2020 Economic Summit



Jay Ross


Kim Walesh
Dr. Christopher Thornberg

Jay Ross

Jay Ross

Jay Ross is a member of Hopkins & Carley’s Litigation Department, for which he previously served as Co-chair for five years.  He handles contract, business, and payment disputes as well as real estate disputes, including construction, purchase and sale transactions, commercial landlord-tenant disputes, easements, and land use. 

A wide variety of businesses associated with the real estate industry rely on Jay to apply his years of business litigation experience and a practical approach to solve their problems.  These include:


  • Commercial general contractors and construction managers
  • Community banks
  • High net worth individuals
  • Commercial real estate brokerage firms
  • REITs

Jay has extensive experience litigating in State and Federal courts, regularly handling cases in courts throughout the Bay Area and beyond.  Among other distinctions, Jay holds Martindale-Hubbell’s AV® Preeminent™ peer ranking, its highest ranking, and was recently recognized in US News Best Lawyers in America© for his work on real estate litigation.  In addition to his trial and binding arbitration experience, Jay has mediated numerous cases to successful resolution for his clients. 

In addition, Jay represents businesses in creditor-side bankruptcy proceedings, which frequently involve courts outside of California.  His experience in this area includes:

  • Preparation and defense of Proofs of Claim
  • Negotiation and litigation of Plans of Reorganization, including Disclosure Statement and Plan Confirmation issues
  • Preference claim analysis and defense
  • Investigation of debtor assets, including Rule 2004 examinations
  • Negotiation of the purchase of assets from bankruptcy estates outside of a Plan of Reorganization
  • Analysis and litigation of relief from the automatic stay
  • Preparation and litigation of objections to Chapter 13 Plans

Kim Walesh 

Kim Walesh

As Deputy City Manager, Kim has responsibility for the broad and important area of Community and Economic Development, providing leadership and strategic coordination for city offices shaping the future of San Jose—including planning, housing, transportation, cultural affairs, and real estate.  She also serves as Director of the Office of Economic Development, leading a team of 50+ staff working to ensure a prosperous, opportunity-rich, creative San Jose.  She’s responsible for the future of Downtown, a key city enterprise priority.  Kim believes deeply in San Jose as an ambitious, important, and unique big city and enjoys telling her city’s story.

Prior to joining San Jose in 2003, Kim was an international development consultant with SRI International and co-founder and managing director of the small business Collaborative Economics. 

Throughout her career, Kim has helped leaders collaborate across disciplines in order to enhance economic opportunity, strengthen sense of community, and foster environments that make people happier, healthier, and more creative.  Kim has a strong track record of turning ideas into action, working with diverse interests.  She’s inspired to create the next generation of great cities that work for people and for business.

Kim is co-author of the books Grassroots Leaders for a New Economy: How Civic Entrepreneurs Build Prosperous Communities and Civic Revolutionaries: Igniting the Passion for Change in American Communities.  She has written more than 50 other reports and publications, including key documents about the Silicon Valley region.  She is a founding board member SPUR San Jose, the Prospect Silicon Valley innovation center, and the ZERO1 Art and Technology network.

Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and humanities from Valparaiso University and a master of public policy degree from Harvard University, where she was a Kennedy Fellow.    

Dr. Christopher Thornberg

Christopher ThornbergChristopher Thornberg founded Beacon Economics LLC in 2006.
Under his leadership the firm has become one of the most
respected research organizations in California serving public and
private sector clients across the United States. In 2015, Dr.
Thornberg also became Director of the UC Riverside School of
Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development and
an Adjunct Professor at the School.

An expert in economic and revenue forecasting, regional
economics, economic policy, and labor and real estate markets,
Dr. Thornberg has consulted for private industry, cities, counties,
and public agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Diego, the Inland Empire, Seattle, Orange County, Sacramento, Nevada, and other geographies across the nation.

Recent and ongoing projects include housing and rent control studies for the California
Apartment Association; quarterly regional economic outlooks for the East Bay Economic
Development Alliance; a recession recovery plan for the City and County of San Francisco; an annual economic assessment of LA’s city council districts for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; an analysis of the local technology industry for the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board; and an economic impact study for the 2024 Los Angeles Olympic Games Committee.

Dr. Thornberg became nationally known for forecasting the subprime mortgage market crash
that began in 2007, and was one of the few economists on record to predict the global
economic recession that followed. Well known for his ability to capture and hold audiences, Dr. Thornberg has presented to hundreds of leading business, government, and nonprofit
organizations across the globe including Chevron, The New Yorker, Colliers International, the
California Chamber of Commerce, City National Bank, the California State Association of
Counties, State Farm Insurance, the City of Los Angeles, the California and Nevada Credit Union League, and the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, among many others. He has testified before the U.S. Congress House Committee on Financial Services on municipal debt issues, before the California State Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation regarding rule changes related to Proposition 13, and before the Los Angeles City Council about proposed changes to local minimum wage laws.

Dr. Thornberg is a contributor to monthly economics polls published by Reuters. He also serves as Chair of the California Chamber of Commerce Economic Advisory Council, is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is an Executive Member of the Central City Association (Los Angeles), and is a member of the California Association for Local Economic Development. Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast. He previously taught in the MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School, in the Rady School of Business at UC San Diego, 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.