August Business Journal

Page 1



Marketing 101 P.6


Soda Taxes Fizzle

| Allowing Access to ICE P.10

Trade Authority Renewed


| Member News P.18

CalPERS Rates: ‘Unsustainable’?

U.S. and China’s Escalating Trade Fight

by Ed Mendel, San Diego Union-Tribune

by Don Lee, L.A. Times

The Chamber has been researching and reporting on the “City Budget Crisis” since last year. With this issue, we take a step back from the particular challenges faced by the City of Salinas to look at the primary driver of higher costs in the system – the ever-increasing rates for CalPERS. This is the retirement system whose costs we pay for most of our local and state government workers.

The tariffs that the United States and China slapped on each other’s exports recently intensified a trade battle that has a strong risk of roiling financial markets, chilling consumer confidence and seriously harming the global economy. After President Trump followed through on his threat to apply 25% levies on $34 billion of Chinese products, mostly machinery and industrial parts, Beijing accused the United States of “launching the largest trade war in economic history.” It fired back with dollar-for-dollar tariffs mainly on American farm products and other foods. There was no indication of new talks between the two sides. Soybeans topped the list of newly taxed items— and they illustrate how deeply U.S. and Chinese producers and consumers have come to depend on each other. Some ships from the Pacific Northwest bound for China with tons of soybeans have already been rerouted to Europe or Southeast Asia, analysts here said. Chinese officials, meanwhile, have been pulling out all the stops to encourage domestic farmers to plant more soybeans, so far with mixed results. “China needs soybeans, and the U.S. needs the Chinese market,” said Jiang Boheng, an analyst with Luzheng Futures Co. in eastern China’s Shandong province. “It’s a lose-lose situation.” On the whole, the tariffs and retaliatory tariffs amount to penalties totaling $17 billion, a tiny amount given the size of the two economies, which have a combined gross domestic product of roughly $30 trillion. Nonetheless, the duties will hurt sales and disrupt supply chains for some industries and businesses. More worrisome, the latest actions and the increasingly heated rhetoric from both sides have raised alarms of a drawn-out fight that could take a toll on both economies and spill over to the rest of the world. Any fallout thus far appears to be muted as American economic growth surged in the second quarter. Job creation hasn’t dimmed. China’s economy is expected to expand at a still-rapid pace of about 6.8% this year, even as investments and production have decelerated and the government has clamped down on excessive lending. The U.S. and China are the two largest economies in the world and have periodically had trade clashes, but Trump and hard-liners in his administration are insisting that Beijing pay for years of what they see as unfairly

The League of California Cities has issued a study of CalPERS rates, a move to get stronger local options for controlling rising pension costs. Over the next seven years, the study found, city CalPERS costs will increase more than 50 percent. The annual pension bite for the average city will reach 15.8 percent of the general fund, nearly doubling from 8.3 percent a decade ago. Nearly a decade ago the CalPERS chief actuary then, Ron Seeling, made a prediction that this would happen. The CalPERS investment fund had just lost $100 billion during the financial crisis and market crash. “I don’t want to sugarcoat anything,” Seeling said. “We are facing decades without significant turnarounds in assets, decades of — what I, my personal words, nobody else’s — unsustainable pension costs of between 25 percent of pay for a miscellaneous plan and 40 to 50 percent of pay for a safety plan … unsustainable pension costs. We’ve got to find some other solutions.” The average CalPERS contribution for local governments in the current fiscal year is approaching Seeling’s “unsustainable” level — miscellaneous 21 percent of pay and safety (police and firefighters) 40.45 percent. In seven years, the League study expects rising CalPERS employer rates to be well above those mentioned by Seeling. By then a gradual rate increase will be fully phased in, filling the funding gap created by lowering the investment earnings forecast from 7.5 to7 percent.

CalPERS - Continued on page 4 (top)


TRADE - Continued on page 4 (bottom)


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Building Our Legacy


by Jim Bogart, 2018 Chamber Board Chair (& President, Grower-Shipper Association)

Jim Bogart

Noble Boss, Membership Director ■ Sydney Allred, Member Services Coordinator ■ Phillip Saldaña, Operations Manager ■ Thom Taft, Finance Manager ■ Paul Farmer, CEO & Chief Member Advocate


One generation plants the trees, another gets the shade.” It is our time now to strengthen the Chamber so we can continue building a thriving Salinas Valley for many more years to come. We hope you’ll help.


As the Chamber celebrates our Centennial this year, it is an appropriate time to look at where we have been, where we’re going, and the role each of us plays in building a vibrant Salinas Valley.

in 100 new members to the Chamber, above and beyond our natural growth. We’ve gotten a good start toward realizing this goal, and we ask you for your help in realizing our goal.

When I was approached to be the Chair of the Chamber Board for this important year, I recognized how it made perfect sense. Ag is our lifeblood in the Salinas Valley and the Grower-Shipper Association has enjoyed a strong partnership with the Salinas Valley Chamber for many years. I can’t think of a better way to reinforce that mutual cooperation than to align our efforts to build a stronger Chamber.

In the next couple of months, we’re holding a few special events where prospective members can find out about the Chamber. We’ve also created a fun Facebook image overlay to show your support for the Chamber. When you either refer people to attend one of our events or use the overlay, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a $1000 cash prize. We’ll announce the winner at our Centennial Gala event on October 6.

