December 2020 Metro

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Read about member business Bakersfield Hyundai.


Hear from an expert panel about the COVID vaccine and potential impacts that it may have on your business.



Jingle & Mingle with us on Dec. 16 and dress in your most festive attire!


Learn more about the 2020 Small Business of the Year winner - Deprigo.

8 BEAUTIFUL BAKERSFIELD Learn more about the 2020 Corporation of the Year winner KGET-TV 17.




Read the highlights on what the 2020 Leadership Bakersfield class learned on Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement Day.

Cover Christmas Tree at The Marketplace


Learn more about the LB Team #ArtSpeaks team project that focuses on foster youth.


Discover the latest news and happenings with other members.

Contact us

1725 Eye St. • PO Box 1947 Bakersfield, CA 93303 661.327.4421

Metro is the official publication of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. This publication is produced and digitally distributed to the Chamber’s membership at the beginning of each month. Every effort has been made to ensure the information in this publication is correct and accurate as of the publication date. Metro does not warrant the accuracy or claims of its advertisers. The Chamber President/CEO has the sole right to refuse any advertisement. Please send any comments, questions, article suggestions or advertising inquiries to © Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means of the entire contents portion of this publication without written permission is prohibited.


Member Spotlight B

akersfield Hyundai! Bakersfield Hyundai! Are you kidding? Brag about our business? Here is something that is easy to do. Whenever I read these types of indulgent articles on businesses, especially car dealers, they seem filled with clichés and boilerplate descriptions on why I should consider them as a place to do business. What possibly can a new car dealership offer that I do not already expect? At Bakersfield Hyundai, that is an easy answer. It is our people. Competent, well-trained, with great attitudes. Our employees are just good people. Do we have a beautiful facility in the Bakersfield Auto Mall? Yes. Are we just minutes from anywhere? Yes. Do we represent a world-class product? Yes. Does Hyundai have higher quality ratings than ALL the other makes? Yes. Does Hyundai have America’s Best Warranty? Yes. Does the complimentary maintenance on all new products last longer than ALL other makes? Yes. Can you buy or lease a new Hyundai for less money than almost all other makes and models? Yes. Is Bakersfield Hyundai in the top 5% of customer satisfaction scores nationally? Yes. Does Bakersfield Hyundai sell used cars? Yes. Does Bakersfield Hyundai sell an enormous amount of used trucks? Yes. (661) 369-8177

5300 Wible Road Bakersfield, CA 93313 METRO | PAGE 4

Is Truck City at Bakersfield Hyundai? Yes. Is Bakersfield Hyundai grateful for your business? So, so much. It is not about me, it is about “we.” So many of our customers over the last 10 years have asked how we have trained our people to be so nice. We start by hiring nice people. We can certainly make a bad hire, but it is unlikely. If we do, we try to correct it immediately. We ask our people to be customer focused, and to do their level best to say, “Yes!” to the customer at every turn. At Bakersfield Hyundai, our employee is the most important person in the company. In turn, these fantastic people make our customers their focus. We ask our managers, supervisors and leaders to serve our advisers, salespeople and technicians. These are the people on the front lines, who serve our community, day in and day out. The most important people at Bakersfield Hyundai are supported, encouraged, trained, and given the tools and stability to do their jobs at the highest possible level. Therefore, I want to thank each of them for their tremendous effort. If you are interested in finding out what we are about, we are interested in finding out what YOU are about. Bakersfield Hyundai and Truck City are located in the Bakersfield Auto Mall, at 5300 Wible Road,, and at 661-834-5300. – Patrick Beck, Dealer

COVID Vaccine Webinar & Holiday Mixer W

ith a COVID-19 vaccine quickly becoming a reality, many employers are finding themselves wrestling with so many questions. Should I require my employees be vaccinated? Can I require that my employees be vaccinated? What are the legal implications of such actions and how do employers work alongside their HR department to communicate their new policies and expectations? Learn what policies and procedures can be implemented and what the legal ramifications are. Then, consider the public relations and communications component. How do you effectively communicate the options to your employees, contractors, customers and clients? How will you manage potential criticism in the workplace and on social media? These questions and more will be answered by our expert panel featuring Dr. Juanita Webb – Human Resources Consultant, J Webb Consulting; Dan Klingenberger – Attorney, LeBeau-Thelen, LLP; and Tracy Leach – President/CEO, Providence Strategic Consulting, Inc. at our upcoming webinar, “COVID-19 Vaccine: Considerations for Local Business Owners.”

