As the City of San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Ms. Acosta’s task is twofold: (1) develop the Lit San Leandro 10 gbps fiber optic network as a unique infrastructure tool to attract, expand and retain innovative tech businesses and businesses in need of fast connectivity; and (2) to cultivate a healthy tech and innovation ecosystem designed to attract investment, companies and jobs to San Leandro. Ms. Acosta has focused on developing public/private partnerships to achieve City Council goals regarding economic, technology and environmental resilience. The most visible success of this strategy is The Gate, the transformation of 400,000+ sf of a former Chrysler Dodge auto plant into the largest 3D desktop printing hub in the world – the Bay Area Advanced Manufacturing group (BAAM). Today, over 3 million square feet of commercial and industrial building space and over 250 businesses are now connected to Lit San Leandro. In 2016, City leaders committed to exploring IoT and Smart City technologies through incorporation into the City’s General Plan update and is on path to become a leader in Smart City development, particularly in energy technologies.
Ms. Acosta is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley. Her 26-year career spans both public and private sectors in banking (commercial construction financing), municipal economic development (technology and international trade) and as a business consultant. She became the East Bay and San Leandro’s first Chief Innovation Officer in February 2013, where she now lives with her artist/entrepreneur husband, Gary Branchaud.