May 2021 Metro

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See how the Chamber is working on behalf of you - our members.

5 CUT THE CLUTTER WEBINAR Join the Chamber and Kern Women's Business Center to learn about time management strategies.



Read about member business Bella.


Learn more about the 2020 Arts & Culture and Health winners.


The Chamber has partnered with Moneywise Wealth Management to offer a MEP for our members.



15 BYP VIRTUAL WINE TASTING Don't miss this virtual wine tasting event hosted by San Rucci Winery!



LEADERSHIP BAKERSFIELD They graduated! Meet the class of 2020.

Aunt Mae's Sweet Tooth.

Contact us


Discover the latest news and happenings with other members.

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 2021. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means of the entire contents portion of this publication without written permission is prohibited.




ver the last month, it feels like things are returning to normal. You can see it in your morning commute – yes, there’s more traffic – but you see children lining up to enter school, new businesses opening, and a feeling like finally we’re putting the pandemic behind us. Vigilance is still important, though. As we await the full opening of the economy in Nick Ortiz approximately a month and a half, we’re encouraging everyone one to continue wearing masks, distancing and taking advantage of local vaccination sites. At the Chamber, we’re continuing our mission to build a better Bakersfield and advocate for a prosperous business environment. Our team of staff and volunteers have been incredibly busy this last month on a range of programs and initiatives. First, we were able to hold a drive-thru graduation for our 2020 Leadership Bakersfield class. This Leadership Bakersfield group faced a number of challenges from virtual class days, to pivoting their team projects. I’m so grateful that the class members stuck through it, and I appreciate the great work of our LB Advisory Council for their creativity and ingenuity. In April, we also held a series of workshops with a nationally renowned speaker, Ajit Dodani with Empathify U, for our Bakersfield Young Professionals group. This series focused on incorporating empathy into your work and life. We’ve had an outstanding response on this four-workshop series. Ajit’s insights really have embodied the optimism that I know we’re all feeling about the prospects for recovery and return to normalcy.

Also this month, the Better Bakersfield and Boundless Kern initiative or B3K Prosperity, met a huge milestone – the release of the regional market assessment. B3K is a community-wide collaboration to build a stronger and more inclusive local economy, and the Chamber serves as one of the organizations stewarding the effort. More information about why our region needs inclusive economic growth is available on pages 6-7. More information on B3K Prosperity is available at We’re also planning for the rest of the year, and will have exciting announcements about our signature programs – State of the City and the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards – very soon. While the region is feeling optimistic about bouncing back from the coronavirus, other news has put a damper on things. Last week the state announced an intention to phase out the use of fracking (a common and safe oilfield technique) and doubled down on the goal of ending the production of petroleum and the use of petroleum-based transportation fuels. This represents an attack on our region, and will very well stunt the magnitude of economic growth our area (and potentially the entire state) could see from a national economic recovery. That’s why we are doing everything possible to support our local energy industry, through advocacy and education. Oil and agriculture aren’t just industry sectors, they are part of our region’s culture, and we have an obligation to support them and the thousands of workers and businesses that serve them. I continue to be an optimist, not only about the prospects for recovery, but also our region’s future. Though we have challenges, we also have significant opportunities ahead of us. - Nick Ortiz President & CEO Greater Bakersfield Chamber

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For more information, visit METRO | PAGE 4

Opportunities to

Level Up Uour Business F

Cut the Clutter: Plan, Execute & Deliver Your Best Year Yet!

eeling overwhelmed with too many things on your to do list? Not sure what to tackle first? How do you get and remain organized to finally achieve your business goals? Join the Greater Bakersfield Chamber and Kern Women’s Business Center as we collaborate to bring businesses a webinar on the importance of time management and goal setting strategies. Hear from three business owners as they help you to better manage your time, learn to prioritize, recognize different work styles, refine your processes, identify realistic goals and ultimately achieve them! Anupa Naik of SmartWork!; Christina Springstead of Springstead Solutions; and Anthony Garcia, an international bestselling author and expert in sales training and recruitment, will help fellow business owners and managers cut through the clutter to deliver results.

