State of the County 2021

We cordially invite you to our State of the County, OC 2021. Tomorrow, on April 29th, we will be hosting our annual State of the County with special guests such as OC Supervisor Katrina Foley (District 2), County Executive Officer (CEO) Frank Kim, and Sr. Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs Jennifer Ward from Orange County Business Council (OCBC)! Panelists representing various types of organizations will share their point of view on how the pandemic has affected their businesses, from the restaurant industry, to the visitor's bureau.

The State of the County invites regional legislators, service providers and business organizations to update attendees on the challenges our county faces regarding important topics. 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted businesses, but as we approach the end of the pandemic, we focus on how Orange County has responded, is recovering and rebuilding to move forward to a successful 2021. Topics that will be discussed include the impact of Covid-19 on the county budget priority, impact on businesses, and plans moving forward. There will also be a panel discussing how to successfully transition from Covid-19, moderated by HB Chamber Board Director and Government Affairs Committee Member Beth Hambelton from MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center.

This event is free and open to the public. The virtual event will be held on Thursday, April 29th from 8:00 - 10:00 AM via Zoom. Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom meeting information.

Featured Speakers

 OC Supervisor Katrina Foley

Katrina Foley

OC Supervisor, Second District

    Katrina Foley is a community leader, successful businesswoman, and attorney who became Costa Mesa’s first directly elected Mayor in November 2018 and re-elected in 2020. Katrina also served as Mayor in 2016-2017 and has been on the Costa Mesa City Council for 14 years.

Previously serving on the Newport Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees from November 2010 to November 2014, Katrina’s focus is on making local Orange County communities better for families.

Katrina is President of The Foley Group, A Professional Law Corporation currently located in Costa Mesa after 20 years in Newport Beach. The Foley Group, PLC provides services in contract negotiations for civil business, employment litigation, and non-profit compliance matters. In 2001 and 2004, Katrina was honored by Women in Leadership and the National Association of Women Business Owners’ at the annual Remarkable Women Awards event.

Her service on local and regional boards and agencies includes the following: serving on the Travel Costa Mesa and Toll Corridor Agency Boards, and liaison to the Newport Mesa Arts Commission, Cultural Arts Committee, Bike and Walkability Committee, Pension and Finance Advisory and Special Districts Committee, as well as the Orange County Fair. As a City Councilmember from November 2004 to November 2010, Foley served as the Chair to the Redevelopment Agency and City Council liaison to the following: the Orange County Fair, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Youth in Government Program, Child Care and Youth Services Committee, Cultural Arts Committee, and Santa Ana River Trail Blue Ribbon Committee. She also Chaired the Coast Community College Measure M Oversight Committee and was recognized as the Orange Coast College Citizen of the Year.

A proud graduate of Head Start and a Pell Grant recipient, Katrina understands what it is like to grow up in a family facing financial challenges. As the daughter and wife of union members, Katrina has always stood with California’s workers and working families in their efforts to organize and collectively bargain.

In law school, Katrina established the school’s first women’s resource to serve domestic violence victims and chaired the women’s law caucus. The small clinic is now a well-established, for credit clinic run by the law school. Katrina was the City of Costa Mesa’s first pregnant Planning Commissioner. At that time, she initiated changing tables in the restrooms and a nursing station for employees at a new IKEA development.

Katrina has two sons in college who attended Costa Mesa Public Schools. She lives in Costa Mesa with her husband of 29 years Casey, a local teacher.

 Speaker OC CEO Frank Kim

Frank Kim

County Executive Officer,

County of Orange


Frank Kim was appointed county executive officer (CEO) by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on May 12, 2015. Frank brings to the CEO role more than 25 years of experience in planning, organization and direction; team leadership and supervision; program development and management; and financial services.

In his role as CEO, Mr. Kim, in collaboration with the Board of Supervisors and executive management, is responsible for the County’s $7.6 billion, 23-department, 18,000-position budget. Prior to serving as CEO, Frank has served the County as CFO, Director of Administration and Finance for the Orange County Probation Department, CEO Budget Team Manager and
interim reuse manager at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. He joined the County in 1995 as a staff accountant. Frank held positions in private industry and higher education before embarking upon his County career.

Frank currently serves as the President of the California Association of County Executives (CACE). He holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Accountancy from California State University, Long Beach.


 Speaker Jennifer Ward OCBC

Jennifer Ward

Sr. VP of Advocacy & Government Affairs,

Orange County Business Council (OCBC)


Jennifer is Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Government Affairs for Orange County Business Council (OCBC). In her position, Jennifer advocates locally, in Sacramento and in Washington D.C. on behalf of OCBC’s diverse business and industry leaders to reinforce Orange County’s economic strength and influence.

