MEET OUR CAN-DO STAFF
Fremont has a dedicated economic development team — and a larger in-house team we can assemble depending on the situation. Before you invest your time or submit anything, we can make sure you’re on the right path. By being incredibly thorough in the pre-application stage, we can help you compress the process and move business along.
You should also know that Fremont has a stable political climate (read between the lines as you will). In short, we’re business-friendly with economic development baked into our General Plan.
Assistant City Manager
Christina Briggs is a champion of economic development and redevelopment for city governments. For nearly 15 years, she has led efforts in business recruitment, business retention, and job development strategies and has managed mixed-use, retail, and hotel development projects. She also provides economic health analysis, including development of industry cluster strategies for clean technology, biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing. Christina takes particular pride in serving as an interface between business and government and has led several “win win” collaborations in the development/permitting process and other public/private partnerships.
Christina is the public sector co-chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Northern California P3 committee, a member of the Urban Land Institute, the Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and a founding member of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Roundtable.
She received her B.A. in Language Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Master of Public Administration degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Where you’ll find Christina off hours: cooking a gourmet meal, at her son’s soccer games, and spending weekends in Santa Cruz.
Small Business Ally
Julie Vidad-Balmoja has been a local government professional for nearly 20 years. She joined City of Fremont’s Planning Division in 2001 as a Senior Support Specialist supporting general operations and its Boards and Commissions. After 15 years in the Planning Division, Julie became a Community Development Technician in the Building Plans and Permits Division where she assisted with processing and issuing building permits for a wide range of development projects and business tenant improvements. In addition, she managed and issued special events permits.
Her experience with customer service and business interaction provides her with a strong foundation for supporting the Office of Economic Development and its daily operations as an Economic Development Specialist.
Where you’ll find Julie off hours: spending time with her family, dancing hula from her native Hawai’i, or enjoying her own “maker” arts and crafts activities.
Economic Development Coordinator
In her five-year career, Nikki Inamine has already made her mark on Bay Area local governments by effectively collaborating with industry stakeholders and elected officials, managing cross-department communications, providing thoughtful customer service in high-pressure environments, and more.
As Fremont’s Economic Development Coordinator, Nikki is energized by how public policies affect cities and enjoys uplifting communities and the local businesses within them. She is particularly drawn to the City of Fremont’s robust advanced manufacturing industry and leverages her experience in permit facilitation and communications/marketing in her work with both small businesses and global corporations to grow Fremont's business community.
Throughout her career, Nikki has worked on various initiatives for both the City of Milpitas and the City of San Jose, including coordinating an award-winning interest group called Reconnecting Silicon Valley, assisting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identifying a new home for San Jose's Japantown Farmer's Market.
Nikki's passion for assisting communities does not stop when she ends the work week. She is part of the Bay Area chapter of iMentor, an organization that mentors first-generation high school students looking to attend college. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America.
Where you'll find Nikki off hours: cooking new recipes, learning karate, planning her next trip, and teaching her dog new tricks.
Economic Development Director
Donovan Lazaro is a strong believer in community-guided economic development. As a Bay Area native, he understands the complexities and interconnectedness of the region and the need to build a more inclusive and accessible economy — championing collaboration in development projects and “win-win” outcomes. Donovan is passionate about all aspects of economic development, including development facilitation, long-range planning, workforce development, cross-sector initiatives, and helping businesses of all sizes start and grow in Fremont.
Prior to joining the Fremont team, Donovan was an Economic Development Officer at the City of San José. While there, he worked with cross-sector industry partners on a variety of initiatives, including developing a multi-faceted training and internship program to bring high school students from underserved communities into careers in engineering and advanced manufacturing.
Before his career in economic development, Donovan worked in the local tech sector where he gained experience working in both startup and public enterprises. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an International Business focus from San José State University and is currently completing his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the same academic institution. During his free time, Donovan loves traveling, being outdoors, and seeking out new places to get a great meal.