Speaker Date Topic
Laura Avila Feb 01, 2023 6:45 AM
Kern County Assessor-Recorder
Kern County Assessor-Recorder

Laura was raised in Bakersfield and graduated from Highland High School. She attended Bakersfield College before moving on to Fresno to attend California State University Fresno where she earned her Bachelor's in Science for Real Estate and Land Economics. Upon graduating from college, Laura couldn't wait to move back to Bakersfield to begin a career. After working a couple years in the real estate industry, the opportunity to become a public servant presented itself in a position at the Assessor's Office.​

Laura quickly began to rise within the office, from a low-level Appraiser to now the Assistant Assessor. As the Assistant Assessor, her responsibilities include leading the operations of the office and overseeing the 87 managers, supervisors, appraisers, auditor-appraisers, title process and valuations clerks and internal HR staff. Laura is dedicated to defending Proposition 13 and ensuring that taxpayers pay no more than is required by law.   ​

The current Assessor-Recorder Jon Lifquist has endorsed Laura to succeed him as the next leader for Kern County.  He has seen her leadership, her advocacy for taxpayers, and her staunch defense of Proposition 13.  Laura is proud to have earned the trust of the current Assessor-Recorder and the trust of hundreds of taxpayers she has helped during the years.

Outside of work, Laura volunteers her time for her children's school through being the PTA President for many years as well as serving as the Chair of the School Site Council. Laura also helped form Brigade Recreational Youth Soccer League. Although, they had to close the organization down in 2021, she was an executive board member for 14 years, providing a fun and exciting recreational soccer experience for the youth of Kern. 

When Laura is not working or volunteering her time, she is with her family. Laura comes from a very large and fun family that continues to grow. She has been married to Phillip for 20 years and they have three beautiful children, Brandon, Cooper, and Devyn. As a family they enjoy attending Condor's games, going to the beach, camping, and hiking.

Greg Strackaluse - Director Feb 08, 2023 6:45 AM
Bakersfield Public Works Department
Bakersfield Public Works Department

Gregg has worked in the public sector for over 30-yrs.  As a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Rhode Island, Gregg began his career in California working for the Kern County Public Works Department.  Gregg received his professional Civil Engineers license while in California and also maintains a license in Florida. 

Gregg briefly returned to Rhode Island to work for the City of Newport as Deputy Public Works Director where he was responsible for restoring historic roadways, City engineering, and snow removal, among other things.  Several snowstorms later, he picked up and moved to Naples, Florida where stormwater management was one of the main areas of focus.  There, Gregg directed a department responsible for transportation, stormwater management, and special projects. 

Today, Gregg leads the Bakersfield Public Works Department which is responsible for eleven areas of Public Works, including transportation, subdivisions, engineering, wastewater treatment, solid waste management, general services, fleet management, an airport, and the Thomas Roads Improvement Program.

In 2019, Gregg was recognized by the Florida Engineering Society as Southwest Florida’s Government Engineer of the year.  

 

Dark, no meeting today! Feb 15, 2023
Amanda Valenzuela Feb 22, 2023 6:45 AM
Alzheimer's Association
Dark - enjoy the All Club Lunch! Mar 01, 2023 6:45 AM
Megan Person Mar 08, 2023 6:45 AM
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA Armstrong Megan Person is currently the News Chief & Legislative Affairs at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center tasked with communicating the value of the work they do to the American public and overseeing all external communications, media relations, and emergency communications for the Center in Edwards, California.

From Megan: 

Great communication doesn’t just happen. It takes a team of people dedicated to sharing information that's easy to understand and relevant to each audience. It requires a passion for information and planning. I've spent 16 years helping organizations communicate with their audiences and have become an expert in plain language, communication strategy development, audience evaluation, brand and voice development, public speaking, speech writing and brand management. I'm honored to be a part of the NASA team and I hope you'll join us on the journey to better flight and exploration.

Mike O'Doherty Mar 15, 2023 6:45 AM
Path of a Foster Child
Path of a Foster Child
Richard Middlebrook Mar 22, 2023 6:45 AM
DUI and the law
DUI and the law

Richard Middlebrook is an eight-year Southern California Super Lawyer and is considered the preeminent DUI attorney in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. He focuses on the representation of persons accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and the forensic science associated with those areas. Richard has 28 years of legal experience that's specifically focused on DUI law. He spends hundreds of hours a year attending, moderating, and lecturing at DUI seminars throughout the world to assist those defending allegations of driving under the influence while expanding his own knowledge and expertise. 

 

He is a founding member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and currently serves as their First Vice President. He is also a Sustaining Member of the National College of DUI Defense and a Specialist Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. He is trained as an Instructor in the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Testing through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

He has tried over 250 DUI cases throughout his career with only 8 losses. He has acted as lead counsel in over 10,000 administrative hearings, writ proceedings, motions, and appeals. His success rates in those proceedings are unmatched anywhere in California. 