An important way in which we’re striving to build a stronger Chamber is through our recently-released program we’re calling “Mission: Possible.” The goal is to bring

For more details or to use the Facebook overlay, please visit our webpage

of the Board Jim Bogart (Grower-Shipper Association) ■ Past Chair Frank Geisler (Geisler3) ■ Chair-elect John Bailey (Alternative Dispute Resolution) ■ Vice Chair, GRC Kevin Dayton (Labor Issues Solutions) ■ Vice Chair, Finance William J. Hastie (Hastie Financial Group) ■ Vice Chair, Events Julie Ann Lozano (MBS Business Systems)


Berg-James (Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss) ■ Mark Boos (Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast) ■ Kalah Bumba (Consultant Community/Health) ■ Raymond Costa (RHC Management - McDonald's) ■ John Haupt (Haupt & Associates) ■ Jeff Lamb (Farm Fresh Deli & Café) ■ Kathy Miller (Aera Energy) ■ Rodney Meeks (Credit Consulting Services) ■ Tom Meyer (1st Capital Bank) ■ Cody Ramsey (Mann Packing) ■ Kristy Santiago (KION TV) ■ Ba Tang (Union Bank)


Kasavan (SPARC)

■ Matt





➟ CalPERS – Continued from page 1 left

“In FY 2024–25, half of cities are anticipated to pay over 30.8 percent of their payroll towards miscellaneous employee pension costs, with 25 percent of cities anticipated to pay over 37.7 percent of payroll,” said the study. (see chart) For safety or police and firefighters: “By FY 2024–25, a majority of these cities are anticipated to pay 54 percent or more of payroll, with 25 percent of cities anticipated to pay over 63.8 percent of payroll.” At the League news conference a reporter’s request for a definition of “unsustainability” was answered by Daniel Keen, a former Vallejo city manager with two decades of experience in five cities. The ability to absorb rising pension costs varies from city to city, said Daniel Keen, a former Vallejo city manager. But one thing unsustainable for all is the erosion of basic services. He said uncertainty causes reluctance to fully staff police, fire departments, and public works maintenance. As discretionary services such as libraries, parks and recreation are threatened, longterm commitments are less likely. Though the economy is growing and unemployment is low, cities are forced to make tough budget decisions. Managing the scheduled CalPERS employer rate increases over the next seven years will be difficult for many cities, even if a deep recession and plunging stock market does not create the need for additional rate increases. The League needs to “convene the stakeholders” because the new cost-cutting local options urged in its “Pension Sustainability Principles,” adopted last June, require legislation or a change in the “California rule” court decisions that prevent cuts in the pension offered at hire. For example, current law prevents cities from negotiating with labor unions to give employees a lower pension for work done in the future, while protecting pension amounts earned in the past. One of the League sustainability principles calls for converting employees hired before a pension reform on Jan. 1, 2013, (called “classic” by CalPERS) to the lower pension formula given employees hired after the reform.

“Our ‘classic’ employees, which are about 87 percent of our workforce today, have indicated a willingness to take a reduction prospectively in the benefit package offered if it were allowed,” said the Hanford city manager, Darrel Pyle. “Many of our employees have signaled that a reduction in the benefit formula going forward would be much more palatable than additional pay reductions or potential reductions in staff,” said the Benicia human resources manager, Kim Imboden. Cutting pensions earned in the future was the top recommendation of an influential Little Hoover Commission report in 2011 and a key part of a pension reform approved in 2012 by San Jose voters, which was overturned by a superior court. The League study said “the most prominent source of the pension system’s cost escalation” began with higher pensions granted by state and local governments under legislation around 2000, when CalPERS had a surplus that was said to cover most of the cost. Other sources of the cost increase, said the study, are investment losses, an actuarial policy that delays payment of debt, demographic change that has pension debt for retirees exceeding the debt for active workers, and automatic pension cost-of-living adjustments. Another league sustainability principle is a “temporary modification” to COLAs that “are automatically added to a retiree’s pension benefit payment regardless of compensation level or CPI.” Last September the CalPERS board was told that a COLA freeze could increase pension funding by up to 18 percent for safety plans and up to 15 percent for miscellaneous plans. The board rejected a request to analyze the cost savings of COLA suspensions and switching all employees to the lower pension given post-reform hires. The request was backed by cities but opposed by unions. With the current cost-cutting options, cities that are financially able can pay down debt quickly or set aside money for future pension costs. Some cities have been unable to restore services cut during the recession because rising pension costs eat up improving revenue. ■

➟ TRADE – Continued from page 1 right taking advantage of America’s open markets and know-how. China’s tariffs are targeting agricultural and food products, including grains, tobacco and whiskey, products largely from states that backed Trump and home to influential GOP lawmakers. The U.S. duties are aimed at hitting China’s supply chain and intermediate parts supporting the country’s high-tech manufacturing. U.S. businesses and congressional Republicans have increasingly urged Trump to back away from applying broad-based tariffs, calling instead for negotiations and enlisting the help of other trading partners to put pressure on Beijing. Trump, however, has alienated America’s closest allies such as Canada and the European Union by assessing tariffs on steel and threatening to tax imported cars. The president has made punitive duties, or the threat of them, his instrument of choice to tackle America’s trade deficits and force Beijing to open markets and abandon policies such as requiring foreign firms to form joint ventures and essentially hand over technology secrets to do business in China. Recently, Trump threatened to slap duties on all $500 billion of goods imported from China. Chinese officials have repeatedly vowed that they will stand firm and take comprehensive measures to protect the interests of China and its people. And Chinese President Xi Jinping and others have sought to woo European and other countries to back Beijing’s push against what it sees as Trump’s unilateral protectionism. “I think the Chinese are digging in for what they see as a protracted battle with the U.S.,” said David Loevinger, an analyst for TCW Emerging Markets Group in Los Angeles and formerly a senior Treasury Department official for China affairs. Loevinger said it was clear that the trade fight had awakened the Chinese to the country’s “dependency on the U.S. as a supplier, market and banker that leaves them too vulnerable.” The result, he and others said, is that China has begun to accelerate efforts to build up domestic capabilities and to diversify where China buys its products. “It would be a mistake for American companies to think they’re the unique providers


