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progress Modesto Chamber of Commerce

June 2010 Vol. 31 Issue 6

Stanislaus Military Academy Leadership Cover Photo by Studio Warner

Work In Progress

Ribbon Cuttings Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Co ver S t ory

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman Kathy Halsey, AT&T

Chairman Elect

Stanislaus Military Academy


Ralph Curtis, Curtis Legal Group

Co m m u ni ty D evel o p m e n t

Immediate Past Chairman Gary McKinsey, Corporate College

Vice Chairman Finance Dennis Wann, Tim Colbert & Associates, Inc.

Vice Chairman of External Operations David Gianelli, Gianelli & Associates

Vice Chairman of Internal Operations Eric Benson, JS West & Company

Directors Patricia Gillum, Patricia A. Gillum, CPA

Doug Johnson, Reach Business Solutions

Neal Khatri, Best Western Khatri Properties

Leadership Modesto Announcements Awards and Achievements Chamber Calendar

8 12 15 22

Sharon Likely, Kaiser Permanente Bill Moreno, Fire2Wire

Ron Owen, Bank of the West

Eco n o m i c D evel o p m e n t

Karna Harrigfeld Petrulakis, Herum\Crabtree Jeremiah Williams, Oak Crafts by Jeremiah

Ex-Officio Bill Bassitt, The Alliance

George Boodrookas, Modesto Junior College

Melissa Heath, Warden’s Office Products Center

Chamber Staff Joy Madison, President/CEO

Nita Gruendeman, Membership Sales Manager

Agnes Amerine, Retention Manager

Elizabeth Facanha, Special Events Manager

Guest Column New Member Profiles People On the Move Work In Progress Land of Opportunity

10 14 12 17 21

Minnie Dodge, Administrative Manager

Sharon Novotny, Accountant

N etw o r ki n g A nd R e fe rra l s

Melanie Smith, Administrative Assistant

About Progress... Postmaster: Send address changes to: PROGRESS, P.O. Box

844, Modesto, CA 95353. Editorial opinions are not necessarily those

of the Board of Directors or members of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members may submit news by contacting: Progress Editor, email, P.O. Box 844, Modesto, CA

95353, (209) 577-5757, fax (209) 577-2673. Inquiries about ad rates,

Business Before and After Hours Ribbon Cuttings New Chamber Members

19 18 20

please contact Kristin Bowker at (209) 526-9136. Deadline is the 10th of each month for news and advertisements for the following month’s publication (news published at the discretion of the Editor on a first come, first served, space available basis).

Publisher Modesto Chamber of Commerce

(209) 577-5757 •

Graphic Design

Chamber Works For You

Never Boring Design Associates

(209) 526-9136 •

Sierra Vista Child & Family Services has been serving abused, neglected and


emotionally disturbed children and families in crisis since 1972. We have been

Cory Warner, Studio Warner

(209) 544-6511 •

part of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce for much of that time. The Chamber

Printer Parks Printing

(209) 576-2568 •

of Commerce provides opportunities for us to get to know local businesses and


professionals, and help them get to know us. Being honored as the 2008 Modesto

Parks Printing

(209) 576-2568

Advertising Sales Kristin Bowker

Never Boring Design Associates

(209) 526-9136 •

Larry Hostetler

Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year acknowledged the hard work of our staff and volunteers, and highlighted our integrity and the professionalism of our service

provision. For information about Sierra Vista, or to get involved, contact Larry Hostetler at (209) 523-4573.

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Mission Statement To promote the region’s economic strengths and vitality; identify and

promote services that are valuable to our members; advocate for public

policy that is advantageous to the business community; and fully participate and partner in activities to improve quality of life.

On the cover Stanislaus Military Academy

PROGRESS MAGAZINE 1114 J Street • Modesto, CA 95354 (209) 577-5757 • (209) 571-6480 • Fax (209) 577-2673 •

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


L e ader s hi p

Chairman’s Corner “Give me an adult who cares, and hold me accountable” is a statement I recently heard a young student make

during a discussion on dealing with the high school dropout crisis. High school dropout rates continue to be

a silent epidemic afflicting our nation’s schools. Although Kathy Halsey

progress is being made in some school districts and states, and federal, state, and local policies and practices

are changing to meet the dropout challenge, the nation’s progress is too slow and the individual, social, and economic costs continue to mount.

Experts say that dropping out of high school affects not just students and their

families, but the country overall – including businesses, government, and communities. The Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that high school dropouts from the class of 2006-07 will cost the U.S. more than $329 billion in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetimes. A recent study conducted by

UC Santa Barbara showed that cutting California’s dropout rate in half would

prevent 30,000 juvenile crimes and save more than half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money spent on law enforcement, victim and court costs.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates 90% of new high-growth, high-wage jobs will require some level of postsecondary education. “Simply put, the

world has changed and there is no work for high school dropouts,” said Dr. Robert Balfanz, Ph. D., a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University. Teddi Lowry Branch Manager Brenda Rodrigues Customer Service Supervisor

“To meet its graduation challenge, the nation must find a solution for its dropout factories.”

I have come to learn there is no one solution in dealing with the dropout crisis. Creative and unique ways to keep kids engaged in school is critical as we deal

with this problem. That is why I’m so excited this month’s Progress is featuring the Stanislaus Military Academy. In its first year, SMA has made a significant impact on the students that have participated in the program. These are kids

who were on the road to becoming dropouts, many already involved in gangs

Safe, Sound and Secure Rabobank. For a secure future.

