Chamber Releases 2020 Davis Prosperity Plan

Davis Chamber CEO Matt Yancey presents the 2020 Chamber Prosperity Plan

At today’s Annual State of the Chamber luncheon, Chamber CEO Matt Yancey released the 2020 Davis Prosperity Plan. Designed as a living document, the Chamber will utilize it as a guide for its strategic organizational development.

According to a release, “It will serve as a call to action for its members and community, as well as a framework for its members and community, as well as a framework for mutually beneficial partnership with the 6-county Capital region.”

It establishes five primary objectives: enhancing membership value, strengthening community relations, cultivating economic vitality, and engaging in local and regional advocacy; and finally growing and retaining a world class workforce.

Matt Yancey told chamber membership today that if they achieve those objectives, they believe Davis can grow 6000 new jobs over the next six years.

“With this plan, the Davis Chamber is looking to the future, while remaining grounded in what has made us and our city strong. Serving as a guide for the next five to six years, we’ll use it to ensure that we continue to evolve with the changing needs of our members and the economic conditions of our community,” said Mr. Yancey. “Most importantly, though, we see this as an outward-facing strategy; one that is intended for collaborative implementation with the community. Going it alone would defeat the purpose.”

The 2020 Prosperity Plan focuses on Davis’ unique strengths but was deliberately designed to integrate with the efforts of the Next Economy Capital Region Prosperity Plan. Mr. Yancey announced at the luncheon that it has been ratified as a Next Economy Partner Teaming Agreement.

Next Economy is a volunteer-led initiative that covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties – known as the Capital region.

“It serves as the Capital region’s framework for transforming our $97 billion annual regional economy into one that is well-connected to global marks and possesses a vibrant environment for entrepreneurism and investment, world class talent, a diverse economic base, and a business climate geared for economic growth,” a release stated.

“As the epicenter of the Capital region’s innovation economy, Davis’ economic performance significantly impacts that of the whole region. But, we’re one city in a region of 2.3 million people,” said 2014 Board Chair Jennifer Nitzkowski, Carbahal & Company. “That means we’re also heavily impacted by the economic health of the entire region. In developing this plan, we knew we had to ensure it didn’t place us in a vacuum.”

Mr. Yancey announced that ratification of the plan as a Next Economy Teaming Agreement, the Davis Chamber becomes the first single-city chamber of commerce to join a regional coalition that includes the Sacramento Metro Chamber, Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, Sacramento Asian Chamber, NextEd, Valley Vision, and the Northern California World Trade Center.

“When we first joined forces under the banner of Next Economy, we envisioned a framework for economic development that provided regional vision, but that was anchored in local action,” said Bill Mueller, President & CEO of Valley Vision. “What we have in the Davis Chamber’s 2020 Prosperity Plan is the realization of that vision. One that we hope takes root and grows throughout the rest of the Capital region’s communities.”

According to the Executive Summary, “The 2020 Davis Prosperity Plan is a business-led, volunteer-driven local endeavor that compliments the regional work that culminated in the adoption of the Next Economy Capital Region Prosperity Plan (Next Economy) as a federally recognized Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) in 2014.”

Next Economy specifically “challenges government leaders, educational institutions, not-for-profit economic development organizations (like the Davis Chamber) to initiate bold new approaches to bring about economic recovery and to actively work together to make those approaches succeed.”

Since 2011, “the Davis Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has purposefully built a foundation of improved operational processes, more relevant services and events, and a strengthened financial position with a more visible and active role in our community.

The 2020 Davis Prosperity Plan is “a result of our internal assessments and positioning at the nexus of a renewed local and regional focus on economic development. Our scope of work is based upon our community’s unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and is structured so that many activities are aligned with Next Economy.”

The plan comes with an aggressive set of performance goals. They note, “the Board of Directors will regularly review progress toward achieving the objectives of the 2020 Prosperity Plan. Should economic conditions dictate, or unique opportunities require, the Board of Directors may periodically revise the plan.”

Economic Indicator Metrics include: Increase jobs by 6,000 over 2014 year-end baseline, Increase number of establishments over baseline, Increase annual revenue for operating budget by 150% over Jan 2015 baseline, Increase number of members by 25% over Jan 2015 baseline, and Maintain average annual unemployment at or below 2014 level.

