December 2018 Business Journal

Page 1



State Budget is Flush P.11 | New Member Profiles P.13

Members Share Top Business Concerns by Kevin Dayton, Chamber Board Recognizing Needs and Taking Leadership: The Chamber Makes Plans for 2019


Chamber Trip to Argentina


| Wildfires and Renewables P.17

Chamber Supports School Clothes for Local Kids by Paul J. Farmer, Chamber CEO

The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce continues to be a powerful and significant influence on local government policies that affect businesses. Recent surveys have confirmed that Salinas Valley businesses see the Chamber’s support for business interests at local governments as a top reason for joining the Chamber and staying as members. This benefit isn’t just for companies that seek to make a profit from their operations. Non-profit organizations join and remain as members of the Chamber because of its advocacy at local governments. Non-profits are participants in the market - they are employers and also suppliers and consumers of goods and services. Even local governments themselves benefit from Chamber membership. The Chamber works to be a partner with governments so they can provide more effective government programs. We support their requests for federal and state financial assistance. We join them in opposition to unfunded and costly federal and state mandates. To ensure the Chamber maintains its leadership role in our community, Chamber leadership recently held two meetings to plan for 2019. At its annual planning retreat on November 9, the Chamber’s Board of Directors identified three areas of focus for business advocacy and three issues of top concern for businesses. Then, the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee met on November 14 to discuss strategies to advance these areas of focus and make a difference on these issues.

In our last Business Journal, we talked about the Chamber Foundation’s efforts to support two major community events for Salinas. “Thrill the World – Salinas” took place the Saturday before Halloween. We have been working for months on the “Childrens’ Shopping Tour” – which will take hundreds of underprivileged local kids shopping for new school clothes. With this event, the Chamber is building on the tradition started many decades ago by the Salinas Jaycees. On the second Saturday in December (December 8th, this year), volunteers will gather at Northridge mall to take hundreds of children shopping for school clothes. It should be noted: the children are selected by teachers at local elementary schools, not by the program event itself. The Chamber has been leading grant-writing and fundraising. Might you be able to help with a donation of money or time? Please visit the Chamber website for details on how you can do either or both. . You may also contact us at 831-751-7725 or Info@

MEMBERS - Continued on page 6


Chamber Awards Lunch

On behalf of the children who will benefit,

thank you!




















And with that, 2018 is in the books…


by Jim Bogart, 2018 Chamber Board Chair (& President, Grower-Shipper Association) This is the end-of-the-year article when most Chamber Board Chairs say “Wow, the year went by so fast! Where did it go?” But I’m not here to say that. Quite the opposite. This year was interminable. I thought it would never end! Working with our Chamber Staff and especially CEO Paul Farmer…what did I do to receive such punishment? I jest. This year HAS gone by quickly and I was honored to serve as Chair during the Chamber’s Centennial year. Our Board continues to strengthen and our voice gets even more influential. This year, our Business Journal series “City Budget Crisis” was often the talk of town. The Business Journal has long been the #1 way in which our members connect with the Chamber and in this year’s member survey, nearly 83% of our members said they read the Journal. We realize that, with the challenged state of media these days, our research and reporting is even more important than it has been in years past.

We would like to share another very important highlight from this year’s survey. The Salinas Valley Chamber scored our highest-ever result in the Net Promoter Score – we are in the top 3% of Chambers in the Western US in our members’ responses to the question: “Would you recommend a friend join the Chamber?” We are doing work that matters and you, our members, understand that. So as I pass over the Chamber Board Chair gavel to my friend and colleague, John Bailey, who will serve as the 2019 Chair, I can only say “John, don’t mess it up!” It has been my honor to serve the Chamber and the community. On behalf of the Board, we hope to see you at the Annual Awards Luncheon on February 28 (see the ad on the next page).

Thank you!

Top 3% of Chambers!

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


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







98 Annual Awards Luncheon Join us for our biggest annual event where over 500 local businesspeople get together for lunch and to honor our own.

Presented by

Everybody comes because everybody goes!

