Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales will serve as a panelist discussing regional economic development in the Inland Empire as part of a Thursday, May 26, hearing held by the Little Hoover Commission to be held at the Riverside Convention Center.

The hearing, “Equitable Economic Development Across California,” is the first in a series of statewide hearings that will be held by the Little Hoover Commission on how California has taken steps to address regional economic disparities, and will explore the background, strategy and goals of the Regions Rise Together initiative.

The hearing, scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and offered in person as well as virtually, will specifically examine the Inland Empire’s experience in building partnerships among civic leaders, education, industry and community groups with the goal of promoting inclusive and sustainable regional development.

Morales, who has led CSUSB since May 2012, will be on the second panel session starting at 1:15 p.m., which will focus on regional economic development. Joining Morales will be Paul Granillo, president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and a CSUSB alumnus, and Suzanne Holland, director of the Riverside County Office of Economic Development.

The first panel session, at 10 a.m., “A Statewide Perspective: Regions Rise Together,” will feature Lenny Mendonca, former chief economic and business advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development; Ashley Swearengin, president and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation; and Marek Gootman, senior fellow, Brookings Institution.

The third panel session, “Opportunity and Inclusion,” will feature Jackie Melendez, executive director, Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO); Alex Avila, co-founder of the Black Brown Economic Empowerment Partnership and the Inland Empire Multicultural Collective; and Karen Suarez, director, Uplift San Bernardino.

The Little Hoover Commission is an independent state oversight agency created in 1962 to investigate state government operations and policy, and – through reports and legislative proposals – make recommendations to the governor and legislature to promote economy, efficiency and improved service in state operations.

The hearing will be held in Meeting Room 7 and 8 of the Riverside Convention Center, 3657 5 St., Riverside. It will also be livestreamed on Zoom – phone number: (888) 788-0099, Webinar ID: 987 9380 0239, password: 73026 – and livestreamed on the commission’s Facebook page.

More information is on the hearing’s Eventbrite webpage.