Business / Economy

San Benito County Business Council Announces Goals for 2018

They also announced that in 2017 2017 they increased their operating budget by more than 60% and membership by 18%.

This information was provided by San Benito County Business Council Executive Director, Kristina Chavez Wyatt.

The San Benito County Business Council has announced their primary goals for 2018 that resulted from their annual member feedback and planning survey. Those goals include: supporting the efforts of the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County (EDC) to implement the 2017-2022 San Benito County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS),  the retention, expansion, job creation and growth of existing local businesses, the marketing and attraction of new businesses and investment and supporting improvements to local infrastructure such as planning & permitting, roads, broadband, community services and affordable housing.   

Along with their 2018 goals the council also announced that in 2017 they increased their operating budget by more than 60% and membership by 18%, hosted a regional water information forum, grew jobs, led and supported economic development initiatives, enhanced collaboration with local government agencies and community partners and established a charitable fund for economic vitality at the Community Foundation for San Benito County. 

 The Council attributes its successes to support of a strong executive committee led by Board President Bob Tiffany and Vice Presidents, Graham Mackie, Scott Fuller, Jim Gillio, Robert Rodriguez, II and Mike Grace. The organization has also thrived due to the substantial support of sponsoring members including Gavilan College, Graniterock, Graham Mackie, Ruggeri, Jensen & Azar and Sierra Pacific Associates, a matching grant from the Community Foundation for San Benito County and the efforts of contracted Executive Director, Kristina Chavez Wyatt of Farmhouse Communications. 

 “We’re very happy with the progress we made in 2017, but there’s still much work to be done in bringing further economic vitality to our county. Fortunately, we have positive momentum and support of our executive team, active members, collaborative partners and our community as well roll into 2018" said Business Council President, Bob Tiffany. 

Kristina Chavez Wyatt

With more than a decade of community engagement, business advocacy, public relations and government affairs experience, Kristina Chavez Wyatt specializes in building and favorably positioning projects, programs, products and organizations via building coalitions of support through grassroots community engagement. She currently focuses on developing and executing strategic communications programs, building relationships, economic development strategy, business advocacy and navigating processes of government. Kristina formed Farmhouse Communications in 2011 following serving as a senior account executive for prominent national public affairs firm Meridian Pacific, Inc. and a central coast public relations firm Armanasco Public Relations, Inc. where she specialized in community relations, government affairs and media relations with a primary focus on PR, public affairs, land use and environmental policy, hospitality & tourism development, business advocacy, agriculture and grassroots community engagement. Kristina serves as Executive Director of the San Benito County Business Council, as a community engagement consultant in business development, energy, land use, agriculture and public policy sectors. She also serves as a Client Advisor for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC). She is active throughout the Central Coast region in Farm Day agricultural education programs, area Chambers of Commerce, Farm Bureaus of San Benito, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, Rotary Club of Hollister and California Women for Agriculture. She was appointed by Governor Brown in July 2014 to serve as a Trustee of the 33rd Agricultural District/San Benito County Fair. Kristina has been recognized as the 2009 Salinas Jaycees Outstanding Young Citizen, the 2010 Central Coast Young Farmers and Ranchers Member of the Year and 2010 Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year. Under her leadership, Farmhouse Communications was honored by the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau as 2015 Service Business of the Year. Kristina’s work in community engagement as a member of the project team on the City of Salinas Economic Development Element was lauded in May and July 2015 by the American Planning Association Northern California and California State Chapters with awards of excellence for economic development planning and in April 2016 with an Outstanding Award in planning by the Association of Environmental Professionals. Kristina is a 5th generation Californian, raised in Gilroy. She is a graduate of Gavilan College and the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Agriculture and lives in Hollister with her husband Craig Wyatt who works as an agricultural crop production supervisor, their twin daughters Hailey and Molly and dog Rabbit.