Pacific Coast Business Times Proudly serving Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties Sat, 04 Jul 2015 01:44:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Differences between Baby Boomers, Millennials challenge for employers Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:30:22 +0000 For decades there has been a symbiotic relationship between the senior members of an organization and the young guns coming up the ranks.

The older generation brings knowledge and experience to the table and the young people bring energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. Today, there is a new dynamic as Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 begin to work alongside Millennials born between 1977 and 1994).

Growing up, the Baby Boomers were greatly influenced by the media and the concept of “The American Dream.” They were taught that anything is possible if they worked hard enough. They possess a strong work ethic and tend to put in long hours to establish “self-worth.” As a result, the balance between work and family often favors the workplace. This generation has been viewed as being greedy, materialistic and ambitious.

In contrast, the Millennials have a different outlook on employment and success. They are technology babies who grew up in a world of school shootings, terrorist attacks, AIDS, and rapidly depleting natural resources. They view themselves as more socially conscious than the Boomers and their success in the workplace is only one piece of the puzzle for them.

Millennials typically will not work long hours at the sacrifice of their personal life.  They strive for the balance of work, life, community involvement and self- development. This generation’s members will not stay at work until 9 p.m. in order to impress the boss; rather, they will leave the office so they can pursue their personal interests. Flex time, job sharing and sabbaticals are the norm. Millennials believe that because of technology, they can work anytime and from anyplace and should not be evaluated on how, what, and where they got the job done.

Because these two generations are wired so differently, the millennial mindset is difficult for the Boomers to understand. Their generation wears their long work hours as a badge of honor and views leaving the office early as a sign of disrespect for the organization.

Also, Boomers believe in face-to-face engagement and as such participate in many more meetings with clients and employees than Millennials.

Boomers use the telephone more frequently, believing that it establishes a more solid relationship with clients and colleagues than emailing. Millennials prefer digital interaction to face-to-face engagement. Why waste time on the telephone or with a meeting when you can just as easily text, email or Skype? These differences in communication styles often lead to miscommunication.

Thousands of times every day, a Boomer is calling a Millennial on the phone and the Millennial is texting back.

There are even bigger problems in management and motivation. Baby Boomers’ primary motivation is monetary, and they are comfortable with annual performance reviews coupled with salary increases.

Millennials often require constant feedback on their performance and desire speedy advancement. They are unwilling to wait a year to be reviewed. They work better in a team-oriented culture and they will do well if they believe they are doing good. For Millennials, making money is not enough. They want to be involved in an organization that is socially conscious and civic minded and that values creativity.

The Millennial generation was one of the first to be raised in a “child focused world.” As young children, their parents invited them to play a lead role in the family, including participating in purchasing decisions and travel plans. As a result, this generation is self-confident with high expectations. They expect their careers to provide both monetary and creative fulfillment. They are much more likely to change jobs if they are creatively or intellectually dissatisfied than Boomers are. Boomers tend to stay in jobs that do not fulfill them provided the pay and benefits are satisfactory.

Boomers and Millennials were raised in generations that were very different in terms of historical context, technology and media.

As products of their time they have divergent values and world views. However, it is important to the success of your organization that you understand the differences between the two generations and make the necessary workplace adjustments for each.

It is through this process that your business will run the most efficiently and successfully and you will maximize the productivity of your workforce.

• Lisa Spiwak is a partner with the firm Spiwak & Iezza in Thousand Oaks. Reach her a

]]> 0
Going public with companies fuels healthy communities in Tri-Counties Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:15:07 +0000 The health of our communities is directly tied to the health of our local businesses. We cannot have one without the other. Although in good economic times it is easy to lose sight of our region’s competiveness to attract and retain businesses in a world where many companies can operate from anywhere.

If our communities want more head-of-household jobs, which local economists report that the Tri-Counties are lacking, we must create a culture of competitiveness for businesses to thrive. For communities to be healthy and have the jobs they need, experts argue that we must be mindful to appreciate businesses so that they don’t move to other desirable locations throughout the West  since capital and talent are transportable.

