220 E. Tulare Ave.
Tulare, CA 93274


In This Issue
Chamber Calendar
Labor Day
9/5, Chamber Office closed in observance of the holiday

9/6, 7:00 pm

9/12, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

9/13, 8:30 am - 10:30 am

9/20, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

9/23 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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
9/1, 3:00 pm

City Council Meeting
9/6, 7:00 pm

Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting
9/13, 6:30 am

Board of Public Utilities Meeting
9/15, 3:00 pm

City Council Meeting
9/20, 7:00 pm

Committee on Aging Meeting
9/21, 12:00 pm

Library Advisory Board Meeting
9/21, 4:00 pm

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

Free resources to grow your business!

Executive Officers
Kerissa Chapman

Kelsey Jones
Chair Elect

Mike Watson 
Immediate Past Chair

Teresa Menezes
Vice Chair of Membership

Renee Soto
Vice Chair of Financials
Board of Directors
Tony Cota

Ronald Smith

Keith Reynolds

Karen Bravo

Diane Mathis

Graciela Soto-Perez

Ken Dodson

Mike Lane

John Harman
Professional Support
Patrick Isherwood
Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman

Dennis Mederos
General Counsel 
Professional Staff
Interim Chief Executive Officer

Information Coordinator

Activities & Marketing Director

Community Partnership Director
September 2016
Member Spotlight: Alt Sys Solar
From left to right: Deanna Bernasconi, Mitch Evans, Jack Ramsey, Mary Flores, Daniel Moreno, Ricardo Armendarez, Scott Cunningham
AltSys Solar Inc. was established in 2007 by Tulare Native and Business Entrepreneur Jack Ramsey. From the inception of the company, AltSys Solar Inc. was a small 3 person operation dedicated to providing cost effective renewable energy to the Central Valley.  AltSys Solar Inc. has proudly grown to 18+ employees strong and continues to responsibly consult on the most effective measures to cut electricity cost and maximize a great investment in Solar PV.  AltSys Solar Inc. offers free solar estimates, quality solar installations, distribution, maintenance service and general energy consulting. 

Ramsey says that Tulare, CA has inspired him to continue building a viable solar operation in a community that advocates doing business locally. Healthy communities are actively informed communities. Businesses should operate to promote others and work to make Tulare, CA a better place to live and do business.

The Tulare Chamber has given AltSys Solar Inc. the opportunity to be actively involved within the community and proud to do business in Tulare, CA. Hands down, the warm feeling and appreciation of doing business in Tulare will keep business healthy in Tulare.
Governmental Affairs Committee
Patrick Isherwood, Chairman of the Tulare Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee, facilitated a discussion on the November 8, 2016  Statewide Ballot Measures at our August GAC Meeting.

Per the recommendation of the GAC, the Tulare Chamber Board of Directors took positions on the following propositions at the August 17th Board Meeting.

Prop. 51 School Bonds - SUPPORT Prop. 61 State Prescription Drug Purchases - OPPOSE
Prop. 53 Revenue Bonds - OPPOSE Prop. 63 Firearms - OPPOSE
Prop. 54 Legislature - SUPPORT Prop. 65 Carry-Out Bags - OPPOSE
Prop. 56 Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare - OPPOSE Prop. 67 Referendum to Overturn Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags - OPPOSE

The next Committee meeting will be on Monday, September 12th.

Member Spotlight: Renee Soto State Farm Insurance
From Left to Right: Rachael Silva, Sabrina Mendoza, Jessica Garcia and Renee Soto
Renee Soto, State Farm Insurance is located at 306 North K Street.  This location has been a State Farm Agency since the 1950's and is still going strong. Renee has been with State Farm for several decades but became an agent in this location in 2008.
She has her Masters Degree in Business and is a Chartered Life Underwriter and is currently seeking her Chartered Financial Consultant designation with The American College.  She considers continued education a part of continuing to stay abreast of the changing financial climate. 
Renee has lived in this community with her husband Dennis since 1980, watching Tulare grow and thrive over the last 35 years even during difficult times.  Both of her children went to Tulare Union. 
She is a Tulare Rotary Board member, Tulare Chamber Board member, currently acting President of Tulare Downtown Association and active member of Tulare Toastmasters (Speech Conductors) Club.
She has three fulltime employees (Rachael Silva, Sabrina Mendoza and Jessica Garcia) two of which are bilingual, and one part time employee (Rakaylah Misquez). All fulltime employees are licensed in Auto, Property and Casualty and Life Insurance and are also State Farm Bank certified enabling them to assist clients with auto loans and deposit products. Along with these products, we can also help clients with Health, Earthquake, Flood, Commercial and a variety of other products to meet their needs.  Rachael Silva and Renee are Mortgage Loan Originators as well and Renee can also help with other financial service products for both personal and business planning.

City of Tulare Construction Update
Santa Fe Trail Grade Separation

The City of Tulare celebrated the completion of the Santa Fe Trail Grade Separation pedestrian overpass with a Ribbon Cutting on July 29th, 2016.

Additional Project updates from Nick Bartsch, Project Manager for the City of Tulare:  

-'B' Street Improvements (Inyo to San Joaquin) 
-Sunrise Park - 100% Grant Funded
-Centennial Park - 100 % Grant Funded
-Laspina Improvements (Sierra to Cheryl)

In Progress:
-Prosperity & 'E' St. Improvementswith paving complete, all that is left to finish this project is to coordinate the final street striping and schedule for the activation of the new traffic signal. 

Welcome New Members
Wathen Castanos Homes is more than a development company. It is the passion of a family. For three generations, Wathen Castanos has created home developments that have established beautiful communities and enhanced the quality of life for all Valley residents.

