The Job Forum began in September 1952. This community service has continued uninterrupted every Wednesday evening (except holidays) since then.
In 1952, Robert Ronald, a new member of the San Francisco Junior Chamber of Commerce, created a “Job Finding Forum” sponsored by the “Speakers Bureau”. He invited local business leaders, hiring, and personnel managers to meet with prospective job seekers. The emphasis was a focus upon effective job search strategies and tactics. With this innovative first meeting, Mr. Ronald started The Job Forum organization and established our guiding principles that are still used today.
For 41 years, the guiding light of The Job Forum was Bill Cobaugh who was a senior personnel executive of Fireman’s Fund Co. Insurance. Bill managed and led The Job Forum by personally counseling and advising literally thousands of Bay Area job seekers. He expanded the basic Job Forum process that we still use and Bill recruited to the Job Forum many of the core volunteer panelists.
At the time of Bill’s death in 1992, Conley Baker (a longtime volunteer on The Job Forum Panel and executive with The Employers Group) was asked to take on the Chairmanship and leadership of The Job Forum. Conley was associated with The Job Forum for more than 25 years and he was ably assisted in providing leadership to The Job Forum by Janet Beach and Joanne Auerbach.
In 1997, Janet Beach became Chairman and Executive Director of The Job Forum. Janet was already a longtime supporter of The Job Forum. Since 1982 she has volunteered providing both effective job search counseling and non-profit organizational leadership. Throughout the years, Janet regularly promoted The Job Forum through her book How to Get a Job in the San Francisco Bay Area, in radio interviews, in networking with other job search organizations, through active recruitment of volunteer panelists, and through overall strategic management of The Job Forum. Janet has been helped in her role as Chairman through the tireless dedication of many long-term panel participants especially JoAnne Auerbach who has assisted in a wide variety of leadership roles.