of goods and services,” said Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Although China has been rebalancing its economy and today is much less dependent on trade, the country still counts on the U.S. and other foreign countries for critical components and technologies. That was evident in the case of telecommunications giant ZTE, which was paralyzed after the Trump administration initially prohibited American firms from selling parts to ZTE for violating certain U.S. sanctions. Trump later eased the restrictions after ZTE agreed to pay a large fine and overhaul its management with oversight by an American team. Trump is betting that he has the upper hand in a trade fight with China because the United States buys or imports nearly 4 times as much in products from China as it exports to the Asian country. But the reality is more complex: Over the last three decades, the two economies have become interconnected, with many American firms dependent on China’s supply chains and large domestic market. Soybeans provide a prime example. U.S. farmers shipped about $14 billion worth of soybeans to China last year, accounting for more than half of their global exports. American soybeans, in turn, made up about 30% of China’s total soybean consumption. As valuable as China’s market is for the U.S., American soybeans have helped fill China’s vital need for the grain, used for animal feed and for oil and human consumption. A Chinese saying goes, “Take a day without meat, but not a day without beans.” U.S. soybeans entering China now face an extra 25% tariff on top of the 3% duty assessed on all imported soybeans. The threat of tariffs already has cost American farmers as soybean prices have fallen and Chinese orders have virtually stopped in recent weeks. Instead China has been buying more from Brazil and Argentina, among other sources. And on July 1, Beijing dropped the 3% duty for soybean imports from Bangladesh, India, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka, to encourage those countries to export more to China. ■


The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Proudly Presents Its

Help the Chamber Help the Community First, we want to say THANK YOU to all of our members! You believe in giving back to our community. And you support the Chamber’s mission of making the Salinas Valley a better place to work and live. The Chamber strives to realize that mission by representing the interests of business with government and leading programs like Local First that help win contracts for local businesses. We also help you network and market your organization. And, the more the merrier… To celebrate our Centennial year this year, we are working on several important initiatives.

One of our goals this year is to bring in 100 new members. CAN YOU HELP?

Centennial Gala & Legacy of Leadership Awards Ceremony Saturday, October 6th, 2018, 6 – 10 p.m. Sherwood Hall Salinas, California

We’re calling this campaign “Mission: Possible.” It’s possible, if you’re able to refer over just one or two new members. Or, you can add a special Chamber overlay to your Facebook profile image. And if you can help, we’ve got a special thank you:

entry into a raffle for a grand prize of $1000!

Here are some details: • If you use our special Facebook profile picture overlay, you get 1 entry per week • Get prospective members to join us for special New Members events and earn 1 entry each (1 for you and 1 for the prospective) • For each referral of yours who BECOMES a Chamber member, you will be awarded 2 entries into the drawing. • Special bonuses for referrals who become members at higher levels: • $1250 level earns you 2 additional entries. • $2500 level earns you 4 additional entries. • $5000 level earns you 8 additional entries. • The winner of the $1000 grand prize will chosen by random drawing and announced at our Centennial Gala on October 6. (Need not be present to win). For more details, like “where is this overlay you speak of?” or “What New Members event?”, head on over to this page: And if you’re able to get your friends to join just because you are THAT influential, please tell them to write in your name under “referred by” in the Member Application on our website.

$100 per person

Semi-Formal Attire Suggested 2018 Legacy of Leadership Honorees Sean D. Tucker

Tony and Al Sammut

Sam Downing

Rick Antle

Ruth Andresen

Brigid McGrath Massie



For information regarding sponsorship opportunities and donations for the silent auction, please visit, email or call the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce at (831) 751-7725.

This Chamber is comprised of people like you. And we thank you for helping make us stronger, for your organization and our entire community. AUGUST 2018


Marketing 101

Ban on Local Grocery Taxes Causes Focus on Soda to Fizzle

tips & advice on digital marketing by Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group

by Jequetta Byrd, Bloomberg

Keep Up, or Get Left Behind Marketing isn’t one of those things that you can do once and forget about it. Marketing requires a significant amount of dedication. In addition to regularly communicating with your target audience and sending out campaigns, you also have to keep up with the latest trends and technology. If you keep your head up, you’ll be able to stay in a better position. If you don’t keep up, you’ll get left behind. Your competition will take over your position and use the latest trends to give your customers what you’re not able to give them. This is the last thing you want to have happen, which is why keeping up is absolutely critical to your success. Social media is a perfect example of how small businesses fail. I’ve talked to countless businesses and asked them why they’re not on social media. They tell me that they can’t figure it out, so they don’t bother. Let me say that this is absolutely not acceptable. Hire Someone - You might have to hire someone to do the job for you. If you’ve tried to figure out Facebook and just can’t seem to get the hang of it, hire someone who will run your Facebook campaigns for you. Not being on there when your target


audience (and your competition) is will not get you anywhere. Find someone who is up on the latest trends and hire them to help you fill in the areas where you’re out of the loop. Use Marketing Automation If you’ve been reading my articles, you’ll know that I’m going to recommend marketing automation. Many of the tools that are out there will help you to stay on top of the latest trends without a lot of effort on your part. You don’t need to do the same tasks over and over again, especially if you don’t have time for it. Simply let software run the automation for you so that you can be sure that the tasks are being handled on time. It will save you a lot of frustrations along the way, too.

