The first Networking Breakfast of the new year was a record-breaking success with 80 attendees gathering to swap introductions and hear a timely presentation about the looming El Nino storms in the always lovely Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel banquet room this morning, Jan. 21, 2016. The message: “It’s going to be a mess in the early stages.”
Attendees of the monthly event sponsored by Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary raved about the extensive breakfast buffet, including plenty of fresh fruit, and enjoyed celebrating this month’s Arcadia Business Icon, Claro’s Italian Market. Also making presentations were this month’s Business Spotlight winner Joe Donofrio of CHOICESS, and Bruce Lazenby of Rose Hills, who reminded everyone of the company’s annual Welcome Home Veterans Day event.
The many raffle prizes handed out at the end of the program was also appreciated by the winners as well as those donating the prizes, who were each given another chance to promote their business.
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Program host Rod Salazar of Stubbies Promotions & Printing Control got a bit of a surprise while making the rounds allowing attendees to give a 30-second “elevator pitch” when Dr. Seth Mittleman, of the Chiropractic Health Center. Mittleman, who used his time in November to stand up dressed in a Phantom of the Opera mask and cape and break into an operatic song introduction, this time waved off the microphone, cleared his throat, and began sweeping across the room between tables while singing a version of the classic song “That’s Amore” featuring his own lyrics. His performance, that appeared as if it had been planned and rehearsed for weeks, ended with the doctor climbing atop a table for his triumphant finale and appropriate applause.
Guest speaker Bill Patzert on El Nino
Bill Patzert, research scientist, climatologist and oceanographer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who was the primary subject of a TV report last night on El Nino, offered a historical perspective of the California water drought and the impact of previous El Nino storms. He noted that Los Angeles has been in the midst of a 15-year drought with the last four years being the driest in LA history. Through the use of JPL satellites, one of which was launched last Saturday on a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base, Bill and his fellow associates have been monitoring the current El Nino’s weather patterns and intensity, showing its size to be quite larger than the last one Los Angeles faced in 1998. Due to the fact that Southern California gets 70% of its drinking water imported there is much concern over how El Nino can affect the mountain snow packs. El Nino has the potential to double the snow pack is it has done before but California that won’t prevent the trend of California getting hotter each year or change the fact that snow reserves are shrinking. Bill says the big rains should begin in February and will likely cause a lot of mud slides and flooding because the drought has made the ground like concrete and therefore unable to absorb heavy rains. He expects consistent daily rainfall of about 2 1/2-inches. But he also concluded his presentation by reminding everyone that while the El Nino storms will be a great relief to our water supply, it will not end the drought or raise levels anywhere near back to full capacity. He recommends that Southern California communities should continue to employ drought prevention habits and to learn to live in a drier climate.
Arcadia Business Icon
Claro’s Italian Market was honored as an Arcadia Business Icon by the Arcadia Chamber and the Arcadia Historical Society. Arcadia Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick noted that the family-owned business opened its second store at 19 E. Huntington Drive in Arcadia in 1971 and now has six shops in the region. The Society’s Carol Libby & Beverly Street joined Scott in presenting a plaque to Claro’s VP Bob Lippman. L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich representative Ryan Senneff was also on hand to present a certificate of commendation. Bob, son-in-law of the original owner, shared how their business has remained local and family-run with even his grandchildren now getting into the business. The store offers deli sandwiches, retail merchandise including Italian food ingredients, as well as catering services and wholesale supplies to restaurants. For more information, call Claro’s at (626) 446-0275 or explore their menu at http://store.claros.com/.
Joe Donofrio, executive director of CHOICESS, was last month’s winner of the drawing to offer a three-minute presentation about his organization. CHOICESS has offered a vital service to the community since its establishment in 1988: a local non-profit organization driven by the need to offer on-site in-home support services to people living with developmental disabilities. Many of those helped by his organization are able to become independent through entering into and helping maintain a strong community network. The need for such an organization only grows as more cases of people affected by developmental disabilities increases. Joe elaborated on their upcoming events which involve the annual weekly Movies in the Park at City Hall during the summer, and their big annual disc-golf fundraiser.
The winner of the drawing for the Business Spotlight at the next Networking Breakfast at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Arcadia on Feb. 18 is Chris Vivian from GiggleFiber.
Bruce Lazenby of Rose Hills Memorial Park noted that the upcoming event, “Welcome Home Veterans Day,” is scheduled for March 20, 2016. The goal is to provide veterans with all the resources they would ever require in one location to make it as easy as possible for those in need. Bruce says that as long as at least one person is helped through their efforts, the whole event is worthwhile. In addition to the many services provided at the event there will be a special spotlight in the evening to honor homeless veterans.
Raffle Prizes and Donations
- Emily Li of Blend it Healthy donated a pair of Chinese New Year red envelopes won by Ruby Kabrian of Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repair.
- Megan Oppelt of Togo’s Corporate donated a $20 free sandwich card and a free catered lunch for the whole office won by MJ Finstrom of Hutdogs and Frank Yik of Rose Hills.
- Naomi Briones of Embassy Suites by Hilton donated a $20 gift certificate to Embassy Suites won by Melissa Foothill
- Kristy Bradshaw of Custom Comfort Mattress donated a $25 gift certificate to the upcoming Love Lunch which was won by Anna of Two Men and a Truck.
- Vicki Knight of Century Rooter Service and Plumbing donated a Starbucks gift card and Poo Pourri won by Brian Greene of Methodist Hospital.
- Kaitlyn Adams of Massage Envy donated a gift card for a free massage and facial won by John Sun of Budget Blinds.
- Patricia Colonello of Mountain View News offered a free business card promotional ad for one week in the Mountain View News which was won by Jason King of Choicess.
- Carol Libby of the Arcadia Historical Society donated a copy of the book Faces and Features in Arcadia History which was won by Jerry Dominguez.
The next Networking Breakfast will be held once again at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Arcadia on Feb. 18, 2016, with the featured speaker Elizabeth Richer Campo, Senior Vice President, Pasadena Human Society and SPCA. Tickets to the breakfast, which runs from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m., are $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and discounted to $15 for Chamber members who pay by the previous Friday ($20 at the door for Chamber members). No charge for those holding a Chamber All Access Pass. Tickets: 626-447-2159 or in the “Shop” area at www.ArcadiaCaChamber.org, or at Chamber office, 388 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, during regular business hours.