Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit tickets available; Seed company's expansion equals future jobs; and Seaside hosts free workshop on business financing.
Monterey County Quality


Friday, Oct. 23 -- MCBC Annual Higher Education & Research Competitive Cluster Leadership Summit. This important annual event 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. (See story at right) Register now for discounted MCBC member admission, and see sponsorship opportunities, at Eventbrite

Friday, Nov. 13 – MCBC Monthly Membership Luncheon (second Friday of the month), 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Bayonet & Black Horse Grill, Seaside. Special guest speaker will be Dave Stoldt, General Manager of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, who will give an overview of local water issues and where things currently stand with drought conditions, desalination projects and El Niño.  Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door. RSVP at Eventbrite  or call 831.216.3000. (BIO)

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, Dec. 11 – Our next MCBC "Eggs & Issues" quarterly breakfast forum will take place Friday, Dec. 11. 7:30-9 a.m., Bayonet &  Blackhorse. Luis Alvarez of Alvarez Technology will be among the speakers discussing "Cybersecurity." See Eventbrite for details or to register. Contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington about sponsorship opportunities at  831.216.3000 or via email.

SAVE THE DATE: MCBC 21st Anniversary Gala and Annual Economic Vitality Awards, Feb. 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).



"The successful people of this world take life as it comes ...They just go out and deal with the world as it is." ~ Ben Stein

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

Friday, Oct. 16, 2015

Edition 619

Alaska Airlines to launch flights to L.A.

Alaska Airlines launches its non-stop service connecting Monterey and Los Angeles on Nov. 5.

On Thursday, the Seattle-based airline ended its 72-hour ultra-low fare deal on flights to San Diego for as low as $59.

But the chance to fly non-stop between Monterey Regional Airport (BCM) and LAX is one worth looking at, even without a special:

  • You can fly Alaska Airlines from Monterey to Los Angeles or San Diego (and on to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta) and book a travel package on the Alaska Airlines website by clicking here.    
  • Alaska Airlines codeshares with American Airlines and other partners. Codesharing allows you to book airline tickets through Alaska Airlines for any of its partner airlines, so that you have a seamless flight experience without buying separate tickets.
  • And tagging your bag at home could earn you an incentive of 1,000 Bonus Miles*.  
  • Get details or book your flights at or call 800-ALASKAAIR (800.252.7522). 

Photo courtesy of Monterey Regional Airport.

Register now for Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit 

Our local colleges and universities not only prepare students for the world through degrees and workforce preparedness training, they also serve as centers of research and innovation. They create jobs and vitalize our local economy.

Each year, the Monterey County Business Council and the Higher Education & Research Competitive Cluster host an annual Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit. Scheduled for 7:30-10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 23 in the Monterey Marriott's Ferrante’s Bay View Room, the Annual Higher Education and Research Leadership Summit is the opportunity for the presidents and institutions that are members of the MCBC Higher Education and Research Competitive Cluster to showcase upcoming collaborations and projects and highlight the economic impact of education and research in the Monterey Bay region.  

Expect insights from, and the opportunity to network with, leading officials from Cal State University Monterey Bay (BCM), University of California Santa Cruz, Monterey Peninsula College (BCM), Hartnell College (BCM), Monterey College of Law (BCM), the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (BCM), Defense Language Institute (BCM), Naval Postgraduate School (BCM), and others. 

A special focus of this year’s Summit will be the  launch of the Bright  Futures Cradle-to-Career initiative in which regional partners are working together to ensure that every child is prepared for school, succeeds in and out of the classroom, completes a post-high school credential and enters a promising career. Attend and discover how you can help this crucial effort for our community. 

Advance registration for MCBC members is just $30, or $40 for non-members; those without advance registration will be charged $45 at the door.

Register now at Eventbrite to reserve your attendance.

Our thanks to our event sponsors

The Monterey County Business Council would like to publicly acknowledge our gratitude for the major sponsors of our Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit - in particular, to our Platinum Sponsor, California State University, Monterey Bay (BCM), and to our Gold Sponsors, Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (BCM), Scudder Roofing (BCM) and PG&E (BCM).
We would also like to give thanks to our media sponsor, KRML (BCM), and to the County of Monterey (BCM) for its ongoing support and partnership.

