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Louis Fuentes takes role in Team California

November 26, 2001|STAFF REPORT

SACRAMENTO — Louis Fuentes, president and chief executive officer of Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, has taken a role in the restructuring of the market agency of the California Technology, Trade & Commerce, known as Team California.

This group of representatives from across California has historically operated with a nine- region structure, not including the Imperial Valley. With new appointees and people moving to different positions within the state, there was a lack of leadership.

Gov. Gray Davis appointed Jean Dean, assistant deputy director of the entire network of regions for the California Technology, Trade & Commerce, to the team. She will oversee all of California's regional offices as well as the Team California operations and she is familiar with the Imperial Valley.

Susie Wong, agency coordinator for marketing and communications, stated "I'm glad to see that someone is finally being aggressive in representing the Imperial Valley. We've never had participation from that area, only San Diego."

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"The first nomination we received for co-chair of the four chair positions was Louis Fuentes from the Imperial Valley. That showed an aggressive attitude," said Keith Sutton, business development director for the East Bay Economic Development Alliance for Business and chair of Team California.

Team California is responsible for marketing the "California" name at various trade shows throughout the country and some internationally. A firm also is touring the country with wine and cheese activities to highlight California's diversity. The Imperial Valley is increasing in participation in business attraction efforts in the state and networking with economic development commissions in other regions.

Fuentes realizes the importance of marketing the Valley and said, "I want to do everything possible to promote and create an awareness of the Imperial Valley and the investment opportunities we have, using any medium and organization that we might benefit from."

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