Douglas Curley

Back Writer

Douglas Curley is the former editor in chief of Comstock’s magazine.

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Chemical Attraction

Acuity with Micromidas’ John Bissell

In 2008, John Bissell co-founded Micromidas Inc., a West Sacramento biotech company that has developed a process to convert carbohydrate feedstocks like cardboard into higher-value chemicals, including renewable plastics. The company incorporated in 2009. Bissell, a UC Davis grad who also serves as CEO, was recently included in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields, and has helped raise more than $20 million in financing for his company.

Aug 13, 2014 Douglas Curley

Wijit Wheels Ahead

One year later the once-budding business is booming

Just as the July 2013 magazine was going to bed, Comstock’s learned that the subject of our cover story, Wijit Inc., had been sold to Kinova USA. Wijit Inc. was the brainchild of Brian Watwood, the one-time elite athlete who was paralyzed in a fateful bike accident.

Jul 1, 2014 Douglas Curley
(istockphoto.com)

Where is Margaret Wong now?

Then:

We introduced Margaret Wong, president of West Sacramento-based McWong International, to our readership as part of Comstock’s international business special section in February of ‘97.

Jun 17, 2014 Douglas Curley

The Wine on Miracle Mile

Sacramento sommelier Paul Marsh joins Stockton’s business renaissance

For the past 10 years, Paul Marsh has pledged himself to the pursuit of wine. In Chico, he learned the intricacies of its fruit by planting and harvesting a vineyard. With Kendall Jackson, he learned to sell. At The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, he was educated on the finer points of building a wine collection in a hospitality setting, and he became a certified sommelier.

May 1, 2014 Douglas Curley

Naturalist Nouvelle

Unearthing a new restaurant concept

Six months ago, Kevin O’Connor hit a wall. He had a good job in a good kitchen, but his body was exhausted and his passion was gone. So, at 24, he decided to step down as the chef of the now-shuttered Blackbird Kitchen & Bar and dig for a new plan.

Jan 3, 2014 Douglas Curley

Philanthropy Isn’t What It Used to Be

Acuity with Crocker CEO Lial Jones

Since August 1999, Lial Jones has served as director of the Crocker Art Museum. During her tenure, she has led a capital campaign that successfully raised more than $120 million to finance the Teel Family Pavilion, a 125,000-square-foot addition that opened in October of 2010.

Dec 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Krissy White and Matt Sin, owners, Foundation Restaurant & Bar

Foundation Building

The new Sacramento restaurant that almost wasn’t

It took a year of arduous twists and turns, but Matt Sin and Krissy White finally got what they wanted. The business partners and co-owners of the just-opened Foundation Restaurant & Bar at Fourth and L streets in downtown Sacramento have an eatery of their own. It’s a sweet relief to be sure, because the story behind it is rather unsavory.

Nov 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
7th Street Promenade, Township 9

Pushing Boundaries

Infill projects seek to redefine the way we envision Sacramento’s borders.

In California’s post-redevelopment era, landowners, developers and local governments have struggled to make infill projects pencil out. Unlike new suburban developments that offer blank canvases and creative freedom, infill projects are most often shoehorned into existing neighborhoods and commercial developments where community expectations are high and cleanup costs are steep.

Nov 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Region Builder

Acuity with Joshua Wood

Joshua Wood, 31, is the executive director of Region Builders, a commercial-building trade association and coalition. Region Builders is comprised of 13 industry and professional associations representing architects, engineers, contractors, developers and allied firms from the Sacramento area.

Oct 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Family Focus

Acuity with Allison Otto

A third-generation member of the family business, Allison Otto joined the Otto Construction team as its marketing director in 2000. Three years ago, she was named vice president for business development. Family patriarch John F. Otto launched the Sacramento-based company in 1947. John’s son Carl took over the company in 1971 and served as president until his passing in 2007.

Sep 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Hampton’s on Sutter’s manager Jennifer Kipgen and Chef Pete Treleden

Taste of Sutter

A casual affair in historic Folsom

As a child, Michael Hampton often rode his bike down Folsom’s Sutter Street in search of his grandfather, who spent a great deal of time at the Sutter Club bar and other businesses along the historic drive.

“Today, my uncle owns the Sutter Club,” Hampton says. “And because there’s a lot of family history there, I’ve always wanted to have some type of presence on the street, too.” Last year, that vision became a reality.

Aug 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
William Roby, executive director, El Dorado Community Foundation

Sustainable Giving

A lasting strategy for philanthropy in El Dorado County

A little more than six years ago, the El Dorado Community Foundation tapped William Roby to become its new executive director. Roby had been working for the foundation for only a year as its program director, but the board was seeking a fresh personality to lead the organization. Since then, Roby has concentrated on one goal: getting the foundation to a point of fiscal sustainability so it can pay its own way.

Aug 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Steve Ayers, CEO, Armour Steel

Man of Steel

Construction veteran Steve Ayers on Sac’s arena plans

Steve Ayers makes no bones about his vocal hope that several local contractors will be involved in the highly anticipated design and construction of a sports and entertainment facility in downtown Sacramento. And while he’s known as a humble person whose industry acumen, political clout and philanthropic activities stay largely under the radar, Ayers wants to be a prominent part of the project he believes will launch a downtown renaissance.

