Weekly Issues

Scharton eyes ‘scrappy’ Fresno style with new venture

A new marketing firm focused on local food brands and producers will soon take root in downtown Fresno. 

Croptown Creative Team is the latest business venture by Craig Scharton, owner of Peeve’s Public House, and marketing partner H Steele. The two said they hope to grow Croptown out of their connections with local artisanal food manufacturers in the Fresno County area while also helping to establish a strong “Fresno style.”

Bank beefs up cyber security as threat level rises

In the wake of a high-profile security breach, Fresno’s United Security Bank has adopted tighter security measures in hopes of protecting customers.

The move comes as the banking and retail industries focuses its attention to cyber security as more hacking incidents emerge compromising millions of customers.

United Security Bank agreed in June to pay $350,000 to Bakersfield oil company TRC Operating Co. to settle litigation stemming from a 2011 cyber fraud incident. Dennis Woods, president and CEO of United Security Bank, said the bank has taken on additional security measures to protect corporate customers that frequently use the online money-wiring system.

Mid Valley Disposal on the move

New composting program, acquisition prime hauler for growth

While not yet in full swing, Mid Valley Disposal’s new composting operation is turning the Central Valley on to the possibilities of organic material recycling.

Driven by new regulations on the disposal of green waste in the state’s landfills, the Kerman-based waste hauler and recycler completed work earlier this year on the first row of a 68,000 square-foot composting field at its 10-acre material recovery facility west of Fresno.

Fresno SBA office hits another lending record

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Fresno office announced another lending record for fiscal year 2014 — $310 million in approved 7(a) loans to 631 borrowers.

The loans allowed small businesses in the 15-county region covered by the Fresno district office to create or retain 8,831 jobs.

Richard Kriegbaum

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.30.24 PMPresident

Fresno Pacific University

What we do: Fresno Pacific University transforms people, families and communities through higher education that stresses solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. The face of our student body is the face of the Valley—we are a Hispanic Serving Institution and are committed to offering opportunities to first-generation students. And we are successful! FPU has the highest four-year graduation rate of any Central Valley college or university, is one of the top 10 HSIs nationally in graduating Hispanic students and is ranked in the top tier of our category by U.S. News & World Report. We are also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). For us, being the region’s only comprehensive Christian university is all about living out our tagline: “Empowering leaders. Transforming lives.”

Education: Ph.D. in higher education, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1976. M.A. in Spanish, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 1966. B.A. in Spanish, Wheaton (IL) College, 1963, with high honor.

Age: 73

Family: My wife Peggi and I enjoy a blended family of three children, their spouses and our seven grandchildren. Our children are Janine (husband Matt) Zulim, Arnold (wife Mimi) Kriegbaum and Sonya (husband David) Wainscott. Five of these folks have degrees from FPU. 

Aamer Hayat

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.41.16 PMChief Operating Officer

Avecinia Wellness Center

What we do: Integrative primary care. We combine primary care medical services with alternative approaches to health to provide our patients with a more holistic approach to health and well-being.

Restaurateurs ponder European-style service fee instead of tips

What if restaurants eliminated tipping in favor of charging patrons a flat service fee? 

That's a question some local restaurant-owners are pondering as a way of dealing with increasing minimum wage in California. 

“I'm very interested to see if anyone in the Fresno community has considered it or would be able to pull it off,” said Chris Mariscotti, owner of The Vineyard restaurant in Madera.

Deli Delicious adding Valley locations

Local sandwich chain Daeli Delicious is going through a growth spurt as six new locations are opening in the Central Valley this fall and several more are expected in the first quarter of 2015.
Deli Delicious locations opened in the Save Mart shopping center at Clinton and Brawley avenues in west Fresno several weeks ago as well as downtown at 970 N. Street. The downtown restaurant hosted a grand opening celebration earlier this week, giving out sandwich vouchers and other prizes to mark the occasion.

Foundation plans new $10M ice skating arena in Fresno

The Fresno Monsters hockey team may soon have a new venue to play games when a planned 1,800-seat arena is built at the Gateway Ice Center.
But hockey is just one program proponents hope to expand when the 44,000 square-foot multi-purpose facility comes to fruition at Marks and Clinton avenues.

Corporate wellness programs gain speed

As more Americans gain insurance coverage through work, employers are increasingly turning to wellness-based incentives and other health care programs to help keep their staff healthy.
According to a 2014 study by Fidelity and National Business Group on Health, corporate employers are expected to spend an average of $594 per employee on wellness programs this year. That’s up 15 percent from the average of $521 per employee in 2013 and nearly double the amount reported in 2009.