In response to the goal of 6000 jobs created, Mr. Yancey noted that as economic developers “we don’t create a whole lot of jobs directly ourselves. What we do as economic developers is we create the environment in which jobs can be created.”

So he said that they believe if they hit the marks of the 2020 Prosperity Plan “we will set the environment where all of you… will be in the position to create combined 6000 net new jobs over six years.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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8 thoughts on “Chamber Releases 2020 Davis Prosperity Plan”

  1. Frankly

    I see there are at least five contributing motors driving the economic future of Davis.

    One of them is this type of thing… grass-roots community and general business collaboration in discussion, mission and framework planning.  Other motors include:

    – land (availability, zoning, approval, access, etc… also redevelopment property)

    – politics (in our little hamlet it is also connected to land availability)

    – financing (all types to support economic development)

    – project drivers (developers, UCD, existing business that wants to locate here are expand)

    The former can help start and rev the others, but ultimately nothing big gets accomplished unless they are all running and all going in the same general direction.

    I do see a few involved people sort of just positioning themselves for the potential to exploit upcoming opportunity.  Not that there is anything wrong with that… as long as we don’t mistake them for being more capable to move us forward than they really are.  And if they can play a helpful role, we should welcome them.  For a sobering reminder of what I am talking about, see the Bee article on the Dixon movie studio and Carissa Carpenter .   Now this is an extreme example, but it should help warn us that when there is development and big money involved, there will be more people elbowing and shouldering their way into the party for hope of a score.

    1. Don Shor

      For a sobering reminder of what I am talking about, see the Bee article on the Dixon movie studio and Carissa Carpenter .

      I’ll tell you, I’ve been following that story for a couple of years now, and more than once I’ve wanted to post about it here but thought my motives and meaning would be misconstrued. So far better you than I to bring it to the Vanguard readers’ attention. It’s worth noting that local political figures and city staff in Dixon were very supportive of this woman, who anybody could see — with about two minutes time on Google — was clearly a con artist.
      As to the topic at hand, it would be great to have a link to the Chamber’s 2020 plan. Here is more information about the Next Economy Regional Prosperity Plan:

  2. Tia Will

    I agree with both Anon and Frankly that a cautious road forward is the best approach. My concerns are somewhat different however. I am not as concerned about being duped by a huckster as I am by being duped by our own inherent assumptions that “more is better” and that we should “grow as fast as we can”. Our economy throughout my lifetime has been characterized by boom and bust cycles largely driven by consumer demand. What I would see as optimal and sustainable way forward would be a less driven, more sustainable approach with a goal of sufficiency and moderation, not excess and endless expansion.

    1. Anon

      You assume there is a danger of “excess and endless expansion” because we have two modest proposals for innovation parks?  I’m not getting the “leap” from one to the other.  It sounds like what you are saying is that any foot in the door is dangerous because it could possibly lead to excess.  Correct me if that is not what you mean.  I never like to put words in peoples’ mouths.

      From my perspective, there is no question in my mind Davis has been lacking in economic development over the years, and because of it has swept under the carpet by means of creative bookkeeping (creating “unmet needs” category outside the budget) any consideration of creating reserve funds for its infrastructure (road and building repairs).  Woodland and West Sac have done a much better job of keeping up with their infrastructure (e.g. new Woodland high school, new Woodland and West Sac community centers, new West Sac city hall, to name a few examples) because of their willingness to embrace big box retail (not that they have not made their own mistakes, because they have).  Davis must have some reasonable economic development structured in a way that brings in a significant revenue stream and will pass muster with the community.  But as others have pointed out, financial predators will fly in to possibly exploit the situation in a manner not in the best interests of the city and its citizens, which is always something to be guarded against.  I am not in favor of unfettered expansion without many reasonable strings attached.

    2. Frankly

      I think we have moved well beyond this part of the debate… unless you believe fear mongering will help defeat the eventual Measure R votes.  otherwise I suggest you should shift to being a more positive influence to help ensure the developments incorporate the features and amenities you desire.

      I do not know of a single Davisite wanting Davis to end up like Orange County.  Most of us live here for reasons that include keeping the town livable, vibrant and funky.  The general problem is that we have grown out of balance with respect to our population, demand for service and amenities and the size of our local economy.  Something has to give to put us in balance.  I think we have debated it and come to the conclusion that the local economy needs to grow.

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