The AMBayArea Administration is responsible for the execution of the organization’s objectives.
Executive DirectorJames Gardner, Ph.D., serves as Executive Director for AMBayArea, having successfully shepherded this new trade association to sustainability for productive collaboration within the Bay Area manufacturing sector and stakeholders across the region. Gardner received his doctorate in biochemistry and has a passion for process and teamwork. His twenty years in basic research and biotech product development and manufacturing placed him in a wide variety of situations, from startup ventures to large companies to high visibility national laboratory projects.
Communications & EventsShannon Banta manages communications and events for AMBayArea. Banta received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific in Communication and Public Relations. She has more than 15 years of experience in public relations, including event management, print and online communications, media relations and community relations.
Ambassador ProgramJoanna Mei is the Ambassador Program Coordinator for AMBayArea linking students and teachers with early-career manufacturing ambassadors. A Bay Area native, she taught math for two years before working with community organizations, including the East Bay Health Workforce Partnership, to develop partnerships between employers and educators, and improve early career pathways. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in American Studies and Molecular and Cell Biology.
Workforce DevelopmentSusie O’Bryant is a professional connector, trainer, and coach who has over 20 years of experience in workforce and economic development. She provided services to small businesses, employers and those in career transition for Contra Costa County for a number of years. She currently advises both students and dislocated workers through the Peralta Community College District. In addition, she is coordinating workforce development efforts for AMBayArea. She also worked as a vocational counselor for the Department of Rehabilitation and has taught both adult and special education.