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January 2014

Volume 4, Number 1


Insider A Publication of The Clovis Chamber of Commerce

Thank You Annual Meeting and Salute to Business Dinner to our Sponsors CUSD’s Dr. Steve Ward receives Leadership

Award The Clovis Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Salute to Business Dinner will be held on Thursday, January 16th at the Classic Catering Banquet Hall in Old Town. This is the time to say farewell and honor the 2013 team and welcome the new faces in 2014. Awards will be presented to honor those going the extra mile for the Chamber and the community followed by a speech by State Senator Tom Berryhill. Outgoing Chairman Ken May, while reflecting on the achievements of 2013, commented, “I am proud to have been a part of the great accomplishments this year from an increase in membership to our new logo and website and continuing success in our premier events.” He will be passing the gavel to incoming Chairman Shelley D’Arcy who is looking forward to continuing the momentum from 2013. “We are planning to further expand our membership base by providing networking and educational value to help our members grow their businesses. Co-sponsoring the Leadercast event in May and graduating our first Young Entrepreneurs Academy class in June and starting a new class in October will continue the expansion of the Clovis Chamber brand.” After the new Board of Directors is sworn in, we will be honoring the

Ambassador and Director of the Year followed by the small business awards. Being recognized as the Small Business of the Year is Milla Vineyards owned and operated by Debbie and Joey Milla. Started over 100 years ago by the Milla family, the winery has a storied history and produces award winning wines. The Millas have also been very active working with the Clovis Chamber and the community. You will be enjoying their wines with your meal at the banquet. Kathy Sisk will be honored as the Professional Business Woman of the Year. Kathy, the founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises, began her call center business in 1980. She also is a published author and speaker and considered an expert in the call center industry. She owns several other businesses including Butler Web and Design that is working with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Dr. Steve Ward, Legislative Analyst/ Government Relations of Clovis Unified School District is the Einar Cook Leadership Award Recipient. Steve has been involved with CUSD for 37 years leaving his indelible stamp of excellence at every position in his career. Currently, he is leading a statewide coalition of successful school districts working to establish economic parity in educational funding from the state. With the recent

Dr. Steve Ward, Einar Cook Leadership Award recipient

re-alignment of funds established by the governor, Clovis Unified will receive millions less in revenues than other smaller districts. Following the awards presentation, State Senator Tom Berryhill will speak to the audience. This year he was recognized as the Small Business Legislator of the Year. As a small business owner himself, he knows the economic damage that can be done by too many government regulations. Tickets for the event are available at the Clovis Chamber. For more information, call 299-7363.

Clovis Chamber of Commerce 325 Pollasky Avenue Clovis CA, 93612

This was the year that was I have often commented about the many aspects I enjoy as the CEO of the Clovis Chamber. One of my favorites is interacting with our dynamic Board of Directors. Over the years we have finessed the combination of members so we now have an eclectic crew that is going to bring the Clovis Chamber to new heights. Joining our existing directors and bringing their unique qualities and talents are Zack Follett of Kuppa Joy, Layla Forstedt of the Fresno Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kim Kaiser of Amici Communications, Shawn Miller of the Clovis Community Development Agency, and Stan Skiba of the Advance Group. Adding their variety of ages, experience and backgrounds often makes meetings more interesting and spirited. Despite their differences, they all have one focus – to make the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, the local economy and way of life in Clovis the best in the Valley. We are already well on our way to that goal, but these people are going to raise the bar. We started our annual retreat having each tell what they wanted to be when they grew up. Very few carried off those early wishes. Ellie wanted to be a trapeze artist, several were “supposed” to become doctors and many swerved into their careers through chance situations or encounters with certain people that changed their lives. All are passionate about their families, their careers and their

community. When we reviewed the Chamber activities in 2013, they were amazed at all the good results we’ve experienced. Despite an economy that is still wobbling, locally our economy is showing some strengths. This was apparent at the Chamber where we had a 40% increase in new members over 2012. They came from a variety of sources. Of course, most were new businesses to the area. In addition to large companies including those in the new Clovis Crossings Shopping Center, we saw many new entrepreneurs stepping out to follow their dreams. They are actively taking advantage of the many Clovis Chamber networking events and seminars. We were surprised at how many long standing companies joined or re-joined this year after taking some time off during the recession. We often heard that they recognize the value of a Clovis Chamber membership and believe that it’s a good investment. Our reach in social media skyrocketed this year. We now have over 4,000 followers on Twitter and 2,100 on Facebook for the Chamber, not to mention the 5,400 following us for BIG Hat Days. According to a recent survey of 550 chambers by, the Clovis Chamber ranks number 43 in the country for its influence. Best yet, we’re number 5 in California behind 4 much