On June 28, 2018, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) approved A.B. 1838, which is also known as the Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018. The new law prohibits local governments from imposing, increasing, levying, collecting, and enforcing any taxes, fees, or other assessments on groceries until Jan. 1, 2031. It is effective immediately, and the prohibition applies to those taxes, fees, and assessments imposed after Jan. 1, 2018. While the text of the law does not explicitly address soda taxes, the legislature’s goal to stem the rise of soda taxes is clear, as the law will not restrict new taxes on groceries that are “generally applicable to a broad range of businesses, business activity, or products” and do not apply a higher tax rate to

Getting left behind isn’t the route you want to go, especially when there’s always a viable solution to keep you connected. If there’s a new tool or even a new platform, you should do your due diligence to investigate it to see if it’s going to be useful. In the end, you control your marketing. If you need help, ask for it so that you’re able to keep up with the competition.

different classifications of groceries. The legislature also notes that the “promotion of uniformity in the taxation of groceries is a matter of statewide concern.” Had A.B. 1838 not passed, the California Business Roundtable, backed by the American Beverage Association, would have moved forward with a ballot initiative that sought to constrict local governments’ authority to tax by requiring approval from two-thirds of a local governing body and/or the electorate to impose, extend, or increase taxes or charges, rather than the current approval threshold of a simple majority. The prospect of this initiative being passed caused legislators angst and prompted them to support the more narrow restrictions in A.B. 1838. Shortly after the bill was passed, the ballot initiative was withdrawn. The California cities of Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany currently impose soda taxes that will be unaffected by the new legislation since they were in effect prior to Jan. 1, 2018. Any cities that passed a soda tax in 2018, however, will be unable to enforce it. Bloomberg Tax is operated by entities controlled by Michael Bloomberg, who has provided funding for soda tax campaigns in California and other jurisdictions. ■


Governor Signs Bill Protecting Employers from Serial Harassers By Laura Curtis, CalChamber against employers for defamation. Such lawsuits put employers in an impossible position as they have an affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct harassment. Even worse, if the alleged harasser’s employment is then terminated, or the alleged harasser resigns, employers are put in an even more difficult position. The company has knowledge of the harassing activity and yet its hands are tied. If the company tells a potential employer that the employee was accused of harassing conduct, the company is on the hook for a defamation claim. If the company stays silent, the harasser is then free to victimize more individuals at his/ her next job without anyone at the new company ever knowing about the unacceptable behavior. AB 2770 will protect employers and allow them to warn potential employers about an individual’s harassing conduct during a reference check without the threat of a defamation lawsuit. ■

Photo by Batista Moon Studio

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a California Chamber of Commerce-sponsored job creator bill that protects sexual harassment victims and employers from being sued for defamation. AB 2770 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) codifies case law to ensure victims of sexual harassment and employers are not sued for defamation by the alleged harasser when a complaint of sexual harassment is made and the employer conducts its internal investigation. This bill also provides additional protections to employers by expressly allowing employers to inform potential employers about the sexual harassment investigation and findings. The bill has been tagged as a job creator because reducing the cost of frivolous litigation allows an employer to utilize these financial resources to grow its workforce. AB 2770 passed the Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support. CalChamber sponsored AB 2770 because alleged harassers are not only suing victims, but also filing suit

Photo by Batista Moon Studios L to R:

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Trade Promotion Authority Quietly Renewed by Susanne T. Stirling, CalChamber Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation passed Congress on July 1 for another three years, until 2021, as neither the House nor the Senate passed a resolution of disapproval in the previous three months. On Tuesday, March 21, 2018 President Trump had formally requested a three-year extension of trade promotion authority to negotiate free trade agreements that he can submit to Congress under fast track approval procedures. Congress last passed trade promotion authority in 2015 in one of the hardest-fought congressional trade battles in years. The TPA allows the White House to submit trade deals to Congress for a straight up-or-down vote without any amendments. The TPA legislation establishes strong rules for trade negotiations and congressional approval of trade pacts, and delivers trade agreements that boost U.S. exports and create American jobs. “Extension of TPA is critical to negotiating accountable, enforceable and reciprocal trade deals that will benefit American workers, farmers and ranchers,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement welcoming the


renewal. “The Trump administration is pursuing a number of potential bilateral free trade agreements, and TPA extension means we may continue to aggressively pursue these opportunities.”

Background Trade is an important engine for U.S. economic growth and jobs. With more than 30% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) tied to international trade and investment, 95% of the world’s population abroad, and more than one in five U.S. jobs supported by trade, U.S. engagement in the international marketplace is more important to the nation’s economy than ever. Passage of Trade Promotion Authority can help Congress and the President work together to forge new and beneficial trade agreements for the United States. Trade promotion authority (formerly called fast track trade negotiating authority) is the process by which Congress gives authority

to the President and/or U.S. Trade Representative to enter into trade negotiations in order to lower U.S. export barriers. Traditionally, following the conclusion of negotiations for a trade agreement, enabling legislation is submitted to Congress for approval. Once legislation is submitted, under trade promotion authority, both houses of Congress will vote “yes” or “no” on the agreement with no amendments, and do so within 90 session days (not to be confused with a treaty, which is “ratified” by the U.S. Senate). During negotiations, however, there is a process for sufficient consultation with Congress.

CalChamber Position The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives

that impede the international competitiveness of California business. The CalChamber therefore supports the extension of trade promotion authority so that the President of the United States may negotiate new multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements ensuring that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans. Such authority involves trade-related issues only and encourages industry consultation during future trade negotiations.

Reasons for Position U.S. trading partners in Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia are actively negotiating with other countries to achieve preferential market access. America’s standing as a world leader depends directly upon its competitive success in the global economy. Increased market access achieved through trade agreements has historically played a major role in our nation’s success as the world’s leading exporter. ■


Leadership Monterey County by Kimbley Craig, CEO, Monterey County Business Council

Leadership Monterey County continues its success with “Agriculture Day” on June 22nd. Special thanks to Lisa Dobbins with AgKnowledge for her support and suggestions, and Evan Oakes of AgVenture Tours for spending the day with LMC and giving all kinds of fascinating information on the agricultural industry between our stops. Our first briefing was at Taylor Farms, with Jerrett Stoffel, Vice President of Operations who spoke to Leadership Monterey County about the intricacies of Ag Tech and Taylor Farms’ involvement with it. He educated the class on Taylor Farms as a company, answered class questions, and gave a personal tour of the cooling facility. Rigo Ramirez, Director of Operations also assisted with the tour, where the class watched salad being processed and bagged. Who knew spring mix was made that way?! Katrina Gargiulo and Nicole Flewell were the quiet masterminds behind the scenes who coordinated the tour. Our next stop wasn’t without some apprehension---but it’s all legal now, folks. Indus Industries hosted us at their marijuana grow facility, and Chief Compliance Officer (and former Salinas Chief of Police) Kelly McMillin greeted the class, as the bus rolled into the secure facility. Kelly took the time to answer questions and give perspective of cannabis industry from law enforcement standpoint, and legal challenges the industry is now facing in California, and in Monterey County. Overinflated taxes, and the ability to get enough power to some of the unincorporated areas of the county are creating significant issues for some of these growers. Kelly also discussed the manufacturing side (or “edibles”) of cannabis. Met with nervous laughter, Kelly had non-medicated chocolate samples for the class to try, so students understood the retail element of cannabis edibles that Altai sells in dispensaries. Rob Weakley facilitated the tour and was instrumental in ensuring that the discussion takes place openly,


