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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Joanna Rees -- That's R-E-E-S -- Planning Mayoral Run

Posted By on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 2:35 PM

click to enlarge Joanna Rees -- your future mayor?
  • Joanna Rees -- your future mayor?
Messy workplace affair not mentioned in campaign literature, shockingly enough

The San Francisco Chronicle this morning reported that venture capitalist Joanna Rees is looking into running for mayor of this here city.

The paper then points out that Rees "isn't a household name in San Francisco" -- and emphasizes that point by spelling her name "Reese" in that paragraph.* D'oh. Still, nice little scoop. For those who do recognize Rees' name, perhaps it's because the Chron wrote a lengthy piece about how she was kinda sorta thinking about running for mayor back in March.

On the heels of this morning's article, Rees organizer Sean Clegg -- yes, the same fella pulling the strings at Gavin Newsom's lieutenant governor campaign -- sent out a press release about "progressive independent" Rees' "exploratory bid" for City Hall Room 200. Included was a bio that'd do Horatio Alger proud (though Rees was never a match girl):

A competitive gymnast in high school and at Duke University, where she earned a BS in psychology, Joanna learned early in life that reaching goals mostly involves a stubborn willingness to fall down and pick yourself up. Her first job was with a multinational advertising agency in New York City, where she started as a media planner making $12,000 a year. Soon she won a promotion, moved on to become director at a leading global consumer products firm where she was managing brand with revenues of $500 million, and earned her MBA from Columbia University. She got married, had an infant son and when it seemed Joanna "had it all," her husband suddenly left the family. Things went from bad to worse. With her father's health failing, she moved back home to Montclair [N.J.] to manage the family's struggling 42-room inn. A working mom mired in debt, she drew from her parents' example, put her head down and managed to return the business to profitability in just three years.

The bio also notes that Rees formed a $200 million firm from $50,000 in seed money. And she has dogs named Jack and Jill. It doesn't deign to mention that an affair with her partner at VSP, John Hamm, led to lawsuits and nearly derailed the company (the two later married and the company's ship has been righted).

But having a workplace affair hardly disqualifies Rees from being mayor -- not in this here city!

*That's since been corrected on the web. The good folks at SFGate are now free to nitpick your humble narrator when he makes a typo at the worst possible time. Fair's fair.   

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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