Mayor Acquanetta Warren | Fontana, CA | Advisory Committee Chairwoman
Acquanetta Warren was elected as the City of Fontana’s first female and African American Mayor in December 2010 and re-elected in 2018. Since taking office, Mayor Warren has and continues to be a strong advocate for economic development, jobs, affordable housing, public safety, a healthier community and fiscal integrity. Under the Mayor’s stewardship, the City of Fontana was named the fourth Most Prosperous City in the U.S. (with a population over 100,000), as well as the Most Prosperous City in California from RentCafé. This acknowledgment followed the 2017 Fiscal Times’ rating of Fontana as one of the financially strongest cities in the nation.
A strong community also needs safe neighborhoods. Public safety is among the Mayor’s highest priorities. In 2013, Fontana was named one of the top 20 safest communities in the country. Continuing to keep the community safe, the Mayor holds open conversations connecting the community with the police officers that serve to protect them.
Mayor Warren is an active community champion for education. While in office, Mayor Warren has held education summits with local schools, the community college district and business leaders to outline plans preparing the youth for future job markets. Since 2011, she has raised $525,000 for the Fontana Boys and Girls Club through her annual Mayor’s Gala.
Ms. Warren was appointed to the Fontana City Council as a city council member on December 17, 2002, and was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. Prior to the council, Ms. Warren served as Co-Chairperson of the City of Fontana General Plan Advisory Committee and Chairperson of the Citizen Village of Heritage Development Landscape Committee.
Mayor Billy Hewes | Gulfport, MS
In his second term of office, Billy is continuing to build upon the fact that Gulfport is, "Open for Business, and Geared for a Good Time!," through embracing development opportunities and creating a unique quality of place through collaboration and example-driven leadership. With an emphasis on customer service, Hewes has implemented a more efficient application and licensure process for businesses, modernized outreach and billing functions, and reorganized city departments to create greater transparency and responsiveness to the public.
Capitalizing on Gulfport's location on the Gulf of Mexico, he and his team have worked to create an experience that makes the most of a welcoming, year-round climate. This has been accomplished by encouraging outdoor activity through expansion of Gulfport's Sportsplex, the creation of a bark park, walking, biking, and birding trails throughout the City, better access to our waterfront and inland waterways, and construction of the Mississippi Aquarium, slated for opening in early 2020! The result of this vision is a diverse, vibrant economy in a region that is being rediscovered - with award-winning results!
His enthusiasm does not stop at the city line. In fostering a "One Coast" mindset, Billy has promoted a collaborative grass-roots, regional approach that acknowledges, "what benefits one, ultimately benefits all." This is especially true in economic development and tourism circles.
His business experience, coupled with his 20 years of service in the State Legislature, have helped him to better understand the needs of his constituents and find solutions for the betterment of his City, and the community, at-large.
Mayor David Sander, Ph.D | Rancho Cordova, CA
Mayor David Sander was elected to the first City Council when the City incorporated in 2003 and reelected in November 2004, 2008,
2012 and 2016. He served as Mayor in 2007, 2012, and 2016 and as Vice Mayor in 2006, 2011 and 2019.
David is the Principal and Founder of Sander and Associates, a scientific consulting/development firm that specializes in medical and scientific projects. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane University and did undergraduate work in physics, math, biology and chemistry at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. After his doctoral work and before moving to Rancho Cordova, David was appointed and served two years as a Congressional Science Fellow, working for a senior member of the House of Representatives in Washington DC on matters involving health and science policy.
Mayor Francis Suarez | Miami, FL
Prior to being elected with 86 percent support from Miami residents, Mayor Suarez served as Miami Commissioner for District 4 during eight years. Mayor Suarez is married to Gloria Fonts Suarez. They have a son, Andrew Xavier, and a daughter, Gloriana Pilar. They consider themselves honored and blessed to be raising their family in the City of Miami.
Mayor Suarez had many legislative accomplishments as Commissioner, including implementing ShotSpotter technology in the City, a state-of-the-art gunshot detection system, setting up a transportation trust fund, which allocates funds for current and future transit projects, and passing the Reverse Redline legislation, authorizing lawsuits against several major banks for discriminatory mortgage lending practices. As a result, the City’s lawsuit reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that cities have standing to sue banks under the Fair Housing Act for such discriminatory practices.
Joe M. Allbaugh | Former Director of FEMA
Greg Ballard | Former Mayor | Indianapolis, IN
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Ballard graduated from Indiana University before joining the United States Marine Corps. He received his master's degree in military science from the Marine Corps University and also graduated from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. During Ballard's distinguished 23-year military career, he received numerous honors including the Legion of Merit, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Ballard returned to Indianapolis after his retirement from the USMC. In November 2007, he was elected the 48th mayor of Indianapolis and served for two terms. While mayor, Ballard oversaw the RebuildIndy Initiative, a $55 million infrastructure improvement program and created the city's first Office of Sustainability.
David Javdan | Managing Director | Alvarez & Marsal
Mr. Javdan was recently appointed to Governor Andrew Cuomo's 'Commission to Investigate Public Corruption' to examine potential corruption in NY state government, political campaigns and elections.
He has extensive knowledge in private equity investing, small business lending, sophisticated financial transactions, complex financial accounting and audit matters, health care law and multi-party international litigation.
Tom Reynolds | Former U.S. Representative
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Reynolds represented the 26th Congressional District in Western New York that stretched from the Buffalo suburbs to the western suburbs of Rochester. He served five terms as a representative and four years as an elected House leader. Mr. Reynolds was a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee and a member of three subcommittees: Trade, Select Revenue Measures and Oversight. In addition, Mr. Reynolds served on the Rules Committee, Administration Committee and the Steering Committee, which selected committee assignments for Republican members of Congress.
Mr. Reynolds was elected to House leadership after his second term in Congress. He served two terms as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House's campaign committee.
During his tenure as a congressman, Mr. Reynolds secured more than $500 million in federal funding for his district. In addition, he had several of his legislative initiatives signed into law, including the Smith-Reynolds bill, which aided in the movement of goods and people across the U.S. border with Canada.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Mr. Reynolds served five terms as a member of the New York State Assembly. He rose to the post of Republican leader in 1995, becoming the first Republican from the eight counties of Western New York to lead an Assembly conference in more than 60 years.
While in the Assembly, Mr. Reynolds served as chairman of the Minority Affordable Housing Task Force and was honored nationally as Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council for his work championing affordable home ownership initiatives in New York. He was an elected official in county and local government for 15 years.
Prior to joining Congress, Mr. Reynolds was a small business owner. He is also a licensed real estate and insurance broker.
Rob Engstrom | Founder & CEO | Wolfe Street Partners
Rob Engstrom is Founder & CEO of Wolfe Street Partners, an advocacy firm focused on advising trade associations and other strategic partners. He has held senior leadership positions at the American Bankers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican National Committee. In 2013, Engstrom was recognized as one of the top 50 Influencers of the 2014 election cycle by Campaigns & Elections: The Magazine for People in Politics. In 2009, Engstrom was recognized as a “Rising Star” by the same magazine.