220 E. Tulare Ave.
Tulare, CA 93274


In This Issue
Chamber Calendar

12/12, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

12/14, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

12/20, 8:00 am - 9:00 am

1/20, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

*The Chamber will be closed December 26th through January 2nd in observance of the Christmas and New Year holiday.

For our entire month of Chamber/Community events, click on above calendar.

Community Impact Partners
Businesses making an investment in our community  








River Valley Church

Want to learn how your business can become a Community Impact Partner?
Call the Chamber for an overview, 559-686-1547.

Member News
Want to know what's new with fellow Chamber Members? Check out the 

City Meetings

Board of Public Utilities Meeting
12/15, 3:00 pm

City Council Meeting
12/20, 7:00 pm

Aviation Committee Meeting
12/26, 6:00 pm

City Meeting Location: 
Tulare Public Library & 
Council Chambers, 
491 N. M. St., Tulare

Free resources to grow your business!

Executive Officers
Kelsey Jones

Renee Soto
Chair Elect

Kerissa Chapman
Immediate Past Chair

Teresa Menezes
Vice Chair of Membership

Mike Watson 
Vice Chair of Financials

Board of Directors
Tony Cota

Ronald Smith

Keith Reynolds

Karen Bravo

Diane Mathis

Graciela Soto-Perez

Ken Dodson

Marc Limas

Mike Lane

John Harman

Incoming Board of Directors
Lisa Garcia

Danny Giotto

Kathleen Johnson

Kevin Mooney

Professional Support
Patrick Isherwood
Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman

Dennis Mederos
General Counsel 
Professional Staff
Donnette Silva Carter
Chief Executive Officer

Information Coordinator

Activities & Marketing Director

December 2016
Annual Banquet Honorees

Man of the Year, Craig Vejvoda

Woman of the Year, Marmie Fidler

Small Business of the Year, Figaro's Mexican Grill

Large Business of the Year, Garton Tractor Inc.

Are you interested in promoting your business? 
Take advantage of this great opportunity to decorate a table at the event.


Protect Your Business by Complying with the Federal and State Posting Requirements
The Tulare Chamber is making it easy for businesses to comply with California's labor laws. No matter how many employees you have in California, your business is required by law to post a current California and Federal Employment Poster centrally located at every business.

As part of a special partnership with the CalChamber, the Tulare Chamber is currently taking pre-orders for the 2017 California and Federal Employment Poster. The CalChamber's all-in-one poster contains required state and federal employment notices every California employer must post. CalChamber is a trusted source for California and Federal compliance products, with more than 125 years of experience helping California businesses do business.

Choose from a laminated or non-laminated all-in-one poster in English or Spanish. Failure to comply and have a current poster posted in a central location at your workplace could result in significant fines and penalties. Posters must be displayed in a conspicuous place where all employees can easily read it, such as a break room, common hallway, payroll office or other common location. Employers must also display posters in each company location.

The Tulare Chamber wants to make sure your business is in compliance and urges you to order your 2017 poster today to ensure delivery by January 1. Posters will be shipped in mid-December. Please call the Tulare Chamber at 559-686-1547 or go to this link and order your poster today.

Tulare County Office of Education Announces: A Holiday in the City Open
Large collection of holiday porcelain buildings and figures to be displayed at TCOE Administration Building & Conference Center, 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia 

The public is invited to visit a spectacular exhibition of hand-painted porcelain buildings, figures, plazas and parks depicting a delightful holiday cityscape of the past. The exhibition, entitled A Holiday in the City, will be held in the lobby of TCOE's new Administration Building and Conference Center. Dozens of illuminated homes, civic buildings, businesses, churches and restaurants will be featured in the 55-foot long display. Dotted among the buildings are dozens of figures - carolers, ice skaters, shoppers and diners - all bundled up for the holidays. 

A Holiday in the City is drawn from a collection of porcelains donated to the Tulare County Office of Education Foundation. The exhibition will open to the public on Monday, December 5, and remain on display through December 29. The public is welcome to visit the free exhibition Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. A Holiday in the City will be open 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. December 27-29. The exhibition will be closed Saturdays and Sundays, and December 23 and 26. The TCOE Administration Building and Conference Center is located at 6200 S. Mooney Blvd. in Visalia. No reservations are required. 

"We are so grateful for the gift of these charming pieces of art," said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "We hope that parents and grandparents will take the opportunity to bring their children to experience the warmth and magic of A Holiday in the City." 

For more information about A Holiday in the City, call (559) 733-6300. 

Good News
Clay Smith Awarded Tulare County Association of Realtors, Realtor of the Year

Congratulations to Clay Smith who was just awarded the 2016 Tulare County Association of Realtors, Realtor of the Year. An award that is selected by his peers. Clay has served as Chair for the Young Professionals Network for 2 years, has been an active member of many committees - Grievance, Community Event, Scholarship Spaghetti Dinner, Golf, Realtor Action Fund, MLS, Long Range Planning, and Nominating. Even with all of his professional service he still finds time to be an active volunteer for Relay for Life, co-chairing the Logistics Committee in 2016.

