Rep. Sam Farr announces plans to retire; Cybersecurity to be the focus of MCBC's next Eggs & Issues breakfast forum.

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

Friday, Nov. 13, 2015

Edition 622

Rep. Sam Farr announces plans to retire

After two decades in Congress, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, announced Thursday he will not seek re-election in 2016 at a news conference at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.
With his wife, Shary, standing by his side, Farr said he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren and the rest of his family.
“Next July Fourth I’ll be 75 years old and I was just thinking about, ‘What do you do the rest of your life?’” Farr said. “Shary said, ‘You know what? It’s time to come home.’”
Farr was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1993 in a special election to replace Leon Panetta in California’s 17th District. Farr now represents the 20th District, thanks to redistricting.
He summarized how things had changed in his time representing the district, noting the addition of CSU Monterey Bay, the veterans clinic that is now being built and the success of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Farr listed among his proudest achievements the establishment of Fort Ord National Monument and the upgrade of Pinnacles from a national monument to a national park.
Read The Herald's story, and Farr's statement here.
Source: Monterey County Herald; photo courtesy Rep. Sam Farr

Our next Eggs & Issues: Is your business protected against cyber attacks?

Please join us on Friday, Dec. 11 from 7:30 to 9 a.m at Bayonet & Blackhorse Grill for a presentation on cyber security by Luis Alvarez, President & CEO of Salinas-based Alvarez Technology Group, and Edward Hunter, Principal Forensic Consultant and Instructor, FireEye, a cyber-security firm in Milipitas, California. 
Attendees can expect to learn, among other things, the importance of securing information through best cyber-security practices; identifying the types of information that should be secured; identifying types of cyber threats; and best practices for guarding against cyber threats.
Sponsorship opportunities are available!
For $250, local sponsors receive the following:
  • Five (5) minutes to speak about their company and its activities
  • Recognition at the event
  • Recognition in all marketing materials (e.g., social media, website, etc.)
  • Recognition in Friday Facts, our weekly email newsletter
  • Two tickets for the breakfast
For $400, a company gets to sponsor two consecutive breakfasts. 
Special thanks to our sponsors PG&E and the Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

Come celebrate at MCBC's 21st Anniversary Gala & Economic Vitality Awards on Feb. 6

Join the Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) for our 21st Anniversary Gala & Annual Economic Vitality Awards. This year's event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey.

The event kicks off with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m. Dress is black tie optional. 

The Monterey County Business Council, founded in 1995, remains the only countywide organization focused on business advocacy, economic development and workforce readiness. 

This year’s gala will honor the individuals and organizations who have contributed to the economic vitality, growth and preservation of our community through various industries, including Agriculture, Arts / Creative & Technology, Building & Design, Education & Research, Health & Wellness, and Tourism & Hospitality.  Winners will be announced in the coming weeks. 

We hope you will join us for this very special evening. 

Please consider supporting the MCBC and this year’s honorees by sponsoring this event at one of the following levels:

  • Presenting Sponsor: $5,000: Recognition as Presenting Sponsor in event program, including name, logo and business description (up to 50 words); Recognition at event; Ten (10) tickets and preferred seating; Company brand/logo and link on website; Recognition in Friday Facts; Recognition in all marketing publications; and Email blast of your company’s marketing promo to all members.
  • Executive Sponsor: $3,500: Listing on event program; Recognition at event; Ten (10) tickets and preferred seating; Company brand/logo on website; & Recognition in Friday Facts.
  • Supporting Table Sponsor: $2,500: Ten (10) tickets; Listing on event program; & Recognition at event.

MCBC thanks its initial sponsors, Pinnacle Bank and California American Water, (BCM) for their generous support.

Email Brian Turlington at or call (831) 216-3000 with meal and lodging questions. Reserve your tickets now.

Nobel Prize winner honored with Breakthrough Prize for neutrino work

Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress, part of the team that won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics last month, can add another credit to his name — he, and members of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory team, have been honored with the Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics.

Dalnoki-Veress is the scientist-in-residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and an adjunct professor in the Middlebury Institute’s Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey(BCM).

The Breakthrough Prize is a set of international awards designed to reward and promote scientific achievement in three categories: life sciences, mathematics and fundamental physics.

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to five experiments investigating neutrino oscillation and will be shared equally among all five. In total, the five teams are comprised of more than 1,300 individual physicists. All members will share in the recognition for their work and split the $3 million cash award which figures to be about $2,000 apiece.

The prizes were announced Sunday at the Third Annual Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony in Silicon Valley. The founders — Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan — dispersed a total of $21.9 million in awards to the recipients.

“By challenging conventional thinking and expanding knowledge over the long term, scientists can solve the biggest problems of our time,” said Zuckerberg. “The Breakthrough Prize honors achievements in science and math so we can encourage more pioneering research and celebrate scientists as the heroes they truly are.”

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald

Talking tech on the farm

In the unincorporated town of Hilmar last week, representatives from AgTech Insight spoke at a gathering of about 80 people at the Hilmar Cheese Co. visitors center. Joining the Salinas-based company were partners from farming, finance, media and other fields.