Golden Valley Interact Club Mar 29, 2023 6:45 AM
Offsite with our Golden Valley Interact Club
Offsite with our Golden Valley Interact Club

801 Hosking Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307

Dark for Spring Holiday Apr 05, 2023 6:45 AM
Robert Peterson Apr 12, 2023 6:45 AM
Notorious Bakersfield
Notorious Bakersfield

Robert Peterson hosts Notorious Bakersfield a podcast that steps back in time to look at some of Bakersfield's most notorious crimes, events, and characters that have impacted this Central California Valley community

Jaron Cramer Apr 19, 2023 6:30 AM
Tejon Ranch Conservancy
Tejon Ranch Conservancy

Jaron joined the Conservancy as Executive Director in May 2022. He graduated from
the University of Washington's innovative Program on the Environment in 2013 and has
spent his career leading strategic fundraising and communications initiatives for
nonprofits large and small, including Washington Environmental Council & Conservation
Voters, Defenders of Wildlife, the Superior Hiking Trail Association, and Hoffmann
Hospice. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Kern
County. 
 
When Jaron moved to Bakersfield in the Spring of 2021, he quickly fell in love with
Tejon Ranch and the Tehachapi Mountains through public access events organized by
the Conservancy. He is excited to bring his passions for land conservation,
environmental stewardship and education, and nonprofit excellence to the
Conservancy.

Jeanne Young Apr 26, 2023 6:45 AM
Assistance League in Our Community
Assistance League in Our Community
Judge Michael Bush May 03, 2023 6:45 AM
The Superior Court
Kiyoshi Timono May 10, 2023 6:30 AM
Blue Zone Project
Blue Zone Project

Kiyoshi Tomono is passionate about the well-being of Bakersfield and creating partnerships that lift
up the community. Previously, Kiyoshi was the face of local TV news as an anchor and reporter at
KGET-Ch. 17 (NBC) and as a reporter at KERO-CH. 23 (ABC) in Bakersfield, where he first built
connections by telling the many stories in Kern County. Now, Kiyoshi's work focuses on building
different types of connections, aligning community resources and deploying the Blue Zones’
systematic approach to leverage the people, places and built environment to lift well-being
outcomes. 
Kiyoshi graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in
molecular biology and from Northwestern University with a Master's degree in journalism.
He is an avid runner and hopes to add more marathon medals to his accomplishments. He and his
wife, Cecilia – the multi-site administrative director of Business Development for Adventist Health
Kern County – are the proud parents of two sons, Joshua and Christian
Kiyoshi believes in the power of surrounding himself with a positive pack. There’s nothing better than
collaborating and spending time with colleagues, friends and family members who support each
other and are committied to each other’s well-being.

Kyle Conder May 17, 2023 6:45 AM
CSUB - Director of Athletics (the new guy on campus)
CSUB - Director of Athletics (the new guy on campus)

 

Kyle Conder became the fourth-ever Director of Athletics at CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 1, 2022. As Director of Athletics, Conder oversees a successful NCAA Division I Athletics Department comprised of 16 varsity sports programs, 300+ student-athletes, 90 employees, and an $18 million operational budget.
 
Conder arrived in Bakersfield with over 20 years of experience in Division I intercollegiate athletics. Most recently, he served as the Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director at Southern Methodist University (SMU). At SMU, Conder served on the Athletics Senior Staff and was the Chair of the Sport Administrator group. In his role, he provided the university with executive leadership and counsel for 17 sports and 484 student-athletes. He oversaw the department’s Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition, Sports Medicine, Name, Image, Likeness (NIL), and Compliance areas. Conder was also the sport administrator for the Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving, and Rowing teams.
 
Conder was selected to participate in the exclusive NCAA Pathway Program, which is designed to elevate senior-level athletics administrators to the next step as directors of athletics. He completed the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Senior Administrators Mentoring Institute in 2019, Collegiate Athletics Leadership Symposium (2021, 2019, 2017), LEAD1 Institute (2018), Sports Management Institute (2013), and the 1A Athletic Directors’ Association Annual Institute (2012).
 
An advocate for the sport of Rowing, Conder served on the NCAA Division I Rowing Championship Committee and was a two-term Chair of the committee (2019-2020). Conder was also a member of multiple American Athletics Conference Championship Committees. He is a regular presenter for the National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC) at the NACDA convention. Conder was also a member of the NAAC Development Committee and he is a current member of the Minority Coaches Advancement Association (2020 to present).
 
Conder previously served in athletics administration at the University of Southern California and Tulane University. He also has experience in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and the University of Nevada, Reno.
 
A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Conder graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and earned his law degree from UNLV's William S. Boyd School of Law.
 
Conder and his wife, Susan Vollmerhausen, are parents to Ellis, their son, and Ada, their daughter.

Thousand Flags Information and Training May 24, 2023 6:45 AM
Dark - enjoy volunteering for 1000 Flags May 31, 2023
Pres Karen's Last Meeting Jun 21, 2023 6:45 AM
Whatever she wants
Dark - have fun at Demotion! Jun 28, 2023 6:45 AM