Tag Archives: Amber Chiang

BC’s Centennial Gala. A Night to Remember!


Amber Chiang and Neeley Hatridge

“Mommy, you need to wash your eyes; they’re all red.” This was the observation noted by Neeley Hatridge’s 4-year-old son after one of many marathon planning sessions as part of the team who organized the 100th Anniversary Centennial Ball. Many long hours were spent dealing with every detail big and small – from how to turn a sports venue into a formal setting to ironing 400 napkins in the wee hours of the morning.

Neeley actually joined the team a little late, on the heels of a vacancy in the Foundation office. The 100th Anniversary committee headed by Dr. Bonnie Suderman and Amber Chiang, had been meeting for months; planning specific to the gala began in earnest in March of 2013. Amber Chiang, Marketing and Public Relations Director, and foundation employees Mike Stepanovich, Lisa Kent, and Debbie Zuech were part of the team that supported the magnificent event. Theme ideas sprang from starting with the school colors, then googling such topics as themed weddings, proms, and galas, looking for inspiration.

Although Neeley has experience in event planning, this was the first one she had attempted with a fund-raising element attached. For this part of the evening we had incredible support from Lauraine Cook and Ann Smart. The auction netted a profit of more than $22K. 437 tickets were sold and there were several table sponsorships.

Being able to borrow some decorations from her mother-in-law’s store, The French Quarter, also helped the event’s bottom line. Neeley’s mother-in-law, Julie Hatridge, attended interior decorating and design classes at Bakersfield College over twenty years ago, and has since opened her own shop in the northwest.

Both Amber and Neeley were effusive in their comments about the support received from the staff and volunteers. Particularly essential to the event were facilities scheduler Tarina Perry, and custodial manager Ramon Puga, and their entire army of maintenance and operations crew who made the enormous task of transforming the gym a simple one. The coaching staff were gracious about relocating team practices so that the decorators could move in and transform the gym. Keeping the event secure was Bakersfield College’s team of Public Safety officers, who not only provided event security, but parking lot security as well as guests left for the evening.

For those who were there, and those who could not join us, the college has created a photo album online of images from this magical night.

Blog published on Jan 1, 2014 from Barnes and Nobles.

Jan 1 2014 at B&N

Sonya Christian at Barnes and Nobles on Jan 1, 2014

CCLC Came to Town

Teresa Tena

Teresa Tena is CCLC’s Vice President.

The Community College League of California came to Bakersfield College to hold a small meeting regarding how to properly work with elected officials and communicate the needs of community colleges.Thank you Michele Bresso for making this happen.

Invited were trustees, presidents/chancellors, and governmental relations staff. We were a small, but robust group in the Fireside Room at Bakersfield College as CCLC staffers and our very own Amber Chiang talked about the dos and don’ts of working with Sacramento.

This was an excellent opportunity to meet the people who advocate for community colleges in Sacramento on a daily basis, and to meet those doing the work from colleges across the Central Valley.

Scott Lay

Scott Lay is CCLC’s president.

A recent message to college presidents from the Community College League of California began with this statement, “Now more than ever, what happens in Sacramento affects you and your campus.” This was the tag-line to an invitation to invite Community College leadership to come to Bakersfield College for advocacy training. This training was designed to provide navigational tools through the legislative process and discuss ways community colleges can be more effective in interacting with legislators.

In my introductory remarks, I talked about the leadership of people in Bakersfield, over the last 100 years, who believed in education being the right for all Californians. In 1913, the vision of this small rural community was to create a path to the higher education offered at Berkeley. Decades later, it was a Bakersfield legislator, Dorothy Donahoe, who initiated the work on the California Master Plan.

It seems fitting that the CCLC is promoting the same vision of equity that was articulated right here in Bakersfield in 1913. Joining us from CCLC were staffers Ryan McElhenny, Lizette Navarette, and Teresa Tena.

Amber presented on the governmental relations side of working with elected officials from her role as the immediate past president of the Community College Public Relations Organization, which co-sponsored the regional events with the CCLC. Amber reminded us of some key tips when it comes to advocating for Bakersfield College’s needs in Sacramento, including keeping the CCLC informed as to our efforts and making sure everyone at Bakersfield College remembers it is their job to make sure the College is positively represented.

I was glad to see Scott Lay from the League here at Bakersfield College, and we welcomed the entire CCLC team to campus the day prior to meet in small groups with our faculty and staff, at both the Panorama and Delano campuses.  I blogged about a communication from Scott on August 28th.  You can find it at http://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/08/29/from-cclc-making-the-case-for-equity/.

Bakersfield College in Kern Business Journal

Bakersfield College in Kern Business Journal

Amber Chiang

Amber Chiang

Bakersfield College was featured in the April issue of Kern Business Journal for our excellent work in training x-ray technicians and nurses to put to work right here in Kern County. The article, written by our own Amber Chiang, talks about the importance of these specialized training fields, and the students and faculty who work tirelessly to support the community.

If you’ve been in a local hospital or clinic recently, it is likely you’ve met one of our students. They’re the ones in the vibrant red scrubs, wearing a friendly smile, and ready to help you with your health needs.

Look for an upcoming story in the Kern Business Journal on our careers which support Kern’s thriving oil industry!