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norwalkchamberofcommerce

Chamber of Commerce

Serving and Supporting the Business Community Since 1923

June 2011 • Vol 1, No. 7 • www.norwalkchamber.com • info@norwalkchamber.org

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Betty Chacon President Wells Fargo Bank

W

ith Memorial Day and the end of the school year fast approaching, it reminds me that my year as President of the Norwalk Chamber will soon be complete. Reflecting back on our time together I can see where the

Chamber Holds Office Depot Evening Mixer Thanks go out to Office Depot for hosting the Norwalk Chamber members and guests on Tuesday, May 24th, at the monthly evening mixer. Katherine Leflore was our hostess for this event and provided a warm welcome to Norwalk Chamber members. With over 30 guests in attendance, Office Depot was able to share information about their new National Chamber Program. This is

Ambassadors Katherine Leflore of Office Depot and Craig Wicks of Budget Rent A Car and Sales.

Betty Chacon

Chamber and its Board of Directors have been able to provide our members and the Norwalk community with valuable services and great opportunities. Partnering with the Small Business Development Center to bring free business counseling to the Norwalk Chamber office on a bi-monthly basis has been an added value to our members and the community. Increasing the visibility of our members by showcasing their businesses at monthly mixers, continuing our weekly business visitation program and utilizing social media to highlight Norwalk Chamber events have all contributed to a stronger business presence in Norwalk. None of these successes would have been possible without the sup[See MESSAGE Page 2]

Judy Brennan of Brennan Signs is recognized for her membership anniversary by Teri Bazen of Norwalk La Mirada Plumbing and President Betty Chacon of Wells Fargo Bank. a NEW benefit for Chamber members, which offers business owners “Big Business Purchasing Power.”

There is no cost to sign up for this program, and as a member you will receive valuable discounts at Office Depot stores. While members mingled and browsed the facilities, Office Depot staff was on hand to answer questions about their products and services. Refreshments were offered and everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their businesses. Raffle prizes were given out in a business card raffle and Judith Brennan of Brennan Signs was recognized with a membership renewal plaque. Thank you to El Clasificado

and Office Depot for donating raffle prizes. Having this opportunity to meet face to face with other business and community leaders networking your business is one way to take advantage of your chamber membership. We encourage you to check out the Norwalk Chamber website for upcoming events like this one, or to contact the Norwalk Chamber office if you are interested in hosting an evening networking mixer. Our next evening mixer will be Thursday, June 9th at Diana’s Restaurant in Norwalk. To RSVP contact the Norwalk Chamber at 562-864-7785.

Outback Restaurant Wins 2nd Annual Golden Golf Ball Tournament Thursday May 19th found the Norwalk Chamber on the greens at Golf n’ Stuff in Norwalk. Teams vied for the coveted “Golden Golf Ball” trophy during a heated competition that ended with only a nine point spread between 1st and 3rd place. In the end, the top honors went to Outback Restaurant Team 2. Following close behind in 2nd place was Team AFLAC and 3rd place honors went to Outback Restaurant Team 1. This is the 2nd year that both Outback Teams have placed in the top three positions.

Awards were handed out for the Spirit Trophy which went to Norwalk Community Hospital led by Omar Ramirez and the best T-Shirt Award was given to Norwalk La Mirada Plumbing. These T-shirts were specially designed by Past Chamber President Teri Bazen. Although many golfers made a hole in one on the course, none could make the grade on the competition hole this year. Without our amazing sponsors, Norwalk La Mirada Plumbing “Best Decorated T-Shirt” Winners.

