September 2021 Metro

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This is Our Time This is Our Place Now that the kids are all off on their own, we wanted a home where we could live an active, carefree and fulfilling life. We found the perfect place in Highgate Regents. Castle & Cooke's commitment to creating the finest Active Adult communities is evident in every detail of Highgate Regents, from the private Regents Club with its abundant recreational and social amenities, to the impressive quality of homes designed for comfortable, carefree living. Highgate Regents was created so you can experience "What Matters Most in Life." All you have to do is enjoy it.

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Read about member business Bitwise Industries.


Now accepting applications for the LB Class of 2022. Apply today and be a part of this premier leadership program!





Apply today and be a part of the LB Class of 2022!

Keep up-to-date on potential impacts to your business.


Save the date for the 31st Annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards!






Celebrate important milestones of fellow Chamber members.


Discover the latest news and happenings with other members.


Cover photo by Randy Guerra, Bitwise Industries.

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



Member Spotlight I

A Tech Revolution Through Economic Collaboration

t doesn’t need to be an accident. That was the promise Irma Olguin Jr. and Jake Soberal made when they founded Bitwise Industries. Bitwise is intentional in creating high-wage, high-growth jobs with upward mobility that are transformative in cities like Bakersfield. Since the day we opened Bitwise’s first building in Fresno, we’ve focused on connecting people from underserved communities, Amy Thelen and from all walks of life, to the tech skills and wrap-around resources needed to access opportunities in the tech industry. By upskilling historically disenfranchised groups of people, we’ve found that we can help empower people to change their own lives, which improves the economies of each city we serve. And we do so in three ways: BW Workforce Training, BW Tech Consulting and BW Real Estate. Bitwise Workforce Training is our answer to the question, “How do I enter into the technology industry?” Very simply put, we teach people to code. That is the heartbeat of what Bitwise does. Bitwise Workforce Training is designed to empower people in underestimated cities to become software developers, which means that its programs must be accessible to historically underserved people groups. We open this access by offering training free to students who can’t afford it and a rich set of non-technical resources that are too often the actual barrier to opportunity (i.e., transportation, child care, food security, etc.). The result is a tech workforce that mirrors the rich diversity of Bakersfield. Bitwise Technology Consulting is composed of highly skilled senior and paid apprentices that are hired largely out of Bitwise Workforce METRO | PAGE 4

Training. This is where our apprentices work side by side with experts on realworld projects. Technology Consulting is our custom development division dedicated to building world-class technology solutions for government and private-sector clients that want to scale quickly. Bitwise Real Estate invests in blighted downtown buildings that can serve as an inspiring space for entrepreneurs to gather. We believe buildings, like 1701 and 1723 on 18th Street are vital to bringing life to the community. These revitalized buildings will be the hub for technology growth within the downtown space. Bitwise serves as a bridge to connect those from underestimated communities to the city’s core, along with the ever-growing tech industry and the possibilities that stem from it. With technology comes opportunities that reach far beyond a single generation, with the ability to impact future generations profoundly. Similarly, the scope of opportunity provided by a world-class tech hub, in a forgotten building in a city long overlooked, begins to change the narrative of that city, while revitalizing and restoring the heartbeat to the city center. In February 2021, Bitwise was thrilled to announce our most recent initiative, the Digital New Deal, in partnership with the State of California and other local governments. The program gives students, participating in paid apprenticeships, the opportunity to work with government agencies on technology-related projects that promote economic recovery. Bitwise exists to empower underestimated communities to access the very best opportunity that the technology economy has to offer. We are thrilled to continue and grow that work with you in Bakersfield. – Amy Thelen, VP of Bitwise Industries, Bakersfield



oin a 34-year tradition that brings together a group of individuals from across the city and immerses them in the issues and assets that are essential to Bakersfield’s future. Leadership Bakersfield will equip today's leaders with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to adapt to and lead in our rapidly changing and interconnected world. Each class session is tailored to educate participants on a key community issue. Class sessions include leadership, health & human services, energy, arts & culture, media & communications, government, education, law enforcement and agriculture. A combination of top-tiered speakers and panels, access to high level executives within key industries, exclusive tours and hands-on activities provides understanding into that day's particular industry.