As one of several recent examples, San Luis Obispo–based MindBody went public on the NASDAQ and raised capital to create jobs and thrive in its new headquarters. This is a shining example that the Central Coast can be a great place to start and grow a business despite the high cost of living and the lack of workforce housing.

However, capital is key. What MindBody CEO Rick Stollmeyer has done successfully will help a company stay and create jobs. As a community, we should embrace that we will all benefit from higher-paying jobs and the time and treasury that these employees will provide to communities and nonprofits. Nonprofits argue that they are the first to feel a recession.

Keeping the Tri-Counties competitive for business in good times and bad is a reminder that if history repeats itself with a recession approximately every decade, our best guess is that the next “hurricane” is about three years out. And as hurricanes and recessions go, you don’t know exactly when they will hit, how intense they will be, or how long they will last. So let’s build strong foundations of both infrastructure and policies in good economic times to withstand the bad times.

If our communities are not mindful of the companies that create jobs and help pay for vital community services through taxes, we run the risk of driving them away to other places that also have a high quality of life but may be more competitive. Business leaders are sometimes forced to make the difficult decision to move or grow a company elsewhere out of necessity, not out of choice, so let’s help these business leaders make their decisions easier to benefit our communities.

Entrepreneurs on the Central Coast have worked hard and risked all to grow companies that create jobs and lasting benefits to our communities.  They’ve earned our congratulations.

• Michael Manchak is president and CEO of the Economic Vitality Corp. of San Luis Obispo County.

]]> 0
‘Making things right’ after Refugio oil spill more than lip service Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:00:24 +0000 Workers donned protective gear to clean up the Refugio oil spill.

Workers donned protective gear to clean up the Refugio oil spill.

Plains All American Pipeline, the Houston-based company responsible for the oil spill near Refugio Beach on May 19, should stop the bullshit.

Plains’ aversion to providing honest answers about the spill was on full display June 26 at a joint oversight hearing by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Select Committee on the Refugio Oil Spill held in Santa Barbara.

When Patrick Hodgins, Plains director of safety and security, was asked why Line 901, the only pipeline in Santa Barbara County that doesn’t have an automatic shut-off valve, doesn’t have one, Hodgins responded that the pipeline only had to adhere to federal regulations and they don’t require them.

Hodgins said industry best practices that Plains follows call for pipeline operators to not use automatic shut-off valves “because of the potential damage it could do if shut inadvertently.”

Dianne Black, a Santa Barbara County planning official, disputed that assertion. She said automatic shut-off valves are a safe technology and an industry best practice and that is why the county requires them in every pipeline.

But Plains sued the county to avoid that requirement, as well as county oversight and weld inspections, by arguing that the pipeline crosses state lines and is only subject to less stringent federal requirements.

Plains won the lawsuit and built and operated Line 901 without the automatic shut-off valve or county inspections, but at what cost?

A Plains employee remotely shut down Line 901 at 11:30 a.m. on May 19 but Plains did notify the federal agency that coordinates emergency response until 2:56 p.m. When Hodgins was asked why it took so long, he replied, “I don’t have that information in front of me.”

California law requires the operator to report a spill to the California Office of Emergency Services within 15 to 30 minutes after it is discovered. Plains didn’t even come close.

Plains estimates that the cleanup of the oil spill has cost $96 million so far, and that doesn’t include claims, lawsuits, penalties and lost business and tourism revenues.

The state lifted the ban on commercial fishing but Santa Barbara seafood is now tainted because of media coverage of the oil spill. Refugio State Beach is still closed and El Capitan State Beach just reopened June 26.

Hodgins testified that “we feel horrible about what has happened, and we are committed as a company to make things right.”

For starters, Plains should do three things:

1. Hold a news conference with its CEO and answer honestly all media questions related to the oil spill.

2. Stop hiding inspection reports and other critical information and tell the public what really happened.

3. Partner with local entities to promote tourism, fishing and other industries in Santa Barbara County impacted by the oil spill.

