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A History of The Woodland Business Link

Introduction:
I have been asked by Mike Jansen to write a short history of the Woodland Business Link. The Roster of Founding Members contains 10 of the 14 businesses that founded the group under its charter written by Terry Schauer in May of 2000. The four missing businesses have since closed their doors. Of the 10 listed businesses, only John Laugenour's AFES Network Services and G Richard Yamagata of VME, Inc. remain with the organization. The third oldest member was Betty Doud of North American Title, who joined in January of 2002 and remained a member until 2007. I, G Richard Yamagata, was recruited by Anthony Mengali, one of the originating, founding board of the Woodland Business Link.


Founding of The Woodland Business Link:
The Woodland Business Link was formed in what was viewed as a vacuum. People that went to 1 or 2 LeTip meetings, came away with a feeling that they could never conform to such an organization and wanted an alternative. Some of these people were even denied membership with the Woodland LeTip. From this all of this was born The Woodland Business Link. Nancy Tinsley paid Printer's Ink to come up with a logo and for printing promotional materials for the group. We tried to have a table/booth at the 2001 Farm City Banquet sponsored by the Woodland Chamber of Commerce each October.


The founding roster of this organization was important for it showed who was forming this group and that we had no ties to LeTip. Another business organization was founded in Woodland by disaffected members of LeTip, about this time, and it was reported by the Woodland Daily Democrat, that they were formally named in a lawsuit. It was then decided that we would put up the founding roster of this group on the world wide web to define us and tell the world who we were and what we do.


The Founding, First President:
Terry Schauer became the first president of the Woodland Business Link in the Fall of 2000. He held this office until December of 2003. After three years in office as the founding president, he decided that he wanted to leave the organization. Some were skeptical about the organization surviving the exit of Terry Schauer.


Under Terry's tenure as president, the meetings were first held at the Krellan Works on Main Street in Woodland. These were breakfast meetings. From there, the meetings moved to The Carousel, also on Main Street and also breakfast meetings. At this time there were people that complained about the early time of the meetings, 7:30 AM to 9 AM. Terry then moved both the time and the meetings to a sandwich shop on Main Street that was named Queenie's (which now is Osaka Express). The meetings time was now 11:45AM to 1PM (and remain so to date). The high pitch hum of the refrigerators, drowning out all who spoke, caused us to move the lunch time meetings to Rico's Pizza, also on Main Street, but further west. Sharing an open room also proved to be distracting when there was a big lunch crowd of other patrons and the meeting moved further east and north to Sizzlers. We finally had a room for our presentations, but participation and membership started a downward spiral. It may have been due to the location being off of the beaten path or it may have been the tedious, uninspired food buffet. I remember one meeting where there were only three people present. This was the nadir of the organization.


Terry continued to scour for locations to hold the meetings and he came up with the Hotel Woodland, catered by the new owners of Gormans. It had a downtown Woodland location and it brought a degree of opulence and grand presence to the meetings and the group was once again growing. We were not able to break the magic number of 21 members for at least a year. Within that time, the owners of Gormans went financially insolvent and Cracciola's took over the catering contract for the Hotel Woodland. There then was imposed a $200/lunch minimum price and though the organization saw new members come and go, we were still short $10 to $30/lunch. During this period of time, there was no strict accounting or enforcement of the lunch dues and some of the people that were not paying, surprised even me. It is not surprising that these members are no longer with The Woodland Business Link. Terry continued to subsidize the organization, while others came and went. Finally, there came a day in the Fall of 2003, when it seemed that the organization finally could be self-sustaining. We had over 20 people coming for lunch at each bi-weekly meeting.


Woodland Business Link Social Gatherings:
Terry Schauer kept trying new ideas to keep the organization fresh. He tried recording member birthdays and celebrating them. He tried giving gifts donated by members to speakers at the meetings. He never gave up or tired of having social gatherings. For each of the 5 years, the organization has held a social gathering at the home of Nancy Tinsley. The first social was a potluck held in the Summer of 2001 and had 8 people show up for it. The second social was held in the Fall of 2002 and had 15 people attend. We held the first Holiday Party on the first Thursday in December 2003 and we had over 20 people attend. This was considered a success by all that attended and remembered by many. The second Holiday Party was held on the second Saturday in 2004 was not such a success and there was reported to be only 5 people in attendance and was the first one without Terry Schauer. This year, we were back to having the party on the first Thursday in December 2005 and there were once again over 20 people in attendance.