Jul 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Structural Philosophy

Acuity with James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald, 45, became a partner and vice president of Market One Builders Inc. in 1999. The Sacramento-based firm has a well-established reputation as a Northern California leader in the construction of complex, sustainable projects, including mission-critical facilities, landmark urban renovations and commercial office environments. Fitzgerald currently serves as chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California and is a member of the Region Builders board of directors.

Jul 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Local restaurateur Chris Jarosz found success with his Wicked ‘Wich food truck before turning his eyes to a full-scale restaurant in West Sacramento.

Roll Out!

Food truck owners are driving new opportunities

Food truck success is leading to brick-and-mortar spin-offs for mobile restaurateurs ready to expand in Sacramento and beyond. For some, a fixed kitchen was always the goal, but for others, the choice to settle down was unexpected, the result of cultivating faithful patrons spreading the good-food word to more and more hungry friends.

Jun 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Michael Strech at the KB Home Garden Grove Development in FiddymentFarm, Roseveille

Building Optimism

Acuity with Michael Strech

In October 2012, Michael Strech, 49, was named president and CEO of the North State Building Industry Association. The group is a community-based organization representing more than 400 homebuilder and associate members. From 2003 to 2009, Strech served as the vice president of member services for the California BIA.

Jun 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Double Taste

How Rick Mahan hedged his bets on two very different business models

In the past 13 years Rick Mahan has not only learned a lot about launching, financing, owning and staffing a business, he has also experienced first hand some of life’s toughest lessons. Today, as the well-respected proprietor of The Waterboy restaurant in midtown and One Speed pizza shop in East Sacramento, he is willing to share those lessons.

May 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Robert Rivinius, executive director, Family Business Association

Family Advocate

A new family-business crusader emerges

California’s seven family business centers (including two in the Capital Region) are committed to addressing the needs and challenges of family-owned companies.

However, all are registered as 501(c)3 organizations, and as such are precluded from lobbying activities.

May 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Banking on Business

Acuity with Rodney Brown

Since 2007, Rodney Brown, 65, has served as the president and CEO of the California Bankers Association, which represents the majority of banks doing business in California.

May 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
John Frisch

Elder Space Man

Acuity with John Frisch

John Frisch, 61, is regional managing director for Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank. He is also the immediate past chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber board of directors. 

Apr 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Quinoa citrus salad, soft taco, chili relleno, vegetables, cedar roasted tofu and mango chutney. Paired with 2011 ZD Chardonnay, California

Seasons Greetings

Arden Fair Mall gets a farm-fresh eaterie

To this day I lament the closing of the California Café at Arden Fair Mall.

For years I would describe it as “my favorite restaurant that I never go to.” It had a great vibe, comfortable ambience, cool bar, eclectic wine list, intelligent bartender and a seasonal, farm-fresh menu long before that was trendy. I just couldn’t get over the fact that it was located in a shopping center. I take partial blame for its demise nearly a decade ago; I should have frequented it more often.

Apr 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Architectural Optimist

Acuity with Robert Chase

Robert Chase, 67, is California’s deputy state architect and the current president of the Central Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In addition to his private-sector work in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Chase has also served as the chief building officer for both the city and county of Sacramento.

Mar 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Allyson Dalton, owner, Fox & Goose Pub & Restaurant

Breakfast of Champions

I’ve long believed that just about the worst way to begin a workweek is scheduling an in-office staff meeting. Employees start dreading it by mid-day Sunday. The gatherings usually get off to a late start, drag on and are deemed worthless by most participants.

Enter the breakfast meeting.

Mar 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Biba Restaurant Chef Steve Tosso

Cuisine Under Construction

Biba Restaurant endures some neighborly development

What Biba Caggiano describes as the “bing, bang, bong noises,” began on Jan. 26, 2007. That’s when the building next door to one of the region’s most established destination restaurants was being demolished. What followed was a three-sided, multi-year Sutter Medical Center construction project that continues to this day.

Feb 13, 2013 Douglas Curley
Christopher Cabaldon became the first mayor directly elected by West Sacramento voters in November 2004 and is currently serving his fourth elected term in that position.

Small City, Big Vision

Acuity with Chris Cabaldon

There is nobody more bullish on the City of West Sacramento than Mayor Chris Cabaldon. He says no city in the region can boast of a better location and, perhaps most importantly, a better water supply. With these two key attributes, the mayor believes the west-bank city is well positioned to attract business, jobs and residents for the foreseeable future.

Feb 13, 2013 Douglas Curley
Rob Lynch, 57, was named the third president and CEO of VSP Global in 2006.

A Visionary for Vision

Acuity with Rob Lynch

In August of last year, it was reported that local eye-care titan VSP would be excluded from competing for individual members in the state’s health insurance exchange market because the vision plan it provides is a stand-alone program. The move lead to conversations that VSP might relocate its headquarters out of state.

Jan 1, 2013 Douglas Curley