In Remembrance

We honor members who have passed that made a significant impact to CALED and the California Economic Development community. They are listed with the title and organization of last service in economic development.

Jack Stewart

President & CEO, California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA)

Passed July 10, 2022

As a tireless champion for manufacturing in California, Jack started with CMTA in 1992, rising to the position of President in 1998 – 2014. Prior to that, he was Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Commerce where he managed the State’s economic development programs. Appointed by Governor George Deukmejian, he was responsible for developing and implementing programs to stimulate California’s economy and create new employment opportunities for California workers. Jack served on the CALED Board of Directors and was acknowledged as an Above and Beyond award recipient for his efforts in advancing manufacturing in California.

Steven J. Lantsberger, CED; EDFP; HDFP

Economic Development Director, Economic Development Association of San Joaquin County’s Employment & Economic Development Department

Passed July 6, 2022

Steve was known for his intensity and strong work ethic. Prior to serving at San Joaquin County, he served as the Director of Economic Development for Hesperia, CA for seventeen years and worked for ten years as Executive Director of the Tehama Local Development Corporation. Never one to back down or be afraid to speak his mind, Steve was a valued voice and an active member of CALED’s Legislative Action Committee and a career-long member.

Mike Ammann

Executive Director, San Joaquin Partnership

Passed June 11, 2022

Mike was a committed economic development advocate. From his time as Board Chair for TeamCalifornia, to his leadership at the Solano Economic Development Corporation and the San Joaquin Partnership, he was known for promoting California and the economic development profession. In retirement, you could see that passion in his regular posts on LinkedIn – even in retirement, he stayed engaged.

Victor Grgas

Asset Management Bureau, City of Long Beach

Passed November 9, 2021

Victor’s first job in the field of economic development was as an intern at the Long Beach Economic Development Corporation in 1974. He went on to become a nationally-recognized expert in economic development land-use planning, government relations, business recruitment, public-private partnership negotiations, and large-scale commercial real estate development. Victor was incredibly influential in CALED’s past and in economic development in California when it was a fledgling profession. He was a charter member of CALED, Board chair (1984-1986), and Golden Bear recipient in 2015.

Laurel Shockley

Economic Development Advisor, Southern California for the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Owens Valley, and Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

Passed 2019

Prior to joining Southern California Edison, Laurel was Director of Strategic Location and Expansion Services for KPMG covering the eleven western states. She also served as Director of the California Trade and Commerce Agency’s Southern California Regional Office for eleven years, and prior to that time, did economic development for the Santa Fe Railway Company. She served on the board of directors for several economic development corporations in her territory, helping them support business and grow their economies.

Lee Harrington

Executive Director, Southern California Leadership Council

Passed February 4, 2011

As Founder and first Executive Director of the Southern California Leadership Council, Lee worked closely with former Governors Brown, Davis, Deukmejian, and Wilson as well as then-Governor Schwarzenegger to improve the business climate and create a better quality of life for everyone who calls Southern California home. Prior to that, he led the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation for a decade. Lee also served on the CALED Board of Directors.

Jack Kyser

Economist, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Passed 2010

Before his brief tenure with SCAG, Jack served for nearly 20 years as Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. Starting in 1991, he built their economic research practice from scratch. He was affectionately dubbed the “Guru” and the “voice of the Los Angeles economy” for his great depth of knowledge, insight, and uncommon ability to articulate complex economic matters in simple and understandable terms. Jack was honored as a Golden Bear recipient for his vision and leadership in supporting economic development in California.

Bruce Ackerman

President & CEO, San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance

Passed in August 26, 2010

Bruce served as CALED Chair and was honored as a Golden Bear recipient for his vision and leadership in supporting economic development in California. During his term as CALED Chair, he led an effort to create a “strategy of strategies” by incorporating regional and key industry sector strategies into one over-arching economic development strategic vision to share with California economic developers.

Gregg Whitney

Vice President of Operations, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership

Passed in 2007

Before joining the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, Gregg led the Los Angeles County EDC Business Development Program to its goal of 100,000 direct new and retained jobs in nine years. Over his career, he developed and managed organizations in California, Colorado, Michigan and Missouri resulting in $6 billion of investments, creating or retaining over 125,000 direct jobs including serving on a successful California “Red Team” which secured $1 billion Lockheed-Martin X33 space shuttle replacement project for Edwards Air Force Base.

Bill Lindsteadt

President & CEO, Gilroy Economic Development Corporation

Passed in 2004

Received Grand Prize in Economic Development Excellence for 101/152 Crossroads Development. “The project’s noteworthy contributions include how one person can initiate a billion dollar difference in the economics of one small community; transforming the local shopping venue from nil to over 35 new retail outlets and an industrial center.”

Linda Sayles

Senior Support, CALED

Passed in 2003

Linda worked for CALED from 1980 to 2003–over 23 years! She was known to handle everything from membership, to operations, conference management, training coordination, and CEO management. A true jack-of-all-trades, her dedication and support for all things CALED made her the backbone of the organization for decades. When she passed, CALED leadership initiated the Linda Sayles “Support Team Award of Excellence” as a way of recognizing other professionals that work behind the scenes to help economic developers succeed.