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March 2014

Volume 4, Number 3

Thank You to our Sponsors

Chamber

Insider A Publication of The Clovis Chamber of Commerce

Clovis Business Resource Fair March 5th You are invited to join the Clovis Chamber of Commerce at the Clovis Business Resource Fair, formerly Clovis Advantage, on March 5th . It will be held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building on Fourth and Hughes. This is a great opportunity to see the best the Valley has to offer in products and services. Dozens of booths will be set up throughout the room where you can see displays and receive information about the companies. Many offer prizes and all have great advice. Applications are pouring in with many new Clovis Chamber member businesses taking that step to promote their companies

to hundreds of visitors. This will be one of the largest shows in recent years. Sample delights from local restaurants and enjoy wine, beer or soda at the beverage bar. We thank our sponsors Artco, AdVenture Video Productions, Clear Channel Radio home of PowerTalk,Republic Services and Business Street. Sponsorships are still available. Admission and parking are free and the hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Participation is open to non-Clovis Chamber members as well. Membership has its privileges as they enjoy a generous discount.

Please visit the Chamber web site at www. Clovischamber.com or call Fran at 299-7363.

Clovis Chamber of Commerce 325 Pollasky Avenue Clovis CA, 93612

We’re Number 1! We’re Number 1! Oops, sorry. I’ll put the foam finger down but darn it feels to be able to brag a little. In case you haven’t heard, the city of Clovis was chosen as the Number 1 city in California to raise a young family. The decision was made by the financial website NerdWallet that analyzes all sorts of economic data. Essentially the questions focused on where young families can get the best education and the most bang for the buck. Does the city have good schools? Can you afford to live there? Is the city growing and prospering? Here they considered the average household income and income growth over the last decade. Clovis had an overall score of 66.76 while second place city, Folsom, scored 58.47. That’s a huge gap. Advantages included over 285 acres of parks and trails, our schools are rated 8 out of 10 by GreatSchools with an overall graduation rate of 92.6%, far above the statewide average of 78.5%. Clovis has enjoyed an income growth rate of 54.5% over the past decade with the current median income of $65,300. Our median home price of $284,000 is considered more easily affordable. To those of us who have raised our own families here and are working to enhance the Clovis way of life, this standing doesn’t come as a surprise. We know what a special place Clovis is especially when considering its location in the Central Valley. It’s just nice to have our opinions validated by an outside firm. What’s the secret of our success? Incorporated in 1912, Clovis has always been a close knit, proud community filled with remarkable people. However, I consider that one individual, Floyd “Doc” Buchanan, has impacted our city the most. He was the first superintendent of the newly formed Clovis Unified School District established in 1959. Doc believed in educating and developing each student’s body, mind and spirit. He set the bar high and over the past 50 years CUSD has risen to the call thanks to its dedicated teachers, administration and involved parents. It is nationally recognized for its excellence and receives numerous awards. Having a high performing school district defines a town because success

breeds success. Since it’s the number one priority to most families they will move to a city that will best educate their children. That was a deciding factor when we moved here in 1989 due to a job transfer. We knew nothing about the Valley and had never even heard of Clovis. A little bit of research and we knew where to buy our house, by Clovis High, and we’ve never regretted it. These are families that appreciate education and are involved with their children’s lives. They make good, responsible citizens who respect the community values. They elect responsible people to local government posts who have made sound decisions about the city’s future. They also hold jobs and spend their money locally that enhances the economy. Just look at the flurry of new businesses coming to town thanks to the additional shoppers created by the Clovis Crossings Center on Herndon Ave. Last year I wrote about a book, When the Boomers Bail by Mark Lautman. An economic development expert, he explains that in the future there will be winning cities and losing cities. He forecasts a shortage of highly paid, skilled workers who will be in high demand and courted by cities competing against each other. Some cities will win and some will lose Lautman defined the five criteria of a winning city aka: Clovis A stable and improving ecosystem. Thanks to the foresight of city staff and prudent budgeting Clovis’ infrastructure can handle our projected growth through 2050. We have a fairly new sewage treatment plant, water reclamation system and an upgraded landfill. We have acres of parks and miles of trails as well as a decent bus system. Second, is a low crime rate. Clovis PD is aggressive in controlling the gang problem including working with apartment managers to make sure they’re not taking up residence here. Citizens can still call for help in their neighborhoods and see a friendly black and white actually show up. We must also credit the police for making concessions during the recession to help maintain their numbers and keep us safe. Third, a world class education. Four