Cut the Clutter Webinar Date: Wednesday, May 19 Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Location: Zoom Cost: Free Register: HERE

Hosted by:


he Greater Bakersfield Chamber has partnered with KGET-TV 17 to highlight and promote our member businesses. Looking to reach a broader, local audience at an affordable rate? Whether it is a grand opening, relocation celebration, anniversary milestone, new ownership or special event, we are happy to offer Chamber Business Spotlight commercials on KGET-TV 17. There are a few different package options available to either record a 15-second commercial, be a guest on Studio 17 Live! or a combination of both. You can reach on average 12,000 to 60,000 households. For more information, please contact Hillary Haenes at

In partnership with:


Why We Need Inclusive Growth Understanding the Urgency of B3K Prosperity B3K Prosperity is a collaboration among business, government and civic stakeholders. We are driven to build a future where every person in the Bakersfield/Kern region is able to achieve self-sufficiency and achieve their full potential. Far too many residents in the Bakersfield/Kern County struggle. The longer we remain idle, the further we fall behind. We must take action to make the Bakersfield/Kern region more competitive for investment and growth. Together, we can realize our vision for a future of inclusive growth and deep prosperity accessible to all.

Little opportunity for struggling families

Race and gender disparities are stark Within Race, Share of Struggling Workers

50% 25%


40% 25%







Struggling workers Regionally, a Hispanic worker is 80% more likely to struggle to make ends meet compared to a white worker. A Black worker is 60% more likely to struggle than a white worker. Women in Kern are substantially more likely than men to be out-of-work at all education and age levels, and women that are employed are less likely than men to hold a good job. METRO | PAGE 6

Our challenges with competitiveness State policy impacts our largest industries. While continuing to advocate for the health of our oil and gas and agricultural sectors, we must also pursue proactive partnerships with the State and emphasize how Bakersfield/Kern leadership is needed for the State to meet its policy objectives.

Workforce development activities are strong, but untargeted Our regional workforce capabilities outweigh all other competitiveness drivers, but we do not have a strong system in place to address these talent issues. Our workforce development activities must help achieve economic development goals and foster deep prosperity.

Political boundaries don’t determine economic boundaries Greater Bakersfield and East Kern are two functionally distinctive economic areas that should be treated differently with tailored strategies and resources.

We aren’t effectively addressing disparities

Regions that are more economically inclusive are also more competitive in growth and productivity. We must be intentional to enable deep prosperity for all residents, whether through programs or individual business practices.

The Path towards Deep Prosperity For the Bakersfield/Kern region to achieve inclusive growth and enable deep prosperity, it’s going to take ambitious collaborative action. This begins with investment in structures, programs and partnerships and requires the development of shared metrics and accountability. We must also direct our economic and workforce development efforts more fully towards growing and sustaining a broader range of priority clusters, and enhance resources that support entrepreneurs and spur business dynamism. Lastly, we must expand access to leadership tables and ensure that the full diversity of our community is represented in strategy and decision-making. As we move forward together, we can enable inclusive growth so that every person who lives in the Bakersfield/Kern region has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Member Spotlight W

hat a year it’s been! I reflect back on the past year and think about how much Bella has evolved. At Bella, we provide our customers with a personalized styling experience. We have a large number of regular customers, who I keep in mind when I am buying for the store, and with the help of my employees, we Heather Abbott keep them updated on new arrivals specific to their preferences, needs and special occasions. We use social media as a tool to reach a broad local audience by updating them on the latest arrivals in the shop. We know the majority of our customers by name and have absolutely loved being a local business in Bakersfield for 21 years and counting! When the pandemic “shut down” began in March 2020, I had to get creative real fast to keep my business functioning. I quickly turned to social media as my main avenue to sell my boutique’s inventory and to stay connected to my customers. I also reached out directly to some customers offering to drop off a selection of merchandise for them to try at home. I gave a 10 percent discount on every purchase and delivered free locally. As many others would agree, this was quite a challenging time. The Chamber offered some great guidance, including several workshops to help cope


with business logistics and a roundtable discussion for my industry focused on reopening. In addition to navigating the unforeseen challenges of 2020, my lease was up at The Marketplace at the end of last year. I made the big decision to move the shop to Town & Country Village. It has been a great move for Bella! We opened the new shop in early February and this was the perfect opportunity to rebrand. I wanted to keep the original Bella charm, yet modernize things. This is reflected in our new logo, designed by local firm Six23 Media, and the elements of decor at the new shop. The boutique is full of fresh new arrivals and we are happy to provide an exceptional shopping experience to our customers. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings! – Heather Abbott, Owner Bella