The Second President:
There was a tie vote in December 2003 for this first ever Woodland Business Link election at the December meeting between Michael Jansen and Kevin Stringer. A run-off vote by members that were not present at the December meeting was done by e-mail. The results were that the second president of the Woodland Business Link was Michael W Jansen, the principle attorney in a personal injury law office in Woodland. Terry Schauer still remained with the group until about May of 2004. The organization saw growth, but members that had been long with the group were dropping away. The group became quite stable and comfortable. With the by-laws in place, they guaranteed that we would have great, compatible group of people. The secretary-treasurer, Brenda Kline, brought in by President Michael Jansen, started enforcing the lunch dues. The club was finally well on its way to financial stability. Board members at large were Stephen Chaudry, Toni Lampman, Tina Ginnetti, and G Richard Yamagata.


The Third President:
In January of 2004, there was another election for president with this time only one candidate, Tina Ginnetti, a certified massage therapist and reflexologist and holistic health manager. Under her presidency this organization saw a huge growth in membership. We grew from 21 members to 34 members during this last year. Tina chose Terry Ram as her secretary treasurer and G Richard Yamagata was vice president. With Terry Ram in charge of the collection of lunch dues, the treasury grew to $1600 in the bank. Board members at large were Stephen Chaudry, Toni Lampman, and Brenda Klein.


The Fourth President:
In December 2005, The Woodland Business Link held its 4th election for president and Krista Carlson was elected. Terry Ram was re-elected as secretary treasurer and Pam Dewey was elected as vice president. Board members at large were Stephen Chaudhry, Jack Allen, and G Richard Yamagata. Under Krista Carlson, the club grew to a record 39 members, due to her network connections. We picked up many new members from her breakfast group. After serving for one quarter as President of the Woodland Business Link, it was no surprise that she was promoted at her work place and had to take over a new position in Elk Grove. Krista led the club through a very difficult period in terms of our organization. What she accomplished in 3 months was equivalent to a year's worth of work for the organization. She will be sorely missed, especially with her connections with the community and businesses of Woodland. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $30,984 in 2005.


The Fifth President:
In Spring 2006, The Woodland Business Link board of directors moved Pam Dewey from vice president to President. Jack Allen was elevated to vice president and we currently have one board member at large position vacant. Terry Ram remained secretary treasurer. Board members at large were Stephen Chaudhry and G Richard Yamagata. Pam Dewey continued to bring new members into the organization and she had a relaxed style of leading the organization, which some people liked. Pam was a president of strong character and an able leader. She bowed out after only 8 months of service as president. Under her leadership the club maintained a membership of about 38 people as businesses came and left the membership roster. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $58,850 in 2006. The final event of her term as president was the Holiday Party held at the home of Nancy Tinsley. There were 22 people in attendence. Everyone that went to the party stated that they had a great time. We should have the "White Elephant" gift exchange worked out in 2007!


The Sixth President:
In December 2006, The Woodland Business Link held its 5th election for president and Steven Chaudhry was elected with Melika Schoech as vice-president. Terry Ram was re-elected as secretary-treasurer and board members at large were Jack Allen, Megan Murphy, Toni Lampman, and Steve Pearson. Rounding out the board as ex-officio members are webmaster G Richard Yamagata and past-presidents Pam Dewey and Mike Jansen. This year saw the resignation of many members with the economic down turn. From a high of 39 members, the club finished 2007 with 21 members. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $30,108 in 2007. The final event of the year was the Holiday Party held at the home of Nancy Tinsley. There were 16 people in attendence. Everyone that went to the party stated that they had a great time. Nancy Tinsley funded the entire party for the lunch club!