$30 Bottle of wine for $15

ArteARTE Cafe-Cerritos CAFE

food for voucher only $15at Purchase www.yourcitycoupons.net CLICK HERE! WE‘LL GIVE 10% TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY TOO! JUST GIVE US YOUR FAVORITE DURING REGISTRATION!

this event would not have been the success that it was. Thank you Lighthouse Sponsors: Gordon Stefenhagen, Norwalk Realty, Rob Cazares, Outback Restaurant, Karla Butler, Thompson Bookkeeping, Lynda Fisher, WalMart and Betty Chacon, Wells Fargo Bank. Thanks to our T-sign sponsors: Community Family Guidance Center, AFLAC, Norwalk City Councilmember Marcel Rodarte and Mary Jane [See GOLF Page 2]


2 NORWALK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE • JUNE 2011

Little Hoover Report Outlines Depth of Public Pension Fund Crisis California’s public pension systems need immediate reforms in order to be sustainable, a bipartisan, independent state commission has concluded. Public Pensions for Retirement Security, a report of the Little Hoover Commission, found that without reforms, “Pension costs will crush government.” The commission report commented that in another five years, “when pension contributions from government are expected to jump and remain at higher levels for decades in order to keep retirement systems solvent, there will be no debate about the magnitude of the problem.” Findings The commission also found that: •“The math doesn’t work.” In addition to investment losses in 200809, other factors contributing to “an unsustainable pension environment” include ballooning pension liabilities as the minimum retirement age has dropped to 55 and people live longer. Increases have made state and local government pensions “the most generous in the country.” Relying on high fund returns and “an aggressive investment strategy” has meant “employers and employees also have failed to contribute sufficiently,” the commission said. “Today, the state’s largest pension systems are dangerously underfunded.” •"The system lacks discipline.” The commission noted that the pension system is regarded as deferred compensation “the perceived tradeoff of earning a lower salary in the public sector in exchange for a good retirement package.” When aggressive investing by the retirement systems fail to meet system needs, taxpayers are left facing all the risk, the commission said. The commission warned that when the market recovers, “history would suggest that… the pressure from employees will return to ramp up pension formulas and undo any reforms being made today.” •“The system lacks oversight and accountability.” The commission [See PENSIONS Page 3]

Norwalk

Chamber Of Commerce

12040 Foster Road, Norwalk, CA., 90650 Phone: 562.864.7785 FAX: 562.864.8539

info@norwalkchamber.com

Chamber Staff Executive Director

Vivian Hansen

Membership Services Director

Caren Spilsbury

TO ADVERTISE CALL 800-901-7211

RENEWING MEMBERS The following companies and individuals renewed their membership with the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce and the services we provide are made possible by of their support. “Support the Businesses that Support Economic Growth in Norwalk” 35 Years Chapel of Memories 24 Years J & N Nut Products 17 Years Wheelabrator Norwalk 15 Years Diana’s Restaurant ABC Unified School District 14 Years West Coast Arborists, Inc.

Small Business Counseling The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center are continuing to offer business counseling sessions at the Norwalk Chamber twice a month. These sessions are one-on-one, hour and a half sessions with a professional bilingual counselor. Appointments can be made with the Chamber office. The sessions are free and the counselor will work with you on your business plan, marketing and financial strategies. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is part of a nationwide SBDC program that partners with federal and private entities to provide small business owners access to management consulting, entrepreneurial education, and other valuable business resources. If you own a business or are planning to start one in Los Angeles County, here are just a few areas that SBDC Business Advisors address: Business plans, Capital sourcing, Cash, Contracting and procurement, Financing, Human

12 Years Merry Maids 9 Years Orbit Event and Party Rentals 7 Years Norwalk True Value Hardware 6 Years Big Truck & Equipment Sales 5 Years Long Beach Community College Bright Health Physicians 4 Years Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar Shakey’s Pizza Restaurant 3 Years Illusion Bridal Shop 2 Years Salon de Leon Active Pest Control State Farm Insurance – Lucy Rodas

Resources, Legal issues, Start-up help, Marketing and Sales. Contact the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce at 562-864-7785 to make your appointment.

