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Special Publication of:

The Oakdale Leader The Escalon Times The Riverbank News Wednesday, August 29, 2018


2— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Cocina Michoacana: A Place For Family, For Community By AUTUMN NEAL

Gracie, Jasmine, and Savannah all bring unique qualities to the table concerning their local business: running Cocina Michoacana, a Mexican food restaurant in Oakdale. Gracie brought and taught the cooking skills, recipe, and management. Jasmine constantly brings new ideas to the table, and ways to improve the restaurant. Savannah is a go-getter and works hard to help the community through events at the restaurant. They run a business with an overwhelming family feel, from the recipes handed down from grandmas, aunts and sisters, to the camaraderie between co-workers. It may help that they’re all related. Gracie Maciel and her

husband started Cocina Michoacana 21 years ago when her daughter Jasmine was just six months old. Since then, though it has moved locations a few times, it finally found a home nestled in the heart of East F Street, where it’s in the eyesight of not just the Oakdale community, but travelers that pass through on their way to Yosemite or Pinecrest to the east, the Bay Area to the west. “Growing up, honestly, I enjoyed the whole vibe of the restaurant,” Jasmine reflected on her childhood. Now that she’s finishing up college, she has her sights set on her own restaurant business, inspired by what her mother helped to build. The restaurant business has been a family affair for a while – Gracie married

into a family where almost all of her husband’s siblings owned their own unique establishments. After sitting down for lunch and seriously discussing continuing the streak, Gracie and her husband brought Cocina Michoacana to life. “We came out, we drove out here, we liked the town, and we opened a business,” she explained. “The recipes are in the family,” Jasmine relayed. “My dad’s sisters and my grandma. And him and my uncle. But they’re mostly from my grandma.” She showed off one of her grandma’s recipes; their tamales. Cocina Michoacana offers an original and vegan option for tamales, as with most of their food. Gracie shared that her mother-in-law used to sell

dinners in Mexico, and created a lot of the recipes then that they use in the restaurant today. When asked what the most popular dish at the restaurant is, the ladies had to think for a few minutes, and expressed that all the food choices are immensely popular. “I would say our carnitas,” Gracie decided. “Why? Anywhere you go, they serve them dry. And we don’t. We serve them with a homemade sauce ... and if you’re counting calories, I would say our fish tacos.” Because Cocina Michoacana has been around almost as long as Jasmine, and longer than Savannah, the restaurant has had the chance to grow up and mature as they did. When the girls became more involved

From left, Jasmine, Savannah, and Gracie Maciel pose with a signature dish at Cocina Michoacana – tamales. Jasmine shows off the vegan option she helped bring to the restaurant, while Savannah holds the original recipe, passed down from her grandma. PHOTO BY AUTUMN NEAL

with school, the restaurant started hosting academic booster fundraisers. When Jasmine went vegan her senior year of high school,

the restaurant began to offer more vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. It first began in the MaMICHOACANA Page 3



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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 3

MICHOACANA Continued From Page 2

ciel household as Jasmine switched to a vegan diet two and a half years ago. Once she got her parents on board, they noticed a change in their eating habits as well, and figured it was a change that they should bring to their business. “They figured that if we don’t want these things going into our bodies, why should we put them in what we serve at the restaurant?” Jasmine shared. “But bringing veganism into the restaurant has really been fun for me and I really enjoyed it. It’s brought more following for me than I really expected, so I’m actually inspired to open my own vegan restaurant in the future. I think it’s great to have these options for people.” Jasmine is currently majoring in Business and

taking classes at Modesto Junior College as well as Stanislaus State. She shared that though it’s a major where she’s learned a lot, she found a lot of the concepts she was hearing about in class were already being implemented at the restaurant. In other words, she’d been familiar with business ever since she was young. Her sister Savannah shares similar promise to bringing new ideas to the restaurant. She actively has been engaging the community in fundraisers, especially focusing on one recent and dear to the community of Oakdale. The concern came with the passing of Giselle Evangelista, Savannah’s classmate, and Hector Evangelista, Giselle’s father. Savannah immediately wanted to spring into action. “She was so upset, and

she said ‘Mom what can we do to help?’ and then said ‘Let’s do a fundraiser,’” Gracie reported. The fundraiser was held at Cocina Michoacana on Tuesday, Aug. 14, a week after the car accident that claimed the two lives. The restaurant donated 30 percent of restaurant proceeds that day and 100 percent of raffle proceeds to the Evangelista family to help with funeral expenses, thanks to Savannah’s ambition and compassion. “It’s just little ideas, and we’ve been doing this for a long time,” Gracie said simply. “It takes one to build an army.” Thanks to Gracie’s initiative to start the restaurant, and the freedom and management she allows her daughters to have, Cocina Michoacana has become a staple in the community of Oakdale. The restaurant is primarily run, managed,