Mark Blackney CEO/President Clovis Chamber of Commerce

Message from CEO/President words – Clovis Unified School District. Fourth is affordable housing. As cited in the Nerdwallet survey, we are considered a very affordable community even though we have the highest prices in the Valley. Again, people are willing to pay a premium to live in a good community. Fifth, an economy that is growing faster than its population. Based on sales tax receipts and the health of the city budget, we fulfill this requirement. Hundreds of new jobs are coming through a state call center, a distribution plant near Pelco and the expansions in the health sector. Our economic base is growing thanks to “outside income” – people from out of town coming here to spend their money. People from the foothills are coming into Clovis to shop. And, our Chamber events, BIG Hat Days and ClovisFest spin off over $6 million to other businesses from the quarter million people who come to town. The effect of a skilled workforce, successful schools and the other criteria, is that it attracts more like minded people – a self - fulfilling prophecy. And it’s happening right here. Housing permits in 2013 were triple those in 2012. For the first time in years, CUSD has an increase in the student population and is hiring 125 new teachers. There’s a long list of educators hoping to be a part of a successful district. So residents of Clovis – be very proud. You live in the best California city to raise a young family. Now I’m going outside to shout from the rooftop – “We’re number 1! We’re number 1!”


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Big Hat Days Means Big Business

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

www.clovischamber.com

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.

On April 5th and 6th, the premier event in the Central Valley will be presented by the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. The 76th Annual Table Mountain Casino Big Hat Days will fill the streets of Old Town Clovis and provide free family fun to visitors from over the country. Last year’s event produced record crowds and all indications are pointing to another record this year. According to The List in The Business Journal, Big Hat Days provides the largest daily attendance for any event in the Valley. Many thousands of these people come from outside Clovis to visit the craft booths, enjoy the family carnival and eat at the Food Fair. More importantly, Big Hat Days provides unlimited opportunities for local businesses to prosper. 140,000 visitors will be roaming the streets. Most Old Town merchants see this as a way to promote their own businesses and make an effort to draw the crowds into their shops. While some customers make purchases during the festival, many return later. For several Clovis merchants, Big Hat weekend is the best of the year. The benefits of Big Hat Days spill over to other businesses outside Old Town. Area restaurants, gas stations, hotels and shops experience increases as people use their services before and after their Big Hat visit. With strategic marketing, businesses can use the Big Hat theme during the prior months to lead up to promotional efforts during Big Hat weekend. But, one of the biggest winners with Big Hat Days is the City of Clovis. They estimated in 2009 that BIG Hat Days produces $6 million in revenues to businesses who take advantage of the large crowds. Besides the increase in

Photo courtesy of Clovis Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of Clovis Chamber of Commerce

sales tax revenues from Chamber events, the city also enjoys gaining recognition from people outside the area who often cite great schools and events as the most notable characteristics of Clovis.

The Clovis Chamber is proud to present BIG Hat Days and to contribute so much to the local economy. For more information visit our web site at www.clovischamber.com.

The California Twilight Zone

By Assemblyman Jim Patterson

As our state economy continues to struggle, we are seeing legislative policies that stifle rather than unleash prosperity and opportunity. Whether Assemblyman Jim it is increasing Patterson taxes and fees, the minimum wage, or the over-burdensome regulatory environment, our government gets in the way instead of leading the way. There are countless commonsense improvements we can make to

once again encourage job growth and entrepreneurship in California. That is why I am introducing a number of bills that will mirror some of what other regions across the country are doing to entice businesses to start-up, locate, or relocate to their states, and to encourage and assist them to grow and prosper. Rather than chasing companies out of California, we should be encouraging them to start up here with a five year state tax exemption. Rather than forcing technical trade applicants to wait for six months for a bureaucracy to process their applications, we should require that licenses be issued within 30-45 days so that qualified, skilled individuals can

go to work right away. Let’s create tax credits for career advancement training in vocational education to help those advancing or changing careers. Rather than automatically fining businesses for minor infractions, let’s allow a cure-period to address the remedy. Ideas such as these would save private sector employers tens of thousands of dollars and keep more doors open and more people employed. It is time for California to change course and wake up to its gigantic possibilities. It is time to get government on our side for a change by rewarding the hardworking, entrepreneurial, job creating visionaries in our society for their innovation, preparation, and hard work.