The Seventh President:
In January 2008, The Woodland Business Link held its 6th election for president and Mike Jansen was elected to that office, with Stephen Chaudhry as vice-president. Melika Shoech is our acting secretary-treasurer. The board members at large are Jack Allen, Megan Murphy, and Steve Pearson. Rounding out the board as ex-officio members were 2006 Vice President Melika Schoech and webmaster G Richard Yamagata. Because of low turn out to the January meetings, we have moved to Casa de Sapore for our lunch meetings. In this year of economic downturn, The Business Link of Woodland survived under the presidency of Mike Jansen! We finished up the year with 14 members. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $23,539 in 2008. The organization finished the year with the annual Holiday Party being held at Ludy's Restaurant. Mike has boundless energy and needed it because he was also involved with setting up IOOF charity bingo in Davis. For more about Mike Jansen, visit a testimonial page at Davis IOOF Bingo.


The Eighth President:
In December 2008, The Woodland Business Link held its 7th election for president and Mike Jansen was re-elected to that office, with Stephen Chaudhry as vice-president. Melika Salvamini (Schoech of Oaisis Club and Spa) is our official secretary-treasurer. The board members at large are Denise Warner and Christian Sherrill of Premier Chiropractic & Pilates. Denise Warner of Chaudhry Marketing is our membership chair and plans to recruit and increase membership in 2009. Rounding out the board as ex-officio member is webmaster G Richard Yamagata of VME, Inc. We to have our lunch meetings at Casa de Sapore. Hopes and expectations were high for continued growth and prosperity for The Business Link of Woodland under the third term presidency of Mike Jansen! Mike has boundless energy and has great style in leading meetings. For more about Mike Jansen, visit his web site at www.MikeJansen.com. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $22,371 in 2009. The 2009 Holiday Party was held at Ludy's and those that attended all agreed that it was excellent food!


The Ninth and Tenth Presidents:
In December 2009, The Woodland Business Link held its 8th election for president and Robert Cartagena was elected to that office, with Stephen Chaudhry re-elected as vice-president. Marcela Bautista (PremierWest Bank) is our official secretary-treasurer. The board members at large are Andy Thompson Jr and Mark Hamilton (Farmers Insurance Group). Mark Hamilton is also our membership chair. Rounding out the board as ex-officio member is webmaster G Richard Yamagata of VME, Inc. We continue to have our lunch meetings at Casa de Sapore. Hopes and expectations are high for continued growth and prosperity for The Business Link of Woodland under the first term presidency of Robert Cartegena. Robert had to leave the group, because of a change in job. Stephen Chaudhry stepped up to fill in as president as vice president. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $26,153 in 2010.


The Eleventh President and The Twelth:
The 2010 Holiday Party was held at Vince's on Main Street in Woodland. There were 14 adults and 2 well behaved children under the age of 5 present. Eight member businesses were represented. We had a white elephant gift exchange between most of all of the people that were present. The food was excellent and it was an excellent way to close out the year 2010.


In January 2011, The Woodland Business Link held its 9th election for president. Mark Hamilton was elected President for 2011. His Vice President is Stephen Chaudhry, who is also in charge of marketing for the group. The treasurer is once again Marcela Bautista. The new Membership Chair is Mike Jansen, who is also a Past President. G Richard Yamagata continues in charge of the web site. Members of our 2011 Board are Board Members at Large Brenda Klein, Leah Reynolds, Anna Hanif, Melika Schoel and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We have 9 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents are Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. This year will be our 10th anniverary on March 9, 2011. We had David Flory come address us for our 10th Anniversary meeting. Stephen Chaudhry stepped up once again to serve as president as Mark had to leave the group, because of personal commitments outside of the group. We continued to have our lunch meetings at Casa de Sapore. The 2011 Holiday Party was held at Paco's on Main Street in Woodland. There were a record number of participants with 22 people in attendance. For the white elephant gift exchange, there were 13 people that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious and thanks to Stephen Chaundhry's efforts, no one went away hungry. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $79,000 in 2011.