SmallMay Business Week 2-8, 2021 2020 was tough, even devastating, on our economy. Small businesses play a central role in creating a strong community. According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either work for, or own, a small business. More tellingly, they create nearly two out of three new jobs in the U.S. each year. Small businesses do more than foster entrepreneurial spirit: They offer unique products and personal, quality service. They employ 47.1 percent of U.S. workers and make up 99.9 percent of companies in the U.S.! Small Business Week is an ideal time for small businesses to refocus and revitalize their efforts to engage with their customers and to recognize the employees who support them. Here are some ideas to help you celebrate and recharge: Partner with Other Small Businesses If you are looking to create a partnership, you should first identify businesses that offer products or services that complement your own. A coffee shop and book store. A jewelry store and restaurant. A spa and gym … Cross promote each other and build your customer base. Team up with Local Charities Promote a local charity. It shows your customers that you are committed to helping others. Over time, this will help build customer loyalty. Do not underestimate the value of being involved in your community: Sponsorships; volunteering; or hosting neighborhood events are examples. Say Thank You It is important to remember that it is customers who drive your success. After a sale, include a small thankyou card in their bag with an offer on their return visit. You can also give your customers a small gift after they make a purchase, such as a free pen or reusable bag. Putting your name on these items can be another added form of marketing that helps with brand recognition. Tap into Social Media Share your businesses story. This will help customers feel more connected to your company and help you stand out from your competition. It will ultimately enhance brand loyalty and increase sales. When you post your stories, be sure to tag us @bakochamber. Be Innovative Customer service and customer experience are strong differentiators. They are one of the primary reasons your customers keep choosing you. Look for ways to improve both. Add value to the customer relationship with new products and added services. Or look for ways you can make your customers’ lives easier and make it more convenient to do business with you. Many small businesses did this last year by offering curbside pick-up and online ordering. We can all do our part to help our local economy by shopping and supporting local businesses — not only during the first week in May, but every day! The Chamber’s partnerships with small businesses is one of the many ways we are building something better in our community, join us and shop small. METRO | PAGE 9

Local Business Banking...

Knows Local!

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

With Business Mobile Deposit, you can use your phone’s camera and our app to deposit checks. Or, connect a compatible check scanner to your business computer and log in to our Business DataNet to deposit checks same day. Both methods can be done 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. *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

Congratulations to the 2020 Arts & Cultture Winner! What did receiving this award mean to Portrait of a Warrior Gallery? After being awarded the Chairwoman’s Award in 2019, the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery volunteers, Veterans Administration work-study individuals and Board of Directors were ecstatic to be awarded the Beautiful Bakersfield Award for the Arts & Culture category in 2020. With 19,000 volunteer hours committed to the gallery last year, it meant the world to all of us that we were recognized by our community for the work we do in Arts & Culture within Bakersfield and Kern County. Winning a Beautiful Bakersfield Award for the second time really validates this gem of our community as a legitimate nonprofit that is always remembering and never forgetting our fallen in Kern County. These awards also bring in sponsors for us like Salty’s BBQ and T-Mobile, along with so many others including Bakersfield citizens sponsoring portraits, Vietnam Killed In Action and Missing in Action service members from our community. Ultimately, this allows us to keep our doors open for free to this community from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. TuesdayThursday and Saturday. Tell us how the gallery continues to give back to the Bakersfield community, especially after this past year. The Global Pandemic did not close the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery this past year. We were one of the few doors that remained open with all volunteers between March of 2020 and today. Portrait of a Warrior Gallery established a COVID-19 Gold Star Family Fund to ensure our Gold Star Families are able to reach out for financial support if needed during these difficult times. Mrs. Nellie Scarborough and Mr. David Vanderpool, both local artists, continued to paint and draw our fallen. We now have only four portraits remaining to be completed for our killed on the battlefield from Post 9/11, and six remain to be completed of the 14 black and white portraits of Kern County Post 9/11 Veterans, who died other than on the battlefield with honorable service to our country. Our board voted to light up the downtown patriotic mural at 20th & Eye streets, across from the gallery, with photocell lighting that comes on automatically when the sun sets and turns off when the sun rises. This keeps the mural illuminated for visitors of the downtown to see at night. It also dresses up this area of the town and makes it safer for pedestrians and reduces chances for vandalism of the mural. METRO | PAGE 12