BIG Hat Mixer – The Biggest of the Year Regular attendees of Clovis Chamber mixers are impressed with the large number of people in attendance that gives them a better opportunity for networking. Well, as they say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” until you go to the annual BIG Hat Mixer on March 19th at the Sierra Vista Mall from 5 to 7 p.m.. This is the granddaddy of all mixers and one of the most anticipated. Lots of Clovis Chamber members and their guests will fill the Community Room

where they’ll be networking, eating, drinking and most importantly, wearing some of the finest, funniest and most illustrating-your-business hats in honor of BIG Hat Days, There will be a Best Hat Contest with prizes. Food will be provided by the Mall’s restaurants and drinks by the Clovis Chamber. Remember, Clovis Chamber mixers are free to Clovis Chamber members and their guests. Questions? Call 299-7363


Young Entrepreneurs

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This month we’re introducing two more of our young entrepreneurs. Meet Zavier Wentz of Clovis High School and Jacob Parra of Clovis West. These two young men are well on their way to becoming successful business owners. What is your BIG Idea? Are you solving a problem? Helping others? Jacob: My business idea was manufacturing swim apparel and gear such as a Towel Poncho to allow competitive swimmers more flexibility with their hands. I also am working on specialized swim gloves to improve swimmers’ hand forms while swimming. One day at WalMart I passed the towel display and thought, “What if you could wear a towel instead of having to tug it around you and constantly keeping it up?” I bought a large towel, in Clovis West cardinal red of course, had my aunt embroider a Clovis West logo, cut an opening at the top and I had the Clovis West Towel Poncho. Zavier: We have been making and enjoying mochi at home ever since I can remember. Most people who try our mochi become fans especially my friends at school who want me to share the mochi I bring in my lunch. Several years ago I learned that I was gluten intolerant and would have to give up a lot of my favorite foods. But not my mochi. It’s a definite standout. What has been the greatest challenge so far? Jacob: The greatest challenge I have faced on my project was ensuring it became a reality. The process that goes into setting up a business and its product requires dedication and plenty of time to de-

celop your design and plan it. Zavier: My biggest challenge is finding a commercial kitchen that is affordable. Originally we had thought that California’s new cottage food program would allow me to use our home kitchen however I learned that our ingredients list excluded us from using that program according to the local coordinator. I am following up on two very promising leads this week and expect to clear that hurdle this month. What made you interested in entrepreneurship and what entrepreneur intrigued you? Jacob: I always wanted to create my own business and make money. When I was about 5, I set up a lemonade stand in our front yard and sold a solid 10 cups to my neighbors. I got so excited from the $5 that I earned for myself and not working for someone else. Marc Randolph, founder of Netflix, has been an inspiration to me that helped me decide to apply for YEA! and pursue an opportunity to create a business of my own. Zavier: My parents have taught us that the only security a person really has is one that they are in control of. Working for someone else removes all of the control from you and places it in the hands of someone who is not looking out for your interests. What are your favorite subjects in school? Jacob: My favorite subjects have been Physics and History. Why? Because both are moving subjects. Zavier: Science is my favorite subject because it educates, entertains and really gets a person to thinking about the world

Contributed photo. Jacob Parra

Contributed photo. Zavier Wentz

around us. Second, I’d have to say is math because it’s something that has practical applications every day. I like to dismantle products, see how they function then improve on the engineering so math has been a big help in that area. What extra curriculars have you done? Jacob: During the early part of summer I spent time looking for a job but they all seemed to go to older applicants. Out of frustration and based on my desire to help, I decided to volunteer my time by teaching young kids about water safety and how to swim. One parent was so pleased that she insisted on paying me. This led to other paying students that earned me a few dollars. I have participated in CART (Center for Advanced Research and Technology) that taught me “real world” work situations that gave me an understanding of the

expectations I’ll find in the working world. I have also been a member of the Clovis West Swim team since my freshman year where we have had one philosophy: “Practice like it’s the State Championship Finals tomorrow”. The results are an unbeaten streak for 17 years. Being a member of the swim team has taught me the value of commitment, character and teamwork. I’ll continue to spend many grueling hours practicing to become an elite swimmer. Zavier: I have been involved with the school music programs since I was old enough to participate. I started with percussion, did a little strings and currently I’m playing the saxophone. What is your dream career? College plans? Jacob: My academic goals are to gradYEA! Entrepreneurs, continued on page 6

