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Message from the CEO – April ’15 

Cecil Russell

Chamber CEO,
Cecil Russell

April is the month we all “Go Green.” In Modesto we celebrate Earth Day every year and with it we try to draw attention to the many ways that we as a community can be successful environmental stewards in our homes and businesses. In this month’s issue of Progress we will also proudly “Go Green.” One of the many ways your Modesto Chamber of Commerce supports this stewardship philosophy is through our Stanislaus Green Team. We work with our partners on the Stanislaus Green Team to promote business ecology and efficiency by focusing on being environmentally and economically smart. Read the cover story on page 6 this month for more detailed information about our Stanislaus Green Team.

There are many activities in Modesto this month. The Modesto Chamber has partnered with many agriculture-related businesses to produce our annual AG Aware luncheon on April 16th to benefit the Modesto Schools’ FFA programs. This terrific event has raised more than $160,000 over the past 20 years to support our local FFA students. This year’s event has been moved to the ACE Ag Pavilion at MJC West Campus where we can accommodate more supporters and be in an Ag-friendly environment. If you have not attended this event in the past, you will not want to miss joining us in celebrating these exceptional FFA students.

The AG Aware Luncheon is followed closely by a day full of “Going Green” through the Love Modesto event on April 18th, which brings a large portion of our citizens together to focus on cleanup projects throughout the city and its neighborhoods. On April 18th, Modesto celebrates its 26th Annual Earth Day at Graceada Park. Bring your recyclables to Earth Day and help raise money for the City of Modesto Adopt-a-Park program. Items being collected include CRV bottles, cans, plastic, scrap metal, e-waste, toner, ink cartridges, and cell phones; document shredding is available as well. This is always a well-attended community event at a great local park.

Please mark your calendar for Lemonade Day on May 16th. We need you and your friends, family, and colleagues to visit one of the many lemonade stands run by children that day throughout the city of Modesto. Your purchase of a glass of lemonade supports the many junior entrepreneurs who are participating in a community-wide educational program that teaches youth the skills necessary to start, own, and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. Your Chamber is involved because we believe that it is crucial to help youth learn the steps and planning necessary to start a business. Through Lemonade Day, the children will learn valuable life skills such as leadership, collaboration, responsibility, and teamwork. With this FREE program they learn to set a goal, make a plan and work their plan to achieve their goal. The Lemonade Day program is designed for the participating children to experience a new level of confidence and see how the education that they are receiving in their schools tie into future possible careers. Through this program, we hope to impact the values of “spend more, save more, and share some” to apply to their net profits.

We thank all of our Lemonade Day sponsors for their Eco Globefinancial support in helping to bring this program to our youth: Data Path, Inc.; US Bank; Doctors Medical Center; Stanislaus Magazine; E&J Gallo Winery; San Joaquin Valley College; Oliveira Wealth; AIA/Mid-Valley Promotions, Inc.; Garcia Insurance Agency/Farmers Insurance; Gianelli & Associates; Grimbleby Coleman CPAs, Inc.; Village Baking Company & Café; Wells Fargo Business Banking; Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency; TSM Insurance; Vintage Faire Mall; and Modesto Toyota. We’d also like to thank all of our Lemonade Day partners for providing donated services: Modesto City Schools; Stanislaus County Office of Education; Vintage Faire Mall; McHenry Village; Never Boring Design; Her Life Magazine; Modesto View; and The Modesto Bee.

There are many more worthwhile events happening in and around Modesto in April. Many of these events can be found on our website’s calendar at: http://www.modchamber.org/chamber-events/

The Chamber sends representatives to many speaking events that both educate and inform every month. This past month I had the pleasure to attend an event where our City Manager Jim Holgersson addressed the audience. At the end of his presentation he read the following quote by Charles Swindoll which I would like to share with you:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church….a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

This is excellent advice and if we can all embrace it, we together can accomplish much for our community and help create a better quality of life for all.

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