Thanks to his week's correspondent:

Spoke Editor Profile:

Toni Harper Dougherty
"We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us." Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy and the sponsoring congregation of Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield.
Invocation:  Chad Tongco
Flag Salute: Randy Saunders
President Ken started by wishing himself a very Happy 34th Birthday.  12 members wished him a Happy Birthday yesterday, however, those of us who did not were fined $1.00 to fund the Waterman Foundation.  (President Ken’s levying of fines is getting real!)
In another effort to raise money, at the mention of the word “grapevine”, President Ken plugged Joe Gregory’s Grapevine MSP.  He indicated that Joe will PERSONALLY design a proposal for any technology needs Rotarians have, and he guaranteed an excellent price.  (Joe to pay $50 fine.)
President Ken awarded Mike Lightfoot the Paul Harris Fellowship Award via a fishing pole while Mike was relaxing in his pool.  Great job Mike for winning this “award” and congratulations on the recognition.

Good News Announcements:

  • Pete Pankey indicated Mona had a successful surgery and she is recovering well!  Wonderful!
  • Ken Keller indicated Dignity Health received a $15M grant from the state to build 2 dedicated pediatric operating rooms.  He hopes to have them operational by 2023.  This is a first for our county, and a very pressing need to make sure Kern County kiddos can get care in Kern County.
  • Joy Hay announced the after a 10 year hiatus, the Ford Bronco has made a return.  Joe and his team have already taken orders for 100, and he will have them on the lot by fall. (Of course, someone had to mention OJ Simpson!)
  • Joe Sampson’s beautiful wife Jennifer was featured in the Bakersfield Californian today highlighting her receipt of a grant and work on collage art.  The article was so interesting, so take a moment to read about her project, and most importantly, support her when the book is published!


This week featured Jim Damian of Stria.  Stria is a business processing outsourcing company. His intent was to demonstrate how he inspires and leads his team. He really wanted to share a lesson on leadership.  Unfortunately, administration, production, etc.  all shunned him.  His HR director actually asked him not to talk to the employees –yikes.  Please don’t worry – it didn’t seem to dampen his spirit.  (He barely noticed!)


Ken Keller introduced Scott Neilson, President of Nielson Consulting and Managing Member of SCCR Tejon, LLC who holds the agreement to develop and manage the Hard Rock/Tejon project.  He brings a wealth of knowledge about the gaming and casino industry and the Hard Rock Casino itself.
The history of the Tejon Indian Tribe is interesting and painful.  In the 1800s, the land was taken from the tribal people when the US failed to ratify a treaty with tribal leadership. In 2012, they reaffirmed their status with federal and state affiliations.  Currently, the Tejon Tribe is the only federally recognized tribe in Kern County, with 1,045 members.  The majority of the members live in Bakersfield and are long-standing members of the community.   As such, in an effort to make them more self-sufficient and enjoy the benefits of recognition, they are pursuing a partnership with Hard Rock, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe in Florida.  This venture will support the long term goals of tribal leadership which are rebuilding the tribal community, education, economic development, and healthcare.
The partnership is exciting because of the brand relevance of Hard Rock Café.  Along with the media, philanthropy, and reach of the brand throughout the world, it is known as a leader in employee satisfaction as well as customer approvals among higher-level casino/resort markets.  Hard Rock is concentrating on increased hotel development as well as adding additional marketing opportunities such as the Hard Rock Stadium (which underwent at $500 million upgrades), home of the Miami Dolphins.  The goal is to use the brand to attract from north of Bakersfield, and specifically south, from the Los Angeles basin.
Mr. Neilson shared the following considerations about the use of Hard Rock as the brand for the Tejon casino.
  • 15% positive impact on gaming revenue
  • 57% would travel to a Hard Rock for 100 miles compared to only 37%
  • If an existing casino were remodeled and replaced with a new Hard Rock, 39% would increase their current trips.
Project elements include:
  • 306 Acre Parcel
  • Integrated Resort 52 acres,
  • 400 room hotel tower
  • Casino
  • High-End Steak House
  • 13 Food and Beverage Venues
  • Meeting and Convention Space
  • Resort Pool with Cabanas
  • Rock Spa and Salon 
  • Body Rock Fitness Center
  • 600,000+ square ft. facility
  • Live Venue seating 2000
Additionally, there will be a fire and police station, which will be built by the tribe and given to Kern County.  There is also an integrated water reclamation.  The support of the community and local governments have been positive and overwhelming,  with over 6000 small businesses, local Chambers, Tax Payer Associations, and Tejon Ranch itself giving a thumbs up.
Ray Karpe asked if there will be a sportsbook, and Mr. Neilson indicated that no, it will not – as it is illegal under the California state constitution. 
The anticipated dates for completion depending on the groundbreaking, which could be next year, then a 16-18 month build. 
Finally, Mr. Neilson said he would match the $50 donation made in his honor to the League of Dreams.  Let’s hope this spirit of goodwill by those working on this project will continue to be infused into our community well into the future!
Jennifer Sampson was featured in the Bakersfield Californian today highlighting her receipt of a grant and work on collage art.
SOMEONE CALL O.J.! Joy Hay announced the after a 10 year hiatus, the Ford Bronco has made a return. 
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
John Farrer
July 1
Chad Tongco
July 2
John D. Schuler
July 14
Ken Beurmann
July 15
Ray Watson
July 15
Paul Sheldon
July 18
Jon Van Boening
July 21
Karen King
July 25
Ray Watson
July 25
Cindy Pollard
July 28
Sonya Christian
July 28
Kurt Wingate
July 30
Spouse Birthdays
July 2
Claudia Galagaza
July 28
July 29
Jeff Chandler
Susan Chandler
July 7
Join Date
Paul Sheldon
July 13, 2000
20 years
Dave Whelden
July 14, 1988
32 years
Kristen Beall
July 21, 2016
4 years
Steve Illingworth
July 21, 2005
15 years
Steve Williford
July 21, 1994
26 years
Lynnette Zelezny
July 26, 2018
2 years
Larry E. Reider
July 27, 2000
20 years
Mary Castaneda
July 27, 2016
4 years
Cindy Pollard
July 28, 1994
26 years
Jordan Kaufman
July 28, 2016
4 years

Area Meetings

Tuesday @ noon
Bakersfield North

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ noon
Bakersfield West
at the Stockdale Country Club

Wednesday @ 6:45 am
Bakersfield Breakfast

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ 6 pm
Bakersfield Twilight

at The Mark

Bakersfield  Downtown
at the Museum of Art

Friday @ noon
Bakersfield East

at Bakersfield Museum of Art

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