Mark Blackney CEO/President Clovis Chamber of Commerce

Message from CEO/President larger chambers. A lot of that success is thanks to our Membership Director, Beth Bridges, who works with our members on the use of social media. She also wrote a best selling book, Networking on Purpose, that can be purchased on Events Director Tammi Walton along with Fran Blackney produced our successful large events, BIG Hat Days and ClovisFest. BIG Hat Days in April was near record breaking both in crowd size and proceeds while ClovisFest put up the best numbers in 6 years thanks to Mother Nature’s cooperation. The thousands of people watching the balloons lift up were joined by thousands more throughout both days who shopped at the craft and This was the year, continued on page 2

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Young entrepreneurs visit local franchise By Fran Blackney YEA! Program Manager

Clovis Chamber of Commerce 325 Pollasky Clovis, CA 93612 299-7363 · Fax 299-2969

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Shelley D’Arcy – Board Chair Kaiser Permanente Fresno Ken May – Past Chair Karena Dillon – Vice Chair, Chamber Gives Back Baker Dillon Group Nick Maxwell – Vice Chair, Marketing LDL Financial Gary Honeycutt – Vice Chair, Advocacy B.J.’s Kountry Kitchen Deborah Ikeda – Vice Chair, Nominating Willow International Community College Cheryl Storer – Vice Chair, Finance CPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Randy Baer Schneider Electric Alex Contreras Donaghy Sales Zack Follett Kuppa Joy Layla Forstedt Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau Rod Geist Central Valley Community Bank Bob Hall Blue Dot Media Kim Kaiser Amici Communications Shawn Miller Clovis Community Development Agency Claudia Moorefield See’s Candies Vincent Ricchiuti P-R Farms Greg Newman Sierra Vista Mall Stan Skiba The Advance Group Nykole Sullivan Starving Artists Bistro Steve Ward Clovis Unified School District Mary Williams DuMont Printing

About this publication... Chamber Insider is the official monthly publication of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, 325 Pollasky, Clovis, CA 93612, (559) 299-7363. Reproduction by any means of the entire contents or any portion of this publication without written permission is prohibited. The appearance of any advertisements in this publication does not constitute support or endorsement for any product, person, cause, business or organization named therein, unless specifically noted otherwise in the advertisement.

“I don’t like school much, anymore. It’s not very interesting. I’m finding it’s not getting me ready to succeed like this class does.” Out of the mouths of babes comes some profound validation of the Chamber’s efforts with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Add grateful thanks from several parents to the student’s comments above and we are very proud to be having such an impact on their lives. As we start the 8th class in this 30 week program, Instructor Bill Syvertsen and I are watching the metamorphosis of eleven talented young people who are working hard to create their new companies. The demanding curriculum has taken them through the first steps beginning with hard questions about their ideas. For several classes, Bill and the students have challenged each other’s ideas to flesh out obstacles and problems so they can use their critical thinking skills to make needed changes to their plans. A couple of students have even dropped their ideas to go in a different direction and start the vetting process all over again. During the same time, they are finishing the complex Business Plan template that makes them answer detailed questions about all facets of business. They’ve completed their market, name and target audience analyses and are strategizing their financial goals. When deciding their mark up and expected profits, they have investigated all their costs including one time start up costs and recurring costs per item. They are learning the hard, cold facts about the amount of time and money that is spent on regulations and legal issues. This class is very fortunate to have Bill Syvertsen as the instructor. He uses the YEA! curriculum as a guideline but has enhanced it greatly with his own expertise as the Entrepreneur Class creator and instructor at Fresno City College since 1991. He challenges the students and gives them sage advice about his experiences in creating and running four businesses in his career.

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food booths, visited the Budweiser Beer Garden, watched their kids at the carnival and enjoyed the street entertainers. Tammi works year round with the thousands of craft vendors from across the country who are vying to participate. She’s actively assigning spaces to vendors for the 2014 show that is already looking like a sell out soon. It is satisfying to know how important these events are to the community both economically and as a tradition that enhances our way of life. We thank our generous sponsors including Table Mountain Casino, Budweiser, Pepsi and Clear Channel Radio. We appreciate the hard work done by the non-profits who sell the Pepsi products and do all the clean up. Mostly we thank the many volunteers who show up at 5 am to direct the set up or work in the Beer Garden led by our tireless Director Ellie Huston. The Chamber took a huge step to rebrand for the future. Working with local printer Alphagraphics, a new, modern logo was created using the color green that means energy. We then worked with ARTCO who designed our new, very user friendly web site. Already we’ve seen a large increase of traffic to our site thanks to its ease of use and up-to-date information. The community calendar, the events pages and membership are the most popular. We are very proud of our program, The Chamber Gives Back. We are continuing our Hooked on Books campaign. Thanks to generous donations, we are able to purchase brand new books to distribute to every elementary school child in Clovis. On December 20th, the students