YEA! Thanks to the Adult Volunteers

Abagail Bonjorni works with mentor Stan Skiba of The Advance Group

It’s crunch time for the eleven students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, YEA!. They’re busily finishing up their detailed business plans, preparing their power point presentations and speech cards and getting ready to meet with graphic designers and web developers. Some of the students have paired up to work on their businesses and each is working on different areas. Alex is still developing his mobile apps while his partner, Jacob, is strong in marketing and promotion. Trent is preparing the power point to present Giana’s custom denim shorts company. But, they couldn’t do this alone. Many local business people are volunteering their time to help these kids build their futures. When the Chamber requests help, we often

hear, “I’d love to help. What can I do?” We appreciate their generosity. The three instructors, Bill Syvertsen, Rod Geist and Rick Snow, all lead very busy lives but spend time preparing for class each week and give their all during the 3 hour sessions. We’ve had several speakers: Attorney Mark D Edwards, Ryan Walker of Snow Flake Designs, Ron Madden of Nationwide Insurance, Erin Burd of Birdy’s Kids in Motion to name a few. Lydia Shaw, Senior VP of Central Valley Community Bank and Jackie Sullivan, retired business teacher, will review all the business plans and make comments and suggestions. YEA! Volunteers, continued on page 6


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Good News from Clovis Chamber Members

The year is passing quickly but it’s still filled with Good News from our Clovis Chamber members. The Principal Financial Group announces Johnanna Haas has joined its Central California Business Center. She will serve as Financial Services Representative assisting individuals to proactively prepare for their financial future. She has over 11 years working in the insurance/financial services industry. Details: 261-2000 The SBA will be presenting a Free Mini-MBA Training program for small business entrepreneurs. The eight-month training gives participants the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with peers, city leaders and financial communities. Classes will begin in midApril. Details: 487-5791 Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites has six of the best interns from CART/Center for Advanced Research and Technology. The students are dynamic and full of lots of ideas and creativity. Also, the Homewood team will travel to Orlando for a special awards dinner in late February. Details: 312-1010 Great news from Butler Web Design. Their Community Block Party was a big hit. They thank everybody who attended. They have also hired three new team members: Candice Brown, Frances Inman and Christi Purcell. They have a new mascot called “Mo” (short for Moustache). General Nutrition Centers wishes to congratulate Casey Dodge as the new Store Manager of the Target Shopping Center location on Willow and Herndon. With great customer service and an extremely positive attitude, Casey was quickly promoted through the ranks from Sales Associate to Manager in a little over

a year. Join the family-friendly, free fundraisers Relay for Life of Clovis on March 29-30, starting at 9 am at Alta Sierra Intermediate School. Relay for Life of Fresno will hold theirs on May 3 -4 at Kastner Intermediate School. Details: 451-0163 ParleyShot Commercial Photography is celebrating its 2nd anniversary as a Google-certified Trusted Photographer, exclusively providing local Valley businesses with Google’s groundbreaking product – Google Business Photos. Join the over 150 local businesses that have increased their online visibility using this powerful marketing tool. Details: 840-6222 Old Town Clovis now has a year-round certified growers Farmers Market every Saturday morning; winter hours are 8 – 11:30. Located at the old DMV Parking Lot at Bullard & Pollasky, it’s the only farmers market in Clovis. So, Shop Local! Details: 298-5774 The San Joaquin College of Law tells us that the 11th Annual Judy Wiseman Golf Tournament gets underway on March 22 at the Eagle Springs Golf & Country Club. All proceeds benefit scholarships for students at the College of Law. Details: 323-2100 Owner Mark Ramkey of Walker-Lewis

Rents had the opportunity to attend the ARA (American Rental Association) Expo in Orlando, Florida. They are excited to expand and update their inventory for the upcoming season and are looking forward to another great year. Details: 438-7400 Parrot AT&T wishes a Happy Anniversary to their Store Manager Ryan Salkes. He has managed their Herndon and Clovis Ave location for three years and is always ready to help the Clovis community with their wireless needs. Details: 325-9825 The Hampton Inn & Suites Fresno congratulates G e n e r a l Manager, Shelie Green on her upcoming marriage and move out of the c o u n t r y. They also congratulate Nicki Passeggi who becomes the new General Manager. Details: 4475900 Paul’s Certified Appliance is excited to announce it has received the Super Servicer Award from Angie’s List for the 2nd year in a row. They are proud to be able to offer quality service to the community and a great big thank you to all their customers. Details: 493-8450 One again Kaiser Permanente Fresno is the leader of the pack. For the sixth straight year it is the only health plan in California to earn a 4-star rating (the highest possible) for overall quality of

