Robin Epley

Back Writer

Robin Epley is the former associate editor of Comstock’s magazine. She is also the founder of Millennials in Media, a Sacramento-based program for young journalists. Find her on Twitter @robin_epley.

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Buzzwords: Frothy

The market conditions preceding a bubble, where prices are overvalued and driven up, thanks to unsustainable demand.

Oct 19, 2017 Robin Epley

Press Play

As a child, working in her family’s print shop in Grass Valley, Judith Berliner’s job was to help her father produce custom maps and limited-edition books on the antique machinery. She now works those same presses as owner of Full Circle Press.

Sep 29, 2017 Robin Epley

Good Game

Sacramento Rotary Foundation’s annual Golf 4 Kids event

This story starts back in 1922.

That’s the year when a small group of Sacramento-based doctors combined their professional connections and their Rotary Club memberships to form a program that is now the longest-running Rotary fundraiser in the country.

Sep 21, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Scalable

An ability to invest time and energy in systems that allow small businesses to grow while still handling increased demands.

Sep 8, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Bootstrap

The process of starting a business on a shoestring budget without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow.​

Aug 14, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Unicorn

A company, usually a tech start-up, without an established performance record, but with a stock market valuation estimated at more than $1 billion.

Jul 12, 2017 Robin Epley

Plenty of Fish in the Creek

Spawning Chinook salmon have returned to Deer Creek for the first time in nearly a decade

In order for spawning Chinook salmon to return to Deer Creek this autumn, they first had to swim against the stream from the San Joaquin River to the Mokelumne River, east of Rio Vista. Then, the determined fish had to make their way up to where the Mokelumne meets the Cosumnes River, and finally, migrate several miles more to get to the shady shores of Deer Creek.

Jun 7, 2017 Robin Epley

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

A Sisterhood of Beer

Sacramento’s chapter of Pink Boots Society aims to give women in the brewing industry a place to call their own

Historically, the beer game has been just for men: Commercials for big brands have often shown guys clinking bottles together around a grill, or fly fishing while someone pulls a cold can out of the ice chest. The message was clear: Beer is manly, and you are made masculine by drinking it.

But, more recently, we are seeing females incorporated into this picture.

May 8, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Bandwidth

In a tweet from March 2015, Forbes magazine called bandwidth a “geeky, pretentious shorthand for available manpower,” saying it was “a gentler brushoff than ‘We literally don’t have the energy to deal right now.’”

Apr 28, 2017 Robin Epley

A Future so Bright

Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in 2014, Monica Sandoval became Future Sacramento’s first student to complete the program and graduate college.

Apr 21, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Disruption

To be disruptive now means to change things, to get people to look at something in a new light. (I’d like to go back and convince my 6-year-old self that it’s actually a good trait that got me sent to the time-out chair.)

Like all jargon, “disruption” started out well-intentioned: Who doesn’t want to be the one with the fresh vision of how things could be — not how they are?

Mar 31, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Ecosystem

Generally speaking, an ecosystem describes how different, complex organisms work together. How could a deeply biological term have invaded the usually-technical jargon of business? According to Google Trends, searches for “business ecosystem” and “innovation ecosystem” first entered the lexicon in the late ’90s and hit a peak within the last year.

Feb 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Clearing the Air

California construction companies fought nine years ago to bring common-sense exemptions to OSHA's dust regulations — now, federal updates are complicating compliance

More than 2 million workers nationwide (1-5 percent of the American workforce) are exposed to silica dust on the job every year, according to OSHA, including those that work in construction, glass manufacturing, landscaping, maritime work, foundries and dental laboratories, to name a few of many.

Feb 21, 2017 Robin Epley

Safety First

For construction workers, safety training is about more than wearing a hard hat

There’s an ethical reason to follow safety measures on construction sites, but there’s also financial reasons. The first is obvious: It’s simply the right thing to do to take care of your employees and ensure their workplace safety. The second is that insurance rates can skyrocket for companies that have numerous on-site injuries and incidents. It’s worth the time and investment in safety training, in order to save tens of thousands of dollars, he says.

Feb 21, 2017 Robin Epley

5 Ways to Stay Safe at Work

We spend a large portion of our lives at the office, so whether it’s having multiple evacuation routes out of your building or routinely checking cords and heaters, office safety is not something we should take for granted.

Jan 13, 2017 Robin Epley

Comstock’s Top 10 Stories of 2016

Last year was one for the history books. But as we start the new year, we wanted to take one last look back at some of our best-performing and most-read articles of 2016. Take a look and see if you missed any of our greatest hits — or if something might deserve a second read.

Jan 4, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Elevator Pitch

It happens every time: I’ll be at a business event and someone will inevitably say that we all need to “perfect our elevator pitches” and launch into a rote explanation (an elevator pitch of the elevator pitch, if you will). Cue the over-exaggerated rolling of my eyes.

Dec 15, 2016 Robin Epley

Your Guide To 7 Workplace Dress Codes

No matter where you work or what you do, there’s always going to be a dress code. For people who work with their hands, that may mean steel-toed boots and protective eyewear, but for the average office worker, it’s less about safety and more about looking neat, organized and professional.

Dec 2, 2016 Robin Epley

How To Get A New Facility Without Bankrupting Your Nonprofit

It’s a big job, fundraising for a cause as well as for a new construction project. You dream big — you’ve always been good at that. But how do you navigate the twisted way from the dream of a shiny, new headquarters to the steel and concrete reality of one?

Nov 22, 2016 Robin Epley

7 Steps To Set Up Your Own Home Office

Do you get to work from home? Congratulations, you lucky person, you! But don’t just throw your laptop on the coffee table and call it a day — a home office is a must-have for any modern professional who works and lives in the same space. Follow these seven tips to be professional in the comfort of your own home.

Nov 10, 2016 Robin Epley

7 Sneaky Exercises You Can Do At Work

Your coworkers will never notice

Feeling stiff at work? Want to stretch out but don’t have the space or social courage to get up and bust out some exercise moves in front of your coworkers? Fear no more: We’ve compiled a bunch of stretches that can all be done in an office setting and best of all — ranked them from least attention-getting to the most disruptive.

Oct 21, 2016 Robin Epley

Family Policy

The Family Business Association of California is a lobbying firm founded to protect the interests of California family businesses in the state legislature, and to “fight against proposals which will add new regulations and costs to family businesses.”

Oct 14, 2016 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Funnel

Are you a customer that has fallen out of the funnel?

“If I have to use the word ‘funnel’ one more time today, I might die. #buzzwords” — @abhinemani

Posted on Twitter by Sacramento’s Chief Innovation Officer, Abhi Nemani, on Aug. 22, this was the tweet heard ‘round the Comstock’s office. It kicked off a lengthy debate among our staff about what “funnel” actually meant.

Oct 12, 2016 Robin Epley

Our Printer is Going Green(er)

Commerce Printing turns to solar power with plenty of downtown real estate — on their roof

Commerce Printing, located on 12th and C streets in Sacramento, has been printing Comstock’s magazine for roughly 16 years. As a business publication, we take pride in being the city’s only major magazine to be printed locally. But there’s another reason we’re proud of our long-standing relationship with the company: its commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

Sep 30, 2016 Robin Epley

5 Ergonomic Tricks to Use at Your Desk

Ergonomics refers to the study of designing or arranging items to maximize people’s efficiency while at work. So unless you’ve put some time and thought into the ergonomics of your workspace, chances are you may be hurting yourself while on the job. Brush up on your ergo-knowledge with these five tricks to make your workplace safer and better. Your back will thank you.

Sep 16, 2016 Robin Epley