MODESTO BRANCHES 1400 Standiford Avenue 576-2599 1407 I Street 557-8888 Rabobank, N.A. Member FDIC


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

and delinquent behavior. As you’ll read in the article, this program has changed the lives for so many of the students, many who are now on a path to college, the

military, or ready to join the workforce. Lucky for these students, they are now in an environment with adults who care, and hold them completely accountable for their own future.


Community Development



I just returned from the California Chamber of

voluntarily join the Chamber – we are out-funded every time. Union members

purpose of the conference is for business and chambers

a refund statement. Chamber members opt-in to a voluntary PAC contribution

Commerce Annual Business Summit in Sacramento. The

to come together to discuss issues, learn new ideas and share concerns and successes. As you can imagine, with Joy Madison


several hundred in attendance, the place was somewhere between buzz and throb of focused energy.

You might have expected the crowd to be subdued about the economy. That we might have felt clammy and queasy about the future. We could have just have

put our heads down and capitulated to the inevitable. Well, that is not the case. The place was pulsating with drive and determination when the conference

have to opt-out of contributing to the union PAC at the end of the year by filing at the time of annual billing. Organized labor has richly funded PACs that can

contribute to like-minded candidates at election time. Business and Chambers have a harder time competing.

I must admit, Modesto Chamber members don’t suffer from a lack of pro-

business elected officials in the legislature. Senators Jeff Denham and David Cogdill and Assembly Members Bill Berryhill and Tom Berryhill all have a 100% pro-business voting record. The Chamber sincerely appreciates how our legislators promote jobs and business.

began. And it only got more intense.

Back to the conference…

We were in Sacramento, so naturally, we talked about what’s going on with

We heard from the respected Newsweek columnist, Howard Fineman about the

both sides of the aisle. The “how we got here” part was interesting. Everyone

a lot of data and the next election cycle will be interesting. Since I’m running out

the legislature. It wasn’t pretty. We started by hearing from political wonks on

could identify the issues – too much regulation, a volatile tax and fee system,

a legislature over promising what it hasn’t the wherewithal to fulfill, and the lack of political leadership to come together and craft a bipartisan solution in

a highly partisan environment. Asked the ultimate question, “Do you think

California is ungovernable?” all agreed with alacrity we are still a state that can

scoop in Washington, DC. It was a “good news, bad news” discussion. He had

of column space, if you want to know what Mr. Fineman discussed, I suggest you seek out your Chairman of the Board Kathy Halsey, or Board Member Bill

Moreno, or Government Relations Council Chairman Joan Clendenin, or GRC Member Steve Rank who all attended the conference too.

be governed.

All of us scattered to different breakout sessions on Political Advocacy

The most provocative part of the conference came about in words of wisdom

what the Federal Government will be doing to you next regarding labor law.

and experience from former Governor Pete Wilson. Okay, I admit, this was my

Bootcamp, the upcoming Ballot initiatives (there are 70 still in circulation), and

first introduction to Governor Wilson and I was riveted. Forthright and tough,

I am more convinced than ever in the relevancy of your Chamber of Commerce.

of our own destiny. Did you feel the clip in the chops? I did. He discussed

involved and strong Chamber representing a diverse business community

Governor Wilson let us know that business needed to step up and take charge

the fiscal situation he entered office with in 1991. His administration had to lop off about a third of its budget. He admitted that by the end of the process

no one was happy. There was a combination of cuts and taxes. But it worked. Governor Wilson identified that public employee pensions are crippling the

budget. He pointed out that we won’t change it unless business gets as strong as the public employee unions. (By the way, the largest and growing area of organized labor is public sector unions. It is NOT private sector unions.)

Your Board has this Chamber aimed in the right direction. This is a vocal, that may be staggering but is not falling. The Modesto Chamber will remain a

leader to promote a strong local economy that provides necessary jobs to the people of this community.

Next year, join us at the Business Summit. I guarantee you’ll get poked a little, prodded a bit, and revitalized a lot.


It got me thinking about the difference in how business relates to chambers. Chambers are not a union. No business is required to join a chamber. And if you look at the average dues deducted from a union member’s check

Joy Madison, President and CEO

and compare it to what a small- or medium-sized business cuts a check to

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Stani sl aus Military A ca de my T ur ning At-Risk Yout h In to Mode l C i t i z e ns Written by Matt Andrews


he bell rings on a typical school day at John B. Allard School in Turlock. Students noisily shuffle out of their classrooms, talk amongst themselves, and meander their way to their next class. However, just a few feet away from where the students are enjoying their five minutes of freedom are rows of students aligned in formation. These students wear dark green camouflage outfits and shined black boots that reflect the glare of the sun. They are stoic and rigid, like a line of statues. While this arrangement might seem strange, it’s a familiar scene at this school, and none of the students wandering between classes give their fellow students a second glance. The students lined in formation belong to the Stanislaus Military Academy, an innovative alternative education program that provides at-risk youth with a quality education within a military framework. The program aims to not only provide youth with the required levels of education, but also to instill character traits and a sense of discipline. The Academy is the brainchild of Stanislaus County Superintendent Tom Changnon. While at a meeting of county superintendents in the fall of 2008, Changnon was impressed by a speech given by a student who had managed to overcome the odds and finish high school due to a military-style program. He thought a similar program could help struggling students in Stanislaus


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

County, and over the next year, he and Director of Community Support Services Fred Bigler solicited the support of veterans, teachers, administrators, interested parents and students to create a program that would produce results. The program kicked off in August of 2009 at John B. Allard with 17 students, and as the program nears the close of its first school year, it now boasts more than 100 students. How it Works The goal of the Stanislaus Military Academy is to provide a unique approach to education in order to benefit students that have not found success in a traditional classroom setting. To do this, the program transposes the classroom into a setting where students act, speak, and behave like military cadets. This includes lining up for formation in between classes, wearing properly maintained military clothing, and following the system of ranking and discipline found in military organizations. Cadets, as students are called, go through a week-long boot camp at the beginning of their enrollment in order to assimilate themselves into the new environment. Bigler notes that words and phrases like “military” and “boot camp” can give prospective parents the idea that the school is just “yelling at kids,” but he explains that the Academy uses the military framework to build self-esteem

C ov e r S t ory

and instill positive character traits. “There’s no demeaning and there’s no tearing down,” he says, “We love these kids, and we’re trying to transform them into model students.”

attachments made with his staff members and fellow cadets. “We’re one great big family,” he says, “I can go to the drill sergeant with anything. I never had a father, and he’s just like one to me.”