For nearly 90 years, the Wathen name has represented excellence in residential development in the Central San Joaquin Valley.  Locations of where Wathen Castanos Homes is building beautiful communities includes Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Tulare, Hanford, Lemoore, and in the Central Coast.

Earning Eliant Homebuyer Choice Award, Builder of the Year 2011 -Energy Value Housing Award, and the National Housing Quality Award, the company prides itself on the longevity of their relationships with their Trade Partners and employees. The company attributes its success in the marketplace to the talents and strong commitment to excellence of those they work with from product development to customer satisfaction.
For years I have had a vision of starting a small business in my home town, where I spent half of my life, from grammar school to high school. I have always wanted to work in the town I spent most of my childhood. 
In 2008, I graduated from Barber College in Bakersfield California. My grandfather William Smith barbered in Tulare for 39 years and he was my inspiration for becoming a barber myself. 
Starting Line-Up Barbershop is different from all other shops in town because our atmosphere is inviting for all ages: kids, women and men. Adding to the atmosphere is the spacious waiting area, the Children's Playroom, and the designer cuts especially for the kids.
I also provide shampoo and conditioner services as well as scalp massages, a service that no other barber offers in the area. I also offer hot lather shaves with razor edge line-ups.  The combination of my years of experience and the inviting atmosphere at Starting Line-Up Barbershop make this your one stop shop for all your hair care needs. 
Rollo's Angels is a family owned and operated in-home health care provider, located in Visalia that provides personal care for patients who need assistance living with an illness, advanced age, or cognitive impairments. The goal at Rollo's Angels is to provide their patients with the best quality care by their skilled and compassionate team, focusing on the patient's goals, needs and desires to help them maintain their independence and remain in the comfort of their own home.

Shona Terrazas, owner of Rollo's Angels, says, "Our mission is to change lives and help as many people as we can within our community through volunteer work, community events, and a caring staff who always puts our clients first."
River Valley Church is affiliated with The River Network based out of Bethel Church in Redding, Ca.  RVC is a community of Christians who desire God's Kingdom established on earth.  We believe in the 5 fold ministry, supernatural signs and wonders, miracles, divine physical and emotional healing and spiritual gifts.

Our heart is to live our faith outside the walls of our church.  We have a heart for the city of Tulare and want to be community focused.

The church was started in August of 1992.  We have been at our present location  554 S. Blackstone since 1999.  Sunday Services are at 10:00 am. Visit us on Facebook at River Valley Church or our website, rivervalleychurch.faith.
Senator Fuller Fights for Farmers and Farm Workers

Senator Jean Fuller ( R-Bakersfield ) stood up for local farm workers and farmers on August 22nd, by opposing Assembly Bill 1066 (D-Gonzalez), a measure that would impose strict overtime requirements on the state's  agricultural  sector.

California has a long-standing exemption from inflexible overtime requirements for the agriculture industry due to its unique nature, including seasonality and weather. AB 1066 eliminates this exemption and would now require overtime after 8 hours of work in a day or 40 hours in a week. It is projected that this new mandate would have devastating effects if enacted. ... READ MORE.
Chamber Board Nominations
The Chamber Board has approved a nominating committee led by Chair Elect Kelsey Jones  (Educational Employees Credit Union). Kelsey and her nominating committee have nominated  Kathleen Johnson of HCCA/Tulare Regional Medical Center, Danny Giotto of Giotto Alarm, Kevin  Mooney of Morris Levin & Son and Lisa Garcia, Triple V Dairy   to fill the board vacancies. The Tulare Chamber of Commerce Board unanimously approved  of the committee's nominations.

Any ten Chamber members in good standing may submit additional nominations to the Chamber CEO  by September 13, 2016. If no new nominations are submitted from Chamber membership, then  Kathleen Johnson, Danny Giotto, Kevin Mooney and Lisa Garcia will be deemed elected to the Tulare  Chamber of Commerce Board effective November 2016.
HR Hotspot: New HR Laws Looming
Faith Driscoll, Esq.
After the July summer vacation in the Assembly and Senate, the Legislature has reconvened and will make decisions regarding several pending bills.  The bills have until August 31, 2016, to pass the second legislative chamber.  In order for HR practitioners to stay on track, it's important to follow these potential laws as they make their way to Governor Brown's desk.  Governor Brown must sign or veto any bills prior to the September 30 th deadline.   Many of these bills will affect the workplace and require modifications to current policies and practices.

Pending Bills. Some of the pending bills have the potential to:
  • Expand California's Equal Pay Act to target race and ethnicity-related wage differentials (SB 1063);
  • Require employers to provide double pay for work performed on Thanksgiving (AB 67);
  • Expand the prohibitions regarding "immigration-related practices" (SB 1001);
  • Require employers in the agricultural industry to pay overtime after eight (currently required after ten) hours of work (AB 1066);
  • Prohibit hiring-related inquiries concerning juvenile convictions (AB 1843);
  • Preclude salary history from justifying gender-based wage differentials (AB 1676);
  • Make any contractual agreement to litigate employment disputes outside of California voidable by an employee (SB 1241);
  • Expand California's heat illness regulations to include indoor employees (SB 1167); and
  • Require employers to either provide or make available for inspection policies regarding sexual assault/domestic violence leave rights and an employer's Illness and Injury Prevention Program (AB 2337 and AB 2895). ...  READ MORE. 

Ribbon Cutting Celebrations
Starting Line-Up Barber Shop Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting - June 30, 2016
City of Tulare Santa Fe Trail Grade Separation Ribbon Cutting - July 29th, 2016
Bold Production Inc. Mixer & Ribbon Cutting for Pueblo Fest 2017 - August 3, 2016
HCCA Women's Pavilion Grand Opening - August 4th, 2016
Walmart Tulare Re-Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting - August 19th, 2016

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