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The executive workshop aims to provide insights to business leaders on how tax reform and trade could impact California’s economy and its dominant technology sector. 

We’ll examine the effect of federal tax reform and other economic tailwinds on California’s economy and how it could spur the state’s own tax overhaul. Will federal tax cuts unleash new investments and entrepreneurship at the heart of the world’s capital of innovation?

The technology industry, a clear beneficiary of global trade, and California, a top exporter, could be at risk from U.S. protectionist trade policies. We’ll discuss the repercussions to California’s economy and tech sector if the administration makes good on its threat to withdraw from NAFTA and impose tariffs after walking away from TPP.
We’ll conclude with an interactive panel discussion featuring a chief executive and tax experts to discuss how leadership can best leverage the opportunities and navigate the economic challenges of tax reform and thrive in an uncertain global trade system essential to maintaining U.S. technology supremacy.

Future Ready Business: Washington Impact is a yearlong programming series presented by Tax with Grant Thornton. Our goal is to help you separate business signals from the political noise. With hundreds of reporters and editors tracking the Washington policy process, think and code covers every detail that matters to your business and provides the in-depth analysis that helps you understand the implications. And with nearly 100 years of business advice, Grant Thornton is your partner for converting insights into strategy and advantage.


May 3, 2018 
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 
Networking reception to follow.

Pier 3, The Embarcadero #101 
San Francisco, CA 94109


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4:00 pm                 Registration & Networking

4:25 pm                 Welcome Remarks              

  • Darren McKewen, President, Tax
  • Tony Perazzo, Greater Bay Area Managing Partner and California Market Leader, Grant Thornton

4:30 pm                 California: Risks and Growth Opportunities 

With the state’s unemployment rate at a record low (4.3%), wage growth stronger than the national average, and a budget surplus ($6.1 billion), California has but distant memories of the recession, though some challenges persist. This session will examine the economic prospects and growth opportunities in the state.

How are businesses—from Big Tech to startups, agriculture to energy—faring? How is California defending its leadership position in innovation, not just from aggressive competitors abroad but from other states that are heavily investing in technology innovation across industries? We’ll explore the current business trends shaping the state’s economic trajectory.


  • Lanhee Chen, David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow, Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Ted Egan, Chief Economist, City and County of San Francisco
  • Jay Zaveri,Partner, Social Capital 

    Moderator: Lizette Chapman, Tech and Venture Reporter, News

4:50 pm                 Audience Q&A

4:55 pm                 On Taxes, Trade and the Technology Sector

On taxes: The new tax reform bill slashed corporate tax rates, potentially leading to more business investments across industries. At the same time, federal tax reforms have put pressure on high-tax states like California, whose top income earners, including those in Silicon Valley, are expected to take a hit, and forcing those states to respond with tax reforms of their own. Will the tax landscape become even more complex, not less, for business?

On trade: The tech industry is a clear beneficiary of global trade, with global exports supporting 40% of U.S. manufacturing jobs. If NAFTA is withdrawn, the biggest loser in terms of economic output among U.S. states is California, reducing the state’s exports to Mexico and Canada by an estimated $10 billion and putting the future of many supply chains at risk. In this session, Economists will weigh in on the twin impact of taxes and trade and how the state can maintain its technology leadership.  


  • Scott Anderson, Executive Vice President, Chief Economist, Bank of the West
  • Melinda Franklin, Managing Director, Corporate and Government Affairs, Western Region, United Airlines 
  • William Lee, Chief Economist, The Milken Institute

    Moderator: Andrew Silverman, Tax Policy Analyst, Intelligence

5:25 pm                 Audience Q&A 

5:30 pm                 Finance & Tax Leaders in Practice: Navigating California’s Business Climate Circa 2018

How can today’s finance and tax leaders navigate the challenges of tax reform, the uncertainties surrounding the future of global trade, and the opportunities and challenges for increased domestic operations? Join our interactive workshop with senior finance and tax professionals as they discuss and engage the audience on how organizations are managing the changes brought about by federal policy, and are looking to the future for possible state and local policy implications, as well as the impact of fast-moving technology innovation on planning and the overall finance operations of the organization. 