Things to know…

Deadline to submit applications: Friday, Oct. 1 Click HERE to apply online.

Participants are also tasked with designing a project that fulfills a need in the community. Each year, LB teams create programs and projects that funnel in thousands of dollars into our community that impact the lives of hundreds of individuals. Don't wait! Click HERE to apply online today!


"The Leadership Bakersfield Program gave me the opportunity to learn more about the city, other industries and myself. We received insights into the city's positives and areas of improvement. I was able to make connections with professionals in different industries who I can now call not only resources but friends. The program gave me the tools to further my growth as an individual and as a professional in Bakersfield. I think anyone who is interested in learning more about Bakersfield and their leadership potential should apply for the program." – Joshlynn Sumrall, Castle & Cooke California, Inc. "Leadership Bakersfield is the premier leadership program in this community for a reason. You are fully immersed into all that is good about this community and build relationships with stakeholders across multiple industries. I highly recommend Leadership Bakersfield for anyone who is deeply invested in this community." – Justin Leland, Moneywise Wealth Management As a Bakersfield transplant, LB quickly acclimated me to the community leaders, industry and culture of Bakersfield. I am very fortunate to have experienced this unique and prestigious program. – Voni Humphreys, Valley Republic Bank Leadership & Business Day Session

Government Day Session

Law Enforcement Day Session


Kern County Veterans Service Dept.

KCSO Air Support METRO | PAGE 5

SERIES Speaker

Daniel Klingenberger


usinesses have an ever-increasing Employee Handbooks: A Key challenge of staying abreast of Component of Every Business employment law changes and additional rights afforded to employees in the workplace. Date: Thursday, Oct. 7 Many of those changes create obligations on Time: 9-11 a.m. the employer’s part to establish policies and Cost: FREE to communicate those policies to employees. Location: Zoom Webinar Defending claims brought by current or former RSVP: HERE employees often begins with demonstrating that the business has an up-to-date policy addressing the issue. This presentation will cover the most important policies California employers should have in place in today’s business environment and explain why the policies are central to protecting the company. Daniel Klingenberger, attorney and partner at LeBeau-Thelen LLP, will cover key topics such as sick leave, leave of absence, meal and rest periods, pregnancy disability leave and unlawful harassment will be discussed. To RSVP, click HERE and save your spot today! You will be emailed a Zoom link.





ave the date for the 31st Annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards presented by Valley Strong Credit Union on Saturday, November 13. Known as the “Oscars of Bakersfield,” the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala celebrates the efforts of individuals, businesses and organizations that build a better Bakersfield. The event will be held in-person at Mechanics Bank Theater & Convention Center! Click HERE to view the Beautiful Bakersfield Facebook page and nominees!


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Award Sponsor

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Hospitality Sponsor

Media Sponsor

Category Sponsors


Local Business Lending, With Local Decision Makers

Our local representatives are dedicated to your success and can offer helpful services designed to take the burden of operational tasks off your plate. With our help, you will find it easier to focus more on growing your business.

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Grow Your Possibilities Federally Insured by NCUA I Equal Opportunity Lender


fter more than a year of offering virtual ceremonies, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber is happy to announce that we are now accepting applications for in-person ribbon cuttings! A ribbon cutting is the ceremonial opening of a new/ newly renovated, relocated or expanded business. It can inaugurate a first day of business, take place weeks after a soft opening or commemorate a milestone anniversary. Because the ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in history for each business, this is a chance for the owner or manager to publicly thank their family and friends, employees, customers and/or business partners. For more information or to schedule a ribbon cutting, please contact Hillary Haenes at


4608 Rudnick Ct. 661-546-6445

25TH ANNIVERSARY + OFFICE RELOCATION Autism Society - Kern Autism Network Date: Thursday, Sept. 16 Time: 10 a.m. Location: 2200 Oak St., Ste. A

2021 Nonprofit Line-Up


he Bakersfield Young Professionals and Kern Community Foundation have announced the 2021 Philanthropy on Tap schedule. This event series connects young professionals to the nonprofit sector by allowing organizations to discuss their services and volunteer opportunities. The events are from 5:30-7:00 p.m. and are FREE to attend.