Norwalk Chamber Benefits Did you know…. That the Norwalk Chamber offers a Group Health Insurance Plan? If you are like most small businesses today, the high cost of health insurance is a major concern and can be a threat to your profitability. Ben-E-Lect offers opportunities to Chamber Members to find the best insurance provider at the lowest cost for you. Contact them today at 888-8867973 or on the web at www.chamber. benelect.com for more information. Did you know… That advertising on the Norwalk Chamber website is cost effective and easy? The Norwalk Chamber website has hundreds of hits every month. We offer affordable prices to place your business ad on our home page. Contact the Norwalk Chamber at

Norwalk Chamber News Published by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, publishers of the Norwalk Community News. www.loscerritosnews.net. For advertising inquiries call the chamber or call us directly at

562.407.3873. You can also email sales@ cerritosnews.net

562-864-7785 or by email at info@ norwalkchamber.com for additional details. Visit our website at www. norwalkchamber.com Did you know… That you can mail flyers to all the Norwalk Chamber members with our monthly mailings at a low cost? If you’re interested in getting the word out about your business or want to promote a special, this is a cost effective way to do it. Did you know… That as a Norwalk Chamber member, we will do quarterly email blasts for you for FREE! Submit your .PDF file to the Norwalk Chamber at ceo@norwalkchamber.com Did you know… There is a free workshop on March 10th, hosted by the Norwalk Chamber and presented by Art Husami of Husami & Associates? Come discover all the tax tips you need to save your business money in 2011! The Norwalk Chamber always strives to provide relevant workshops for its members at little or no cost. Did you know… if you have career opportunities at your company – we will run a Help Wanted Ad for you for FREE.

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port of the Norwalk Chamber Board of Directors. I want to thank each of them for serving this year and contributing to the success of the Chamber. I would also like to thank the City of Norwalk for their continued support of the Norwalk Chamber and the business community. Looking forward to meeting you!

McIntosh. The Norwalk Chamber Events Committee thanks Ken Garcia and Golf n’ Stuff for hosting this great event. We also thank our dinner sponsor, Café n’ Stuff Catering and Norwalk La Mirada Plumbing for sponsoring drinks. Special thanks go out to Teri Bazen of Norwalk La Mirada Board Members Toni Grijalva of Cerritos College, Plumbing for designing Maria Gonzalez of Norwalk Unocal 76 and Lynda and producing the sensa- Fisher of Walmart greet “Golden Golf Ball” particitional awards that were pants. presented at the event. Thank you to the City of Norwalk for providing signage for the golf tournament and for your ongoing support of the Norwalk Chamber.

5,000 Norwalk homes, over 12,000 readers! PLUS.... over 200 Norwalk Area Businesses and Chamber Members! For information call 562-407-3873


TO ADVERTISE CALL 800-901-7211

NORWALK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE • JUNE 2011

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Franklin Career College

Franklin Career College is a vocational training school, located at 12440 Firestone Blvd Suite 2000 in the city of Norwalk, CA. They understand the high demand for skilled employees in the medical and machine repair fields and currently offer three courses that fit the need for that demand. The courses are Medical Billing and Coding, Clinical Back Office Medical and Office Machine Repair. The Medical Billing and Codling course is a 15 week course and prepares the individual to work at an entry-level position in a Medical and Dental office (Doctor, Chiropractor, Medical supply store, Dental Office,) independent billing offices, or Hospital Billing Offices. Upon completion, the graduate will understand the expectations of the Medical and Dental Industry, will have gained job knowledge and mastery of the skills needed to perform the job as a Medical and Dental biller using the personal computer to generate billing documents The Clinical Back Office Medical program course is a 16 week course and will prepare the individual to work at an entry-level position in a medical providers’ office as a Medi-

cal Assistant. Upon course completion, the graduate will understand the expectations of the Medical Assistant in the field of Allied Health and will have gained job knowledge and mastery of the skills needed to perform the job of a Medical Assistant. The Office Machine Repair program is a 15 week course and will prepare the student for entry-level employment in the diagnostics, operation, service and/or repair of Office Machines such as Photocopiers, Facsimiles, Laser Printers and Personal Computers. Additionally, students will enhance their skills in practical electronics and public relations including territory management and customer satisfaction. Possible positions available to graduates of this program are but not limited to: Customer Service Technician, Dispatcher, Bench work, Electro Mechanical equipment repair Technician. CAREER PLANNING AND PLACEMENT AVAILABLE Please contact Linda Estrella to schedule a tour of the campus and learn more about the programs that we offer. Financial aid is available for those who qualify call (562) 651-1626.