COVID Vaccine Webinar Date: Thursday, December 17 Time: 10-11:15 a.m. Location: Zoom Cost: Free RSVP: HERE Speakers

Dr. Juanita Webb

Dan Klingenberger

Tracy Leach

Click HERE to register.

Join the Chamber, Bakersfield Young Professionals and Leadership Bakersfield for a fun and festive virtual holiday mixer. You can dress to impress with party attire (dresses/shirt & tie) or sport an ugly sweater and Santa hat. We will be having a couple of contests for the most festive outfit and background. The Chamber has also partnered with Michele and Garret Well, co-owners of Wine Me Up!, to demonstrate how to create a couple of festive cocktails and share their favorite wines this holiday season. This is a great time to network, catch-up with friends and celebrate the end of 2020. Pour yourself a drink and join the festivities. Cheers! Date: Wednesday, December 16 Time: 5:30 p.m. Location: Zoom Cost: Free RSVP: HERE


Congratulations to the 2020 Small Business of the Year Winner!


irst, I want to congratulate the Deprigo team for winning the Small Business of the Year Award. We’ve been nominated in this category for the past four years, so receiving this award was such a rewarding achievement for our team. This honor strengthens our resolve and belief to continue working as a community-based company, giving back, and helping out our local neighborhoods, especially in the recent difficult times. About Deprigo! Deprigo is a small marketing and advertising agency located in Downtown Bakersfield. Our story began in a warehouse in 2016 to offer marketing-related services to local nonprofit organizations. We started by offering print services, but as our clients’ needs and demands grew, so did our product line. Now, Deprigo offers web design, apparel, print, promotional products and videography services. Our tagline - “We Make Life Simpler” is what our smallest to the largest client expects. We only exist to make our clients' lives simpler. We do not just offer print-related products, web designs or promotional products; we provide solutions. Community-Based! Because of our close relationships with local and national nonprofits, Deprigo is heavily invested in our community. We help nonprofits take their donated dollars a little further by providing discounted services, offering cash or in-kind donations and volunteer hours. In addition to that, Deprigo’s staff is passionate about serving on nonprofit boards and sitting on multiple committees. Deprigo helps organize various events in our community, from 5Ks to a full-scale marathon and galas to annual golf tournaments. Because of the current pandemic, we have started an initiative, Deprigo Helping Families, in November to donate $500 to $1,500 a week until January 1, 2021. Deprigo has partnered with Children First Campaign to select either a single-family or multiple families a week that are in need of help. This is just another way for us to give back to our local community members.


2020 Deprigo was one of the fortunate companies that saw growth in 2020. Our core business was down 65 percent year over year. However, due to our existing relationships, we pivoted our business to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals across California. Because of our importing and exporting experience and contacts overseas, we were able to source PPE directly from the manufacturers at a deeply discounted price. We were able to keep the cost down by almost 60 percent below the market price, and we passed those savings on to our clients. Deprigo takes pride in participating and donating in Bakersfield events. Each year, we give back to local nonprofit organizations to help further their causes. Here at Deprigo, we strongly believe that when you lend a hand to those helping others it is truly a bonding experience for employees and companies alike. As a philanthropic company, we have consistently increased employee loyalty and retention through these activities. We know it feels good to do good, and will continue supporting charitable organizations, helping those in need and contributing to our communities. – Jonny Perez, Deprigo Contact information: 661-903-6343

Submit your nominations today at!

