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Vol. 8, No. 3

Summer 2019


Technology: Local companies scramble to protect data, cyberspace 4 Community Business: Local nonprofits get promising ‘Jumpstart’ Finance: Why you absolutely must have a detailed exit stategy

7 14

Legal and Human Resources: Estate planning for small-business owners — insuring your life’s work survives after you pass.


Land surveying Best kept STEM occupation secret BY JEFF GUITERREZ


Kern Business Journal 3700 Pegasus Bakersfield, CA 93308


Please see LAND SURVEYING | 23 Local surveyors doing construction staking using a Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning System.

Why sexual harassment victims don’t speak up — Page 18

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o not feel left out if you do not know about land surveying . You are not alone. Jerry Carter of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) performed a “man on the streets” survey to gauge public awareness of the land surveying profession. His survey revealed that public awareness of land surveying was and is dismally low. I attend Kern Economic Development Foundation’s yearly STEMposium and can attest to Mr. Carter’s findings. Most of the

young people know plenty about engineering but nothing about land surveying. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “Land surveyors make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. (They) provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.” For a more thorough and



alley Republic Bank understands the big picture of this community and works diligently to improve the quality of life here.” B ETH H OFFMANN Hoffmann Hospice Tom and I think of the professionals at Valley Republic Bank as our wingmen. From inception of the new, home-like inpatient setting of hospice care, they’ve been by our side. Our new residence care augments existing hospice programs that include services in the privacy of an individual’s own home, an assisted living facility, or in the hospital. As the only nonprofit hospice care facility in Kern County, we feel a responsibility to continue to provide the most advanced care options to local families. We’re grateful for the support

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we’ve received to make this dream a reality.


Local. Responsive. Reliable. 5000 California Avenue, Suite 110 | 4300 Coffee Road, Suite A6 11330 Ming Avenue, Suite 400 500 Woollomes Avenue, Suite 101, Delano | 661.371.2000 Valley Repub public Bancorp


Business announcements

The staff of Saba Agency and Creative Concepts.

Saba Agency celebrates 30 years of providing advertising needs Tom Saba, founder and president of Saba Agency, is a “home-grown” Bakersfield native who graduated from Bakersfield College in 1979 and CSUB in 1981 with a degree in business and a passion for

Journal KERN Business Kern County’s premier business publication Summer 2019 Vol. 8, No. 3

Copies are available from The Bakersfield Californian, Kern Economic Development Corp., Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and by subscription. Editor and Art Director Glenn Hammett

To subscribe 661-392-5777 Contact us 3700 Pegasus Drive Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-395-7500

According to Bank of America’s latest Small Business Owner Report for Southern California region, Southern California small-business owners continue to be far more optimistic and confident about revenue growth and hiring than their national counterparts, though expressing less confidence in their local economy than in the fall of 2018. The report also revealed that: •Southern California small-business owners are better prepared for an economic downturn or natural disaster than their national counterparts.

Public agencies and private entities in the valley air basin portion of Kern County may receive up to $25,000 annually through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Clean Green Yard Machines Commercial Voucher Program. The program provides incentives for the replacement of landscape maintenance equipment to lawn care providers. Applicants can switch their gas- or diesel-powered professional landscape maintenance equipment used for their daily operations to a zero-emission, all-electric battery equivalent. Funding for this program is on a firstcome, first-served basis. To qualify, 100 percent of landscape maintenance operations must occur within the geographic area of the San Joaquin Valley air basin. This is a voucher program; one must obtain approval from the Valley Air District by submitting a completed application before purchasing or disposing of any eligible equipment. In order to test out the new battery-operated electric equipment

Bank of Sierra’s first quarter donations

Bank of the Sierra gave $46,500 to 12 nonprofits in the Central Valley during the first quarter. The bank awards $1,000$5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations each quarter as part of its Sierra Grant program. Overall in the first quarter, Bank of the Sierra awarded a total of $66,000 to nonprofits in eight counties it serves. The Mission at Kern County’s Lee and Krystyna Jameson Recovery Home for Women and Children offers safe shelter and addiction recovery programs. A Sierra Grant will help provide basic needs for children at the home, including formula, diapers, cribs, car seats, childcare, and healthy snacks. Since its inception in 2004, the Sierra Grant Program has been responsible for donating over two million dollars to organizations that improve local communities. Nonprofits who wish to apply for a Sierra Grant can pick up an instructional brochure at any Bank of the Sierra branch, or visit the bank’s web site at sierra_grant_program.

The Bakersfield Californian

To advertise Cliff Chandler 661-395-7521

SoCal small business owners more optimistic

New incentive funding available for commercial landscapers

to determine its viability for their business, an interested agency may apply for a piece of equipment and then reapply later the same year for additional pieces. Funding will be limited to $25,000 annually per applicant. Refer to the chart at the bottom of this page for funding breakdown. Visit cgym-commercial.htm to review the application and program guidelines. New equipment must be of the same type as the old equipment and is funded on a 1-to-1 replacement ratio (i.e., one old gas-powered edger for one new electric-powered edger). Old equipment must be fully functional and surrendered to an approved dismantler for permanent destruction. For more information, contact the Bakersfield District Office at 661-392-5500.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Kern Business Journal is a publication of Sound News Media.

marketing. Saba started the agency a little over 30 years ago and the agency continues to grow, even in an ever-challenging economy. From orchestrating electronic media for Bakersfield College to creating websites and collateral materials for Kern COG and Kern EDC; from creating the license plate frames for Houchin Blood Bank to creating a web-based safety incentive program for Rain for Rent, Saba Agency and Creative Concepts provide an extensive array of marketing services. Included in these services are creative ideas, website design, media services and print design, radio and television creative and production and promotional advertising items. Saba attributes much of the success of the company to the team spirit of the 14-strong staff at Saba Agency and Creative Concepts. “Our strong sense of team motivates and inspires each of us to success. We have never lost sight of the truly fundamental and simple principles that equal successful, cost-effective marketing.”

• 82 percent of small-business owners in Southern California plan to expand their businesses compared to 67 percent nationally • 32 percent of Southern California respondents plan to hire in 2019, outpacing the national average of 24 percent. • 46 percent of Southern California small-business owners believe the local economy will improve over the next 12 months, a decline from 53 percent last fall and two percentage points behind their national counterparts. • 75 percent of of Southern California small businesses have taken steps to prepare for an economic downturn, compared to the national average of 69 percent • More Southern California small businesses – 64 percent — have a business continuity plan in case of an earthquake, fire or other disaster, compared with 61 percent of their national counterparts.




Local companies scramble for protection


The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



“denial-of-service” (DoS) attack disrupted the U.S. electrical grids, including section that stretch into Bakersfield, earlier this year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cyberattack occurred On March 5, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but did not result in any power outages. Last year, the city of Bakersfield revealed hackers had breached data in the Click2Gov system, which is used to process online municipal payments. In 2016, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office reported the personal information of more than 2,500 employees had fallen victim to a data phishing scam. These are just a few examples of recent local data breaches and cyberattacks. No doubt there have been many more. And hardly a week goes by that a major national corporation doesn’t notify customers, including those in Bakersfield and Kern County, that their private information has been stolen. “It would be unique to find a company that’s not concerned about cybersecurity,” said Alec Wilder, Aera Energy’s chief information officer. “We all need to ensure that defenses are in place and act accordingly against cyberattack threats.” The annual Verizon data breach report found that regardless of the type or amount of an organization’s data, “there is someone out there who is trying to steal it.” And, according to the Symantec 2019 Internet Security Threat Report, one in 10 websites is malicious; web attacks are up 56 percent; and mobile ransomware is up 33 percent. “Anything attached to the Internet is vulnerable to a cyberattack,” said Wilder. “That’s why Aera adopted a philosophy of ‘zero trust’ earlier this year. That means trust no one when it comes to cybersecurity. A defensive perimeter is no longer adequate. Our ‘zero trust’ philosophy is about protecting, detecting and responding to cyber threats.” Kern County’s two main industries are oil and agriculture. They are also among its main cyberattack targets. Jeanne Varga at the Kern County Water Agency, which provides water to both agriculture and


