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    Pacific President's Second Forum of "Beyond Our Gates" Series to Focus on Economy

    Feb 9, 2010

    University of the Pacific's leading economic authorities will team up with local business leaders to discuss long-term strategies and partnerships to strengthen the local economy on Wed., Feb. 10. The discussion is part of a series of community forums organized by Pacific to address the area's most pressing issues.

    The community forum, titled "Partnering to Rebuild the Area's Economy: Supporting the Safety Net," is from 9:30 a.m. to noon at The Council of Government Building, 555 E. Weber Ave. It is free and open to the public. The forum will explore business development, job creation and training and workforce development. The event is part of a series of community forums hosted by Pacific as part of the "Beyond Our Gates...Into the Community" initiative announced by President Pamela A. Eibeck in December.

    Former U.S. Small Business Person of the Year Frederick Ruiz will be the event's keynote speaker. Ruiz is chairman emeritus and co-founder of Ruiz Foods, Inc., the largest frozen Mexican food manufacturing company in the United States. Ruiz has received numerous awards over his career, including the 1983 U.S. Small Business Person of the Year Award, the National Entrepreneurial Success Award in 1992 and the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year Award in 2005.

    Community panelists will include leaders of the local chambers of commerce and the San Joaquin Partnership, The Record, United Way of San Joaquin and other organizations. University participants will come from the Eberhardt School of Business's Business Forecast Center, Pacific's Office of Economic Development and the Global Center for Entrepreneurship, the Community Involvement Program, Career Resource Center and School of International Studies and Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Panelists include: 

    • Michael Locke, president/CEO of The San Joaquin Partnership
    • Doug Wilhoit, CEO of Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce
    • Larry Benson, board of directors member of Tracy Chamber of Commerce
    • Mark Martinez, CEO of San Joaquin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    • Andy Prokop, president/CEO of United Way of San Joaquin
    • Roger Slingerman, chair of Non-Profit Executive Directors Roundtable
    • Mike Klocke, editor of The Record
    • Marcie Bayne, secretary/treasurer of San Joaquin/Calaveras Central Labor Council

    Eibeck, who became Pacific's 24th president on July 1, 2009, has made community engagement one of her top priorities.

    The remaining forums for the "Beyond Our Gates" series will focus on energy and the environment; education; and arts and culture. One forum will take place each month through May.

    • March 3, 2010 - Exploring a Sustainable Future for Energy and the Environment
    • April 28, 2010 - Educating our Region's Future Citizens: Laying the K-16 Pipeline
    • May 19, 2010 - Nourishing our Spirits: Central Valley Arts and Culture

    In addition to local community leaders, each forum will include regional and national experts to contribute to the discussions; as well as offer new ideas or examples of similar problems and university/community partnerships in other communities.

    The public is welcome to attend all of the forums.  They may submit ideas and questions beforehand. Feedback from each meeting will be compiled into a report by a steering committee established for each event, and presented to the community in fall 2010. That report will recommend specific actions where the University and the community can effectively work together.

    Community members who would like to submit ideas and questions regarding the issues being discussed during the "Beyond Our Gates" series can do so by sending an e-mail of 2,500 words or less to beyondourgates@pacific.edu.

    For more information click here or contact David Frederickson or Bob Benedetti at 209.946.7444.