Their aim: to help farmers see envision the possibilities that technology could bring.

High-tech radio frequency wants farmers can wave near ear tags to keep track of their cows’ health. Drones that almond growers fly over orchards to check on tree vigor. Social media urging young mothers to buy bean growers' products, and systems that track fertilizer and pesticide use on the farm and sanitation measures in processing plants, so that the information can be conveyed to consumers curious about the sources of their food.

Investors are interested in agricultural technology companies, to the tune of about $680 million in California in the first half of this year, said Seana Day Hull, director of business development and strategy at AgTech Insight and managing director with Centerra Capital in Modesto.

Sieg Magenheim, who manages irrigation and soil at AgTech Insight and helped introduce drip tape to the Salinas Valley, agreed.

“This is an opportunity for growers, because they know agriculture,” he said.

Read the full story online.

Source: The Modesto Bee

CALED, VEDC announce revolving loan fund to increase access to capital

California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED), in partnership with Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), are now administering a Statewide Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) through guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The SRLF was created to focus on job creation and retention in response to areas affected by unfavorable economic conditions driven by natural disasters, base closures and high unemployment. Funding businesses within such areas is the preferred objective of the SRLF; however, other areas are also eligible for funding.

The secured Small Business Loans generally range between $100,000 and $500,000 and can be used for working capital, business purchases, equipment, inventory, tenant improvements, and owner-occupied commercial real estate.

For details, see CALED’s website.

Startup Monterey Bay Hackathon taking registrations for participants, app ideas

The Startup Monterey Bay Hackathon (formerly the Ideas of March Hackathon) is a three-day Mobile App development competition at California State University Monterey Bay (BCM) that brings together teams of students to develop prototype mobile Apps for non-profits and small businesses in the Monterey Bay area.  Local software engineers will be available along with student mentors to help teams during the weekend of Nov. 20-22.

For more information visit or register now. Participants will be provided with food all weekend to keep them fueled up for this intense hacking experience.  This year's event will be in the new Business & Information Technology building next to the library on campus. Cost is free to CSUMB students and $20 for all others.

Organizers are also looking for App ideas from local nonprofit organizations and small businesses.  Nonprofit organizations and small businesses that wish to pitch an idea for an APP should register here.

Hartnell lauded for veterans services

Military veterans in Monterey County have a friend in Hartnell College (BCM), according to a recent survey.

For the fourth year in a row, Hartnell has been recognized as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media, which surveys industries and institutions nationally about their services to veterans.

Hartnell deserves the honor “for exhibiting best practices in support of military students and employees, respectively,” according to a press release.

Hartnell was selected as a top school for veterans from among thousands post-secondary schools that competed by completing a survey covering 10 indicators of success, including: support for student veterans on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies.

“In 2012, we opened a Veterans Service Center to provide education support services tailored to military veterans,” said Hartnell President Willard Lewallen. “Hartnell College is honored to serve those who have served this country and Hartnell is committed to helping them achieve their goals and dreams following military service,” said Lewallen.

The ranks of veterans and their dependents on campus have grown from 170 during the 2012-13 academic year to 267 this year, according to officials.

Source: The Salinas Californian

TAMC seeks nominations for Transportation Excellence Awards

 The Transportation Agency of Monterey County (BCM) is looking for nominations for its 14th Annual Transportation Excellence Awards. The award honors individuals, businesses, groups or projects for their efforts to improve transportation in Monterey County.
Examples of potential awards include but are not limited to:

  • Citizens or organizations that have made significant efforts to inform and educate the public about transportation issues.
  • Transportation professionals who excel at their jobs and go the extra mile to improve our transportation system.
  • Innovative activities that promote more efficient use of the local transportation network.
  • Successful efforts to improve transit services and encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone. 

The one-page nomination form is available at the TAMC office, 55-B Plaza Circle, Salinas or online. The deadline to submit a nomination is noon, Dec. 4, 2015.  The awards ceremony will take place during the January 2016 Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board meeting.


SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, Dec. 2 – PG&E Executive Leadership Roundtable, "Growing Your Local Economy and Impacting Jobs," 8:30-11:30 a.m., Seaside Community Center, 220 Coe Ave., Seaside. Details and registration to follow soon!

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, Dec. 11 â€“ Our next MCBC "Eggs & Issues" quarterly breakfast forum will take place Friday, Dec. 11. 7:30-9 a.m., Bayonet &  Blackhorse. The program will be a presentation on "Cyber security" by Luis Alvarez, president and CEO of Salinas-based Alvarez Technology Group, and Edward Hunter, principal forensic consultant and instructor with FireEye, a cyber-security firm in Milipitas. 
Attendees can expect to learn, among other things, the importance of securing information through best cyber-security practices; identifying the types of information that should be secured; identifying types of cyber threats; and best practices for guarding against cyber threats. Register now or 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 Turlington at 831.216.3000 or via email

By Invitation Only events identified as (BIO)...


"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand —  and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it's too late." ~ Marie Beynon Ray
Copyright © 2015 Monterey County Business Council, All rights reserved.

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