Beautiful window wraps were added recognizing our Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, which we have three in Kern County and Gold Star Mothers. Additionally, a wonderful picture of Arlington National Cemetery was added. Finally, three flags and poles were added to the front of the building. What are some upcoming projects/events that Portrait of a Warrior Gallery is excited to highlight? Recently, on March 29, which is recognized as National Vietnam War Memorial Day, we held a huge honoring of our 176 Vietnam Killed In Action and three still Missing In Action from Vietnam as well as celebrating the service and sacrifice of our Kern County Vietnam veterans. The gallery will be open in observance of Memorial Day; however, with all the other cemetery services across the community, we do not have an event this day. The newest nonprofit within the gallery is called Missing In Action Remembered (MIAR), and we hope its grand opening will be no later than Veterans Day this year. The MIAR honors and remembers the 82,300 U.S. service members who are still Missing In Action of which 124 are from Kern County. There will be a display of 82,300 dog tags with the name of each service member. Words of encouragement to the community for the remainder of 2021. All of us, the volunteers, docents, VA work-study individuals and Board of Directors wish the best for our community and encourage everyone to come and visit the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery. We have auto hand-sanitizing stations throughout the gallery and great Vietnam veteran docents who will give you a personal tour or a Post 9/11 Veterans Administration work-study who can do the same. It has been a tough year with the COVID-19 pandemic, but our community is patriotic and resilient, and we will come out of this better on the other side of it. – Jason Geis, Sgt. Maj. (Ret.), US Army Portrait of a Warrior Gallery Kern County

Congratulations to the 2020 Health Winner!


n an extraordinarily challenging year – at times filled with darkness – what a refreshing joy to experience the light and hope of a 2020 Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Health! The entire team at the Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center was honored to receive this acknowledgement. It is amazing to be recognized for work that supports our community as we carry out our mission, “Living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope.” This award will also highlight the importance of cancer screenings. We are committed to eliminating barriers to care and provide everyone in our community access to high-quality cancer care. At the AIS Cancer Center, our team is focused on working to prevent and screen for cancers at an early stage. This year, due to COVID-19, we had to reimagine how we would offer screenings and outreach events. We had to find ways to continue to serve and educate, but most importantly, to provide these services safely. Once again, our team took a challenge and found a way to turn it into an opportunity! They worked together to come up with inspiring ways to still screen for cancer and possibly save lives. Rather than cancel it, we modified our breast screening event by lowering the number of participants per session, which still allowed us to successfully screen and help people. Then, to honor our breast cancer survivors – as we do annually – we came up with a creative, yet COVID-19 safe event! A drive-in movie night! During the quarantine, a little light-hearted, family-friendly entertainment – with the option for “Mom” to get her cancer screenings done during intermission – was just what the doctor ordered! Of course, we continue to also use technology for online communities to provide that extra layer of support for our patients and families. For 2021, we are focusing on getting back to the basics, which will include getting back out into our community and bringing cancer care and prevention information to our friends, neighbors and families throughout Kern County. Recently, the AIS Cancer Center held a drive-through colorectal screening event at the Bakersfield Senior Center, a socially distanced breast screening at the Adventist Health Breast Center and our first cancer screening in Delano is planned soon.

