Much-needed farmworker housing project moves forward; Monterey Bay and its locals shine on 'Big Blue Live,' and get involved now with the return of Eggs & Issues.'
Monterey County Quality


FRIDAY, Sept. 11 – MCBC Monthly Membership Luncheon (second Friday of the month), 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Bayonet & Black Horse Grill, Seaside. Special guest speakers will be Monterey County Tax Assessor Steve Vagnini and Treasurer-Tax Collector Mary Zeeb. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door. RSVP by Sept. 9 to or call 831.216.3000. (BIO)

SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY, Oct. 9 – MCBC Monthly Membership Luncheon (second Friday of the month), Mark your calendar for next month's event, which will feature a special tour and lunch in South County. Details to follow soon. We will return to Bayonet & Black Horse Grill on Nov. 13.

SAVE THE DATE: MCBC Annual Higher Education & Research Competitive Cluster Leadership Summit, Friday, Oct. 23. Don't miss this important annual event, which offers a chance for regional higher education and research institutions to discuss their current projects while highlighting their regional economic impact with the public release of an economic impact report. Accordingly, attendees can expect insights from, and the opportunity to network with, leading officials from Cal State University Monterey Bay, University of California Santa Cruz, Monterey Peninsula College, Hartnell College, Monterey College of Law, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Defense Language Institute, Naval Postgraduate School, and others. Details to come soon. Contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington regarding sponsorship opportunities via email or call 831.216.3000

SAVE THE DATE: MCBC 21st Anniversary Gala and Annual Economic Vitality Awards, February 6, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. To find out about  sponsorship opportunities, contact MCBC Executive Director Brian E. Turlington at 831.216.3000 or via email

By Invitation Only events identified as (BIO).



"A man's dreams are an index to his greatness." ~ Zadok Rabinowitz

  A Weekly Newsletter Promoting Monterey County: Open for Business
Business Council Members identified as (BCM)

Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

Edition 613

Above: An artist's rendering of one of the buildings designed as farmworker housing.

County upholds farmworker housing project 

Praised by supporters as a model for the agricultural industry, Tanimura & Antle’s 800-bed farmworker housing project in Spreckels has the green light, just in time for next year’s harvest season.

By unanimous vote Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors backed the ag-business giant’s proposal, rejecting an appeal filed by longtime Spreckels town leader Jim Riley of a prior unanimous county Planning Commission approval.

Supervisor Dave Potter lauded T&A for taking the lead on addressing the Salinas Valley ag industry’s persistent farm labor housing shortage.

T&A vice president and general counsel Wesley Van Camp said construction on the project would begin immediately and the goal is to be finished by March 15, a couple of weeks before the eight-month harvest season begins in April.

The proposal includes eight 100-bed apartment buildings at T&A’s Spreckels Industrial Park. It is designed to offer mostly temporary housing to between 200 and 800 unaccompanied adult farmworkers, without children, representing the existing T&A employee demand.

However, Concerned Citizens of Spreckels attorney William Parkin had already notified the county last week that the organization plans to file a lawsuit challenging the county’s approval of the project, and is expected to seek a court injunction halting construction.

Grower Shipper Association president Jim Bogart said the supervisors would be “sending a message” to the $8 billion ag industry with their decision.

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Monterey County Business Council, a strong proponent of the housing project, has worked tirelessly to increase awareness of the need to address the region's lack of affordable housing. In a Monterey Herald guest commentary published July 18, entitled "T&A housing project would fill critical need," MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington applauded Tanimura & Antle "for taking the lead in meeting a regional need for safe, clean, secure farmworker housing," and detailed the many reasons why Tanimura & Antle's proposed project was of vital importance.

"The signs of economic recovery are all around but our region’s dearth of affordable housing threatens to derail local growth," the commentary read, emphasizing that the issue was a main theme of the Monterey County Business Council’s third annual Monterey Bay Regional Critical Conversation on June 18.

"Leslie-Appleton-Young, Chief Economist for the California Association of Realtors, warned more than 90 Central Coast business, educational and governmental leaders that our region has never encountered such difficult affordability issues, while human resource directors representing agriculture, hospitality and advancing manufacturing reported that their recruitment efforts are severely impacted by housing inventory levels in all three counties hitting record lows and the corresponding rise in rental costs.

