Graham Womack is a freelance writer based in Sacramento. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and Sacramento News & Review. Follow him on Twitter @grahamdude.
Ever wonder about the economics of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s classic 1892 ballet, “The Nutcracker”? The show is far from the only thing a company like the Sacramento Ballet does, but with its ticket sales, it can bankroll much of the rest of the year.
Vanessa Van Vleck keeps a wall of shame at Superbum Plant Company, identifying people suspected of stealing from her East Sacramento store. It’s one of the few things Van Vleck and her husband, Dylan Van Vleck, who opened their business in 2021, can do to deal with a burgeoning problem in California.
Dan Dillon had been retired about two weeks from the Elk Grove
Unified School District when he realized he needed something to
do. “Everybody’s different,” says Dillon, 70. “Like my brother,
he’s retired. And he goes kayaking, fly fishing and windsurfing.
And he’s always going to Hawaii, Tahoe, Baja California. He keeps
so busy. I was never that person.”
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Stockton was a manufacturing powerhouse, helping to send items to market like America’s first mass-produced tractors. Stockton’s manufacturing sector declined over many decades, though there are now local leaders working to strengthen it again.
Ken Imwinkelried went to work for River City Bank around the time of the Great Recession. Logging extra time on nights and weekends, he learned everything he could about his profession at a very challenging time in the banking industry. And over the course of several years, his extra work paid off with promotion after promotion. But about five years ago, as Imwinkelried implored other staff to not stay too late, he realized he had to do the same.
A cohort of leaders under the age of 40 making a difference in the Capital Region. What people like Rhodes lack in age and decades of professional accomplishments, they make up for with lessons learned through family and experiences.
While the days of having to meet remotely for services are mostly done, houses of worship in Sacramento are still coming out of a tough time and facing uncertainty.
Go by the business that recently opened in the former home of Waffle Square Country Kitchen and there are still some remnants from what was there before, such as the brown pleather booths. Otherwise, though, something very different is going on here.
The problem has been a sharp rise in the availability of illicit fentanyl, or fake pills, which has shown up in other drugs. The crisis comes when a user doesn’t know the pill they are taking is laced with a deadly dose of fentanyl.
An elite training facility near Cal Expo has a number of major leaguers have been loyal customers.
After several years of work by Wilton Rancheria, the tribe’s casino operator Boyd Gaming, and local leaders, Sky River is finally up and running.
Some people call the western Nevada County area a mini-Silicon Valley. While the area has a technical and collaborative spirit, some are skeptical about the long term potential for the new guard.
In an era where every major commercial radio station seems to be
sticking to a tight format, some local radio stations are
focusing on diversity, community and originality.
Vivek Ranadivé sometimes draws the ire of fans and media
criticism for perceived meddling in his team, which hasn’t made
the playoffs in 16 years. But there’s another side to his
story, his work as a leader of one of the highest-valued
businesses in the area and the potential impact he continues to
have on Sacramento.
The California Capital Airshow hearkens back to the years when
the Capital Region was a hub of aerospace and defense
manufacturing. After pandemic losses, the event broke records in
2021 and is set to continue its rise.
Thanks to the popularity of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” which featured
former Sacramento Ballet dancer Rex Wheeler as Lady Camden in
season 14, drag has become an increasingly mainstream pastime
with big earning potential — for those at the top. We checked in
with Wheeler and other local queens to learn more about drag
California’s aerospace, aviation and defense industries support
more than 511,000 high-paying jobs and generate more than $66
billion in annual economic activity, larger than the agriculture
and entertainment industry combined. We checked in with industry
players in the Capital Region.
In the 2 1/2 years since the former Tower Records and Tower Books buildings were demolished at the southeastern corner of 16th Street and Broadway in Sacramento, the site has sat vacant. Finally, things could be starting to change.
Extreme athletes see what they can accomplish, however improbable
— like the 100.2-mile ultramarathon Western States — and use
their hobbies to contribute to regional economies.
For many young professionals, a job isn’t just a job, but
rather a chance to make a difference in the world — to be beacons
and forces for good, even change within their
Mark Otero, founder of the Sacramento-based mobile game company KlickNation, is now working on “Legions & Legends,” a combat roleplaying game and the debut effort from his studio, Azra Games.
Upgrades in water meters are helping to reduce water waste, but
installation of new infrastructure can be slow
and difficult to fund.
Although the hot housing marketing has made it a great
time to be a builder in California, it’s also uniquely
challenging as supply chain issues create pricing
volatility, delays and decreased margins.
The owners of Pachamama Coffee aim to operate their cooperative business sustainably, considering environmental, economic and social issues.
Nearly two years into the pandemic, the Crocker’s art park project is being brought back to life, though there are a few hurdles to overcome before breaking ground.
Tribal officials are working with Sacramento city government to secure a formal recognition of tribal land, creating opportunities for education.
KJAY in West Sacramento broadcasts a mix of Hmong, Russian, religious and oldies programming, and that’s just a part of what makes the station an outlier in a world of corporate radio.
Amid the ongoing pandemic, several tribes in the Capital Region
are either building new casinos or undertaking significant
expansions of existing operations.
Factoring in local matches, a common requirement for federal grant awards, the money could go much further.
Sacramento businesses continue to adapt and recalculate as COVID-19 evolves.
The Rosser family has provided 60 years of roping and riding for
rodeo professionals and enthusiasts in Marysville.
A father-and-son team have kept Newcastle-based Selby’s Soil
Erosion Control business operating since the 1960s.
Cities such as Roseville, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove have become self-contained places where people barely have to leave city limits for housing, work, shopping and entertainment.
After 19 years in Winters, the Center for Land-Based Learning welcomes farmers to a larger home in Woodland.
A local business group is partnering with the Sacramento Kings
and Golden 1 Center to bring an esports competition with
approximately 20 colleges to Sacramento and Roseville this
Kyle Wakamiya is director of strategic planning and analysis at West Sacramento-based Origin Materials, which makes environmentally friendly bioplastics.
For the second time, a fire station in downtown Roseville has lost its chance to become a university campus.
Dr. Lenora Lee, an infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento and Roseville for the past seven years, has made the most of working through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sacramento Kings’ former arena site in Natomas is slated for new life.
“It’s a really exciting time to be in the business,” says Cal.net Chief Operating Officer Ken Garnett.
The casino is expected to open in the fall of 2022 on Wilton Rancheria tribal trust land at the site of an uncompleted mall.
More than a few downtown eateries have become casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that remain are embracing long-term survival strategies.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many entrepreneurs feel reasons for hope, both for their companies and the world at large.
Jose Gomez, Francisco Barajas and Brian Montagnese will travel to Tacoma, Washington, to compete on “American Ninja Warrior” for a chance at an ultimate $1 million prize.
A new Kaiser Permanente hospital and a Sacramento County courthouse continue at The Railyards, the largest urban infill development project west of the Mississippi River.
Co-owner Peter Hoey is optimistic for the future, saying, “It’s not pre-pandemic numbers, but we’re in a good spot as far as restaurant sales.”
In the Capital Region, educational paths are plentiful for those
looking to make a transition.
PODCAST: Roger Valine helped transform VSP from a small local company to an international operation by 2006 when he decided to retire. This profile is part of The Next Chapter, in which we check in with Capital Region professionals who moved into new pursuits or retirement after successful careers.
For more than three decades, the Ronald McDonald House Charities
and the McDonald’s Corporation helped to define Ramirez, who
became a franchisee in Galt in 1988.
Roger Valine joined VSP in 1973 and worked his way up from being
a management trainee to become the driving force as the CEO of
the Rancho Cordova company.