He currently owns The Tutoring Club in Clovis. On December 14th the class visited the Deli Delicious Sandwich Shop in Clovis to learn about working as a franchisee. Deli Delicious is a local franchise that is expanding its current 18 locations to over 30 including stores in Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Madera, Visalia and Bakersfield. Local owner Becky Fraser has the first Deli Delicious in Clovis and is opening her second in February. Over a tasty lunch of freshly made sandwiches and fries, the students heard Becky talk about the good and down sides of franchising. The major advantage of franchising is the ease of the startup work since the corporate offices dictate all facets of each unit to maintain uniformity of the menu and presentation. Her store had instant name recognition and a large corporate marketing campaign led the customers to her door. “We were packed when we opened and received lots of support especially during the set up time”, Becky commented. “I didn’t have to worry about paint colors or the layout. I was able to just start selling sandwiches”. The down side of franchising is that everything is controlled by corporate that doesn’t allow any individuality. Also, fees and royalties are an added expense but overall, she is very happy with the arrangement. Becky earned a masters degree in urban planning and worked for a consulting firm. One day she visited a Deli Delicious in Fresno and decided to join the team opening her first store at Clovis and Herndon. She had no experience in the restaurant business and had to learn how to deal with employees, vendors and corporate. “I have never worked harder in my life,” she said, “but I’m really enjoying it”. She spends a

lot of time there since they are only closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving. She spoke at length about the importance of customer service, that the customer is always right. She reminded the students that the customers are the reason they are there. She ended her comments by talking about the importance of joining the local Chamber of Commerce. Becky participates in the Clovis Chamber Trade Show as a food vendor. “I always get an increase in business after the chamber trade shows. It’s one of the best marketing events I participate in”. The YEA! students are off on their Winter Break but they will continue to work on their YEA! businesses. They are expected to present their products and services to friends and others to discover the viability of their ideas in addition to working on their business plans. When they return in January, they will start hearing from business experts and working with their mentors all in preparation for the Investor Panel in April. At the same time, the Chamber will begin recruiting students for the Class of 2015. We’re looking forward to working with another group of talented, hard working students. Applications will be available in January. Call 299-7363 or visit www. for more information.

This was the year at Tarpey Elementary will receive a visit from the Clovis Chamber directors led by “Super Geist”, Director Rod Geist, who reads to students at Sierra Vista School. We were able to arrange for two sets of commercial grade washers and dryers to be delivered to the newly opened Marjaree Mason Center in Clovis. Our many thanks go out to Director Karena Dillon of Baker Dillon Group who has organized the funding and disbursement of these donations. We also thank the students from CART and the Rainbow Girls who have worked at BIG Hat Days and ClovisFest soliciting contributions and sorting the books. One of the most exciting achievements of 2013 was the implementation of the inaugural class of The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, YEA! The US Chamber of Commerce requested that the Clovis Chamber be the first in California to present this national program created in 2004 by the University of Rochester in New York. We have a dynamic class of 11 fledgling business owners who are busily working on their business plans in preparation for the Investor Panel in April. These kids are going the extra mile by attending the weekly, after school classes and working on the weekends. They are the ones who will be the movers and shakers in the future economy and it is a joy to work with them. The first ten week session is being taught by Bill Syvertsen, owner of The Tutoring Club and the creator and instructor of the Entrepreneurship program at Fresno City College. Rod Geist, branch manager at the Central Valley Community Bank will replace Bill in January and Rick Snow, owner of Snowflake Designs, joins

us in late April. Their extensive business experience and knowledge are giving the students an extraordinary experience. Although this year’s class come from Clovis Unified high schools, all middle and high school students in the Valley are eligible to participate. We will be actively recruiting next year’s class starting in January. We appreciate the assistance we’re received from Clovis Unified School District for recruiting the students and Willow International Community College for providing classroom space. Our thanks go out to Central Valley Community Bank, Pelco by Schneider Electric, the Fresno County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, Ellie Huston and Cheryl Storer for their generous contributions. Also, we are humbled by the number of adult volunteers who have stepped up to work with the students. We are in the process of confirming the next segment assistance we’ll be needing. The Chamber’s focus in 2013 has been on the upcoming generation of business owners. We have added many younger members to our Board and now we can actually train and have an impact on newly created entrepreneurs. Now our next challenge it to continue this terrific momentum into 2014. It will start with our Annual Meeting/Salute to Business Banquet on January 16th with guest speaker, State Senator Tom Berryhill. With our experienced and hard working staff, active Board of Directors, many volunteers and a reputation for supporting business and the community, it’s going to be another good year. - 3

Future entrepreneurs By Fran Blackney YEA! Program Manager

Sacramento Update By Senator Tom Berryhill

Chandler Warne & Andrew Wettstead

Chandler is an Eagle Scout, CEO of his school’s Robotics Team and won first place for Fresno County as a Youth Court Juror. Andrew is his school’s water polo team captain, has played the piano for ten years and was just awarded the scholar/ athlete Bronco Champion award. And both are attending the Young Entrepreneurs Academy presented by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. Meet Chandler Warne of Buchanan High School and Andrew Wettstead of Clovis North High School. They are two of the eleven high caliber students spending several hours a week after school to become future entrepreneurs. “What made you interested in entrepreneurship?” Chandler: I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and started my first business when I was in the sixth grade. I have been inspired by founders of large technology companies such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and I want to someday be the CEO of my own technology company. Andrew: Owning my own business and controlling my own destiny has always been a goal for me. My parents own a small business as do several of my friends’ parents so my inspiration is pretty wide spread. I love hearing success stories whether that of a large corporation or a small business. “Describe your business idea and how did you come up with it?” Chandler: My business idea is a web based check-in system that verifies an employee’s physical location before checking in. This is useful to business or organizations that have mobile employees that need to visit different locations. I came up with the idea after a suggestion was made to me at school that a similar program would be helpful if used for students that travel during leadership classes. They are using my system now. Andrew: My business idea is called the Smart Tether that is a smartphone preservation device. It attaches to a smartphone and is a retractable cord that can prevent the phone from falling if dropped. I came up with the idea this summer when I dropped my own phone

