Darren Ragle

Back Illustrator

Darren Ragle is the former art director of Comstock’s magazine. Originally from Northern California, he holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His past illustration clients include The City of Los Angeles, Playboy Jazz Festival, Our State magazine, DesignMatters and LA Record. He has designed fine art prints for Jonathan Adler, Fab.com, Timothy Oulton, One Kings Lane, HALO and Anthropologie.

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Take It Easy

U.S. workers are taking less and less vacation — here’s what their employers are losing to the vacation gap

 You probably need a vacation. Most of America does. Between 1976 and 2000, the average worker took roughly 20 vacation days annually, according to data from Project: Time Off. But as the economy buckled in 2008, so did our desire to flock to the beach, and in 2015, the number plunged nearly a full week lower, translating to 658 million unused vacation days.

Oct 4, 2016 Jeff Wilser

The Golden Promise

Most sports economists dismiss the idea that new stadiums boost local economies, but there are reasons to think the Golden 1 Center could be different

When Oleg Kaganovich was growing up in Michigan in the 1980s and early ’90s, his city of Grand Rapids was suffering the doughnut effect then typical of downtowns everywhere: Shoppers and residents were fleeing for the suburbs. By 1990, fewer than one in 10 residents shopped regularly downtown, a drop from about one in three in the early 1960s, according to a local newspaper.

Sep 6, 2016 Steven Yoder

Gone Cray

Northern California has been overrun by an invasive predatory crustacean that is fundamentally changing our environment — the good news is, they’re delicious

How many generations does it take to belong somewhere? For the people born on U.S. soil, the law is pretty clear: only one. A pity then is the plight of the humble signal crayfish, pacifastacus leniusculus, who despite getting on more comfortably than even humans in the gentle climes of Northern California, is, and will seemingly always be, invasive.

Aug 16, 2016 Tyler Forvé

After the Fact

Six years after his long-time accountant was sent to prison for fraud, one client looks for answers

Bill Murray (not that one) was at the top of his game, so to speak, until an epic fall from grace. In December 2009, the 54-year-old tax accountant was charged with defrauding more than 50 clients of his Sacramento firm, Murray & Young Accountancy, out of more than $13.3 million. He subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 19.5 years in federal prison. The saga played out like a reality TV crime drama, from beginning to end.

Jul 26, 2016 Stuart Greenbaum

The Ice Man

Building up from the ashes

After plans for a massive upgrade to the historic Crystal Ice and Cold Storage building went up in smoke, Mike Heller and his team were forced back to the drawing board — here’s how they forged ahead.

Jul 5, 2016 Russell Nichols

Buzzwords: Parity

The complexities of wage parity are beyond equal pay for equal work

We’ll be hearing a whole lot of buzz about wage parity this year — in part because groundbreaking research conducted by New York University, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Haifa in Israel identifies flat-out gender bias as the elephant in the room affecting wage parity. This new study, titled “Occupational Feminization and Pay,” is the single most comprehensive study on wage parity in the U.S. to date.

May 16, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

In Safe Hands

What the leaders of Sacramento’s health care system have to say about care quality and gender equality

Of the four largest private employers in the region, three of them are health systems — Kaiser (10,000 employees), Sutter (9,000) and Dignity Health (7,000). And whether it’s a new trend, a bit of gender-equity karma or just a wonderful coincidence, in this critical sector of the economy, all four of the region’s health centers are led by female executives.

May 3, 2016 Jeff Wilser

Buzzwords: Synergy

If allowed to go unchecked, it could be the downfall of your team

Synergy, in the common lexicon, is the magic that makes collaborations more efficient, effective and profitable than individualized efforts. It originates from the Latin word synergia,meaning “cooperation.” You’re most likely to hear it used to describe the potential benefits of a collaborative or combined effort, like a strategic partnership, merger and acquisition, creative brainstorming session or co-branding effort.  

Apr 22, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

Buzzwords: Millennial

Throwing a wide net won't help you market to this coveted demographic

The millennial generation’s sheer numbers, unprecedented spending power, and knack for radically influencing progressive trends and cultural shifts has made them a highly sought after target market. While millennials are currently the single largest generation to date, making up an entire quarter of the population, they’re also the most diverse generation this country has ever seen, making them far more difficult to target as a collective whole.

Mar 21, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer

How to Exit Gracefully

4 tips for leaving a job on good terms

Long gone are the days of employees spending 40 years in service to the same company. Some experts now say that you should plan to change employment every three to five years to continue to advance and grow. Whenever it comes time to leave your job, you’ll want to make a graceful exit both as a professional courtesy and in consideration of your reputation.

Feb 29, 2016 Kelly Azevedo

The Dean Can Read Your Mind

Pierre Balthazard has spent years studying the brains of top bosses and now, he says he can neuro-train the brain into better leadership   

Imagine a world where you’re hooked to a system of electrodes that scans your skull, hunts for patterns, and then scores your IQ, emotional intelligence, ability to communicate, capacity for judgment and potential to be a good leader. Then imagine that the therapist says, “The bad news is that your score should be higher. The good news is that I can get it there by helping you physically change your brain.”

Feb 16, 2016 Jeff Wilser

Getting it Right, Right Away

Without a clear onboarding process, you risk losing new business

Sales and marketing can feel like a never ending marathon — as soon as you reach the finish line with one lead, there’s another sale to close. Even when all your hard work results in new sales, many businesses fumble when they pass the baton to engaging and welcoming the new client. The lack of a solid onboarding strategy can result in a rocky start to your relationship with clients, increased requests for refunds and decreased confidence in your business.

Jan 29, 2016 Kelly Azevedo

Buzzwords: Authenticity

Don't fake it

There’s a whole lot of buzz lately about authenticity: authentic leadership styles, authentic brands, authentic values, authentic marketing and advertising … and on and on. By definition, something is authentic if it is genuine, real, of unquestionable origin, not faked or copied, verifiable and trustworthy.

Jan 7, 2016 MaryJayne Zemer