That would be a first step in the right direction. What will take longer is taking all the steps necessary to make sure that this never happens again.

]]> 0
Ventura BioCenter provides facilities, equipment for startups Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:45:46 +0000


    This article is only available to Business Times subscribers
  • Subscribers: LOG IN or REGISTER for complete digital access.
  • Not a Subscriber? SUBSCRIBE for full access to our weekly newspaper, online edition and Book of Lists.
  • Check the STATUS of your Subscription Account.
]]> 0
Pepperdine-Westmont MBA partnership launched in Santa Barbara Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:30:57 +0000 Westmont Downtown, the new center in the Hutton Parker Foundation building in Santa Barbara, will host a two-year, part-time MBA program through the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Starting this fall, the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School Fully Employed MBA program allows recent undergraduates with limited work experience to advance their career with internship opportunities or professional employment while pursuing their MBA.

“The recovering economic climate in Santa Barbara County and throughout California offers greater opportunity for upward job mobility, and our MBA program meets the needs of professionals who seek the skills and network to more quickly ascend the ladder,” David M. Smith, dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management, said in a news release.

“Our local partnership with Westmont allows us to offer a tailored program that uses small class sizes, links to the nearby business community and builds off the purpose and mission of each institution.”

The program features a general management concentration and also offers undergraduate classes in social and capital entrepreneurship, leadership and management as well as internships.
Pepperdine, based in Malibu, also offers MBA programs from its satellite campus in Westlake Village.

Veteran’s transitional housing set

Turning Point Foundation in Ventura is opening the Central Coast’s first transitional housing program for veterans suffering from mental illness and homelessness.

The program will provide supported transitional housing services for a minimum of 15 mentally-ill homeless veterans in Ventura County.

The goals of the program include obtaining residential stability for mentally-ill veterans who are homeless, increasing life skills, gaining income stability and demonstrating self-determination by sustaining a recovery action plan.

Turning Point Foundation currently serves over 762 clients each year through shelter programs, supported housing and rehabilitation programs.

It is the only local nonprofit that addresses the critical community needs of mentally-ill adults in the county.

Turning Point also runs Our Place Safe Haven, a 10-bed shelter and multi-service center, which provides overnight emergency shelter and drop-in services to more than 350 homeless persons each year, 12 percent of whom are veterans.

The group said it hopes to hire more veterans to fill staff openings.

CMHS, Blue Shield team up

Blue Shield Covered California will bring a limited number of Ventura-based Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) physicians into its network at Blue Shield’s standard commercial rates.

People familiar with the deal say the decision will allow VCMA to provide higher-quality care while maintaining affordable rates.

“We are grateful that the community’s support has enabled CMHS to reinvest in the community with a replacement hospital,” CMHS President and CEO Gary Wilde said in a news release.

Blue Shield will include physicians based on their integrated electronic health record, quality of patient experience and participation in the Accountable Care Alliance of Ventura.

Blue Shield will take several months to add the physicians to its Exclusive Provider Network (EPN) network.

For physicians already participating in the EPN at a reduced rate, Blue Shield will change their reimbursement rates as physicians renew Blue Shield contracts.

Nonprofit notes from the region

•Whole Foods Oxnard donated over $3,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP). The donation is part of proceeds recently raised during the Whole Foods Community Support Day, otherwise known as 5 percent day.

•PODS joins forces with Ventura’s ArtWalk as it loans 15 portable storage containers to create mini art exhibit spaces for area artists during the downtown and West Site event on July 18-19.

•Interface Children & Family Services raised $45,000 at its second annual Love is Brewing High Tea Benefit, held in May at Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo.

•Former Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson will co-chair the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks Mid-Summer Eve Wine Festival on Aug. 15.
The event raises funds for the Special Olympics and information is available at

•The Junior League of Santa Barbara has provided $9,000 in grants to a number of area organizations including Domestic Violence Solutions.