CATEGORIES A Better Bakersfield An annual event or project that enhances the quality of life in the community. Architecture & Renovation The completion of a brand new interior and/or exterior building design. Or the completion of a renovated design that upgrades an existing structure. Arts & Culture Efforts by a group or individual to improve and/or enhance the arts and culture within our community. Education Efforts by an educator, project or school/college that promotes or benefits education in our city at all levels. Health An individual, group or organization impacting healthy living - above and beyond their normal scope or activities - through education, prevention or medical services.

Humanitarian Group A group whose personal volunteer efforts have made a significant impact in the community. Humanitarian Individual An individual whose personal volunteer efforts have made a significant impact in the community. Youth An individual or group under the age of 17 years old that, through personal involvement and endeavors, has answered the challenge of good citizenship. Young Professional An individual from 21 to 40 years old whose efforts truly impact and enhance the quality of life in the community.

Business Categories Business Person of the Year A local business owner/manager whose efforts truly impact and enhance the quality of life in the community. Corporation of the Year The recognition of a corporation whose volunteer hours and/or financial donations have made a meaningful difference. Nonprofit Organization of the Year Efforts of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that impacts the community.

Small Business of the Year A small business (25 employees or less) whose contributions and/ or products and services instill community pride. Harvey L. Hall Lifetime Achievement (55+) A local long-time community leader, who has made a lasting impact to Bakersfield and its residents.

Please Note:

Nominations must be for work completed in 2020 to be eligible for consideration.

Nomination Deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021

Congratulations to the 2020 Corporation of the Year Winner!


n what is undeniably an extremely challenging year, winning the Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Corporation of the Year provides an emotional and inspiring uplift for KGET and the Circle 17 family. In the acceptance speech for the broadcast, I genuinely meant it when I said I have a hard time using the term corporation to describe Channel 17. That building residing on 2120 L St. downtown encompasses a group of really good individuals who care about their community. The success of our stations is built on a culture of honest, honorable reporting on topics that affect the county’s nearly one million residents. Our mission statement uses the term “community” a total of five times. Our station’s motto: “In the Spirit of the Golden Empire,” reflects the company’s commitment to the community we serve. That commitment is demonstrated through the nonprofits aided each year through conducting fundraiser drives at Compassion Corner. Although events may look different this year, the mission is the same. Even in the challenges and troubles of this year, there are many accomplishments to be proud of. As with many local


businesses, there was no guidebook when faced with the acceleration of deploying our employees to remote work. But there was never a day where a newscast was not delivered to our community. Ironically, as we configured remote newscast from employees’ homes, we launched the first to market and only lifestyle program Studio 17 Live!, debuted a new state-of-the-art news set, along with the first and only kitchen set. In the month of December, our stations are promoting and supporting nearly two dozen local nonprofits along with three major fundraisers: Christmas for Seniors, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter Toy Drive and Children’s Miracle Network’s Day of Giving, where we hope to raise more than $150,000 to surpass last year’s record! There would be no better way to end this unprecedented year! We, at Channel 17, are proud, grateful and honored to be the 2020 recipient of the Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Corporation of the Year. Each day we are humbled to have the opportunity to support and promote our local nonprofits and to be able to represent the diversity, independent spirit, generosity and strength of the people who we serve in our community. – Derek Jeffery, KGET-TV17

Greater Bakersfield Chamber


lasting connections

We provide the tools, resources and access to keep our members updated about California’s ever-changing laws and latest HR topics.

Bridge the gap between nonprofits, small businesses and large corporations with webinars, Bakersfield Young Professional events, Leadership Programs and our Ambassador Committee.


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We only refer our members. Our online directory is a valuable resource when people are searching for reliable business partners. Listing in our directory increases your brand and gives your company positive name recognition.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have actively advocated to maintain the health of our member businesses, from federal stimulus policy, to local reopening strategies and small business resources.

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Or visit us at METRO | PAGE 9

“Thank God and our thanks to Valley Strong for the money we received. The pandemic has nearly destroyed our family restaurant, but thanks to the subsidy, we will be around. We’re not going away. We have a great clientele and we are blessed to be in business for over 40 years. Thank you, Valley Strong!”