care in the annual Health Care Quality Report Card from California’s Office of the Patient Advocate. It also received 4 stars in the “Patients Rate their HMO” category which measures members’ satisfaction with their care and service. More Kaiser News – Kaiser Permanente Fresno awarded a $25,000 grant to The Foundation at Fresno County Office of Education to provide dental services to 200 uninsured and underinsured students in Fresno and Clovis. Big Smiles – a school-based oral health program – is setting up a series of dental clinics at both FUSD and CUSD through the end of the school year. Details: 448-4138 Ad-Venture Video Productions is wrapping up a huge marketing effort for the California Fig Advisory Board. They’ve almost completed mastering 9 recipe cooking videos translated into Japanese, Korean and two Chinese dialects. They love assisting our agricultural community especially during this devastating drought. Details: 251-1629 Clovis Bicycle Company has had a fabulous first year – they are moving to the corner of Shaw and Sunnyside next to Verizon. With their increase in business, they need a larger location. The Clovis Rodeo Association and the Central California Blood Center will be hosting its 7th Annual “Cowgirl U” Luncheon/Fundraiser on March 29th. This is a day for cowgirls to get together, shop, laugh, eat, drink and enjoy live music while being catered by some amazing cowboys. All proceeds benefit the Blood Center. Details: 389-5405 Milla Vineyards was honored with a nomination by the California Restaurant Association for the best local winery. Details: 277-1656


It’s Tax Time! Some transactions deserve Special Treatment Certain transactions require special treatment on your tax return. It’s a good idea to invest a little extra preparation effort when you have had the following transactions: • Sales of Stock or Other Property: All sales of stocks, bonds, securities, real estate and any other property need to be reported on your return, even if you had no profit or loss. List each sale, and have purchase and sale documents available for each transaction. Purchase date, sale date, cost and selling price must all be noted on your return. Make sure this information is contained on the documents you bring to your appointment. • Gifted or Inherited Property: If you sell property that was given to you, you need to determine when and for how much the original owner purchased it. If you sell property you inherited, you need to know the original owner’s death-date and the property’s value at that time. You may be able to find this on estate tax returns or in probate documents; otherwise, ask the executor. • Reinvested Dividends: You may have sold stock or a mutual fund in which you participated in a dividend reinvestment program. If so, you will need to have records of each stock purchase made with the reinvested dividends. • Sale of Home: The tax law provides special breaks for home sale gains, and you may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain from your primary home if you meet certain ownership, occupancy, and holding period requirements. The maximum exclusion is $250,000 for others. The cost of improvements made on your home can also be used reduce any gain, so it is good practice to keep a record of them. The exclusion of gain applies only to a primary residence; so keeping a record of improvement to other property, such as

your second home, is important. Be sure to bring a copy of the sale documents (usually the closing escrow statement). • Purchase of a Home: Be sure to bring a copy of the final closing escrow statement if you purchased a home. • Vehicle Purchase: If you purchased a new plug-in electric car (or cars) this year, you may qualify for a special credit. Please bring the purchase statement to the appointment with you. • Home Energy-Related Expenditures: If you installed solar, geothermal or windpower-generating systems, please bring the details of those purchases and manufacturer’s credit qualification certification to your appointment. You may qualify for a substantial energy-related tax credit. • Identity Theft: Identity theft is becoming more prevalent and can impact your tax filings. If you have reason to believe that your identity has been stolen, please contact this firm as soon as possible. The IRS provides special procedures for filing if you have had your identity stolen. • Car Expenses: Where you have used one or more automobiles for business, list the expenses of each separately. The government requires your total mileage, business miles, and commuting miles for each business use of your car on your return, so be prepared to have them available. If you were reimbursed for mileage through an employer, know the reimbursement amount and whether it is included in your W-2. • Charitable Donations: You must substantiate cash contributions (regardless of amount) with a bank record or written communication from the charity showing the name of the charitable organization, date and amount. If you have questions about this article or need to make a tax appointment, please give this office a call at (559) 326-2029 or email to Teresa@tmstevenscpa.com .