and cracked the screen. Several of my friends have done the same thing and I realized how big the problem actually is. There are over 17 million smartphones broken every year. I want to help people save money and not have to pay for phone repairs. “What has been the greatest challenge so far?” Chandler: My greatest challenge has been the large amount of programming that is needed to make it operational. I have had to do research to learn different coding techniques to implement it into the website. Andrew: The biggest challenge for me has been trying to figure out where to start with the manufacturing process. “What are your favorite subjects in school?” Chandler: Math and science are my favorite subjects. They continue to inspire me. Andrew: Any type of history and algebra “What are your college plans and dream career?” Chandler: I plan to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for Computer Science/ Engineering and obtain a minor in business administration. I would like to work for a large technology company as a computer scientist and eventually start my own technology company. Andrew: I have currently applied to Chapman University and Whittier College where I will hopefully attend and study business. I will also continue with water polo. My dream career would be to own my own business and be my own boss. “What have you enjoyed about YEA! so far?” Chandler: I have enjoyed YEA! so far because it teaches me real life skills that I would not learn in a classroom. I feel like YEA! is helping my dream by giving me the knowledge of how to run a successful business. Andrew: Learning the process to start a business and develop a product. The business plan process is great to better understand all the details necessary for success.

Clovis Chamber to co-sponsor 2014 Leadercast Central Valley Thanks to its reputation as an expert in producing events, the Clovis Chamber is co-sponsoring a major leadership conference, the 2014 Leadercast Central Valley. Hosted by Kim Kaiser of Amici Communications, LLC, this extraordinary event will be offered at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building auditorium on May 9, 2014. The format is a live simulcast from Atlanta, GA that will feature nine remarkable leaders – Andy Stanley, author; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate & human rights activist; Malcolm Gladwell, Award winning journalist and best-selling author; Randall Wallace, Screenwriter, director producer and songwriter; Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric; Laura Schroff, Former advertising sales executive and bestselling author; Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical

psychologist and business consultant; Simon Sinek, Leadership expert and bestselling author; and Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States, 2201-2009. Created by John C. Maxwell in 2000 as the Maximum Impact Simulcast, it has drawn over 100,000 leaders every year. Its purpose is to create a different kind of leadership conference – one that is affordable and accessible to leaders from every background and locality. Tickets are available at www.leadercast. com/location/centralvalley and cost $149 for this all day, all inclusive leadership learning experience. Joining the Clovis Chamber as a cosponsor is the CBMC Christian Business Men’s Connection Fresno. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Kim Kaiser at 554-8515

2013 was an interesting year in Sacramento but I would argue, not one that tackled any big issues. The Legislature left many of those on the table to be dealt with next year. Water, job creation, regulatory reform, prison crowding, and internet gaming are just some of the issues looming ahead in 2014. One of the highlights of last year was an overall fiscal restraint – something I have been advocating for years and believe me, no easy task in Sacramento. It paid off. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) issued a report in late November giving a thumbs-up for California’s financial future. That is something we haven’t heard in years. Like many Californians, I see that forecast as good news but caution my colleagues to remember that California is in a better financial position partly because the Legislature and the Governor agreed to keep a lid on spending. With careful planning we can keep moving forward and put our fiscal house in a much better position to withstand economic swings as well as address some of the important issues facing the state. Our attention now should be on paying down the socalled “wall of debt” that the governor has referred to, NOT spending on new programs and additional spending. When voters approved Proposition 30 in 2012, they were promised that any new revenue would be used for improving our schools, investing in infrastructure and paying down debt. That should continue to be our focus. The LAO stressed a clear need for continued spending restraint, as well as paying off budgetary debts and unfunded public employee retirement and health liabilities. The report warns that if the surplus tax increase revenues generated by Proposition 30 are used for new state spending programs, California could easily slip back into budget deficits on the order of $6.5 - $8 billion in the event

of a mild recession. Even under the “constrained” state spending model forecast by the LAO, General Fund spending grows by more than $20 billion over the forecast period and provides for a nearly $10 billion operating surplus. This clearly suggests that the new Prop 30 tax hikes have resulted in a revenue windfall that is far greater than what supporters claimed was needed to simply protect school funding. I do have some concern that the pent up spending demands among some in the Legislature could turn California’s current good fortune back into a fiscal nightmare.  I share the LAO’s belief that caution is needed, and agree with their framework for building a strong rainy-day reserve, paying for past commitments, and limited ramp up of new spending.  Our focus for any new spending should be on keeping the promise to help schools improve our children’s education and invest in California’s critical infrastructure needs. Californians deserve a government that works. Helping people get jobs and strengthening our economy is good for all Californians and will result in a better state for our children down the road. That is how we maintain and grow this recovery. Here is a link to the report: http://lao. fiscal-outlook-112013.aspx.

