Anneliese Schools Announces Success of Urban Farms Program 

Anneliese Schools, an award-winning private institution dedicated to providing unique educational opportunities for nursery school through 6th grade, is spearheading out-of-the-box, hands-on learning through the creation of their Urban Farms Program.

Anneliese Schools’ urban farm named Rebel Mountain sprawls across an acre of land in Claremont, Calif. The farm’s proximity to the school has allowed Anneliese to expand their already established environmental studies program further, and the sheer amount of organic fruits and vegetables they produce on the land is astonishing. Rebel Mountain sustains 10 chicken coops and produces between 500-1000 pounds of tomatoes, 200 pounds of kale, 200 pounds of carrots, and  smaller crops of basil. Depending on the season, the farm also produces cucumbers, eggplant, peas, beans, potatoes, corn, strawberries, melons, nectarines, peaches, guavas, lemons, apples, mulberries, pomegranates, two kinds of persimmons, oranges, kumquats, plums, figs, onions, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, beets, as well as different types of flowers in order to attract pollinators.

Rebel Mountain is a true testament to Anneliese’s commitment to provide better nourishment for their community. The farm was purchased in the middle of the pandemic, and in a single year was turned from an acre of dirt and infertile soil into a thriving urban farm. Each harvest provides ingredients for the handmade lunches Anneliese prepares for its students, as well as fresh, local produce for purchase at their Pop-Up Shop. Moreover, the regenerative practices of the heirloom farm fuel the school’s lifelong commitment to land stewardship. By growing all of their plants directly from heirloom seed, composting, and having a lower carbon footprint, the school achieves a full-circle system of environmental benefits.

The Urban Farms Program serves as a way to educate children on the flexibility that farming can have, proving that farms do not have to be in the middle of nowhere and that one can grow food in smaller areas all over, even in densely populated cities. The farm enriches and expands the school’s agricultural studies program, an essential element of Anneliese’s Whole Child approach. The Anneliese 6th grade class takes an annual trip to Rebel Mountain to learn from start to finish what it takes to grow and take care of the different produce on the farm. Other age groups at Anneliese also utilize the Urban Farm for educational labs, science projects, and more. With the help of their farm, Anneliese is offering their students increased autonomy and agency in addition to nourishing them daily with organic nutrients.  More than feeding the students, this special farm offers children unique opportunities to learn, even while eating. Through daily mealtimes, children are able to expand their mind and their palate by trying new foods. 

Not only is Rebel Mountain farm continuing to aid Anneliese Schools with their mission of serving their local community, it is also offering them new opportunities to continue to increase their impact in Southern California. In addition to supplying fresh, local produce to their students and the community through their Pop-Up Shop, Anneliese has set a new goal for the farm. Anneliese Schoolswill continue to grow their Urban Farms Program and expand their reach to provide fresh groceries and produce to underserved communities who wouldn’t normally have access to organic foods. The farm is a perfectly imperfect work in progress aimed at fostering the crossroad of healthy living and continuous learning for their students. Future plans for the Rebel Mountain farm include a wildlife sanctuary, which will act as a home for butterflies, insects, bees, and other small animals.

“We here at Anneliese are so blessed to have been able to get this Urban Farms Program up and running this last year, especially during the pandemic,” said Liesa Schimmelpfennig,  Research and Development Director at Anneliese Schools. “This farm has already contributed so much to our local community and the children of Anneliese, and it will only become more impactful with time and new additions like the wildlife sanctuary.”

Anderee Berengian, CEO of Cie announced as Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 honoree in Pacific Southwest – Orange County

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Anderee Berengian, Founder and CEO of Cie, was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Pacific Southwest – Orange County Award winner. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program is one of the preeminent competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award recognizes those who are unstoppable entrepreneurial leaders, excelling in talent management; degree of difficulty; financial performance; societal impact and building a values-based company; and originality, innovation and future plans. Berengian was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was announced during the program’s virtual awards gala on August 5.

“It’s an honor to be named a winner for Entrepreneur Of The Year,” said Berengian. “The businesses we’ve launched at Cie are transforming our world and the many companies we’re currently building have the potential for an even greater impact.”

Berengian’s vision for Cie was to match disruptive entrepreneurial ideas with seasoned business leadership and venture capital investment to accelerate results and success. With numerous exits, Berengian and his team at Cie have proven their acumen at identifying and scaling startups.

“Bringing together the right strategy, talent, ideas and investment has allowed Cie to quickly build impactful business models,” noted Berengian. “Our team consists of world-class thinkers and execution-oriented leaders without whom we could not achieve our goals. I look forward to leading us into the future.”