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YEA! Volunteers Continued from page 3 Butler Web Design and Junk Drawer Gypsy are providing graphic designers to help the kids create their logos and marketing materials. Wattleweb Global Solutions and West Pro will assist their web development. Special thanks to the six mentors who are working one-on-one with the kids every Tuesday for six weeks. Stan Skiba of the Advance Group is assisting Abagail with her accessory company, Joel Harbert is working with Andrew on his Smartphone case, Brandon Apparcel whose company designs and programs phone apps is the perfect match for Alex who is developing his own. Ryan Kalmbach of Johnstone Supply is giving sage advice to Chandler about his check- in system for companies with offsite vehicles and employees. Zavier is being mentored by Ben Bergquam of Milo Fitness to get his Mochi, a Japanese dessert, business going. And special thanks to Donna Melchor of the Clovis RoundUp for guiding Giana on her business plan and marketing. Ted Ruiz of Ad-Venture Video Productions and Becky Fraser of Deli Delicious hosted memorable field trips to their companies. Ted surprised the kids by having them speak on camera while Becky treated them to her delicious French fries. More importantly, the students heard firsthand the ins and outs of business ownership. All this is in preparation for the Investor

Panel on April 9th where they will present their businesses in six minute speeches to a panel of local business leaders. The power point has to be just right and they’ll have to present themselves well to convince the panel to help fund their start up costs. We’ll be spending a lot of time in class over the next weeks fine tuning their presentations. The ultimate goal is to be chosen to participate in the Saunders Competition in New York where tens of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships will be awarded. First, the student will go to the regional competition in Texas then hopefully, on to New York. We thank Central Valley Community Bank, Pelco by Schneider Electric, the Fresno Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Fresno Rotary, Ellie Huston and Cheryl Storer for investing in the program. We would appreciate more revenues to fund the Investor Panel. The Clovis Chamber is thrilled to be able to provide this unique opportunity to our local students. Comments from both the participants and their parents who see the value of the course tell us we made the right decision to align with YEA!. As one student said, “School isn’t teaching me things for my future like this class it.” Applications are available for next year’s class that will start in October. Interested middle and high school students from throughout the Valley can find the information at www.clovischamber.com. Click on programs then Young Entrepreneurs Academy. For more information, call Fran at 2997363.

Social Network with the Clovis Chamber! Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn www.facebook.com/ClovisChamber twitter.com/clovischamber www.linkedin.com/in/bethbridges

YEA! Entrepreneurs Continued from page 3 uate from Clovis West High School with the highest GPA possible by continuing to work hard in my classes. I am motivated by the possibilities a strong education can provide. I have applied to Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Fresno State universities. Eventually, I want to earn my MBA and develop plans to start a business related to health, fitness and nutritional science. Zavier: College is definitely in the plan. I’m considering mechanical engineering but have not ruled out other areas of interest yet. I like the challenge of creating a business and the fact that it

is a skill that never becomes obsolete so I guess my dream career is business creator. That way I can always be a part of the latest business trend instead of getting stuck in a dying profession. What have you enjoyed about YEA! so far? Jacob: The most enjoyable thing about YEA! for me are the students. Everyone has their own unique and “wow how come I didn’t think of that?” ideas. I’ve made some really cool friends at YEA! and have certainly expanded my views of the real world because of this program. Zavier: That’s easy. Watching my business idea blossom in to reality. I already have standing orders for my mochi and plan to start filling orders as soon as I get the commercial kitchen secured. I am very grateful for the support and encouragement of my parents and for the opportunity to participate in the YEA! program.

Social Media Super Summit, March 25th How are you going to take advantage of the biggest, fastest-growing media in human history? Chances are, you’re already using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for personal fun or to market your business. Chances are that you’re one of the majority of businesses who are still looking to make a profit and create a profitable ROI out of your efforts. Join us on March 25th, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the “Ad-Venture Video Productions Presents: The Social Media Super Summit.” We’ll have three powerhouse speakers who will take your social media strategy to a profitable place: *Keynote: “Taking Social Media to the Next Level” - Frank Kenny, entrepreneur and former Chamber CEO, doubled his Chamber in 18 months through social media. He has taught digital marketing strategies to businesses and associations throughout North America. Frank is also the mentor to the Clovis Chamber’s top-ranked social media pro-

gram. *”Building a Stronger In-Person Network by Going Online” - Beth Bridges, the Clovis Chamber Social Media Manager, launched the Clovis Chamber’s Twitter and Facebook accounts by leveraging her own personal connections, which she built through attending hundreds of networking events. *”Using Video to Massively Multiply your Social Media Results” - Ted Ruiz, Sr. is the owner of Ad-Venture Video and has been using video to help businesses market themselves long before social media was invented. Ted will show you how to blend the power of video into the affordable marketing systems of social media. Supporting sponsorship from RealTime Outsource and Yvonne Schwemmer, YourProVoice. Seating is limited. Register now at 299-7363 or www.ClovisChamber. com. $47 for members, $77 for non-members.