In the coming weeks and months, we will participate and/or host more frequent events on a smaller scale. We look forward to reaching out to new locations throughout Kern County. As we reflect back on all the ways that we continue to educate people about the importance of early cancer detection, we want everyone to know how dedicated we are to serving and supporting our community. To receive an award for this dedication is very humbling, but so needed as we find that light and hope. On behalf of the entire team at the Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center, we are grateful for receiving the 2020 Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Health. Things are looking up for 2021! Let us put those dark days behind us and look forward to a brighter tomorrow for our cancer survivors, our community and the nation. – Jenny Lavers, Director Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center


Multiple Employer Plan Available for Chamber Members Bakersfield Chamber Makes Major Decision: The Impacts on Retirement Savings for Members


he Greater Bakersfield Chamber, in collaboration with Moneywise Wealth Management, has opened a Multiple Employer Plan or MEP for exclusive use by members of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. What exactly is a Multiple Employer Plan and how can it help your business? This watershed innovation in retirement planning has been in the works for some Justin Leland time and was brought about with small and medium-sized businesses firmly in mind. As CalSavers and other state mandated retirement plans are unveiled, it is necessary for small businesses to be able to provide a retirement plan to their employees that meets the needs of their business, not the State of California. It is in this vein that the Greater Bakersfield Chamber and Moneywise worked together and created this program. For years, the only way for businesses to provide retirement benefits for their employees was through some form of a defined benefit pension plan, or through an employee funded plan like a 401k or similar plan. These types of plans are costly and overly complex, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with few assets earmarked for retirement and in many ways, creates a barrier that prevents companies from offering this valuable benefit. It is mainly for this cost/complexity reason that many small and mediumsized local companies in Bakersfield have traditionally shied away from these types of retirement plans. Enter the Multiple Employer Plan, or MEP for short. A MEP is a 401k style retirement plan that, until recently, has been overlooked by most companies. Recent changes in IRS and DOL regulations have allowed for associations such as Chambers of Commerce to offer a truly valuable benefit effectively and efficiently for their members through use of a MEP. Essentially, a MEP is just like a 401k with all the same perks of potential matching contributions, profit sharing, ROTH contributions, and Safe Harbor provisions, etc. The best part is that a properly administered MEP can spread the plan costs among many participating businesses and potentially lower the barriers to retirement plan entry. Secondly, most of the administrative headaches and complexity in managing the plan can be greatly reduced


by choosing the right partners to take on much of that responsibility. The Greater Bakersfield Chamber, along with Moneywise Wealth Management, has built an administrative team to do just that. Companies that can most benefit from the use of a MEP through the Chamber of Commerce are small and mediumsized businesses that want to provide a retirement plan as a way to retain and empower their employees for retirement but are afraid that the costs and administration of such a plan may reduce the efficiency of their business. Essentially, small and medium-sized businesses that are members of the Chamber can provide a low-cost, easy to administer, highly customizable retirement plan to their employees and be exempt from the onslaught of CalSavers. Bakersfield has a long history of being on the forefront of business and industry innovation. We have grown from a small farming outpost town into a bustling hub for the energy, oil, agriculture, industrial, transportation, manufacturing, service and logistics industries while still keeping our small-town ambience. We have been, and still are, an incubator for small businesses in countless industries and classifications. It is in this characteristic, of being a progressive and business minded community, that we as a team and as a Chamber, built this valuable retirement innovation for our members and for the business community in Bakersfield. If you would like more information on this amazing benefit or have questions on whether a MEP makes sense for your business, please contact Justin Leland at Moneywise Wealth Management at or 661-847-1000. – Justin Leland, CFP®, AIF® Justin Leland, CFP®, AIF® is the Director of Business Services and a Financial Advisor at Moneywise Wealth Management. He is also a host of the Moneywise Guys radio program on KERN 1180 AM and 96.1 FM weekdays noon to 1 p.m. His email is and website is Securities offered through SCF Securities, Inc., Member FINRA/ SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through: SCF Investment Advisors, Inc. Corporate Office: 155 E. Shaw Ave. #102 Fresno, CA. 93710 800-955-2517. These are Leland's opinions, not necessarily those of SCF Securities, Inc. or any SCF-related entity. SCF Securities, Inc. and Moneywise Wealth Management are not affiliated.