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Good News from Clovis Chamber Members Despite all the hoopla over Washington’s shenanigans, it looks like 2013 was a pretty good year for many Clovis Chamber members. We start off with more of the continuing awards received by Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center. It remains as the only hospital in the Central Valley to receive the top grade of “A” by the Leapfrog Group in its annual safety report that examined and graded more than 2,500 hospitals throughout the United States. Kaiser received the Get with the GuidelinesStroke Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association that recognizes KP’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care. And, they’re enlarging their trophy case to showcase their Top Performers on Key Quality Measures award by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the US. This is the second year in a row that KP Fresno received this honor. Details: 448-4138 Congratulations to ENZO Olive Oil for being named a 2014 Good Food Awards finalist, one of 200 in the national contest presented by the Seedling Projects. The line of oils is produced by the Ricchiuti Family Farms in Clovis, a four-generation family farming operation that includes P-R Farms, Inc. and retail specialty store Bella Fruta. The Good Food Award winners will be announced on January 18th. Details: 824-8360 Clovis Community Medical Center recently unveiled the $12 million H. Marcus Conference Center. The center includes the 216 seat Pete P. Peters Auditorium equipped with the latest audio –visual technology allowing broadcast and video conferencing in the facility to anywhere in the world. The 22,000 square foot facility also includes a 50 seat conference room, two computer training rooms and two small conference rooms.

Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Blake Konczal has been re-appointed by Gov. Brown to the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, a post he has held since 2010. Konczal began his duties at FRWIB in 2002. Details: 490-7142 The Hampton Inn & Suites Fresno has recently promoted Sue Yan to Sales Manager and Kaydee Perreira to Front Desk Supervisor. They look forward to a successful 2014 with these two outstanding staff members on their team. Details: 4475900 Brenda McElroy, with Organized by Choice, recently completed Coaching Essentials, a coach training program through The Coach Approach for Organizers. She’s offering a class, “Organize Your Paper, Space and Life” through Clovis Community Education February 4, 11 and 18 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Details: 871-3314 Micahel Prieto of Tee Shirts and Hats tells us that they had the best year serving their clients in 4 years! They expect 2014 to be even better. Michael is personally very thankful for all the local and national support they have received and sends blessings to all. Details: 2899158 Congratulations to Butler Web & Design for getting their 100th customer. To celebrate, they are hosting a Community Block Party & Grand Opening on Thursday, January 30th at 5:30 at 1505 Tollhouse Rd, Suite A in Clovis. There will be food & drinks, music & entertainment, a reptile petting zoo and a bounce house. Call 797-3414 A Google Streetview virtual tour created by ParleyShot Commercial Photography was recently featured by a television station in Norway showing a local farmer’s market and all the great produce we have in the valley. Have

ParleyShot and Google create a tour of your business. Details: 840-6222 Pacific Solar was recently awarded SunPower’s Dealer Excellence Award and Stephanie Carr received the SunPower’s Most Valuable Player award for Quarter 3, 2013. Details: 251-5592 Ad-Venture Video Productions is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest, super fast MAC Pro computer that is to be released any day. The latest technology will greatly enhance the Graphics, Animation and Editing services they offer to businesses and advertising agencies. Wish them luck as they dive deeper into the latest technology again. Details: 251-5747 Ramos Torres Winery is making gift baskets with beautiful arrangements in the New Year. Stop by or call the winery at 419-9159. They wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Parrot AT&T would like to announce that their store at 175 W. Shaw Ave, Suite 101, has a new Store Manager, Brytt Paulson. He brings with him over 4 years of exceptional customer service experience. Stop by and say hello. Details: 322-3310 Debra L. Winegarden, PhDAchievements Unlimited just opened in March 2013 and already has served 190 new clients for their psychotherapy needs. Details: 260-1060 Old Town Liberty Tax Service stepped up to the plate during the holidays by providing a drop off point for “Give Joy with a Toy” toy drive that benefits the Boys2MenGirls2Women Foundation Fresno CA. The first 25 people leaving a toy received a tax preparation certificate worth up to $250. Detals: 299-8290 Starving Artists Bistro hopes everyone had a great holiday season. They are pleased with how many holiday parties were hosted at their restaurant and