Nancy and the team at Parker Insurance have been serving you and your family with Excellent Customer Service since 1987. We would love to be your insurance agency and help you protect what matters to you. We can offer you the savings you want and the coverage you deserve. Fran Krieger, well known and respected Farmers agent, is serving in a consultancy position and is available for appointments.

All three ladies work in the family-owned and run restaurant, whether it be helping out in back, with beverages, waitressing, taking orders, and more. PHOTO BY AUTUMN NEAL

and hosted by women workers, who engage with one another to create a friendly, family feel that’s visible to anyone who walks in.

Cocina Michoacana serves Mexican food every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with accommodating options for unique diets, a pet-friendly

patio, and a lively family vibe. For more information, visit their website or visit the restaurant at 1061 E. F St., Oakdale.


Left to right: Stephanie Sesma, Nancy Parker, Brenda Barajas, Pricilla Diaz.


209-847-8051 1414 East F Street, Building B, Ste. 103, Oakdale Lic #0720056 • Lic #0B53757


Open 6 days Walk–ins welcome 131 S. 2nd Ave, Oakdale 845- 8580

4 — Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Empowering People Through Hair Replacement Technology BY VIRGINIA STILL

With a love for hair styling since she was a kid, Elsie Blevins made sure everyone got a haircut, even her dolls. She has been doing hair for approximately 11 years and had no idea

that her path would lead her to being a hair replacement technician and business owner of Advanced Hair Specialists. Working as a natural hair stylist in Oakdale, the opportunity presented itself

Renee Sveen has a nail salon at Advanced Hair Specialists called Nails by Renee were she offers manicures, pedicures, gel polish and acrylic nails. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

to work part-time at Advanced Hair Specialists in Modesto doing hair replacement. Blevins wasn’t looking for a job at the time, however, she took the job anyway. Eventually, she quit doing natural hair in Oakdale and began doing hair replacement full-time. “I fell in love with hair replacement,” stated Blevins. “I didn’t even know this (hair replacement) existed. I feel with hair replacement clients, you get more with them in the end because they come in and their self-esteem is pretty low because they don’t have hair and then they do. With a regular natural hair client it is the same thing, a trim or a touch up.” The original owner of Advanced Hair had been per-

forming hair replacement for many years and taught Blevins everything about the business. After 15 years the owner retired and sold the business to her. This month will be her fifth year as the owner with a staff of five: Julie Gisler, Office Manager; Jill Wallace, Hair Replacement Technician; April Vaughn, Hair Replacement Technician; Allison Ziebell, Assistant Office Manager; and Renee Sveen, Nail Technician, known as Nails by Renee. “I definitely was nervous,” Blevins explained about owning her own business. “I went back and forth and I thought this is happening for a reason so the worst I can do is fail.” Happily, for owner, staff and clientele, failure is the

Come in and Meet the Women of

Backk R B Row: Di Diana J James, Jackie J ki Bustos, B Rene Moreno, Joanna Delgado Front Row: Sara Garcia, Karlie Reep, Lixia Lemus Not Pictured: Lupe Ordaz

1080 West F Street, Oakdale

Next to Subway & Sara’s Dry Cleaners


Elsie Blevins is the owner and a Hair Replacement Technician at Advanced Hair Specialists in Modesto. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

furthest thing from their minds, as there are successes every day. They specialize in hair replacement for men and women that have thinning hair possibly caused by chemotherapy, blood pressure issues, certain medications, or dietary

reasons. The process begins with a consultation and dependent on the diagnosis, the treatment will be determined. The common treatment would be to shave the top of the head and with a medical adherent bond a thin hair HAIR Page 5