By all accounts, Bigler’s goals for the Academy are being met. The program itself has grown exponentially while the students involved have improved their grades and caught up on lost credits. But in addition to improving academically, the cadets have also become better behaved, which is notable considering many of the cadets have histories of violence, insubordination and defiant behavior. “There’s less graffiti, there are less fights, and the atmosphere is more peaceful and orderly,” Bigler says of the environment at Allard School, “And it has a positive impact on the rest of the students here.”

After becoming a platoon leader, Ross decided that he wanted to do something to help others. He started a program called Teens Helping Kids, which organizes canned food drives and other fundraising events, and then donates the money raised to homeless shelters and group homes. Several members of the Academy, including Ross himself, have benefited from these services at some point in time, and Ross wanted to organize an effort to help those organizations reach more kids. “It’s a work in progress,” he says, “but so far it’s working.”

Bigler believes that the reason the program has been so successful in such a short period of time is that it provides cadets with concepts that are largely lacking from their lives: structure, consistency and discipline. Bigler explains

Changnon adds that a big part of the character-building aspect of the Academy is that it prepares at-risk youth for success in the business world. “Eighty percent of 18-to-25-year-olds lose their jobs to personality and demeanor problems,” he says, “The Academy teaches them to work with a team, builds character, and teaches the values necessary to become successful.”

The Academy teaches them to work with a team, builds character, and teaches the values necessary to become successful dreamed of. — Tom Changnon that kids have an inherent need for these things and when they don’t find them at home or in school, they’ll often turn to gangs to meet these needs. “Gangs are spontaneous occurrences designed to meet needs that are lacking in people’s lives,” he says, “It serves a purpose: It provides identity, camaraderie and family. What SMA [Stanislaus Military Academy] does is meet these needs in the right way, so that kids can thrive without gangs.” Jim Herr, whose 17-year-old son Jordan will be graduating from the Academy at the end of the school year, believes that the program also works by giving troubled kids a chance to become leaders amongst their classmates. The program has a system of ranking, where the veteran cadets become “platoon leaders” that provide guidance to newer cadets. “The peers hold each other accountable,” he says, “you don’t want to be the one with unpolished boots because everyone else will know.” Building Character and Life Skills While the Stanislaus Military Academy has helped students get back on track academically and improved conditions at the school, its biggest benefit might be that it shapes cadets into better and more productive members of the community at large. “The program offers kids the chance to get squared away,” says Changnon, “And once there are changes in their lives, there are changes within their family dynamic, and then it ripples out into the neighborhoods.” Seventeen-year-old Daniel Ross is an example of a student who has used the lessons learned in the Academy to make a positive difference in his community. Ross enrolled in the Academy in late 2009 after being released from juvenile hall, where he was serving a sentence for grand theft larceny. He quickly grew to love the program due to its sense of discipline and the

Darrell Burnett, 18, has managed to turn a troubled childhood into success in the job market due to the lessons learned at the Academy. For most of his life, Burnett suffered from learning disorders, which made school difficult. As a result, he often ignored school and instead focused on drugs, alcohol, and petty crime. Burnett would steal items from stores just to prove to others that he could. “We were known as the best thieves in Turlock,” he says, referring to himself and his group of friends, “It was a game to us.” After his best friend died in 2006, he sought to make a change in his life. He joined the Academy’s inaugural class, and has since become a straight-A student and platoon leader. He believes that the discipline of the program has provided him with the structure necessary to succeed, and he’s now taking his success to the workplace. He recently began working at Dollar Tree part time, and he is finding that he enjoys the work. “I love it. I love to work now,” he says, “back then, there was no way I could do it. I had no structure.” Burnett’s mother, Clarissa, is amazed at the change in her son since joining the program. “I didn’t think he would ever like working under someone,” she says of her son’s new job, “and now he’s cleaning bathrooms for them.” As the program continues to grow, Changnon wants to include more work-related aspects, including job skills training and field trips to different employers. “We’re a work in progress,” he says about the young program, “but we’re teaching them about values, and that’s the most important thing.”


Tom Changnon

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Communi ty Development

Leadership Modesto Leadership Modesto took its annual trip to the State Capitol in March. It

was a field trip for the class members to learn about various aspects of public service and governance. Class members took a tour of the Capitol

Senator Cogdill, “[It] definitely gave me a new appreciation for those elected to represent us and the importance of being an informed voter!”

Building; met State Senator Dave Cogdill, Assemblyman Bill Berryhill and

Natalya Galindo, Kemper CPA Group, LLP, also felt privileged to

California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, City of Modesto lobbyist Terry

Modesto member, I feel it is important to learn about the immediate

A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, Department of Food and Agriculture; visited McHale and Dan Walters, Modesto Bee.

