Meet our Economic Vitality Award winners; $2 million donation for organic education center; Startup Weekend; A desal deal.


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  A Weekly Newsletter Promoting Monterey County:
Open for Business

Business Council Members identified as (BCM)

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

Edition 626

Come celebrate organizations that help our region flourish at MCBC's 21st Anniversary Gala & Economic Vitality Awards 

If you haven't already done so, make sure to get your tickets for the Monterey County Business Council's  21st Anniversary Gala & Annual Economic Vitality Awards, to take place on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey.

During the event, MCBC will be recognizing the following individuals and organizations who have contributed to the economic vitality, growth and preservation of our community:

  • Creative & Technology: Sand City, West End 
  • Health & Wellness: The Monterey Program for Executive Health
  • Higher Education & Research: Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS)
  • Hospitality: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
  • Sustainable Building & Design: Carmel Building & Design
  • Agriculture: Taylor Farms
  • Advancing Manufacturing: Steiner eOptics

In addition, join us in honoring Congressman Sam Farr for his years of service and myriad contributions to our regional economic prosperity. If you haven't already done so, RSVP now to this popular event.

MCBC Economic Vitality Award winners: Carmel Building & Design, The Monterey Program for Executive Health

For the next several weeks, this newsletter will be featuring overviews of our 2016 Economic Vitality Award winners. Those honorees will be formally recognized during the Monterey County Business Council's 21st Anniversary Gala & Annual Economic Vitality Awards at the Hyatt Regency Monterey.
This week, we celebrate 2016 Economic Vitality Award recipients Carmel Building & Design, the honoree for Sustainable Building and Design, and the Monterey Program for Executive Health, honoree in the Health & Wellness category.

CARMEL BUILDING & DESIGN: Rob Nicely, president and CEO of Carmel Building & Design, Inc., has been working in the construction industry for 28 years. For the past 16 years, he has worked at Carmel Building & Design, which he now owns. Carmel Building & Design is a residential design/build firm which has spent the last 10 years integrating sustainable practices into its method of building.  CB&D has put 20 employees through the Certified Green Building Professional training provided by Build It Green.
Carmel Building & Design has built Certified Passive Houses, LEED Platinum Houses, and houses following the Living Building Challenge Net Zero and Red List guidelines.  Last year, the firm finished a project that incorporated the use of filtered gray water for reuse inside the home, the first time that grey water was allowed to be reused inside a house in Monterey County. The grey water is used for flushing toilets.
Nicely has also worked with several community groups including The Sustainability Academy, Passive House California and the Monterey County Building Council’s Competitive Clusters to create economic opportunities in the area of the sustainable economy.

THE MONTEREY PROGRAM FOR EXECUTIVE HEALTH: Dr. Craig R. Geiler, M.D., is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been practicing in Monterey since 2001. He received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1998. While at Stanford, Dr. Geiler participated in cutting-edge research focusing on immune therapy modulation to treat cancer. He was in the medical scholars program and was awarded the Weigal Fellowship for his work in novel immune therapy for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. 
Dr. Geiler interned at the Scripps Research Institute, then completed his internal medicine residency at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was appointed chief medical resident. He joined the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula faculty in 2001. Since joining the faculty he has served as Chair of the Department of Medicine and a member at large of the Medical Executive Council.
The Monterey County Weekly voted Dr. Geiler "Top Doctor" in 2013 and 2014., and in 2012 he received a "Compassionate Doctor" Recognition. He also serves as the official concierge physician for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. 
In 2010 Dr. Craig Geiler and Dr. Steven Packer, CEO of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, created the Monterey Program for Executive Health. The Monterey Program for Executive Health uses cutting-edge medical technology to perform advanced screening, diagnostic and imaging test all conveniently condensed into one day.

To be featured in the weeks ahead: 
  • Creative & Technology: Sand City, West End 
  • Health & Wellness: The Monterey Program for Executive Health
  • Higher Education & Research: Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS)
  • Hospitality: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
  • Sustainable Building & Design: Carmel Building & Design
  • Agriculture: Taylor Farms
  • Advancing Manufacturing: Steiner eOptics

Thank you to our generous sponsors

We extend our sincere gratitude to each of our sponsors that have helped to ensure a successful event:


Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center


Pacific Gas & Electric / California American Water 



Pinnacle BankHartnell CollegeAT&T; County of Monterey; CSUMB, Monterey County for Energy Independence; First Solar; Monterey Regional Airport; Cannery Row Company, RedShift; Hospital Council of Northern & Central California. 



