Make a Difference – Join a Chamber Committee

The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has reimagined the committee structure in light of COVID-19 to provide virtual opportunities for further engagement, high impact meetings, and key issue briefings. These standing committees of the Board of Directors are broken down into specific issue areas, each meeting every other month. Some standing committees will have ad hoc task forces that activate around unique challenges or events.

Policy icon
Public Policy
Task Forces: Ballot Measures; Public Safety; Illegal Dumping; and Budget

The Public Policy Committee is comprised primarily of government affairs professionals from Chamber member businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies. The Committee is responsible for guiding and advising the Chamber Board of Directors in legislative decisions as well serving as a place for policy generation and discussion. Open by invitation only

Chair: Ana Apodaca, Community and Government Relations Manager, Kaiser Permanente

Staff Contact: Barbara Leslie, President/CEO |

Chmaber Housing
Transportation, Housing, and Land Use
Task Forces: Manufacturing; Infrastructure; and Broadband

Transportation, Housing, and Land Use drives the Chamber’s agenda relative to ensuring Oakland is well-positioned for sustainable and equitable economic growth by convening an array of stakeholders from developers to transit agencies to city planners to nonprofit leaders. The committee tackles longstanding economic development issues from a unique, solutions-oriented and inter-disciplinary approach.

Chair: Elisse Douglass, Vice President – Development, Signature Development Group

Staff Contact: Barbara Leslie, President/CEO |

diversity, equity & inclusion

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our DEI Committee is focused on educating companies on the importance of DEI efforts and will create a platform for a variety of DEI initiatives. Our focus areas are: 

Workforce  |  Marketplace  |  Workplace

The committee will host a series of events to foster an engaged community through education, discussion, and collaboration.

Chair: Ken Maxey, Director of Government Relations, Comcast

Staff Contact: Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner
Director of Small Business & Workforce |

Education and Workforce
Task forces: Tech and Innovation; Trade and Logistics; Healthcare; and Education

Education and workforce preparation are the most important economic development activities in working to ensure prosperity and growth can be shared by all Oaklanders. The Jobs and Workforce Committee guides the Chamber’s regional workforce development responsibilities while also identifying policies and practices that will create new jobs throughout Oakland

Chair: David Stein, Partner, Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys 

Staff Contact: Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner
Director of Small Business & Workforce |

Chamber Community
Community Impact Committee
The Community Impact Committee (CIC) is a unique, structured program bringing together for profit and non-profit organizations in furtherance of productive partnerships committed to philanthropy and social mission.

Chair: Blase Bova, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County 

Staff Contact: Alana Ross, Membership Director |

Chamber Small Business
Small Business Council

Oakland’s vibrant small business community is an asset to the entire city. The Small Business Council convenes a diverse group of Oakland entrepreneurs, employees, and advocates to share knowledge and resources to grow and support Oakland’s small and micro business ecosystem.

Chair: Angela Tsay, CEO & Creative Director, Oaklandish

Staff Contact: Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner
Director of Small Business & Workforce |