With all of the meetings, you can imagine this day is difficult to plan. Day Chair Lisa Boddy said, “My favorite part of the day is at the end of the day

participate in the State Government Day activities, “As a Leadership

community I live in, but it is also important to see how our community

fits in into the big picture: The State of California. State Government Day provided that big picture.”

when everyone has showed up on time and the day has gone without any

Leadership Modesto provides many opportunities for class members

evaluations gave high marks to the day’s events and speakers.

11 class has been selected. Each day in the program opens different

glitches.” Boddy noted the class appreciated the visit to Sacramento as their

Class member Stephanie Burnside, Burnside Body Shop, remarked upon the opportunity received, “It was such a privilege to be

surrounded by the leaders of this State. The discussions we had with

to get involved and learn more about their community. The 2010-

doors for each participant. If you are keen to serve your community, contact the Chamber to learn more about Leadership Modesto and the impact its graduates have made and will make.


government officials were candid, enlightening and allowed us a unique perspective on how things get done.” Burnside was especially

honored to meet elected officials Assemblyman Bill Berryhill and

We can fix that. It’s not always possible to expect the unexpected. Life will throw at us what it will and we have to be ready to face the music. You could never have planned for that flying piano, but you can plan on quality service and customer care when you take your car to Burnside Body Shop. Remember: you have the right to choose your body shop.

*No cars were injured in the making of this ad.


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Economic Development our construction dollar will probably never go farther than it can right now. So if you’ve put your new building project or expansion plans on hold, let us show you why this summer may just be the best time to get started!


“Your Design/Build Specialists!�

Guest Column Career Academies: Making a Difference By Scott Kuykendall

Stanislaus County businesses actively participate in career academies because

they help shape the future workforce. Modesto City Schools has five career

academies on three of its high school campuses focused on Education & Child Development, Health, Industrial Technology & Engineering, Public Safety, and Forensics & Biotechnology.

Career academies do a great job of producing high school graduates—many college-bound. Senior Kenneth Kumar first heard about the Davis Heath CA Contractors License #231047-B1, C8, C51 TIM COPPEDGE, President

Academy as an eighth-grade student at Roosevelt Junior High.

“I came from a family where nobody went to college. My dad came from

Fiji with a suitcase and two hundred dollars.� This fall, Kenneth will study pharmacy at University of the Pacific. Academy classmate Kirsten Earl has a

similar story. She has been accepted by UC Santa Barbara and will be pursuing a major in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish.

“I am the first in my family to pursue college. My parents didn’t know how to

guide me [toward college] so I needed something extra. Being in an academy

Experienced Bankers When you bank with us, you bank with experience and strength.


looks good on a college application. They like to see how dedicated and wellrounded you are.�

Students in the program will tell you that teachers hold them to higher

standards. They benefit from close relationships, smaller class sizes and a family feeling from being with the same group of students and teachers for four years. They are interested and engaged because of the real-world relevance embedded

into the curriculum, local guest speakers, job shadowing in area businesses, and community service hours required each year.

Kenneth believes one of the most important aspects of an academy is the longterm planning for the future.

“We have long-term goals and have been taught we have to work for it. A lot of

us know what we’re going to do once we graduate from college. Many of our [non academy] friends don’t even know what they’re going to do next year.�

Minnie’s News Bites Are you taking advantage of the Chamber’s membership investment payment plan? Many

members are finding making their membership



Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce


investment payment is a breeze after enrolling Minnie Dodge

in the Chamber’s auto–draft program. Chamber members that are not at the President’s Club level

may make monthly installments by auto-draft from their checking

account or by credit card. In some instances payments may be made

annually, semi-annually, or quarterly. Sound like this may work for you? Call Sharon at the Chamber for details. 577-5757




1-888-936-PLAN (7526)

- Hundreds of primary care physicians and specialists - Easy access to your personal doctor - Choice of hospitals and pharmacies - Local and nationwide emergency care - Healthy Families, AIM and Medi-Cal Coverage - Free 24/7 advice nurse - Serving San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties Eligibility guidelines apply and may be based in part on household income. Plan availability varies by county.

Ec onomic Development

People On

COMMUNITY Development



Oak Valley Community Bank announced

of a new t-hangar on March 17, 2010. The ribbon cutting ceremony included

2001 Geer Road, Turlock. Goodnight is responsible for

the Airport Advisory Committee, and airport staff. This new t-hangar boosts

business development, loan and deposit growth, and overall success of the branch. Goodnight has roots in

the community; he attended CSU Stanislaus receiving

a degree in Business Administration, and resides in Turlock. Oak Valley Community Bank offers a variety of loan and deposit products to individuals and small businesses. For information, call (866) 844-7500.

Stanislaus County Supervisors Jim DeMartini and Dick Monteith, members of the airport’s capacity for general aviation storage. More aircraft brought into the airport means increased take-offs and landings, translating into more business in

Modesto. When fully leased, the hangar will generate $29,000 annually. For more

information, contact Jerry Theile at (209) 577-5318, or

Scott Ellis, P², introduces an innovative program to enhance your company’s

Oak Valley Community Bank announces Celia

effectiveness: Team Bistro. Team Bistro with the guidance of Dr. Ellis will help

Manager at its Modesto-Dale branch. She has spent

Teams will prepare and enjoy a meal together in an elegant setting. Constructive

Wilbur has joined the bank as Vice President Branch 15 years in Central Valley banking circles, including

mortgage lending and management positions at Celia Wilbur

The Modesto City-County Airport celebrated the grand opening

the hiring of Michael Goodnight as Vice President Branch Manager of its full-service branch located at