Energy is one of Kern County’s main industries. It also is one of its main cyberattack targets. “Anything attached to the Internet is vulnerable to a cyberattack,” says Alec Wilder, Aera Energy’s chief information officer.

municipal customers, joined Aera’s Wilder in emphasizing the need to be vigilant. “For the Kern County Water Agency infrastructure, the latest software and hardware have been implemented. The vigilance of agency staff has been increased through training. And, outside connections are limited to what is necessary.” “The Internet is like the Wild West,” said Steve Annis, Bakersfield-based Valley Republic Bank’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “There are bandits hiding behind every tumbleweed (or email.) So, caution is always the order of the day. “As much as we try to protect our cus-

tomers, the reality is that once a customer is duped into sending money to a scammer, or divulging personal information to a hacker, there is very little any bank can do to get the lost money back. Awareness of the many dangers associated with the Internet is by far the best and most effective preventive measure we can take.” “At Aera, we have made cybersecurity everyone’s responsibility to help keep Aera safe,” said Wilder. “We conduct employee training on cybersecurity multiple times a year. We have also extended that training to the families of our employees to help them keep their home technology safe. We like to think cybersecurity as an extension

of Aera’s overall safety emphasis.” But as cyberattacks increase and companies scramble to protect their information, the supply of trained cybersecurity “warriors” is being stretched. Nationwide, an estimated 768,000 people now are working in cybersecurity jobs, with nearly 302,000 jobs unfilled. California alone has an estimated 36,600 job openings, with 420 of them in Bakersfield, according to, a consortium of government, business and educational agencies. Industry observers predict the number of unfilled cybersecurity position Please see CYBERSECURITY | 6


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• Computer Repair • Networking • Managed IT Services • Cloud Services • Data Backup • Disaster Recovery • IT Consulting • Email Hosting • Cyber Security • Business Phone Systems





nationwide will grow to 3.5 million by 2021. At California State University, Bakersfield, cybersecurity skills are taught as a course concentration in the Department of Computer Science. Dr. Melissa Danforth, who chairs the department, acknowledges the increasing demand for trained cybersecurity professionals and the increasing interest of students to pursue careers in the field. She said most CSUB students are following the traditional computer science or computer information systems concentrations, filling out their studies with cybersecurity electives. “Cybersecurity also has reached into other fields,” she said. “For example, someone with a business administration, or policy administration background could easily shift into cybersecurity regulations, policy and compliance. “This is a very big field, particularly in the health and financial sectors. And it is just as important as the technical aspects of cybersecurity,” she said. “Even the generalized jobs can benefit from a more

cybersecurity-focused mindset. For example, a software developer who is trained in common coding errors and security-focused audit techniques can develop a more robust program that has fewer vulnerabilities.” Danforth said CSUB computer science alumni are working locally in a wide range of positions, including financial, medical, energy and government. As college graduates were tossing their caps into the air in May, Bloomberg was reporting that they were entering one of the hottest job markets in recent memory, with data scientist jobs paying the highest entry level salaries. According to Glassdoor researchers, young workers in the field earned a median annual salary base of $95,000 – higher than young Wall Street investment-banking analysts. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, a company that monitors the cybersecurity industry, the top five highest paying specialties in 2019 are freelance “bug bounty hunters,” chief information security officers, deputy chief information security officers, lead software security engineers and cybersecurity sales engineers. The industries with the highest demand for cybersecurity warriors are the cyber industry,

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The Kern County Water Agency and State Water Project provide water to agricultural and municipal customers. Through advanced software and systems, the KCWA prevents potential cyberattack.

itself; financial services, including banks; all levels of government; retail; healthcare; manufacturing. Zip Recruiter reported this spring that of all the industries the company studied, technology saw the largest increase in cybersecurity-related roles. From 2017 to date, cybersecurity jobs spiked 40 percent. And when Facebook’s massive data breach was revealed last year, information security roles grew by 250 percent year over year. This spike was partly due to companies scrambling to secure their data systems and partly mandated by legislation demanding greater protection of Americans’ sensitive information. Cambridge Analytica’s illegal access to the private information of more than 80 million Facebook users during the 2016 presidential campaign kicked the cybersecurity industry into an even high gear. In addition to hiring more cybersecurity staffs, companies are training their existing employees in cybersecurity skills. Many companies also are turning to traditional internships to transition new graduates into new employees. Danford noted that Aera recently created a cybersecurity internship at CSUB. Aera’s Wilder’s advice to local companies: “The best thing you, as a company, can do to limit the risk of cyberattacks is to hire a cybersecurity staff that embraces the motto: ‘We are paranoid, so you don’t have to be.’”

According to a recent Norton Cybercrime Report, 143 million U.S. consumers are victims of cybercrime, with that number increasing each year. “While the bank spends a great deal of time and money securing our networks and communications, the greatest vulnerability is the individual user,” said Steve Annis, Bakersfield-based Valley Republic Bank’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Annis offers the following cybersecurity advice: • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available. Establish strong passwords that contain at least eight characters, and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (@,#,$,%,&,?). • Watch out for phishing scams that use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account and login information. Do not click on links or open attachments or pop-up screens from unfamiliar sources. Remember, no legitimate person or company, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon or anyone else, will ever call you or send you an email and ask for your sign-on, password, or other personal information. • Keep personal information personal. Hackers use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know. • Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a strong password. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks. If you do, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to secure and encrypt your communications over a public Wi-Fi network.

Community Business Local nonprofits’ fundraising efforts get a promising ‘Jumpstart’ BY LOUIS MEDINA


“Jumpstart will give nonprofits the ability to work smarter, not harder, by building upon the important fundraising work they have already begun,” Kristen Beall, Kern Community Foundation president and CEO, said at the time, referring to the many donor contacts Jumpstart applicants had obtained through the Foundation’s successful Give Big Kern 2018 online fund-

— Kristen Beall, Kern Community Foundation president and CEO

raising initiative. Out of 15 Jumpstart applicants, five agencies were selected to receive the subsidy throughout 2019: District 1: Indian Wells Valley Economic Development Corporation District 2: Have A Heart Humane Society District 3: Bakersfield Master Chorale District 4: Bike Bakersfield/Bike Arvin District 5: Bakersfield Homeless Center Despite not having received a subsidy, a sixth agency, Independence Through GRACE, a faith-based enrichment program in Downtown Bakersfield that works to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, decided Jumpstart was worth paying the full tuition amount of $3,948.

BIG SMILES SIX MONTHS LATER Close to half a year since launch, we received a glowing report from Nate Nasralla, the certified fundraising executive and managing director with Network for Good who was the main presenter at last year’s Jumpstart town hall meeting. Some of his feedback highlights the accomplishments of individual agencies, including: That Have A Heart Humane Society “has taken a very, very big leap forward, moving 580 paper records to an organized and clean digital record of all supporters,” and proactively e-mailed donors who have moved out of the county, in an effort to retain their support. That Bike Bakersfield/Bike Arvin “has spent time cleaning and consolidating 1,360 contact records, which is the core of a successful fundraising program long term,” and is working with their Jumpstart coach to create more impactful communications to donors. That Bakersfield Master Chorale “has

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already raised 80 percent of last year’s total revenue, less than just six months into Jumpstart.” For her part, Catherine Waldon, Executive Director of Independence Through GRACE, raves about her relationship with her fundraising coach in a testimonial that is part of Nasralla’s report. “During my coaching sessions,” Waldon writes, “I always get great ideas on how to leverage our current donors.” This worked “wonderfully” for Waldon during this year’s Give Big Kern online day of giving, and with good reason: Her agency, which was the top fundraiser in the Give Big Kern 2018 campaign with $20,158, outdid itself more than two times over in this year’s Give Big Kern, raising $49,485. “Also, the information and tutorials from

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ast September, Kern Community Foundation, in a public-private partnership with the Kern County Board of Supervisors and fundraising technology and training giant Network for Good, announced a unique technical assistance grant opportunity for Kern County nonprofits. Called Jumpstart, the program was conceived as a revenue generation model that weds the high-touch nurturing and cultivation of long-term relationships with individual donors to the high-tech use of donor development software in order to help nonprofits diversify and expand general operating dollars. Locally, the grant was designed to allow five agencies, one from each county supervisorial district, to receive 12 months of technical assistance and access to user-friendly fundraising software from Network for Good, for a mere $79 a month. Such a highly affordable opportunity was made possible thanks to a $3,000-per-agency Louis Medina subsidy made up of $800 from NFG, and $2,200 from the county board, with each supervisor contributing from their discretionary fund. Kern Community Foundation’s contribution consisted of program launch, including publicity and the convening of a town hall meeting to help NFG answer questions for applicants, and grant application management and monitoring through the Foundation’s online grants platform.

