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DEBRA L. REED NAMED CHAIRMAN OF SEMPRA ENERGY

December 4, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – The board of directors of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) announced last month that CEO Debra L. Reed has been elected chairman of the company.

Effective Dec. 1, Reed will succeed Donald E. Felsinger, 65, who retired at the end of November after a 40-year career with the company.  Reed was named Sempra Energy’s CEO in June of last year.

CHAMBER HOLIDAY MIXER TO HELP TOYS FOR TOTS DECEMBER 6

December 1, 2012 (Poway)—This year’s Holiday Mixer, hosted by the Poway Chamber of Commerce, will be at The Brigantine Seafood Restaurant on December 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  The Chamber invites all members of the Poway business community to mingle and build business at this festive event. The Brigantine Seafood is located at 13445 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064. Holiday attire is encouraged.

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS HOLIDAY MIXER DEC. 12

December 1, 2012 (El Cajon) – East County Chamber of Commerce and Team KIA of El Cajon host the annual Business After Hours Holiday Mixer on December 12 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Team KIA of El Cajon, 541 N. Johnson Ave., El Cajon.  Stop by for heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, holiday music and lucrative business networking.

Admission to the event is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.  RSVP online here.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER’S FIRST FRIDAY BREAKFAST IS DEC. 7

December 1, 2012 (Alpine) – East County Chamber of Commerce’s last First Friday Breakfast of 2012 will be held December 7 at 7:15 a.m. at Viejas Casino, 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine.  The East County Toy & Food Drive will be showcased to highlight how many underserved families benefit each year from the charity and community spirit of East County residents and businesses.

LAKESIDE CHAMBER’S 14TH ANNUAL SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS DEC. 1

November 29, 2012 (Lakeside) – Lakeside Chamber of Commerce’s 14th Annual Spirit of Christmas on Maine Ave. is December 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The lighting of the community Christmas tree will highlight the event.  Santa will be in attendance for photo opportunities as well.

The event will feature local school performances, kid activities, jumpy jumps, rides and crafters booths.  The event is free to attend.

SANTA BREAKFAST & VIEJAS TOY DRIVE DEC. 1

November 27, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Center, with Viejas Enterprises, presents Breakfast with Santa on December 1 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the community center, 1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine. A buffet style breakfast of pancakes, sausages and eggs will be served. 

The event will also feature arts and crafts, decorate your own cookie, door prizes, silent auction items and drawings.

NATIONAL WALMART PROTEST REACHES EAST COUNTY AS LEAFLETTERS TARGET SHOPPERS AT GROSSMONT CENTER AND COLLEGE GROVE

Walmart's low wages keep workers on the public dole, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for  its corporate profits

By Nadin Abbott

November 23, 2012 (La Mesa)-- Black Friday today was marked by a nationwide protest at 1,000 Walmart stores, including Grossmont Center in La Mesa.

Walmart workers are not unionized. So local volunteers and members of United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) staged the protest to give voice to grievances of Walmart employees who say they have been pressured to keep quiet and not participate in the demonstrations.

WORKERS TO STAGE WALK OUTS AT WALMART STORES ON BLACK FRIDAY

By Nadin Abbott

November 20, 2012 (San Diego)—Across the nation and in San Diego County, Walmart workers are poised to stage a walk out on Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.  

This Thanksgiving, Walmart workers at more than 1,000 locations are seeking a seat at the bargaining table.

WORKERS PICKET AT GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

By Nadin Abbott

November  20, 2012 (La Mesa)—Some workers arrived after their shifts ended; others came from home to join a march yesterday afternoon outside Grossmont Hospital. All were determined to draw public attention to their efforts to gain better working conditions and compensation.

United Healthcare Employees, affiliated with the AFL-CIO,continues contract negotiations for workers contracted by Sharp Healthcare through Sodexo to manage food services and custodial work.

VIEJAS HOTEL CELEBRATES FINAL STAGES WITH TOPPING OFF CEREMONY

by Ariele Johannson 

November 20, 2012  (Alpine) --Viejas tribal leaders, casino executives, civic and community leaders, and guests came together for an outdoor Topping Off Ceremony on Wednesday, November 13, 2012. More than 100 people assembled in front of the new five-story Viejas Hotel, amid the noise of hammers, drills, and construction workers’ shouts.

This month, the much-anticipated Viejas Hotel enters its final construction stages. The non-smoking Viejas Hotel with valet parking is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013. Viejas Casino, owned by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, is one of the most successful tribal casinos in California. 

SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS ON SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY NOV. 24

November 13, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Small Business Saturday aims to help support local merchants in communities across America.  This year, Saturday November 24 is Small Business Saturday-sandwiched between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

The Small Business Association and American Express urge consumers to support participating businesses in your community. Qualified small businesses can get free online advertising and marketing materials. 

Last year, more than 100,000 people participated.  Find more information at www.shopsmall.com and scroll down for additional details on how you can participate.

