IN PROGRESS ONLINE
Office of Economic Development, Placer County, California
Vol. 9, No. 2
New Auburn Business Unites Employers, Job Seekers
A new local resource for job seekers and businesses, Blue Ribbon Personnel Services, opened in North Auburn in December. Blue Ribbon was founded by Madeleine Tammi in Placerville in 1981, and now has seven branches in the region. The Auburn branch has a staff of three -- manager Nancy Dixon, assistant branch manager Kelli Williams, and administrative assistant Andi George. Business is generated by the needs of employers, who depend on the agency to refer candidates who have been interviewed, tested and screened. Testing is available for a wide variety of fields. Blue Ribbon can help with employees needed for part-time, full-time, days, evenings, nights, weekends, and event setups, Williams said. For more, visit the Auburn Journal at
or Blue Ribbon Personnel Services at http://www.blueribbonpersonnel.com/
Photography Show Brings Exotic Images to North Tahoe Arts
This month, North Tahoe Arts, in Tahoe City, welcomes the dramatic work of photographers William Cooper and JoAnn Lippert in a show called “Worldly Encounters.” The couple’s fine art photos will be on display in NTA’s main gallery through March 3rd. For the past five years, Cooper and Lippert, a husband and wife team, have observed and interacted with the remote tribal cultures of Southeast Asia. The images in the show record the sights, colors, and textures of China, Myanmar, Bhutan, India, and Tibet, radiating unusual light, life, and color. For more, visit North Tahoe Arts at http://www.northtahoearts.com/exhibits.php or Wild Encounter Photography at http://www.wildencountersphotography.com/
Wine, Where the Buffalo Don’t Roam
When you think of a big, burly, buffalo you don’t generally think of wine or rolling vineyards. But Auburn attorney/winemaker Phil Maddux, a fan and collector of American Buffalo art and memorabilia, named his winery Lone Buffalo Vineyards. Maddux’s venture is one of Placer County’s 11 commercial wineries. Maddux had been making wine at home and winning awards at home winemakers’ competitions since 1971, but in 2001, he realized his dream of planting his own vineyard on his property in the Shirland-Tract area of Auburn. There, the Maddux family grows five varietals -- Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Viognier. They also produce a red Rhone-style blend and Cabernet Sauvignon with Placer and El Dorado County grapes. Lone Buffalo’s first release, a traditional Rhone-style blend, is named “Where the Buffalo Roam.” For more, visit Lone Buffalo Vineyards at http://www.lonebuffalovineyards.com/ or PlacerGrown at http://www.placergrown.org/pdf/current_newsletter.pdf
A good part of the fun of North Tahoe’s 2008 SnowFest, February 29 - March 9, takes place in the town of Tahoe City and nearby environs. On March 1st, for instance, Tahoe City hosts the North Tahoe Firefighters’ Pancake Breakfast, a SnowFest Parade, a Post Parade Party, a Paint the Animal art event, and an Ice Cream Eating Contest. On March 2nd, there is Wacky Winter Bowling and the SnowFest Dog Pull, both at the Tahoe City Golf Course. Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe City is throwing two SnowFest parties -- a Mardi Gras Party on March 3rd and a Mountain Aloha Party on the 4th. On March 6th, the Blue Agave restaurant, downtown, is the site of SnowFest Indoor Olympics (“not just for wimps!”), and on March 8th, middle-school-aged kids can dance at the SnowFest White Hip Hop Ball, at the Lighthouse Center. For details, visit the Tahoe City Business Association at http://www.visittahoecity.com/ For details on all 10 days of festivities, at sites throughout North Tahoe and Truckee, visit SnowFest at http://www.tahoesnowfestival.com/
Placer County’s software industry cluster now numbers more than two dozen firms. One of those, DispatchThis Inc., recently acquired Waresystems from Putzmeister America Inc., which specializes in concrete equipment. DispatchThis, founded in 2005, helps companies in the concrete pumping and belting industry operate more efficiently. With the acquisition of Waresystems, commonly known as Pumpware, DispatchThis expands its customer base from 30 to about 120, and adds one employee, for a total of three. Waresystems offers a desktop application and has the largest user base in the U.S. concrete pumping industry. For more, visit the Sacramento Business Journal at http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2008/01/21/daily8.html or PR Web at http://prweb.com/releases/2008/1/prweb630361.htm or DispatchThis Inc. at http://dispatchthis.com/
“Our biggest attribute is customer-oriented great service,” said Cristina Sazo-Schurr, co-owner with her husband Stewart of their Auburn business, Doctor PC. “Our technicians are so nice with people; it’s a one to one relationship, not between the technician and the machine, but between the technician and the customer.” Doctor PC specializes in computer maintenance and repair, and offers a bundle of other related computer services. The Schurrs bought the business a few years ago from the previous owner and ran it from their home until it outgrew the space. In December of 2005, they moved the business to its current location at 1075 Grass Valley Highway. Doctor PC offers a one- to two-day turnaround for computer services. A PC Doctor is on the air on KAHI radio station every Friday at 9 a.m., 950 on the AM radio dial or streaming at www.KAHI.com. For more, visit Doctor PC at http://www.doctorpc-ca.com/