Luigi Rienzo Owner

Mama Tosca’s Italian Restaurant

Grow your business with services that fit your business — whether you employ two people or 200. Find local reps dedicated to your success and helpful services designed to take the burden of operational tasks off your plate. With help, you’ll also find it’s so much easier to focus more on growing your business. Business Online and Mobile Banking

Pay a bill or check your balance — anytime, anywhere — with 24-7 access to your Valley Strong accounts, thanks to DataNet online banking and DataMobile.

Merchant Services

Sign up with *Payment Systems Worldwide, Inc., an established and well-respected local merchant services company, to take care of all your business support needs. Consider it your one-stop-shop for smart solutions, updated technology, and superior service.

Business Mobile Deposit

With Business Mobile Deposit, you can use your phone’s camera and our app to deposit checks the same day if submitted by 3 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Cash Management

Our cash management services offer wire transfers, ACH payroll and payments, positive pay, bill payment, and online banking – helping you create efficiencies through progressive technology.

Payroll & HR Services

Valley Strong has teamed up with *BenefitMall, a provider of employee benefits, payroll, compliance, HR, and employer services. They enable more than 200,000 small and medium sized businesses easy access to affordable quality workforce solutions. *Valley Strong Credit Union has partnered with service providers to offer these services to our Members.

Grow Your Possibilities Call (661) 833-7530 or visit to learn how our local Business Banking team can help grow your business. Federally Insured by NCUA I Equal Opportunity Lender

Leadership Bakersfield Virtual Leadership Bakersfield Law Class Day Session


n Friday, Nov. 20, Leadership Bakersfield continued with a modified class session format for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Day. The goals of this session were to provide students with the opportunity to discuss important topics with members of the law enforcement community, and to enlighten students on the officer safety challenges law enforcement faces on a daily basis. It was an action-packed three-hour session, which began with a panel of local criminal justice professionals. Bakersfield Police Department Chief Greg Terry, Kern County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Kinzel, and Criminal Defense Attorney H. A. Sala answered numerous questions from class members about justice, how each views the “defund the police” movement, racial injustice and how the criminal justice system can make improvements and much more. Next, class members watched demonstrations from the Bakersfield Police Department SWAT Team, K-9 Unit, and Crime Scene Unit via Zoom. K-9’s Jack and Zeke appeared


to be the class favorites as they showed off their searching and apprehension skills. The day concluded with an overview of the Bakersfield Police Activities League and free community safety programs offered by the Bakersfield Officer Beattie and Zeke Police Department’s Community Relations Unit. While we hope to reconvene the in-person sessions next year, this was still an engaging and fun way for participants to learn more about the criminal justice system while social distancing. If you are interested in hearing about some of these free safety programs offered to our community, please email BPDCommunity@, or call 661-326-3053. Almost all programs can be modified for Zoom or other virtual events. – Kelsey Brackett, Bakersfield Police Department

Leadership Bakersfield Team #ArtSpeaks Leadership Bakersfield #ArtSpeaks Team 2019-2020 Virtual Art Show Presentation


eadership Bakersfield's team #ArtSpeaks met for the first time in September 2019. The task our team was given was to find a cause to give back to our community in the form of a team project. We knew we wanted to take this opportunity and make an impact. As we discussed many different worthy topics a question was raised, "What do foster kids need?" There were as many answers as there were team members and we knew we found our cause. We, all from very different walks of life, realized we each had something unique that we could give to foster children. We knew we wanted to aid the community to come to the same understanding that these kids need not just foster parents, but community families. We adopted the slogan, "Everyone can't do one thing, but everyone can do something." After our internal questions on the foster care system, we suspected the community would have the level of knowledge of the foster care system. Just to test our theory, we asked questions to 70 random people from our community to find out what they know about our local foster care system. The results reveal what we suspected — the majority knew someone in the foster care system, but very few people actually knew the truth about the foster care system. We knew our mission was to facilitate meaningful change, and we wanted the children to tell their stories how they saw it, to communicate their struggles and triumphs. By providing foster youth with an artistic platform for their voices to be heard and to highlight

