.
Mahood is a California native. He is a member of the San Jose Rotary and serves as an advisory board member for the United Way Bay Area - Silicon Valley Impact & Growth Council. He was a founding directory of the California Capital Airshow and the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration – Organizational Communication and Public Relations — from California State University, East Bay and resides in Los Gatos with his wife Penny and youngest daughter, Melina.
Mayor Sam Liccardo
Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in January 2015, becoming one of the youngest mayors in San Jose’s modern history. Since that time, he’s set San Jose on the path to a safer, stronger and more affordable future.
Early in his term, Sam forged a historic pension reform settlement that will save
taxpayers $3 billion over the next three decades and has made it possible to add more
than 200 officers in the past year-and-a-half. Under his leadership, the City is building
thousands of affordable homes and undertaking innovative homeless housing solutions
– like microhousing and motel conversions – to confront Silicon Valley’s growing housing
crisis. Furthermore, he’s focused on bridging the opportunity gap for San Jose youth
by launching after-school programs in 16 low-income neighborhoods, a jobs program
2,000 at-risk teens, and the San Jose Promise program to make college affordable for hundreds of local students.
Most recently, he’s spearheaded a campaign to beautify San Jose with free residential junk pickup service, expanded weekly neighborhood cleanups, a new smartphone app to report graffiti and blight, and boosting cleaning of Caltrans-maintained freeways.
As a result of these many efforts, San Jose has truly begun to thrive.
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.