The Thirteenth President:
In December 2011, The Woodland Business Link held its 10th election for president. Andrew Thompson was elected President for 2012. This choice was viewed by all members to be very good for this organization. His Vice President was Brenda Klein. The treasurer was once again Marcela Bautista. A new office of secretary was created to keep attendance and to record the happenings at the meetings. The first secretary was Carmen Gomez. Stephen Chaudhry was in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continued in charge of the web site. Board Members at Large of our 2012 Board members-at-large were Linda Pillard, Melika Salvemini and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We had 9 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents were Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. Our 11th anniverary was on March 14, 2012. We had our lunch meetings at Casa de Sapore, until about July 2012. At that point, because of the closure of Casa de Sapore, we had to move our meetings to Steve's Place Pizza. We continued to meet at Steve's Place Pizza on Main Street until the end of the year and plan to continue to meet there in 2013. The 2012 Holiday Party was held at JJ's on First Street in Woodland. There were once again a record number of participants with 34 people signed up to attend the Christmas dinner. For the white elephant gift exchange, there were 13 people/couples that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious and thanks to Stephen Chaundhry's efforts, many stated that it was the finest cuisine (which included free range chicken and prime rib as two of the many selections) served so far at a Business Link affair. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $68,317 in 2012.


The Fourteenth President:
In January 2013, The Woodland Business Link held its 11th election for president. Brenda Klein was elected President for 2013. This choice was viewed by all members to be very forward looking for the organization. With Brenda as vice president and tracking referrals, referral income increased 3 to 4 fold over the previous year. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $70,000 in 2012. Her Vice President is Judy Spencer-Gurr. The treasurer was once again Marcela Bautista until February 13th, due to changes at her work. Carmen Gomez continued as secretary and lunch coordinator. Carmen took over the office of treasurer at the March 6th meeting. Stephen Chaudhry took over the duties of Treasurer in August of 2013. Mercedes L Petersen took over as lunch coordiantor as manager of Steve's Place Pizza. Stephen Chaudhry also served once again in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continued in charge of the web site. Board Members-at-Large of our 2013 Board were Doug Worley, Melika Salvemini and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We had 10 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents are Andrew Thompson, Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. This year celebrated our 13th anniverary on March 13, 2013. We continued to have our lunch meetings at Steve's Place Pizza. The 2013 Holiday Party was held at The Burger Barn on Main Street in Woodland. There were once again the same number of participants with 34 people signed up to attend the Christmas dinner. For the white elephant gift exchange, there were 15 people/couples that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious and thanks to Melika Salvemini and Stephen Chaudhry's efforts, many stated that it was an enjoyable and comfortable venue. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was $66,853 in 2013.


The Fifthteenth President:
In December 2013, The Woodland Business Link held its 12th election for president. Judy Spencer-Gurr was elected President for 2014. Judy is one of the rain-makers for the organization, making huge referrals to many of our members. Referral income increased by two fold over the previous year. Her Vice President is Stephen Valverde. The Secretary is Kathy Aukes. The Treasurer is Stephen Chaudhry. Mercedes L Petersen continues as lunch coordiantor in her capacity of manager of Steve's Place Pizza. Stephen Chaudhry is once again in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continues in charge of the web site. Board Members-at-Large of our 2013 Board are Carmen Gomez, Doug Worley, Melika Salvemini and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We have 12 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents are Brenda Klein, Andrew Thompson, Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. This year will be our 14th anniverary on March 12, 2014. We continue to have our lunch meetings at Steve's Place Pizza. Mercedes was honored by the Woodland Business Link with a watch from The Final Touch and an award plaque for her and her staff's exceptional service and her willingness to be lunch coordinator for the organization. The 2013 Holiday Party was held at Mojos on First Street, just South of Main Street in Woodland. There were once again the same number of participants showed up with 34 people attending the Christmas dinner. This year it was not a "White Elephant" givft exchange, there were 17 people/couples that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious and thanks to Melika Salvemini and Stephen Chaudhry's efforts, many stated that it was the best food ever (choice between tri-tip and chicken) and all had a very enjoyable time. What was sobering news is that Steve Beck of The Final Touch watch sales and repair had passed before the party. He had an extremely serious medical condition, yet had made it to the November meeting. Upon hearing his adventure through the health care system, I told him that he should be in intensive care. He stated that his doctors had everything under control and that he was awaiting surgery and assured me that I would see him at the Christmas party. He will be greatly missed by the Woodland Business Link. He gave out placques and watches at the Christmas Party last year to the people that he thought were important to the organization during 2013, which he paid for or donated out of his own pocket. The total amount of referred business to our members through the organization was over $80,000 in 2014.


