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Iris has enjoyed a 30-year career in marketing, community and project development, and strategic planning. As a recognized leader in the areas of community reinvestment and collaboration, she has been called upon to consult, teach, and speak about the economic condition of California's inner city, urban, and suburban communities and how community development is accomplished.
She has spoken before an extensive range of audiences and venues, such as the California State Legislature; the California Base Closure Hearings; the Alameda County Board of Supervisors; Leadership San Francisco; Kathleen Brown's Economic Summit; the Southern California Urban League, the US Department of Justice Project Safe Neighborhoods Conference; the Northern California Senior Law Enforcement Symposium; the California 13 Cities Project; Officials of Craigavon Burrough in Northern Ireland; and the Oikosnet Conference in the Netherlands, to name a few.
She has also met with and discussed community economic development and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) strategies with notable leaders such as Past Chairman Greenspan of the Federal Reserve Bank; Eugene Ludwig, former Comptroller of the Currency; Senator Ted Kennedy; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; and high-ranking officials abroad.
As the chief consultant to the Ecumenical Development Initiative - USA and the California Community Investment Partnership (CCIP) she developed and led initiatives aimed at small business development in California inner cities and rural communities with high levels of poverty and unemployment. She has also served as a Fellow with The Greenlining Coalition, a multi-cultural, statewide coalition of community groups committed to ending redlining and promoting community economic development.
She believes in giving back to her community. She has served as a member of the Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission, the Delta Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, the Advisory Board of Opportunity Junction, and as Assistant Coach for a Junior Giants team. She has also volunteered her time facilitating Board development training for a number of non-profit organizations.
Her service as co-founder of the Youth Intervention Network (YIN) was recognized at the 2012 opening celebration of the United Nations Peace University at The Hague as one of four global best practices. In addition, YIN’s success has been acclaimed in local, state and national awards, including the National Project Safe Neighborhoods Outstanding Community Involvement Award for 2010 and as a 2010 National League of Cities Municipal Excellence Award Finalist. In addition, Iris is a co-recipient of several awards, including the 2008 Contra Costa County Juvenile Justice Award, the 2009 Antioch Citizen of the Year Award, and the 2009 Dow Chemical Company Martin Luther King Community Service Award, and the 2012 JFK University Corporate and Community Diversity Award. In 2014 she received the East Bay Leadership Council Award for Distinguished Service, and was named a Hometown Hero by the Bay Area News Group in the April 30, 2015 edition of the Contra Costa Times.
In addition to her consulting and community service activities, she has taught Urban Politics at the California State University East Bay - Hayward campus, and currently teaches American Government and Politics, and a survey course called "Issues Facing African Americans" at Los Medanos Community College.
As mentioned above, Iris graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) from John F. Kennedy University College of Law and received the honor of being named “Outstanding Graduate.” As a Doctor of Jurisprudence, Iris uses her law degree to instruct non-profit boards in areas related to their fiduciary duties under the law, and to add depth to the curriculum she uses to teach students about the US Constitution and other relevant areas of law as an adjunct Political Science Professor at Los Medanos Community College in Contra Costa County, California.
Although Iris is passionate about the law, and has used her knowledge of the law and the process of deep and fact-based analysis learned in law school and used by practicing attorney’s, she is always quick to point out that she is not a practicing attorney and that there is a difference between “ giving legal advice,” which is in essence, practicing law, and being a community/economic development planning consultant and college professor with a knowledge of the law by degree, and using that knowledge when appropriate to inform her work. Iris has no doubt that she is doing what she loves and hopes to be doing for the rest of her life, but might just go back to school one day and earn an LLM just for the fun of it!
1992 Started company as Emerald Consulting
2010 Entered into MOU with international partners
2011 Incorporated as Emerald HPC International, LLC
Emerald HPC International
Winner of the 2012 JFK University Corporate and Community Diversity Award, the company continues to advance and design systems-change strategies and tools for personal, organizational and community transformation. This includes building the capacity of local stakeholders to design a vision and set of strategies to accomplish measurable outcomes, using best-practice models customized for local needs, with an emphasis on inclusion, collaboration, accountability, sustainability, and effectiveness.
Keith has two Bachelor degrees from Stanford University and a Masters degree from the School of Business and Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco. He has authored the "Guide to Effective Work-Based Learning" and the "Work Ready/Essential Skills Framework" and co-authored the “Career Practicum: A Work-Based Learning Strategy.” He is also a certified Facilitator of the Dialogue for Peaceful Change methodology and an ordained minister.
An expert in strategic planning and change management, Keith has served on the Boards of the Micro Credit Loan Fund and the California CASA Association, as a JFK University Regent, and as Board President of Opportunity Junction. He has also served as Executive Director and Interim Executive Director of several Bay Area nonprofit organizations, including Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) of Contra Costa County, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, LEAP...Imagination in Learning, the CBO Center of Alameda and Contra Costa, the Oakland Youth Chorus, and the San Francisco Choral Society, leading each organization in strategic planning efforts and on-going sustainability.
He is currently a Board member and Managing Director of the Youth Intervention Network (YIN), Chair of the East Bay Leadership Council, and Chair of the Antioch Economic Development Commission. He also serves on the Antioch Redevelopment Oversight Board, the East County Business-Education Alliance Board, and the CSU-East Bay Gateways Steering Committee.
Keith is a 2012 Man of Merit honoree from the Contra Costa Zero Tolerance Initiative/Delta Project and a recipient of the 2006 Dow Chemical Company Martin Luther King Community Service award. He was a 2004 Antioch Citizen of the Year nominee and a nominee for the 2011 César Chávez Award for Exemplary Community Service. Keith and his wife, Iris, volunteer as Antioch Junior Giants baseball coaches.
Some highlights of his work:
Provided training and planning on significant collaborative strategic planning initiatives such as the Youth Intervention Network in Antioch, the Mayfair Neighborhood Improvement Initiative in San Jose, AB109 Reentry Resource Planning in East and Central Contra Costa, the Craigavon Burrough Economic Development Department peace and violence reduction initiative in Northern Ireland, and the Richmond/North Richmond Economic Revitalization Initiative.
Provided strategic planning and project implementation to the East County Business-Education Alliance and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership – developing workforce initiatives to secure a workforce pipeline into high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers in the regional economy through the creation of a seamless system of transition for students from high school to post-secondary education, training and careers in Contra Costa County and the broader East Bay region.
Developed and implemented a strategic plan to assist the Arts Education Funders’ Collaborative and the Elementary Arts Education Program in the San Francisco Unified School District in arts education professional development activities and integrated elementary arts education curriculum development for 76 elementary schools and 37 child development centers with teachers, administrators, foundations, artists, businesses, and city arts commissioners in San Francisco.