Lixia Lemus - Is a Registered Technician and prides herself on accuracy and efficiency. Diana James - Has been working at River Oak Pharmacy for 19 years. She is an expert at dealing with insurance challenges. She helps our Spanish speaking patients, and enjoys helping all our patients get their prescriptions filled accurately and quickly. Rene Moreno - Is a Registered Technician, has been working for River Oak Pharmacy for 23 years, and is working in our compounding lab making custom prescriptions to meet our patients’ individual needs. Sara Garcia - Is a Registered Technician, and has been working at River Oak Pharmacy for 19 years. She is an excellent patient-oriented technician. She also helps our Spanish speaking patients. Karlie Reep - Is a Registered Technician. She is excellent at meeting patient’s needs. She is now serving as a compounding technician. Jackie Bustos - Is a bilingual patient service expert who works diligently to get your medications in your hand and out the door as quickly as possible. Lupe Ordaz - Is a Registered Technician and our customer service expert. Joanna Delgado - Is our newest staff member. She is a Registered Technician. She is fluent in Spanish and English. She is fast and accurate when processing prescriptions.

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 5


Continued From Page 4 piece on. The hair is 100 percent human hair that can be washed and styled. About every four to six weeks clients will need to go in and have it removed and cleaned. Depending on the customers’ preference they can have a new piece put on about every

four months. “Once it is on you don’t feel a thing; it feels like your own scalp,” added Blevins. “It will look like your own scalp and then we blend it with your own hair. Most clients have their own horseshoe hair underneath and most of the thinning is on top. So that is what we do.” Once the hair follicle is dead the hair will not grow

Left to right, Assistant Office Manager Allison Ziebell, Owner Elsie Blevins and Renee Sveen are a few of the staff members at Advanced Hair Specialists. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

back, Blevins explained. She added that the way you can verify that it is dead is by feeling your scalp and if it is as soft and pliable as a baby’s, then nothing is going to come back. Where applicable, they do offer a shampoo and conditioner treatment or a laser option that customers can purchase and use at their home. However, Blevins suggests people come in for a consultation before beginning any treatment. Along with the hair replacement which keeps the technicians pretty busy, guests with natural hair can also get their hair styled there. They also offer hair extensions for those that want a little extra length. Sveen rents a room from Blevins for her business to offer customers the option to get their nails done there as well. “We really specialize in the hair replacement,

The room with the wigs has a variety of cuts and colors for customers whether you need one or if it is something that guests want to try. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

that is our number one, and mostly women,” said Blevins. “Because for men it is easier to shave your head and call it good but for women it is not.” They offer clients wigs as

well for women that are going through chemo since hair replacement during chemo is not recommended. The wigs are also available to anyone that would like to try something dif-

ferent. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 209-551-7060. Advanced Hair Specialists is at 2307 Oakdale Road in Modesto.

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Front row left to right; Vicky Barker, Dora Cordova, Rachel Eichhorn, Cherilyn Bairos, Tammy Fraga, Frankie Womack, Brittney Zurlinden Back row left to right; Donna Tripp, Terri Young, Karla Reynoso, Sandy Guerra, Alison Gomes, Annette Chance, Lori Segale, Lisa Padilla


Left to right; Alicia Suarez, Cecilia Vierra, Dolores Vazquez

6— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Stone Leads Programs Of Center For Human Services By TERESA HAMMOND

In her downtime it would not be uncommon for one to find Tamberly Stone sipping tea in the early hours on her back porch with a book close by. This is her time of respite. As the sun rises, so too does her family; a high school freshman, a toddler and a husband – otherwise known as her “world.” While the work she does at home may someday have great impact, it is the work that she does by day which reaches the masses – daily. As the Program Manager for Center for Human Services, Oakdale, Stone is always on the clock. “In my position I’m responsible for everything that goes on within the Oakdale office,” Stone said of her office at 631 W F St.,

Oakdale. “There’s just so many pieces.” Within the walls of the humble bungalow she oversees a staff of five as well as two volunteers, one part-time and one fulltime. Through the leadership of Stone the facility services hundreds of community members per year through grant funding, varying services and programs. She estimates the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) alone services 650 individuals. “Crisis funding can look many different ways,” Stone shared of how they can assist clients. “For us generally speaking it helps paying past due City of Oakdale bills or PG&E bills or food.” As the program manager speaks of her daily duties,

her passion for what she does becomes more than apparent. Stone began her career in non-profit work 11 years ago with Oak Valley Hospital’s Family Support Network. She has been with CHS for the past nine years. “The thing that I enjoy most is that I was born, raised and live in the community,” Stone shared, becoming visibly emotional. “I raise my children here. I get to give back and make our community better.” The “give back” portion of what Stone and her staff do looks many different ways. From community backpack drives, parenting classes, nutrition classes, as well as accommodating families with necessities in times of need, CHS is a one stop shop.

