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Fred Walti (CEO of NGIN)

Fred Walti


Fred Walti is the President and Founding CEO of the Network for Global Innovation (NGIN) as well as the Co-Founder and Founding CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).Mr. Walti is an expert in creating innovation ecosystems that drive economic development. Mr. Walti is currently the CEO of the Network for Global Innovation (NGIN: ), a non-profit that connects scientists, entrepreneurs and investors with customers, policy makers, and other ecosystem stakeholders. NGIN’s mission is to slow climate change and build economic wealth at the same time -- globally, in real time, and at scale.

Previously, Mr. Walti was the Co-Founder and for a period of six years served as the Founding CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), combining experience as an entrepreneur with his passion for clean technology. Mr. Walti built LACI from a start-up in a bus repair garage into a statewide commercialization ecosystem with an international footprint. LACI is now recognized as one of the premier cleantech commercialization programs in the world: ranked as a Top Ten Global Incubator by the UBI Index of 1200 incubators for three years in a row; selected by the Department of Energy (DoE) as one of their three national incubators; and chosen by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to establish a Los Angeles Energy Innovation Cluster.

Under Mr. Walti’s leadership, LACI has helped 120+ companies raise $228 million in funding, thus creating 2,000 jobs, and delivering more than $625 million in long term economic value for the City of Los Angeles. In 2016, LACI celebrated the grand opening of the La Kretz Innovation Campus which is the recipient of numerous recognitions.

Mr. Walti has been involved — either as a founder, consultant, principal, or investor — in the startup of several-dozen technology companies. He was named in Techweek100 as one of the most impactful technology leaders in 2014.

In October 2018, Mr. Walti was invited to join the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee by the US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.

Mr. Walti speaks often on subjects that include creating high- performance innovation ecosystems that drive economic development; the new mega city revitalization concept “The StartUp City”; leveraging a region’s strengths to build a large green economy, entrepreneurship, the role of innovation in creating jobs, and public/private partnerships.

Dr. Jeannie G. Kim (Associate Vice Chancellor, Grants & Economic Development at Riverside Community College District)

Dr. Jeannie G. Kim

Associate Vice Chancellor, Grants & Economic Development at Riverside Community College District

Dr. Jeannie Kim is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Grants and Economic Development for the Riverside Community College District. A cultural anthropologist with degrees from UCLA and California State University, Fullerton, Dr. Kim is a keen observer of socio-cultural ecology both ideological and human, particularly in the nexus between education and technology. Her 30+ years of experience as a leader and change agent in higher education fuels her insights into how best to create communities of innovation within bureaucratic and systemically entrenched organizational structures. Her curiosity regarding these areas led to her doctoral research at Claremont Graduate University, examining networks of change and the influence of leadership in creating cultures of innovation.

Dr. Kim is a global keynote speaker and trainer on higher education, leadership and innovative practices. She has given talks in Russia, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea and in 2018 was the signature speaker for the Career Technical Education Symposium, a Los Angeles and Orange County- wide forum sponsored by Los Angeles City College.

Dr. Kim's career activities have influenced state and federal educational policies in the United States as well as higher education institutions in California, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in the areas of service-learning and community engagement. She served as an organizational advisor to the think tank Innovation for Jobs (i4j) and product advisor to GainX Global, Inc., an innovation strategy management start-up company most recently featured in Forbes, Inc. and Finovate.

Dr. Kim currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Grants, Workforce and Economic Development at Riverside Community College District. She has three children ages 22, 20 and 18 all of whom are wondering how they will launch into and navigate the COVID-19-laced new normal.

Michelle Decker (President & CEO of Inland Empire Community Foundation)

Michelle Decker

President & CEO of Inland Empire Community Foundation

In April 2018, the Foundation hired Ms. Decker as our new President/CEO. Over the last 27 years Ms. Decker has held leadership positions in community economic development and has specialized in rebuilding or constructing nonprofit development organizations in both urban and rural communities. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Decker was the CEO of Rural Action a membership based community development corporation in Appalachian, Ohio, working to build a more just economy through leadership development, social enterprises and environmental restoration.

Dr. Johannes Moenius (Professor at The William R. and S. Sue Johnson endowed chair of spatial economic analysis and regional planning, University of Redlands, and Director, ISEA)

Dr. Johannes Moenius

Professor at The William R. and S. Sue Johnson endowed chair of spatial economic analysis and regional planning, University of Redlands, and Director, ISEA

Johannes Moenius teaches global business and spatial analysis in business at the University of Redlands. He is the founding director of the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA) and holds the William R. and S. Sue Johnson Endowed Chair of Spatial Economic Analysis and Regional Planning. Previously, he taught at the Kellogg School of Management and was a visiting scholar at Tokyo University. He studied Management Science at Bamberg University and Economics at the Technical University in Dresden, Queen’s University, Canada and UCSD, where he received his Ph.D. He is a regular contributor to the media, such as LA Times, NPR, and PBS. He has presented his work in more than 200 talks at universities, conferences, and government institutions.