Thank you to these renewing members - March 2014 25 Years

10 to 14 Years

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Benjamin Hills Brad’s Auto Body, Bradley Scott, www.bradsautobody.com, (559) 298-2860

Sam’s CLUB, Eva Valenzuela, www.samsclub.com, 559-446-0106 Tutoring Club Of Clovis, Bill and Cheryle Syvertsen, www.tutoringclub.com, 559-325-3512

20 to 24 Years Business Organization Old Town (B.O.O.T.), Carole Lester, www.oldtownclovis.org, 559-298-5774 Saddleback Veterinary Hospital, Barbara Liebau, 559-298-1900 Central CA Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce, www.cchcc.net Arc Fresno, , www.arcfresno.org, (559) 226-6268

5 to 9 Years North American Title - Fresno Office, Michelle Bryant, 559-225-1761 Melaleuca, Inc. - Pat Birkle, Pat Birkle, , 559-4315001 Blue Dot Media - Advertising Agency, Bob Hall, www.bluedotmediacorp.com

15 to 19 Years

2 to 4 Years

SPRAYWEST, Ron Bragg, 559-299-0200 Jeff Hibbard D.D.S., Jeff Hibbard, D.D.S., www. hibbarddds.com, 559-298-0222

James G. Parker Insurance Associates, Debbie Melikian, 559-222-7722 Manufacturer’s Warehouse, Jerry Moreno, www. WRL191S.com, 559-435-4321

Orchard Park Assisted Living & Memory Care, Jennifer Wojtas, www.orchardparkseniorliving.com, 559-325-8400 4 Life Research, Leon Thiessen, www.leon.my4life. com, 559-323-6788 First Year Renewal Fresno Cycling Club, Dennis Ball, www.FresnoCycling.com, 559-960-7127 Walmart Supercenter, Michelle Wilhoite, 559-3210067 A-C Electric Company / A-C Solar, Jason Pugh, www.a-celectric.com

Welcome our Newest Members! M.D. Manouel Insurance Agency Inc., David Pruett, 7447 N. First St. Ste #101, Fresno, CA, 93720 www.mdmig.com, 559-455-7422 Miracle-Ear Hearing Centers, Steve Wood, 55 West Shaw Ave. #106, Rodeo Plaza II, Clovis, CA, 93612, miracle-ear.com, 559-322-4885 Teresa M. Stevens CPA, Teresa Stevens, 2491 Alluvial Ave. Ste 150, Clovis, CA, 93611, tmstevenscpa.com, 559-326-2029

CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre, Carol Wright, 1438 Beverly Court, Clovis, CA, 93611 www.centerstageclovis.com 559-313-8191

Country Baby Diaper Service, Melissa Harman, 975 Robinson Ave, Clovis, CA, 93612 www.countrybabydiaperservice.com 559-970-0432

Www.call-mall.com, Steve Johnson, P O Box 26812 Fresno, CA, 93729 www.call-mall.com, 559 554 2070

Pro Fab Metal Worx, James Bodine, 1103 Brookhaven, Clovis, CA, 93612 www.profabmetalworx.com 559-323-7049

Fashions On The Go Go, Megan Marty, 342 W. Goshen ave, Clovis, CA, 93611, , 559-905-8686

Renaissance House, Grace RobinsonWhipple, 6572 N. Mariposa Ave. Fresno, CA, 93710, 559-908-1720

A-C Electric Company / A-C Solar, Jason Pugh, 2560 S. East Ave. Fresno, CA, 93706 www.a-celectric.com Toner Plus, Kim Avery, 982 N. Lind Ave, Clovis, CA, 93611 www.tonerplus.net 559-322-0264 Law Office Of Sam Salhab, Sam Salhab, 1107 R Street Fresno, CA, 93721 www.salhablaw.com, 559-412-9888


