Engaging our Community: Bakersfield Chamber

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, February 27, 2016…..A good day to be a Renegade!

Jameik Riviere Feb 26 2016

Got back home late last night after watching an incredible Renegade men’s basketball game at Moorpark College, 114 miles southwest from BC.  The Renegades won 96-78 in what was an intense, fast, and smart game.  It was super cool to see the pride on the face of our Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor, and the other fans who came out to Moorpark.

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Below you can see the progression of my tweets as the game unfolded. Each tweet was accompanied by a picture of the game – to see the pictures along with the tweets follow me on twitter @sonyachristian.

@GoGadesGo 18-12 playoff @MoorparkCC #RenegadeBasketball @coachrichhughes @coachstaylor008

@coachrichhughes in action @GoGadesGo powering thru 25-14@MoorparkCC #WeAreBC @coachstaylor008  #RenegadeBasketball

#RenegadeBasketBall on the move 54-39 @MoorparkCC #BCRocks @GoGadesGo @coachrichhughes @coachstaylor008

@coachrichhughes with his winning team team 66-48 @MoorparkCC. Rockin payoff. @GoGadesGo @coachstaylor008 #WeAreBC

#JaneokaRiviere on the move. @GoGadesGo dominate 70-59 @MoorparkCC #BCRocks @coachrichhughes @coachstaylor008

@GoGadesGo playing fast. Playing smart. 80-69 @MoorparkCC @coachrichhughes @coachstaylor008 #WhatAGame @baksports

#LawrenceMoore controls the ball 88-72 with 1:33 min to go. @coachrichhughes @GoGadesGo @coachstaylor008 #WeAreBC

96-78 What a win at the playoff! @GoGadesGo @coachrichhughes @coachstaylor008 #RenegadeBasketball #WeAreBC #BCRocks

The Rooter bus left BC at 4:00 p.m. yesterday to bring out a group of Renegade fans to cheer on their team.  The fans were intense and noisy in their support, and concluded the last 10 seconds of the game with the “We Are…BC” chant.  Needless to say, I have no voice left today.

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Check out the details from Francis Mayer at http://tinyurl.com/haseu6c.  

Also for photos by Joe Bergman check out: http://tinyurl.com/z75za8j

Here are my previous blogs on this winning coach and winning team:

February 20, 2016: http://tinyurl.com/zl559bg

February 12, 2016: http://tinyurl.com/jhuyl8l

Honestly, I am the luckiest person, to be the President of this amazing college with its amazing people.  I wish I had time to do a blog every day….but alas, time is my biggest enemy.  But here are some quick snippets:

Nick Strobel brought us news that on Feb 11, teams using advanced LIGO Project detectors had confirmed the existence of “gravity waves,” ripples in spacetime like ripples on a lake. Quantum theories unify every force except gravity, which is explained by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. (E.g. light has photons, and gravity might have “gravitons,” but we can’t show/explain it yet.) Our new ability to detect gravity waves might even allow new ways of “seeing” the universe with “gravity telescopes”. This is a very big deal – the kind of Nobel-prize-winning, this-made-waves-in-history sort of event – but might well have escaped our attention except for our astronomy detector Nick Strobel.

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Erin Miller’s talk titled Death of Virtue: Citizenship, Race, and Manhood in Colonial America was extraordinary. A scholar and great story teller, we are so fortunate to have Erin at BC. And thank you Norm Levan for your generous gift to BC that supports the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium.

It was also heartwarming to attend the Bob Elias Hall of Fame event at the Rabobank last week with over 700 people and to see that a significant number of inductees over the years are Renegades.  I also enjoyed connecting with Wesley Lyons, a student vet at BC.

Talking about our students who are veterans, we have seen an increase in the numbers since 2013 and there is so much more we need to do at BC to support this group.  Here is some recent data I received from our IR office.

data veterans feb 2016

Every year, we all say that there’s so much to do and so many events to attend during the holiday season.  But we’re now two months into 2016 and it feels like my events calendar is just as packed as ever.  While I find there’s little time for reading or movies, I’m still satisfied — because the events I DO attend are such a constant wonderful reminder of the best in our community.


Chamber Board

On January 22nd, I had my most recent experience with one of our community’s true crown jewel organizations, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.  Their 2016 Board of Directors Installation Gala and Masquerade Ball event was fabulous, with President Nick Ortiz welcoming this year’s new officers, including new board chairman Steve Murray of Murray Family Farms (succeeding outgoing chairwoman, the wonderful Danielle Wade of Bright House Networks).

The evening was delightful, particularly the one-on-one conversations.  I enjoyed meeting Tom and Gina Saba whose son goes to BC.  He is apparently enjoying his experience and appreciated the summer bridge program.  Thank you Kimberly Bligh for expanding Summer Bridge 2015 and to the numerous faculty who participated.  You are creating the first experience for our students as they transition to Bakersfield College.  A very important event in their lives.  Here’s to an even bigger Summer Bridge 2016.

Also enjoyed catching up with Kelly and Greg Chamberlain, you truly know how to have fun.  Check out their picture below.

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I am looking forward to getting to know the Bakersfield Chamber Board members many of whom I have heard by name but never met.  Here is a copy and paste from the Chamber website:

Chairman of the Board
Steve Murray
Murray Family Farms, Inc.

Immediate Past Chair
Danielle Wade
Bright House Networks

Derek Abbott
Tejon Ranch Company

Andy Paulden
Brown Armstrong Accountants

Vice Chair Public Policy and Political Action
Carla Musser

Vice Chair Economic Vitality
Darlene Mohlke
Castle & Cooke California, Inc.

Vice Chair Leadership and Workforce Development
Kathy Miller
Aera Energy LLC

Vice Chair Member Engagement
Karen Goh
Garden Pathways, Inc.

Vice Chair Community and Resource Development
Brooke Antonioni
Trans West Security Service, Inc.

Member at Large
Paul Anderson
Moneywise Wealth Management


Susan M. Benham
Dignity Health Memorial Hospital

Don Bynum
Temblor Brewing Company and Gregory D. Bynum & Associates, Inc.

Greg Chamberlain
Bakersfield College

Dr. Sonya Christian

Bakersfield College

Tasha Clayton
Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc.

David Dobbs
Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant

Scott Guseman
Paramount Farming Company

Derek Jeffery

Ronald Johns
RA Johnsfam dba McDonald’s

Duane Keathley
Cushman & Wakefield/Pacific

Karen King
Golden Empire Transit District

J.P. Lake
Rain for Rent

Pritesh Patel
Valley Republic Bank

Tom Saba
Creative Concepts/Saba Agency

Rick Stevens
Stevens Transportation, Inc.

John Stovall
Law Offices of John F. Stovall

The Chamber has repeatedly backed learning initiatives at all educational levels and emphasized that a better educated workforce not only lifts the business opportunities for their member companies, but improves the fiscal outlook for the county and the region as a whole.

With an abundance of partnership ventures available in 2016 (including a second year of the wildly-successful Vision for the Valley conference), it’s great to know Nick, Steve and the entire Bakersfield Chamber are always ready to dig in and work with Bakersfield College and other community partners on our shared goals for Kern County.


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One thought on “Engaging our Community: Bakersfield Chamber

  1. Nick Strobel February 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm Reply

    Thanks for the nice note, Sonya. Those who want to geek out more on gravitational waves can go to http://www.astronomynotes.com/relativity/s4.htm . 🙂 Also, nice to see the picture of you and Gina Saba. She and Tom are two gems of Bakersfield.

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