On February 26, 2014, close to 1,100 business, community and government leaders joined together at Citizens Business Bank in Ontario to hear the annual State of the County presented by San Bernardino County.
The evening featured a keynote presentation by San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford. Her presentation began with an overview of the County through the “numbers.” She highlighted facts such as with the opening of the new Adelanto Detention Facility, the County runs the 7th largest jail operation in the US and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s emergency room handled 115,000 visits in 2013 making it one of the busiest ERs in California.
Her remarks touched on the collaborative work occurring across the County. For example, she cited the success of the water agencies working together to ensure the region has a clear future when it comes to water resources. Rutherford also noted that community agencies are working more proactively to encourage best practices and excellence for non-profit agencies.
She also challenged the audience to think bigger than merely encouraging local youth to get a good job, noting that “good” simply isn’t enough to grow the region and sustain the future of the County’s young people. She implored the audience to do its part to bring about a new era of entrepreneurship in the County, citing a rich legacy of entrepreneurship here through people such as Jack Dangermond of esri, Jack Brown of Stater Bros, and the Lewis family.
“We have high-performing departments and staff all over County. We are going to work as efficiently and productively with the resources you give us….we will make sure your government is acting as responsibly and reliably as possible so you can be better at what you do,” Rutherford said.
The Chair’s remarks were followed by a video featuring interviews with business and local leaders from Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Alere Property Group, Trident Case, Lollicup USA, and Colton Joint Unified School District.
The evening’s presentation closed with a poem crafted by David Bowden, a spoken word poet, who performed live on stage, saying, “ You seed, You soil, You water, You elements of life, Plant here in this county, And together we will thrive.”
Along with the main presentation, the State of the County featured a networking session further encouraging collaboration and connections.