A letter from the Executive Director

A letter from the Executive Director
Wed March 2, 2022

Lessons of an Executive Director After 13 (really?) Months!

As the late, great Jim Croce opined when warbling about saving time in a bottle (which I still don’t understand, since any third grader can tell you that you preserve time in a capsule, not a bottle), there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do when you find them. That applies doubly when you work with an amazing group of organizational founders who are committed to preserving and enhancing the business-friendly climate we have developed in Placer County.

Passion and Purpose

If you are fortunate enough to find a group (or be found by a group) of passionate founders, take a deep breath, pinch your nose closed, and jump in! I’m not going to add the cliched, “with both feet,” since jumping in with only one foot is technically tripping.

The Placer Business Alliance was founded by individuals and businesses who have dedicated years to preserving and enhancing the business climate in Placer County. They have contributed untold sums to various non-profits that help us meet our societal needs. They have spent countless hours volunteering their time and talents in pursuit of solutions to our local problems. They have repeatedly put themselves forward when many sat on the sidelines. Our founding Board members are:

  • President – Carol Garcia, First Northern Bank
  • Secretary – Cherri Spriggs, FSB Public Affairs
  • Treasurer – Aldo Pineschi, Aldo Pineschi Consulting
  • Board Member – Julie Hanson, JMR Consulting
  • Board Member – Sabrina Drago, Drago Vantage, LLC

In addition to our amazing Board members, we were incredibly fortunate to receive the financial support of businesses across Placer County representing all eight economic sectors. Here, however, I would like to highlight those who made the commitment at our Founders’ Level ($15,000+/year, for three years):

  • AKT Development
  • First Northern Bank
  • WSP
  • Adventist Health
  • Alterra Mtn Co Shared Services, Inc
  • Mima Capital LLC
  • Placer County Association of Realtors

A Big Vision Requires Bold Steps

Having spent the first three months of our infancy supporting the very manageable challenge of growing an organization focused on local opportunities, our Founders made a bold decision – we must engage at all levels: local, state, and federal! Accordingly, the Placer Business Alliance decided that in our first year, we would create an opportunity for our supporters to meaningfully engage with elected and appointed officials in Washington D.C. 

And we knocked it out of the freaking park!

In two and a half days, more than 70 Placer County local government representatives and businesspeople heard from senior officials from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Forestry, Army Corp of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, industry leaders in education, economic development, agriculture and resource management, as well as the staff of two Unites States Senators and enjoyed personal engagement with both Congressman LaMalfa and Congressman McClintock… and they came to us! That’s right, no jamming into Metro cars or schlepping all over town in Ubers - we enjoyed two and a half days of information, fun and comradery right from the comfort of our hotel and nearby entertainment venues. 

All in all, a grand slam for our first major event! Sorry you missed it? See below for your opportunity to join us in November.

Blocking and Tackling

While pulling off an amazing inaugural event like our trip to Washington DC was a bonus, the Placer Business Alliance remains committed to the basic premise upon which we were founded: preserving and enhancing the business-friendly local climate that has made Placer County an oasis for businesses in a state that grows increasingly hostile towards them.

As we have said from our infancy (all those 13 months ago), the business community in Placer County has historically done a good job identifying, recruiting, and supporting people for local office in Placer County who intuitively understand the importance of supporting our business community. Our organization is intended to come alongside those individuals and reassure and support them when, far too often, the loudest voice in the room is yelling at them to do something different. 

There is no silver bullet to this; no trick play to win the game in the final seconds. Preserving and enhancing our business climate in Placer County requires working on the basics, day-in and day-out. We will continue to identify challenges and advocate for solutions on behalf of Placer County’s businesses and alongside Placer County’s elected officials and professional staff. And, with your help, we will succeed!

Kirk Uhler

Executive Director

Placer Business Alliance