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.
Economic Development Director
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.
Economic Development Specialist
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 Manager
Tina Kapoor has called Fremont home since she moved to the U.S. in 1999. She grew up in a small industrial town that is proud to be the largest producer of sporting goods and musical instruments in India. Destined for big adventures in a city, Tina attended the acclaimed Delhi University and graduated with Honors in English.
Fascinated by how cities work, Tina pursued work in local government and joined the 10th largest city in the U.S. — San Jose. Over a 15-year period, Tina built a career in economic development, excelling in the creation of innovative programs in partnership with private partners to nurture businesses and entrepreneurs. In 2015, Tina was honored as a Top Women of Influence in Silicon Valley.
Tina joined the City of Fremont in 2017, bringing her expertise in business district revitalization, downtown management, and workforce development. Tina serves on the Alameda County Workforce Development Board to craft innovative and customized solutions for businesses looking to find and retain talent.
Grateful for the unparalleled quality of life and opportunities that Fremont offers, Tina utilizes her solid graphic design, storytelling, and social media skills to market the City’s attributes and strengths to its robust business and resident community.
Where you’ll find Tina off hours: playing basketball with her sons (they’re both better than she is), practicing henna art, and singing karaoke with her dad.
Economic Development Manager
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.