]]> 0
Happy Harry’s in Goleta on selling block, deal pending Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:15:23 +0000 The freshest news in Goleta is that Happy Harry’s Produce Market is looking for new owners as three longtime partners split ways.

Located at 7020 Calle Real, near the Glen Annie and Storke Road exit off Highway 101, the green grocer and all-natural foods store is on the market for just under $2.4 million. The price includes the business and the real estate — a two-story, 3,000-square-foot building on roughly half an acre.

Happy Harry’s has been operating in the location for the last nine years, after relocating twice due to new development.

“The owners are parting ways and moving in different directions after all these years,” Lee & Associates broker Pam Scott told the Business Times. “It’s been available for lease for some time but then we recently got an offer and that’s in negotiations right now, but we’re still marketing it further.”

The business started as a tiny roadside fruit stand on upper State Street in Santa Barbara in 1982, in a then vacant lot next door to the Bank of America at Hope Avenue, right across the street from what is now Whole Foods and Taco Bell.

Happy Harry’s was in business there until August of 1986, when the landlords decided to make way for the development of the First American Title Co. building.

The company then joined up with Truman “Sandy” Sanders, who had a roadside stand at the corner of Patterson and Hollister. “Happy Harry’s and Sandy’s” were in business together there until the fall of 1997. Again the property owners told the grocers they would be getting building permits in the spring and developing the land.

After about a year, the partners found their own parcel and purchased the property, but struggled to find the capital to construct the current building for almost a decade.

Scott said that the current prospective buyer is a convenience store owner that is looking to expand. The property is adjacent to a Mobile Mart gas station.

“The highest and best use is still probably a fresh market,” Scott said, adding that there’s some market opportunity for a possible kind of food business, such as a sandwich shop.

“The aerial view shows quite a captive population with the neighborhood that sits just north of the highway,” she said. “The highway is somewhat a barrier to the other services on the south side.”

Ty Warner gets go ahead

Beany Baby billionaire Ty Warner recently signed over ownership of the historic Barnsdall-Rio Grande Gas Station, which was part of his Sandpiper Golf Club, to the City of Goleta and it appears the good karma gift is paying off.

The reclusive real estate mogul recently had his planned $30 million overhaul of the Montecito Country Club given the green light from Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission.

The approval is the last step after landing Planning Commission and Architectural Board of Review approvals. Now the palatial club will shut down for roughly 16 months during the renovation.

Anacapa development back

The Historic Landmarks Commission also got its first look at a renewed mixed-use development proposed for 634 Anacapa St. — the former home of the Craviotto Bros. Ironworks, which operated  in the location for more than 80 years.

The Craviotto family formed the original plan to convert the business into new living and commercial space in the early 2000s after the death of Charlie Craviotto, who owned the ironworks with his brother Dan. That plan envisions a four-story, mixed-use project with 11,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 10 residential condominiums above it.

Like so many developments, however, the project was canned when the market crashed in 2008. But thanks to a booming return of the real estate market, the project is back in a slimmed-down version, aiming to better align with market demands.

The new project consists of just over 6,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space and about 25,000 square feet of residential space spread through two additional stories.

The residential portion is making use of the city’s Average Unit Density Incentive program, cramming in a total of 30 units. The breakdown works out to 10 studios, five one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units. Thirty-two parking spaces in the Ortega Street parking garage will accommodate the development.

The development still needs an environmental assessment and a conceptual review from the Planning Commission.

• Contact Elijah Brumback at

]]> 0
Vintners decry proposed changes to Santa Barbara County winery ordinance Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:00:24 +0000


    This article is only available to Business Times subscribers
  • Subscribers: LOG IN or REGISTER for complete digital access.
  • Not a Subscriber? SUBSCRIBE for full access to our weekly newspaper, online edition and Book of Lists.
  • Check the STATUS of your Subscription Account.
]]> 0