so that cannabis becomes a betterunderstood industry. James Drake is a Master Grower with Indus and Kimbley Craig had extensive knowledge of growing cannabis in California---he was able to answer questions on cultivating and straining THC and CBD out of the plant. Our last stop was with Tanimura & Antle---Wesley Van Camp, Vice President and General Counsel hosted us in the library for lunch, and then gave us a tour of Spreckels Crossing, the amazing farmworker housing that T&A built to provide safe, clean housing for their employees. Brian Antle was instrumental in allowing us to see the inner workings of PlantTape, an AgTech element that T&A has implemented in their fields. (Seedlings attached to biodegradable tape, so planting consists of simply laying down “tape” row by row in the fields!) John Louie from PlantTape trekked everyone out to the fields off Cooper Road to show some of the new machinery (The Robovator!) that’s being used to be more efficient with farming. The class enjoyed swag bags from T&A as well. It was a great day to learn about the largest economic driver in Monterey County. Agriculture continues to find cutting-edge technology for their fields and address the farmworker housing and staffing for the future. All participants gained a better understanding of the ag industry that day. ■


Allowing Access to ICE by Sharilyn Payne, Fenton & Keller California employers have been facing the sometimes confusing challenge of complying with federal and California law when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) conducts worksite enforcement audits, more commonly known as “raids.” With a ruling by a Judge in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California, there is at least some temporary relief for employers. As background, effective January 1, 2018, California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (the “Act”) imposed new duties on employers facing worksite immigration inspections. Specifically, the Act provided that an employer could be fined up to $10,000 per violation if it engaged in the following: (1) voluntarily consenting to an ICE agent accessing nonpublic areas of the worksite unless the agent provided a judicial warrant; (2) voluntarily consenting to an ICE agent accessing, reviewing, or obtaining employee records unless the agent provided a subpoena, judicial warrant, or Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms; (3) reverifying a current employee’s employment eligibility unless required to do so by a memorandum of understanding. The federal Department of Justice sued the State of California arguing that the Act forced California employers to choose between following federal law or state law at the risk of facing state penalties, and as such prevented federal law from being followed. The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California found that a law that imposes monetary penalties on an employer because it voluntarily consents to ICE entry into nonpublic areas of their business, or access to their employment records, impermissibly discriminates against employers that choose to deal with the federal government. The Court granted the Justice Department’s request for a preliminary injunction

against these sections of the Act, meaning that for now, the State of California cannot enforce those sections of the Act. The Court did not block another provision of the Act that requires employers to notify employees concerning I-9 form inspections. Employers must still provide employees with notification of an inspection of I-9 Forms or other employment records by federal immigration authorities, within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection, containing the following information: (1) name of the immigration agency conducting the inspection; (2) date the employer received notice of the inspection; (3) nature of the inspection; and (4) a copy of the notice of inspection. Furthermore, within 72 hours of receipt of the inspection’s results, employers must still provide each affected current employee with the inspection results, and give each affected employee a second written notice setting forth: (1) all deficiencies identified in the inspection results; (2) the time period for correcting any deficiencies; (3) the time and date of any meeting with the employer to correct deficiencies; and (4) notice that the employee has a right to representation during the meeting with the employer. It is likely that the decision of the Eastern District Court will be appealed. But for now, employers will not be in violation of California law, and will not be fined, if they grant access to ICE agents without a warrant or subpoena or allow them to access employee records. They also will not be fined for reverifying the legal work status of employees before their existing work authorization expires. ■ Sharilyn Payne is a lawyer with the Fenton & Keller law firm in Monterey. This article is intended to address topics of general interest, and should not be construed as legal advice. For more information, please visit


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Phone 831-759-8760 540 Work St. Suite E, Salinas, CA 93901 Call us to schedule a no obligation presentation in your office or our showroom.


Congratulations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Monterey Bay Area 2018 Man & Woman of the Year!

2018 Woman of the Year Chrystal Star

2018 Man of the Year Adam Roach

Congratula�ons to all our candidates and generous supporters who helped us raise over $311,000 in just 10 weeks! These Champions of Hope are passionate and determined individuals and leaders in our community. Together we are moving closer to achieving LLS’s goal: creating a world without blood cancer.

2018 Boy of the Year Liam Sousa 2018 Girl of the Year Briseis Hidalgo

2018 Presenting Sponsors

2018 Man & Woman of the Year Candidates Monique Abed, Richard De Andrade, Leslie DeLuca, Patrick Finch, Belinda Pacheco, Raul Rico, Adam Roach, Chrystal Star & Honorary Team Driscoll’s MVH

To learn more, visit: AUGUST 2018


Agricultural Industry & Services

The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce encourages you to shop and dine at local businesses. For every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $73 stays in the community.