they want to thank everyone for showing support to local businesses this time of the year. Details: 433-0133 Join other passionate volunteers by supporting Relay foir Life of Clovis to be held on March 29-30 at Alta Sierra Intermediate School or Relay for Life of Fresno on May 3 -4 at Kastner Intermediate Schhol Details: 451-0163 Habitat for Humanity Fresno County in partnership with Thrivent Builds celebrated the Dickey Family moving into their new home in Clovis on December 21st. The ReStore recognized Jesus Chicas as the Making the Difference Award winner and welcomed Sharon Jackson to the staff as the New ReStore Volunteer Coordinator. ReStore also holds the designation as the official City of Clovis E-waste drop off point for all working and non-working electronic devices, appliances, TVs, CRTs and computer CPU monitors. Temperence-Kutner and Fancher Creek elementary schools will receive the Thriving Schools grant from Kaiser Permanente that is worth $23,000. The funds will be used to increase physical activity and improve healthy food offerings for students and teachers. The schools will purchase new equipment the students can use at recess including balls, tricycles and scooters, jump ropes, pull up bars and fitness and dance DVD’s. Congratulations to Samuel Novielli, a 4.0 Senior at Sanger High School, for achieving the Director 3 level in Melaleuca, Inc. Owners and proud parents, Frank & Julie Novielli, tell us that Samuel is quite the leader having several college students working with him. Details: 765-7181 Always There Senior Care has won an award for best business card design during a chamber event. December 12th was their anniversary and they just hired two new More Good News, continued on page 7 - 5

Did You Collect the Needed W-9s?? The IRS Form W-9 is used to obtain independent contractors’ tax ID numbers. Tax ID numbers are required when filing 1099s. 1099-MISCs must be issued to independent contractors that are paid $600 or more during the year for performing services for a trade or business. If you used independent contractors to perform services for your business or trade, and you paid them $600 or more for the year, you must issue them a Form 1099-MISC after the end of the year to get the deduction for their labor and expenses and avoid potential penalties. (This requirement generally does not apply to payments made to a corporation. However, the corporation exception does not apply to payments made for attorney fees and for certain payments for medical or health care services.) It is not uncommon to have a repairman out early in the year, pay him less than $600, then use his services again later and have the total paid him for the year exceed the $600 limit. If this happens, you may overlook the information needed to file 1099s for the year. Therefore, it is good practice always to have individuals complete and sign the IRS Form W-9 the first time you use them. This eliminates oversights and protects you against IRS penalties and conflicts. Many small business owners and landlords overlook this requirement during the year, and only realize in January that they have not collected the required documentation to issue 1099s. If you have not collected W-9s throughout the year, do so before year’s

end, so you will have them available when it comes time to prepare 1099s for the year. It is sometimes difficult to acquire contractor information after the fact, especially from those contractors with no intention of reporting the income, so it’s always better to get it up front. Form W-9 provides entries for the contractor’s name, contact information and tax ID number. It also includes a signature block for the contractor, certifying the information and insulating you against penalties if he or she provides an incorrect or phony ID number. If you have questions or need copies of the Form W-9, please call this office. This office can also assist you with your 1099 filing requirements next January.

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More Good News

employees. Details: 270-2501. Congratulations to Crystal TogoAnsay who was installed as AREAA’s (Asian Real Estate Association) Central Valley chapter president for the 2014-2015 term. They focus on sustainable home ownership for the Central Valley. She and her sister, Darla Togo will be taking over the Real Diamond Realtors company when their father, Alvin Togo, broker/ owner, retires after 36 years of servicing the Central Valley. They will have a Grand Re-Opening on January 31st from 5:30 – 7:30 at 755 N. Peach Ave, #A-11 in Clovis. Details: 970-9482. Cen-Cal Business Finance Group congratulates its annual award recipients: Bank of the Year -Premier Valley Bank: Banker of the Year – Dorothy Thomas, Sr. Vice President for Premier Valley Bank: Business of the Year – Brighten Academy

Preschool, Inc.: Realtors of the Year – Bobby Fena, SIOR, Sr. VP/Principal Central California Office Properties Group for Colliers International and Ethan Smith, VP Industrial Division for Newmark Grubb Pearson Commercial. Details: 2271158 Madeleine’s Bridal Boutique has added the Madeleine’s Men’s Tuxedo and Formalwear location in Old Town Clovis in the Dewitt building. Details: 299-2619 Morse Termite & Pest Control has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super service Award reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to the members of the customer review service in 2013. Owner Doug Brown credits his exceptional employees for earning this award for the second year in a row. Details: 325-9400

Thank You to these renewing members - January 2014 28 Years DiCicco’s Restaurant, Lori Bean, (559) 299-3711

1222, Derrel’s Mini Storage, Inc., Shannon Garcia, (559) 2990361,

25 Years

5 to 9 Years

Renewal Body Works, Inc., Charlie Sandoval, (559) 299-2116

Kenneth May, (559) 346-0814, Valley Animal Center, Kelly Joos, (559) 233-8690, Derrel’s Mini Storage, Inc., Shannon Garcia, (559) 3229955, Facelogic Spa, Carolyn (Kovalski) Pierce, (559) 324SKIN, Two Cities Marathon and Half, Mike Herman, (559) 256-8555, Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Clovis, Kyung Yoon, 559-297-0555,