issues facing foster youth, we could make a direct connection between the community and the foster children. We worked on raising the funds (thank you to our wonderful sponsors!) to fulfill our mission and ended up doing multiple art projects: Painting totes with Jamison Children’s Center, masks with Next Up, self-portraits with Kern Bridges, watercolor Haikus with Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, and all of them got to write an anonymous post secret. We originally intended on you all, our community members, to attend the art show in May 2020, where you can see all of the amazing art and meet the foster care organizations. You don’t need yet another reminder what happened in March 2020. So, what we would like to do is invite you to view our virtual art show presentation. We will be releasing one video each day on I See You Facebook iseeyouprojectlb and Instagram @iseeyouprojectlb starting Dec. 14 through Dec. 18. We would love for you to join us and hope that you will be able to learn how each of you can help. We are extremely grateful for all the organizations that donated their time, services and money to help us with our project, to the children we worked with, who moved us with their stories and bravery, and to our amazing community. We live in such a giving and compassionate place. We are excited to share this project with you but cannot wait to see the wonderful work that you all will do with these kids. – Team #ArtSpeaks

Team Members: Roxanne Aguilar, Valley Strong Credit Union Stephanie Baltazar, Bakersfield College Lexi Blythe, Kern County Public Defender’s Office Josh Finney, Bakersfield Police Department Asta Fowler, Empire Management Group Danielle Plotner, Darlene Denison State Farm Insurance Kyle Sanders, A-C Electric Company Team Adviser: Andrew Miles, Bakersfield Homeless Center METRO | PAGE 13

• Due to the current COVID guidelines, the Guild House will not be open for regular service until January 2021. Sooner if guidelines permit. They will be serving Holiday Picnics to-go boxes on the following days: Dec. 4, Dec. 5, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16. Visit https://tghob. to view their menu or for more information. • Amtrak San Joaquins continues to provide safe and reliable rail service to passengers and is taking extra steps to prepare for an expected increase in ridership around the holidays. Travelers will experience enhanced safety, cleaning and physical distancing measures that have been put in place to promote public health. As part of Amtrak’s partnership with experts from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Amtrak San Joaquins has implemented a series of protocols, including required face coverings, contactless amenities, disinfection, social distancing on board and in stations and sophisticated air filtration.

• Believe in the Magic of the Season with Macy’s! Macy’s Bakersfield has made shopping local easier than ever. You can even have your own stylist help you find the right outfit or gift. Here's how the Stylist program works: Make an appointment online, tell a little about yourself and what you are looking for. During your appointment your stylist, Monica, will pick out your outfits to fit your preference or occasion. This service is 100 percent free and 100 percent about you - their client. Besides this service, Monica can help sell corporate gift cards. Give with all your heart and say thank you to your employees and clients. Contact Monica Guzman at monica.guzman@macys. com or call 661-832-5550 ext. 2563. • Tickets are now on sale for CALM’s 18th Annual HolidayLights Drive-Thru! There are several ways to purchase tickets: Visit, vallitix. com, or come in person to CALM or Valley Strong Credit Union locations. HolidayLights at CALM runs from Nov. 28 to Jan. 2.

• Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants or firms specialized in Community Development Corporation (CDC) or Community Development Financial Institute (CDFI) with experience in conducting a needs assessment to determine the current market for these types of community and economic programs aimed toward historically low-income, underserved neighborhoods that have experienced a significant lack of investment to improve neighborhood conditions. This RFP is due by Dec. 28 by 2 p.m. Inquiries concerning this RFP should be directed to the Business Services Department, at Link to full RFP: https://www.capk. org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/ RFP-CDD-2020-003-CommunityDevelopment-Corp-and-CommunityDevelopment-Financial-InstituteNeeds-Assessment.pdf

NEW MEMBERS We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the companies that have joined the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. Thank you for investing in our mission to Build a Better Bakersfield. Bossman's Trash Hauling 9530 Hageman Rd. Ste. B-540 Bakersfield, CA 93312 661-303-2493 "Junk and trash hauling from residences and businesses. BIG OR SMALL WE HAUL IT ALL!" Covid Clinic 2701 Ming Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93304 1-877-219-8378 "We are a nonprofit public benefit corporation which specializes in rapid and group Covid-19 testing."

