Weekly Issues

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.

Robert H. McKellar

Screen Shot 2015 01 16 at 4.11.01 PMChief Executive Officer

McKellar Agricultural Group

What we do:
When asked, my favorite answer is “we raise citrus and people.” We do raise oranges and mandarins (Cuties) and we are involved in several forms of agritourism.

I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a double major in animal husbandry and ag journalism. My degree is in animal husbandry.


My wife Ann Shidler Mehrten McKellar, daughters Shawn Hodges, Kerin McKellar Terri Jeske and sons Mark and Craig McKellar.

NEO evolves to connect Fresno County employers, workers

Fresno County is ready to make a big marketing push for its New Employment Opportunities (NEO) program that subsidizes the cost of certain new hires for businesses in the county.
The Economic Development Corp. serving Fresno County is the organization tasked with marketing the program, which is funded with $9 million through the Fresno County Department of Social Services.
While the latest iteration of the program kicked off in April 2014, the program traces its roots to 2011, when it was developed in wake of another wage-subsidy effort — the 80/20 Program.

Zachary D. Darrah

Screen Shot 2015 01 09 at 2.08.24 PMExecutive Director

Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM)

What we do:  FIRM serves the refugee population in Fresno through working towards our mission of “Sharing Christ’s love to build communities of hope with new Americans.” This includes such things as mental health services, community gardens, youth programs, early childhood education programs, workforce development, health care access work, advocacy and much more! We seek to meet the needs of the refugee community both on a physical and spiritual level.