W.R. Marlowe Educations Services New member Bob Marlowe of says "No human being is capable of doing, or being, all that is necessary to do that thing we so thoughtlessly call 'Safe Driving.' " As a Traffic School instructor, Police Academy instructor, and MADD's national volunteer of the

year Bob will motivate your drivers to Do It Right. Contact Bob for more information at 800-400-4262 or visit him on the web at www.BobSaid.com. Bob Marlowe www.BobSaid.com, www.BobSaw.com.

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Unfair Distraction of Employees

pointed out that since 2008, fewer than 30 of the 1,500 local public agencies in the CalPERS network (the largest pension plan in the country) have adopted a lower level of benefits for new hires. Nearly 200 public agencies in CalPERS continued to increase retirement benefits for current workers, even as pension portfolios shrunk and tax revenues dropped. The commission pointed out that the lack of uniformity clouds transparency, invites mischief and abuse, such as pension “spiking,” creates a “compensation arms race” among communities and “delegates complicated decisions to often inexperienced” local officials. Addressing Pension Liabilities The commission recommended reforms to address current and future pension liabilities, including a “hybrid” pension model that combines a lower defined-benefit pension formula with an employermatched and risk-managed definedcontribution plan. The commission also suggested that the state explore extending Social Security old-age benefits to uncovered state and local employees, as is the case with the federal workforce. The full report is available on the Little Hoover Commission website at www.lhc.ca.gov.

Do your employees ever get calls from creditors or collection agencies about their personal financial affairs? Certainly, this hinders their productivity. Did you know that under the Fair Credit Collection Practices Act it is illegal for collectors to contact a debtor at his/her place of employment if the collector is made aware that it is against the personnel policy of the employer for the employee to take such calls? Smart solution – add to your personnel policy that it is a violation for any employee to accept a call from a creditor or collection agency about his/her personal financial or business affairs. Communicate such to your employees and make sure they understand that they are to tell any creditors that contact them at work of the company policy, their knowledge of the Fair Credit Collection Practices Act, and that any violators will be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. For a copy, go to: http://business. ftc.gov/legal-resources/fair-debtcollection-practices-act.

Chamber installation June 23rd! See page 4.

3

MEMBER NEWS

Energy Solutions Help Lowe’s Build a Healthier Business and Environment Just as leading retailer Lowe’s continues to help customers improve the places they call home through a wide array of product solutions, the company demonstrates an ongoing commitment to energy management solutions. In 2010, the company installed demand control ventilation (DCV) systems in more than 20 of its approximately 60 stores in SCE’s service territory, with an SCE incentive of approximately $312,000 and projected savings of more than 1.7 megawatts of demand and nearly 1.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. The DCV system monitors the carbon dioxide levels in the stores, allowing the HVAC systems to operate more efficiently by matching the ventilation to the changing occupancy rates. Also last year, Lowe’s completed a company-wide five-year sales floor lighting retrofit project that put in more than 3 million new energye4fficient T8 fluorescent fixtures as replacements for older metal-halide high-intensity discharge lamps. According to Lowe’s, the project – which started with retrofits at 16 stores in SCE’s service territory about five years ago – provides an estimated 546 million kWh in savings annually. Operating Responsibly “The company’s store energy efficiency initiative is an element of its broader focus on operating more responsibly, from the expanding line of efficient products it sells to the initiatives it undertakes that reduce resource use across the supply chain,” said Lowe’s Director of Energy Management and Utilities Charlie Martin. “The choices we make are critical to our impact on the environment,” Martin said, noting the company belief that building a healthier business and a healthier environment go hand-inhand. “We have to be good environmental stewards. We’re trying to make our buildings more sustainable,