Michael Goodnight


Wells Fargo and County Bank. “Celia’s vast lending

background and commitment to the Central Valley

community makes her a perfect fit for the branch manager position,” said

teams uncover communication and leadership patterns key to future growth. feedback will be shared over dessert with insights into individual and team application of lessons from the event. For more information on your custom

event, contact Whitney at (425) 922 6436 or or visit

Executive Vice President Wendy Burth. For more information call (866) 844-

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce

7500 or visit us online at

announces the hiring of its newest staff member,

Utility Telephone, Inc. announces Mario Gutierrez, formally with

grew-up in this area on a big farm, and was involved

Elizabeth Facanha, Special Events Manager. Elizabeth

TelePacific Communications, has accepted its Market Sales Manager position. Utility Telephone provides voice and Internet services for the business

community in California and Northern Nevada. For more information, please call Mario at (209) 940-1012 or visit


in 4-H and FFA. Elizabeth says, “My values come from Elizabeth Facanha

great parents, growing up on a farm and learning good

work ethics from my family.” Elizabeth has worked

15+ years in marketing and special event planning. Elizabeth has traveled

extensively, which has broadened her views, knowledge and capabilities.

She enjoys being involved in the community and supporting local business. (209) 577-5757,


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce


Economic Development

Ag Aware! Luncheon C o m p l e t e s 1 5 t h S u cc e s s f u l E v e n t John Scheuber President and CEO of Veterinary Service, Inc., West-Coast animal health product distributor, and President of the Board for the Ag Science Center was the Keynote Speaker at the 15th annual Ag Aware

creations were sponsored by the California Women for Agriculture; programs, door prizes and other materials were provided by Modesto City Schools.

Luncheon held April 29th at the SOS Club. Mr. Scheuber addressed the crowd

The Chamber and the Ag Aware Committee would like to express our

on the MJC campus. He impressed upon the audience the need to educate the

donors for the event:

of over 400 attendees about the importance of the proposed Ag Science Center modern public about where our food and fiber comes from. The Ag Science Center will be a significant tool for use by educators and parents alike in teaching our children about the importance of agriculture in their lives.

Corporate sponsors Garton Tractor, New Holland Agricultural Equipment

appreciation to the following organizations that were table sponsors and

Corporate Sponsors

Garton Tractor and New Holland Agricultural Equipment Oak Valley Community Bank

and Oak Valley Community Bank helped this year’s program generate over

Diamond Level Rabobank

FFA students and programs benefit from new equipment purchases and

Gold Level DoubleTree Hotel

$10,000 for FFA scholarships, bringing the 15-year total to nearly $133,000. funding for travel to state and national leadership activities.

In addition to the corporate sponsors, Ag Aware Chairman Keri Layne, Yosemite Farm Credit, credited Foster Farms Poultry, Foster Farms Dairy,

FreshPoint Central California, Save Mart Supermarkets and the Coca-Cola

Bottling Co. for their contributions of food and beverages. Centerpiece







Silver Level Atherton & Associates Curtis Legal Group Gianelli & Associates Grimbleby Coleman CPAs Inc. Modesto Commerce Bank Turlock Irrigation District Yosemite Meat Company, Inc. Regular Table Sponsors A.L. Gilbert – Farmers Warehouse Almond Board of California American AgCredit Bank of America Beard Land Improvement/Modesto Empire & Traction Co. Blue Diamond Growers Boyett Petroleum Burchell Nursery California Milk Advisory Board California Poultry Federation CSU Stanislaus Ag Department Dave Wilson Nursery Del Monte Foods Duarte Nursery E & J Gallo Farmland Management Fisher Nut Flory Industries

J.M Equipment Company J.S. West & Company Lane Menezes-Sherman Boone Mape’s Ranch/Lyons’ Investments Melvin Wheeler & Sons MJC Ag Staff MJC Foundation Mocse Credit Union Modesto City Schools Perez Farms Provost & Prichard Consulting Group San Joaquin Equipment Company Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Union Bank Valley First Credit Union Veterinary Service, Inc. Wells Fargo Bank Wenger Ranch Yosemite Community College District Yosemite Farm Credit Direct Donors Almond Board of California Associated Feeds Braden Farms California Women for Agriculture Ceres Pipe & Metal Coca-Cola Bottling Company Foster Farms Dairy Foster Farms Poultry FreshPoint Central California GCA Financial Services Joy P. Madison Modesto Steel Save Mart Supermarkets Stanislaus Farm Supply Yosemite Meat Company

Hardwood flooring installation, refinish & repair. Tile, granite & laminate sales & installation.


Retail Shopping Centers . Senior Housing . Medical Offices . Industrial Facilities Office Buildings . Private Schools . Churches . Restaurants . Hospitality

Showroom located at 823 N. Emerald Ave, Modesto, Ca. 95351 Phone (209) 571-8583 10% Chamber Discount *max value $500.00

Financing Available



4917 Stoddard Road, Modesto, CA 95356 (209) 545-7505

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Ec onomic Development

New Member Profiles Candlewood Suites Turlock more than just a place to sleep.

Standards of comfort and quality are reflected in our many amenities.

Guests enjoy comfortable studio and one-bedroom suites with recliners, fully equipped kitchens, BBQ, a free book and video library, an on-site gym

and FREE use of washers and dryers. More like a home-away-from-home where pets are welcomed. Those in transit will have the amenities they need whether they are staying a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months., (209) 250-1501.

Dr. Irit Goldman, Marriage and Family Therapist I am very

passionate in helping people overcome unexpected obstacles life can bring—especially during these economic times. I have experience helping

with a variety of issues. I specialize in stress management (and its effects on relationships and health), anxiety and panic disorder, depression, self-

esteem, marriage, separation, grief and loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to abuse/domestic violence and crime. Please

call me at (209) 605-9626, evening & weekend appointments available,


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Caring Touch is an affordable, relaxing way to relieve the stress of your

daily life. Our massage therapists are licensed and certified in different styles,

techniques and modalities of massage. Enjoy a secluded setting to relax and rejuvenate. You may choose from male or female therapists. We offer a starting point for new therapists and experienced therapists to build clientele, and are

active in community events. We invite you to visit Caring Touch at 915 1/2 14th Street, Modesto, or call (209) 614-8195.