Sept. 14 Double-Header Featuring Helping Animals Live Tomorrow (H.A.L.T.) Rescue & Strength of Shadow (S.O.S.) Dog Rescue Temblor Brewing Co.

Oct. 5

Bakersfield Pregnancy Center Imbibe Wine


Nov. 9

PathPoint Temblor Brewing Co.

Dec. 7

Be Finally Free Temblor Brewing Co.

A partnership between

• For the month of September, Golden Empire Transit (GET) will be welcoming people back to public transit with FREE rides for the full month (Sept. 1 – 30). Free rides will be available on the GET fixed route buses and the On-Demand Paratransit service only. For more information, please visit • Energy Upgrade California® is a statewide initiative committed to uniting Californians to strive toward reaching our state’s energy goals. Small businesses can play a big part in increasing energy efficiency across the state—to help Keep it Golden® for future generations and ensure we remain leaders in energy conservation. Whether you are at work or at home, saving energy can be simple! There are many small changes you can make in your day-to-day that could make a huge difference for our state and your fellow Californians. Want to see just how energy efficient you are? Sign up for an energy assessment to learn how you can increase your energy efficiency and help California reach its energy goals today! For more energy savings tips or to learn more about energy efficiency, visit www. • Act now to protect your family with this “Home Fire Safety Awareness Workshop” hosted by the Autism Society-Kern Autism Network on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 1-2:30 p.m. You will hear from speaker Bill Cannata, a national expert, retired Captain and Autism Dad. There will be a hybrid presentation where you can attend in-person in Bakersfield or virtually via Zoom. Register at https://bit. ly/3xGICnR.

• Employer’s Training Resource along with America’s Job Center, will be hosting hands-on training, Sept. 8 & Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Multi-craft Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program will provide a wide array of classes for each trade labor unions. The training courses will offer core services which may include green construction, financial literacy, Occupational Safety (OSHA10), CPR/ First Aid, construction math, electrical theory, basic circuitry and testing, measuring and estimating, blueprint reading, tool usage and safety for all trade crafts, history of cement and the craft, plumbing and pipefitting, HVAC, welding, fabricating and Painting awareness. Will receive Boom certification along with Scaffolding Certificate. Physical and aptitude training. Classroom and hands on specific instruction and training for Painters Union Local 52, IBEW Local 428, Cement Mason Local 600, Iron Workers Local 155, Operating Engineers Local 12, Plumbers and Fitters Local 460 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 105. Participants may apply for the union of their choice following completion of the program or choose to attend a vocational training activity or look for employment. Register at • The Guild House Restaurant, located at 1905 18th St., will be reopening on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Lunch is served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reservations are appreciated. To make a reservation, call 661-325-5478 or to review the lunch menu, visit All proceeds benefit the Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic.

• Environmental Sound Solutions Inc. is excited to share about their product – the Konnekt Videophone. This videophone is made to help seniors and people with disabilities stay connected to families and friends. With the complications of smartphones, that most elderly people get too frustrated with, we are now partners with Konnekt, to bring back that feeling of independence and be able to see their families and friends, especially in times like Covid. The Konnekt Videophone is a computer that ESSI has converted to be used as a simple touchscreen phone. It connects via Wi-Fi of at least 3 mbz, a cellular hotspot or router and will be preprogramed with contacts of your choosing. There is no logging in, swiping or setup. We do all of this for you, so the videophone is ready for use once plugged in and connected to the internet. The screen is a 15-ince monitor and is comparable in size to an iPad. ESSI also offers captioning for the hard of hearing. All you need to do to call the videophone is to download the free Skype app, available on phones, tablets and computers. The touchscreen can be used with a stylus as well as allow incoming calls to be auto-answered for the user. To see how the product works, visit: https://www. For more information, call 661-324-9045.


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. Assured Senior Living Solutions 2525 Alluvial Ave., Ste. 11 Clovis, CA 93611 559-283-2566 “We assist families with finding senior care.” Community Services Employment Training (CSET) 1701 18th St., Ste. 203 Bakersfield, CA 93301 661-520-2421 “We are a nonprofit community-action organization putting Veterans to work in Bakersfield and underserved adults in Delano.” Digital Ad Cast LLC 6001 College Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93306 661-382-3380 “We offer appointment setting, paid and organic marketing campaign set-up, business automation to improve productivity up to 90% and virtual assistants.”