May Happy Hour with bakersfield young professionals & san rucci winery

Bakersfield Young Professionals & San Rucci Winery are excited to partner for another virtual wine tasting! This is a virtual version of San Rucci Winery’s typical wine tasting. Your 4 tasting sized samples of this handcrafted wine will be delivered to you and you will be sent a Zoom link. During the tasting, San Rucci will speak about their wines, where the grapes are grown and the wine style, along with answering any questions. After the tasting, we invite you to continue the fun and participate in a trivia game for a chance to win some prizes. Date: Thursday, May 20 Time: 6:00 p.m. Click HERE to register Click HERE to purchase your tasting pack

Grab your coffee and join BYP for a quick morning chat and connect with other young professionals! Wednesday, May 12 9 a.m.

Click here to RSVP

Congratulations to the Class of 2020! T

he Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2020 is one for the record books. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, the last three class sessions of Leadership Bakersfield had to be canceled. In addition to the LB Class Members, the entire Leadership Bakersfield Advisory team was disappointed that the class had to end so abruptly, but wanted to offer a way for the participants to be able to experience Energy Day, Law Enforcement Day and Agriculture Day and pivoted to offer them virtually. While this was not the ideal scenario, it still provided an opportunity for the class to learn about key industries in our community. Graduation was another event impacted by the extended closures and provided the advisory team another opportunity to pivot to try to provide the class an event that was unique and not simply another Zoom. A drive-thru graduation was held in the Chamber parking lot and allowed the graduates an opportunity to receive their plaque and well wishes. Some opted to stay in their cars and drive through, while others opted to get out of the car and receive their recognition in a socially distant manner. Everyone enjoyed getting to see each other in person and celebrate with smiles! – Amanda Frank, LB Leadership Bakersfield Advisory Chair

Roxanne Aguilar

Lexi Blythe

Lauren Gillespie METRO | PAGE 16

Sandra Alvarez

Deidre Brown

Angel Giltner

Lisa Amarillas

Mac Avancena

Tim Davis

Alison Hickman

Stephanie Baltazar

Josh Finney

Bridget Hoefner

Arjun Bharadwaj

Asta Fowler

Magdee Hugais

Runa Lemminn

Matthew Lemon

Joseph Lopez

Tanner Ottaway

Tosha Pequeno

Danielle Plotner

Michelle Ricker

Daniel Rodela

Carlos Rojas

Kyle Sanders

Mary Scott

Charley Scott-Johnson

Joshua Sharp

Morgan Topper

Robin Woodward

Here are a few photos from the LB Drive-Thru Gradution.

The Chamber would like to thank the LB Advisory Council for all their hard work and dedication to the Leadership Bakersfield Program! Tamara Baker, Arthur & Hansen Kelsey Brackett, Bakersfield Police Deparment Jeffrey Burdick, Bakersfield Police Deparment Kathryn Clowes, March Consulting Garth Corrigan, Valley Republic Bank Beatris Espericueta Sanders, Adventist Health Bakersfield Jeff Flores, Office of Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard Amanda Frank, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Patricia Keefer, Dignity Health - Mercy Hospital Downtown Beth Miller, Dignity Health - Memorial Hospital John Nilon, CSU Board of Trustees Beth Pandol, Retired Jeremy Price, Alpha Media, LLC Jennifer Self, California State University, Bakersfield Zane Smith, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bakersfield Christina Springstead, Springstead Solutions Colleen Taber, Kern County Farm Bureau Curt Williams, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Gloria Williams, Aera Energy LLC James Yoro, Chain | Cohn | Stiles METRO | PAGE 17

• Salters Associates has rebranded as Hey Salty Marketing. Hey Salty is a full-service marketing and communications agency that specializes in serving small and midsize businesses, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Hey Salty has also moved to a new office in the Moronet Building in downtown Bakersfield. You can learn more at their website, • The Buckhorn Beat presents Parc Crecelius for Mother’s Day tunes. Join Cuyama Buckhorn for Mother’s Day Brunch, on May 9 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. featuring a special brunch menu, a glass of sparkling for Mom, and live music by Parc Crecelius! All Mothers will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco, a mimosa, or a glass of nonalcoholic sparkling as a thank you for all they do! playlist?list=UUjQbvvACTBvzRh4dx8 egiJA • Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, has launched its 23rd annual Great American Cleanup (GAC), which began in late March and continues through June 20. Keep Kern Beautiful (KKB), a local community-based KAB affiliate, joins in on the Great American Cleanup action with the purpose to engage its community residents on Saturday, May 8, and May 15 for a day of cleaning up and beautifying different communities within the County. Keep Kern Beautiful volunteers will have the option of either joining a small-scale, socially distant group to help clean up at designated locations or the option to safely do their own, individual cleanup effort. To sign up as a Keep Kern Beautiful volunteer for the Great American Cleanup, please visit www. METRO | PAGE 18