Let’s keep the Salinas Valley strong – shop at these member businesses. Aramark

Commercial Service Company

Mann Packing Company

American Takii

D'Arrigo Bros. Co., of California


Bengard Ranch Inc Better Brand Food Products

Dole Fresh Vegetables Driscoll's

Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Duda Farm Fresh Foods

Boggiatto Produce

Enza Zaden North America

Braga Fresh Family Farms California Strawberry Commission Central Valley Seeds Coastal Wine Services

Hand Shake Farms (831) 262-7387 Holaday Seed Company Incotec IPG, International Produce Group, LLC

Skylake Tree Service (408) 768-2799 Smith Family Wines

Matsui Nursery

Tanimura and Antle

Measure to Improve

Taylor Farms California

Naturipe Berry Growers

The Farm / Crown Packing Company

Ocean Mist Farms Polar Service Company Robert Kasavan Marketing Royal Packing Company (831) 641-445

The Nunes Company/ Foxy Top 10 Produce Triangle Farms

Scheid Vineyards

UnitedAg - United Agribusiness League

Skagit Horticulture

Vilmorin North America

A Special Thanks to Our Strategic Partners and Stakeholder Members



New Member Profiles Cecilia Kennedy Insurance Services This year I am celebrating 35 years in the insurance industry by opening my own shop to continue helping businesses transfer their risks to successful insurance programs. I have worked with many industries such as: agriculture, non-profits, construction, hospitality, healthcare, real estate and more. My biggest passion is educating clients to make informed decisions regarding their assets as well as risk analysis and claims management. Call me today for your free assessment. Cecilia Kennedy, AFIS, CLCS • (831) 261-1779

HUB Insurance Services In a rapidly changing world, we advise businesses and individuals on how to prepare for the unexpected. When you partner with HUB, you're at the center of a vast network of experts who will help you reach your goals through risk services, claims management, and compliance support. And this gives you the peace of mind that what matters most to you will be protected — through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions that put you in control. 401 Fremont St. Ste. 100, Monterey, • (831) 718-3224

Ocean Mist Farms Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation family-owned business and the largest grower of fresh artichokes in North America, is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation, and sustainability. The company’s full line of 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. (831) 633-2144 • 10855 Cara Mia Parkway, Castroville,

Portola Hotel & Spa It’s all right here! Portola Hotel & Spa is one of California’s premier family-friendly destinations offering easy access to Monterey’s most popular attractions. The AAA Four Diamond and only LEED® Certified hotel on California’s Central Coast, boasts 379 guest rooms, over 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, an award-winning day spa, three on-site restaurants including a craft brewery, and is pet friendly. 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, PortolaHotel. com, (831) 649-4511

San Bernardo Rancho San Bernardo Rancho is a California Transport Company. Based in San Ardo, CA, its family ownership has been ingrained in and supported the local community for many decades.

TracMap TracMap is a job management system for tractors and harvesters that stops mistakes with agricultural spraying and other tractor work, and automatically captures the results. We focus exclusively on the permanent tree crops and produce industries, and in Australia are the largest business provider in this sector. We expanded to California early last year. The system comprises a cloud based job management system linked to dedicated hardware in the tractor cab, which is liked by customers for its simplicity and reliability. (831) 287-4338,,

California’s Surge in Homelessness by the San Diego Union-Tribune California’s emergence as the national epicenter of America’s homeless problem has made headlines for years. A December story in The New York Times noted that, while there had only been a 1 percent increase in total U.S. homelessness over the previous 12 months, there had been a “dramatic surge in West Coast cities,” especially in California. With about 114,000 homeless individuals, the Golden State had more than one-quarter of the nation’s total, the Times reported. No hard statistics are available, but it’s a safe bet that local and state spending meant to help the homeless


is at an all-time high. Some politicians depict homelessness in some crucial ways as beyond their control — California’s great weather, you see, serves as a magnet to the mentally ill and/or drug addicts of the world. However, a recent new study conducted as part of UCLA’s Anderson Forecast on economic trends made this argument seem like a lame excuse by politicians who don’t want to admit to their utter failure of leadership in addressing California’s severe housing crisis. UCLA economist William Yu found no evidence in the United States of a direct correlation between the

quality of the weather and rates of homelessness. Instead, homelessness in America correlated strongly with housing costs. The data Yu cited certainly show that individuals’ personal circumstances play a role in whether they are homeless; about a quarter of homeless individuals in the Golden State are severely mentally ill, and nearly onefifth are chronic drug users. But most don’t fall into these categories. Instead, they simply can’t afford rent, much less a mortgage. It’s obvious that California’s housing crisis and the homelessness crisis

are deeply interrelated. This means the most effective way to reduce homelessness in the Golden State is also the most effective way to reduce poverty and human misery here: adding housing stock to push down prices. ■




Check out what we’ve found in our vault!


We’ve started preparing for the Chamber’s 100 year anniversary this year.


Look What We Found!

T FOR 90 Y






Client Focused. Relationship Driven. A Tradition of Excellence Since 1928 Agriculture Law Business & Taxation Construction Creditor’s Rights Estate Planning Labor & Employment Litigation Personal Injury Public Agencies Real Estate & Land Use

333 Salinas Street Salinas, CA 93901 831.424.1414 470 Camino El Estero Monterey, CA 93940 831.373.3622

Maple Park Old-World Mediterranean


201 East Acacia Street, Salinas • 4 Bed, 4 Bath • $999,000

Lifestyle. Connection. Trust. With Concierge Service.