“It’s usually never quiet,” she said, noting that even when “off the clock” her phone still seems to buzz with texts from community members either in need of help or direction for someone they may know. Yet even with that constant involvement, Stone shared she’s learned that not all connections lead to successes. “That’s the toughest part,” she said. “It’s hard when you see people that aren’t ready. “What makes me excited are the successes,” she continued. “Things make me excited when I see people thrive.” And while she has a special place in her heart for the homeless, the addicts, the community member just trying to regain their

Shown outside the West F Street location of Center for Human Services in Oakdale, local resident Tamberly Stone said their goal is to help out with a variety of needs in the community, with multiple programs and services available. PHOTO BY TERESA HAMMOND

footing, Stone loves the fact that the center is there to help everyone. “The stigma that we only help the needy, homeless, Hispanic population is inaccurate,” she said. “If I could dispel that stigma, I’d

love it. It’s truly for everybody. We’re here to support everybody and anybody.” To learn more about services offered by CHS visit or call (209) 8470420.

Oak Valley Community Bank Women in Business


ith 29 years in the industry Lucy brings • HOME W experience, knowledge, professionalism, and service to you day in and day out. Besides • AUTO being an agency owner with her husband she also corporate insurance company experience • BUSINESS brings so she knows the business from all sides. As an Independent agent she represents a variety of • FARM carriers which allows her to look for the best for your needs at the best price. Lucy • HEALTH product knows your time is valuable so as a full service agency writing all lines of insurance she welcomes • BOND the opportunity to service ALL your insurance needs now and in the future. Contact her for a no • LIFE obligation quote or come by their new office.

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 7

Résumé Writing Rules To Follow When professionals are ready to take a new step in their careers, it’s wise to revisit their old résumés and see what can be done to update them for the current day and age. This is especially true for people who may have been out of the job-seeking arena for some time. Writing a résumé can be complicated. The rules for finding a new job are continually evolving, and résumés remain a big component of that process. The following are some current résumé trends that will help professionals stand out from the masses. Consider design Design your résumé so it will look good whether

it’s viewed on a screen or a mobile phone or printed on paper. Classic serif style fonts can make a résumé seem dated, so select modern fonts that are crisp. The idea is for the résumé to look balanced and clear, without being overdone with modifications, like italics and bold lettering. However, a spot of color could provide much-needed attention. Be brief yet effective A concise design is key. Many recruiters spend little to no time reviewing the hordes of résumés they receive. In fact, automated résumé bots may initially screen the documents to thin the

crowd. According to data from the 12th annual Mystery Job Candidate survey by CareerXRoads, the average recruiter spends six seconds looking at a résumé. If a résumé is lengthy or doesn’t attract attention, it will likely be ignored. Stick to a single-page and make sure wording is brief but meaty. Keep juicy details up top Format the résumé so the most pertinent information is within the top one-third of the document. Beef up a summary statement and use it in lieu of an objective. Make sure that summary includes keywords that


Celebrating 64 years of service to our community!

Please join us for our upcoming events: Evening Mixer at Rivi’s - September 13, 2018 Dream It, Be It Career Support for Girls - October 27, 2018 Holiday Craft and Goodie Auction - November 28, 2018 Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale - March 9, 2019 Motor Madness Fundraiser - March 30, 2019 Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. For information regarding membership in Soroptimist International of Oakdale check our web site or email us at

promote your skills and experience to potentially lure the recruiter into reading more. Tweak job titles Mimic phrasing from the job listing to beat the bots and get résumés flagged for review. Slightly change job position titles so they mirror the wording used. For example, if a recruiter is looking for a ‘financial account manager,’ and you have the experience, list your title as something like ‘Senior manager of new financial accounts.’ Who you know Landing a new job is often about what you know, but getting a foot

Keywords, phrasing, formatting, and having the right skills for the job can ensure a résumé is seen by a recruiter, and perhaps even lead to a new career. in the door is also largely influenced by who you know. Include any professional groups to which you belong or alumni as-

sociations. Who knows? The recruiter may have the same alma mater, and you can bond over your shared mascot.



8— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Juice Business Manager Comes To Riverbank BY RIC McGINNIS

Imagine spending your entire, albeit young, working life at the same company. Cayla Taa-Schmitz has that distinction, and she’s managed to do it entirely in the Stanislaus County area. The pinnacle of her career, so far, has been managing the Jamba Juice location in the Crossroads Shopping Center in Riverbank. Taa-Schmitz just turned 27. She’s a 2009 graduate of Johansen High School in northern Modesto. She’s worked for the local Jamba Juice franchisee, Vitaligent, in its downtown Modesto location, at the Orangeburg and Pelandale stores, and was back running Orangeburg for the past three years. She now lives in Waterford and just recently start-

ed the Jamba Juice store in Riverbank. Although the store opened its doors on July 29, there were weeks of “soft opening” activity before the official Grand Opening celebration and ribbon cutting on Aug. 18. And, she said, it was definitely a very successful event. “The team was very busy the entire day. And for quite some time, there’s been a steady stream of cars in the drive-through,” she said. “The thing we’re most proud of is how much we were able to donate to Crossroads Elementary School, $1,600.” She added, “So far, for a Grand Opening, it the largest check we’ve been able to raise as a franchise company.” The company pledged 20

percent of its sales on that grand opening Saturday to the school. Although Taa-Schmitz said she has spent a lot of her time over the years learning by doing, she also credited the many mentors she’s had with giving her a good business base from which to work. “I’ve had at least four or five mentors that I’ve looked up to over the years, that have helped me oneon-one. And then, I’ve gotten to mentor four assistant managers in recent years, and, of course, I’ve trained my lead staff here.” She said, “Initially, we had 30 trainees who went to the Orangeburg and Pelandale stores, spending two to three months there, learning what to do and how to serve customers.” She’s got a staff of 35 now,

and explained that on a busy Saturday, “you’ll find 10 to 12 people” on the line that are taking, preparing and delivering orders for customers. And the drive-through is always busy. “It never stops,” she said. “It’s easy for everyone to be able to just come by, and go.” The franchisee company, Vitaligent, owns more than 75 Jamba Juice stores across the United States. It’s a holding company, according to the information provided, “focused on promoting health and happiness in each relationship – our guests, team, families, and community.” Taa-Schmitz agreed. “Our focus is on wellness, fresh juices and smoothies and healthy meal options,” she said.

Jamba Juice manager Cayla Taa-Schmitz, left, instructs an employee at the newly-opened store in Riverbank. The facility, in the Crossroads Shopping Center, is the only one in the Central Valley to feature a drive-through, which she says, has proven to be very popular with customers. PHOTO BY RIC MCGINNIS

At the ribbon cutting, a franchise spokesman noted that the group has more than 250 employees at

stores throughout the Central Valley, but Riverbank is the only location that has a drive-through.

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 9

Women And STEM Career Opportunities The number of women entering the professional fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is slowly growing around the world, but there is still a sizable gender gap in these professions. According to the College Board, which produces many standardized tests, only 27 percent of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United Science are women. Similarly, just 18 percent of American computer-science degrees are attained by females. However, this is not the case elsewhere in the world. A paper by Gijsbert Stoet and David Geary published in Psychological Science noted that women

who live in countries with traditionally higher gender inequality tend to choose STEM professions more readily. Algeria, for example, has one of the highest ratios of women in STEM professions, at 41 percent. Stoet and Geary surmise that women in these countries may be choosing careers with the strongest path to financial independence. According to a U.S. Department of Education report, students studying science or math in college have a higher employment rate and salary than other majors after graduation. STEM majors typically earn an average of $15,500 more annually than non-STEM majors. Engineering and engineering technology tends

Gale Willms Health Insurance Services G

Though there is still a gender gap, women are slowly moving toward entering the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as their career choice.

ale has been a life-long resident of this area and involved in the insurance industry since 1997. Her goal is to make sure you have the right health insurance plan at the right price, therefore providing you with the best health care protection. In addition to offering a full range of health care plans, Gale specializes in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare prescription plans. If you are turning 65 or have questions about Medicare and the Medicare plans being offered, let Gale’s knowledge and expertise assist you in making these decisions stress free as possible.

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to pay the most. Women eager to secure competitive, stable and well-paying jobs should carefully consider the opportunities available to them in STEM fields.