• Eagle Mountain Casino’s River Steakhouse is now open Thursdays! The restaurant will be open from 5-10 p.m. Call 1-800-903-3353 ext. 816 for reservations. • The results of the CBIZ & MHM California Private Companies’ survey are in! California companies shared insights with us on their 2021 business outlook, and how they responded to COVID-19. The survey report also includes “California vs National” data comparisons, using information from our national survey of more than 2,400 companies. Click to learn more: • Follow the link to access this informative CBIZ & MHM webinar — It’s time for business leaders, advisers and investors to look beyond the pandemic. This on-demand webinar will provide insight into the changes that lie ahead: A little vaccination goes a long way; The Pandemic as a disruptor and trend “supercharger;” implications of new fiscal policies; implications of the Fed’s new monetary policy; long-term challenges and opportunities; and more! Watch today: https://www2.cbiz. com/economic-outlook-2021 • The League of Dreams, M.A.R.E. Therapeutic Riding Center and The Wounded Heroes Fund, all local nonprofit organizations, have partnered for an event, Concert for the Causes, on Saturday, June 5. This event will be an evening concert at the Kern County Raceway Park. Performances will be by headliner, Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr., ‘The Voice Season 19’s’ and Bakersfield’s own Jim Ranger, Joe Peters and Boone’s Farm Trio. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

• Celebrate with Nothing Bundt Cakes! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9. Show her your appreciation with a “Best Mom Around” decorated bundt cake, crowned with our signature cream cheese frosting. Looking for a bite sized treat? Order handcrafted Bundtinis with “Flowers for Mom” Bundtini toppers, sold only by the dozen. Click HERE to buy yours today. • Give Big Kern 2021 is Almost Here: Let’s Set Aside the First Tuesday in May (May 4th) as “One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County!” by Giving to Local Charities on GiveBigKern. org. For those who cannot make a monetary donation — as well as those who want to give beyond dollars — the Volunteering page on the Give Big Kern website provides an easy way to pledge volunteer hours. Simply go to volunteering, then use the orange button at the bottom of the page to fill out an online pledge form with the number of volunteer hours you would like to pledge. You can choose how you would like to be contacted by the nonprofit of your choice, which you can select from the drop-down menu. You will be contacted after Give Big Kern, as each nonprofit has its own set of volunteer screening and training criteria. • Bags of Love would like you to know about their upcoming eRACE Childhood Cancer Virtual 5k Fundraiser is happening on May 8. It will be a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Individuals can sign-up for free, create a team and raise money to win prizes. You can view their sponsorship package here. If you have any questions, Julian can be reached at juliancastaneda01@

1 On April 17, the 21st Annual Kern County Economic Summit aired on KGET-TV 17. This year's program featured three economists who provided their perspectives on the region’s economic future as well as national and international trends. The Summit is hosted by Kern EDC, California State University, Bakersfield and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber.

Click HERE to watch the program.

Thank you to our Sponsors



Silver Bronze TAFT COLLEGE


Welcome New Chamber 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. 1st Choice Urgent Care 6515 Panama Ln., Ste. 106-107 Bakersfield, CA 93313 661-735-3041 “Specializing in immediate care for acute conditions and injuries, First Choice Urgent Care provides a wide range of diagnostic tests and treatments. We understand a patient’s time is valuable and we work quickly to address your needs.”

Rodriguez & Associates 1128 Truxtun Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93312 661-323-1400 “Kern County’s Premier Personal Injury Lawyers that are dedicated to helping families put their lives backtogether after a serious injury or wrongful death.”