Jumpstart will give nonprofits the ability to work smarter, not harder, by building upon the important fundraising work they have already begun.

Network for Good are endless and exceptionally helpful,” Waldon continues. “Any questions I have are always answered, and if I ever need more help, I just press a button and, ‘Poof!’ help is on the way. Network for Good always responds until I solve whatever issue arises.” From coaching to centralized data storage to the generation of reports, emails, letters, and even texts, she says, the program is especially helpful and cost-effective for small nonprofits — which means a lot more coming from the one nonprofit that didn’t get a subsidy to participate in the program’s year-one rollout and still found investing in it worthwhile. “We are thrilled with the impact this unique collaboration is already generating and hope this cohort of participants serves as a shining example of what long-term donor cultivation using a 21st century approach looks like,” Beall said. Louis Medina is the director of community impact for Kern Community Foundation. You can reach him at


Community Business

What can teens do in Bakersfield? Lots! BY DAVID LYMAN

The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



y mission, which I chose to accept, was to share with local teens what there is to do in Bakersfield. The event was the Bakersfield Youth Commission’s “Sing Out, Speak Out” that preceded the kick-off of the City’s Movies in the Park series at The Park at Riverwalk on June 6. I was given five minutes. I began with this fact about Bakersfield: Our city’s population is larger than the that of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, St. Louis Missouri or Honolulu, Hawaii. Every once in a while I hear people say, “there is nothing for teens to do in Bakersfield.” My response: How can there be nothing to do in a city that is larger than Pittsburgh, St. Louis, or Honolulu? With that, David Lyman I started my list of things for teens in Bakersfield. First of all there are Movies in the Park. Also, the first Friday of the month means First Friday downtown. The second Saturday of the month means Second Saturday downtown. While downtown there is Art Trek, a self-guided walking tour of downtown public art and art galleries. With all of the snow in our nearby mountains recently, this will be a memorable year for river rafting. You do not have to go far to go rafting because Bakersfield has its very own rafting outfitter. River’s End Rafting and Adventure Company is less than 20 minutes from downtown at 15701 Highway 178. Closer to home, the new entertainment area developing along Buck Owens Boulevard means there are lots of options to check out. One of those is The BLVD, where its youth summer camp features bowling, a ropes course, laser tag, karaoke and an arcade.


Bowling is one of several cool, indoor activities offered at The BLVD.


Cyclists begin to gather begin to gather at dusk on the bike path at Beach Park for the monthly Full Moon Ride sponsored by Bike Bakersfield.

There also is bowling at several other locations around Bakersfield every day. Nearby The BLVD is Flight Fit N Fun that offers an indoor trampoline park. Summer movies are playing throughout Bakersfield and that means admission for only $1. You can find $1 summer movies at Edwards Cinema at The Marketplace, Maya Cinemas downtown and Studio Movie Grill on Calloway Drive throughout the summer. The William M. Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College lets you view the stars in a 36 foot dome, the largest in the Central Valley. Go ice skating at Valley Children’s Ice Center, the coolest place in the city, or get wet at Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department’s pools and spray parks. The Kern River Parkway Trail is a paved path that stretches for more than 30 miles across Bakersfield. Not many cities have a paved path of that length where you can walk, run, bike or skate. If you like biking, Bike Bakersfield coordinates Full Moon Bike


River rafting in the summer is one way Bakersfield teens can stay cool.

Rides. At Wind Wolves Preserve, you can try Movies in the Canyon and Night Hikes. Both of these events are very popular so you need to make reservations early. And don’t forget Camelot Park if you like miniature golf, go karts, bumper boats and arcades. Our four museums have many exhibits throughout the year: Bakersfield Museum of Art, Buena Vista Museum of Natural

History and Science, California Living Museum and Kern County Museum. Not only do these museums have fun things to see and do, they also have volunteer opportunities. To save money on admission, go to Visit Bakersfield. com/MuseumTrail. In August, the Hydro-Turf Jet Jam Racing series returns to Lake Ming for its season finale. And Bakersfield has lots of fes-

tivals. There is the Bluegrass Jam festival, the Chile Verde Cookoff, Plein Air Painting Festival, Garden Fest, Scottish Gathering and Games, Basque Festival, Bike Festival, Cherry Festival, Menudo Cook-off, Celtic Music Festival, and Greek Food Festival. We are a city of festivals. I ended my comments by telling the teens about how to find out about local events. My first suggestion was the Events Calendar at Visit My second suggestion was that wonderful invention that many may consider old-fashioned: a newspaper. Every Thursday, the Bakersfield Californian publishes an activity guide for the upcoming week, and on the first weekend of the month the Californian lists activities for the month ahead. In each of those places, there are detailed listings about fun things happening in and around Bakersfield. Also, check out Visit Bakersfield on social media: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. And visit us in person at our downtown visitor center at 515 Truxtun Avenue in front of the Amtrak station. We have free maps, personal assistance and coupons for local attractions. David Lyman, PhD is manager of Visit Bakersfield. He and other members of Team More to Explore help visitors from throughout the world spend their money in California’s ninth largest city. They are available toll-free (866) 425-7353 or at

Community Business

50 years in Kern’s oil patch Pacific Perforating celebrates success and future BY MAUREEN BUSCHER-DANG



Loading casing and liners onto Pacific Perforating’s 22-ton hydro cranes is a constant activity.


Slots are cut into a casing pipe, which will be used to filter out sand during the oil well completion process. rating’s U.S. Sales Director. “We have knowledge of every heavy (thermal) oil field in the county,” said Roger Miller, noting that four of PPI’s staff members have more than 25 years with the company. Manufacturing and delivery teams average more than 10 years of experience. “We know where the fields are, their charac-

teristics, and keep a database on completion methods that work best for that area and zone.” When Pacific Perforating began operating under John Miller’s ownership, its manufacturing plant consisted of a single 12-spindle slotting machine and pipe-cleaning/de-burring system. There were just three em-

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management has made a commitment to our customers and employees that we will weather poor economic times together,” said Garett Rogers, the company’s general manager. “The level of teamwork really shows when times are challenging. At Pacific, everyone is willing to give their maximum effort to benefit the customer and the company. I also believe that our unmatched products, service, cutting-edge equipment and proLAB testing has and will continue to keep us in the well completion market for another 50 years.” Pacific Perforating opened its doors in 1969, when a Taft businessman, the late John J. Miller, sensed the growing potential for Kern oil producers and their need to control sand intrusion into their oil wells. Miller had followed his father, Leo, into Kern’s oil business. And in 1980, Miller’s son, Roger, joined the family-owned company. Today, Roger Miller is Pacific Perfo-