20 to 24 Years Whitcomm Electronics, Tom Whitlock, (559) 294-0977, Cen Cal Business Finance Group, Cindy Merzon, (559) 227-1158, 15 to 19 Years Clovis Regional Library, Wendy Eisenberg, (559) 6009531, 10 to 14 Years Clovis Pet Hospital, Steve Fenster DVM, (559) 297-

The Advance Group, Stanley Skiba, (559) 227-1192, Sandollar Limited LLC DBA Alternative IT Solutions, Joy McMillan, 559-389-7040, U.S. Small Business Administration, Melende Ward, 559-487-5605, Jurkovich Doak Development, Janie J. Doak, (559) 297-0718, Bott Radio Network - KCIV, Kathleen Reynolds, (800) 743-KCIV, First Year Renewal Truth Skin Care, Michelle Calvarese, (559) 287-0470,

2 to 4 Years The Perfect Vacation, Lois V. Paganini, (559) 324-8150, Ideas Plus Promotional Products Inc., David A Holden, (559) 321-8127,

Welcome our Newest Members! Alert Disaster Restoration David Denison (559) 355-5211 Central Valley Window Cleaning (559) 709-3783 Anton David Forever In Giving - F.I.G. Productions (Coarsegold Chamber) (714) 235-5102 Albert Figueroa House To Home Properties, LLC. (559) 974-2366 Tyler Nesgis Javita Weight Loss Coffee & Tea Co. Susan Flores Independent Mbr (559) 240-2796 Susan Flores

JMP Business Systems (559) 943-0115 Thomas Curnyn

London Properties Ltd. (559) 999-6176 Joe Sasaki

Keller Williams Realty (559) 289-5456 Ethel Groger

Lucido Properties (559) 298-5509 Richard Lucido

Lisa McKay, Realtor (Coarsegold Chamber) (559) 999-4168 Lisa McKay

LuLu’s Boutique (559) 299-1664 Rebecca Morgado - 7

By Fran Blackney Business Advocate

I collect tidbits for this column all month long. This month I had quite a collection then the 2013 version of The Waste Book by Senator Tom Coburn was just released. This is the annual collection of the wonderful ways your hard earned tax dollars are spent. Coburn estimates that over $30 billion is egregious spending. Aren’t you glad you “contributed” so much to the cause? Some of his top 10 hits include: $914,000 to research the origins of romance and its depiction in popular culture including novels, internet fan fiction and advice books; $17.5 million in brothel tax exemptions that include everything from breast implants to “free passes” for promotional costs to encourage “trade” in Nevada; $50 million to a firm that does internet searches that can be done for free through Google. $300 million was spent on the Army’s Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle that after three years of development, was abandoned and sold back to the contractor; $300,000 that sent 12 music label executives to Rio to promote music to foreign markets; $65 million of Sandy Hook victim funds were spent by New York and New Jersey to push tourism while only one homeowner received assistance; $415,000 to buy fine wines in China; and $10 million by the Army National Guard to buy tie-ins in the Superman movies. Okay, you’re done reading. Now get back to work to make sure more of this spending continues. Twelve hundred hens past egg-laying age are being flown across the country to retirement homes via a program called Operation Chicken Airlift. An anonymous donor gave $50,000 to help the birds “fly the coop” and rest up in New York. This is all part of the recently passed Proposition 2 that protects chickens.

Are you kidding me? John Beale is a six figure executive in the EPA. For over 20 years, he took frequent taxpayer-funded trips, first class of course, while claiming he was on a top secret CIA mission. Of course there was no oversight or accountability placed on him by the EPA, that’s why he got away with it for so long. He was recently sentenced to three years in jail with a 6 figure fine. On the other hand, just think the damage he could have really done to all of us if he was actively doing his EPA job. The recent holiday season is once again the silly season in so many of our schools. In Frisco, Texas, a thin skinned principal was so paranoid that he banned any mention of Christmas or its trees or the red and green colors from the annual Winter Party. All this despite a law in Texas that allows all those gestures in December. The warm hearted American Humanist Association demanded that a South Carolina Charter School stop participating in the Operation Christmas Child program that sent toys to the under privileged. Then there’s the school in Georgia that banned any display of Christmas cards for fear it would offend somebody – anybody. Are you tired of walking on egg shells? I am. The Michigan Education Association is going to arbitration to try to force the West Branch-Rose City school district to pay a former teacher who was convicted of molesting a student a $10,000 severance buyout. All the teacher did was to rape a young student over three years and was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. Of course he was put on PAID leave when first arrested and now wants more moulah. What do you expect? Here in California, the teachers union has successfully fought a bill that would let districts have an easier time firing a teacher that molests students. Here are the tales of two kinds of

