LIVERMORE -- After nine years at the helm of the Livermore Chamber of Commerce, Dale Kaye is moving on.

At year's end, she'll take over the reigns of Innovation Tri-Valley (ITV), a consortium of local entrepreneurs, businesses, schools and the two national labs that have united to attract businesses and promote the region on a global scale, especially in the high-tech sector.

Kaye, who spent the past three years as a board member of ITV in addition to her role as CEO of the chamber, said she reached a point where she had to do more for the Innovation initiative.

"You really can't do anything like this without a staff," Kaye said. "We have the amazing potential to announce to the world what we can be ... The plan's there, it's written down, but you need somebody to do it."

With Innovation Tri-Valley, Kaye's immediate goal is to "make it real." She envisions creating a regional brand for the area, highlighting the importance of science and technology to the global economy and getting businesses and schools on the same page.

The brainchild of software company Sybase, in partnership with Chevron, Las Positas College, the labs and the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Tri-Valley's birth came from a report that took a year to complete, pointing out the region's assets and potential for innovation.

"Nobody had done that before," Kaye said. "That gave us optimism."

The Tri-Valley area, Kaye said, is blessed with some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and is home to a high concentration of "gazelles" (fast-growing companies) but isn't yet reaping the benefits. Unlocking the potential in the global market, she says, will take "a true regional effort."

"We knew there was a brand problem," Kaye said. "Why don't we get more attention? Because what we have here is amazing; the labs are changing the world."

Kaye says she's leaving the chamber in good financial health, and while she "loved every minute" of working there, she's most proud of the Livermore Valley Film Commission, which she created. The commission will continue on in Kaye's stead, with current commission assistant director Jeanie Haigh moving up to take over operations.

With Innovation Tri-Valley, Kaye wants to take a "top-down approach" with businesses setting the agenda. The initiative, she said, will work with government entities to streamline the regulatory process. Among her first projects will be working with Chevron and Livermore-based light manufacturer Bridgelux to provide LED streetlights in Livermore.

"It's almost crazy," Kaye said of her new direction. "You have this idea, and you have to jump off the cliff and make it happen."

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184 or follow him at twitter.com/jet_bang.

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