Monday, July 15, 2019

early a century ago, an innovative local machinist working for service company Midway Fishing Tool had a simple idea that has transformed the oil industry – in Kern County and around the world. He discovered that if he used a milling machine and a thin slitting saw to cut slots in a piece of casing, it could be used to filter out sand that was preventing the recovery of heavy crude oil. Geologically young, heavy oil zones, such as the Pleistocene, Miocene and Pliocene, basically are oil sand reservoirs. Small particles of sand can interfere with oil drilling thousands of feet below the surface. By the mid-1950s, these “slotted pipe” filters became so popular that most major oil producers were lining their production zones with them in the local Kern River, Midway Sunset and Belridge fields. And the race was on among oil service companies to produce the best and most advanced version of what a simple machinist had crafted in a Kern County shop. Versions of slotted, filtering casings now are used around the world, notably in oil fields in the United States, Canada, South America and the Middle East. And through it all, Pacific Perforating Inc., with its Kern County headquarters, west of Fellows, has emerged as a leader in the industry. The local company, which is a subsidiary of Canada-based RGL Reservoir Management, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Theirs is a story of oil pioneers using hard work and ingenuity to survive in an economically volatile industry, and helping oil producers recover Kern’s enormous treasure of black gold. “I believe PPI has been able to survive for 50 years because

ployees, including Miller’s wife, Betty, who handled the company’s accounting. Within the first month, Pacific Perforating was providing products to Getty Oil, Standard Oil, Victory Oil and Atlantic-Richfield. In 1981, when Sun Oil Co. launched a large drilling program near Taft, Pacific Perforating began a 24/7 operation to complete orders and initiated a vendor stocking program. But as often happens, the oil industry experienced a widespread economic downturn in the mid-1980s. The price of Kern heavy crude oil dropped from $25 per barrel to $6. At one point, only two drilling rigs were operating in California. Pacific Perforating looked internationally for new customers. These were found in the Middle East, as well as Venezuela and Columbia. Eventually the Millers, who were long known to Canadian oil producers, sold to G&L Slotco Oilfield Services and the Kern company became a subsidiary of RGL Reservoir Management. Today, the company’s manufacturing facility is staffed by 25 employees and produces about 300,000 feet worth of sand- and flow-control devices a year. These products are mostly used in oil production in Western states, including Colorado, California and New Mexico. As Pacific Perforating celebrates its 50th anniversary, it is focused on the future. “We have the only seaming facility in the U.S. and our CNC slotting machines are far more precise and efficient than anyone else can offer,” said Miller, noting that the company’s relationship with RGL Reservoir Management gives customers access to superior testing and engineering resources. “With RGL’s support, we are improving the way heavy oil wells are completed in California.”


Community Business

‘Encore’ entrepreneurs are more successful BY KELLY BEARDEN

The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



n owner’s age can be a factor in a startup business’ success – but not in the way you might think. According to “Age and HighGrowth Entrepreneur,” successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. Experience, not youth, is an asset. A study by Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Administrative Records Research, and Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, found youth is not the “secret sauce” when it comes to startup success. Using Census Bureau data, they found a mean age of 45 among the 1,700 founders of the fastest-growing startup. They also found the success rate rising Kelly Bearden significantly with age. Research by the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas Citybased nonprofit organization that studies and supports entrepreneurship, confirmed the age-related findings. In its 2018 State of Entrepreneurship survey of nearly 2,200 businesses, older entrepreneurs reported having less startup difficulties than younger ones. They more easily obtained necessary licenses and loans, suggesting their years of business, career and life experiences put them at an advantage over younger entrepreneurs. Kauffman researchers also noted that the 55 to 64 age group accounted for 26 percent of new startups in 2017. That is up from 19 percent in 2007. The rate of self-employed among workers age 65 and older was the highest of any age group. And while most studies do not consider gender in startup success rates, the number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has more than doubled in 20 years. Women are starting up an average of 849 new businesses every day. At the Small Business Development Center at California State University, Bakersfield, consultants get a close-up look at this exciting “encore business” startup trend. Consider the stories of just three SBDC clients, who are starting their own businesses after retiring from successful local careers. Mer Conner is the owner of


After a 28-year administrative career with California State University, Bakersfield, Antoinette Jacobs, (right), has opened YourMiMi, an innovative childcare business. She has been joined in the business by Sarah Brothers, (left), who also retired after a lengthy career with the state university system.

Garment of Praise, Antoinette Jacobs is the owner of YourMiMi and Dana Hutchison is the owner of O Sew Creative. Retiring this summer from a 25-year career teaching in a rural Kern County elementary school, Conner is looking for a downtown Bakersfield location in which to open her clothing boutique. She has been planning her encore business for seven years by taking online business and entrepreneurship classes and becoming certified as a personal stylist through the New York Institute of Art and Design. The focus of her business will be to offer customers individual styling advice. “The price point will be mid, attracting middle class, working women with the desire and need to dress well and define their personal style,” Conner explained.

She decided to open Garment of Praise “because I love clothes. I have discovered my own personal style, and for years have been asked by friends and family to help them find theirs.” “I do not shop labels or high-end fashions. I believe you can choose clothing with a modest budget if you know how to put outfits together,” she said. Jacobs retired in 2014 after a 28-year career at California State University, Bakersfield. She worked in a variety of administrative positions, before retiring as the supervisor for credentialing in the School of Education. She decided to start YourMiMi, an innovative workplace childcare business, after watching her own adult daughters struggle to balance their home and childcare needs

with those of their careers. “My heart went out to them as they grappled with the anxiety of choosing a daycare for their precious infant babies, with the horrific cost associated with the care of an infant, and with the sense of abandonment,” Jacobs said. “I asked God to show me how I could help. You know, this is what moms do. We fix things that are broken.” The answer came in the form of Jacobs’ YourMiMi startup, which focuses on partnering with local businesses to assist them in providing employee wellness to working parents. Placing mobile units in business locations, YourMimi provides onsite childcare, as well as facilities where mothers can nurse their babies or pump during work breaks. “Employees have the opportunity to visit with their babies during downtime and do not have to choose between being present parents and being dedicated to their jobs or careers. They can do both,” she said. Jacobs has been joined in this endeavor by Sarah Brothers, who serves as YourMimi’s chief operating officer. Brothers retired in 1998 from a 24-year career with the California State University system. Before becoming a founding administrator and director of academic personnel at California State University, Monterey Bay, Brothers was a faculty affairs specialist at CSUB and taught at Bakersfield College. Hutchison started O Sew Creative after retiring last year from a 24-year IT career with the Kern Regional Center. She is transforming her skills and passion for sewing and crafts into an encore business. “I offer mobile craft events – bringing the supplies, including fabric, yarn, paper, thread, beads and sewing machines – to customers and students,” she said, explaining that her “events” have included business, home and party venues. She has conducted sewing classes for children and adults at Beverly’s Fabrics in Bakersfield. These have included two kids’ camps, one being for children in the Kern Autism Network. She has taught three sewing classes for seniors at Columbus Estates............. and teaches regular classes in quilting for the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning at Bakersfield College. She also contracts to finish customers’ quilts and embroidery projects on her long-arm sewing machine. In addition to promoting her love of sewing and crafts, Hutchison said she hopes her O Sew Creative business will develop a “sense of community” through fabric and other craft materials. While each credit their previous careers

for giving them the organizational skills and related experience necessary to succeed, they acknowledged facing unique challenges. Conner said she is concerned about finding “the best location for my brick and mortar store” and assembling the “correct inventory to suit my customers and price point.” While clearing the licensing hurdles associated with the child care industry was time consuming and tedious, Jacobs said her biggest challenge is gaining the trust and confidence of corporate partners. And Hutchison said “getting the word out,” or marketing, is her biggest challenge. Experienced consultants at the Small Business Development Center at CSUB are helping these three women entrepreneurs and many others develop the business plans and marketing strategies needed to succeed. One of five service centers within the University of California, Central California SBDC Regional Network, the SBDC in Bakersfield is a partnership between the university and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The center assists small business owners in Kern, Inyo and Mono counties by providing free consulting, small business training and research. For more information, go to Kelly Bearden is the director of the Small Business Development Center at California State University Bakersfield.

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Monday, July 15, 2019 The Bakersfield Californian


Community Business

Hispanic small business owners

2019 promises growth and expansion, longer-term succession planning It also includes the process of selecting the best person to be in control. Proactive business succession planning not only helps in the process of identifying potential family successors, but it also facilitates and prepares them to take over the business in terms of skills, knowledge and financial readiness.