And if you'd like to join them in supporting our efforts, it's not too late. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. Get sponsorship details at Eventbrite or download a sponsorship request letter signed by CSUMB President Eduardo Ochoa, Hartnell College Superintendent/President Willard Lewallen, Ph.D., and Monterey Peninsula College Superintendent/President Walter Tribley here to become a sponsor of this high-visibility event. For additional information, email MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington or phone (831) 216-3020.




American Takii's multimillion-dollar seed facility could bring new jobs to Salinas

American Takii’s opening Wednesday of a new multimillion-dollar seed facility in Salinas makes Monterey County the hub of the giant company’s distribution for all of the Americas.

“This area represents one of the best places in the world to grow fresh vegetables, and American Takii’s decision to expand their business and make Salinas their logistics hub of the Americas further illustrates that our Salinas and Pajaro valleys are truly the heart and hub of the vegetable industry,” said Abby Taylor-Silva, an official with the Salinas-based Grower-Shipper Association of Central California.

Takii, based in Kyoto, Japan, is a breeder, producer and marketer of vegetable and flower seeds, which are sold to seed dealers and growers around the world. In addition to Kyoto and Salinas, it has operations in Central and South America, and in Europe. 

Steve Wiley, general manager and chief operations officer for American Takii, said Wednesday the opening of the new production facility at 301 Natividad Road in Salinas prevents double handling of the product and dramatically reduces shipping costs.

“Much of our seed is grown in Chile, Central America and the U.S.,” Wiley said. “It used to be shipped to Japan for processing and then shipped back to us for distribution.”

Now, the raw seed is shipped to Salinas where it is cleaned, sorted, packaged and distributed to farms across the United States and other parts of the Americas, lessening a significant carbon footprint.

The equipment, because of its new technologies, will also increase efficiencies that will further reduce costs.

Wiley declined to make public the cost of the facility and equipment, only that is was a “multimillion-dollar investment.”

Ausonio Inc. (BCM) was the general contractor for the new structure, just as it was for an adjacent building that was constructed 30 years ago. The 34,500-square-foot building houses nearly an acre of warehouse space, seed production technologies, a conference room, a workers’ lunchroom and extra space that can be used for additional logistics and customer service operations.

Expanded operations means the need for more workers. Wiley said the company will increase the workforce in phases over the next couple of years.

“We’ll be needing millworkers and warehouse and logistics people as we get ramped up next year,” he said.

Taylor-Silva, from the Grower Shipper Association, said Takii’s expansion has broader implications for Monterey County.

“The benefits to the broader agricultural community will be seen through quicker turnarounds in seed production, a great benefit to farmers in our Salinas Valley and beyond,” she said. “Additionally, American Takii’s decision to expand here in Salinas illustrates that our No. 1 economic driver, agriculture, is committed to this community for the long term.”

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald

Seaside, SBDC host 'Access to Capital' workshop to help businesses 

Technical assistance provides business owners better access to financing to help businesses grow. Enhancing business opportunities in the city is a mutual goal for the city of Seaside and the CSU Monterey Bay Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Joining forces to help businesses start and grow, they are offering four workshops to business owners interested in doing business in Seaside. 

  • The first workshop, held on Sept. 22, guided prospective business owners on the steps to start a successful business. 
  • The second workshop, "Access to Capital - Finance and Your Business," focuses on helping business owners access financing to grow their business. Interested business owners can expect to learn about various financing sources and what is expected from those sources to successfully attain financing. The workshop will be held on Oct. 27, from 10-11 a.m. at the Oldemeyer Multi-Use Center, Blackhorse Room, 986 Hilby Ave. in Seaside. The event fee is covered by the city, and those interested in attending should pre-register to reserve their seat. Pre-register or call 831.422-6232. 
  • Two more workshops will be offered in 2016: "Tourism Marketing" on Jan. 11, 2016 and "How to Increase Sales to Build Your Restaurant’s Bottom Line" on April 18, 2016. 