Bella Tours Limousine is the premier Northern California limousine

company serving Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Sacramento counties and the Bay Area. We provide high-quality and professional limousine service at competitive rates. We service weddings, proms and wine tours. We also

cater to the business traveler providing a comfortable and timely airport trip. Our professional chauffeurs deliver an experience that exceeds expectations. Please call (209) 495-0550 or visit for

reservations, or for a showroom tour of our beautiful limousines visit 5007 McHenry Avenue in Modesto.


Community Development




The Modesto Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors commend Jerri Reed, Senior

Mary Alice Onorato and Ann Bonfiglio were

her continued dedication to the Chamber’s Welcome

local nurses for their community service and for

recently honored by the MJC Nursing Alumni Association

Corporate Sales Manager of the DoubleTree Hotel, for

with Outstanding Nurse awards. The awards recognize

Team. Jerri is recognized as the Welcome Team member Jerri Reed

for the First Quarter of 2010. Along with other Welcome

Team members and Membership Sales Manager Nita

Gruendeman, Jerri meets all of the Chamber’s new members and/or visits their

businesses for Ribbon Cutting ceremonies. If you are interested in getting more involved in Chamber activities, call the Chamber at (209) 577-5757.

demonstrating remarkable dedication, kindness and Mary Alice Onorato

for the Sylvan Union School District, was honored as the Outstanding Nurse

in Clinical. Bonfiglio graduated from the MJC nursing program in 1981. According to Bonfiglio’s nominator,

“She is a marvelous example of the Nurse Professional,

simple Pure IP Unified Communications systems, for its outstanding

she is knowledgeable, and she is a true leader in the

achievement in customer satisfaction for the reporting period January 1,

seamlessly integrate all communications including voice, data and messaging,

at MJC was recognized as an Outstanding Nurse in

Education for her excellence in nursing instruction. Bonfiglio, a school nurse

TOTLCOM was recognized by ShoreTel, a leading provider of brilliantly 2009 through December 31, 2009. ShoreTel enables companies of any size to

generosity. Onorato, a retired professor of nursing

nursing community.� Onorato graduated from MJC’s Ann Bonfiglio

nursing program in 1986. In her nomination letter a colleague wrote, “Mary Alice is the quintessential

with their business processes. TOTLCOM’s average score of 99.5 reflects a

nursing educator.� MJC has been educating nurses in Stanislaus County

management, end-user training and post-sale follow up. For information,

information, contact Bonnie Costello (209) 575-6383

world-class level of professionalism and customer care in system design, project contact James Shaw at (209) 572-5000 or

for 45 years, pinning the first class of nursing graduates in 1965. For more

Modesto Junior College students Andrea Burson

The Chamber Board of Directors congratulate

and Vanessa Zamora received an $800 scholarship from

the Year for the 14th Senatorial District. The Honorable

college honor society, on April 17, 2010. Zamora was

Kathy Halsey upon her selection as the 2010 Woman of

Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS), a statewide community

Senator David Cogdill selected Kathy for this honor due to her many accomplishments, and her years of dedication Kathy Halsey

to AT&T and the community. Kathy is the current

Chairman of the Board and we believe her commitment

to the business community at large reflects well upon the Modesto Chamber.

recognized for outstanding community service. Both are active members of MJC’s Upsilon Chapter of AGS,

which requires a minimum 3.00 GPA and community service hours each

academic year for membership. For more information contact Susan Kerr, AGS Faculty Advisor, at (209) 575-6107.


Š Never Boring Design •

We encourage her to continue her leadership and practice of service.

recognized for academic excellence and Burson was Andrea Burson and Vanessa Zamora




Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Economic Development

President’s Club C i r cl e o f I n fl u e n c e Diamond Level

Bank of the West Capax-Giddings, Corby, Hynes, Inc. Doctors Behavioral Health Center-DMC Doctors Medical Center-DMC Frito-Lay Company Inc. Kaiser Permanente Pacific Southwest Container Physician Referral Service-DMC Romo & Associates Save Mart Supermarkets Walmart

Gold Level

Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc. Costco Wholesale Evergreen Rehabilitation Care Center Foster Farms Dairy J C Penney Company Memorial Medical Center The Modesto Bee Modesto Irrigation District Modesto Nuts Professional Baseball Post Foods, LLC RACOR, Division of Parker Hannifin Corp. Sysco Food Services Taco Bell

Silver Level

5.11 Tactical Inc. AAA AAA Locating, Inc AT&T Acme Construction Company, Inc. Ambeck Mortgage Associates American Chevrolet American Medical Response Applegate Johnston, Inc. Aramark Uniform Services Atherton & Associates BBVA Compass BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Basic Resources, Inc. Brandman University Part of Chapman University Brown, Fink, Boyce & Astle, LLP Bunge Oils California State University, Stanislaus Candlewood Suites Central Valley Medical Group Children’s Hospital Central California Children’s Hospital & Research CenterOakland Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Citibank Clark Pest Control Comcast ConAgra Foods Construction Management Corp. Courtyard by Marriott Covenant Village of Turlock Curtis Legal Group Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios, Pacher & Silva