Thursday February 28, 2019 11am-1pm Sherwood Hall, Salinas NOMINATIONS OPEN: 

Small Business of the Year

Large Business of the Year

Businesswoman of the Year

Ci��en of the Year

Agricultural Leadership

Spirit of the Community

Nominate online at our website or contact the Chamber. Deadline for nomina�ons: Jan 7


TICKETS: $55/members $95/non-members Register online by 2/25 Or (831) 751-7725



Argentina / Brazil by (and with) Chamber CEO Paul Farmer

Have you traveled with our Chamber (and me) yet? If not, read on – you might want to join us. Traveling with the Chamber is a fantastic way to travel internationally with someone you trust and our group travel rates will save you plenty of dough and headache. The Chamber and our travel partner agency handle all the details so all you have to do is enjoy yourself. Especially with the new friends you’ll make on our trip, that’s not hard! One of My Most Memorable Sites When I was a kid, my family was working to make ends meet so a Sunday joy ride was about the limit of our traveling. Since I’ve become an adult (ok, “adult-ish”, if you know me), I’ve more than made up for that. International travel is an important part of my life and I love nothing more than sharing these experiences with my friends. This year, we’re going to visit one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen in my life – Iguassu Falls. It is simply astounding. On our Chamber trips, we stay in nice hotels. They’re usually 4-stars. When I saw the 5-star “Belmond Das Catras” hotel that is nestled right among Iguassu Falls for that part of our trip, I literally gasped “Wow!” In planning these trips, I usually do my best to save our travelers’ money but the tour operator recommended we spend the few hundred extra dollars to stay in this unforgettable resort. When I did my research, I had to agree. This will easily be the highlight of the trip and something that I just can’t rave about enough. I went there as a 25 year-old backpacker and I’ve never forgotten the impact it had on me. Before we get to Iguassu Falls, we’re going to spend plenty of time in a great hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This City holds a special


2019 Chamber Trip (open to anyone)

Our hotel is nestled in the forest right beside the waterfalls

place in my heart – not just for its charm and metropolitan flair, but for the wonderful people I’ve met there. And if you’ve never been there, you may want to add a 2-day post-trip extension to visit Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio is among my favorite cities in the world. There are so many cool things to share, you’re going to have to learn more about it. Please join us for the no-pressure Travelers Information session on January 10 (details in the ad beside this article). Or shoot me a note: Our traveler satisfaction is very high because the tours are top-notch, the pricing is very competitive (thank you, group discounts) and…let it never be said that I don’t know how to show people a good time!

One more thing:

a little over half of our travelers are couples, but we also get a lot of singles who like to travel with our always-friendly group. Also, every year we get a few groups of friends who decide to leave the spouses at home and have their own adventure with us. So…set aside any reasons you might have for not joining us and at least come hear about the trip! ■

Argentina/Brazil Apr 25 - May 4, 2019

10 Day Journey of a Life�me Includes 8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch & 2 Dinners Highlights: Buenos Aires, including Eva Peron Museum, Tigre River tour with Patagonian lunch. Iguassu Falls, among biggest waterfalls in the world. Op�on for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our 4- and 5-star hotels are stunning!


$3749 Rate is double-occupancy, + all taxes and fees = $150 $450 deposit holds your seat

You’re invited to a

Travel Presentation When: Thurs January 10, 6-7pm Where: Chamber Office 119 E Alisal St, Salinas Info: (831) 751-7725 Or email us for a brochure to


➟ MEMBERS – Continued from page 1 Three Key Areas of Focus for the Chamber in 2019 1. Educating key groups about issues important to businesses. 2. Improve the local public image of business. 3. Encouraging members to participate in the community as advocates for business. Leaders of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce know about the challenges facing members of local Chambers of Commerce in other regions of California. In these places, some organized interest groups are asserting that many businesses in their communities contribute to misery and injustice. Businesses get blamed for housing shortages, increased traffic, and an excessively high cost of living. If elected officials and the news media don’t know about the positive things businesses do in their communities, they may believe what they hear from organizations that accuse businesses of being a problem. In anticipation of these organizations expanding their message in the Salinas Valley, the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce will sharpen its communications and strengthen its local relationships. As a Chamber member, you may be asked on occasion to play a role in letting elected officials and the news media know that you provide jobs, goods, and services that benefit your community. You’ll also continue to receive emailed bulletins and the Chamber's Business Journal that focus on specific issues of concern to businesses. Three Top Political Issues for the Chamber in 2019 Board members agreed that the Chamber's membership surveys accurately identified the three top current issues of interest for Salinas Valley businesses. 1. Housing Our region has a severe shortage of housing that ordinary individuals and families can afford. This remains a major hindrance for local companies to recruit and keep quality employees. The Chamber plans to partner with other organizations that recognize the local need for more housing. We will also more aggressively challenge interest groups that routinely try to derail proposals to construct more residential units. 2. Homelessness In addition to being a human tragedy, the presence of people in the commercial areas of Salinas who don’t have a place to live brings health risks and discourages customers and employees. The Chamber has taken a role on homeless issues as numbers have greatly increased in recent years. We hear the calls for the business community to exercise its knowledge of financial and organizational management and use it to tackle homelessness. 3. Government Regulations There are people who always have a negative attitude about businesses and commerce. This attitude often translates into new proposals to change and control businesses. While the Chamber sees the value and importance of reasonable regulations to protect people and the environment, many regulations nowadays are simply efforts by special interest groups to manipulate commerce for their own favor or benefit. Are you interested in getting involved in these plans and issues for 2019? Please consider emailing Chamber President and CEO Paul Farmer at or calling him at (831) 751-7725. He can tell you what’s happening and where you can make a difference.


