Local Leaders Discuss ‘The Economic Future of the Coachella Valley’ in Free Webinar Series

SBEMP Attorneys, Palm Springs Life, and Coachella Valley Economic Partnership
present conversations with the top thinkers from each sector
of the local economy from Sept. 23 to Nov. 18.

PALM SPRINGS — It will take several years, but the Coachella Valley will bounce back from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it does, the local economy with be healthier, more diverse, and better educated and prepared to weather the uncertainties of the future.

How will we get there?

To answer to this complicated question, Palm Springs Life partnered with the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and the law firm Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney to produce the webinar series The Economic Future of the Coachella Valley, featuring leaders from cross-section of the region’s most critical industries.

Joe Wallace, CVEP’s CEO and chief innovation officer, and Valerie Powers Smith, partner at SBEMP, moderate the nine webinars, which stream weekly, Wednesdays at 2 p.m., and are also available on the Palm Springs Life YouTube page. The webinars are free. 

“It’s important that leaders remain optimistic and realistic,” says Wallace, who oversees “innovation hubs” in Palm Springs and Palm Desert where entrepreneurs bring products to the market and create high-skill jobs in the region. “[COVID-19] cannot take our sunshine away. We’ll be back, and we’ll be back strong.”

Register for the webinars here

Here’s the schedule:

September 23: Tourism and Hospitality

Scott White (Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau), Kelly Steward (The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage), and Allen Monroe (The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens) discuss how airlines, hotels, attractions, and events are making Greater Palm Springs a safe and welcoming place to visit for business and pleasure.

September 30: Health, Medicine, and Wellness

Ken Wheat (Eisenhower Health), Jenna LeComte-Hinely (Health Assessment and Research for Communities), and Kim Saruwatari (Riverside University Health System–Public Health) discuss the future of primary and secondary care as well as public health in the COVID-19 era.

October 7: Arts and Culture 

Louis Grachos (Palm Springs Art Museum), Chris Mobley (Modernism Week), and Ron Celona (Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre) discuss how arts and culture organizations, venues, and events are adapting to safely welcome visitors and deliver on their missions.

October 14: Education

Joel Kinnamon (College of the Desert), Jake Zhu (CSUSB Palm Desert), and Sandra Lyon (Palm Springs Unified School District) discuss the pandemic’s temporary and long-term effects on education as well as how our local institutions are innovating new ways to teach and learn.

October 21: Real Estate 

Michael Meade (Wilson Meade Commercial Real Estate), Peggy Sue Lane (First American Mortgage), and Brady Sandahl (Brady Sandahl Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Luxury Homes) discuss the boom in home sales and the challenge for commercial real estate. Sponsored by Franklin Loan Center.

October 28: Retail and Restaurants

Michael Braun (Grit Development), Tara Lazar (f10creative), and Patrick Klein (The Gardens on El Paseo) discuss the state of retail and restaurants in the Coachella Valley — from the impacts on sales and employees to the new world of risk reduction.

November 4: Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Laura Fritz (Eisenhower Health Foundation) and Debbie Espinosa (FIND Food Bank) discuss how nonprofit organizations are tuning their programming and fundraising strategies for the COVID era. 

November 11: Governance

One valley, nine cities, five tribal governments, and one pandemic: Lauri Aylaian (City of Palm Desert) and Jeff Grubbe (Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians) discuss how local governments can work together to lift the entire region.

November 18: The Future is Economic Diversity

Is the region too dependent on tourism? In the final installment in our nine-part series, Joe Wallace of CVEP and his guests discuss how to diversify the economy of the Coachella Valley.

Local Leaders Discuss ‘The Economic Future  of the Coachella Valley’ in Free Webinar Series

About Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney (SBEMP Attorneys):

SBEMP Attorneys is a full-service law firm with offices in Palm Springs, Orange County, San Diego, New Jersey, and New York. The founding members were partners in the largest law firm in the Inland Empire, each with a proven track record of substantial success. They formed SBEMP to concentrate exclusively on providing clients with superior legal representation and first-class service at competitive pricing.

The foundation of the firm is hard work, creative and aggressive advocacy, and an unwavering focus on the needs of our clients. Our goal in every matter is to achieve the best possible result in a cost-effective manner. Visit or call 760-322-2275 for more information. 

About Palm Springs Life

Founded in 1965, Palm Springs Life is a publishing and media company headquartered in Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs Life media enterprises include consumer and custom publishing, brand development, advertising, graphics, printing, media buying, events, social and digital media creation and management, public relations, content marketing, video production, web development, and optimization. Visit or call 760-325-2333 for more information.  

About Coachella Valley Economic Partnership

The mission of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) is to incite vision-driven transformation in the Greater Palm Springs region. Established in 1994, the nonprofit organization has emerged as a vital innovator of regional business development initiatives by fostering entrepreneurship and diversifying industryAs the only regional entity with the capacity to execute technology-led economic development, the partnership promotes a diversified, year-round economy by facilitating programs that stimulate job creation in key industries through business attraction, retention, and expansion. Visit or call 760-340-1575 for more information.

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