parents. The parents of students accused of punching and teasing an autistic boy before putting the videos online are defending their children’s actions. The videos show teachers ignoring the actions and other students just standing by. One parent explained that the boy deserved the abuse because he called his nephew a nasty name and his nephew “cocked” the boy in his mouth. “I’m proud of my nephew for doing that.” Meanwhile, a mother is furious that her son made the honor roll. What? Well, it seems he received 4 A’s but also got a C and D that placed his GPA at 3.16. He still made the honor roll that sets the bar really low at 3.15. Mom is angry because she took away his privileges but now he believes that he doesn’t have to try any harder. Mediocrity at its best. A mom in Canada got socked with a $10 fine for the lunch she gave her daughter for school. What did she do wrong? Fill the bag with candy and chips? No. She abused her daughter with leftover roast beer, potatoes, carrots, milk and oranges. Her sin was not including a grain, like Ritz crackers, that is prescribed by the Canadian Food Guide. My goodness, how did we all grow up in the good old days without the mighty government dictating our lives? Since our kids don’t seem to have any rights anymore, maybe we should pay attention to the efforts by the Nonhuman Rights Project in New York that has had its lawsuits thrown out by three different courts. They are demanding that chimpanzees be granted the same rights as human beings. They have determined that four chimps are caged in inadequate housing. Since chimps have the same mental capacities as humans in making their own decisions, they believe, the animals should be allowed to choose where

to live. Actually, based on some decisions by humans in the past years, perhaps they have a point. It seems that Norway is concerned about global warming so it has introduced Meatless Mondays to the main military bases. The belief is that it would cut down on their carbon footprint. “The idea is to serve food that’s respectful to the environment”, commented a military spokesman. They ought to meet the Danish organization that believes that plants have feelings. Al Gore would be so proud. Be glad you don’t live in Volusia County, Florida. A man having a heart attack called 911. The person who answered the call was a trainee who entered the wrong address into the computer. Since her supervisor was on her cell phone, the mistake wasn’t caught in time and the man died. The supervisor is sorry. We end with a story about a young man who didn’t kill just one person, he took out 4 lives and injured 9 when he was high on booze and valium and plowed his speeding SUV into a disabled car stopped on the side of the road. The collision sent the SUV driver, a youth pastor and a mother and daughter good Samaritans flying for over 60 yards. The young man shrugged and smiled. His name is Ethan Couch and he just faced the judge. His defense was “affluenza” – the poor boy was so rich that he wasn’t brought up knowing right from wrong and “dabbled” in booze and drugs. The judge bought it, or, was bought and “sentenced” Ethan to 10 years probation. He will be imprisoned in a $450,000 a year rehab facility in Southern California that specializes in horseback riding and sharing. I wonder if the rehab place can give him a conscience.

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Speed Networking Returns on January 29th

Chamber distributes books at Tarpey Elementary

One of the most popular Chamber networking events, Speed Networking, returns on January 29th. This is where you get fast, efficient connections, instant leads, high volume and high quality networking. During the 2 hour session you will meet and pitch to 24 businesses in a fast paced, fun atmosphere. Snacks and beverages are provided. You must register in advance to guarantee a seat and space is limited to 24 people. This event always sells out. Tickets are $18 for Clovis Chamber members and $35 for non-,members. Call 299-7363 for more information

Clovis Spring Fest and Business Resource Fair March 5th Mark your calendars for the Clovis Spring Fest and Business Resource Fair to be held on Wednesday, March 5th at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building. We are expecting another great networking event in the footsteps of the successful Fall Fest held in October. Hundreds of people visited the dozens of booths manned by local businesses. Lots of new leads and customers resulted from the evening. Ten local restaurants and caterers fed the crowds but also experienced increased business afterwards. Becky Fraser of the Clovis Deli Delicious commented that this event is one of her most successful marketing tool. Applications will be available online in

January. Visit or call 299-7363

Deborah Ikeda handing out books to children

On Friday, December 20th, the Clovis Chamber elves, aka: the Board of Directors, delivered hundreds of new books to the students at Tarpey Elementary School. This is the fourth book distribution through the Hooked on Books division of the Chamber Gives Back program. The goal is to put a brand new book in the hands of every elementary school child in Clovis. For many it’s the first book they’ve ever owned, for others it may be the only present during the holidays. The great big smiles on the children’s faces offset the tears in the eyes of the directors. “This is so important to these children’s futures – that they have the love of reading”, commented Karena Dillon of the Baker Dillon Group and coordinator of the Chamber Gives Back program. “The smiles and hugs we receive stay with us for a long time.”

The books are purchased with contributions from local companies and the public. Students from the CART program in Clovis have brought in several thousands of dollars at BIG Hat Days and ClovisFest and the Rainbow Girls have helped sort and organize boxes of books. The Buchanan High School Bears Book Drive donated several boxes of the 10,000 books they have collected. Young Entrepreneur Academy student Sean Bailey delivered seven boxes to the Chamber with promises of more next year. The Chamber Gives Back program also provided two sets of commercial washers and dryers to the new Marjaree Mason Center in Clovis through anonymous donors. We’re hopeful they are making the residents’ lives easier in the new year. Donations are always welcome at the Chamber or fill the jar at BIG Hat Days. Make some children’s lives better.

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