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Rethinking Retirement Income Planning by Bill Hastie, MBA

Photo by Batista Moon STudios


account balance Bill Hastie and investment return. One of the questions most often asked is, “Can I retire once I accumulate $1 million in my 401(k) plan?” The answer, of course, is a definite maybe, but it’s not the right question to ask for someone to ask who is seeking to retire. Recent academic studies have taken a deep dive into the ramifications to the retiree of the shift to defined contributions plans, and have largely concluded that retirement planning for the thousands of baby boomers approaching retirement is in crisis. Cited as the key issue is the paradigm shift from seeking a guaranteed retirement income to seeking the largest retirement account balance at retirement. Also, it was noted that the investment process for the former is very different than the latter. Presented as a case in point is the Treasury bill (T-bill), seen as a risk-free investment. From a value (accumulation) standpoint, the T-bill keeps the principal safe as its principal and interest are guaranteed by the U.S. government. What is highly volatile, however, is the amount of income the retiree can purchase from year to year with that principal. It may be beneficial for employers offering a retirement plan to instead of trying to make plan participants smarter about investments, create a smarter dialog about how participants can reach their retirement income goals. For employees, it’s all about planning no matter how many years before retirement. Setting a retirement income goal, which can and will be revised over time, puts a face on what will actually be important to the retiree.

Photo by Batista Moon Studio

As Americans approach their retirement years, little is more important than having the confidence that their future income is defined and secure. But trends in employerprovided retirement plans in recent decades have actually moved in the opposite direction causing a significant mismatch in retirement plans and retirement income planning. Let’s look at where we have been and where we are now. In the “old days,” corporate pension plans which were entirely employer funded would provide a percentage of their final (few) years’ income as guaranteed retirement income (known as defined benefit plans). This gave workers a clear understanding of their future income – i.e, a defined benefit - and the security of knowing how to plan for their future. It was important to note how workers understood their retirement benefits – as a monthly income – with really no other consideration. In that simplicity came a sense of security. As stated above, the defined benefit plan is 100% employerfunded. The 401(k) provides that the plan participant can make contributions to the plan on a pretax basis (unless Roth contributions are offered in the plan) in addition to the employer being able to make contributions should they choose. Employer contributions may be in the form of a match or a flat percentage. Many 401(k) plans involve only employee contributions, in 2019 to a maximum of $19,000 for employees under age 50, $25,000 for employees age 50 and older. Perhaps the greatest unintended consequence of the industry’s shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans (again, namely the 401(k) plan) is the focus away from retirement income and towards

L to R: Stephanie Chrietzberg, SVP, MCB; Kate Cummings; Jim Davis; Kathy Torres, VP SBA Loan Officer MCB

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Marketing 101

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

Why You Must Get Creative With Your Advertising Do ads annoy you when you're watching TV or browsing the internet? I agree that some ads are shoved in your face, but I also understand the need for advertising as it's the primary way to reach customers and to grow a business. After all, you have to highlight your products and services to your target audience. But how do you do it without turning off people who can't stand ads? Use smart techniques like native advertising. If you want to reach people who use adblockers online, you need to start implementing native ads in your marketing strategy. A native ad is content that looks like any other blog or product article but is paid for by an advertiser to promote a specific product or service. For example: Your business sells men's and women's fashion apparel. You reach out to a popular blogging website that writes reviews about today's fashion. You provide the site's authors with clothing from your store, and in turn they write an article titled "The Top Fashion Trends in 2018." In the article, they use a few photos of models wearing your apparel with a description of the clothing and where it's from. They might also include links to your

online shop. That's native advertising in a nutshell. It promotes your products in an unobtrusive way and blends in with the site's look and feel. Use native advertising as a notso-obvious way to advertise your business's products, services or features in something that looks like a regular editorial piece but is sponsored by you. Another way to use native advertising to your advantage is through social media. Today, millions of people use social media to share articles, pictures and even products to people in their friends' list. Advertising on a social media platform is crucial to reaching a demographic that might not otherwise see your ads in other areas online. For example: Create an Instagram account for your business and tag your products and services in a way that captures interest from other people. You can also run ads directly on Instagram and other social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Statista estimates about 2.7 billion people will use social media by 2019, and I'm sure that number will increase exponentially in the future. You're missing a lot of growth potential if you don't use social media marketing to advertise your business. Whether you're targeting customers locally or globally, I hope you use native advertising and social media in your marketing campaign. They go together perfectly to reach more customers in your demographic and to grow a successful business now and for the future. ■



Newsom’s Goals for California by Dan Kopf for Quartz, Gavin Newsom is now in charge of the fifth largest economy In January 2019, Gavin Newsom will become the governor of California. It’s a big job. The state has a population of about 40 million people and a GDP of about $2.8 trillion. If it were a country, it would be the world’s fifth-largest, just ahead of the UK, France, and India. From education to housing to health insurance, Newsom has set out a remarkably ambitious series of goals. What he chooses to prioritize will have profound consequences for Californians, and indicate how progressives might govern nationally if they take the White House in two years’ time. Newsom, a 51-year-old Democrat with Hollywood-ready looks, first came to prominence as mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011. Known at the time as a business friendly moderate, Newsom governed the city as more of a progressive than expected. Most famously, early in his first term, he ordered the city’s clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses, making San Francisco an early leader in pushing for marriage equality. He also signed into law a large expansion of healthcare access for poor residents. Newsom has been California’s lieutenant governor for the past eight years under Jerry Brown, whom he will replace. As lieutenant governor, he helped pass initiatives for stricter guncontrol laws and to legalize marijuana. Newsom will inherit a thriving economy. Though the state saw tough times after the global financial crisis, it has recovered robustly. Boosted by Silicon Valley, California’s economy is humming. From 2014 to 2017, the state’s inflation-adjusted GDP grew at an annual pace of more than 3.5% per year, far outpacing the US as a whole. As a result of this economic boom, the state’s revenues increased faster than spending. The state’s 2018-19 budget features a $9 billion surplus. But all is not well in the Golden


State. Accounting for the cost of living, California has the highest poverty rate in the US. It’s also a leader in income inequality, which is only increasing. The state has a rapidly growing homelessness problem. Many of California’s thorniest problems can be traced to rising housing costs. During his campaign, Newsom talked a lot about fixing inequality. He says his approach will emphasize investing in kids. “I’m not a redistribution Democrat, but I am a predistribution Democrat,” he told Capitol Public Radio. Newsom says this means expanding access to prenatal care, universal preschool, and automatic college savings accounts for students in Kindergarten. In order to take on the state’s housing problems, Newsom says California needs to build 3.5 million new units by 2025. It’s a long shot, and housing experts call it “wildly unlikely.” Newsom says it can be accomplished by boosting funds for subsidized housing and cutting red tape for new construction. He also thinks it may be necessary to penalize cities for NIMBYism by making transit funding dependent on whether localities meet the state’s housing goals. Perhaps Newsom’s most ambitious goal is to create a single-payer healthcare system for California. His proposal would insure both legal residents and undocumented immigrants. The version of singlepayer insurance that Newsom supports would cost the state about $400 billion a year. It would likely be paid for by a hefty hike in the state’s payroll or sales tax. Most of Newsom’s plans involve spending a lot of money, so if he wants to achieve his goals he will also need to raise a lot of revenue. For most large tax increases, California’s requires that voters get a say in a referendum. Newsom has a lot of big ideas, and now he must convince Californians that they are worthwhile. ■

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What Employers Need to Know for 2019 by Sharilyn Payne, Fenton & Keller With the year ending, California employers again face multiple changes in the law. Although some of the changes are to laws affecting working conditions and wages, the #MeToo Movement had a major impact resulting in several new laws related to the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. Below is a summary of some of the new laws: • Minimum Wage Increase: On January 1, 2019, the minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and to $12.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. The minimum threshold salary that must be paid to exempt salaried employees (which is the equivalent of two times the minimum wage) goes up to $45,760.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $49,920.00 for employers with 26 or more employees. • Overtime for Agricultural Workers: Currently, agricultural employees under Wage Order 14 receive time-and-a-half after they have worked for ten hours in a workday or 60 hours in a workweek. Beginning January 1, 2019, these employees must receive time-and-a-half once they work more than 9.5 hours per workday or more than 55 hours per workweek, if they work for an employer with 25 or more employees. • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training: Previously, employers with fifty or more employees had to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees within six months of hire or promotion to the supervisorial position, and every two years thereafter. SB 1343 now requires an employer with five or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisory employees, and at least one hour of this training to all nonsupervisory employees, by January 1, 2020, and then once every two years thereafter. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) is required to develop or obtain


one-hour and two-hour online training courses on this topic and to post the courses on the DFEH’s internet website. • Settlement Agreement Confidentiality Provisions: Under SB 820, beginning January 1, 2019, a settlement agreement cannot prevent the disclosure of factual information (except the claimant’s identity) relating to certain claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or harassment or discrimination based on sex that are filed in a civil or administrative action. Such a provision would be void as a matter of law and against public policy. • Agreement Not to Sue for Harassment: SB 1300 makes it unlawful for an employer to require an employee, in exchange for a raise or bonus, or as a condition of employment or continued employment, to sign a release of a Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) claim, or to sign a nondisparagement agreement denying the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. However, an employer and employee can enter into a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a FEHA claim that the employee has filed in court, before an administrative agency, alternative dispute resolution forum, or through an employer’s internal complaint process. A “negotiated” settlement is one entered into voluntarily, deliberately, and in an informed manner, with the employee having an opportunity to retain or be represented by an attorney. The full text of these various bills can be found by entering the bill number on the following website: http://leginfo. ■ 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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CA State Budget is Flush by Adam Ashton, The Sacramento Bee Gov. Jerry Brown’s parting gift to Gov. elect Gavin Newsom is a state budget so flush with unrestricted tax revenue that top fiscal analysts struggled to find the right words to describe it. “The budget is in remarkably good shape,” reads the annual fiscal outlook by the Legislative Analyst’s Office. “It is difficult to overstate how good the budget’s condition is today.” Economic trends are so sunny that the analyst’s office projects a state budget surplus of $14.8 billion next year, unless the Legislature chooses to spend the money or cut taxes. The Legislature and Newsom could follow Brown’s lead and use that money to continue preparing for a recession. If so, the state would have about $30 billion in reserves to weather a recession by the summer of 2020. Or lawmakers could use the money to seed some of the proposals that Brown repeatedly nixed in his last years in offices, such as expanding health care coverage to undocumented immigrants or putting more funds into programs aimed at helping lowincome Californians. The analyst’s report sounds one significant note of caution. It warns that California government finances can change suddenly because it is dependent on income taxes from high-earners, which can plummet in a downturn. For instance, the same office in November 2000 projected that state government would accumulate a $10.3 billion surplus in the 2001-2002 budget years. Instead, the dot com recession hit and lawmakers faced a $12.4 billion recession. That history weighs on Democratic lawmakers, who so far are not revealing whether they’re ready to fund new programs. “We have to be very, very careful about ongoing spending,” said Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Phil Ting of San Francisco. “My takeaway is clearly we need to save more money.”


The forecast looks at two scenarios for the state’s economy over the next few years. In one, the economy continues to grow. In the other, a recession begins. The difference in potential revenue for government programs is $46 billion. If the Legislature and Newsom choose to save the surplus, the Legislative Analyst’s Office projects that the state probably would have enough money in reserves to weather a mild recession without serious deficits and cutbacks. “For eight years we have worked tirelessly to end the era of perennial budget deficits and bring about responsible budgeting. Not only have we pulled the state from the depths of the Great Recession and made significant improvements in critical programs, we are also well prepared to withstand the next recession without major cuts or middle class tax increases,” said Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. State leaders, most prominently Brown, have been warning that a recession is on the horizon. His office reports that the state’s longest economic expansion took place between 1991 and 2001. The current one, dating back to the lowest point of the most recent recession, is heading into its 10th year. Brown took office in 2011 facing a $27 billion deficit. He’s leaving office with almost a $9 billion surplus. Brown signed a $201 billion state budget in July. Its general fund approached $139 billion, or $70 billion more than the state spent from that fund in 2011-12. “This is a time to save for our future, not to make pricey promises we can’t keep. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Let’s not blow it now,” Brown said at a May news conference on the budget. ■

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Spirit, Health & Wellness 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.

Monterey Peninsula Surgery Salinas Valley Dental Care Clinica De Salud Del Valle De Salinas - CSVS Community Care Centers Always Best Care Senior Salinas Valley Memorial Services Healthcare System Natividad Medical Center Coastal Kids Home Care A & O Clinic Pharmacy

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Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real

Flow Cryotherapy Central Coast Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Montage Wellness Center Christopher M Mule DDS

Monterey Bay GI Consultants Medical Group

Octave Hearing Systems

Sherman's Apothecary

Pearl Dentistry

Snap Fitness Salinas

Pediatric & Adolescent Medical Assoc of Pac Coast

Songbird Care Homes

Pinnacle HealthCare Planned Parenthood

Salinas 7th Day Adventist Church

Sunrise Villa Salinas The Salvation Army Windsor Skyline Care Center

A Special Thanks to Our Strategic Partners and Stakeholder Members



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San Bernardo Rancho

Salinas Valley Dental Care Dr. Irving Chao completed shi Dental Sleep Medicine residency at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco. He continues to take courses taught by the leaders in Dental Sleep Medicine around the county and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, a group which solely focuses on improving sleep breathing disorders through oral appliances. Dr. Chao is highly skilled in treating sleep apnea and can help you get a better night’s rest. (831) 424-1535 1211 S. Main St., Salinas

Scales Seafood & Steaks SCALES Seafood & Steaks is located on historic Fisherman’s Wharf. SCALES features fresh sustainable seafood (verified through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch Program”), steaks (certified Angus beef) and fine pasta dishes. With its magnificent lounge, guests can indulge in an exotic cocktail or a fine wine from SCALES’ extensive wine cellar while enjoying the spectacular harbor and bay views. SCALES blends ambience, superb customer service and award-winning creations. In addition to its main restaurant, SCALES also offers private banquet facilities accommodating up to 130 people, a casual dining café -“Scales on the GO,” a fish market and a gift shop. 30 Fisherman's Wharf • (831) 375-1331 •

WCT Logistics Services Founded by Guadalupe Espinoza, this family business has years of experience in Shipping Coordinator with LTL & Full Loads. We are a professional, White Glove Delivery Service. We service the Bay Area, Santa Barbara and the Central Coast. Great service begins and ends with experienced and friendly professionals. We aim to exceed your expectations of what a dependable Delivery Service can be. We are happy to assist with daily and even last-minute deliveries. 831-595-4044 •

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. 1 Rosenberg Ln, San Ardo, CA 93450 (831) 627-2357


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Chamber Events

Look What We Found!

Lopez Tax Service celebrates relocating one of their offices to Marina

With this issue, we are wrapping up the Chamber’s Centennial anniversary.

Check out what we’ve found in our vault! As we conclude our Centennial year, we have one more thing to share from our vault. For this series of articles, we thank Thom Taft, our Finance Manager who has become the Chamber’s unofficial historian.

Songbird Care Homes Celebrates their grand opening as a 12 bed assisted living ranch home in beautiful Toro Park

Chamber office before 1979 remodel

Partial walls were erected to create a lobby and a back office

The Chamber’s office building served as a bank for many years (so when we refer to “our vault,” we are referring to the bona fide vault we have in our building). The last time our Chamber building underwent a major facelift was in 1979, which is when the adjoining photos were taken. Chamber CEO Paul Farmer jokes that if you want to see some prime examples of 1970s décor, you can check out the Chamber’s bathrooms and kitchen. We’ve made many needed improvements to our building in the last few years, but there are no plans to update that ‘70s décor so the next time you visit the Chamber, come take a peek and travel back in time for free.



Chamber Ambassador

Tania Arvizu

Tania Arvizu was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 2000. She graduated from Seaside High School and then from Heald Business College with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting.

She founded Tania’s Accounting Services in 2006 and had to close down due to lack of clients; this experience helped her gain knowledge on business management.





As part of the business development Tania sought help from the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce to help her find new business interactions; to her surprise, she found more than that. It was then that she decided to become an ambassador in order to help other small businesses like hers find the help they need to become better individuals and contribute to our community. Tania is married to Mr. Adan Arvizu with whom she has three children, Itzel, Dayanara and Noe. As you may see in this picture, they share great family moments doing what they love most - hiking at one of their favorite trails at the Fort Ord National Monument. ■

Come Have Lunch on Us!

T FOR 90 Y





After working from home for 5 years she decided to open to the public once again as A&T Tax Notary and Bookkeeping, as business progressed the name would be modified to A&T

Tax, Payroll and Bookkeeping to better describe the services provided by the company.


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

Visit us and explore the engaging programs, delicious cuisine and freshly remodeled residences at the new Madonna Gardens. Please call to set up your reservation. 1335 Byron Dr Salinas, CA 93901

470 Camino El Estero Monterey, CA 93940 831.373.3622

831-758-0931 RCFE #275202569

Expires January 31, 2019. First-time tour visitors only. Not redeemable for cash. Redemption value not to exceed $25.00.


Focus on Non-Profits The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a non-profit 501c(3) organization founded in 2003 that provides education and information on the agriculture industry and innovative programs in our community. We believe decisions and policies will come from community leadership that is better informed as to issues faced by the ag industry combined with an understanding as to how the industry works. Our program accomplishments include: • AgKnowledge Program: Conducted Twelve Annual AgKnowledge Executive Leadership Education Classes with 22 Fellows attending a comprehensive 9-month course - 264 community leaders have graduated from the program, including Salinas Valley Chamber President & CEO Paul Farmer. Applications for Class XIII 2019 on our website:

• Greater Vision Forum: Co-hosted with our partners at California State University Monterey Bay and streamed live at Hartnell and Cabrillo Colleges, Thirteen Greater Vision Forums each attended by over 200 community leaders, students and actively involved residents. You can view the 2018 Greater Vision "Careers in Agriculture" forum at the following You Tube link: • More Produce in Schools: Placed 82 salad bars in local schools in partnership with United Fresh Start Foundation and conducted training to food service personnel on the care and use of the salad bars. The produce grown in our community touches

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation's More Produce in Schools Program benefits from the proceeds of the 2018 Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival. Here with: Jim Bogart, Steve McShane, Joel Panzer, Lisa Dobbins, Jon Brandt, and Frank Savino

the lives of virtually everyone living here as well as millions of people across the nation and throughout the world. We are proud of our efforts to make our community aware of the positive impact agriculture makes to all our lives.

Bringing together donors big and small to support local nonprofits and their Big Ideas. Monterey County Gives! is here! Nonprofits have highlighted their Big Ideas, the website is live, challenge grants are in place and we're ready to let the donors of Monterey County demonstrate their remarkable support for the great work of the 169 participating agencies. Since launching in 2019, MCGives! has grown every year. Last year, $4.8 million was given and granted. This year's challenge grants of $874,000 and the $450,000 pool of matching funds are the highest ever. The partnership of the Monterey County Weekly, Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation has never been stronger, as well as our collective resolve to make MCGives! bigger and better every year. Other major partners are Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel, the Cannery Row Company, Colburn and Alana Jones Foundation of the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. Monterey County Gives! has provided a roadmap of increased giving in the past few years, underscoring the strength of our local philanthropic spirit. If Monterey County Gives! has shown us anything it is that giving is being driven by the knowledge that our communities are much better places because of the outstanding work of our nonprofits. People are giving because they want to know folks are being fed, the environment is being cared for, homeless people have shelter, children are learning to read and the arts are thriving. “Your gift matters, however big or small, and it matters even more during the MCGives! campaign." - Dan Baldwin, President/CEO Community Foundation for Monterey County. To learn more and donate, visit Twenty-five Salinas Valley Chamber non-profit members already use Monterey County Gives. ■



Wildfires Threaten Renewables Strategy by Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg

California’s ambitious drive to combat climate change may hinge on the fate of its biggest utility owner The embattled PG&E Corp. would face higher borrowing costs if its credit rating falls to junk following California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. That could affect the state’s green-energy strategy, potentially making solar farms more expensive and threatening investment needed to support wider use of electric vehicles, said Michael Wara, a senior research scholar at Stanford University. Climate change has made wildfires the new abnormal in the region, but now the fires themselves may make it harder to fight climate change. California has approved a series of measures to rein in carbon emissions, and will need PG&E’s help to achieve many of its goals. The legislature passed a bill this year that would require all of its electricity to come from carbon-free sources by 2045, and became the first state to require solar panels on almost all new homes. This follows a big push about a decade ago by the state and utilities including PG&E to help make solar power a mainstream electrical source. “California has big ambitions,” James Berger, a Los Angeles-based lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, said in an interview. “PG&E obviously has a big role to play. That’s one of the reasons the legislature will want to make sure they don’t file for bankruptcy.” On Thursday, Moody’s Investors Service lowered PG&E’s rating to Baa3 from Baa2, the second-lowest level of investment grade, with the possibility of further downgrade. However, the head of the California Public Utilities Commission said Thursday he can’t imagine letting the utility go bankrupt. PG&E helped some big solar farms get off the ground. The San Franciscobased company signed long-term contracts to buy electricity from projects that may not have been viable without its backing. Lenders relied on PG&E’s underlying credit rating to size and price debt financings for the projects. So a PG&E downgrade


could have ripple effects, prompting other downgrades for its clean-energy suppliers. That could make the projects less valuable if their “owners want to sell them into what is the frothiest project M&A market in recent memory,” said Nathan Serota, an MBA student focusing on infrastructure and project finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. It’s happened before. Fitch Ratings in September cut the ratings of a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. solar facility’s senior notes after PG&E received a downgrade. On Friday, Moody’s said it had downgraded that facility’s senior secured debt. The reason was “driven entirely” by the further weakening of PG&E’s credit quality, according to a note. A Berkshire Hathaway Energy spokeswoman said in an email before that downgrade that the company doesn’t speculate on the financial condition of businesses. PG&E has argued that if the state wants the utility to help it meet its climate goals, the company needs to be financially viable. Because of potentially higher financing costs due to fire risk, “we may need to pull back on some of the clean-energy projects that are so critical to our state’s ability to meet its bold clean-energy goals,” Chief Executive Officer Geisha Williams said during a July conference call with analysts. While wildfire legislation passed this year addresses “many urgent needs, more work remains to combat the devastating threat that extreme weather and climate change pose to our state’s shared energy future,” PG&E spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said in a statement. PG&E said recently that it had exhausted its revolving credit lines, signaling that it was shoring up its cash as it prepares for a potential credit downgrade. “How this situation is resolved is material to whether California achieves its clean energy and climate goals,” Wara said. ■

As IMPOWER begins a new decade helping local girls and women, the founders, committee members, sponsors, and supporters would all like to give a huge "Thank You" to the Salinas Valley of Chamber of Commerce. Without the support of the Chamber over the past 10 years, IMPOWER would not have had the ability to become its own nonprofit organization and continue to do remarkable things to support the achievements and celebrate the accomplishments of the women in our community. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you Salinas Chamber staff and members for helping to launch a nonprofit that will impact women for many years to come!


Member News Natividad “Foundation Feud” Natividad Foundation recently hosted its best event in 30 years. Hundreds of friends, supporters and donors who’ve helped strengthen Natividad joined in a festive game of “Foundation Feud” and celebrated the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary at the Fox Theater. Foundation Feud host Natividad’s Chief Medical Officer Special guest and Dr. Craig Walls looks to the audience while game show long-time Natividad contestants John D’Arrigo, Teresa Matsui, Mike Haynes Foundation donor and Sabria Henry-Hunter play. Senator Bill Monning honored several key partners, including the Matsui Family for their $500,000 gift to help create an Infusion Center at Natividad. The Foundation also honored the Harden Foundation as its Hero of the Year. John D’Arrigo of D’Arrigo California presented a collective donation from 95 members of The Agricultural Leadership Council (TALC) for $313,050 and students from Everett Alvarez High School’s Interact Club announced they raised $18,000 for women with cancer for Natividad Foundation’s Wendy Baker RN Memorial Fund. The night ended with a hilarious game of Foundation Feud which saw the victorious Donors Team facing the Doctors Team.

Alisal Flips the Switch Alisal Union School District recently Flipped the Switch on a District-wide solar installation. This milestone achievement was celebrated at Monte Bella Elementary School on Nov. 15th in the presence of District Administration, Board of Education, students, parents and community members. Sustainable energy program highlights include: • $10.9MM+ in projected energy savings over the lifetime of the program • 1.8 million kWh of clean energy generated annually, the equivalent to removing the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere as 35,300+ trees • Hands-on STEM activities connecting the new solar and energy efficiency upgrades into the classroom for all 8,500+ AUSD Students


CANCER IS TOUGH. WE ARE TOUGHER. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is at the forefront of the battle against cancer across the globe. But, finding cures for cancer takes us all, and we need your help!

Calling all Monterey Bay Area community leaders, friends, survivors and fighters. Will you help us win the war on cancer?



December 2018 January 2019

BJ’s Restaurant 1730 N. Main St.

Thursday, December 20 5:30-7pm


Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting


Ambassador Committee Meeting



11:30 AM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office


Holiday Mixer at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse


Connect at Lunch- La Plaza Bakery & Cafe





5:30 PM - 7:00 PM • 1730 N. Main St. 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • 1036 N Davis Rd

Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office


Lunch and LearnPower Lunch with Paul Farmer


Ambassador Committee Meeting



Free for members. Prospective member? You get one freebie.

11:30AM-1:00PM • Chamber Office 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office



GROWTH STARTS SMALL. 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

Paci Grove 561 Lighthouse Avenue (831) 649-5010

Watsonville 1915 Main Street (831) 768-2668

Gonzales 400 Alta Street (831) 675-3637

Salinas Main 307 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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