LuAnn Meador 831 601-6355 CalDRE #01984843



Chamber Ambassador Filing for bankruptcy remains one of the best ways to solve impossible debt situations and obtain peace of mind, especially with Americans just having survived the worst recession in most of our lifetimes. However, wading through the intricacies of the Bankruptcy Code and dealing with the resulting emotional stress requires the help of a qualified, experienced professional. For over 30 years Clark Miller has stood with clients at every stage of their bankruptcy proceedings, guiding more than 20,000 clients to freedom from financial worry. A graduate of the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, Clark runs a debt-relief agency that lends expert advice, personal

Clark Miller

assistance, and ultimate relief from the burdens of debt. Clark personally helps his clients understand the bankruptcy process, deal with the emotional pressure of debt collection, and leads them toward rebuilding their credit. With personal attention and a positive approach, Clark sees to the unique needs of each client, providing them with the fresh start they deserve. Clark is also active in the field of debtor education, believing that better informed consumers can better avoid the ultimate financial breakdown. (“The only bankruptcy lawyer with advice about how to avoid filing for bankruptcy.”) He lectures widely to community groups, has a weekly radio program on KRML (“Friday Financial Focus”), and hosts a quarterly free seminar, “Sip, Savor & Learn.” The next session about paying your home loan when you have damaged credit, will be held Thursday, October 25th at 5:30 pm. For location details and to RSVP call (831) 424-1764 or e-mail The seminar is a collaboration between the Law Office of Clark A. Miller and Treehouse Mortgage Group. There is no charge to attend. Please make an appointment before visiting the Law Office of Clark A. Miller, which is located at 215 West Alisal, Salinas.

Unemployment Rate Level at


California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest data shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment edged down 8,900 from May, while the number of unemployed notched up by 5,700. The labor force eased by 3,200. California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.2%, the lowest level in the current data series that began in 1976, as the labor force continued to move downwards for the fourth month in a row. California tied with North Carolina for the 19th highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate dropped from 4.8% in June 2017 to 4.5%.

Take a Step Toward Better Health Let our unique health and wellness programs connect you with your best life. New physicians and topics every month. For more information and to reserve your spot, call our Health Promotion Department at 831-759-1890.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 102,000 from May, while the number of unemployed grew by 499,000 as the total labor force expanded by 601,000. The national unemployment rate rose to 4.0%.



Focus on Non-Profits AOA’s Trashion Show is Back! The fun and fabulous Trashion Show is back! The Alliance on Aging’s (AOA) biggest fundraiser of the year returns for the fifth year to Salinas. This year’s show promises to be even more exciting with a new theme, a new fashion presenter and over 20 unique one-of-akind dresses designed by local artists. Think Project Runway with a local flair. New this year, the Alliance on Aging (AOA), a nonprofit serving seniors throughout Monterey County for the past 47 years, will host two new shows—lunch and dinner. Trashion will take place at

Corral de Tierra Golf and Country Club on Friday, September 7th. • LUNCH: 11:30am-1:30pm ($85/$95 Runway) • DINNER: Cocktails at 6:00pm ($125 /$135 Runway) Participants at the two shows will marvel at the creativity of local designers who transformed everyday trash items—candy wrappers, newspapers, doggie bags—into high-end couture clothing worthy of a New York or Paris fashion show. Aside from the fun factor, the show calls attention to the need to provide services and programs for seniors throughout Monterey county. AOA services are provided at no cost in English and Spanish to seniors. Services include: tax preparation

and assistance, Medicare information and counseling, long-term information and advocacy for the elderly living in care facilities, senior peer counseling, benefits checking for basic needs such as food, transportation, utilities and more. ■ Teresa Sullivan, Executive Director, notes that tickets do sell out fast. For tickets, call (831) 655-7559. Tables of ten are available

Non-Profit Calendar Aug 7:

LEAD Institute Information Session 9-10am • 2354 Garden Road, Monterey Non-Profit: Community Foundation for Monterey County 831-375-9712 •

Aug 8:

Info Session 5-6pm Union Bank Community Rm- 615 Abrego, Monterey (use street parking only please) Non-Profit: CASA of Monterey County 831-455-6800 ext 31 •

Aug 10:

Pause and Connect: A Morning for Nonprofit Executives 9am-12pm • 1636 Ercia Street, Salinas Non-Profit: Community Foundation for Monterey County 831-375-9712 •

Aug 10

& 11:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 7pm • 320 Main Street, Salinas Non-Profit: ARIEL Theatrical 831-775-0976 •

Aug 15:

LEAD Institute Information Session 12-1pm • 945 S. Main Street, Suite 2018, Salinas Non-Profit: Community Foundation for Monterey County 831-375-9712 •


Aug 15:

August Networking Lunch Life Lessons from the Verge 11:30-1pm • 523 Work St., Salinas Non-Profit: Salinas Valley Business Womens Network 831-261-1779 •

Aug 17:

Cars on Alvarado Street 5-7pm • Alvarado Street, Downtown Monterey Non-Profit: Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) 831-242-8201 •

Aug 17

& 18:

Aug 18

& 19:

Aug 23

- 26:

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 7pm • 320 Main Street, Salinas Non-Profit: ARIEL Theatrical 831-775-0976 • Monterey Pre-Reunion 8am-5pm • 1021 Monterey-Salinas Hwy 68 Non-Profit: Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) 831-242-8200 • Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 8am-5pm • 1021 Monterey-Salinas Hwy 68 Non-Profit: Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) 831-242-8200 •

Aug 25:

Gleaning 8:30am-12pm • TBA Non-Profit: Ag Against Hunger 831-755-1480 •

Aug 26:

Family Fun Day 10am-2pm • 710 Old Stage Road, Salinas Non-Profit: Rancho Cielo Youth Campus 831-444-3533 •

Aug 27:

Info Session 6-7pm • Martinez Hall, 220 12th St., Seaside (park on 11th, use front entrance), Marina Non-Profit: CASA of Monterey County 831-455-6800 ext 31 •

Sept 5:

Volunteer Managers Association Lunch & Learn 11:30am-1:30pm • 2354 Garden Road, Monterey Non-Profit: Community Foundation for Monterey County 831-375-9712 •

Sept 10:

San Francisco Bus Trip "Save the Date - November 3rd" 8am Tickets go on sale Non-Profit: California Women in Ag 831-809-8554 •


Chamber Events

The Salinas Valley and Monterey Peninsula Chambers teamed up to help Interim celebrate the opening of their new housing unit in Marina

We call this Rodeo photo Five Beautiful Ladies and One Lucky Cowboy

Many happy members joined us for Connect at Lunch at the Pizza Factory



Presenting to Agencies and Boards by Nicholas W. Smith Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss

Three Tips on Presenting to Governmental Agencies and Boards The writer is both an attorney and a member of the Pacific Grove City Council. Here are some practical tips on how to present effectively to a government agency and board.