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o better understand what’s driving of one of the fastest-growing segments of the small business sector, Bank of America recently surveyed more than 300 Hispanic entrepreneurs to identify their motivations, aspirations, and concerns. This is especially important here in Kern County, where Hispanics make up more than half of the population (52.8%) and are an important driver of the overall economy. We were Daniel Herrera excited to find a strong majority of Hispanic business owners anticipate increased revenue and continued growth in 2019. This growthminded approach of Hispanic business owners is also true for jobs as more are also ramping up hiring efforts this year – a hopeful development for Kern County’s labor force which still has higher than average un- and under-employment rate. According to our third annual Bank of America Hispanic Small Business Owner Spotlight, 79 percent of Hispanic entrepreneurs plan to grow their business over the next five years, surpassing their non-Hispanic peers by 24 percentage points. Additionally, 74 percent expect their revenue to increase (17 percentage points higher than non-Hispanics) and 51 percent plan to hire (25 percentage points higher than non-Hispanics). Reflecting on their career paths, more than one-third of Hispanic entrepreneurs say their business has grown beyond what they originally envisioned. Many Hispanic business owners also see the long-term growth of their

TIP #2: CONSIDER THE FINANCIALS Some key financial issues must be considered in the case of transfers to family members. One of the first considerations is the impact on the current business owners’ wealth and cash flow. If the company is transferred by gift, be sure to understand the implications of any relevant gift taxes. When thinking about the financial future of a company, entrepreneurs should consider meeting with their local small business banker or similar expert to understand potential red tape or pitfalls to ensure their business and assets are protected. DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM

business as a multi-generational asset, with 38 percent intending to pass their business on to their children. One often-overlooked step in ensuring the future of a business is to create a business succession plan – which is especially significant for family-owned companies, since the business is often the primary source of income and family wealth for the owner. While every business and family situation is unique, a few key tips to help get started with succession planning include:

TIP #1: ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL The planning process should take into account a wide range of dynamic variables including roles, relationships and skills, personal goals and expectations,

Business owners planning on passing their businesses on to their children 40 35

Business owners planning to expand over the next five years 80



30 25











health and financial circumstances, market conditions, and the economic climate. The transfer of ownership within a family can also come with a number of personal and business challenges – especially










when family members are also employees, partners or co-owners. It requires that the current owner (generally a parent) be willing to cede some form of control to the new owner (generally their child or children).

TIP #3: WRITE OUT THE PLAN Then plan itself will certainly take time to develop, but the up-front effort is important to ensure a meaningful transition that meets the best interests and needs of the business, the current owner and their heirs. It is always best for business owners themselves to proactively decide upon the type of transaction, the type of tax and the timing of business succession – rather than allowing life events, liquidity needs or the tax code to decide for them. It is impossible to solve all questions and address all uncertainty at one time. Remember the plan is a living document that should be regularly reviewed and revised to reflect the best interests and needs of the business, while creating a meaningful next chapter for the enterprise. Daniel Herrera is a small business banker at Bank of America.

Monday, July 15, 2019 The Bakersfield Californian



The Home Stretch

Why you absolutely must have a detailed exit strategy BY TIMOTHY MCNEELY


any owners of successful businesses focus most on the final sale price of their business, as do the professionals who help them

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sell it. This is often a mistake. The reality is, it’s not just about getting the absolute maximum amount you can for the sale price. It’s also about how much you get to pocket, what you do once you get it as well as non-monetary concerns, such as ensuring employment for your current employees. All of this falls under the umbrella of comprehensive Timothy McNeely exit planning — high level planning that an increasing number of successful entrepreneurs are implementing when it comes time to sell their business. Let’s take a look at this crucial step in the process of selling your company.


THE NEED TO BE COMPREHENSIVE Selling your business is probably going to be the most important transaction in your career. You’ve built incredible value into your business and now it’s time to harvest that value! Comprehensive exit planning takes corporate exit planning, which is the sale of the business itself, and fuses it with strategies for personal wealth maximization and protection of that wealth for your family. It takes into consideration all the major financial areas of your life to ensure that, not only do you make that wealth, you keep it and benefit from it indefinitely. Being the owner of your successful business, the first stage of the comprehensive exit planning process is to identify your goals and objectives. Your expectations, from what you want to happen to your business after the sale

to what your life is going to be like afterwards, are the main factors in determining how you approach comprehensive exit planning. You would be well advised to find a financial professional for this process of discovery. Once you have direction, which will likely change over time, you’re free to start elite wealth planning and corporate exit planning.

ELITE WEALTH PLANNING Elite wealth planning focuses on the personal side of wealth. It is an in-depth planning process that combines technical expertise, legal strategy, financial products and the human element. The human element is the personal and emotional component that includes everything and everyone important to you. For many successful entrepreneurs, elite wealth planning has two goals: 1. Structure the ownership of your business to minimize taxes on exit. There are many different strategies which can be used to lower and sometimes even eliminate taxes that largely depend on your situation. 2. Protect assets (your business especially) from unfounded and frivolous lawsuits. Many entrepreneurs fail to ensure their personal wealth is protected from people who want to take it from them unjustly. Being able to insulate your wealth from them is very important.

CORPORATE EXIT PLANNING Many entrepreneurs shortchange themselves when it does come time to actually sell the business. You may be excellent at running your company, but you may not know enough about how to value your business and get maximum value for it. Corporate exit planning is a strategic guide for selling your business. It explains the sale process, taking into consideration your overall goals and any concerns you may have. It is best to plan your exit well in advance of selling your business. Depending on where you are with your business, it

could take months or even years to make sure the pieces are in place so you can package and sell your business at maximum profit. Example: As the owner, your business is likely dependent on you to continue to be a success. If you’re selling it, you need to be made redundant — other highly capable people must take your place and stay with the company after you’ve sold it. There are several steps to creating a strong corporate exit plan, including: Valuation. There are many ways to determine a company’s worth. It is part science, part art. Identifying drivers of value. These are aspects of your business which are attractive to potential buyers. They are crucial in marketing the business and negotiating a higher price when it comes to the sale. Maximizing value enhancing activities. You should take actions that enhance your business’s valuation. Examples of this would be fixing management problems, locking in customers and eliminating expenses, especially personal expenses. Weighing the exit options. There are many different types of buyers. Examples include family, senior management, competitors and private equity firms. The possibilities and implications must be considered for each option. Deciding when to sell. Macroeconomic and business cycle factors play a substantial role in deciding the best time to sell, along with personal matters. You must be ready to sell when the circumstances are most favorable. Effectively marketing your business. Marketing plays a huge role in selling your company. The ability to identify a larger number of interested buyers can create a competitive environment which can put you in an excellent negotiating position.

REVISITING YOUR PLAN AFTER YOU SELL After you have sold your business, your personal world will change — probably significantly. This is when elite wealth planning comes back into the picture. Examples might be that you have to update

your estate plan or restructure your asset protection plan. Then there is the ton of cash you have now that the sale is over. Deciding how to manage that is imperative. If you lack the expertise, you must identify high-caliber professionals who can help you invest your wealth in alignment with your objectives. Other, more personal issues can become important after the sale, as well. For example, business owners and their families often embrace philanthropy after the sale. They find they have the time and money to donate to causes that are deeply meaningful to them. Perhaps you will form a private foundation or another philanthropic vehicle which will require charitable planning and management.

TAKE ACTION Ultimately, a good comprehensive exit plan will accomplish four things: 1. Provide guidance on what is important to you, your goals and objectives. 2. Ensure you get the maximum value for your company based on the parameters set by you. 3. Make sure you walk away from the sale of your business with the most after-tax money possible. 4. Position you to best manage the proceeds and protect your wealth for after the sale. If you’re a driven entrepreneur and have such a plan in place, congratulations! You may be already set up for success. For any issues or concerns you may have around selling your business or preparing to sell it down the road, find a quality financial professional. Advanced planning now could be very valuable when it comes time to exit the business. Timothy J. McNeely is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Lifestone Family Office. For more on how you can adopt the habits of a driven entrepreneur and make your business even better, contact Tim McNeely of LifeStone Family Office by visiting LifeStO. com, by phone at (661) 368-0947 or on twitter at @timmcneely.