Jennifer brings more than 10 years of experience leading public affairs and policy for communities across Southern California. Prior to OCBC, Jennifer served as Director of External Affairs for Clean Power Alliance, the nation’s largest community choice energy provider. There she led the outreach campaign for Clean Power Alliance’s transition of three million people in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties to new electricity supply service, working alongside 32 local governments, legislators, and regulators.

Prior to that, Jennifer worked on regional planning and economic development issues for 18 communities in Riverside County, serving as Director of Government Relations for the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG). At WRCOG, Jennifer partnered with key stakeholders from the private and public sectors, higher education, and non-profits to generate cross-sector initiatives that enhance the future quality of life for inland Southern California. She has served on the Board of Directors for the US Green Building Council – Inland Empire, and was a member of Orange County’s inaugural cohort for the Coro Women in Leadership program. Jennifer graduated with a degree in Environmental Analysis, Society Development, and Policy from Claremont McKenna College.


 Visit HB John Ehlenfeldt Panelist 1

John Ehlenfeldt

Executive Vice President,

Visit Huntington Beach


With over 25 years of combined leadership, sales and destination marketing organization experience, John has represented Visit Huntington Beach, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Long Beach Convention Center and Canadian Tourism Commission. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Visit Huntington Beach and is responsible for the leadership and development of the sales and service departments, annual budget management, strategic planning, benefit administration, product development, and staff hiring, development and evaluation.

John has served as President of MPI Southern California Chapter, President of SITE Southern California Chapter, an MPI RISE Awards committee member for 6 years, and he is currently on the Meeting Professionals International Board of Directors in the role of Diversity & Inclusion for the association. He is a frequent speaker, and an ongoing mentor to students of the hospitality industry at several Southern California universities.

He is a recent graduate at Cornell University completing an executive program in Diversity and Inclusion. John also holds the accreditations of CDME (Certified Destination Management Executive) and CMP (Certified Meeting Professional)


 Downtown HB BID Sarah Kruer Panelist 2

Sarah Kruer

Executive Director,

Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District


Prior to joining the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District as Executive Director, she amassed more than two decades of distinguished marketing and development experience at some of the best brands in hospitality including Visit Newport Beach, South Coast Plaza, and Preferred Hotel Group.

Born and raised in Orange County, Kruer graduated from Vanderbilt University. She has traveled to more than 20 countries and remains passionate about travel, culture, and the value of shared experiences.


STACKED Restaurants Craig Carlyle Panelist 3

Craig Carlyle

Chief Executive Officer,

STACKED Restaurants


Craig's restaurant career began back in 1981. He worked as a bus person in his first position and continued on to serve tables, cook and bartend while attending school. Craig entered restaurant management in 1990 and quickly moved through promotions. Craig became a General Manager in 1992 and moved through the ranks in the following roles: Regional Manager, Vice President of Operations, EVP and President.

Craig was with Yard House Restaurants from 1998 through 2018 becoming President in 2014. During Craig's 20 years at Yard House, he helped the brand grow to over $500 million in sales. In 2019, Craig joined Stacked Restaurants as COO. He became President of Stacked in February of 2020.

Craig and his family reside happily in Orange County, CA.


CIELO Iosefa Alofaituli Panelist 4

Iosefa Alofaituli

Executive Director &




Iosefa “yo-se-fah” Alofaituli recently joined CIELO as it’s Executive Director in 2021, after having helped to incubate the organization in 2015.  Iosefa is leading CIELO through its next phase of growth and impact, as the organization advances their mission to launch successful entrepreneurs by unleashing innovation, creativity & passion. 

Prior to CIELO, Iosefa served in leadership roles at Opportunity Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit CDFI lender to small businesses. As Regional Director in Southern California, Iosefa led the organization's regional expansion through fund, brand and partnership development. Before transitioning from Opportunity Fund, Iosefa helped drive the development and national scale of the organization’s newly formed business advising and support programming.

With a background in social entrepreneurship, Iosefa previously helped launch two nonprofit organizations focused on community and economic empowerment.  From an innovative place-based organization creating systems change in a low-income Latino community in Orange County, to an entrepreneurship center focused on young, minority and underserved entrepreneurs (which became CIELO), Iosefa has led with humility and passion to back those who lack opportunities. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic where he served as an Economic Development Advisor to a community of miners and artisans.

Iosefa grew up in Southern California before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he captained their Ivy League championship football team. He’s a proud father of two boisterous boys, and he and his wife, who he met in the Peace Corps, live in northeast Los Angeles.

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About Us

Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based business advocacy and networking organization that represents 675+ businesses, employing more than 160,000 employees in Huntington Beach and Orange County.

Contact Us

Phone (714) 536-8888

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Huntington Beach CA, 92648