Folktale Winery & Vineyards 



For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Brian Turlington, MCBC Executive Director at 831.216.3020 or

Lakeside Organic Gardens gifts $2 million to establish organic education center

Dick Peixoto’s dream of having an educational facility to showcase organic farming is closer to becoming a reality. Peixoto, founder of Lakeside Organic Gardens, and his family have contributed $2 million to the development of an organic and sustainable agriculture learning center. The center would be a resource for people interested in starting an organic farm, learning about organic farming or those just interested in seeing how their food is grown organically. The facility, which is still in the planning stages, will incorporate education, history, techniques and future innovations of organic farming. All aspects of organic and sustainable agriculture will be benefited, including careers in organic farming.
Lakeside Organic Gardens announced the plans in conjunction with the $2 million gift to the Pajaro Valley non-profit organization “Agri-Culture, Inc.” Lakeside will be working directly with Agri-Culture, Inc. to facilitate the development of the fund and learning center.
The purpose of this learning center in the Pajaro Valley is to educate, train, teach and otherwise advance public knowledge of all aspects of organic and sustainable farming practices, including jobs and careers. This development will open up many great opportunities for the organic agriculture community to collaborate.
Get more details here.

Monterey College of Law offers tuition grants to MCBC member employees and their immediate family members

As a longterm member of the MCBC community, Monterey College of Law (BCM) is providing individual $1,000 first-year tuition grants to qualified applicants from MCBC member organizations.  The grants are available to member owners and employees and their immediate families for 2016 Spring Start students. The grants can be applied to both the J.D. and the Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree programs.

“We believe that this initiative encourages and supports the relationship between higher education and our local industry partners in the MCBC,” said Mitchel Winick, president and dean of Monterey College of Law.  MCL has been a long-term member of the Higher Education cluster of the MCBC.

“One of the Higher Education cluster strategies is to highlight that local residents do not have to leave the area to have access to quality undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities,” said Winick. “This is a tangible way for the law school to show its investment in this strategy.”

Accepted applicants to the 2016 Spring Start Program begin classes in early February 2016.  Before they begin Fall semester, they will have completed seven units of law courses (three required and one elective course), qualified for the licensing-required Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and become a Certified Mediator.

For details about this special program for Monterey County Business Council members, contact Dean of Admissions Wendy LaRiviere at 831.582.4000, Ext. 1012  or For general information about Monterey College of Law, visit the law school’s web page.

Don't miss Startup Weekend Monterey

The hardest part of starting up is starting out. At Startup Weekend Monterey, you'll be immersed in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen.

​Startup Weekend Monterey, an entrepreneurial training ground, comes to CSU Monterey Bay (BCM) on Jan. 29-31, courtesy of the university’s Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (BCM). 

The 54-hour marathon offers a chance to learn the basics of developing startup businesses and launching successful ventures. Startup Weekend begins with pitching ideas on Friday night, continues through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, then culminates on Sunday with demonstrations and presentations. ​Participants work in teams to ​create ​brand new​ startups during the event and are able to meet and collaborate with talented people. 

Registration fee is $99, or $49 for students​. The fee covers seven meals from Friday night through Sunday, and parking for the weekend. Get information and tickets at

Deal reached on desal 'return' water

In what one official called a “major step forward” for the desalination project, a proposed agreement has been reached to sell a portion of the water to a North Monterey County community that is short of it.
California American Water (BCM) announced Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the Castroville Community Services District and other Salinas Valley and Monterey Peninsula organizations on draft terms for delivering desalinated water to the community whose wells have been contaminated by seawater intrusion.
The agreement is an effort to keep water in the Salinas River groundwater basin and address a critical water rights issue. It still needs to be formally approved by all parties involved — Castroville, along with representatives of the Peninsula mayors water authority, the Salinas Valley Water Coalition, the Monterey County Farm Bureau and LandWatch — and the state Public Utilities Commission.
The desal project is expected to draw more than 1,000 acre-feet per year of basin water, as opposed to seawater, through feeder slant wells at the plant. The agreement is designed to “return” that much desalinated water to basin users.
Castroville would be guaranteed the right to purchase between 800 and 690 acre-feet per year, depending on the size of the desal plant, for existing uses, mostly at its current rates. Any remainder would go to the Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project.
Read the full story online.
Source: Monterey Herald

Register now for TPO's 12th annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference

Register now for TPO's 12th annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference, to take place from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 at Embassy Suites, Monterey Bay.

Morning sessions will include the Saqui Law Group's labor and employment law update, "What's Coming At You in 2016!" Mike Saqui will take you through the latest labor and employment law twists and turns and give you lively, jargon-free advice about what you need to do to get your employment practices in line for 2016 compliance.

Afternoon breakout sessions include "Unintended Pay Discrimination," "The Top 10 Avoidable Mistakes Employers Make," "Driving Those Difficult Conversations," and "HR Q&A" and an affiliate showcase.