  • Francois Chadwick, Vice President, Tax and Accounting, Uber 
  • Dana Lance, Partner and Greater Bay Area SALT Practice Leader, Grant Thornton

    Moderator: Andrew Silverman, Tax Policy Analyst, Intelligence

5:55 pm                  Audience Q&A

6:00 pm                  Closing Remarks, Reception & Networking 

  • Darren McKewen, President, Tax

7:00 pm                  Reception Concludes




  • Scott Anderson_177x177
    Scott Anderson, Executive Vice President, Chief Economist, Bank of the West

    Scott Anderson is a Chief Economist and Executive Vice `President at Bank of the West, and serves on the Bank’s Senior Management Committee. In this role he analyzes and forecast international, national and regional economic trends for Bank of the West management, business lines and clients. As an experienced economic advisor in the financial services sector, Anderson has been recognized as one of the Top economic forecasters in the country by the Wall Street Journal and .

    He authors Instant Analysis and Daily Update reports on prominent economic releases and monetary policy actions, and a weekly U.S. Outlook report on special macroeconomic topics. He also produces periodic regional outlook reports on California and other regions, as well as chart books on China, Europe, and commercial bank lending and credit trends. He has also been a regular contributor to Forbes.

    Scott’s economic research is widely read and cited by the financial and business communities, and he is a sought after national expert and speaker on macroeconomics issues. He has appeared in numerous print, television and radio media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, , CNBC and NPR.

    He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Club of California. He was appointed Chairman of the American Bankers Association Economic Advisor Committee in 2012 and has served on the Committee since 2004. In 2015, he was appointed to the California Council of Economic Advisors.

    Prior to joining Bank of the West, Scott was a Senior Economist at Wells Fargo where he produced Wells Fargo’s macroeconomic forecast and was the author of periodic U.S., global, and regiona economic reports. Anderson has also held positions at Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C.

  • Francois Chadwick_177x177
    Francois Chadwick, Vice President, Tax and Accounting, Uber

    Francois is the Vice President of Tax & Accounting at Uber.  He assisted in launching them in over 75 countries, and assisting in their global growth plans.  He coordinates a team of 200+ professionals based around the world.  He is currently instrumental in teaming with the Uber Global Policy Team in shaping global tax and accounting policy as it relates to the shared economy.

    Francois has over 25 years of experience in corporate tax and accounting, focusing on multi-national technology companies.  He has worked overseas in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Singapore and Hong Kong, bringing with him a hands-on experience with national and international issues. 

    Prior to joining Uber, Francois was the Lead Tax Partner at KPMG, focusing on global hyper-growth tech companies.  Francois has also founded and sold a tax-tech start-up which had global operations. 

    Francois also worked for the European Commission in Brussels on various tax and policy/regulatory studies and was instrumental in assisting the EU Commission align certain “green” tax regulations.

    Finally, for all of his sins, Francois is both an accountant and a lawyer!

  • Lanhee Chen_177x177
    Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. , David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow, Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

    Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University; Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School; and an affiliate of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  During the Fall of 2017, he will be the William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.  Chen is also a Counsel at the law firm of Arent Fox LLP.

    A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, Chen has worked in government, the private sector, and academia. 

    Most recently, Chen was an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.  In 2012, he was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s chief policy adviser; a senior strategist on the campaign; and the person responsible for developing the campaign’s domestic and foreign policy. He advised Romney on every major public policy challenge facing the United States and worked with a variety of stakeholders, including the congressional leadership, industry and business interests, and policy experts, to shape the campaign’s issues agenda.

    Chen currently serves as a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed member of the Social Security Advisory Board—an independent, bipartisan panel that advises the president, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs.  He is also the inaugural Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, a project at the Aspen Institute that draws together a diverse range of distinguished leaders and thinkers to address significant structural challenges in the U.S. economy.

    In 2014, Chen was the Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).  He was the deputy campaign manager and policy director of Steve Poizner’s 2010 California gubernatorial campaign, the domestic policy director of Governor Romney’s first presidential bid in 2008, and a health policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004.

    In the Bush administration, Chen was a senior official at the US Department of Health and Human Services. His private-sector experience includes having been an associate attorney with the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he practiced business litigation. Chen was also the Winnie Neubauer Visiting Fellow in Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and worked as a health policy advocate for a major business group in Washington, DC.

    At Stanford, Chen serves as a member of the Faculty Steering Committee at the Haas Center for Public Service.  He has also been Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.  An eight-time winner of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Chen’s scholarship has appeared or been cited in several of the nation’s top political science journals.

