Nov 19 2015

OCBC Announces 2015 Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Award Winners

IRVINE, Calif. — Orange County Business Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 5th Annual Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards, presented by JP Morgan & Chase Co. The awards program recognizes leaders, policies and programs in local government eliminating barriers to economic growth and private sector jobs creation. The winners were selected by a diverse committee of business and city leaders, chaired by Dan Miller, Senior Vice President, Entitlement and Public Affairs, The Irvine Company, and were honored at last night’s reception at The Center Club. The award winners are:

Award for Business Retention and Expansion

City of Anaheim: Brew City Initiative
Anaheim City Council’s decision to allow breweries, wineries and distilleries to open in nearly all of the city’s commercially and industrially-zoned areas promoted economic development with clear, measureable results. New businesses are opening up as a result of the new zoning codes and the initiative received ample positive media coverage, making it likely to viral to other cities.

The City of Orange received an honorable mention award in the category of Business Retention and Expansion for its Orange Development Streamlining Initiative.

 Award for Sustainable and Green Development

Santa Margarita Water District, OC Public Works, and Rancho Mission Viejo: Gobernadora Multi-Purpose Basin
Orange County has traditionally been highly dependent on imported water resources, especially as the state continues to suffer from a four-year drought. In response, these winners have taken an innovative approach to securing local water by recycling a typically wasted water source — urban runoff. This innovative program provides regional flood protection and improved water quality and reliability, which is crucial for businesses as the cost of imported water continues to rise.

Award for Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse

City of Santa Ana: Harbor Mixed Use Transit Corridor Specific Plan
Through significant outreach and partnerships with the business community, this plan contains the specific implementation of funding and public realm improvements that create a clear future of mixed-use corridors for residents and businesses. With eight mixed-use residential and commercial projects currently in review, the plan demonstrated success as a fresh and innovative tool to move projects forward in an area where development is traditionally thought to be challenging – significantly promoting the area’s economic development.

Award for Responding to Globalization

OC Center for International Trade Development: Global Trade and Logistics Initiative
This program coordinates with business on a significant workforce development plan that addresses one of Orange County’s emerging and thriving industries — International Trade. By working closely with the private sector, educators and workforce partners create a cohesive regional strategy to serve businesses with workshops and seminars, research, referrals, trainings, leads and access to qualified college students to help expand businesses internationally. In just one example of the program’s partnership with the Small Business Development Center, more than 300 businesses have been served — further positioning Orange County as a robust global economic player.

Award for Public-Private Partnership

Orange County Transportation Authority: OC Human Trafficking Prevention Partnership
OCTA partnered with various organizations to launch an effective outreach campaign to combat human trafficking throughout Orange County. Research indicates that victims of human trafficking are more likely to ride the public bus system – so the agency not only posted information about it at transit centers, but also printed brochures in multiple languages, wrapped two full buses in ads encouraging riders to “Be the One” to call when they see something, convened two news conferences, and partnered with numerous faith-based organizations to host awareness events.  Additionally, OCTA partnered with law enforcement to devise a strategy for the Be the One initiative. Safety issues are a significant deterrent for many people who would otherwise take advantage of the public transportation system in Orange County. When people feel unsafe riding a bus or train, they stay in their cars and add to freeway traffic.  With this incredibly effective partnership, OCTA enhances public safety and advances workforce mobility. Additionally, low crime rates are a significant factor for businesses when deciding where to expand.

Two additional programs received an honorable mention award in the category of Public-Private Partnerships: The Literacy Volunteers Huntington Beach Public Library for its Workplace Literacy program; and the OC Sheriff’s Department for its Orange County Shield program.

Leadership Award

There were two award winners in the category of Leadership.

Newport Beach Mayor Edward Selich
Mayor Edward Selich is the first city councilmember ever to receive the Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Leadership Award. His demonstrated leadership on several infrastructure investment projects and commitment to fiscal responsibility has been crucial in enhancing local and regional economic vitality. For example, Mayor Selich’s leadership on the project Uptown Newport effectively minimized the bureaucratic process that could have slowed down the project and ensured that it created financial benefits for the overall community — it will be completed in 2017. 

Orange County Workforce Investment Board
OCWIB is a regional leader in coordinating the county’s comprehensive economic development strategy, resulting in significant public and private investments, providing services to local employers including retraining of employees, skills gap upgrade training, policy development and layoff aversion, and much more. Since 2000, OCWIB has brought $210 million in state and federal discretionary spending despite Orange County’s donor county status— having traditionally received very little support for economic growth and special populations programs. 

About OCBC:
Orange County Business Council is the leading voice of business in Orange County, California. OCBC represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC serves member and investor businesses with nearly 250,000 employees and 2,000,000 worldwide. In providing a proactive forum for business and supporting organizations, OCBC helps assure the financial growth of America’s sixth largest county. For more information, visit

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