Use code MCBC for Monterey County Business Council discount rate of $299 (regular rate is $349). For details or to register, see

The Monterey County Business Council is a sponsor of TPO's annual conference.

Portola Hotel & Spa: A front-row seat for conference center upgrade  

Exciting happenings are going on in Monterey, as the Monterey Conference Center undergoes its $60 million renovation.
"The City of Monterey is going through some exciting changes and we are thrilled to have a front row seat!," writes Portola Hotel & Spa General Manager, Janine Chicourrat on the hotel's blog. 
The conference center, adjacent to the Portola Hotel & Spa (BCM), is the largest project for the city since the conference center was built in 1977. Renovations include both physical and technological improvements to the building, which will have more flexible meeting space, more usable pre-function space, advanced technology, and the ability to host multiple meetings simultaneously. Re-opening in early 2017, the new conference center plans to be a fellow USGBC LEED® Certified building, writes Chicourrat.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, of San Francisco, is providing architecture, interiors and engineering. Follow the Monterey Conference Center’s progress at

Remember those rebates on rain barrels

Sustainable Seaside shared a great tip about water catchment barrels: If you are a potential rain-water saver, Cal Am's (BCM) rebates on commercial rain storage can really lower the cost. Recently, 2,500-gallon tanks at Home Depot were $995 plus tax, with a rebate of almost $800. That's less than 10 cents per gallon.
Smaller tanks in many shapes and sizes are also available from places such as Kennedy Ag in Salinas. And Gil's Goumet Gallery at 577 Ortiz Ave, Sand City, has at least 20  55-gallon olive barrels for sale at $20 each.
Who wouldn't want to save some money while also saving water!

Wharf to host Whalefest Monterey

The sixth annual Whalefest Monterey, a free family event celebrating migration of the gray whales, takes place at and around Old Fisherman’s Wharf the weekend of Jan. 23-24. The event, hosted by the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf Association, also benefits local and national marine organizations that inspire, educate, explore and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
In connection with Whalefest, a Symposium will take place in the adjacent Museum of Monterey, featuring lectures and documentaries related to ocean and marine life conservation, musical performances and educational displays. 
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Whale Watching Capital of the Worldâ„¢, offers sightings of 15 species of whales, 10 species of dolphins, two species of porpoise, six species of pinnipeds and one species of fissiped (sea otter).
Weather permitting, whale watching tours, fishing, sailing and glass bottom boats (for a fee) will be operating from the Wharf. The Monterey Bay Chapter, American Cetaecean Society's annual fundraising trip on Princess Monterey Whale Watching will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. 
More than two dozen marine conservation organizations will take part. Activities include a 60-foot model whale that attendees can climb inside, squid dissection by scientists from the Hopkins Marine station and interactive displays from the Pacific Shark Research Center, abalone races, underwater robotic kits and interactive activities for kids. Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian Tim Thomas will conduct historic Whalefest Walking Tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Subject to availability, the adjacent Portola Hotel & Spa (BCM) is offering a special room rate of only $129 per night.
In addition, a lineup of world-renowned marine scientists, researchers, authors and historians will speak at a two-day Symposium on Jan. 23-24 at the Museum of Monterey, next to Old Fisherman’s Wharf. This year’s presentations focus on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its wildlife; climate change, weather and water anomalies and their affects on marine life; whale entanglements and rescues; and local marine history.
For more information, call 831-238-0777 or see the Whalefest 2016 website.

MCBC: We're open for business

While some of the Monterey County Business Council's events, such as our monthly membership luncheons, are open only to MCBC members, others such as the quarterly Eggs & Issues breakfast forums are open to the general public.

These events are built around timely and topical subjects designed to meet the needs of those doing business in Monterey County. Many also offer powerful opportunities for networking and better understanding the challenges and opportunities facing companies, organizations and nonprofits in Monterey County .

Keep informed of our upcoming events via the MCBC's weekly newsletter and via the MCBC website at

To learn about membership in the only countywide organization focused on business advocacy, economic development and workforce readiness, contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington at


FRIDAY, Jan. 15 – MCBC Monthly Membership Luncheon (the monthly luncheon returns to the second Friday of the month in February), 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Bayonet & Black Horse Grill, Seaside. Special guest speaker will be Monterey County 4th District Supervisor Jane Parker. As Chair of the Board of Supervisors in 2016, Supervisor Parker will share her plans and how MCBC and its members can play an active role in shaping the future vitality of Monterey County. (BIO)

SATURDAY, Feb. 6 â€“ MCBC 21st Anniversary Gala and Annual Economic Vitality Awards, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. To find out about sponsorship opportunities, see story at right, or contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington at 831.216.3000 or via email

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


"Habits change into character." ~ Ovid
Copyright © 2016 Monterey County Business Council, All rights reserved.

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