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Days Inn Del Monte Plant #1 Delta Sierra Beverage DirectLine Technologies, Inc. DoubleTree Hotel English Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Hospital External Resources Inc. F & M Bank Galletto Ristorante Georgia-Pacific Gianelli & Associates Gilton Solid Waste Management, Inc. Great Valley Center Grimbleby Coleman CPAs, Inc. Grover Landscape Services, Inc. Harris Moran Seed Company I.J. Larsen Pumps, Inc. ITT Technical Institute Institute of Technology International Paper Company JS West & Company Kaplan College McHenry Medical Group, Inc. Mercer Foods Mocse Credit Union Modesto Commerce Bank Modesto Toyota Mraz, Amerine & Associates Nestle USA Oak Valley Community Bank O’Brien’s Market, Inc. Oldcastle Glass Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Panelized Structures, Inc. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group Prime Shine Express Rabobank Raley’s Rizo-Lopez Foods Inc. San Joaquin Valley College Seven Up Bottling Corp. Solecon Industrial Contractors Solid Networks, Inc. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Stanislaus Food Products Co. Stanislaus Surgical Hospital Stantec Consulting, Inc. Storer Coachways Sutter Gould Medical Foundation Turlock Irrigation District US Bank Valley Bio Energy, LLC Valley First Credit Union Valley Lexus-BMW-Infiniti Versa Cold Logistics Services W.H. Breshears, Inc. Warden’s Office Products Center Wells Fargo Bank Winton, Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency Yosemite Meat Co., Inc.

Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Work In Progress a series spotlighting some of our area’s most innovative and successful companies

The Modesto Nuts have been a staple

post-game activities, the fireworks shows

of athletics in Modesto since they were

and the theme nights.”

time, more than 5 million local fans have watched the team play, and a countless number


entertainment, Gorrasi adds that the Modesto Nuts also host a variety of corporate


including five members of





Hall called

Modesto their home. But going to a Nuts game is not just about baseball.

In addition to providing family-friendly

“Our studies

have shown that only 12% of our fans come


“ It’s an affordable outing that families love.

- Mike Gorrasi

to the games primarily


and range

from discounted tickets to a hassle-free catered barbecues.

“We do all

the setup and cleanup so that business owners can spend more time with their clients and employees, and less time with the details,” he says. The Modesto Nuts aim

for baseball,” says Vice President Mike Gorrasi.


to not be just a place to watch a baseball game, but an all-

He notes that the vast majority of fans



come not just because it is a sports

“Our goal is to maximize the three

event, but also because it is a fun way to

or four hours we have with our fans,”

spend a day without leaving town. “It’s

Gorrasi says. “If the team wins, that’s

an affordable outing that families love,”

great, but if the fans leave happy, it’s a

Gorrasi says. “They love the pre- and

win in my book.”

“Know your audience” - it’s just as important in advertising as it is in public speaking...after all, isn’t advertising the most public form of speaking there is? NBDA can help make sure your advertising is clearly communicating the right message to your audience with two major campaign components: Strategic Plan: Know the who, what, when, where, why and how to maximize message reach, budget potential, and get the most out of your advertising campaign with a comprehensive strategic marketing plan. Media Buying: Reach and frequency - a welcome workout for every advertising plan – media buying services helps ensure you are hitting the right eyes and ears enough times to flex your marketing muscle. And this service is absolutely free – get expert advice on how to stretch your marketing dollars without spending a cent!





MODESTO MEANs BUSINESS Help the Chamber grow! Participate in the New Member Event June 22 and 23. Call 577-5757 to learn how you can help make the Chamber a stronger voice for the community.

Progress magazine is the voice of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, and the leading business publication in Stanislaus County. For more information or advertising info call (209) 526-9136


California League in 1946. Since that

(Courtesy of Never Boring Design Associates)

© Never Boring Design

chartered as a founding member of the

Know your audience

The Modesto Nuts Offers More Than Just Baseball

This story can also be found at

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Netw orking And Referral s

Ribbon Cuttings

Caring Touch

NCS Plus


915 1/2 14th Street Modesto, CA 95354 (209) 614-8195

Oakdale, CA (209) 271-0770

139 W. Portal Drive Merced, CA 95348 (209) 628-5724

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Apricot Lane

Dr. Irit Goldman

3301 Countryside Drive Turlock, CA 95380 (209) 668-3800

3401 Dale Rd Suite Q21 #487 (209) 526-9600

1604 Ford Ave. Ste 1 Modesto, CA 95350 (209) 605-9626


Lic # OE28876

Your one stop shop for All your Insurance needs. ‡&RPPHUFLDO ‡$XWR Jim Ruddy, Mike Ruddy Sr., and Mike Ruddy Jr., with Oak Valley’s Ron Davenport, 209.343.7627

Experience business banking the way it should be – the perfect blend of oldfashioned personal service and modern technology to meet your every need.

“We value our relationship with Oak Valley Community Bank. They have the same products and technology as the big banks, but with better service and a better understanding of our business needs.�

Let us make your business, our business.

– Allied Concrete, Modesto


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce


our t u o b a






Deep Roots ~ Strong Branches

Oakdalet Sonorat Modestot Turlock Pattersont Ripon t Escalont Stockton


N e twork i n g A n d R e f e rra l s

Business Before


After Hours

Monthly Coffee Hour

Monthly Mixer

Hosted by: Samaritan Village

Hosted by: Modesto Elks Lodge #1282

Coffee Provided By:

Samaritan Village staff

Wine Provided By:

Modesto Elks Lodge staff

A senior retirement community that offers gracious living.

One of the largest and most active fraternal organizations.