"High housing costs lead our region’s workforce, particularly in the hospitality and agricultural sector s, to either live farther and farther away from their workplace, with the increased traffic and environmental impacts, or to pay too much to live in overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions."

In fact, Tanimura & Antle's human resources director announced the project at the June 18 Regional Critical Conversation. 

Read the guest commentary here.



This undated image released by PBS shows a whale and a calf to promote a "Big Blue Live," a collaboration with the BBC about marine life in Monterey Bay. PBS calls it "one of nature's great reality shows," made possible by the bay's unique geography and a turnaround from severe pollution that curtailed marine life there for many years. (Doc White/naturepl/PBS via AP)

Locals embrace 'Big Blue Live' opportunities

“Big Blue Live,” the live multimedia television event, is doing more than exposing millions of viewers to the mostly clandestine world of the sea life that inhabits the Monterey Bay.

The ground-breaking PBS/BBC project, broadcast earlier this week in the U.S., has galvanized local individuals, businesses, scientists, schools and organizations who collaborated with the production, or simply participated peripherally, to help showcase the unique region they call home.

The live three-day broadcast aired Monday through Wednesday in the U.S. on PBS and can still be streamed off its website.

Monterey Bay’s National Marine Sanctuary, and its rejuvenated ecosystem, is the centerpiece of “Big Blue Live,” illuminating the area’s once-spectacular fishing industry — not only its marine life, but also the history of the people who turned it into their lifeblood.

Monterey historian Tim Thomas helped producers understand the complex history of the region.

“I was initially concerned that the program was just going to be about the natural history of Monterey Bay, without incorporating the human history, which is a complicated story,”  “I talked to the producers about that, and they got it right away.”

“It’s not black and white, by any means — and a lot of people tend to assume that the fishermen were the bad guys who just over-fished the bay, but that’s not necessarily the case,” he said. “To me, it was really important that they embraced that part of it.”

“Big Blue Live” enlists the help of locals whose world revolves on or around the now-thriving bay where, three decades ago, 80 percent of all marine animals were on endangered-species list. One of those is commercial fisherman Giuseppe “Joey” Pennisi II, whose father (Giuseppe) and grandfather (Giovanni) were trawlers on Monterey Bay, all the way back to the early 1900s. 

Pennisi caught “Big Blue’s” eye because he has created a new system for trawling that filters the fish they want from the fish they don’t. The initial process disturbs only a small fraction of the sea life that once was dredged into their nets from the ocean floor. An improved netting system snags larger fish while allowing smaller (often juvenile) fish to escape. A system of sorting chambers further separates the preferred catch from unwanted fish.

Another key player locally for “Big Blue” producers has been Kate Spencer, captain of a six-seat boat out of Moss Landing, “Fast Raft.” The boat is normally booked solid with whale watchers at this time of year. In addition to using her boat to seek out Great White sharks, "Big Blue Live" used her as  an on-camera consultant.

Also integral to the show's success was Wave Street Studios, which provided equipment, crew and expertise to PBS for a live, satellite broadcast hosted by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta,

The international television event also has ignited a spark in the Monterey Peninsula’s vast community of artists, many of whom find daily inspiration in the natural beauty of Monterey Bay.

“We’re so lucky to live here, and it’s so easy to take it all for granted, but the artists never do,” said Paulette Lynch, executive director of the Arts Council of Monterey County, which has organized two separate juried art shows (one for studio art, one plein air competition) in celebration of “Big Blue Live.”

A showing of selected paintings from both competitions will be on display through Sept. 30 at Museum of Monterey in Custom House Plaza.

“I’m just so glad the rest of the world is getting a chance to see how amazing Monterey Bay really is — and especially to see that conservation works if you have all the pieces in place and make decisions to conserve and protect marine life,” Spencer said.

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald

Also, make sure to check out The Monterey County Weekly's (BCM) recent article highlighting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest status report on Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Read that story here.

MCBC's Eggs & Issues returns

"Eggs & Issues," the Monterey County Business Council's popular morning series, returns from its hiatus with an informative breakfast forum on "Developing & Refining Your China Strategy," from 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 24 at Bayonet &  Blackhorse. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at door, with continental breakfast included. Make your reservation online now or email MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington or call (831) 216-3000.