Every business owner is a risk manager, and more BY JOHN PRYOR


❚❚I like to allude to the

famous quote of Admiral David Farragut in his successful victories during the Civil War: “Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!”

John Pryor is a management consultant with CSU Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Center (by SBA definition up to 500 employees). His counsel – and that of others — can be accessed at www. through its registration process. Counsel is without fee and in total confidentiality.

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COLD OR DRY STORAGE PRICED REDUCED $750,000 1.83± acres, 37,090± square feet storage, Earlimart. FARMLAND SOLD 70.44± acres, Grade 1 soils, Laguna ID & wells, Lemore area FARMLAND (ADJOINING TOWN) $26,500±/AC 45.3± acres, mostly grade 1 soils, Lemore canal Co. & wells, designated as future residential & service commercial in Lemore 2030 Gen Plan. LAND OPPORTUNITY $16,635±/AC 150.29± acres, close to PGE sub-station, natural gas main line, high transmission power lines traverse the site. Buttonwillow, CA

FARMLAND $8,500±/AC 318.09± acres, non contract meter Wheeler Ridge Maricopa WSD, 1 well, grade 2 & 3 soils, center pivots, NW Bakersfield. FARMLAND SALE PENDING 628.52± acres, Pixley ID & Wells, Grade 1 Soils, located on Deer Creek, Earlimart. ORGANIC GRAPES $15,000±/AC 340± acres, well water and within Pixley ID, Grade 1 soils Earlimart. PISTACHIOS SOLD 798.75± acres, district water and well water, Corcoran

DRYLAND $2,500±/AC 160± acres, mostly grade 1 soils, previously farmed to cotton, Near Valley Acres/SW Bakersfield

PISTACHIOS & FARMLAND $16,060± AVE/AC 5,014.93± acres, planter to 420.8± acres Pistachios, with balance being row & field crops, district & well water, Corcoran

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management disciplines such as, quality management, project management, strategic management, operational management and financial management, to be each in their its own silo. Instead, each dimension of management needs to be considered with all others – no matter what the size or type of business. That’s easy to say, but how can a small (or even a sizable) business make this happen? Fortunately, a leadership tool has already been created and used around the world to accomplish this outcome — all on a single page of paper! Its ingenious design is the creation of two Harvard Business School professors, Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton. On this single sheet of paper, called the Balanced Scorecard, you will find all major elements of these key strategic management disciplines. It begins with mission, vision and values statements – primary essentials for any organization. I then outlines long-term strategic goals and annual (usually fiscal year) operational objectives within the following categories that address each leadership

discipline in terms of an organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): • Customer focus • Continuous process improvement and innovation • Professional development • Financial targets For effectiveness, each operational objective within these four categories needs be SMART – an acronym for: • Specific • Measurable • Achievable • Relevant to mission, vision • Time-bound This same one-page leadership tool will also help you track your progress toward accomplishing your annual operational

Monday, July 15, 2019

very business owner is a risk manager, like it or not! Consciously or unconsciously. Formally or informally. Effectively or ineffectively. The challenge is to conduct this role consciously, formally and effectively — at the very least as an important collateral duty. Widely variable risks confront business owners almost daily. Many are in the news media every day. Fires, auto accidents, employee injuries, earthquakes, embezzlements, John Pryor burglaries, computer hacking and customer lawsuits, to mention but a few. These represent the basic level of risk management – traditional risk management. This level addresses risks that can produce only a loss, not a profit — such as those listed in the preceding paragraph. The next level of risk management is addressed by virtually every business in what we call enterprise risk management. This level addresses risks that produce either a profit or a loss, e.g., product design, market segmentation, business planning, strategic and operational planning, government regulations and compliance, again to mention but a few. According to a recent survey by CFO Research and Liberty Mutual Insurance, a new third level is practiced by some, but not all, business owners. It is called strategic risk management and addresses a longterm strategic risk the business intentionally attacks “head on” that otherwise would be avoided or at least mitigated because of its high probability of incurring a major financial loss. If successful, profit potential is very high as are outcomes of market domination and successful competitiveness. (Why does versus box stores come to mind – and vice versa?) I like to allude to the famous quote of Admiral David Farragut in his successful victories during the Civil War: “Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!” His words fit this notion of Strategic Risk Management, where most competitors

of a business “fear to tread” because they don’t want to be perceived as the proverbial “fool rushing in.” The same CFO study found that 62 percent of business owners believe taking on significant long-term strategic risk is essential to stay competitive, yet 41 percent report they are not doing so. The study found that 68 percent saw managing risk as critical to hitting revenue targets. Other studies show, as do my own observations, that too many of us tend to view risk management and and other

objectives — within each long-term strategic goal — on a monthly or quarterly basis, whichever interval you prefer. You will also be readily able to see your metrics for each objective from the previous year. All on a single sheet of paper! If you’d like to review a sample of this ingenious and highly helpful leadership tool, email for a complimentary sample – plus other related tools you’ll find helpful. Then, use this tool to track your results and outcomes at either monthly or quarterly intervals. Doing so will help you take your business to its next level in terms of your own unique and critical KPIs in all segments of general management, quality management, risk management, project management and more. It’s never easy, yet the process is indeed simple. Most importantly, it works! Try it!


Legal & Human Resources Estate planning tips for small business owners know what they can expect to receive from the sale. In a buy-sell agreement, you can also block certain individuals from having a role in the business.


The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



tarting with your initial idea, building and owning a business can be an exciting venture from day one. Developing a proper business plan, securing financing, marketing, paying taxes and all of the other small, but significant, details will surely be some of the most challenging yet rewarding work that you will perform in your lifetime. But have you ever thought about the role you will play in your business after your life is over? Developing a comprehensive estate plan provides Kevin Delany a well-developed plan to ensure that your life’s work survives even after you pass. As a small business owner, you spend an incredible amount of time working to establish and grow your business throughout your life. It seems only reasonable that you should take the time to create a plan for your business upon your death. When talking to your estate planning attorney, consider these tips for your business:

AVOID EXORBITANT TAXES Upon death, the IRS may claim



estate taxes on all assets of your estate. Reviewing your personal and business assets as part of a comprehensive estate plan can help minimize the tax exposure of your estate and facilitate the an organized transition or sale of the business. To avoid taxes, there are various IRS sections that can help. One section, Section 6166, will allow your loved ones more time to pay the tax by paying the estate tax in 10 annual installments.

Another, Section 303, will allow your family to redeem your stock with very little tax penalties. You should talk to your family about these tax sections and determine if your business will be eligible. Creating a plan and instructions for your survivors will help them to navigate these filings.

CREATE A BUY-SELL AGREEMENT If your business is owned by more than one person, a buy-sell agreement dictates how the part-

nership or LLC will be distributed upon one owner’s death or incapacitation. Without one, family members may be stuck owning a business they do not want and partners may be forced to work with people they did not intend. A buy-sell agreement puts in place a plan that, when an owner passes, their shares must be bought out by the other owners at a fair market price. These agreements can even establish a sale price so that family members

It is possible that you have no intention of your business surviving after your passing. Referred to as owner-dependent businesses, some small businesses provide a stable income for the owner, however, there is not a lot of money reinvested in the business and exponential growth is not the intent. If you depend on your business for income and you have a family, when you pass, that income will be gone. A term life insurance policy can serve as income replacement for your family. Additionally, a life insurance policy or irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) can help your partners with the capital they might need to purchase your shares if you have a buy-sell agreement. As a small business owner, you owe it to your family and your business to make plans for your passing. Dealing with their loss will be complicated enough without navigating the intricacies of small business taxes and sales. Discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney and leave your legacy the way you would want it. Kevin Delany is a business and estate planning attorney at Young Wooldridge.

