Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Filling the Old Chamber's Shoes...

Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks? Well, Move Over Rover !!!

OMG! I couldn't believe the downward transition at the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce State of the County breakfast at the Metropolitan in San Andreas this September. ( See video

The powerful and magnificent Staci Johnston, who jumped ship for a much better gig, showed off her public speaking skills and consummate networking abilities by sparking off the meeting with a high energy, slick introduction and a quick good-bye for her last appearance in the Old Chamber's forum.
Her legacy is reputed to have taken the Chamber from duck races to the magnitude it is now, even under the scrutiny of its present board. She was applauded by the entire county work force and it brought tears to her eyes. I was so happy for her; she is a genuine leader.

Then, watching a well articulated speech by the Chamber Board's president, Mark Luster, he stated "after a long exhaustive search of every possible candidate (of which I was one) they finally found the "Perfect" replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer of the County's Chamber" and then introduced a fresh out of college, entry level, non-experienced replacement. This freshman can no way fill Staci's shoes, the learning curve will take her years.

When Mark Luster told me he didn't think I was a good match for the Chamber, claiming he wanted to take it "in a different direction". Even my crystal ball couldn't forecast it was straight DOWN! I had to move swiftly. Chamber membership is only 7% of business license holders. Lot's of opportunity! When asked about industries that thrive here, Realtors were overlooked. But they are salt of our industry and huge indicators of business development.
So within several weeks, I started a NEW Chamber of Commerce! The Creative Community Cooperative, a non-profit digital organization based on enhancing and engaging the community into the middle with love, compassion and abundant information. This immediately puts the Old Chamber on check. They are starting afresh in the shadow of Staci's towering legacy with a Board president who just took all the Chamber's good will, tangible assets, and hard work and placed them in a freshman's hands. And moreover, incubating my new digital Chamber that, by virtue, made his the Old Chamber forever. Move Over Rover!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Celebrity Chef Brings In Money For NFL Children's Charities

On Monday I was the CELEBRITY CHEF at the NFL Alumni Golf tournament in the Hayward Hill
honoring football great, Daryle Lamonica. The TPC Stonebrae course on the crest of the east bay hills
has fabulous greens and a breathtaking view of the entire Bay Area. Playing for the Dennis Sanfilippo
group was Ted Sanchez and Danny Zezzo (who later was the auctioneer) along with pro Keith Millard
from the Minnesota Vikings.
During the dinner, I was allowed to describe my Lasagna Dinner and crack a couple jokes with Lamonica.
Zezzo jacked up the auction and the 8 person full course dinner offering received a whopping $400 from
a generous family from Woodside. I was very happy with the outcome and great support for the club and
promise to make the dinner a spectacular party! And thanks to Jesse Battle for a great sound system!

Photo: RV and
Daryle Lamonica

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Calaveras county land holder, lottery winner and filmmaker Dennis Sanfilippo
recently announced the closure of Nashville country music label Big 7 Records
and digital D7 Sounds LLC worldwide music production out of Copperopolis
to turn all assets, catalog and benefits over to a new Calaveras county nonprofit
organization called the Creative Community Cooperative.
Concentrating on filmmaking, he is in production of his second film “Rough Boys”,
produced here in Calaveras county starring local blues celebrity Charlie Brechtel.
His first silver screen release “Rebel on the Highway” was partially filmed on one of
his larger ranches on Pool Station Rd and in Lake Tulloch’s finest lakefront home.
Local actors, producers and staff were used.
Rich Varrasso, who managed the Big7 musical affairs is now renamed
Executive Director of the new community networking NPO Trade Board.
Turning old record company assets into a new Creative Community will not only
benefit the local gig economy (musicians, artists, actors, producers and support)
but also allow world-wide market access through digital technology brought here
to the county.
“We need to make films and produce our own music scene here in the Motherlode,
there are so many talented folks to be promoted.” claimed Varrasso about the newly
formed chamber of talent.
The Creative Community Cooperative has a new website and they are offering a FREE
2019 Copper Membership while things are coming together. Unlike most other business
associations, the Creative Community will be Cooperative. And that’s the promise.
Official break-out August 1st 2019.