Ready for the Next Chapter

NorthBay President and CEO Plans to Retire Dec. 31, 2023

After a 40-plus year career that spanned both the health care industry and corporate America, NorthBay Health President and CEO B. Konard Jones has decided it is time to begin a new chapter.

In March, he announced plans to retire at the end of the year, giving the 63-year-old organization ample time to find a new president and CEO as it regains firm financial footing in an ever-changing health care landscape, triggered by the global pandemic.

“There’s never a perfect time to step away,” reflected Konard, “because there are always challenges on the horizon. But I’m proud of the many ways this organization has navigated through unchartered territory. Our teams banded together and did the hard work, and this health care system and the community are the better for it.”

NorthBay’s most appealing qualities through the years, he said, have been its unwavering dedication to the community, and its independent spirit.

Throughout my entire journey, my desire has been to serve my community, and give back to families who needed care. And that is central to the fabric of NorthBay.”
B. Konard Jones, President and CEO of NorthBay Health

“We’re small and nimble and feisty,” he said. “It makes a difference when you encounter such challenges. This team is courageous and fearless. They make it happen against all odds.”

Konard has actually worked two stints at NorthBay. In 1995, he took the opportunity to step in as NorthBay’s Vice President of Human Resources.

“I told my wife, now of 38 years, there was a great opportunity for our family to leave Southern California to move up north,” he recalled. “Without a single question she supported this dream and put her own corporate career on hold while planning for the life-changing move.”

When he arrived, he was welcomed with open arms by Gary Passama, then president and CEO, and Deborah Sugiyama, then president of the healthcare group.

“They trusted me with running operations and I am forever grateful to them for helping shape me into the executive I’ve become,” he said.

He stepped away in 2004 to pursue other opportunities, creating a medical supply distribution company and later taking a key role at Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. When he returned to NorthBay in 2015, he took the job of hospital division president, when Deborah retired. When Gary retired two years later, Konard took on the CEO role.

“It has been an exhilarating opportunity — and that was true even before the pandemic,” said Konard. “NorthBay has been a perfect fit in so many ways.”

Konard was raised in South Central Los Angeles and educated in Compton. He earned degrees in business management and education psychology from Grambling State University. He’s quick to tell you that he was lucky to be raised in a two-parent household, which wasn’t common in the neighborhood. He said his parents always encouraged him to shoot for the stars in everything he did.

“We often refer to ‘The NorthBay Way,’ and it’s sometimes difficult to explain but it manifests itself in every interaction between employees, physicians, patients, business associates and the community at large. You get that ‘family feeling’ from the moment you enter the door, when you see caring professionals at every level give their all to care for the needs of our patients.”

As CEO, Konard has had the opportunity to represent NorthBay by serving on various boards of directors including Western Health Advantage, CHI Optima, Touro University, California Hospital Association, American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, Partnership Health Plan, Solano Economic Development Council, Solano Affordable Housing Foundation and Rebuilding Together Oakland | Eastbay.

“It has been an honor,” he said. “I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to serve our NorthBay Boards of Directors, senior leaders, physicians, employees and volunteers and of course our patients and our community.”

Konard and his wife Denise, his “ride-or-die partner on the wild ride called life,” plan to travel and enjoy the blessing of time with family and friends. He promises he will continue to root for NorthBay, just from the sidelines.

“I will continue to be NorthBay’s biggest cheerleader in perpetuity as you go about your business of delivering compassionate care and advanced medicine, close to home,” he shared in an email to the organization.

As for advice to the next President and CEO? It’s simple, he said: “Enjoy the ride, give your all every day and let The NorthBay Way live in your spirit and soul, always.”

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