Monday, July 15, 2019 The Bakersfield Californian


Legal & Human Resources

Sexual harassment

Why victims don’t speak up with the wrong auto parts and had her hours reduced and another was fired after asking for a transfer. The EEOC filed a lawsuit in May against the store on the employees’ behalf, seeking back pay with interest and compensation for past and future losses because of the emotional pain and humiliation the women suffered. Employers who fail to prevent retaliation from occurring exacerbate the effects of trauma, according to a 2013 study by psychologists Carly Parnitzke Smith and Jennifer Freyd. “These results suggest that institutions have the power to cause additional harm to assault survivors.” What can employers do to protect their employees from retaliation? Mostly, resist the automatic urge to go into self-defense mode when employees make complaints about incidents involving the workplace. Additionally, don’t let anyone — managers, supervisors, co-workers, or third parties — take any kind of adverse action against the complainants. As for protecting themselves from retaliation complaints, employers should:


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hy didn’t they speak up before?” This question is often asked when people come forward with complaints of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred years ago. One reason victims often don’t speak up is because the incident was traumatic for them. In her article, “These are All the Ways Sexual Harassment Can Make Your Life Miserable,” Meera Jagannathan says that “unwanted sexual advances can wreak havoc on your mind, body and career.” If unwanted sexual advances can cause such damage, imagine what sexual assault or rape can do to a person. (Sexual harassment includes verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature Robin Paggi that is unwanted. Sexual assault includes touching breasts, genitals or anus without permission. Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed.) In his book, “The Body Keeps the Score,” Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk — founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Massachusetts — explains that, because trauma is unbearable and intolerable, many who experience it become so upset when they think about it that they try to push it out of their minds and pretend that the incident(s) never happened. It’s easy to understand that people who can’t bear to think about such incidents can’t bear to talk about them either. Probably the most prevalent reason victims don’t speak up is that they are frequently retaliated against when they do make complaints. In the workplace, retaliation comes in many forms, such as the complainant: • Being fired, demoted, or having their hours reduced;


• Having their working conditions changed such as their job being made more difficult, being more closely scrutinized, being transferred to a less desirable position or being unfairly disciplined; • Being threatened or verbally/physically abused. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the federal agency that accepts, investigates, and prosecutes harassment, discrimination, and retaliation complaints in the workplace), received

39,469 retaliation complaints last year, which accounted for more than half of the total complaints it received. Even though retaliation is illegal and employers who are found guilty of it are heavily fined, it still happens. For example, after filing an internal complaint at an O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Orlando about sexual misconduct (groping, vulgar comments and gestures, and demands for sex), two female employees were retaliated against: one was sent out on deliveries

1. Create a policy against retaliation (this should be part of their mandatory harassment/discrimination policy). 2. Have an open-door policy that identifies various people to whom employees can complain. 3. Tell complainants about the anti-retaliation policy and what to do if they feel they’ve been retaliated against. Tell employees who’ve been accused of wrongdoing about the policy and what they need to do to avoid an additional complaint of retaliation. 4. Refrain from making any changes in the complainant’s pay, benefits, duties, title or working conditions following the complaint unless you have a defendable business reason for doing so. 5. Follow up with the complainant to ensure they haven’t experienced any retaliation. 6. Document all of the above. Being subjected to unwanted sexual behavior, being retaliated against and being sued for retaliation are all traumatic events that can and should be prevented. Robin Paggi is a training and development specialist with Worklogic HR.

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Legal & Human Resources

Discrimination Is your company dress code legal? BY KAREN BONANNO

The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



s the triple-digit summer temperatures settle over Kern County, workplace talk often turns to dress codes and some employees who seem to stretch the limits of acceptable “cool” attire. Is it time to dust off the old dress code, or review it to ensure it’s legal and defensible? The answer is both. Employers can set standards for what is appropriate workplace dress. But those standards must not discriminate against employees on the basis of sex, genKaren Bonanno der identity, including transgender employees and employees in transition, religion, race and physical disabilities. A bill that received overwhelming support in the California Legislature demonstrates how carefully employers must tread as they move to regulate workers’ appearances. Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, is the author of SB 188, commonly called the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.) The bill proposes to make California one of the first states to outlaw workplace racial discrimination based on hairstyles – such as braids and dreadlocks. The bill comes in the wake of a high-profile incident last year in which a 16-year-old New Jersey high school varsity wrestler was told by a referee that he would have to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match. The teen complied, but his story went viral, backlashed on the referee and brought hairstyle discrimination to the forefront. There have been many inci-


Brittany Noble-Jones, a former co-anchor for WJTV This Morning in Mississippi, says she was unfairly terminated for filing complaints about her allegedly abusive bosses, who objected to the way she wore her hair. dents in California and across the nation in which students have been banned from classrooms or events because of the length of their hair or hair styles. Decades of “tradition” have forced African-American women to use harsh straightening products on their hair and men to keep their hair cut short to comply with employers’ enforcement of “European standards.” Mitchell’s bill notes the historical double standard enforced in the workplace in terms of how black employees are expected to wear their hair, compared to their white colleagues. Basically, nonwhite workers have been forced to conform to a Euro-centric aesthetic. But it’s not just grooming standards that can trip up employers who desire to project a company “image” through the way their workers dress. Employers may be intentionally, or unconsciously discriminating through dress code requirements. Dress codes should be reasonable, defensible and equitably


New Jersey high wrestler Andrew Johnson was reportedly ordered by the referee to cut off your dreadlocks or forfeit the match. applied. Is a strict dress code appropriate for a workplace, or would more flexibility boost worker morale, creativity and willingness to collaborate? That depends on the workplace and the workers. But it is a question worth asking and the answer is worth considering. Just this spring, financial giant Goldman Sachs made headlines when it announced that suits and ties were now optional. Long known for its prime and polished

employees, the company’s announcement embraced a widespread change that is occurring in the nation’s workplaces. But it’s not just changing trends that are causing employers to reconsider their dress codes. It is changing laws and court rulings. Every aspect of a workplace dress code must be examined as to how it affects workers and if it discriminates. Safety is a “defensible and reasonable” standard. Some work-

places legitimately ban wearing jewelry or require closed-toe shoes, for example. It also is legal for businesses to have rules regarding clothing, hair, tattoos, makeup and piercing, as long as they do not discriminate based on gender, age, race or religious beliefs. For example, requiring men to cut their hair and beards, and women to wear makeup may violate religious beliefs. Banning head coverings worn by men and women also may discriminate against some workers based on their religion. Restrictions on certain clothing, hair styles or facial hair must have a strong business justification. Accommodating workers’ disabilities must be considered when enforcing dress codes. Employees with temporary or permanent disabilities must be allowed to dress in a way that does not hinder them. Some examples include: An employee who uses a wheelchair may require slip-on shoes, rather than laced. A diabetic employee may need to wear loose-fitting pants to give access to an insulin pump. An employee with skin problems may need to wear soft clothing that does not irritate. A dress code cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, gender, pregnancy, religion, disability or age. Requirements that differ between these “protected groups” must not place an undue burden on one over another. Employers should ensure that their dress codes comply with state and federal law, as well as allow room for workers to express themselves. Karen Bonanno is president of the Bakersfield-based human resources consulting firm P.A.S. Associates and P.A.S. Investigations. She can be contacted through her website and through the P.A.S. Facebook page.

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Monday, July 15, 2019



Legal & Human Resources

Litigation v. Mediation How businesses can win without going to court BY BERNARD C. BARMANN, JR.