Eggs & Issues is a gathering of interested persons from business, professions, government and the not-for-profit sector that are concerned about key issues affecting the economic health of Monterey County and are looking for solutions.  

The presentation, by Ashley Beleny, partner and co-founder of U.S.-China Trade Advisors, is entitled "Developing & Refining Your China Strategy." Among other things, Ashley will discuss importing and exporting compliance issues regarding China.  

In advance of that event, Beleny has requested that you take a moment to complete a brief 15-question survey.  Even if you are unable to attend, we would appreciate your feedback.  

To find out about sponsorship opportunities, contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington at (831) 582-3235 or via e-mail.

Tourism bureau spending had $127 million impact

Adverting works, at least when it comes to destination marketing.
And it certainly helps when the destination you're marketing has great food and wine, world-class golf resorts and breathtakingly scenic ocean vistas.

The $765,393 the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau spent on advertising in fiscal year 2015 brought in $127 million in tourist cash last fiscal year, according to a report by Insights Strategic Marketing and Research.

More than 120,000 overnight trips are attributable to advertising — propped up by the “Monterey: Grab life by the moments” campaign — put forward by the bureau, according to the Indiana-based company, which interviewed 1,436 people in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and other areas of the country where advertisements were played on TV, radio or online.

The people that visited Monterey County after hearing or seeing the advertisements spent $1,059 on average while on their trip.

The research firm also interviewed visitors at Monterey County hotels and surveys at tourist hot spots. Some of those key findings:

  • The average visitor to Monterey is 50 years old, has an annual household income of $126,073, is married and white.
  • The most popular activities include dining (90 percent), shopping (71 percent) and outdoor activities (39 percent).
  • Tourists said their main reasons for coming were scenic beauty and the county’s “overall ambiance.”
  • Most visitors (80 percent) have been to the county before.
Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald; Photo: Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau


American Tin Cannery to become luxury hotel

Monterey Bay tourism will undoubtedly get a boost from the plans to convert the American Tin Cannery outlet shopping mall into “Project Bella,” a luxury hotel.

The project is a partnership between Domaine Hospitality Partners and the Cannery Row Co., which owns the cannery building.

Project Bella will emphasize sustainability and be designed by San Francisco-based architect Mark Hornberger, whose past work includes the Ritz-Carlton Highlands in Lake Tahoe, W Hotel in San Francisco, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in Indian Wells and Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco.

Domaine's high-end projects include the Residences at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Nicklaus Club in Monterey, the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose and the Prescott Hotel in San Francisco. It has locations in Newport Beach and Carmel.

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald



Monterey Jazz Festival:$30 million is sweet music to the Monterey County economy

It's the world's longest continuously running jazz festival, and was voted the No. 1 jazz festival in the world in 2014 by Jazz Times Reader's Poll.

The Monterey Jazz Festival, a three-night, two-day extravaganza of nonstop jazz entertainment, returns to Monterey Sept. 18-20, with 500 top-name artists scheduled to perform on nine stages.

Now in its 58th year, the Monterey Jazz Festival has a long and storied history, having featured some of the world's most famous performers, including Dizzie Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday.

Fans the world over look forward to the annual festival, but there's more to it than just great music: The nonprofit organization that hosts the Monterey Jazz Festival serves over 3,000 students annually, both locally and across the U.S. through its Education Programs. 

And the impact on the region's economy can't be overstated, either: The Monterey Jazz Festival, begun by Monterey business leaders, has an estimated annual economic impact on Monterey County of $30 million.

Draws an incredibly loyal fan base, of which 43 percent have attended the Monterey Jazz Festival for eight or more years. Nearly half of those attendees hold graduate degrees, according to information compiled by the Monterey Jazz Festival, and 80 percent are age 45 or older. 

For ticket information or more details, call 888.248.6499 or see

Pictured, above: Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Festival. Photo courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival.

County economic plan: 10,000 jobs in 10 years

In case you missed it last week, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved a new economic development strategic plan promising 10,000 new jobs in the next 10 years. The plan seeks to bolster four primary “opportunity areas” of the local economy — tourism, research, education and agriculture — and provide training for local residents so they can qualify for the new jobs.