As an attorney, I represent clients interfacing with governmental agencies and boards. These representations can take many forms. Often, these representations involve simply writing letters to or otherwise communicating with agency representatives about an issue. Sometimes, a presentation may be required before a board. I have also received numerous presentations as a city councilmember from attorneys, architects, engineers, and many other professionals either providing information or trying to influence decision-making. Given my experience, I’d like to share three tips to giving an effective presentation before a governmental agency or board.

Tip 1: Be brief

Making your point briefly and concisely is most important when presenting to a governmental board. Modern agencies and boards have significant time constraints and do not have time for each party to make lengthy presentations. Being brief will also enhance the focus of your presentation. Board members have a lot of information to remember and analyze during the course of a meeting and the meetings move quickly. If you give them too much information and fail to distill it, they may not grasp your essential arguments.


Here’s a typical example: The board has been meeting for five hours and it is now 10:00 p.m. Your presentation came up last on the agenda. In this situation, the shortest possible presentation that concisely makes your points will be the most effective for you.

Tip 2: Be selective

Closely related to being brief is being selective and sharing only your most important and strongest arguments. Presenting only your most salient points will also result in a stronger, more focused presentation. It will also result in a shorter presentation. It’s not about spending time arguing all of your points, it’s about spending time arguing the right points.

Tip 3: Be respectful

In our increasingly uncivil world, it is important to be on your best behavior in presenting to boards and agencies. Respectful people leave the impression of being more credible. Disrespectful behavior, snarky comments or sarcastic tones of voice don’t serve you well. A valid position asserted in a discourteous manner detracts from the positive impact you wish to have on the board. Being polite and respectful during your presentation can increase effectiveness by leaving a good impression on the board. Disrespectful presentations leave a bad impression and detract from your ultimate goal of persuading the Board to see the issue the way you do and to act in your favor. ■ Nicholas W. Smith is an attorney with the law firm Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss. His practice focuses on litigation and business matters, assisting individuals, companies and governmental agencies to solve problems and resolve disputes. Mr. Smith is a skilled practitioner with significant trial and hearing experience. He represents clients in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and in arbitration or mediation. Mr. Smith currently serves on the Pacific Grove City Council since being elected in November 2016.

Member News Hutchinson Interim CEO Mee Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees has named Mike Hutchinson as interim chief executive officer. A Past Board Chair of the Salinas Valley Chamber, Hutchinson was appointed after current CEO Susan Childers announced her retirement. Hutchinson earned a Bachelor of Commerce and Science from Seattle University and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He most recently served as regional chief executive officer of the California Correctional Health Care Services (Northern Central California), where he was responsible for managing about 127,000 patient days, 895,000 clinic visits and $320 million in expenses. [Info excerpted from King City Rustler]

Hartnell Receives $1M “Hartnell College is thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the State of California via the office of Assemblymember Anna Caballero,” said Superintendent/President, Dr. Willard Lewallen. “The award will provide resources to support innovation and student learning in Agriculture Technology and Healthcare.” Funds for this project will support instructional equipment necessary to prepare students for the current agricultural and health care environments, both of which are saturated with technology. Upgrading programs and equipment in on-campus classrooms will provide students an opportunity to learn the critical skills necessary for rapid change in both industries.

New Leader at Housing Authority

Manny González

After seven years as executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, Jean Goebel has retired. Manny González, who is experienced in affordable housing with nearly 40 years of government service, has assumed the role of executive director. González comes to the Housing Authority with an extensive background in public service. His career in government has spanned more than 39 years, including over seven years managing affordable housing in Phoenix, Arizona. González has also served on National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials committees and on the housing board of CHISPA in Monterey County.

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Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce @SalinasChamber Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce


August / September 2018 Aug














Joint Networking Mixer Thursday, August 16th 5-7pm 903 N Main St, Salinas

Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting 11:30am-1pm Chamber Office

Food, Drinks, Networking, and Station Tours We will have raffle prizes $10 Chamber Members $20 prospective Members Register at: Or call (831) 751-7725 Meet the Chamber Board: Kristy Santiago & Cody Ramsey

Future Commuter Train Tour w/ TAMC 7:15am-12pm Salinas Amtrak, 3 Station Pl, Salinas

Joint iHeart Media Mixer with Monterey Peninsula Chamber 5:30-7pm TBD

Meet the Chamber Board: Kathy Miller & Cody Ramsey

Ambassador Committee Meeting 12-1pm Chamber Office

Ribbon Cutting – Salinas Valley Dental Care 6-6:30pm 1211 S. Main St.,Salinas

Connect at Lunch – Black Bear Diner 12-1pm 1391 N. Davis Rd., Salinas

GRC Meeting – Learn about sustainable agriculture and energy 11am -1pm Chamber Office


Your only cost is your lunch



R a b o b a n k A m e r i c a . c o m /G r o w Personal Banking



Business Banking


Home Lending


Food & Agriculture

Capitola-Santa Cruz 3555 Clares Street, Suite X (831) 475-5412

King City 532 Broadway (831) 385-4144

Seaside 1658 Fremont Blvd. (831) 394-6900

Castroville 10601 Merritt Street (831) 633-3302

Monterey 439 Alvarado Street (831) 242-2000

Soledad 2149 H. De La Rosa Sr. Street (831) 678-7338

Gilroy 805 First Street (408) 842-1938

Pacific Grove 561 Lighthouse Avenue (831) 649-5010

Watsonville 1915 Main Street (831) 768-2668

Gonzales 400 Alta Street (831) 675-3637

Salinas Main 301 Main Street (831) 737-1213

Hollister 1730 Airline Highway, Suite 310 (831) 638-4861

Salinas Westridge 1285 North Davis Road (831) 784-7700


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