A Steward Network

Established in 1993, the Fresno Business Council (FBC) was formed by business leaders with a drive to effect real change in their community. Using their collective leadership and intellectual capital, FBC’s board and CEO design and implement strategies for Fresno’s most complex economic and social issues. Tackling everything from education to land use and beyond, the Council creates community initiatives with lasting impact. Collaborative projects have included the Center for Advanced Research & Technology (CART), the Choosing Our Future Report, the Human Investment Initiative, and the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance, the workforce builders behind the Valley Made Summit. Proud to be a catalyst for change and stewards for the community, the Fresno Business Council shares a passionate vision and commitment to Fresno’s future.

Let's do something

In 1993, crime in Fresno was escalating while economic and social indicators were dropping. A small group of business leaders came together to apply their entrepreneurial spirit to critical issues affecting our community, and the Fresno Business Council was born.

Through the years, our members have impacted every sector of our community, from education to land use and just about everything in between. We have convened, collaborated, initiated and advised - and every one of us has been changed by our experiences. As we have grown, so has our passion and commitment to the community where we have run businesses, raised families and called home – a community that holds our hearts and our greatest hopes for future generations.

"If everyone did a little, no one would have to do a lot." - Dick Johanson, FBC co-founder

Today, our board and membership span the public and private sectors. What is unchanged is our desire to bring our highest-level skills to lift our community. We are proud to be a part of a growing change in community culture.

As we face the future, we are committed to fostering emerging leaders to continue the path, engaging businesses to lead with a triple bottom line agenda, and to developing a world-class workforce. If you are interested in learning more about us, or perhaps joining us, we would love to hear from you.


Our Process

We are non-partisan. Individually we run the spectrum of political ideologies, but collectively we are united in our understanding that the political apparatus should not drive best thinking for community action. Fresno Business Council does not have a partisan political agenda.

We are objective and independent. Our purpose in coming together is to design solutions to address complex community issues that do not have appointed guiding leadership. Most often, these are large, long-term issues that have plagued our community for some time (such as high unemployment, low per-capita income, concentrated poverty, etc.) and lack clear, simple paths to resolution. Our goal is to find the source of the issues by unraveling them to their core – objectively – and examining solutions independent of their current contexts.

We believe that solutions to most of our community’s most challenging issues lie within the community, not from sources outside the community. We cannot wait for others on a state or federal level to solve these challenges for us. In order to tackle the issues in the most effective way, we think together, act together. Our approach is to come together to design remedy sets that address the wide gamut of factors contributing to a community issue and can be a part of a lasting solution. Once we have an agreed-upon set of strategies, we execute and monitor them collectively. The most important aspect of this process is a shared vision and commitment, knowing we are far stronger and more effective working together toward outcomes.

We are structurally lean and open source. From the beginning, FBC has primarily done its work with one exceptional CEO and the efforts of quality, committed volunteers, resulting in an extraordinary return on investment. We have come together for the community, and as such, all intellectual capital we develop is freely provided to anyone interested.

Our Impact

As a community convener and initiator of projects aimed at tackling some of Fresno's most intractable issues, we have worked with many people and many partner organizations.


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