Lic # 0C06975

Jan Noble, HHScEd, is the Founder/

Director for Oakdale’s only post-secondary school - the Holistic Life Institute, School of Massage and Natural Health. Now in its 21st year, HLI offers a CA BPPVApproved, CAMTC Approved 500-hour Certified Massage Therapy program and a 500-hour Holistic Health Practitioner program. With a staff of 12 instructors, HLI trains 60-plus CMT and HHP graduates per year, some of whom continue on to become instructors themselves. HLI also provides a 13-office wellness center and spa for graduates to launch their new careers. Member- CAMTC School Advisory Committee 2016/2017

In addition to directing the institute, Jan has authored “FigureShaping - The Completely Natural Weight-loss Protocol” and “Home with God - The Restoration of Your Spiritual Self”, both available at

730 East F St., Oakdale (office)209-848-8382 • (cell)209-918-0647 Find us on Facebook at Holistic Life Institute/Oakdale

Since 1892

On Caboose, left to right

Bottom Row, Left to right

Kathie Miller Administrative Assistant • 15 months Dr. Marit Arana Nutritionist • 15 years Michele Flanagan Human Resource Manager • 18 years Yvonne Ortega Accts Rec / Accts Pay • 18 years

Judy Bradley Receptionist • 41 years Sharon Roche Accounting Asst • 16 months Lesly Muncy Acct Rec / Sales Asst • 14 years Zoe Kilkenny Regulations Coordinator 3 years

Not pictured

Lindsay Harris Accounting Assistant • 5 years


Kayla Machado Nutrition Associate • 4 years

304. Yosemite Avenue • 847-1721 Serving California’s Agricultural Industry Since 1892

10— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

City Management Not Your Typical Career Path By MARG JACKSON

Running a city is, in its own way, overseeing a big business. From the day-to-day operational details to dealing with state agencies, providing input and insight at City Council meetings and often serving as the ‘face’ of the city at regional events, each day can bring new situations and new demands. Tammy Alcantor is the City Manager in Escalon, the small, rural community with a population of roughly 7,500 residents in San Joaquin County. Here’s a Women in Business ‘Q&A’ session to help you get to know a little about Alcantor and what her job entails. Q: How long have you

been serving as the City Manager for Escalon? A: I was first appointed as Interim City Manager and a little over a year later appointed as City Manager, for a total of five years. Q: Prior to taking on this role, what other positions did you have with the city? A: When I came to the City of Escalon, 2004, I was hired as an Account Clerk II, promoted to Account Technician II, upon the Finance Director announcement of retirement, I was promoted to Assistant Finance Director, then promoted to Finance Director (2009); due to financial constraints, my job duties were expanded in 2013.

Q: Was this your first job in city administration or had you worked elsewhere for a city/government agency? A: This is my first exposure to a local government agency. I did have management experience in prior employments including a family business. A: Is there a ‘typical day’ for you? What are some of the items you might have to deal with on any given day? A: There is really not a ‘typical day.’ Most days are comprised of shifting gears when a priority arises from the day-today operation, following the policies that the Council has established,

accomplishing tasks that have been directed for me to complete which include finances, and supervision of all department heads. My tasks include the creation of the budget, the coordination of the financial audit, coordination of projects in the city, and recruitment and hiring for the city. Q: How do you view your role as helping the city (and ultimately its residents) move forward in a successful manner? A: My role is to carry out the directives and policies that have been set by the Council as the Chief Executive Officer for the day-to-day operations. One of the major goals MANAGEMENT Page 11

After a brief stint as the interim City Manager in Escalon, local resident Tammy Alcantor was named to the position and has been serving in that capacity for about five years. She has worked for the city since 2004, in accounting and finance positions before taking on the management role. PHOTO BY MARG JACKSON

Introducing the professional women of… C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. is a General Engineering and Building Contractor, established in 1946, incorporated in 1969. We specialize in Educational, Medical, Industrial facilities and Parking Structures. C.T. Brayton & Sons, Inc., has a great team and their present staff is recognized and thanked by current President, Robert Brayton.

