Sightings & Happenings Around Town

Buzzwords: Pivot

Generally refers to a shift in entrepreneurial approach; describes the strategy most businesses employ to find the right customer, value proposition and positioning

For this month’s column, I thought I’d reach out to people who made multi-tasking an artform and get them to explain how they so easily “pivot” from one task to another on a daily basis. But I found out that’s only one definition of pivot, and so I pivoted this column to another, more business-oriented version. (See what I did there?)

Jun 5, 2017 Robin Epley

California Localities Primed for Legal Recreational Cannabis Use

Twenty years after approving medical marijuana, Californians come 2018 will be able to consume it for recreational purposes, too, and the localities that have reaped the most from legal cannabis sales may be best positioned for what could be a billion-dollar windfall.

Jun 5, 2017 Romy Varghese

How to Follow Up That Killer Presentation

Congratulations, you nailed that presentation! Much like a baseball player who reaches first base seeks to advance to second, you should seek to advance further and raise your stock, close your sale or secure that plum assignment. These five simple suggestions can significantly amplify the impact of your success.

Jun 2, 2017 Tony Oliver

Dilemma of the Month: Abruptly Made a Manager

Yesterday, I was an individual contributor who did technical work. This morning, a group of my coworkers and I found out that we are now expected to manage about 10 non-exempt staff each. Overnight! There’s no title change, no increase in salary — just added work and stress. We are told we have no choice and have to take on that extra work because the company’s success or failure depends on us. Can they just make us managers without asking? Do we have the right to turn down these positions?

Jun 1, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

Back and Forward: Jonathan Palmer on the Shift to Mobile Platforms

Jonathan Palmer, chief technology of Autometrix in Grass Valley, provides insight into how software development has shifted away from PCs and to mobile platforms. His company manufactures automated cutting equipment for textile markets and develops the computer software needed to control the equipment.

Jun 5, 2017

Gettin’ Figgy With It

The peculiar world of fig traders and their trees

California fig farmers, who grow nearly all the figs produced in the U.S., harvested about 30,000 tons of fruit worth $22 million in 2015, according to the latest crop report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. But of all those figs, there were just a handful of genetically distinct varieties. Meanwhile, almost uncountable heirloom varieties have fallen to the wayside or even disappeared.

May 30, 2017 Alastair Bland

First Mother Farms Launches in West Sacramento

Graduate of California Farm Academy branches out into business ownership

For every 1 farmer over age 25, there’s 5 over age 75, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. America’s farmers are aging out of the business that feeds us, and Center for Land-Based Learning is focused on resolving this problem before it’s too late. To date, they have trained 96 future farmers, 17 of whom have purchased their own land and started farms.

May 30, 2017 Amber Stott

Resurgent Housing Market Brings Labor Shortage into Focus for Homebuilders

Through the first four months of 2017, our industry has completed an impressive 1,888 new home sales. Underscoring the uptick in the homebuilding industry’s economic fortunes, in March we sold more than 500 — 527 to be exact — homes in a single month for the first time in a decade.

May 26, 2017 Rick Larkey

Did You Blow that Presentation?

It happens. You try your best and prepare your hardest for a big presentation, but something goes awry. Nothing deflates your self-esteem faster than a missed opportunity. Disappointing as it may it be, remember everyone has off days — look at Adele during the Grammy Awards. Adding resilience to the mixture of talent, opportunity and luck tends to separate success from failure. Here are five ways to bounce back higher from a rough outing:

May 26, 2017 Tony Oliver