Ann Marie Sakrekoff (Senior Director of Growing Inland Achievement)

Ann Marie Sakrekoff

Senior Director of Growing Inland Achievement

Ms. Ann Marie (Allen) Sakrekoff serves as the Senior Director for Growing Inland Achievement (GIA). GIA is a cross-sector intermediary organization focused on improving the economic outlook of the Inland Empire by raising the region’s educational attainment rates. Ann Marie was born and raised in San Bernardino and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in National Security Studies as well as certifications in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies from California State University, San Bernardino. Trained in public policy and international, she worked as a research analyst for several research institutes, including one sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department and spent a year studying and teaching in Ankara, Turkey. Although she loved the international aspects of her work, she found her true passion to be serving her local community. She since worked at various educational organizations including Cal State, San Bernardino, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, San Bernardino City Unified School District, YMCA of the East Valley and San Bernardino Community College District. Prior to being the first hire of GIA, she worked for Chaffey College starting with the coordination of the CTE Community collaborative, which allowed her to connect K-12 students, parents and teachers to college and career opportunities through the Economic Development Department. She then served as the Project Coordinator of the TAACCCT Grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor that created the Inland Empire Training Consortium that included 12 colleges and universities as well as created the INTECH Center in Fontana, CA. Upon her recent marriage and move to Huntington Beach, she remains committed to the improvement of the IE by serving on several boards including the Academy for Dynamic Leadership and the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio.

Jane Oates (President at WorkingNation)

Jane Oates

President at WorkingNation

Jane Oates, is the President of WorkingNation, a nonprofit campaign founded in 2016 by venture capitalist Art Bilger to expose hard truths about the looming unemployment crisis and bring the country together to create and amplify solutions for a changing economy. Jane is a former U.S. Department of Labor official who has played a key role in WorkingNation’s mission to raise awareness about the challenges facing the American workforce. Jane served as Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration under Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, after being nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in 2009. Prior to her appointment, Jane was Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and a senior advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. She also served for nearly a decade as senior policy advisor for Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Jane began her career as a teacher in the Boston and Philadelphia public schools and later as a field researcher at Temple University’s Center for Research in Human Development and Education. She received her B.A. in education from Boston College and her M.Ed. in reading from Arcadia University.

Mike Bishop (Senior Director of Career Services at California Baptist University)

Mike Bishop

Senior Director of Career Services at California Baptist University

Mike is the Senior Director of the Career Center at California Baptist University. Mike also teaches graduate courses in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Career Readiness in Engineering. He has been with CBU for 7 years. Prior to CBU, Mike worked for 35 years with both Honeywell and Stanley. Mike retired from Stanley as Senior Vice President of North America Operations for their Security Solution Business. Mike and his wife Janice of 40 years, reside in Riverside. They have 3 grown children and 8 grandkids.

Shaheen Sadeghi (Founder of LAB Holdings, LLC)

Shaheen Sadeghi

Founder of LAB Holdings, LLC

Shaheen is the Founder, President and CEO, LAB Holding, LLC Following a successful career in the fashion industry including Executive VP Corp, Gotcha Sportswear and President of surfing giant Quiksilver, Shaheen has taken his expertise to the unconventional place of niche retailing and community development. His initial project, the LAB Anti-Mall, nearly 30 years "young", continues to garner international acclaim.In 2002 Shaheen established the first "green" retail center, the CAMP, including the innovative anchor eco product store, SEED People's Market. Shaheen, stablished the SoBeCa arts district in Costa Mesa in 2002. Other projects include the restoration of the historic Casino San Clemente; the revitalization of downtown Anaheim including the renewal of Center St. Promenade. The creation of the Packing District community which includes, the Packing House, the Packard Building, Farmers Park, the Make project and Modern Times leisure town all in Anaheim. Projects under development include San Marco’s, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Costa Mesa among the current 46 developed projects the company owns and operates.

Awards: Mayor’s hall of fame Award from Costa Mesa, Developer of the Year, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Gold Nugget award 5 times for PCBC Project of the Year and international recognition by the BBC, NY Times, London Financial Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, NPR, Wall Street Journal, who called Shaheen “retail royalty”. Shaheen is a frequent speaker at TED. Shaheen holds a BA degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY

Ryan Cortez (Economic Development Coordinator at City of Corona)

Ryan Cortez

Economic Development Coordinator at City of Corona

Ryan Cortez, Economic Development Coordinator, began his career with the City of Corona in 2014. Prior to his career in local government, Ryan helped found and manage a privately held construction firm headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. The skills developed well working in the private industry translated into Ryan leading the charge with Corona’s new development opportunities. Most recently Ryan has put his focus on the disposition and development of City owned property within Corona’s Downtown District. This has led to the current development of 60,000 square feet of Class A Medical Office and the successful negotiation of 17 properties to national acclaimed developer Lab Holdings. A lifelong resident of Corona, Ryan hopes to continue creating opportunity and helping Corona maintain its regional dominance. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from California Baptist University. In 2016 Ryan was recognized by the Riverside Community College District as the Norco College Alumnus of the year. Ryan Cortez is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and California Association for Local Economic Development.

Rob Matthews (Principal at Houseal Lavigne Associates)

Rob Matthews

Principal at Houseal Lavigne Associates

Rob Matthews, is a Principal at Houseal Lavigne Associates with more than 20 years of expertise driving technological innovation in the planning space. He is passionate about the potential for urban planning to shape the future of the communities where we live, work, and play. Prior to joining Houseal Lavigne Associates, Rob worked at Esri, the world leader in geographic information systems (GIS) technology, leading the company’s professional services for key clients such as Boston, Washington, DC, and Miami-Dade County. Previously, Rob directed the Decision Commons research project at the University of Washington – a $650k project to develop next-generation 3D planning technology – funded by a consortium of federal agencies (HUD, EPA, DOT) and coordinated by the Urban Land Institute.Throughout his career, Rob has worked with numerous planning organizations, providing a broad perspective on best practices and insight into the needs of planners, stakeholders, local governments, and private-sector clients. His work ties together all key aspects of the built environment – land use, transportation, real estate development, and stakeholder engagement – with the overall mission of promoting equitable and sensible urban planning policy.