Left to right: Katie Anderson–Project Manager, Christie Wilson-Receptionist, Vicky Siegfried-Controller, Kaylan Aufdermaur-Project Manager, Pam Galbreath-Project Coordinator, Bonnie O’Connor-Sr. Staff Accountant, Heather Whitmer–Jr. Staff Accountant, Deanna Shirlock–Sr. Project Manager, Sandy Azevedo–Billing/Payroll Specialist, Stacy Granberg–Safety Manager, Betty Nelson–Jr. Staff Accountant

1804 Jackson Avenue, Escalon • (209) 838-7388 • License No. 257952

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 11

MANAGEMENT Continued From Page 10

that the Council has set, which I greatly support, is to be financially stable and ensure that services are delivered in efficient manner. Q: How has the city changed since you have worked here? A: The city has not really changed but the approaches to solve problems that are out of your control, such as mandates from the state and federal government, have created challenges for the city. In turn the city continues to define what measures and policies are imposed to ensure the quality of service is at its highest standard. The city has taken the approach to equip our

police officers with the most recent technology such as body cameras, a drone, along with keeping our services easily accessible with online services and the citizens informed via social media. We are currently working on a new website and hope to have it up within the next two to three months. Q: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the city? A: The biggest concerns are the unknowns that you have no control over such as medical costs, retirement costs and ensuring that you have sufficient revenues to meet expenditures. The goal is to continue to have a balanced budget as directed by the City Council and this includes having the proper infrastructure such as water and sewer

services that are affordable for our community. Growth is a word that has two meanings; additional services and additional debt; the council has always found a way to balance that while keeping in mind the services for our citizens. Q: What is your educational background? A: My focus of education has been in business and accounting. Q: Are you originally from this area? A: I grew up in Stanislaus County and my husband grew up in Escalon. We have raised our children here in the community and through the years they participated in a variety of the sports programs including Escalon Outlaws, during which time I served as a board member and I am

currently still active with Escalon High School Sober Grad. Q: What part of your job is the most difficult? A: When there are decisions to be made that include conflict in the community. In making these decisions I look at what is best for the individual or business, what is best for the city and what is best for the community. Ultimately I must do what is best for the community that is represented by the Council. Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do? A: I enjoy working for the Council on the executive side but my first love is my financial duties and I have found that if you have the correct financial strategies in place it makes it easier to solve problems.


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12— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Creativity Is Key For Harris-Jordan’s Business Enterprise By DENNIS D. CRUZ

A mother, a wife, a grandmother … an au-

thor, artist, soon-to-be minister, business consultant and tax preparer.

A self-published author, Kendra Harris-Jordan has written three books including her most recent ‘Entrepreneurs Guide To Writing a Business Plan.’ PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Those are just some of the achievements, titles and careers that Kendra Harris-Jordan holds. Harris-Jordan and her family moved from the Bay Area to Oakdale in 2015 and have helped out the local community in several ways, both in the business world and on a spiritual level as well. In 2016, Geminiz Creationz opened in Oakdale at 730 E. F St., along the main corridor through town. The store is run by the HarrisJordan family and specializes in embroidery, apparel, customizing lettermen jackets and more. “My husband Lorenzo and I both have the same birthday (June

2), same day but different year. We wanted to come up with a unique name for the business and he came up with ‘Gemini’, so with that I came up with ‘Geminiz Creationz,” said Kendra Harris-Jordan. They ran a store in the Bay Area and when they made the move to Oakdale, they wanted to open a shop in town. “At first we were not sure if there was a need or not for it. Every market is different but the community embraced us. We make lettermen jackets for Oakdale High School, a lot of the athletes come to me and I am honored to help and be a part of that,” Harris-

Kendra Harris-Jordan and Geminiz Creationz are responsible for creating most of the Oakdale High School letterman jackets that the Mustang students wear.



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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 13


Continued From Page 12 Jordan explained. What separates Geminiz Creationz from others is that they print all of their own work. “We are your one stop shop. We do everything ourselves so the turnaround time is faster for your business or personal need.” They not only supply Oakdale High School athletes with lettermen jackets but they also help other local organizations as well, such as churches, motorcycle clubs, youth sports and camps and others. When she is not in the Geminiz Creationz shop, Harris-Jordan can be found in her other office where she does tax preparation. “It started off small,

like I wanted to do my own taxes. When I saw my friends struggling with their taxes I offered to help them, and from there they recommended me to help with their friends and family.” She is also a self-published author with three books out on the market. Her books are self-help books on becoming a successful business person and entrepreneur. She also began writing a play which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2019. With her busy schedule, she still finds the time for family. The Harris-Jordan family includes a total of eight children and four grandchildren. “We all have busy schedules but we make it a point to set aside a day for family night. This is where we just

sit down as a family and play board games,” Harris-Jordan said. “We do not discuss business during that time. You see, we are not promised tomorrow, the next hour or even the next minute. We must cherish each moment together while we are still here.” This September, both Harris-Jordan and her husband Lorenzo will become official ministers, expanding their ever-growing and changing business model within the community. This September, local entrepreneur Kendra Harris-Jordan will become a minister and services are being planned at River of Jordan Worship Center at 730 E. F St., Oakdale. PHOTO BY DENNIS D. CRUZ

