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The Community Foundation Announces Two New Board Members!

jeremy-hobbsJeremy W. Hobbs is President of the Western Wind Foundation, private foundation working primarily on social and economic development and education, with a geographic focus on the Coachella Valley. He is also Chairman of Eastek International, a vertically-integrated electronics and plastics contract manufacturer.

Early in his career, Jeremy was a management consultant with a specialty in local governments, local and regional water issues, and strategic and financial planning. A native Californian, Jeremy is a graduate of Jesult High School in Sacramento and Pomona College (BA, English) in Claremont, California. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as a member and editor of The Law Review. From 1987 to 2002, Jeremy practiced law in Chicago, where he specialized in public interest and securities litigation, and where he later developed a practice focused on family-owned and closely-held businesses. In 2002, he left the practice of law to co-found a Chicago-based operating and holding company.

Jeremy has a long history of social service and philanthropic work, ranging from community development to HIV/AIDS education and prevention. In recent years, he has worked closely with dozens of non-profits and charitable organization throughout the Coachella Valley on topics such as education and scholarships, community and economic development, remediation of the Salton Sea, isolation and aging within the LGBT community, and development and support of a thriving performing arts community. He has also worked with numerous organizations on capacity development and governance issues. Jeremy has lived in Palm Springs since 2012.

rob-fieldRob has a long career of public service in the City and County of Riverside. He is currently, since 2009, the head of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency (EDA), an agency with 24 divisions, a staff of more than 800, and an annual budget exceeding $600 million. EDA’s responsibilities are numerous, and include managing all construction within the County’s $1.5 billion Capital Improvement Program, running the County’s Redevelopment Agency and subsequently the Successor Agency to the County Redevelopment Agency, managing all of the County’s Workforce Investment programs, providing for the public’s needs through the Community Services Division, running the County’s Housing Authority, managing various types of affordable housing programs, managing all of the County’s real estate, and running the County’s airports and the annual County Fair & National Date Festival.

Between 2006 and 2009, he managed the County of Riverside’s Department of Facilities Management, with a staff of more than 600 distributed among five divisions (Design and Construction, Real Property, Maintenance, Custodial, and Administration), an annual operations budget of more than $80 million, and an annual capital budget of approximately $120 million. Prior to that, Rob held multiple roles in land use planning, environmental planning, and economic development, both private sector and public.

Through his education and work experience, Rob has developed a clear understanding of the critical elements involved in departmental and fiscal management, with a particular emphasis on qualities of leadership. As a result of a number of s
pecial assignments, Rob has developed the ability to negotiate complex agreements with various types of organizations, including industry working groups and employee organizations. He assembles strong management teams, and has converted multiple organizations that were on the verge of failure into entities that not only survive, but thrive.

Rob received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 1989 from the University of California, Riverside, and his Masters from California Baptist University in Leadership and Organizational Studies in 2014. He has certificates in land use planning and economic development from UCR. He is the Chairman, Dean’s Advisory Council, UCR Business School, University of California, Riverside, Chairman for the University of California, Riverside Athletics Association, a Member of the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, and a Member of the Advisory Council for the Center for Economic Development and Innovation at UCR. He is a Board and Executive Committee Member for the March Field Air Museum.

In answering the following questions in his Statement of Interest, “Describe which of The Community Foundation’s statement of Mission, Vision or values you are most passionate about and why?” Rob said: Advocating for our region – this is something I have engaged in for most of my professional career, and it is refreshing to become a part of an organization that explicitly states that this is a significant component of its mission. Owing to my position, contacts, and experience, I believe and hope that I can help The Community Foundation in its endeavor.”