The strategic plan was developed by the Stanford Research Institute through the county economic development department’s economic opportunity committee. Supervisors also approved $200,000 in seed money to implement the plan.

Economic development department director David Spaur noted that the money represents the first funding earmarked for economic development since the department’s inception. Spaur said his department has been laying the groundwork for the strategic plan by itself while the plan was being finalized. Started in 2011, the plan was completed last year, but not finalized and approved by the economic opportunity committee until this year.
The plan calls for expanding the four key areas: tourism, by linking food, health and wellness hospitality and the wine industry; research, by focusing on the Monterey Bay’s unique concentration of marine research organizations, along with the medical, military and university systems; education, through higher education and training; and agriculture, through food and wine.

Spaur said the strategic plan work will begin with the winery corridor.

A fifth area, military research, education and training, is also included in the plan.

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald


MCBC, PTAC: New address, new phone numbers

Just a reminder in case you haven't heard the news yet: The Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) and Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) have moved into the UC MBEST Center, Suite 102, 3180 Imjin Road, Marina, CA 93933. The mailing address remains P.O. Box 2746, Monterey, CA 93942.  

Please note that while the MCBC's permanent phone number remains (831) 883-9443 and should forward calls, the new main office number is now (831) 216-3000. 


AMPmedia marks grand opening with art show celebrating the beauty of Monterey County

Entries may be submitted between 3 and 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7 for AMP's upcoming art show, themed "Beauty Before Me, Beauty All Around Me:  Celebrating the Natural Beauty of Monterey County."

The show is open to adult residents of Monterey County. Each entrant may submit up to five pieces. Check entry requirements and specifications here.

The show runs Friday, Sept. 11 through Monday, Nov. 9, with  a grand opening from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at Heritage Harbor, 99 Pacific St., Suite 200 in Monterey. (Park at the corner of Pacific and Scott; AMP is across the pedestrian bridge and to the left.)

Please join local artists and the community to celebrate the unique beauty of Monterey County at ampmedia's grand opening.

Pictured, a work by Marina-based fine art photographer Steve Zmack.

Design class at Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White Monterey benefits MCBC

Get Inspired at Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White Monterey: Join showroom manager Brian Borchert and sales manager Jack Lamon on Tuesday, Oct. 6th for the final class of 2015's "Inspiration Ideas and Expert Advice for Your Home" series, on the topic of replacing windows.

Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White Monterey's knowledgeable team will show “before & afters” as well as provide options for bringing efficiency and beautiful personality to a home.

Topics to be discussed include ‪weatherization‬ and insulation advice, measuring tips, help with rehabbing older double-hung windows and advice on prioritizing projects. Local wines, small bites, a tour of Marvin Design Gallery and a chance to meet the team will  be featured.

A $10 donation to attend will be given to Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White Monterey's charity partner,  the Monterey County Business Council (MCBC), for support of the Sustainable Building & Design Competitive Cluster.

The event takes place 6-7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 1096 Canyon Del Rey Blvd., Seaside. RSVPs are required, contact Jack and Brian at (831) 393-9420 or e-mail the showroom.

For those who attend one of the "Inspiration Ideas and Expert Advice For Your Home" Series and decide to purchase a window replacement or new construction job from Marvin Design Gallery by Truitt & White, a percentage of their order, up to $500, will benefit the charity from the class attended.

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership joins California Stewardship Network

Congratulations to the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, which has been accepted into membership of the California Stewardship Network, a statewide alliance of 12 diverse regional organizations committed to economic, environment and social well being of our regions and our state. These regions represent powerful innovation centers where business, community and government leaders are creating new pathways and new partnerships to achieve collective impacts throughout the state.

The Monterey County Business Council has played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork through its efforts in hosting regional critical conversations and economic forums as part of the Califor nia Forward Regional Economic Summits, such as the one MCBC put on this past June.

And kudos to MBEP Board members, many of whom are also MCBC Executive Committee members  - this is the result of their continued success, as MCBC President Mary Ann Leffel, Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz, Jr., Gonzales City Manager and MBEP Co-Chair Rene Mendez and Claude Hoover, owner/broker, Veritas Real Estate, were instrumental in helping launch the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership in 2014 and serve on its board of directors.

Our mailing address is:
Monterey County Business Council
P.O. Box 2746
Monterey, CA 93942-2746

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