Remodeling spending expected to accelerate into 2016

Here’s good news for the home improvement industry from Harvard.

After several quarters of slackening growth, home improvement spending is projected to pick-up pace moving into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released Thursday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The LIRA projects annual spending growth for home improvements will accelerate from 2.4 percent last quarter to 6.8 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

“Home improvement spending continues to benefit from the last years’ upswing in housing market conditions including new construction, price gains, and sales,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center. “Strengthening housing market conditions are encouraging owners to invest in more discretionary home improvements, such as kitchen and bath remodeling and room additions, in addition to the necessary replacements of worn components such as roofing and siding.”

“Although we expect remodeling activity to strengthen through the first half of 2016, further gains could be tempered,” says Abbe Will, a research analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Current slowdowns in shipments of building materials and remodeling contractor employment trends, as well as restrictive consumer lending environments, are lowering remodeler sentiment and could keep spending gains in the mid-single digit range moving forward.”

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) is designed to estimate national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodeling activity and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement industry.

Source: Central Valley Business Times


MBEP unveils full agenda for its upcoming State of the Region Conference

The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) has announced the agenda for its State of the Region Conference on Nov. 4 at the Chaminade Resort and Conference Center in Santa Cruz. The conference will cover important topics such as our regional community health indicators, affordable housing, health care and nutrition for all of our children, public safety, the environment, workforce development, and building a 21st-century infrastructure. Speakers include Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, MBEP Co-Chair Bud Colligan, CA Forward Co-Chair Lenny Mendoca, and the Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC, Gary Griggs.  

Among the compelling questions to be addressed by a wide variety of experts at the conference:

What are the key community health indicators that indicate the overall health and vitality of our region? What’s a comprehensive and deeply collaborative vision for our region and our state, that builds on what’s working and strengthens or creates opportunities for more residents? 

What can we do together to create adequate affordable housing that will ensure a vibrant, diverse community? How do we develop sufficient consensus to create and realize a 21st-century infrastructure? How can we unite as a community to ensure that all children in the Monterey Bay region have an opportunity to thrive and become healthy, productive members of the community? What are the factors that lead to optimum public safety outcomes and how can we collaborate as a region to create safe and thriving communities? And how do we improve our ability as a region to attract and retain a world-class workforce?

See the agenda for a complete list of session topics, moderators and panelists. RSVP now, as seating is limited and will sell out soon. 

Patent office celebrates opening

Michelle Quinn, in the San Jose Mercury News, offered up a rousing cheer for the new Silicon Valley patent satellite office, which opened this week at San Jose City Hall, marked by the usual speeches and ribbon cutting.

Even though most large tech companies will likely apply for their patents electronically, Quinn writes that "this excitement over a brick-and-mortar federal office deserve(s) all the hoopla": 

"The grand opening of the Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday is truly a big deal.

The outpost symbolizes a vision that federal officials and West Coast innovators will, by physical proximity to each other, share ideas and expertise and work together to advance the economy.

For entrepreneurs and the public, the office will serve as an ongoing resource and a way to showcase local innovators.

The new office has about 20 Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges, who decide patent-rejection appeals and challenges to patent grants after they have been issued. The office will also house 80 patent examiners.

It will have six terminals for the public to use to search patents using the agency’s customized interface that patent examiners use every day.

The patent office still grapples with a backlog of patent applications — reducing it was one of the motivators for creating satellites to widen the net for finding examiners around the country. The backlog is a bit more than 500,000 applications deep, the lowest it has been for two years. Still, applicants wait up to 17 months before an examiner addresses their petitions.

Read the full story online.

Source: San Jose Mercury News


Help Monterey County thrive: Sign up for MCBC membership now

And if you are reading this newsletter but haven't yet become a member of the Monterey County Business Council, don't put it off another day.

Download our membership application and join us in our efforts to support and promote the business community by working with government and academia to enhance Monterey County’s economy and to promote a high quality of life.

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

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