Samaritan Village 7700 Fox Road, Hughson, CA 95326 (209) 883-3000

Modesto Elks Lodge #1282 645 Charity Way, Modesto, CA 95356 (209) 524-4421

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


Netw or king And Referrals

New Chamber Members A-Pro Payroll Systems Susana Feliciano 1070 Reno Avenue Modesto, CA 95351 (209) 526-8013 ph (209) 576-0122 fax Payroll Services

Arata, Swingle, Sodhi & Van Egmond George Arata 912 11th Street Modesto, CA 95354 (209) 522-2211 ph (209) 522-2980 fax Attorneys

CCT Telecomm Gus Prouty 1106 E. Turner Road Lodi, CA 95240 (209) 365-9500 ph (209) 368-1252 fax Telecommunications Systems & Dealers

Coleman Insurance and Financial Services Lana Coleman 2220 Patterson Road Riverbank, CA 95367 (209) 869-1100 ph (209) 869-1135 fax Insurance

Saddle Creek Corporation Veronica Bennett 3643 Finch Road Modesto, CA 95357 (209) 544-7199 ex. 2207 ph Warehouses Commercial

Wells Fargo Bank Patience Urhoghide 2509 McHenry Avenue Modesto, CA 95350 (209) 236-7301 ph Banks

DeHart Technical School Jeff Painter 311 Bitritto Way Modesto, CA 95356 (209) 523-4578 ph (209) 523-4587 fax Vocational Schools

Gerling Applied Engineering, Inc. John Gerling 1064 Woodland Avenue, Suite V Modesto, CA 95351 (209) 527-8960 ph (209) 527-5385 fax Industrial Equipment & Supplies

COMING SOON Life Center Modesto, CA

Aruna Chopra, MD Master Planner/Developer Š Never Boring Design •

Sanjiv Chopra, MBA, JD Andrew Mendlin, Esq. Curtis Legal Group Dahlin Group Architectural Planning Bill Bassett City Alliance City of Modesto Chopra Development Enterprises, 313 Banner Ct. Modesto, 95356 - 209.578.2807


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Prime Shine Express presents:

LAND OF OPPORTUNITY ...a series spotlighting entrepreneurial achievement

Mike Humble, President I.J. Larsen Pumps, Inc I.J. Larsen Pumps, Inc. was founded in 1910 by I.J. Larsen with the purpose of providing water well services to the Central Valley. As technology has evolved in the last century the company has expanded its services to include pump Mike Humble repair and sales. Mike Humble started working at I.J. Larsen Pumps, Inc. in 1993 as a service technician and is now the President of the company. As President, Mike actively participates in purchasing, sales, service and management. Also working for the business is his wife, Vicki, as well as their two sons, Michael and David, and daughter, Kari.

Tell me about your career and professional life. What have you done in the past that has led you to where you are now? I began my career during my service with the United States Navy as an Aviation Electrician Mate. I started working on pumps at I.J. Larsen Pumps in 1979 after my military service.

Are you originally from this area and if so where were you born? If not, where are you from? Yes, I was born and raised in Modesto.

When you were younger what goals did you set for yourself and why? I believe a large part of where I’m at today comes from me always enjoying the hobby of taking things apart and putting them back together.

You’re very much an entrepreneur. What about you do you think makes you such a success? I would attribute my success to a lot of prayer and hard work.

What is the single biggest reason that you have achieved the level of success you have? We work as hard as possible and recognize God as our CEO.

What do you like about your job? My customers! They are wonderful people.

Do you participate in any community outreach efforts or clubs? My trucks and employees help deliver food to the needy in rural areas.

What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future are to provide good products, excellent service and excellent results.

What advice do you have for business people when it comes to achieving their goals? My advice to business people is to work hard and do not be afraid to try new things.

What do you like about doing business in the Modesto community and why do you think this is the Land of Opportunity? The people. The majority of the community really puts forth their best efforts. My grandmother always used to say: “If there is a will there is a way.” Always keep trying and work hard!

Would you share with me some background that has contributed to helping you achieve your goals? I have had a strong customer following that has been loyal since I began 31 years ago.

What are some of the accomplishments of which you are particularly proud? I am very proud to have recently been approved for the Merced County Search and Rescue team.

Prime Shine Express is proud to present The Land of Opportunity. Each month this series provides a forum in which to showcase the entrepreneurial achievements of a Stanislaus County business owner. Prime Shine Express is proud to recognize the entrepreneur’s ability to overcome obstacles and to honor their successes in their industry and in the community.

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010


N etw o r ki n g A nd R e f e rra l s

Chamber Calendar J u n e 2010 10

Coffee Hour: Stanislaus County Free Library Location: 1500 I Street Time: 7:30 am – 8:30 am


Land Use & Transportation Location: Chamber Conference Room Time: 7:30 am – 8:30 am


Mixer: Galletto Ristorante Location: 1101 J Street Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm


Government Relations Council Location: Chamber Conference Room Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

J u ly 2010 8

Coffee Hour: Streaks Location: 1421 Standiford Avenue, Suite A Time: 7:30 am – 8:30 am


Candidate Workshop “Nuts & Bolts” Location: Stanislaus County Free Library – Salida Branch Time: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm


Mixer: DoubleTree Hotel Location: 1150 9th Street Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Taking Care of Good Employers

Just Ask. Group Health


Workers Comp




Home Owners




Business Insurance

Giddings, Corby, Hynes


Progress 6.2010 Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Lic. # 0144783

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress 6.2010




as recent immunizations, future appointments, and many lab results can all be accessed online. And, these days, that’s just about anywhere. You can even e-mail your child’s doctor. Just another way that we at Kaiser Permanente help you to live well and thrive. To learn more, go to

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8/19/09 4:29:22 PM

Progress June 2010  

Modesto Chamber of Commerce Progress Magazine June 2010

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