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14— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Home Grown, Home Town Expert BY VIRGINIA STILL

Growing up in the area and then raising her own family in Escalon, you could say that Tina Cockrell is a true home town expert. She knows the area really well and as a real estate agent with PMZ, she has a passion for people and the Central Valley. With 21 years in the real estate field and 15 years with PMZ out of the Oakdale office, Cockrell began her career in Oregon in 1997. After five years in Oregon they decided to move back to California to be closer to their families. She and her husband Will were raising two young kids at the time, their son Wyatt and daughter Taylor, so they wanted them to be around a good support system in a small quaint

community like Escalon. “I think in high school I knew,” added Cockrell about becoming a real estate agent. “My parents were light investors and we had some good friends that were Realtors. I would just always listen to the lingo. My dad would tell me you shouldn’t buy a car, you should buy a piece of property.” Although the career as an agent can be very demanding and a full time job, Cockrell managed to make it work and loves what she does. Even if at times it has taken her away from the dinner table or a family function. “It was crazy because I treated it as a full time job not a part time,” stated Cockrell. “So when somebody calls you, you’ve got

to go otherwise you lose out. People want service and I pride myself on customer service. There were times in Oregon when I showed homes with Wyatt putting him down on a dirt road and letting him play with his trucks while we talked about it.” Sharing one of her favorite transactions that occurred this year, Cockrell lit up with a big smile and explained that there was a handicapped woman that was looking for a home that needed to be close to a hospital, have handicap access, and under a certain budget. “We worked really hard to find her exactly what they needed,” said Cockrell. “The house had to fit them and be safe. When HOME TOWN Page 15

Tina Cockrell is a PMZ real estate agent who knows the Central Valley and what makes it special. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 15

HOME TOWN Continued From Page 14

I found them that house and I knew it was in a gated community it was such a reward and they were so happy.” The couple are retired teachers from Modesto and were residing in Winton. The woman struggled walking using a walker so would use an electric chair most of the time. They wanted to move back to Modesto so although they had a certain price and stipulations they finally found their home. Another highlight for Cockrell as an agent is selling somebody their first home, especially those that don’t think it could ever happen for them. Her advice for those looking at a career in real estate is to shadow an

agent and see if you like it. According to Cockrell, the industry has changed over the years and technology for the most part has made the process a bit easier, but there will always be that personal connection. “I love when my clients end up being my friends,” Cockrell added. “That is one of the coolest things about it.” The PMZ office in Oakdale has been her career base for the past 15 years and she has built solid relationships with the people she works with, title companies, and lenders. “I think it is important to choose a Realtor that knows property,” expressed Cockrell. “I am a top producing agent and would love to help people with selling or buying their next home.” For more information call 209-380-1114.

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Having a love for the Central Valley and being a people person has helped Tina Cockrell have success as a real estate agent with PMZ. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

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Even though a gender wage gap may exist, women can still pursue careers that are known to be well-paying. The following are some of the top-earning positions women can consider, courtesy of Forbes, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obstetrician/Gynecologist: Many women feel more comfortable being examined or discussing female issues with female doctors. This may account for the higher percentage of female OB/ GYNs in practice. The job can be very rewarding because it enables one to care for women at various stages in life. The median annual salary for OB/GYNs is $207,000. Chief executive: It’s a large responsibility over-

seeing an entire company or division, but that’s what chief executives do on a daily basis. Approximate median annual earnings are $97,552. Pharmacist: Pharmacists manage the distribution of medications, but they also consult patients on medication use and administer some immunizations. Some pharmacists work in drug or grocery stores, while others are employed in clinical settings. The median annual salary for pharmacists is $95,628. Optometrist: Responsible for the examination and care of their patients’ eyes, optometrists also determine prescriptions for glasses and contacts. Optometrists earn a median annual salary of $102,000.

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16— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Profile for Manteca Bulletin

Women In Business 2018  

Women In Business 2018