and the first step is to manage energy consumption.” In addition Lowe’s also reduces energy demand in SCE’s service territory by taking part in the Capacity Bidding Program (CBP), through which participants opt to reduce power use during CBP events. Participates make monthly nominations and receive incentive payments based on the amount of load (capacity) reduction elected each month, plus payments for actual energy reduction (based on kWh) when an event is called. Demand Response Reduction of 50 kW Per Store Martin said Lowe’s typically drops about 50 kilowatts per store during a CBP event by reducing both sales floor lighting and store cooling. For cooling, the stores rotate turning off tow of about 16 HVAC units for 30 minutes as a time, helping the company meet if reduction targets. This commitment to both energy efficiency and Demand Response gets noticed. Among its notable industry distinction, in 2010 Lowe’s became the first retailer to receive the ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award, presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. This was the company’s eight consecutive ENERGY STAR honor overall. Martin said the company benefits greatly from its collaboration with SCE, including Major Account Manager Cynthia Martin. “My experience with SCE has been very positive,” he said. “They have been very responsive and have a great account manager program. I look at them as a partner.” For more information on how you also can benefit from SCE’s wide array of energy management programs and services, contact your account representative or visit www.sce.com/ solutions and www.sce.com/drp.

NORWALK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERSHIP INCENTIVE Do you know a business that should be a member of the Norwalk Chamber, but isn’t? Do you know an industry that should be represented as a Chamber Member, but isn’t? Do you know a business that could benefit by the networking opportunities that the Chamber offers? The Norwalk Chamber of Commerce is offering an incentive to its members during the months of June and July. If you refer a business and they sign up for Norwalk Chamber Membership during May or June, we will discount your renewal dues by $25.00.* There is no limit to the number of members you can refer for Membership ~ you will receive a discount for each member! * This is a one year only offer for your next annual renewal, not a permanent dues reduction.


4 NORWALK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE • JUNE 2011

TO ADVERTISE CALL 800-901-7211

We'll give 10% of our sales to your school, club, or non-profit organization.

www.yourcitycoupons.net Member to Member Discount Program

Norwalk Chamber of Commerce INVITES YOU TO OUR 88TH ANNUAL

2011 - 2012 INSTALLATION & Special Recognition Awards “DON’T “DUCK” THIS OCCASION” THURSDAY, JUNE 23RD, 2011 Norwalk Arts & Sports Complex 13200 CLARKDALE AVENUE, NORWALK 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. GET ACQUAINTED 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. LUNCHEON & INSTALLATION PROGRAM JOIN THE CHAMBER FOR THE INSTALLATION OF INCOMING PRESIDENT PRESIDENT— —

The Member–to–Member Discount Program is a special Chamber program that encourages members to do business with fellow Chamber members. The program helps our members to save money and to increase their exposure. Take advantage of the discounts offered and shop in Norwalk today! Please note that the following discounts are available to Chamber members only who present a membership card at time of purchase. As a Chamber member, if you would like to offer a discount as part of the program or make a change to your current discount, please fill out the form below. You may also call the Norwalk Chamber office at 562.864.7785.

JOSEPH DERTHICK OF AFLAC

AND THE 2011 – 2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOGNITION OF OUTGOING PRESIDENT BETTY CHACON & RETIRING BOARD MEMBERS + SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS: * VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR * BUSINESS OF THE YEAR * AMBASSADOR OR THE YEAR * PRESIDENT’S AWARD -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------COST: $30 PER PERSON OR $300 TABLE SPONSORSHIP •

For your sponsorship you will receive: • Complimentary luncheon for Eight (8) Name Recognition in the Installation Program • Special recognition during the event • Reserved Table

YES! I would like to be a $300 Table Sponsor _____ $30 per person ______ Payment Type (Circle One) Check in Mail / Credit Card Name______________________________________ Company______________________________# tickets______

Your current Chamber Membership Card must be presented

Phone_________________________________________________ Fax________________________________________ Credit Card #____________________________________ Exp_________/________ Type_______________________________ 12040 FOSTER ROAD NORWALK, CA 90650 TEL 562.864.7785 FAX 562.864.8539

Save money, increase your exposure!

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED—DEADLINE MONDAY, JUNE 20TH NO TICKETS ARE SOLD AT THE DOOR


Norwalk Chamber of Commerce