Flood Ministries 1830 Truxtun Ave. #210 Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-323-5663 "We engage and assess people experiencing hopelessness and then link verified individuals to the appropriate services, navigate them through the housing process and provide case management upon housing." Springstead Solutions PO Box 12474 Bakersfield, CA 93389 661-565-1162 "We help self-employed, independent contractors and entrepreneurs with Profit Planning and Financial Solutions that create permanent profitability!"

RENEWING MEMBERS Thank you to our members who have reinvested in the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. Your continued investment helps the Chamber continue its mission to Build a Better Bakersfield. Aera Energy LLC – 1981 Alternative Care – 1991 Bakersfield Patio Covers & Seamless Rain Gutters – 2019 Bitwise Industries – 2019 Bolthouse Farms, Inc. – 1995


California Aeronautical University – 2016 California Living Museum Foundation – 2000 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson – 2017 Culligan Water – 2017 Denise Pennell – 2015 Dmohowski Consulting Services – 2015 DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen – 2004 DS Services of America Sparkletts – 2010 Emporium Western Store – 1987 Family Motors Auto Body & Paint, Inc. – 2005 Gaskill Rose Luxury Home Builders – 1991 Good Samaritan Hospital – 2011 Greenlawn Southwest – 2011 Home2 Suites – 2019 Homewood Suites by Hilton – 2004 Jeanne Seal Bookkeeping & Accounting Inc. – 1972 Kern Community Foundation – 1999 Kern Council of Governments – 1990 Kern County Airports – 2011 Kern County Bar Association – 2010 Kern High School District – 1984 Kern Medical – 2017


GRC Meeting 10 a.m. | Zoom


Beautiful Bakersfield Committee DARK


Ambassador Committee Meeting Noon | Zoom


Holiday Mixer 5:30 p.m. | Zoom


COVID Vaccine Webinar 10 a.m. | Zoom


GRC Meeting 10 a.m. | Zoom

12.24.20 - 12.31.20

Chamber Closed | Christmas Holiday


Chamber Closed | New Year's Day

Kern Psychiatric Health and Wellness, Inc. – 2011 Larry F. Pennell – 2015 McCormick Biological, Inc. – 2016 Mercedes Benz of Bakersfield – 1987 Mission Bank – 1998 Pathpoint – 2007 Positive Results Unlimited – 2019 Premier Lighting – 1995 Providence Strategic Consulting, Inc. – 2004

For more information about any of our events, committees or councils, visit



Chairman of the Board Derek Jeffery KGET-TV 17

Chairwoman Elect of the Board Kristen Beall Watson Kern Community Foundation

Vice Chair Public Policy & Political Action Rob Duchow Southern California Gas Company

Vice Chair Economic Vitality Andy Anderson Aera Energy LLC

Vice Chair Member Engagement Tasha Clayton Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc.

Vice Chair Leadership & Workforce Development Denise Newton Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Treasurer Andy Paulden Brown Armstrong Accountants

Member-at-Large Rick Jhaj Countryside Construction/ Countryside Markets

General Counsel Mark Bateman Young Wooldridge LLP

At Bank of America, we have a clear purpose to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection. We fulfill this purpose through our commitment to responsible growth, which includes a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. Integrated across our eight lines of business — our ESG focus reflects our values, ensures we are holding ourselves accountable, presents tremendous business opportunity, and allows us to create shared success with our clients and communities.




CHAMBER STAFF Nick Ortiz | President/CEO Cathy Albyn | Membership & Business Development Manager Frances Klingenberger | Manager, Strategic Programs Hillary Haenes | Vice President, Member Engagement EVERYTHING FOR YOUR OFFICE

Kaelyn Peterson | Manager, Policy & Public Affairs Jean Scheiber | Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer


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