The Sixteenth President:
In December 2014, The Woodland Business Link held its 13th election for president. Steve Valverde was elected President for 2015. Steve Valverde is one of the people in the telecomm team of the organization, a good many referred to him by our former president, Judy Spencer-Gurr. His Vice President was Kathy Aukes. The Secretary was David Aukes. The Treasurer remained Stephen Chaudhry. Mercedes L Petersen continued as lunch coordinator in her capacity of manager of Steve's Place Pizza. Stephen Chaudhry was once again in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continued in charge of the web site. Board Members-at-Large of our 2015 Board were Doug Worley, Mike Williams and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We have 13 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents were Judy Spencer-Gurr, Brenda Klein, Andrew Thompson, Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. This year was our 15th anniverary on March 11, 2015. We continued to have our lunch meetings at Steve's Place Pizza. Again, The Business Link of Woodland's 13th elected president and 16th serving President was Steve Valverde. His goal this year 2015 was to increase membership. The 2015 Holiday Party was held at Ludy's on Main Street in Woodland. There were a smaller number of participants with 23 people signed up to attend the Christmas dinner. For the gift exchange, there were 15 people/couples that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious and thanks to Melika Salvemini and Stephen Chaudhry's efforts, many stated that it was cramped, but enjoyable and again, very delicious venue.


The Seventeenth President:
In January 2016, The Woodland Business Link held its 14th election for president. Kathy Aukes was elected President for 2016. Kathy is the realtor of the group and is very well liked by all. Her Vice President is Carmen Gomez. The Secretary remains David Aukes. The Treasurer for 2016 remains Stephen Chaudhry, serving his third contigous term as treasurer. Mercedes L Petersen continues as lunch coordiantor in her capacity of manager of Steve's Place Pizza. Stephen Chaudhry is once again in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continues in charge of the web site. Board Members-at-Large of our 2016 Board are Doug Worley and Christian Sherrill. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We have once again, 13 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents are Steve Valverde, Judy Spencer-Gurr, Brenda Klein, Andrew Thompson, Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. This year will be our 16th year of activity in Davis. We continue to have our lunch meetings at Steve's Place Pizza. Hopes and expectations are high for continued growth and prosperity for The Business Link of Woodland under its 13th elected president and 16th serving president.. Hopes and expectations are high for continued growth and prosperity for The Business Link of Woodland under its 14th elected president and 17th serving President, Steve Valverde. Her goal this year 2016 will be to double the amount of referrals over and beyond 2015.


The Eighteenth President and The Future:
In December 2016, there was a coup d'etat. Mike Jansen was asked to be president and he agreed. Mike has been president and has served this group well. His Vice President is unknown to me at this time. The Secretary remains David Aukes. The Treasurer for 2017 remains Stephen Chaudhry, serving his fourth contigous term as treasurer. Mercedes L Petersen continues as lunch coordiantor in her capacity of manager of Steve's Place Pizza. Stephen Chaudhry is once again in charge of marketing and membership for the group. G Richard Yamagata continues in charge of the web site. Board Members-at-Large are to be elected. This is in addition to the elected and appointed officers listed before. We have once again, 13 members on the Board. All past presidents are given a seat on the board. Current past presidents are Kathy Aukes, Steve Valverde, Brenda Klein, Andrew Thompson, Stephen Chaudhry and Mike Jansen. We continue to have our lunch meetings at Steve's Place Pizza. Hopes and expectations are high for continued growth and prosperity for The Business Link of Woodland under its second appointed president and 18th serving president, Mike Jansen.

The 2016 Holiday Party was held at Savory on Main Street in Woodland. There were a larger number of participants with 34 people signed up to attend the Christmas dinner. For the gift exchange, there were 18 people/couples that participated for a very fun time. Everyone said the food was delicious. On the menu were a buffet style dinner, which featured roasted chicken or tri-tip with all of the trimmings, along with salad and dessert. Many thanks go to Melika Salvemini and Stephen Chaudhry's efforts, many stated that it was a spacious, friendly, intimate environment.

 


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