  • Ted Egan_177x177
    Dr. Ted Egan, Chief Economist, City and County of San Francisco

    Dr. Ted Egan is the Chief Economist of the City and County of San Francisco, and directs the Office of Economic Analysis in the City Controller’s Office. The office prepares independent economic analysis of all important new city legislation.

    Since he joined the City in 2007, his office has published over 100 economic impact reports on policy issues like the minimum wage, affordable housing, business taxes, land use planning, sporting events, and short-term rentals.  He has served as an expert witness for the City on the economics of same-sex marriage in the Prop 8 lawsuit, and in 2013 he won a Good Government award for his work re-designing the City’s business tax to promote economic development.

    Previously, he spent ten years as a consultant with ICF International, managing economic development strategy projects across North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1997, and has lectured in the Economics and City Planning departments at Berkeley for over ten years.

  • Melinda Franklin_177x177
    Melinda Franklin, Managing Director, Corporate and Government Affairs, Western Region, United Airlines

    Melinda Yee Franklin is a thought leader and legislative strategist with a sustained track record of successfully enhancing corporate reputation to generate sales revenue and drive business development. She has cultivated a global network of high level corporate, government and civic leaders which enables her to execute on business initiatives. She has developed strong expertise in crisis management, public policy, and international affairs.   

    Since 2006, she has served as the Managing Director of Corporate and Government affairs in the Western Region for United Airlines. She is the company’s chief advocate on legislative, corporate, and policy issues related to California, Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington State. She also serves as the lead representative on the boards of directors of key business organizations throughout the State of California.

    She is currently Chairman of the Board of the San Francisco Travel Association, responsible for a staff of 100 and a $35M budget.  

    Prior to United, she was the Managing Director of The Siena Group, a global consultant to corporations, government organizations, and non-profits on strategic investment and business development initiatives.    

    Ms. Yee Franklin was previously Executive Vice President for Global Alliances at Meet World Trade (formally MeetChina.com), a cross-border international trade platform and e-marketplace. She was responsible for marketing, investor relations, human resources, and corporate relations. 

    From 1996-2000, she served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce in San Francisco. In this capacity, she was the top trade advisor to Mayor Willie Brown and served as his liaison with the business community and foreign consulates on international commercial issues. 

    Prior to the Mayor’s office, she was the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary at the United States Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Her responsibilities included coordination of presidential business development missions and various initiatives focused on economic and trade issues. She has negotiated with senior officials and business leaders worldwide.

    In 1993, Ms. Yee Franklin was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and later as Special Assistant to the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown and Senior Advisor on the Pacific Rim.  Secretary Brown then appointed her to head an interagency task force in California, implementing the President’s National Economic Strategy to create jobs within the state. Her accomplishments included the establishment of a regional export development initiative and the successful coordination of the Department’s earthquake relief efforts in Southern California.

    She has received local and national recognition for her work and is often a featured speaker at major business forums. She earned her Masters in Public Administration at the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Communications at the University of California, San Diego.  

  • Dana Lance_177x177
    Dana Lance, Partner and Greater Bay Area SALT Practice Leader, Grant Thornton

    Dana Lance is the SALT Practice Leader for the Greater Bay Area and based in San Jose, California. She has been serving clients in Grant Thornton for over ten years. Dana provides general tax services for a number of large multistate and multinational clients, while specializing in the area of state and local income and franchise taxation.

    Prior to serving as the SALT Practice Leader for the Greater Bay Area, Dana was the State and Local Income and Franchise Tax Business Line Leader over the Florida market territory’s four offices, and also served as the Women at Grant Thornton Champion for the Florida territory.

    Dana has in-depth experience in providing a wide range of tax services to businesses operating in a number of industries. She has served both large multistate and multinational corporations in various service, manufacturing, distribution, and shipping industries, but focuses primarily in the technology sector. Dana also has extensive partnership experience serving the state and local tax needs of several large private equity firms around the country. 

    Dana’s practice concentrations include: state tax minimization services including assisting taxpayers with the development and design of effective state tax planning; state due diligence reviews and M&A transaction analysis and consulting; nexus reviews; voluntary disclosure agreement negotiations to minimize state tax exposures; accounting for income taxes and uncertain tax positions for both federal and state taxes; and compliance outsourcing and reviews. 

    Dana is fluent in both English and Spanish.