Hourglass Hotel - Ascend Collection 2400 Camino Del Rio Ct. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-479-5700 “Hourglass Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel that features 180 newly renovated guest rooms with a full-service restaurant.” Kern Medical Supply LLC 2520 Pegasus Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-393-4877 “We are a provider of durable medical equipment and respiratory supplies.” SITREP Security Solutions 4440 Grissom St. Ste. 102 Bakersfield, CA 93313 661-241-0619 “We are veteran owned and operated company built on the army’s military core values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage). We’ve integrated ourselves in our community in hopes to provide a more accountable and professional security service. We understand the importance of safety and security more than ever in these times. Our success has been built on our ability to listen to our partners needs, establish a security program and implement a course of action.”

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. AEG AP LA Facilities, Mechanics Arena, Theater & Convention Center – 1998 Aerotek – 2013 Agape In Home Care, Inc. – 2000 AltaOne Federal Credit Union Riverwalk Office – 2012 American Red Cross - Kern Chapter – 2010 Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital – 2016 Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra – 1994 Bland Company – 2015 BSK & Associates – 1972 California City Landowners Association – 2014 Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium – 2017 Century 21 Jordan-Link & Co. Jeanne Radsick – 2009 CityServe Network – 2019 Countryside Market & Restaurants – 2017 Cuyama Buckhorn LLC – 2018 Dale Pretzer Jr. Inc. dba All American Glass – 2009

Darlene Denison State Farm Insurance – 2008 Deprigo, Inc. – 2014 Environmental Sound Solutions, Inc. – 2010 Glinn and Giordano Physical Therapy – 2019 Hoffmann Hospice – 1996 Hourglass Hotel - Ascend Collection – 2010 Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant – 2009 JSS Almonds – 2015 Kern Oil & Refining Co. – 2019 Onyx Aesthetics and Wellness – 2019 Pacific Advisors – 2004 S.C. Anderson – 1990 Secure Systems – 1992 Seneca Resources Corp. – 2016 Sizzler Restaurant - Mt Vernon – 1997 Sizzler Restaurant - Real Road – 1997 Superior Grocers – 2020 TownePlace Suites Bakersfield – 2015 Trends Collision Center – 2018




Chamber Closed | Labor Day


BYP Council Noon | Chamber


GRC Meeting 7:30 a.m. | Chamber


Beautiful Bakersfield Committee Noon | Chamber


Philanthropy on Tap 5:30 p.m. | Temblor Brewing


Ambassador Committee Meeting Noon | Chamber


GRC Meeting 7:30 a.m. | Chamber

Advertising in Metro and email blasts – it’s an exclusivity that only Chamber members enjoy. Regardless of your budget or needs, the Chamber offers competitive pricing to help you determine which advertising option works best for your company.


Member to Member email blasts are paid advertisements that the Chamber sends out on behalf of our members. With a reach of more than 4,500 email contacts, it’s the perfect option to promote your brand.


A staple of news and information for members, METRO is sent out monthly to more than 5,800 email contacts. This digital publication features Chamber programming and events as well as regulatory changes that can impact our members' bottom lines. All advertisements will link back to your company's website.

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

For more information, contact Jean Scheiber at METRO | PAGE 13



Chairman of the Board Derek Jeffery KGET-TV 17

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

Klein DeNatale has been a pillar in our communities since 1953. With offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara and San Diego, our attorneys represent both businesses and individuals using their decades of experience, depth of knowledge and unrivaled track record. We provide counsel on sophisticated transactions and complex litigation, as well as business and commercial litigation, estate planning, labor and employment, tax litigation and intellectual property matters.




CHAMBER STAFF Nick Ortiz | President/CEO Cathy Albyn | Membership & Business Development Manager Hillary Haenes | Vice President, Member Engagement Hannah Mebane | Marketing & Communications Coordinator Kaelyn Peterson | Executive Vice President, Public Affairs & Executive Director of BAKPAC Jean Scheiber | Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer


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