MARKETING MATTERS: REVIEW AND REGROUP FOR 2013

Tips and Tricks for Business Success and Growth

By Rama Beerfas

November 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – As we approach the end of 2012, it is time to review the year's business successes, challenges and (dare I say it?) failures. If we want to make a difference to the growth opportunities we have available in 2013, then it is critical that we evaluate what worked, what didn't, and where we didn't pursue opportunities that we should have. From that assessment, we can develop a more informed plan for the coming year that will be more likely to succeed than a plan made from hopes, dreams and wishes.

HEARTLAND HOSTS FREEDOM FESTIVAL NOV. 5-6 IN SAN DIEGO

Business Mixer, Political Mixer, and Festivities Focus on Restoring American Dream

November 4, 2012 (San Diego)--Celebrate being American at a fun-filled two day festival at historic Tuna Harbor Park (700 North Harbor Drive) in San Diego, CA on November 5 and 6  from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Freedom Festival is dedicated to connecting people to resources for establishing our original values as Americans, bringing together pioneers dedicated to the promise of the “American Dream” and the prospect of growing businesses to promote the American economy and jobs.

CITY COUNCIL AND AUTO DEALERSHIPS FORM PARTNERSHIP IN EL CAJON

October 31, 2012 (El Cajon)—  At the October 23rd Council meeting, Councilmember Wells proposed that the El Cajon City Council authorize the City Manager to expend General Fund revenues as a 50 percent match with the dealerships for the costs of creating an “El Cajon Auto Dealership Association,” not to exceed the amount of $10,000. 

The City Council voted 4-0 to support this new partnership.

SOAPMAKING STUDIO IN LEMON GROVE OFFERS CLASSES, SUPPLIES AND EXPERT INSTRUCTION

“It is empowering to create a useful commodity appreciated by family, friends and customers.” – Kerri Mixon

By Caprice Harrison, Editorial Assistant for East County Magazine

October 27, 2012 (Lemon Grove) -- Ask Kerri Mixon about making soap.  You will be met with a smile and 16th-generation soapmaking expertise. Mixon  is the owner, administrator, lead instructor and artisan of Soapmaking Studio in Lemon Grove, an inviting classroom and supply center open to the public.

VIEJAS CASINO HONORED FOR COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYING ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES

October 29, 2012 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino, Southern California’s premier gaming, dining and entertainment destination, has been named Business Partner of the Year by Partnerships with Industry (PWI). The honor was announced at PWI’s annual awards event held on Saturday, October 20.

“For seven years Viejas Casino has been providing adults with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities the opportunity to change their lives through employment in the community. “PWI is excited to honor Viejas Casino for their support, commitment and dedication to PWI’s mission and for being a corporate partner that defines a ‘win-win partnership,’” according to Mark Berger, PWI’s chief executive

EL CAJON BREWING COMPANY DECLARES BANKRUPTCY

By Miriam Raftery

October 27, 2012 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Brewing Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the owner says the restaurant aims to reorganize and stay in business.

The brewery has received at least $645,000 in funds from the City of El Cajon, including $300,000 in start-up funds approximately three years ago, followed by a $345,000 loan borrowed from redevelopment funds to complete the renovation, the U-T  San Diego reported in April 2011.

Asked what the bankruptcy could mean for the city, Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM, “This is a bankruptcy reorganization, so hopefully they will be able to reorganize their debt and continue operation or find another operator.  The city has a lien on their equipment as security for the loan. The value of the equipment would cover a significant part of the unpaid loan balance.”

SMALL BUSINESS FORUM AT SDSU OCT. 31

Congresswoman Susan Davis to Host Forum

October 25, 2012 (San Diego)--The Federal Government buys nearly anything imaginable and Congresswoman Susan Davis has assembled a Small Business Forum for local business owners, so that they may learn how to break into this huge marketplace.

WOZNIAK SEEKS LIGHT-BASED COMPUTING AS NEXT FRONTIER

Apple co-founder urges audience to be independent thinkers

Story provided by Aida Garcia at Tijuana Inovadora

October 20, 2012 (Tijuana)--Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak would like to develop a computer whose chips operate on light instead of electricity. If possible, it would make computing dramatically faster and use virtually no power.

COLLEGES, CHAMBER COMBINE FOR "HOW-TO" WORKSHOP SERIES HELPING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

October 22, 2012 (El Cajon)--A series of free “How-To” workshops designed to help East County small business owners improve their employee productivity and performance is being offered by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

“We’re proud to work with the chamber to offer courses dedicated to supporting East County businesses so that they can be as productive and effective as possible,” said Cindy L. Miles, college district chancellor.

NEW SEMINAR SERIES OFFERS MARKETING ASSISTANCE TO SAN DIEGO BUSINESS OWNERS

October 18, 2012(San Diego) --  A six-part marketing seminar series directed at micro, small and mid-size business owners/managers.  The first class was a sell-out, prompting the opening of a second session on developing a marketing plan on October 25th.

"This is the time of year when business owners and managers should be reviewing the successes and challenges of the past year and putting together a marketing plan for 2013 so they can hit the ground running come January 2nd," says Rama Beerfas, Chief Solutions Specialist at Lev Promotions and seminar presenter.