The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019



’ll see you in court!” When someone has wronged you, you lawyer up and sue, and hope that a judge or jury will give you justice. Litigation is how we resolve most serious business disputes in this country. But our centuries-old adversarial system, while civil, is extremely expensive, time consuming, and often produces unsatisfactory results. Even the winning party to a lawsuit must, more often than not, still bear their own legal expenses. And, going to court is always a bit Bernard C. Barmann, Jr. of a gamble. Even when you believe strongly in your case, there is no guarantee that you will win. Thirty-five years ago, Chief Justice Warren Burger observed in an address to the American Bar Association: Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people. To rely on the adversary process as the principal means of resolving conflicting claims is a mistake that must be corrected. So, is there a better way? There is – it’s called MEDIATION. Mediation is a process in which parties work with a neutral professional who is dedicated to helping the parties reach a mutually-agreeable resolution. A skilled mediator can facilitate settlement of even difficult disputes. Mediation typically takes only about a day, sometimes less, sometimes more, and is highly effective. Mediation offers several ad-

❚❚Mediation is a

process in which parties work with a neutral professional who is dedicated to helping the parties reach a mutuallyagreeable resolution. vantages over litigation. Mediation is less costly and can resolve disputes sooner. Only about one to five percent of all civil cases filed in the United

States go to trial. The rest settle, sometimes on the courthouse steps, but usually only after significant time and legal fees have been spent. Mediation offers the possibility of resolving disputes sooner, even before the dispute ripens into a lawsuit, or well in advance of trial in litigated matters. Earlier resolution means less legal fees. Mediation works. According to the American Arbitration Association, 85 to 90 percent of cases that go to mediation settle. Even cases where the parties are seemingly worlds apart can be resolved in mediation with a capable mediator. Mediation gives the parties

control. In court, the parties have no decision making power. The judge and/or jury decide everything, so each side bears a risk of losing the case or of coming away with a less than satisfactory decision. In mediation, the parties have all the power and can craft a resolution that suits both sides. Neither side has to agree to a resolution that they are not willing to accept. Mediation effects a conclusion faster because there is no appeal. In litigation, the losing party can always file an appeal, which can prolong the case for an additional year or more after the trial. Once a mediation is complete, any resolution reached is final.

Mediation is confidential. Court proceedings are public. Mediation is confidential. This fosters more open communication, which allows the parties to explore all options for settling their disputes without fear of having their words used against them in court. Mediation provides a neutral professional whose job it is to facilitate settlement. A lawyer’s job in litigation is to be a zealous advocate for the client. To reach a mutually-agreeable settlement the parties need a different skill set and a different mindset. This is where a mediator can provide value. A skilled mediator, working with the parties and their attorneys, can help the parties craft a settlement that they may not have been able to achieve on their own. Mediation allows for resolutions not available in court. Courts are generally limited to awarding damages or providing for injunctive or declaratory relief. In mediation, the parties are free to explore all possible options based on their particular circumstances and interests. There are no limits. Parties can consider creative solutions that a court could never impose, including solutions that may allow them to continue, and even improve, their business relationship. While mediation is routinely used in family law, it is woefully underutilized in business disputes, or used only after the parties have exhausted most of their litigation resources. Mediation is an alternative that business people should consider at all stages of a dispute, including before a lawsuit is filed and, in litigated matters, at all times before trial. It’s never too late to mediate. Bernard C. Barmann, Jr. is a mediator, business litigator and a partner in Kuhs & Parker, a Bakersfield law firm.

Cover Story


leads to a career in as a land surveyor. Dr. Riadh Munjy reports that, despite support from administration and the local surveying community, the Geomatics program averages 40 students, — total— year in and year out. Local engineering and surveying firms support CSUF’s Geomatics program with scholarship dollars, but Dr. Munjy reports, sadly, that much of the money goes unused. Dr. Munjy is quick to relate that the five to seven graduates of the program yearly have jobs waiting for them. Most of the graduates are pipelined into Caltrans, who has logically and pragmatically targeted CSUF Geomatics students. Cuyamaca College in El Cajon offers an Associate’s Degree and certificate in land surveying. John Butcher, a faculty member at Cuyamaca teaching the entry level surveying class, sees 50 students per semester take his class. Only 10 percent move on to the advanced classes that lead to a degree or certificate. Most students take the class to satisfy an engineering degree requirement. Like Dr. Munjy, Butcher relates that the all of the six to eight students who earn a degree or a certificate each year are placed in a job.

Continued from PAGE 1

legal definition, see the State of California’s Land Surveyors Act at xhtml?lawCode=BPC&sectionNum=8726. California land is valuable. All of it. Some California land more valuable than other California land, but you can bet that a California land owner wants to know where his land starts and where his neighbors land ends. Does a farmer want to plant and irrigate on his neighbor’s land? Does an oil company want to drill a ¼ million dollar well on his neighbors field? Does a land developer want to spend millions to improve land that he does not own? Does a homebuilder want to build on the wrong lot? Does a homeowner want his fence to be three feet into his legal yard? Of course not. How are these situations avoided practically and on a daily basis? Land surveyors.




Land surveyors using a Robotic theodolite to do construction staking in Northwest Bakersfield.

confirms that even un-licensed surveyors with good experience are being pursued by Caltrans — many times unsuccessfully because their private sector jobs are equally lucrative.

LAND SURVEYING EDUCATION While there are a number of educational institutions in California that can help prepare high school graduates for a career in land surveying, the simple lack of awareness of the profession keeps their student numbers frighteningly low. California State University Fresno offers a Bachelors of Science degree in Geomatics, a discipline that

The Bakersfield Californian

it may be a slap. With the passage of SB1 (California’s gas tax) roughly half of the $52 billion that SB1 will generate will go to Caltrans. Caltrans has publicly stated that, in order for them to spend their half of the SB1 billions, they will need to increase their workforce by 25 percent. Many of the positions they will need to fill will be land survey positions. CalTrans has already started an aggressive campaign to find land surveyors to fill positions, but they too recognize there are just not enough bodies entering the Land Surveying profession. Rob McMillan, senior transportation surveyor with Caltrans,

Land surveying has an image problem, an awareness issue, and apparently this awareness issue is not limited to California. In 2016, the National Society of Professional Surveyors held its first ever Public Relations Awards. Various surveying societies and organizations submitted entries focused on teaching the uninitiated about land surveying as an occupational path. Curtis Sumner, executive director of NSPS, says the lack of recruits to the profession isn’t because land surveying isn’t interesting — it’s because many don’t realize what it is! Recognizing the need to bring youth into the land surveying profession, the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors entered and won the first Public Relations Award, by highlighting their program for supplying school vocation counselors with posters and leaflets promoting land surveying as viable and profitable career. California Land Surveyors Association would be wise to follow the Texas group’s lead and leverage every available marketing method to get land surveying into the minds of California’s youth and avoid a land surveyor shortage that could cripple the state and damage a profession. Jeffrey Gutierrez is the President and CEO of DeWalt Corporation, a professional services firm providing Civil Engineering, Land Surveying, 3D scanning and modeling and Sub-surface Utility Location. He is both a California and Federal licensed Land Surveyor.

Monday, July 15, 2019

In 2016 the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that of the approximately 65,000 land surveyors in the country, only 9,000 were under age 34. Jerry Carter of NCEES reported in 2016, the average age of a licensed land surveyor is between 58 and 60 years of age. You can begin to see state of the problem. Land surveyors are retiring, aging out and/or dying faster than they are coming into the profession. A break-out session at the 2019 California/Nevada Land Surveyors conference in Reno, Nevada identified this problem as the most important issue facing the profession. Over the next 10 years in California, a state with 40 million people and only 4,200 licensed land surveyors, all of those 57 year old surveyors become 67 year old surveyors. I would say that yesterday was the day to hit the panic button. While many Land Surveying professionals talk about this issue, there does not seem to be any kind of coordinated effort, locally or state wide, to move the dial on the diminishing land surveyor numbers. The organization with the most at stake, the California Land Surveyors Association, discusses the issue anecdotally, but does not spend time or money studying or correcting the issue. The pain is coming. Most of the engineering and surveying firms that I have contact with feel the pinch. They would like to expand their survey footprint, but they cannot find qualified candidates for open positions. State wide, union hall calls for surveyors are futile, the few are working. We feel the pinch today, but tomorrow


24 The Bakersfield Californian

Monday, July 15, 2019

Profile for The Bakersfield Californian Specialty Publications

Kern Business Journal Summer 2019  

Kern County’s premier business publication

Kern Business Journal Summer 2019  

Kern County’s premier business publication