The News

The Business Journal unveils 2015 cover

Around 300 people came out to San Joaquin Country Club Tuesday
to celebrate the unveiling of the cover of this year’s Book of Lists.

ABOVE: Kopi Sotiropulos with KMPH Channel 26 kicked up his heels, supported by KMPH General Sales Manager Matt Morse (left) and The Business Journal Publisher Gordon Webster.

LEFT: Fresno mural artist FranCisco Vargas talks about his mural stamp project completed this summer on The Business Journal’s office north wall. The mural was adapted for this year’s Book of Lists cover.

Tulare cheese plant to get March hearing

All systems are go on the planned CaliCheese plant in Tulare, said company CEO Robert Moultrie.
Originally approved without an environmental impact report, the “final EIR is now expected to be heard in March,” said Moultrie, with anticipated approval by the city council. The draft was released in September.

Sanger man uncorks passion with new winery

Five years ago, Bob Bagdassarian decided to follow his “passion” and do what he loves best — make wine.
So the Sanger native closed his health-care business and uncorked a plan to create a boutique winery on the farm where he grew up.

Fresno marketing firm invited to SXSW to preach Google Ad Words

Fresno’s efforts to combat its image as a technology desert are about to get a boost from a local digital marketing firm presenting at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas this spring.
Locally based Nettra Digital Marketing has been invited to present its strategy for helping nonprofit organizations take full advantage of Google Ad Words grants in March. The festival, which originated as a music and film event, has recently grown into a top technology showcase where startups can mix with industry powerhouses like Google and Facebook. It will be a great place to gain notoriety, said Dave Martin, co-founder and director of client relations at Nettra.

Connections rule at Fresno Food Expo

The organizers of this year’s Fresno Food Expo are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the event with an acknowledgement of the connections forged there throughout the years.
To illustrate that point, the City of Fresno, which hosts the expo each year, held a bus tour Tuesday for local media and other officials to hear from business owners who have made key connections at the event, which runs July 22-23 at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall.

Walmart opening new Fresno supercenter January 21

More than a year after initial renovations began on the building, Walmart is finally ready to open the doors of its latest store in Fresno.
The Walmart on Ashlan and Blackstone avenues will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 21.
Since Mervyns closed in 2008, the 107,000-square-foot space has remained vacant, and Petco and Ideal Furniture Gallery had anchored the shopping center in central Fresno. Now, Walmart is expected to draw customers from all over the neighborhood and increase business in the area.  

Senior facilities prep for ‘silver tsunami of baby boomers’

Local senior housing groups and retirement homes are busy making plans to meet increased market demand as the baby boomer generation quickly approaches the 65 and older age designation.
“The silver tsunami of baby boomers is coming and we want to be ready for it,” said Jessica Lopez, executive director with The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens in Fresno.

Local IT company acquired

Local information technology company Innovative I.T. has been acquired by San Luis Obispo-based TekTegrity.
“We’ve already been in the Central Valley for quite some time,” said Russ Levanway, TekTegrity CEO. “Merging the companies expands the organization’s talent pool and increases the services available to all clients.”
Innovative I.T. CEO Brian Horton said all of the company’s employees will be retained through the merger and leadership teams from both companies will be meeting with Innovative I.T. clients as the transition takes place over the next year.

Food Commons Fresno: Matchmaker of produce, people

Local nonprofit Food Commons Fresno has big plans for 2015 as the organization seeks to address the plight of neighborhood food deserts, protect farmland from commercial development and spur economic growth in previously neglected parts of town.
The organization is part of a pilot program currently being tested in Fresno and Atlanta, and is being led by investment advisers from around the country, including several from the Bay Area.

Welcome to water year 2015

A recent California Department of Water Resources report paints a grim picture for farmers dependent on underground water resources for farming, including production of the Valley’s highly valued almond crop.
It states that 350 new wells were installed in Fresno and Tulare counties during 2014 and the lack of consistent monitoring of the San Joaquin River and Tulare Lake basin resulted in a falling water table and ground subsidence. The report noted that 1.7 million acres of cropland has been fallowed in the Valley because of water shortages.