The Marvelous Mentor

Chris Johnson’s massive success affords next-gen business leaders the opportunity to grow

In the coming months, Chris Johnson will ask a lot of his employees, whose average age is just 24 years old. He expects to do $30 million in retail sales this third year of manufacturing, recently signed a powerful licensing deal with Disney’s Marvel, and plans to expand from the four products currently on shelves to more than 100 next year. But Johnson’s hiring strategy emphasizes passion over experience, something he says his team has in spades.

Nov 17, 2015 Andy Galloway

The Helping Hand

Senator Holly Mitchell says a level playing field is the mission behind most of her measures

California State Senator Holly Mitchell can be an imposing figure. While most people presume that term evokes physicality, it is Mitchell’s intellect and passion for defending those she believes have little or no voice in the political process that make her such a formidable figure around the Capitol. We talked with her about her effort to turn that passion into policy.

Nov 12, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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The Capital Region Needs More Skilled Laborers

Make no mistake: The Capital Region boasts some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. Many a regional leader is a proud alum of UC Davis or Sacramento State. Yet in 2015, it might behoove us to ask some scary questions: Does a 4-year college degree guarantee a good job? If so, can that good job be reconciled with the staggering debt that currently accompanies a college diploma.

Nov 2, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson
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Biomass Energy Produces Clean Energy and Improves Forest Health

There is growing momentum to build a strong, sustainable biomass energy infrastructure in California — great news for our environment and our forests. But in the meantime, many facilities are struggling to survive, and changes are needed to guarantee a stable future for this important green energy industry.

Oct 26, 2015 David Bischel

Brewed by Design

The brewery tasting room is a new kind of social space, where ambience matters as much as ale

Wine tasting is often an experience shared only by the taster and pourer. A brewery tasting room, however, needs to facilitate the gregariously social aspects of craft beer, making space for interaction and mingling. Room to brew, room to chat and room to sample flights of beer make for highly dynamic spaces that bring to life the distinct personalities of brewers and their art.

Oct 20, 2015 Andy Galloway
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Is it Time for a Technological Shift?

Letter from the publisher

It remains to be seen if GSAC, the Metro Chamber or the market itself will fill the void that SARTA’s shut-down has opened. While GSAC and its enigmatic new leader Barry Broome may bring more established firms (and more jobs) to the region, Sacramento isn’t big enough or rich enough to ignore the potential of smart, hungry tech innovators.

Oct 1, 2015 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Side Effects

Right-to-try laws could give patients access to experimental drugs, but the risks are extreme

Many of us are familiar with Woodroof’s plight — it was the subject of the critically acclaimed movie “The Dallas Buyers Club.” But while Hollywood took many liberties in telling his story, Woodroof’s real-life dilemma is one still being shared by many terminally ill people today. That struggle is also at the heart of a movement to allow those patients access to drugs the FDA has not authorized.

Sep 8, 2015 Rich Ehisen
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Minimum Wage Increase: Bad Medicine for a Recovering Economy

Increases in large metropolitan cities are not comparable to the regional economy that is growing in Sacramento

Trends in politics take hold as quickly as those in fashion, and minimum wage increases are definitely “in” this political season. But unlike in the past when Capitol Hill and state legislatures served as battlegrounds for minimum wage debates, cities are now the epicenter. Buoyed by increases enacted in a handful of megacities, American municipalities of all sizes have started asking whether they should follow suit, and if so, to what degree.

Sep 2, 2015 Peter Tateishi
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Can I Be Written Up For This?

What to do when your conduct is questioned

Recently my boss went out of town. Upon her return, she called me and my co-worker into her office to tell us that our HR person emailed her while she was out and said someone in the office complained about us being too loud. Yes, we were joking and laughing, but no one came to me to complain or ask that we lower our voices. Still, my supervisor told me the incident is going on my record. I feel like I’m in kindergarten even asking for advice on this, but can I really be written up for talking loudly?

Aug 10, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Let’s Get Focused

Could you strip down to just the essentials?

Forget the question of whether you would want to do it. Could you strip down to just the essentials? Given the task, how easy would it be for you to identify the most necessary and vital items in your home? What about those in your business?

Aug 3, 2015 Christine Calvin
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Startup of the Month: Wyndow

Search less, do more with on-demand entertainment finder

If you’ve ever wasted hours of free time searching for something to do with your free time, Oleg Kaganovich feels your pain. In 2012, he found himself in that exact situation during a business trip in the Big Apple. Rather than wait in a hotel room between meetings, he wanted to explore New York, but didn’t know where to begin. So he took his question to the web.

Jul 13, 2015 Russell Nichols
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I Think My Boss is Stealing From Me

If the compensation package isn’t signed, do I wave goodbye to my commission?

I am a new hire at a Fortune 100 tech company. It’s a sales position, and just days into the job I landed my first sale — a big one. I am about to close my second sale and was excited until I was told that because my compensation package had not yet been signed and finalized, I would not be receiving nearly $5,000 in commission for these deals. I’m angry, and I don’t know what to do to get paid and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Jul 2, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Can You Change Your Mind?

As the minimum wage debate heats up, both sides need to remain open-minded

When was the last time you changed your way of thinking on a major issue? Have you ever? In April of this year, “This American Life” ran a story called “The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind.”In the story’s introduction, Ira Glass asks the question: “When it comes to major issues — like climate change, gun control, abortion rights … do you know anybody that has changed their mind?”

Jul 1, 2015 Christine Calvin