President & Chief Executive Officer, CALED
Executive Director, CA Academy For Economic Development
Gurbax Sahota is an experienced association professional who believes in the importance and need to collaborate and create meaningful partnerships in order to accomplish the goal of creating healthy, wealthy communities. As President & CEO, Gurbax turns this belief into action by bringing together and leading multiple organizations aligned with the goal of helping businesses thrive in California. Gurbax holds leadership positions with CALED, the California Enterprise Development Authority, and the California Academy for Economic Development. Gurbax is using her experience in association leadership, knowledge of organizational studies, and her communications background to support the missions of all three organizations while ensuring that their operations are sustainable.
Gurbax is Currently Active in the Following Organizations:
As program analyst, Jillian Boyd supports the administrative and program activities of the California Enterprise Development Authority (CEDA). That support ranges from updating and maintaining CEDA’s website per state and federal compliance to managing the FPPC compliance for all CEDA Board Members, to providing administrative support for CEDA Board meetings. In addition to this, Jillian manages and maintains the job advertisement program for CALED along with the CALED Webinar Wednesday Program – both of which she has run for the last few years.
Kristy Nong brings over ten years of experience to her position of Office Manager. She is responsible for CALED’s day-to-day office operations, including administration, assisting with human resources, website upkeep, managing bookkeeping, and membership management for CALED. Kristy also provides administrative support for the California Academy for Economic Development. In this role, Kristy serves as the Course Director for the Keys to Successful Economic Development Certificate Program offered in partnership with Fresno State.
As Program Manager, Helen contributes to CALED’s team on promoting and managing our economic development financing tools including tax-exempt bonds (for 501c3 non-profit organizations and small- to medium-sized manufacturers) and the PACE financing program through the California Enterprise Development Authority (CEDA). Helen administers these programs, ensuring policy and government requirements are met, and markets these tools to the CALED membership as well as other applicable audiences throughout California. Helen brings a mix of local non-profit and private sector experience to her role from her prior positions within a large technology company and supporting local economic development as a senior researcher within an economic development corporation.
Economic Development Manager
Michelle is the Economic Development Manager for CALED and its affiliates. As the Economic Development Manager, she is the lead on the Annual Conference and produces the quarterly Journal and weekly alerts. She is also the staff liaison to the Brownfields & Land Revitalization Committee and works on community LEAPs throughout the state.
Additionally, she is the Business Outreach Specialist in Calaveras County as part of an EDA grant to which CALED is a partner. In that role, she performs one-on-one outreach to help the businesses in Calaveras County stay successful and grow to meet the needs of their customers.
Michelle was the Farmbudsman for Solano and Yolo Counties. As the Farmbudsman, she was a liaison between agricultural businesses in Solano & Yolo Counties and the local government with the goal of facilitating projects and helping to add value to agricultural endeavors.
After completing her Master’s in Community & Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, Michelle interned with the International Economic Development Council in Washington DC before moving back to her native California to work on improving the economic opportunities for communities.
Assistant Program Manager
Alphonse Jireh Wilfred is the Assistant Program Manager for CALED. As Assistant Program Manager, he will be working to support CALED in enhancing marketing and communication for CALED’s, CEDA’s, and the Academy’s tools and resources such as the Tax Increment Finance Toolkit and other marketing materials that have been produced. In addition to helping market these items and assist in communication, Alphonse will be working with members and the legislature to address and move forward CALED’s legislative priorities.
Alphonse is passionate about economic development and eager to learn and continue the efforts of CALED. He graduated from Temple University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics.