Published in the March 15 – 28, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By John Horner

John Horner

This year is off to a roaring start for Morgan Hill and your Chamber of Commerce. The Celebrate Morgan Hill awards dinner was a magical evening thanks to an outstanding group of honorees, an inspiring opening talk by 2002 Student of the Year and current Morgan Hill City Councilmember Caitlin Jachimowicz and an outstanding job by Jona Denz-Hamilton as master of ceremonies. Many of you were there and know how special it was — and thank you for that.

Planning-wise we would like to highlight two important community projects we are currently involved with:

First off, the city of Morgan Hill’s staff has been assembling an Economic Development Blueprint over the course of this past 12 months and the planning phase is coming to completion.

March 24, 2017 will be an important day in that process with an all-day series of discussions drilling down into the details of who is going to do what and how results will be measured.

The blueprint’s major sectors are professional job growth, bolstering our education and training opportunities, strengthening the medical services sector, building on the downtown momentum, supporting tourism expansion and appropriate retail growth. The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee meets at 8 a.m. the second Thursday of each month. Please join us if this is an area of particular interest for you.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Facilities Master Plan development is the second major effort to bring to your attention. This project is built around four major stakeholder meetings designed to assess the condition of our local schools in comparison to what they would ideally be to support 21st century learning in a healthy, safe and engaging environment. The current bond program has about $150 million left to allocate and it is very important to spend that money in the most productive, effective and fair manner. As you can imagine, every school site has a long list of wants and needs. How do all of these legitimate needs get prioritized for allocation of the available funds? Answering that question is both important and difficult. MHUSD is planning a large Facilities Master Plan Town Hall meeting on April 26. I encourage you to consider being there and learn what’s in store.

I’m also pleased to announce that the first South County Disrupt Forum investor pitch event is tentatively scheduled for June 2 at Specialized. This effort to engage local entrepreneurs is led by Danielle Davenport. It promises to be amazing in both the near term and long run.

More information is available at

John Horner is the president and CEO of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce.