Progress Magazine September 2023

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7 TiPs FOR busiNEss gROWTh


VOL. 44 | ISSUE 9 | SEptEmbEr 2023 mOdEStO ChambEr OF COmmErCE

Bank Strength

156 Years of Strength & Stability

Established in 1867, Bank of Stockton is a commercial bank with a proven track record of sound banking management principles and a strong consumer and commercial customer base. We are proud to serve generations of families and businesses with quality products and personalized service.

As we celebrate our 156th year of community banking, we’ve weathered many historical challenges and continue to be a source of strength and stability for our customers and our communities. When you need a bank you can count on, look to us. Our customers’ satisfaction is our greatest reward!

IN MODESTO 1302 J St. & 4204 Dale Rd.

Choose a health care partner that’s better for your business today, and tomorrow.

Remote, hybrid, in-person. Today’s workforce needs care that meets them where they are. More than ever, workforce health is a business strategy. Choose a leader who can help you navigate challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Learn more at

For all that is Modesto. For all that is you.

A Message From The President & CEO

Exploring thE Dynamic lanDscapE of BusinEss anD Economics in our community

Modesto's business tapestry becomes evident, though its diverse businesses, each contributing to the unique thread to the fabric of our local economy. Our community thrives because of the entrepreneurs and leaders who envision, innovate, and invest. From innovative startups to longstanding establishments, our community thrives on the passion, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit of those who dare to dream big and make things happen.

Collaboration lies at the heart of sustainable economic growth. We are fortunate to have a community that values partnerships, where businesses, organizations, and government entities come together to pool resources, expertise, and ideas.

As September arrives, so does the eagerly awaited Modesto Chamber 61st Annual Harvest Luncheon—an event that serves as both a celebration and a means to support the next generation of Agricultural leaders. This luncheon holds special significance as it contributes to funding scholarships for MJC Ag Students, embodying our commitment to their educational journey. The anticipation is building as we prepare to come together in a spirit of camaraderie, united by the common goal of nurturing and empowering the future of agriculture.

The Chamber continues to foster connection and collaboration through our various programs and events,

creating opportunities for business, be on the lookout for upcoming mixers, meetings and ribbon cuttings and more!

Touch – A – Truck Family Day is just around the corner! Join us for an unforgettable day of truck exploration, interactive activities, and family fun on September 30th at the Modesto Junior College AG Pavillion.

This November, the Chamber will be taking part in an upcoming Business Expo hosted by BBSI. This will be a dynamic event that brings together a diverse array of businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals, and industry experts, creating an innovative and collaborative platform.

As we work, shop, and live within our community we can’t help but be inspired by the stories of those who contribute to the economic vibrancy of Modesto, reminding us that our community's progress is a collective endeavor and the boundless potential that lies within our community, that continues to shape a future where business and economics intertwine to create a thriving and inclusive Modesto.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement.


Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I 4

Each member of the Chamber is important, no matter the size of business. We desire for local businesses and organizations to succeed and thrive. To reach this goal we provide exposure, opportunities to engage with Regional Electeds and community partners, as well as networking with businesses and organizations across industries. We work to better our community by providing up-to-date education and training, certifying qualifying businesses as Green, and providing advocacy on City, State, and Federal levels. The Chamber is a family of dedicated professionals striving to make a difference in their business and way of life. Whatever your business needs are, we invite you to join us.

To execute our adopted mission we have developed an acronym that helps keep us focused. That acronym is “CARES: Community, Advocacy, Relationships, Education and Service.”

C - Community

At its heart, the Modesto Chamber is a community of like-minded business owners who share the vision for enjoying a thriving economy and creating and maintaining our community as a vibrant place to live, work and play. With over 100 years of history and experience in the Greater Modesto Area, we understand what it means to be a business owner and customer in our community, with featured events such as local and regional forums, Ag Aware, Harvest Luncheon, and Family Day. Chamber members get the opportunity to actively engage in and influence the community they live and work in.

A - Advocacy

The Modesto Chamber supports local businesses and is an active advocate for the common interest of its members. The Chamber has an Economic Development Committee and a Government Relations Council. These advocacy committees are dedicated and proactive in representing our members and community. They work to address business initiatives and relieve the regulatory burdens businesses face may face. The Chamber is also honored to certify local businesses and organizations through our California Green Business Network Stanislaus Program. Through this we create more conscientious and sustainable ways of life while lowering the cost of doing business for our community and future generations.

R - Relationships

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce specializes in building relationships and serving as the nexus to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies. With over a dozen Committees, Programs, and Events in which our members can participate, the Chamber offers ample opportunity to meet and connect with other business owners in our community. As a relational organization, the Chamber works with its members to ensure the opportunity to connect and grow in every niche and industry to help build and cultivate long-lasting relationships among business owners and community partners alike.

E - Education

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce values education and offers members the opportunity to stay on the leading edge with new and emerging information and training that will set your business apart from the rest. In partnership with Modesto Junior College, the Chamber is pleased to offer an assortment of trainings applicable to any business or industry for credited completion through our Chamber University platform. Our Chamber also works with members to provide a platform to speak to their own industry expertise and invite other members to learn from those leading our local industries.

S - Service

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce offers its members a wide range of opportunities to promote and engage their business across industry and community lines. The Chamber Weekly E-Blast, Website, and our Progress Magazine provide opportunities to advertise and promote your business, keep up to date with articles about local businesses in our community, and stay in the loop about up-and-coming Chamber and community events. Our Chamber also offers indemand materials, such as Member contact list, Federal and State compliance posters, export document services, and so much more. Chamber members can also personalize their business profile within our website and have access to our Member-Only Information Center, where members can connect with other members, boost their social media presence, promote job postings, public events, and member-to-member discounts.


Mission stateMent

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to serving the greater Modesto Area, regional businesses and community prosperity through advocacy, collaboration, access to leaders, economic development, connectivity and business education.

executive coMMittee

Chairperson – Kirstie Boyett Zacharias, American

Leadership Forum- Great Valley Chapter

Immediate Past Chairman – Michael Gaffney, Pacific Gas & Electric

Vice Chairman, Internal Operations – Pat Gillum, Patricia A. Gillum, CPA

Vice Chairman, External Operations – John Villines

board of directors

Garrett Ardis- Huff Construction Company Inc.

Phriekah DuHaney West- Kaiser Permanente

Brad Blakeley, Edward Jones Investments

David Halvorson Jr.

Debra Hendricks - Debra Hendricks Consulting

Amy Jefferies - Gianelli Nielsen

Rachell Le Viege - Lift-A-Hand Home Care Agency

Eric Mangal, Grimbleby Coleman CPAS Inc.

Brian McDermott

Kymber Miller- Sysco Central California Inc.

Michael Moradian Jr- Peace of Mind Control

Peggy O'Donnell, Mid-Valley Productions

Edgar Perez - F&M Bank

Jason Pineda, Freshpoint Inc.

Stephen Qualls-Central Valley League of CA Cities

Bill Robinson, Principal Financial Group

Kari Santos - I.J. Larsen Pumps

Christine Schweininger- Valley Builders Exchange

DeJeune Shelton- Modesto Junior College

Madhu Singh, Bank of Stockton Kelly Tallent Martin

President & CEO

Trish Christensen Modesto Chamber of Commerce

Publisher: Modesto Chamber of Commerce

209.577.5757 •

Graphic design: 209 Magazine

209.634.9141 •

Printer: 209 Magazine

209.634.9141 •

distribution: 209 Magazine


advertising sales:


© Copyright 2021 Modesto Chamber of Commerce. Some parts of this magazine may be reproduced or reprinted, however, we require that permission be obtained in writing.



Administrative Assistant, Stephen Shaw

Sustainability Coordinator, Jolene Camarena

Events Coordinator, Felicia Lopez

Membership Coordinator, Lizeth Rocha Staff Accountant, Jaime Lastra

cover Photo: Dan Gomes/farmerdanphotography

Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I

sePteMber 2023 | CONTENTS disclaiMer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. ProGress MaGaZine 1114 J Street • Modesto, CA 95354 209. 577.5757 • Fax 209. 577.2673 • coMMunitY 4 CEO MESSAGE 7 CALENDAR 8 ANNOuNCEMENTS advocacY 14 EXPLORE MODESTO 15 STANISLAuS GREEN TEAM 16 TOuCH A TRuCK 17 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT relationsHiPs 23 MILESTONES 24 PRESIDENT’S CLuB 25 MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS 27 PEOPLE ON THE MOVE education 29 7 TIPS FOR BuSINESS GROWTH 30 THRIVING SMALL BuSINESSES service 31 VALLEY SIERRA SMALL BuSINESS 20 GRID ALTERNATIVES 13 WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT 15 DOuBLETREE By HILTON 26 DOuBLETREE By HILTON






labor day- office closed

ribbon cutting - order sons & daughters of italy in aMerica

1114 J. St., Modesto, Ca 95354

econoMic develoPMent coMMittee

Dr. Gokce Soydemir, Foster Farms Endowed

Professor of Economics, Department of Accounting & Finance, CSU Stanislaus- San Joaquin Valley Business Forecast

*Register on website, in person & Zoom 12:00 P.M

7 rising Professionals

Lunch and Learn / 12:00PM-1:00PM

*Register on website

7 Mix & Mingle

McHenry Mansion / 906 15th St. Modesto


8 harvest luncheon

MJC ACE Ag Pavilion / 11:30Am-1:00PM


6 econoMic develoPMent coMMittee

Barb Newton, President & CEO

California Travel Association (CalTravel)

*Register on website, in person & Zoom 12:00 P.M


rising Professionals

Evening Social


*Register on website

11 evening of industry-Mcs &MJc

Modesto Junior College West Campus

2201 Blue Gum Ave. Modesto


12 Mix & Mingle

Security Public Storage

1401 Woodland Ave Modesto, Ca 8:00AM-9:00AM


ribbon cutting - aMerican event center


WoMen in business

Coffee and Conversations

*Register online 15


14 Mix & Mingle

Tri-County Bank / 3601 Pelandale Ave Suite 65


governMent relations council Meeting

asseMblyMeMber Juan alanis

6436 Oakdale Rd., Riverbank, Ca 95367 15

*In person & Zoom 11:30 A.M. Register on website

aMbassador/WelcoMe teaM Meeting

8:00AM-9:00AM 19

WoMen in business Evening Social

DoubleTree Hotel / 1150 9th St. Modesto

5:00PM-6:30PM / *Register on website


stanislaus green teaM Meeting

StanCog- StanisCruise / Jean Floretta

12:00pm – 1:00pm

*Register on website for lunch count


touch a truck

MJC Ag Pavilion / 9:00AM-3:00PM


*Register on website

stanislaus green teaM Meeting

Assemblymember Juan Alanis

12:00pm – 1:00pm

*Register on website for lunch count


Multi-chaMber Mixer

Great Wolf Lodge

2500 Daniels St. Manteca CA




governMent relations council Meeting

senator Marie alvarado-gil

*In person & Zoom 11:30 A.M. Register on website

59th annual good egg breakfast

DoubleTree Hotel, Grand Ballroom

1150 9th Street, Modesto


community sEptEMBER 2023
Registry links and more at
note that calendar events and details
to change.
*See website for more detail. Find Zoom Please
are subject

doctors Medical Center Junior Volunteers awarded $6,000 in scholarships

The Service League of Doctors Medical Center has proudly awarded scholarships to local students who have volunteered their time at the hospital.

At a recent ceremony, the Service League volunteer program awarded four junior volunteers with scholarships totaling $6,000, which will go towards their college education.

The following recipients received scholarships: Keane Arguelles (Enochs High School), Kyziah Ballesteros (Enochs High School), Priscilla Carranza (Central Valley High School) and Bennett Stanley (Enochs High School).

The Service League also donated $5,000 to Modesto Junior College and $5,000 to Stanislaus State for their medical and nursing programs.

Funds for the scholarship program at Doctors Medical Center come from profits earned in the volunteer-run hospital gift shop.

Scholarship recipients are chosen based on their GPA, school and community activities, awards and honors,

quality of their essay depicting their goals for the future and their performance while volunteering at Doctors Medical Center. They must also have 200 hours of volunteering at the hospital in order to apply for a scholarship.

Doctors Medical Center is proud to offer volunteer opportunities for local students who are looking to gain real life experience in a hospital setting. The junior volunteer program requires students to commit to one year of volunteering at the hospital. Doctors Medical Center accepts applications for adult volunteers throughout the year and junior volunteers twice a year.

Volunteers are a vital part of the hospital, providing a great resource for patients, families, visitors and employees. For those interested in volunteering, please visit the volunteer page on our website.

U.s. News & World report Names doctors Medical Center as high Performing hospital in 2023-2024 ratings

Doctors Medical Center has been named by U.S. News & World Report to its 2023-2024 Best Hospitals as a High Performing hospital for Diabetes, Heart Failure and Stroke. This is the highest distinction a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals Procedures & Conditions ratings.

The annual Procedures & Conditions ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures.

“It is an honor to be recognized on a national level for our commitment to taking care of our community. This recognition from U.S. News & World Report is a testament to the hard work of our physicians, nurses and medical teams across numerous specialties,” said Jay Krishnaswamy, CEO of Doctors Medical Center. “We are proud of our team for consistently providing high-quality, compassionate care to our patients every day.”

U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 21 procedures and conditions. Hospitals awarded a “Best” designation excelled at factors such as clinical outcomes, level of nursing care and patient experience.

“For 34 years, U.S. News has provided data-informed rankings to help patients and their doctors find the best hospital to treat their illness or condition,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News. “Fewer than half of evaluated hospitals earned any High Performing rating. Hospitals that are High Performing have excelled in providing high quality care in specific procedures and/or conditions.”

For more information on the U.S. News Best Hospitals, explore Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #BestHospitals.

Doctors Medical Center is proud to be designated by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. There are currently 218 Comprehensive Stroke Centers around the country and only 27 in California. Doctors Medical Center is the only center in the Central Valley, and the only one from Sacramento to outside the Bay Area and down to Southern California. Being a Comprehensive Stroke Center reflects the hospital’s commitment to providing safe and quality stroke care, and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its neuro physicians, nurses and clinical team.

8 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I community

‘American pickers’ to Film In California

The American Pickers are excited to return to California. They plan to film episodes of The History Channel hit television series throughout your area in September 2023.

“American Pickers” is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on The History Channel. The hit show follows skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.

They are always excited to find historically significant or rare items, in addition to unforgettable characters and their collections.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, the Pickers are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics.

Along the way, they want to meet characters with amazing stories and fun items. They hope to give historically significant objects a new lease on life while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. The Pickers have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.


We at “American Pickers” continue to take the pandemic very seriously and will be following all guidelines and protocols for safe filming outlined by the state and CDC. Nevertheless, we are excited to continue reaching the many collectors in the area to discuss their years of picking and are eager to hear their memorable stories.

The “American Pickers” TV Show is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a unique item, story to tell, and is ready to sell…we would love to hear from you. Please note, the Pickers do not pick stores, flea markets, malls, auction businesses, museums, or anything open to the public. If interested, please send us your name, phone number, location, and description of the collection with photos to: or call (646) 493-2184 facebook: @GotAPick

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Livingston Community Health (LCH) is proud to announce the opening of its first clinic in Modesto, CA to better serve the health and well-being of residents in Modesto and surrounding areas. LCH’s mission is to expand access to comprehensive primary and preventive health care services throughout the Central Valley, particularly serving patients from vulnerable populations in need.

The opening of the Modesto clinic marks the eighth clinic to be opened by LCH, expanding the service territory greatly. The clinic is located at 2116 E. Orangeburg Ave, Modesto, CA 95355, with hours of operation Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Three dedicated service providers include Dr. Jose Alberto MD; Karen Rayos, MD; and Elizabeth Buhler, NP. This clinic is now accepting new patients and appointments can be made by calling (833) 850-3500.

"The opening of our center in Modesto represents our commitment to improving the overall health and wellness of individuals and families, ensuring that everyone has access to compassionate and affordable care," said Leslie Abasta-Cummings, CEO of Livingston Community Health. The Livingston Community Health Center in Modesto offers a wide range of services, including primary care, preventive care, women's health, pediatric care, chronic disease management and behavioral health services. The health center also provides assistance with insurance enrollment and eligibility, ensuring that all individuals can access the care they need.


Livingston Community Health is a patient-centric, non-profit, federally qualified health center dedicated to providing comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

LCH offers multiple services across their locations including medical, dental, behavioral health, substance use treatment, women's health, and school-based health assistance with a full-service pharmacy. Their care teams consist of nurses, medical assistants, referral specialists, care coordinators, and providers all available to serve their 22,000+ Central Valley patients. Current clinic locations include Modesto, Hilmar, Delhi, Waterford, Turlock, Hughson and two locations in Livingston (Main Street and the Community Health Campus). More information about all of Livingston Community Health’s clinics and services can be found at

Don’t miss an opportunity to learn about San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission’s upcoming rail construction projects totaling $1.2 billion in available contracts! Network with construction companies poised to bid for the 17 projects presented.  JOIN US FOR INDUSTRY DAY CALLING ALL SMALL BUSINESSES AND CONTRACTORS! $1.2 BILLION IN RAIL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR BUSINESS THURSDAY, SEPT. 14, 2023 WORKNET CENTER 6221 WEST LANE STOCKTON, CA 95210 ADMISSION IS FREE

10 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I community
11 september 2023 community is now Your local news source. 209MULTIMEDIA.COM Now locally-owned.
September September hosted by hosted by Evening Evening Social Social 1150 9th St, Modesto, CA 95354

Workforce Development: transforming Lives through transitional Jobs

We are thrilled to share an inspiring update on the meaningful collaboration between Stanislaus County Workforce Development (SCWD) and Modesto Gospel Mission. Our joint effort has been instrumental in creating transformative opportunities for homeless job seekers through Transitional Jobs; enabling them to build skills, gain current work experience, and pave their way towards permanent employment.

Since January 2023, the partnership has yielded remarkable outcomes. Together, we have established eight Transitional Jobs within the Mission's warehouse, kitchen, and shelter programs. These roles not only provide practical training and evaluations, but also allow participants to earn wages while gaining valuable experience.

SCWD plays a pivotal role by covering participants' wages and providing support services that guide them toward securing lasting employment.

The impact of this initiative is nothing short of heartening. Two participants have already secured permanent positions within the Mission itself, while four have successfully transitioned into permanent roles with local businesses. Moreover, our commitment to holistic development has led to the creation of three On the Job Trainings (OJTs) at the Mission’s Volente Coffee, Operations, and the New Life Program.

We've also partnered with a private employer to offer an OJT opportunity that resulted in a participant being hired.

Our dedication to transforming lives extends beyond immediate employment prospects. One individual we assisted has embarked on a journey towards becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) through enrollment in a training program. Additionally, two clients have completed Job Readiness workshops and are currently benefiting from our tailored Job Search services.

We are proud to facilitate employers in accessing California's Homeless Hiring Tax Credit, an incentive designed to support the hiring of candidates who have faced homelessness. This credit, offering up to $10,000, is a powerful tool that recognizes the potential and resilience of individuals seeking to rebuild their lives through gainful employment.

Success Story: Meet Harold

Harold's story encapsulates the heart of our mission. At 38, with sporadic work experience in temporary positions, he was our inaugural candidate for a Transitional Job. Placed in the Mission's Warehouse, Harold embraced the opportunity to learn order fulfillment, product sorting, palletizing, and warehouse maintenance. His dedication paid off as he obtained a forklift certification during his tenure. Beyond technical skills, Harold also participated in workshops and received one-on-one guidance in crafting a compelling resume, completing job applications, and mastering the art of thank-you notes.

Harold's transformation is an embodiment of our collective efforts. After several months of skill-building and personal growth during his transitional job, he embarked on a job search journey. In June, his journey culminated in a full-time position as a Janitor at Salvation Army.

Harold radiates fulfillment as he relishes his new role, expressing gratitude for the support that propelled him to his current position. He remarks, "I was blessed to have the help. I wouldn't be where I am now without it."

Harold's experience encapsulates the positive impact we strive to make. Each story of triumph reinforces our commitment to fostering change, one life at a time. We are excited to continue this journey of empowerment, leveraging partnerships and unwavering dedication to create a brighter future for those we serve.

Visit to learn about all our career and business services.

13 september 2023 community
14 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I advocacy


October 19th

Juan Alanis

November 16th

15 september 2023 1114 J. Street Modesto 209-577-5757
21st StanCog- StanisCruise
Lunch Provided, Register online advocacy
BEAM Circular

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kristin Mostowski, Director of Public Relations | Community Hospice | | 209.578.6301



WHAT: Join Community Hospice Foundation for our Annual Golf Fore Community Hospice tournament at Del Rio Country Club on September 18, 2023. The tournament will follow a fourperson scramble format. Golfers will enjoy brunch & beverages, fun course activities, hosted dinner with wine, awards, drawing and an exciting live auction.

WHEN: September 18, 2023

9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Del Rio Country Club

801 Stewart Road Modesto, CA 95356

REGISTER: Early bird entry fee is $200 per person/$800 per foursome. After August 31, 2023, the entry fee will be $225 per person/$900 per foursome. Entry includes green fees and cart, brunch and beverages, Tee prize, course giveaways, awards ceremony, dinner, drawings, and Live Auction.

More Info: For more information regarding Golf Fore Community Hospice, visit text HospiceGolf2023 to 41444, or call the Community Hospice Foundation at 209.578.6370. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

About Community Hospice Foundation

Community Hospice Foundation, established in 2001, raises funds and awareness for Community Hospice, fulfilling the mission to embrace individuals facing life changing journeys, enhancing quality of life for all.

About Community Hospice Community Hospice is the largest and oldest nonprofit hospice agency in the Central Valley. Serving the community since 1979, Community Hospice has cared for thousands of friends and neighbors in their time of need providing hospice and palliative care services. Care extends to over 2,000 patients each year in private homes, skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities and at the 16-bed inpatient Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Community Hospice also provides grief and mental health support services through Hope Counseling. For more information, please call 209.578.6300 or visit

16 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I advocacy 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. MJC Ag Pavillion PRESENT An Interactive Family Day! 12 and under FREE Ages 13+ $5.00 + Saturday, Sept. 30th Big Thanks to our Big Rig Sponsors! ...and our Heavy Duty Sponsors! FREE ADMISSION 12 AND UNDER Proceeds from this event will benefit the Modesto Chamber of Commerce Foundation Trade Scholarship Fund Central Valley Automotive • Holt of California Huff Construction • JS West and Companies Montpelier Nut Company • Stanislaus Foods TSM Insurance Services
NYE Fashion BRUNCH MIDNIGHTTO DECEMBER/JANUARY2019 ISSUE $4.95 PIFF FEBRUARY/MARCH 31 $4.95 Cover-84P.indd $18 Just per year visit and click the to have 209 Magazine delivered to your door! Your Favorite Magazine now... WE’VE GOT THE 209 COVERED. SUBSCRIBE

economic Development Committee meeting recap

Through the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center we are helping hundreds of small businesses get free technical business services through oneon-one consulting and through workshops. We are especially focusing on the underserved communities to help them start and grow new businesses.

Opportunity Stanislaus, the economic development organization that serves Stanislaus County and the surrounding region, has initiated a new 5-year plan to spur economic growth and vitality. Named Opportunity Stanislaus – Next Level Together, the plan focuses on five pillars – 1) Expand VOLT Institute, 2) Develop Local Talent, 3) Improve Economic Vitality, 4) Grow Local Businesses and 5) Advocate for Positive Business Legislation.

Finally through our efforts on policy advocacy, we are supporting good business legislation at the state and local level through our CEO Roundtable and through our partnership with the New California Coalition.

For more information on Opportunity Stanislaus, call 209-422-6420 or visit us at www.

VOLT Institute, established in 2017 through a partnership between Opportunity Stanislaus and the Stanislaus County Office of Education, trains adults to become maintenance mechanics and other advanced manufacturing positions to meet the regional demand for talent among our industry partners.

Since its inception, VOLT has graduated more than 400 students through its various programs to serve local industry.

Our Talent Development team has created several programs to train human resources professionals to attract and retain talent in a very tight labor market.

In improving Economic Vitality we are targeting to attract companies that pay higher than the county average wage and also diversity the economy. Just in the past two years we have helped to attract companies like MGA Research, Divert, S2A Modular, Aemtek and others to bolster our economy.

We are also supporting important community projects like the Modesto Children’s Museum and a new sports center project in Turlock which will make the community a more desirable place to live.

17 september 2023 advocacy

Golden State Priority Project

Rebates for DC Fast Chargers for your Community

CALeVIP's Golden State Priority Project is providing rebates of up to 50% to install EV direct current fast charging stations in eligible areas throughout California! Funding is available only for sites in disadvantaged or low-income communities, including federally recognized tribal land.


Fast chargers benefit your community and the environment!

Fast and efficient charging for drivers

A potential source of revenue and marketing opportunities for site hosts. Clean air and health benefits for the community

A more equitable transition to a clean mobility future

The Golden State Priority Project covers up to 50% of a project's total approved costs for direct current fast chargers and installation, capped at $100,000 per active connector.

18 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I advocacy

Communities in Charge

Level 2 EV Charging Where Communities Live & Gather

Grow your business and help bring EV charging access to your community

Communities in Charge provides incentives for Level 2 EV infrastructure to accelerate the deployment of charging throughout California. The incentive project is designed to transform EV accessibility, prioritize equity, and offer technical assistance to support the development of charging infrastructure where communities live and gather.

Why Level 2 Charging?

Convenient charging for residents, customers and employees.

Community Connections

While many sites are eligible, Community Connection sites are prioritized & encouraged to apply:

Multi-Family Housing in Charge

Tribes in Charge

Congregations in Charge

Schools in Charge

Healthcare in Charge

Nonprofits in Charge

Local Governments in Charge

Workplaces in Charge

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean air.

Create new sources of income (LCFS credits or charging for use).

Benefits of Participating

Up to $3,500, or 75% of eligible costs, whichever is less per eligible connector. An additional $3,500 per connector is available for multi-family housing sites and for Tribal entities.

Receive rebates for 4-20 connectors (multi-family housing & workplace charging may receive rebates for up to 40 connectors).

Technical assistance to support your EV infrastructure deployment journey. May be stacked with other eligible rebates.

19 september 2023 advocacy

Stanislaus Green Team Presenter- GRID Alternatives

As more drivers transition to electric and hybrid vehicles, access to EV chargers at businesses, multifamily housing, and other community locations is more important than ever.

Through the Communities in Charge and Charge Up incentive programs, Modesto businesses, Tribes, local agencies, nonprofits, schools, and congregations can add level 2 EV chargers to their property at little to no cost. In addition, rebates for DC fast chargers are also available through the CALeVIP 2.0 incentive program.

GRID Alternatives, a local non-profit, is working to ensure that all communities have access to these incentives and the benefits of clean transportation. If you are considering adding EV charging to your business, nonprofit, local school, multifamily property, or other commercial location, GRID Alternatives can provide no-cost technical assistance, rebate application resources, and support throughout your EV charging journey.

This spring, GRID worked with Glad Tidings Church, a cornerstone of the Hayward community since 1978, to receive $220,000 in rebates for DC fast chargers as part of a larger project to make Glad Tidings a renewable energy hub for the community.

The project will include 4 DC fast charging connectors as well as Level 2 EV chargers, solar, and battery storage.

“GRID Alternatives was instrumental in providing technical assistance to Glad Tidings to access EV charging rebates. Their expertise and guidance enabled Glad Tidings to navigate the application process of the rebate program seamlessly, and GRID worked with us to ensure we had supporting documents and were up to date on all deadlines. Thanks to GRIDs’ support, Glad Tidings will receive $220,000 as a rebate to provide EV charging infrastructure and promote sustainable transportation in the community. The project is set to begin in September 2023, “ said Lex Stanley, Gemini Energy Solutions

To get in touch with GRID’s Clean Mobility team to learn more or to get started with a project, email GRID at communitiesincharge@gridalternatives. org or or call (510) 646-8208.

Learn more about the upcoming application window for Communities in Charge, which provides incentives for Level 2 EV chargers, here.

20 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I advocacy
21 september 2023 RELATIONSHIPS



22 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I

Congratulations to thi S month 'S mile S tone member S hi PS

60 + years

Americ A n Ag c redit 40 + years

S A nder S c on S truction c o.

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30 + years

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Vi S ion FA ire oP tometrY

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StA ni S l A u S c ount Y Sheri FF ' S d e PA rtment

20 + years

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20 + years

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10 + years

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b ertolotti d i SP o SA l d irect Flooring & h ome

5 + years

mo V e StA ni S l A u S t r A n SP ortAtion e rin m il A n S A lon & S PA

5 + years

g erbo d e S ign S

Audi m ode S to

V i P mA n A gement, i nc.

Sou SA i n S ur A nce SerV ice S , llc

1 + years

r o S e b ouquet n ine3 o ne

cAtholic c h A ritie S d ioce S e o F Stockton

t he u PS Store

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J A ni t ek c le A ning Solution S

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23 EDUCATION september 2023

pResident’s club CirCle Of influenCe

Elit E

E & J Gallo Winery

Kaiser Permanente

K E yston E

AIM Property Management

Beard Land and Investment Co.

Capax-Giddings, Corby, Hynes, Inc., a HUB

International Company

Doctors Behavioral Health Center-DMC

Doctors Medical Center-DMC

Mape's Ranch/Lyons' Investments

Pacific Southwest Container, Inc.

Physician Referral Service-DMC


Blue Diamond Growers

Crystal Creamery

Doubletree by Hilton Modesto

Fiscalini Cheese Company

Frito-Lay Co., Inc.

IHeart Media

Modesto Irrigation District

Modesto Nuts Professional Baseball

Sutter Health Valley Area

Sysco Central California Inc.

E nthusiast

Alpine Protective Solutions

American Chevrolet

American Medical Response

Astound Business Solutions Powered by Wave

Atherton & Associates, LLP

Audi Modesto Bank of Stockton

Benchmark Engineering, Inc,

California State University, Stanislaus

Care One Home Health and Hospice, Inc.

CareOne Home Health

Central Valley Automotive

Central Valley Nissan

Central Valley Volkswagen Hyundai

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino

Clark Pest Control

Collins Electrical


Del Monte Plant #1

Dhillon Healthcare Group

English Oaks Nursing & Rehabilitation Hospital

Exceed GPR & Locating, LLC

F&M Bank

Flowers Baking Co. of Modesto, LLC

Food Maxx


Gianelli Nielsen

Gilton Solid Waste Mgmt, Inc.

Golden Valley Health Centers

Grover Landscape Services, Inc.

Infiniti of Modesto

International Paper Co.

JS West & Companies

Legacy Home Care

Maxx Value Foods

Mocse Credit Union

Modesto Toyota


O'Brien's Market

Oak Valley Community Bank

Opportunity Stanislaus

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Pepsi Bottling Group

PMZ Real Estate

Residence Inn by Marriott Modesto North

Rizo-Lopez Foods, Inc.

Rose Bouquet

San Joaquin Valley College

Save Mart Supermarkets

Save Mart Supermarkets - Corp Office

Seva Hospice

Solecon Industrial Contractors

Stanislaus Food Products Co.

Stifel Investment Services

Storer Coachways

Sutter Gould Medical Foundation

Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger

The Century

The Parks Group

TSM Insurance & Financial Services

Turlock Irrigation District

Union Bank

US Bank

Valley BMW

Valley Children's Healthcare

Valley First Credit Union (Administrative Offices)

Valley First Credit Union (J Street Branch, Modesto)

Valley First Credit Union (Sisk Road Branch, Modesto)

Valley Lexus

Varni Brothers Corporation

Vintage Faire Mall/Macerich Company


Warden's Office Products Center

Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency

Yosemite Foods Inc.

Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I 24 Relationships
ContaCt the Chamber to learn more about our president's Club level benefits

Modesto Chamber Members Helping Chamber Members: My Seven-Day Journey to a New Car

In a world of instant gratification, sometimes we forget that certain experiences, no matter how modernized or streamlined, still require time, patience, and a human touch. Such was my experience when I embarked on a quest to find the perfect SUV. What unfolded over seven days was not just about buying a car but about community, support, and unparalleled customer service.

Test Driving Over 30 SUVs

The week began with a whirlwind of test drives. Starting in Modesto, my hunt for the perfect SUV quickly became a cross-city adventure. From Turlock's bustling streets to Merced's scenic routes and Stockton's vibrant avenues, I left no stone unturned. Every city brought with it new dealerships, unique SUV options, and diverse opinions. It wasn't just a quest for a car but an exploration of Central California's automotive landscape.

From one showroom to the next, I found myself behind the wheel of over 30 SUVs. The vrooms, the plush interiors, the new car scents; each experience was unique, but the choices were overwhelming. Every free moment I had was spent online, navigating countless websites and comparing features, prices, and reviews.

The Human Element

Surrounded by technical specifications and horsepower, the true highlights of my search were the wonderful people I encountered. Each dealership introduced me to professionals eager to assist, share their knowledge, and ensure I found my ideal vehicle.

A Turning Point at Jeep

On the seventh day, with my mother’s guidance and knowledge for looking for a car, my journey led me to Jeep, a part of the Central Valley Automotive Group. This wasn’t just another dealership; it felt like destiny. Here, I was greeted by Sales Representative Juan Inigues. His approach was different - it wasn’t about making a sale but about ensuring I found what I was truly happy with. As we test-drove various SUVs, Juan patiently answered all my questions, giving me the clarity I so desperately sought.

Finding the One

It was here, under Juan's guidance, that I discovered the Jeep Cherokee. It was as if the car had been waiting for me all along. It checked all the boxes: style, comfort, and performance. I knew I had found my match.

Seamless Transactions

The next day, in a gesture that spoke volumes about their customer service, Juan Inigues personally picked me up to finalize the paperwork. As we went through the details, Jeff Surber, the Executive Sales Manager, made it a point to ensure everything was in order and that I was completely satisfied. There is always a bit of a dance in the tradition of buying a car. But after the first Tango, Jeff realized that I was a serious buyer with a flair for negotiating, and I led with suggestions on how to make the dance a bit more pleasant. At that point, I could see that Jeff was more interested in making a customer happy, so in the spirit of good customer service, he extended his arm to fist-bump me and said, “Let’s get this deal done.” The team dynamic was palpable –everyone seamlessly worked together, prioritizing my experience over everything else.

When Juan Inigues had other commitments, Juan Franco stepped in without a beat missed. As he assisted me, he shared his own journey of becoming a Sales Team member at Central Valley and how he’s been thriving. He shared a Team contest video he created to share his experience with the community with his own Jeep. I could see he was very proud of what he created. His passion was evident, and it reminded me of how essential passionate employees are to any successful customer journey.


Unveiling The New Look At The Doubletree By Hilton Modesto

If you’ve not stopped by the DoubleTree by Hilton Modesto, you are missing out! Our newly renovated lobby, restaurant, lounge and meeting space will impress your guests and your Boss when you hold your next event with us. The new color scheme features crisp, cool lines, accented with subtle pops of color, for a truly modern and refined design.

The lobby now opens up and welcomes visitors and guests with an abundance of natural light and décor that highlights a Central Valley palette of blues, greens and sunshine. If you are looking for a productive spot to catch up on emails or the game’s score, the Lobby Lounge and its new seating configurations are the place to be! Stop by for Happy Hour starting at 3 p.m. for our latest food and beverage specials. Our Culinary Team, led by Executive Chef Faya Enwiya Flores, creates dishes that are a delight to see and will tantalize your taste buds.

The renovated Grand Ballroom and new Napa Ballroom are the perfect location for your special event. Their elegant and modern touches flow perfectly from social reception to business meeting.

The Grand Ballroom can seat 300 in rounds of 10 and the Napa Ballroom can accommodate 190 in rounds of 10. Let our Meetings & Event Specialists be your local expert who will guide you to a successful and worry-free day. To reach our team, please call (209) 525-3012 and we would be delighted to assist you!

We encourage our clients to take advantage of a new Hilton Double Points Promotion. When you contract and realize a minimum of ten (10) group rooms per night, you will earn double Hilton Honors points in 2023 and triple Hilton Honors points in 2024. Whether you’ve got a travel sports team, wedding guests or corporate meeting coming up, we’ve got a great rate to offer you! To learn more about this promotion, please contact the Hotel’s Sales Office at (209) 525-3012.

You will always find a warm welcome at the DoubleTree, highlighted by our signature chocolate chip, oatmeal and walnut cookie! We recently launched a new Allergy-Friendly Cookie for those guests needing another option. This cookie is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and free of the top 9 allergens. Be sure and ask for one the next time you check-in!

26 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I Relationships

peOple On the mOVe

CVCb Announces private banking Officer And trio Of banking Center managers In stanislaus & san Joaquin Counties

James J. Kim, President and CEO of Central Valley Community Bank (CVCB), is pleased to announce the addition of Gilbert Brasil, Vice President, Private Banking Officer, and a trio of Vice President, Banking Center Managers: Marina Mejia (Modesto), Katie Garner (Lodi) and Carina Nava (Stockton).

Gilbert Brasil, Private Banking Officer, serves CVCB clients in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties with nearly two decades of relationship banking and sales experience. He is a known problem-solver who takes the time to understand the needs and expectations of his clients. Gilbert is responsible for building new business relationships and personal deposits with high balances. He can be reached directly at (209) 839-2450.

Marina Mejia joins the Modesto Banking Center team as Manager with nearly two decades of banking experience and management expertise. She is known for her team leadership, relationship development and exceptional client service. Marina can be reached in Modesto at (209) 576-1402.

Katie Garner joins the Lodi Banking Center team as Manager with over two decades of banking experience, particularly in the areas of management and financial operations. She is a well-respected Manager who leads her team by example and provides exceptional service by understanding her clients’ financial needs. Katie can be reached in Lodi at (209) 3335001.

Carina Nava has been promoted to Stockton Banking Center Manager, continuing a banking career spanning over 20 years, 15 of which with CVCB.

She is a well-respected bank leader with extensive knowledge of branch operations and financial products, and is known for her responsive service to both her team and her clients. Carina can be reached in Stockton at (209) 644-7817.

“Gilbert, Marina, Katie and Carina bring a collective wealth of knowledge and a passion for service to our Mid-Valley business and personal banking clients,” said Kim. “We value their professionalism, integrity and their many talents, and look forward to the support they will provide to the communities they serve.”

september 2023
Gilbert Brasil Marina Mejia

Unique Charcuterie Concept Graze Craze Now Offering Grazing Boards and Boxes in Modesto

Graze Craze®, a popular charcuterie concept encouraging customers to celebrate everything with fresh, high-quality charcuterie boards and boxes, recently opened its first San Joaquin Valley store at 2900 Standiford Ave., Suite 9, in the City Gate Shopping Center near the Modesto Mall. Graze Craze is a member of the Starpoint Brands™ family of trusted companies, a division of United Franchise Group™ (UFG) representing the very best in their industries.

At Graze Craze, artfully designed, hand-crafted charcuterie boards feature delicious assortments, arranged perfectly for nibbling or hearty graze-style meals — including gourmet meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal sweets and more. The unique menu features several grazing options fit for any occasion, lifestyle, or palate from veggie-lovers to lowcarb crews. Graze Craze boards are favorites for family gatherings and community events. They also make impressive and always-welcome gifts.

Sisters and Modesto locals, Jennifer Yakow and Megan Khalaf, are the franchise owners of Graze Craze Modesto. With support from their family, the sister duo was determined to bring a new concept to the local community. Leaning on their passion for food and desire to share a unique grazing experience with the area, they are looking forward to using Graze Craze as a creative outlet to give back and bring joy to their community.