  • William Lee_177x177
    William Lee, Chief Economist, The Milken Institute

    William (Bill) Lee is chief economist at the Milken Institute. He leads the Institute’s effort to develop collaborative policies to improve access to and the functioning of capital markets, strengthen financial stability and the soundness of financial institutions, and foster global macroeconomic, financial, and regulatory conditions to bolster job creation. Lee is also responsible for formulating and communicating action-oriented solutions to global policymakers, thought leaders, and market participants.

    Prior to joining the Institute, he was managing director and head of North America economics for Citigroup, where his responsibilities included shaping insights about U.S. policy and economic prospects for global clients. Before joining Citi in 2011, Lee was deputy division chief at the International Monetary Fund, where, among other accomplishments, he established its Hong Kong office, improved financial market surveillance protocols, and was the IMF resident representative in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2003. Lee’s country work for the IMF included being mission chief for Singapore and senior desk economist and deputy division chief covering the United States and Germany. Most recently, Lee was deputy division chief responsible for analytical chapters of the IMF’s flagship publication on global financial stability, “The Global Financial Stability Report.” In addition, he researched and wrote about institutional asset allocation, credit derivatives, hedge funds, pension funds, and regulatory reforms to strengthen global financial stability. Before the IMF, Lee was senior economist and division chief of the financial markets division at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He began his career as an economist with the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

    Lee holds a B.Sc. in operations research and a Ph.D. in economics, both from Columbia University.

  • Darren McKewen Headshot
    Darren McKewen, President, Tax

    Darren McKewen leads think and code's Tax & Specialty Division, providing information and software solutions for professionals in tax and accounting, environment, occupational safety, human resources, and payroll.

    McKewen began his think and code career in 1987 as a research analyst. He subsequently worked in a variety of editorial positions as a writer, copy editor, and then managing editor. He held several positions working on new product development and product enhancements, leading up to director of product development. McKewen subsequently served as Executive Editor and Group Publisher for the Human Resources & Payroll Publishing Group. From 2005 to 2012, he was Vice President and Group Publisher for Tax & Accounting, overseeing the editorial, marketing, and business development operations of Tax Management Inc. Prior to 's 2011 acquisition of think and code, he had served on the think and code Board of Directors, and as a member of the Tax Management Inc. and think and code International Inc. boards.

    Prior to think and code, McKewen was an English teacher at the British cultural center in Asuncion, Paraguay, and worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Virginia and a certificate in information technology management from George Mason University.

  • Tony Perazzo_177x177
    Tony Perazzo, Greater Bay Area Managing Partner and California Market Leader, Grant Thornton

    Tony Perazzo is the California Market Leader and Managing Partner for Grant Thornton’s Greater Bay Area offices (San Francisco and Silicon Valley).

    Tony has over 23 years of experience serving public and private clients primarily in the Technology and Consumer and Industrial Products industries. While he has focused his career on the middle market, Tony has also worked extensively with large multi-national companies. He has assisted clients with initial public offerings, mergers and acquisition due diligence, and various process consulting projects. Tony also understands the dynamics of closely held ownership due to his experience with private equity-held, family owned and venture capital backed companies.

    Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Tony spent the first eight years of his career at Arthur Andersen.
    Tony previously served as the Greater Bay Area audit practice leader. Throughout his career, Tony has worked extensively with public and private SAAS, software, hardware and medical device companies in the Technology industry.

    He also previously served as the firms Northern California Consumer and Industrial Products industry leader and has written for and been quoted in national food and beverage trade publications. He continues to be a resource for Grant Thornton’s national food and beverage and retail industry sub segments.

  • Jay Zaveri_177x177
    Jay Zaveri, Partner, Social Capital

    Jay Zaveri is a Partner at Social Capital, whose mission is to advance humanity by solving the world's hardest problems. In this role, Jay leads Discover, Social Capital's early-stage investment and incubation arm, which focuses on healthcare, life sciences, sustainability, human development, technology infrastructure, artificial intelligence, transportation and urban infrastructure.
    Prior to joining Social Capital, Jay was an entrepreneur. He founded three venture-backed companies, the most recent of which was mobile productivity application CloudOn, which was acquired by Dropbox. Jay has built companies, products and platforms that have scaled to millions of active users in the consumer mobile and enterprise spaces. His love for cartoons and work in the new media tech space has won him 18 awards, including a Hollywood Film Festival for Best Animated Short.



Pier 3, The Embarcadero #101
San Francisco, CA 94109

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