Kern Glass & Aluminum Company 220 Kentucky St. Bakersfield, CA 93305 661-327-4053 “We are committed to providing quality glass solutions to our customers while exceeding their expectations for service and craftmanship.”

Vogue-ish 911 18th St. Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-437-0506 “A second-hand boutique carrying a unique assortment of hand-picked + trendy apparel, accessories and shoes.”

Redwood Senior Living Bakersfield 810 S. Union Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93307 415-810-0145 “We provide best-in-class senior living at affordable rates. We cater to a variety of care levels, including Assisted Living, Memory Care, Respite Care and Hospice Care. Redwood Senior Living is Where California Seniors Age Great!”

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber was founded in 1920. The Chamber guides Bakersfield toward a better and brighter future. We're driven by the belief that when business prospers, our community thrives. The Chamber serves as a small business support and economic development association primarily serving members in the Metro Bakersfield Area. The Chamber is widely known in our region for providing high-caliber programming, events and services that not only benefit our members, but the entire business community. Your membership dues will help us to expand and evolve our offerings to continue our mission to be a strong advocate for businesses. Our Business is a Better Bakersfield. For more information about joining the Chamber or renewing your membership dues, please contact Cathy Albyn at


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. M.A.R.E. Therapeutic Riding Center – 1997

ALPHA Canine Sanctuary – 2011 Altria Client Services, Inc. – 2003

March Consulting – 2013

Anthony Garcia Inc – 2020

Meridian Pacific, Inc. – 2012

Apex Management Group – 2010

Moneywise Wealth Management – 2004

Bakersfield RV Resort – 2007 Barbich Consulting – 2005 Best Western Plus Hill House – 1999

MX4, Inc. McDonald's Restaurant – 2019

BMW of Bakersfield – 2018

Pacific West Sound – 2018

California Fruit Depot – 2005

PCL Industrial Services, Inc. – 2011

CBIZ MHM, LLC – 1998

Personal Express Insurance – 2009

Citizens Business Bank- 17th Street Branch – 1983

Royal Palms – 1996

Commercial Trade Inc. – 1988

Southern California Gas Company – 1936

Communication Enterprises Inc. – 1990 Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center – 1997

CSF Medical Nonprofit Foundation – 2017 Donnie Craig – 1999 Eagleson Body Works, Inc. – 1970 Emcore – 1963 Environmental Waste Minimization, Inc. – 2015 Esparza Enterprises, Inc – 2001 Express Transit Inc. – 2017

Santiago Sales – 2011

StructureCast – 1999 The BLVD! – 2018 The Hampton Inn Bakersfield – 2006 The Wildlands Conservancy Wind Wolves Preserve – 2016 U-Haul Moving and Storage – 2015 Valley Bible Fellowship – 2017 Valley Children's Healthcare – 2012 Victoria's – 2015 Yankee Communications, Inc. – 2013

MAY 2021


BYP Council Meeting 3 p.m. | Zoom


GRC Meeting 10 a.m. | Zoom


BYP Coffee Chat 9 a.m. | Zoom


Cut the Clutter Webinar 10 a.m. | Zoom


BYP Virtual Wine Tasting With San Rucci Winery 6 p.m. | Zoom


GRC Meeting 10 a.m. | Zoom


Ambassador Committee Meeting Noon | Zoom


Chamber Closed | Memorial Day

Four Points Hotel by Sheraton – 1983 Guild House – 1993 ICON Printing Solutions – 2016 John F. Stovall – 2005 Kaiser Permanente Kern County – 1987 Kern County Builders Exchange – 1957 LeBeau-Thelen LLP – 1989 Luigi's – 1997

For more information about any of our events, committees or councils, visit METRO | PAGE 21

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE FOCUS Varner Bros. Inc. is a family-owned, full-service refuse and recycling hauling company that has proudly served Bakersfield and northern Kern County for more than 80 years.


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



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

General Counsel Mark Bateman Young Wooldridge LLP


CHAMBER STAFF Nick Ortiz | President/CEO Cathy Albyn | Membership & Business Development Manager Frances Klingenberger | Manager, Strategic Programs Hillary Haenes | Vice President, Member Engagement Kaelyn Peterson | Manager, Policy & Public Affairs


Jean Scheiber | Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer


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