“This has been such an exciting journey for our team,” said Khalaf. "We can’t wait to offer our beautiful charcuterie boards to the community so that they can elevate any event or special occasion with fresh, madeto-order grazing options crafted from the highestquality ingredients.”

The artisan-inspired charcuterie boards at Graze Craze are created by a highly trained charcuterie experts called a Grazologists™. The grazing boards come in various sizes, ranging from single boxes for those who prefer a lone grazing experience to large grazing boards that can cater to any occasion, be it a wedding reception, holiday party, birthday celebration, wine tasting, office luncheon or open house.

The northwest Modesto Graze Craze will be open for pick-up and free local delivery Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

28 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I Relationships

7 tips for Navigating business Growth During an economic Downturn: Insights from sCOre modesto

In an ever-evolving economic landscape, resilience is paramount. Here at the Modesto chapter of SCORE, we recognize the challenges faced by local businesses, and we're committed to sharing actionable insights to help our community not only endure a down market, but thrive during these periods of uncertainty.

With that, here are 7 quick tips you can put into action to bolster your business right now.

Tip 1: Understand and maintain your business's financial health.

This means diligently reviewing financial statements, managing cash flow, and trimming unnecessary expenses. But financial acumen isn’t just about costcutting; it’s about making informed decisions that safeguard your core operations.

Tip 2: Customers remain the lifeblood of any enterprise.

In tumultuous times, your customers' needs and priorities might shift. Being in tune with these changes, adjusting offerings, and introducing flexible payment terms or promotions can help sustain and even grow your customer base while others experience attrition.

Tip 3: The digital realm offers a beacon of opportunity.

Whether it’s revitalizing your website or harnessing the power of social media for more personal engagements, the online world can be your gateway to broader horizons. Businesses that embrace digital transformation can tap into new revenue streams and foster deeper connections with their audiences.



Efficiency has never been more crucial.

Adopting lean practices, streamlining operations, and leveraging technology can ensure your business remains agile. A lean, technology-driven approach can often help deliver more with less.

Tip 5: Team dynamics play a pivotal role during downturns.

Keeping communication channels open, supporting staff development, and maintaining morale can be the difference between a team that merely survives and one that excels.

Tip 6: Forward-thinking businesses see downturns as an opportunity to innovate.

By investing in research and development now, you’re laying the foundation for future growth. When the economy rebounds, and it invariably will, these innovations can position your business at the forefront.

Tip 7: No business exists in isolation.

Lastly, engaging in community initiatives, strengthening relationships, and networking are more than just goodwill gestures. They anchor your business in the community and reinforce trust and solidarity.

In challenging times, the tenacity, adaptability, and vision of the business community are tested. With the combined efforts and support from organizations like SCORE Modesto, we are confident that our local businesses will not only weather this storm but emerge stronger on the other side.

See what’s happening at SCORE Modesto-Merced. Visit

29 education september 2023

"Maximizing Growth Potential: How Business Economics and Online Tools Can Help Small Businesses Thrive"

As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for ways to grow and succeed. By understanding business economics and utilizing the right online tools, you can give your business the best chance to thrive. Here's how:

Understand Your Market

One of the key principles of business economics is understanding your market. This includes knowing your target audience, your competitors, and the forces that can affect your business. By having a solid understanding of these factors, you can make more informed decisions about your business and identify opportunities for growth.

Utilize Online Marketing Tools

In today's digital age, there are many online tools that can help you reach a wider audience and promote your business. This can include social media, email marketing, and online advertising platforms. By using these tools effectively, you can reach a targeted audience and drive more traffic to your business.

Build a Strong Online Presence

Having a strong online presence is crucial for small businesses looking to grow. This includes having a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and provides valuable information to potential customers. It also includes maintaining an active presence on social media and other online platforms, which can help you connect with potential customers and showcase your products or services.

Monitor Your Progress

To ensure that your business is on track for growth, it's important to regularly monitor your progress. This can include tracking your sales and revenue, analyzing your online traffic, and collecting customer feedback. By monitoring your progress, you can identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to your business strategy as needed.

30 Modesto ChaMber of CoMMerCe I education Pamela Swift 209.758.8020 Branch ManagerDale Road Laura Weaver 209.343.7633 Branch ManagerMcHenry Cesar Camarillo 209.343.7611 Branch Manager12th & I Victoria Gaffney 209.343.7601 Commercial Banking Officer Lynette Fletcher 209.844.7552 Commercial Banking Officer 3508 McHenry Avenue • 4120 Dale Road • 1200 I Street

No-Cost business Consulting and trainings in stanislaus & tuolumne Counties - Valley sierra small business Development Center

Do you have a business dream that you’ve always wanted to pursue, but were not sure where to start? Starting a business from scratch can be overwhelming, but beginning your journey with the proper guidance from experts can make all the difference.

Our goal at the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center is to provide local business entrepreneurs with the assistance they need to make their idea a reality.

The Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides no-cost, no-obligation business consulting and trainings in Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.

We offer services in the areas of marketing, social media, quickbooks, business plan, obtaining capital, business startup, management, strategic planning, and so much more!

By becoming an SBDC client, you will have access to business advisors at no-cost and other resources that can help push your business idea into motion.

Whether you are in the idea stage or have launched, the SBDC offers a variety of resources to assist you, as well as workshops and classes to help you understand the ins and outs of the process. SBDC consultants can then guide you with the details of turning your plan and concept into a successful business.

We encourage you to head over to our website:, in order to learn more and to get signed up today! All services are no-cost, no-obligation, and completely confidential.

We look forward to helping your business start, grow, and succeed!

31 service september 2023

Modesto Irrigation District has various programs that can help your business unplug to conserve energy and plug-in to sustainability.

Modesto Irrigation District has various programs that can help your business unplug to conserve energy and plug-in to sustainability.

The power is in your hands.

The power is in your hands.





Energy Conservation

Energy Conservation