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May 18, 2016     Indian Valley Record
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6A Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Indian Valley Record Delaine Fragnoli Staff Writer dfragnoli@plumasnews.com When all the awards and diplomas are handed out Friday, May 20, at Feather River College's commencement ceremony, one name will have been repeated more than any other: Welser. That's because retiring business professor Mike Welser will share center stage with his two daughters, Jennifer Welser and Leslie Welser:Sherrill, who will receive outstanding alumnae awards. Looking back on his 25-year tenure at FRC, Mike said he is proud of "the success of students, whether I had them for one class or a whole program." "Mike Welser has been a great asset to FRC. His background as a business owner and teaching skills will be missed by the students," said college President Dr. Kevin Trutna. "Mike was one of the first people I met when I started at FRC. It was obvious in our first conversation that Mike's biggest concern was for FRC to offer quality academic programs for students." Mike said he is also proud of his "extra job" as president or chief negotiator for the full-time faculty Business" professor Mike union. Welser isretiring after 25 "He has been amazing as years at Feather River our union representative," College. His service will be said longtime faculty recognized during member Russell Reid. "He commencement ceremonies has the ability to negotiate a Friday, May 20. Photos fair deal between courtesy the Welser family administration and faculty and keep a positive and She remembers taking an professional relationship." exam in which students Mike's former students divided into teams to play a include a who's who of local version of Jeopardy. leaders: business owners Mike said he kept his Amy Carey and Valerie program "rigorous," so Nellor, county treasurer students were prepared to go Julie White, former to work or transfer to treasurer Shawn four-year degree programs. Montgomery and college Local employers expected registrar Leslie Mikesell. that his students would be "I loved his classes," said job ready. Elise Monroe, bookkeeper for Of course, he is also proud Feather Publishing. "He was of his daughters. an excefient teacher." Leslie, the eldest, holds a Feather River College has named sisters Dr. Jennifer Welser, assistant director of scientific affairs for ScienCell Research Laboratories, and Dr. Leslie Welser-Sherrill, staff physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as outstanding alumnae. They are daughters of Mike and Vreni Welser, of Quincy. doctorate in physics from University of Nevada Reno and works as a staff physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She graduated from Quincy High and FRC, where as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society she was named to the first California academic team and the first USA team. She is the mother of a boy, Alexander, who will be 4 in August. A valedictorian at Quincy High, Jennifer holds a doctorate from UNR's school of medicine in cellular and molecular pharmacology and physiology. She graduated from FRC in 2001, where she also was named to the state's first, academic team. Both women were awarded postdoctoral fellowships, Leslie at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jennifer at Scripps. FRC was "a huge opportunity" for his daughters, Mike said. "There were things they could get here that they couldn't get at bigger schools, like small class sizes and opportunities for leadership." FRC was "so good for Leslie, we figured it would be good for Jennifer, too," Mike said. "It was a smooth transition from FRC to UNR" for both. At FRC, students "are not just a cog," he said. "It's totally different in a big university." Mike holds a bachelor's degree in German from Long Beach State and an MBA in marketing from San Diego State. He taught part-time at several San Diego area institutions, including Palomar CommunitY College, and owned a men's clothing store before deciding he wanted to teach fun time. He interviewed at a school in Taqoma and at FRC. "I liked it here," he said. He and his wife, Vreni, and their daughters moved to Quincy in 1991. Twenty-five years later, Welser said he plans to stay in Quincy for now. He and Vreni like to travel, and he collects a~tiques. The reality of retirement "probably won't hit until August, when I don't have to go back to school," he said. ml Stacy Fisher economy. Staff Writer "We know that economic chestemews@plumasnews.com development and workforce development are The Alliance For Workforce interconnected," Borza said, Development hosted a "even more so today than presentation May 11, at the years past .... We talk to Elks Lodge in Chester, where economic development a group of business owners professionals who tell us that gathered to discuss ways to the skills that are available in boost economic growth in a community's workforce is Plumas County. critical." The nonprofit Alliance There are two principle connects employers to job areas regarding staffing that seekers and provides job businesses need to consider, seekers with services to aid she said, the first being how to them in their search, fmd skilled employees and Alliance Executive D. ctPy h0 j q eta!n them, Traci H01t introdqced gi e.st Ow, aer speaker Jessica Borza, chief visiting from the Bay Area operating officer for Thomas P. Miller & Associates, a group of business, service and government professionals. Borza began by saying her company was