 

 

Rama Beerfas, Lev Promotions' Chief Solutions Specialist and Seminar Presenter

“HEROES AT WORK” HONORED AT CPI GALA

Group focused on rights of working San Diegans also takes stands for Prop 30, against Prop 32

By Miriam Raftery

October 11, 2012 (San Diego)—At its 15th anniversary gala last night, the Center on Policy  Initiatives  (CPI) honored “every day heroes”  for providing education and training, “seeds of a strong future.”

In a packed ballroom at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, State Senator Christine Kehoe  praised CPI for “shining a light” on truth with the organization’s research into issues such as poverty, wages and other issues impacting working people in San Diego County.  “We need CPI  more than ever,” she noted, adding “We have  a very large voice of corporations."

PROP 32: POLITICAL REFORMS OR SILENCING VOICES?

By Thea Skinner

“This initiative is exclusively about the stranglehold that special interests have had over California’s political system,”—Jake Suski, Yes on 32

"It promises political reform but it's really designed by its special interest backers to help themselves and harm their opponents." – Trudy Schafer, California League of Women Voters

October 10, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Proposition 32, titled the “Paycheck Protection Initiative,” would restrict unions and corporations from deducting funds from workers’ paychecks to fund political campaigns, but would allow voluntary employee contributions. Prop 32 also prohibits unions and corporations from contributing to candidates and candidate-controlled committees or groups. Other kinds of political expenditures are still allowed.

BLOCK HEARING UNDERSCORES "DEVASTATING" JOB LOSS AND DAMAGE TO SAN DIEGO ECONOMY IF FEDERAL SEQUESTRATION CUTS ARE MADE

$1.1 to $1.7 billion in local federal defense and non-defense spending at risk in 2013; solutions to grow alternate San Diego economic sectors explored.

October 6, 2012 (San Diego)— A whopping $1.2 trillion in impending federal budget cuts  would have a grave impact on jobs, the economy and schools in the San Diego region.  The impacts of those cuts—and what can be done to survive any resulting damage—were subjects of a hearing by the Assembly Select Committee on San Diego Trade, Tourism and Job Creation chaired by Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78). Block presided over the session, and said the impact of the federal sequestration without change amounts to “a perfect storm” that would produce devastating job losses.

MARKETING MATTERS: TARGET MARKET VS. REFERRAL SOURCE

Tips and tricks for business marketing success

By Rama Beerfas

October 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – This is the season for me to be developing marketing plans for many of my existing clients. What I have noticed over the many years I've been doing this is that there is often confusion between the terms "target market" and "referral source." In order to market correctly, these two terms must be clearly understood, so here goes...

NEW LOCAL BAKERY GRAND OPENING AND RIBBON CUTTING

September 25, 2012 (Poway) -- The sign is up and Nutmeg Bakery and Café is officially open for business! Following a successful soft opening, Nutmeg Bakery and Café held their grand opening and ribbon cutting Thursday, September 20, 2012 and the Poway Chamber of Commerce was there to show its support for the new local business in Poway. Members from the Chamber attended the lunchtime ribbon cutting ceremony and congratulated owner, Shirin Soroushian and chef, Drew Hoffos.

CHAMBER MIXER OFFERS NETWORKING AND SPA TREATMENTS SEPT. 27 IN POWAY

 

September 21, 2012 (Poway)--Bellus Academy is hosting this month's Poway Chamber of Commerce’s networking mixer on Thursday, September 27 from 5:30-7:30pm. Attendees will receive complimentary massages, facials, and beauty services by the students and staff of Bellus Academy. 

FASHION EXCHANGE: FROM VINTAGE WEAR TO STYLISH FLAIR IN LA MESA

Two teens find fashion makeovers to be an unforgettable experience

By Sierra Robinson

ECM editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

September 19, 2012 (La Mesa) – From an early age, Kim Romano developed a passion for fashion—and a keen eye for detail. At age five, she liked to sketch paper dolls in stylish outfits. By age nine, she enjoyed playing dress-up.

“My Mom would bring home bags of hand-me down clothes. I had the best closet in town,” says Romano, owner of Fashion Exchange at 8270 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa. She went on to attend a fashion college, then worked as a traveling makeup artist at Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s department stores.

In 2009 she opened up her shop—which despite the weak economy has thrived. “It’s better every year,” she told ECM.

A SOOTHING AFTERNOON AT NATIVE DREAMS DAY SPA

By Miriam Raftery

September 17, 2012 (Alpine) –What could be more heavenly than a day at Alpine’s new spa for a stressed-out news editor and her assistant?  With high hopes, Mayan and I headed out to Native Dreams Day Spa in the Viejas Outlet Center, where our expectations were met and exceeded by the excellent services and products as we savored an afternoon of pampering and primping.

PACE PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN SAN DIEGO: BUSINESSES CAN NOW PAY FOR CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS SUCH AS SOLAR VIA PROPERTY TAXES-- WITH NO UP FRONT COSTS

September 19, 2012 (San Diego)—A new state program to help business owners invest in solar and other energy-saving projects with zero up-front costs launched yesterday in San Diego County. 

The Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (PACE) enables commercial property owners to use their properties as collateral for energy upgrades—and to pay off those costs through their property tax bills.

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