Tulare County Farm Bureau Named Outstanding Large County Farm Bureau of the Year

Tulare County was humbled to once again be honored as Outstanding Large County Farm Bureau of the Year by the California Farm Bureau at this year's State Annual Meeting. TCFB has received this award several times in the past decade and we are always proud to be recognized amongst the 56 county Farm Bureaus for achievements in agriculture policy, media outreach, leadership development, member engagement and Ag education work.
Making a Difference: St. Anthony's Retreat Festival of Trees

St Anthony's Retreat and Santa Teresita Youth Conference Center recently celebrated the SECOND ANNUAL Fundraising event that benefited many local Three Rivers Non-Profits, and local Schools and Churches here in the Central Valley.  Our annual "Festival of Trees" again was a huge success that inspired many to give and 
Make a Difference.
The "Stars of the Evening" nineteen (19), small delicately lit, and decorated Christmas Trees with handmade collectible ornaments & treasures abound generated thousands of dollars to these worthwhile organizations. ... READ MORE.
Leadership Tulare: Health Care

By: Elodia Burlingame & Garry Riezebos

On October 18, 2016, Leadership Tulare completed their first day session on the topic of Health Care in Tulare. The Leadership group met at Tulare Regional Medical Center in the morning to receive a tour of the new tower construction by Bob Lindeman, Inspector of Record, who was accompanied by Kathleen Johnson, Vice President of Marketing, HCCA, and Sherri Bell, TRMC Board President. During the tour we were informed of the status, challenges, and future of the tower.

After the tour of the tower, the Leadership group had a presentation and discussion on one of the most controversial topics in Tulare, the Measure I Initiative. The focus of the presentation and conversation was on what the groups for and against the Measure plan to do going forward.

We were treated to lunch at the Twin Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center thanks to Teresa Menezes, Community Relations Coordinator.  The facility was welcoming and residents were friendly. During lunch the group enjoyed videos on the facility's therapy techniques and the facility's Dreams Come True program.

The group was invited to learn more about Tulare AMVETS and the services it provides to the area's veterans by Smokey Rickerd. We were also given a tour of the historic Tulare building on K Street by Sharon Allison-Crook.  ... READ MORE.
Cabrillo Civic Clubs of California Now Accepting Scholarships

Cabrillo Civic Club of Tulare County #12 would like to announce that high school seniors can pick up applications from their counseling office or online at  www.cabrillocivicclubs.org .  Please note the following details regarding requirements for applicants: Students must be of Portuguese descent, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must possess a 3.5 GPA or higher. Deadline is March 15, 2017. Please contact Dulcie Nunes at (559) 688-8070 for more information.  

Tulare High School Agricultural Education Program Selected for National Award
The agricultural education program at the Tulare High School Farm in Tulare, Calif., is one of only six agricultural education programs nationwide that received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Middle/ Secondary Agricultural Education Program Award, given at the NAAE annual convention in Las Vegas on November 30.
Three high schools, Mission Oak, Tulare Union and Tulare Western, feed into one agriculture program at the school farm facility. Over 900 students are enrolled in this collaborative learning program and are bussed to the farm to participate in hands-on learning activities. The program employs seven full-time agriculture teachers who offer five major career pathways: agriscience, agricultural mechanics, horticulture, animal science, and agriculture business.
Students learn on the 98 acre school facility where they are challenged to achieve in both the classroom and the agriculture community. Tulare incorporates production-based opportunities for all students by having them grow and harvest crops and work on the farm's dairy. Community members and industry experts play an active role in the agriculture program by providing job shadowing opportunities, guest speakers, FFA team coaches, and field trip opportunities. More than 40 agriculture businesses in the area employ Tulare students and help them gain valuable insight into the agriculture industry. ... READ MORE.
Ambassador Program
We had a great group at our November Ambassador meeting. Thank you to the Ambassadors and Board members that woke up early with us, and showed their support.
The Ambassadors are business leaders who are committed to helping the Tulare Chamber fulfill its mission to serve its members and citizens by encouraging economic opportunity and business prosperity. Ambassadors are the backbone of the Chamber volunteer force and a premier business-networking program.
If you are interested in getting involved, email  Rachel , or call 559-686-1547.

Join us for our next Ambassador Meeting on December 20th, from 8:00 am - 9:00 am at the Tulare Chamber Trade Room.

HR Hotspot: SHRM of Tulare Kings County Announces Legal Updates Luncheon
Faith Driscoll, Esq.
Join the SHRM T/K Legislative Director, Faith Lisle Driscoll, on January 10th, as she reviews the new laws, regulations and judicial opinions affecting California employers this year. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn best practices to stay compliant with California's new requirements. This training session will include:
  • increasing minimum wages,
  • overtime pay for agricultural employees,
  • expansion to the Equal Pay Act to race and ethnicity,
  • new restrictions on background checks, and
  • requirements for all-gender single user restrooms.
Attendees will be provided with practical tips for applying the changes in the workplace and communicating them through employee handbook revisions. Bring your notepad and questions to get the most out of this session. Visit www.SHRMTulareKings.org to register.

Welcome New Member
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Loyal Renewing Members
The Tulare Chamber would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for renewing their membership.

Battery Pro
Bel R. Martin & Sons Dairy
Black Bear Diner
Bueno Beverage Company
Casa Grande Assisted Living, Inc.
CASA of Tulare County
COS Tulare College Center
Daro Commodities
Drilling, Patricia DDS
Family Services of Tulare County
Gist Farms, Inc.
Marriott of Visalia
Mendes Calf Ranch
Ronald B. Quinn & Co.
Sign Time
Smith, Barton
Sozinho Insurance
Sundale Foundation
Terra Linda Dairy
Triple V Cattle
Tulare Dairy Herd Improvement Assn.
Tulare Local Development Company
Valov & Sons Farming