StemExpress founder and CEO Cate Dyer, left, chats with Greg Stanton, Dave Johnston and Lisa Peterson from the county about why El Dorado County is a great place to build and grow a business at last Thursday's Elevate to El Dorado event in the El Dorado Hills business park. Village Life photo by Julie Samrick

Feature Photos

Event aims to recruit more business

By From page A3 | May 21, 2014

“Business is open in El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County,” said El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Debbie Manning about the inaugural Elevate to El Dorado event last Thursday. The chamber partnered with El Dorado County and the El Dorado Hills Community Foundation to host the information and networking gathering in the business park, a location ready for more tenants.

The goal of the event, Manning explained, was to connect brokers from various companies in the Sacramento region with representatives from county departments to learn about the perks of doing business here.

Dave Johnston from the Community Development Agency’s Environmental Management Division for Air Quality said they wanted to talk about how they’re improving air quality and quality of life, particularly for commuters using HOV lanes between Cameron Park and the county line. Cate Dyer, founder and CEO of StemExpress, walked up to the Air Quality booth and the conversation quickly went to clean air vehicles.

Pete Dawson and Pina McDermot work at Fidelity National Title in El Dorado Hills. Dawson said they came to Elevate to El Dorado for their customers. “We want to learn more about our county government, our schools and overall development,” he said. “When our customers purchase homes here they need our expertise.”

Dave DeFanti, assistant director of long-range planning for the county, said he wants visitors to know the Community Development Agency operates as a single agency now. “We have better internal coordination and a more efficient process,” he told Village Life.

El Dorado County Office of Education Superintendent Jeremy Myers said his message to visitors was simple: “We’ve got extraordinary schools in El Dorado Hills and El Dorado County.”

County Economic & Business Relations manager Jim Claybaugh said the forecast for business in El Dorado County is good.

“There are a lot of opportunities in the county there weren’t in the past,” he said. “The business climate is getting better.”

Claybaugh shared data showing recent growth across all sectors.

Later speakers spoke about why they like housing their businesses here, including representatives from Cornish and Carey, Blue Shield of California and Envision RxOptions. John Fisher from Bloo Solar said the solar manufacturer moved to El Dorado Hills from Sacramento two years ago and has experienced strong growth. They have 24 employees now, but plan to grow to 300 in the near future. “We are the hi-tech company in the area that could be in Silicon Valley,” he said.

Bob Burris from SACTO said the business climate is strong in the region because of hiring tax credits, lower taxes and a PG&E energy reduced rate for El Dorado County business owners.  “El Dorado County can keep companies in California and attract new ones,” he said.

KFBK’s Ed Crane talked about his move to El Dorado Hills from the East Coast. Crane touted the night  life, restaurants, access to Highway 50 and his low energy bill in Blackstone because of solar panels ($1,100 per year). “You are about five to ten minutes to everything you need,” he said.

Manning considered the event a success and said next year they may branch out to more companies beyond the Sacramento region.

Julie Samrick


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