engaged to help with the strategic planning process, including surveying local businesses to determine current and projected workforce needs. Borza added that education, including vocational training, was a vital part of growing the said that the Internet has really changed how business is done. "Many people in my area have opened a bed and breakfast using their spare rooms, or use their cars to make money, like Uber car service, which is really big right now." He said that individuals including students, teachers, veterans, housewives or anyone could make good money driving their own vehicles as a taxi. He said, "Those kinds of opportunities could make a huge difference for Plumas, because the county has plenty of lodging and a car service would make it easier for tourism" to grow in the county. "It's very small businesses that make the economy work," said Pamela Crespin, director of adult education for Feather River College. She cited the importance of providing education to "help potential employees so they made a better fit for the kinds of jobs that wehave here." Businesswoman and real estate agent Susan Bryner said she is very involved with the tourism industry. Bryner has been instrumental in trying to establish a Tourism Business Improvement District to assess occupancy surcharges on lodging to help raise funds to market the Almanor Basin and surrounding region. "Tourism is one of our main industries," she said, "but O 0 0 I ....... ~ ~ ~ ~:~ii~ ~i "~!.. ~ .~I ~ ~' ~ CALL OR STOP BY ANY OF OUR LOCATIONS: when one drives down the street, we see many empty buildings, not only in Chester, but in Greenville and Quincy, so we're always looking for ways to attract more people to our area." She pointed out that vacation rentals are seasonal and many remain unused most of the time. "As the economy has changed; people are taking shorter vacations," she noted, "and $t's become really hard to run a hospitality-type business successfully." With tourism becoming one of the fastest growing ...... industries in the nation, Bryner said that "we have so much to offer but collectively we don't have the stable advertising or funds to compete with other areas that are similar to ours." Many people outside the area would enjoy the lifestyle found in Plumes County, she said, given its beautiful natural environment and relatively modest housing costs, "if only they knew that we had the accommodations and job opportunities to keep them here." She said developing the infrastructure that offers tourists more things to do could help keep restaurants open longer during the winter season, for example, and fill rooms that go empty. Bryner thought a coherent marketing plan was needed to form a brand for Plumes County that would be known more widely throughout the state and beyond. Collins Pine Human Resources Manager Janice White discussed the need to convince many younger workers to value a solid work ethic. She said it was frustrating at times. "Experienced older workers know what Ws like to show up on time and do the job," White said. "And often when newer workers apply for a job they lack the qualifications needed to do the work," Crespin interjected. "Employers are finding this to be a problem everywhere." "That's why we have to provide a career pathway," she continued, "so the next generation can establish long-term work connections in the community through vocational training and mentoring," rather than hopping from one job to another. Aligning efforts around tourism was the focus of the meeting, along with employee training, education and retention. But attendees also agreed at the conclusion of the conference that entrepreneurs were needed to help strengthen the local econ6my by creating new businesses and opportunities. Borza said she would review the feedback raised by business owners. Detailed recommendations would then be provided in the coming months to improve the business sector in Plumes County. Borza also addressed attendees at a second meeting in Quincy that afternoon. Much of the discussion was similar to the remarks made in Chester, with business owners concerned with the ability to attract employees who not only were capable of doing the job, but who wanted to work. Additionally, they discussed efforts to help adults as well as youth hone the skills needed to obtain jobs. For information on how the Alliance l or Workforce Development can help your business, call Holt at 283-9621; or 394-0284. Bank repurchases stock option Mike Taborski Publisher mtaborski@plumasnews.com Plumas Bancorp, the parent company of locally owned Plumas Bank, repurchased a portion of a warrant representing the right to purchase 150,000 shares of the bank's common stock for an aggregate repurchase price of $862,500 from CommunitY BanCapital, L.P. The original warrant was issued on April 15, 2013, in connection with the bank's sale of a $7,500,000 subordinated debenture. As originally issued, the warrant represented the right to purchase 300,000 shares of common stock for $5.25 per share, subject to adjustment on or before April 15, 2021. As a result of this repurchase, the warrant now represents the right for BanCapital to purchase 150,000 shares of the bank's common stock. The exercise price, expiration date and other terms of the warrant remain unchanged. Andrew J. Ryback, president and chief executive officer of Plumas Bancorp, said, "We are pleased to be able to repurchase half of our outstanding warrant at this time. This protects our shareholders against further dilution and demonstrates the confidence we have in the future of our company." i ,i ,