Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is serving member companies and affiliate members with upwards of 200,000 employees throughout the East Bay. The focus of the Chamber staff is building a strong economy, representing business to government and enhancing the quality of life in the Oakland region
Barbara Leslie joined the Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners in December 2018. She has more than 25 years’ experience in both public service and local, state and federal advocacy for business. Ms. Leslie is the President and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Leslie has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, including former service as an Assistant to the City Manager during the Brown Administration and more than a decade directing External Affairs and philanthropy for AT&T in the East Bay. Ms. Leslie has also held key public policy positions with the Oakland Association of Realtors, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the Port of Oakland.
In 2014 Ms. Leslie became the first woman President and CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in its 112-year history. She has represented the Chamber on a variety of civic boards including the Oakland Thrives Initiative, Oakland Safety Impact Table, Oakland Promise Advisory Board, Oakland Small Business Task Force, and the Oakland Dialogue. Ms. Leslie has served as a political appointee to the Measure X Strong Mayor Task Force, Chair of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board, Board Member for the Oakland African American Chamber Foundation, the Youth Employment Partnership as well as the Hayward, Walnut Creek, Oakland and Berkeley Chambers of Commerce.
Ms. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics and a Master’s in Public Administration. She has been a resident of Oakland for the past 25 years, where she and her husband have raised two children.
Chief Administrative Officer
Holly has over 10 years of experience in online and print media. After spending many of those years with The Chicago Tribune, Holly joined the Chamber team in the Spring of 2022. During the pandemic, her role as a journalist became critical in providing services to help small businesses in Chicago convey current information to the public. This passion for small business aided in accepting her role with the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Holly manages the Chamber’s digital strategy, including social media and website management. She collaborates with Chamber members, advertisers, local media and community stakeholders to communicate stories about the Oakland Business community.
Jeremiah J. Jackson
Leadership Oakland Program Director
Jeremiah is an Alumni of Leadership Oakland. A native Ohioan, Jeremiah comes to Oakland via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His family motto is “a family serving families” and his spiritual faith guides him to seek equity and inclusion for all.
The founder and CEO of Starting With Us, Jeremiah’s leadership practice and strategies have been refined and honed through his professional work with organizations such as but not limited to Duquesne University, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., Big and Brothers Big Sisters, and The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern, PA. and more. Jeremiah achieves success with and for his partners through the practice of bias management, cultural competence, and servant leadership. The purpose of this continuing practice is to inspire the best in people and create spaces where people feel they belong. In essence, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the [people] to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Jeremiah is a leader who understands that external motivation only motivates a person to do what is needed in the moment; whilst intrinsic motivation; or inspiration, is more likely to see the fullest creativity and investment from individuals and groups. Jeremiah uses an evidenced-based and data driven approach to help individuals and teams maximize their pro-social impact through leadership that is ethically sure footed and value centered.
Sky Marazzi is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where they studied Political Economy and Public Policy. They are passionate about researching policy initiatives to address equity and social justice issues in the Bay Area. Originally from Los Angeles, Sky began their career in politics as a policy assistant to State Senator Henry Stern, working on increasing local census participation rates among migrant communities. They continued to work in policy and political activism upon moving to the Bay, getting involved in efforts promoting housing affordability, voter registration, and environmental sustainability. They served as a Campaign Coordinator for CALPIRG Students and a Census Community Organizer for the UC Berkeley Public Service Center. Sky wants to continue to make a difference with the Chamber by working with local government agencies to forward progressive policy that uplifts the Oakland community. Sky serves as the Public Policy Manager, researching policy proposals and connecting with local community stakeholders.