Nothing to Kid About By Fran Blackney Business Advocate

In past columns I have told you about how parents enable their children. All need to have a trophy, we have to accommodate every little difference, the ice cream man is kicked out of a New York park because the moms didn’t like telling their little ones “no” and the Daddy/Daughter dance was cancelled because one girl didn’t have a dad. Dodgeball is banned at recess so there are no winners or losers and teachers can’t be too blunt when correcting mistakes including not using red ink because it’s too strong. In Maryland, a kerfuffle was raised over a pizza party for the straight A students who then attended a dance with the B and C students. You guessed it. The parents of the kids who didn’t get straight A’s felt it wasn’t “fair”. One mom complained, “A smarter student knows that another student didn’t quite make the grade. They could make them feel bad; they could call him stupid.” How about working with your kid to help him get better grades and go to the party next year? Students at the School of Engineering and Arts in Minnesota have taken part in a community service project called Feed My Starving Children. The supplies of food are put together at the Calvary Lutheran Church. Uh oh. Big mistake. You guessed it. One parent complained that their kid would see religious symbols and complained. So, the American Humanist Association forced the school to stop participating in the program. I look at it this way – parents who complain about their little darlings being unduly influenced by merely seeing a religious symbol are raising very weak children who then go on to become very weak adults who try to find work.

And that leads me to the rest of the story. All we hear is the high unemployment rate in our country and how there are no jobs. That’s not what I hear. I’ve had numerous employers tell me that they can’t find people to do the jobs. They not only don’t show up for the interviews, they show up late to work, complain then quit because they don’t like what they have to do. This is backed up by the employment participation rate that is the lowest since 1978. I’m not just talking about minimum wage or blue collar workers here. Many of these applicants are college graduates. According to numerous surveys, they’re graduating with their paper diplomas and high student loan debt but haven’t learned a darn thing how to actually work. They may have the “hard” skills down pat but the “soft” skills are virtually missing. Soft skills are how to navigate the fundamentals of office life. A wide margin of managers say that applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well. Others mention lack of organizational skills and interpersonal proficiency. The top 10 priorities for many employers are being a team player, problem solver who can plan, organize and prioritize their work. The usual “hard” skills of technical and computer-based knowledge are near the bottom of the list. Lack of communication skills are routinely mentioned as the top deficiency. Employers say that these kids can’t speak or write effectively. Blame is being placed all over the place with technology being the number one culprit. When your day is spent tweeting messages in only 40 characters, you use more abbreviations

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than real words. And, how many times have you heard, “I don’t need to learn to spell or write well. I have spellcheck and the computer corrects my grammar.” Others point to our education system. In our k-12 schools, do teachers still emphasize spelling, grammar and logical writing? Or are they afraid to thwart the young ones’ creativity and thought processes by being too critical. When just 24% of eighth and twelfth graders are proficient in writing according to the Dept. of Education in 2012, you know something’s amiss. Then these kids get into college and all of a sudden that high grade they received in high school is meaningless and they have to take remedial English. Over 50% of the incoming freshmen at Fresno State fall into that category. What a high price we taxpayers are paying to get them caught up. But they get pushed through and receive that piece of paper they think is a golden ticket to riches. Not so fast. In their concern over communication and critical thinking skills, many companies are requiring writing samples – some written right in front of the recruiter. They know that too often the internet creates the words, not the applicant. They’re also using probationary periods to observe their interpersonal skills. Time magazine recently covered this situation. It talked about how grads are lacking in motivation, appearance, punctuality and flexibility. They also lack a deference to authority and have overinvolved, helicopter, parents. Too often applicants believe that a job is just another entitlement. They’ve been told by Mommy and Daddy all their lives that they can be whatever they want without mentioning they have to pay their dues. They should start out in the corner office making $80,000 a year instead of working their way up the ladder. This isn’t a trait of just college grads.

I believe that our overall working society has changed from “I’m grateful to have a job and I’ll work really hard for you” to “I have a life and if I don’t like what you want me to do, I quit”. I can understand that attitude in a good economy with plentiful jobs, but this is happening more often in today’s world. Heck, why work? Just go on unemployment, get subsidized health care and eventually disability if you just can’t get up and look for a job. The effects on our future economy are ominous. Economists agree that we won’t have enough highly skilled workers in the future to fill the shoes of us millions of retiring Baby Boomers. That means that those with good skills both “hard” and “soft” will have plenty of jobs to choose from with high salaries – supply and demand. The greater growth, unfortunately, is at the other end with low skilled and well skilled workers with poor work ethics. There will never be enough jobs for all of them so wages will remain low. The income gap will increase and more will live off the government supported by the highly skilled workers.


8 - www.clovischamber.com

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