This year, for the first time, Placer County is hosting the Spring American Iris Society Convention. Set for April 25 - 27, the convention will bring together more than a hundred iris growers from the west coast region. A conference business meeting will be held at Loomis Veterans Hall on Friday the 25th, and on Saturday participants will tour four iris gardens. On Sunday, an open-to-the-public training session will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Yarda’s Ditchwater Garden, where experts will discuss the many varieties of iris and how the flowers are judged. For the last year, Yarda’s, located in Loomis, has been home to more than 300 new iris varieties that hybridizers will evaluate and name during the conference, before their introduction to the public. The new varietals and more than a thousand re-blooming and fragrant iris will be on display at Yarda’s from April 1st through the end of May. For details, call (916) 652-7555 or email email@example.com or PlacerGrown at http://www.placergrown.org/
Supervisors Approve Funds for North Shore Signage Program
This month the county’s board of supervisors approved $138,000 in county lodging taxes for a signage program at North Lake Tahoe. The funds, requested by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, will not be used to pay for signs but to develop a manual that establishes a standardized look and location of signs. The San Diego-based architectural firm Carrier Johnson, responsible for Amtrak’s sign program, will create the manual for Tahoe signs, said Ron Treabess, the resort association’s director of community partnerships and planning. Carrier Johnson tapped a Tahoe design and marketing firm, Wild West Communications Group, for its local expertise, said Wild West owner Lolly Kupec. Her firm will be responsible for consulting all the private and public stakeholders involved, seeking their input on the design of the program. For more, visit the Sierra Sun at http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20080113/NEWS/469876566
Owner Tina Ferreira-Bakken of Tina’s Garage, located at 357 Nevada St., Suite 40 in Auburn, and two of her key employees recently attended the CARS (Congress of Automotive Repair and Service) Conference in Las Vegas as part of ongoing training. CARS is hosted by ASA (Automotive Service Association), a technical trade group of automotive repair professionals. Along with Tina were shop manager Cass Pujol and lead mechanic Aaron Alexander, both ASE certified technicians. At the conference, the three learned the latest in using a vehicle’s high-tech processing system to diagnose its problems; the new “on-demand” diagnostics; and new vehicle technologies, currently in production, that automotive shops will soon be seeing. Tina’s Garage offers a wide variety of repair and maintenance options for all domestic and Japanese import vehicles. Some service can be provided while the customer waits, and a courtesy shuttle is available in most cases. For details, call Tina’s Garage at (530) 885-8181 or email Tina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Del Oro High School graduate James Dumler finds that life is the pits these days. That’s because Dumler, 28, devotes most of his time to running his own business, the Pita Pit, in Roseville. The young entrepreneur opened the pita sandwich and salad shop almost a year ago. “The responsibility of having my own business is huge,” Dumler said. “I have 25 employees, and it feels like I have 25 kids.” But the Pita Pit business has become a Dumler family affair in which Dumler’s parents and an aunt and uncle help. Pita Pit features sandwich choices stuffed and rolled into round pita bread. Many menu items have a Greek flair. “We have a grill for our meats,” said Dumler. “That sets us apart from other sandwich shops.” For more, visit the Granite Bay Press Tribune at http://www.pitapitusa.com or call the Pita Pit at (916) 782-7482.
Recycle that old, unwanted, electronic equipment at a free e-waste recycling event happening at Cal Expo, Gate 10 on Ethan Way in Sacramento, Saturday and Sunday February 23rd and 24th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The event is open to any California resident, business, school, etc. E-waste drop off is free, and items accepted include TVs, microwaves, monitors, computers, and more -- with no limit on the number of items. Sponsored by Electronic Waste Management, a state-approved e-waste collector. For more details, visit http://www.noewaste.com/ or call toll free (866) 335-3373.
Placer County residents and small businesses can dispose of electronics at the following locations (no charge for Placer County residents; fees may apply for businesses):
Western Placer Waste Management Authority – open daily
Athens/Fiddyment in Roseville
Contact: http://www.wpwma.com/ or (916) 543-3987
Eastern Regional Landfill - Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4p.m.
Hwy 89/Cabin Creek Road, Truckee
Contact: Tahoe Truckee Disposal Service (530) 583-0148
Solid Waste Transfer Stations
Meadow Vista – 2950 Combie Road, Friday - Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Foresthill – 6699 Patent Road, Friday - Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Auburn – 12305 Shale Ridge Road, open daily, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Contact: Auburn Placer Disposal Service (530) 885-3735
In Progress Online (IPOL), our monthly economic development e-mail newsletter, covers the latest news on Placer County business and industry, agriculture, tourism, and the arts. It reports on new projects in our cities and towns and keeps readers up to date on the state of the region’s economy. IPOL posts news of state and local training, incentives, and loan programs that benefit business. It provides links to more information on each item. News about your business is always welcome. Please send items, questions, comments, or suggestions to the Office of Economic Development at email@example.com or visit the OED Web site at http://www.placer.ca.gov/CEO/EconDev.aspx For past In Progress Online newsletters, go to Placer County Biz News at http://www.placer.ca.gov/CEO/Econdev/business%20news.aspx