For 35 years, EY US has honored entrepreneurs whose ambition, courage and ingenuity have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Berengian will go on to become a lifetime member of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

As a Pacific Southwest – Orange County award winner, Berengian is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November at the Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Seneca Family of Agencies: Families Forever 4th Annual Gala

Like most providers of child and family services, Seneca Family of Agencies has typically relied on in-person contact as the single most effective tool to provide responsive academic and therapeutic supports. As we all encountered the realities of 2020 and COVID-19, Seneca made massive changes to ensure our staff – and the children and families we support – stayed healthy and safe. Over the course of 2020, Seneca applied novel strategies to service delivery, providing distance treatment and leveraging our partnerships to get essential support to young people and families in need. To do so, Seneca worked quickly to train our staff to utilize telehealth technology and employ treatment modalities that are compatible with this medium, ensuring we continued providing high quality care to children and families with as few interruptions or disruptions as possible.

The vast majority of our services shifted to provide the bulk of services remotely, with the exception of crisis intervention and acute-needs programming. Virtual service delivery meant that staff had to get creative to make sure that kids and caregivers were receiving the academic, social-emotional, behavioral, and family functioning support they needed. It was critical that we showed clients and families that our care for them was truly Unconditional – we continue to show up for them no matter the challenges the pandemic presented. 

One treatment modality that was quickly transitioned to a virtual format by Seneca’s therapists was Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapeutic tool to support healing from trauma. EMDR utilizes eye movements, tapping and other external stimuli. Staff mailed care packages with therapeutic tools, procured connective technology for families, and taught caregivers tapping techniques over Zoom. By consistently working to meet each kid’s needs even as these needs emerged and evolved over the course of the past year, our teams successfully adapted EMDR to be delivered virtually. 

Seneca is known for our commitment and ability to develop robust continuums of care for children that can respond flexibly to meet a family’s ever-changing needs by seamlessly scaling up and down in intensity and “following” a child and family wherever needs may arise: in the home, at school, or in the community. This past year, this commitment was put to the test. Thanks to the creativity and tireless efforts of Seneca’s team of service providers, and through the use of virtual treatment strategies like EMDR, clients continued making progress toward their individualized goals while remaining safe at home. In a year of unique needs and challenges, Seneca supported 79% of children receiving individualized mental health services to make significant progress towards their goals – and 40% to meet ALL of their mental health goals.

To support Seneca’s work in building and sustaining families in Orange County, join us on November 6th, 2021 at the Balboa Bay Resort for our 4th Annual Forever Families Gala. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please visit or contact Carly Santos at To learn more about Seneca’s work, please visit

UCI’s Dr. Richard Arum To Chair CLA-OC Talent Leadership Advisory Board

UCI Dean of Education Dr. Richard Arum will serve as volunteer Chair of the CEO Leadership Alliance-Orange County’s (CLA-OC) Talent Leadership Advisory Board, announced CLA-OC President Mark Percy. Known as T-LAB, the Talent Leadership Advisory Board is a business-led coalition working collaboratively with leading education stakeholders on K-Career systems alignment.

Dr. Arum has served as Dean of UCI’s School of Education since 2016 His work analyzed student achievement gaps by race and class, school segregation and stratification, the effects of legal and institutional environments, and the evolution of discipline in American schools. 

His research on educational interventions is designed to identify policies and practices that could mitigate the relationship between social background, disadvantaged neighborhood context and educational outcomes. This focus is a strong complement to CLA-OC’s mission of creating a true talent pipeline, especially for under-resourced students, leading to high paying jobs in innovation sectors.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the CEO Leadership Alliance, local firms and K-16 schools in their work to provide career training and opportunities for Orange County youth,” said Dr. Arum. “Measurement of these programs’ impact and effectiveness is essential to ensuring that we collectively develop the capacity to promote the type of workforce training and regional economic development needed for all Orange County residents to lead productive and meaningful lives.”

T-LAB was created to support CLA-OC’s mission of “a thriving OC for all” by creating opportunities for under-resourced students and young working adults to attain high-wage, high-growth innovation jobs. For the first time in OC, T-LAB brings together major stakeholders needed to form an innovation talent pipeline.

CLA-OC’s CEO members have made commitments to grow and retain talent in OC, especially around needed high-growth innovation core skills, such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and virtual and augmented reality. Together with community partners, CLA-OC recently launched a series of Career Exploration Experiences geared to Community College and High School level students, involving a number of its member companies. Among T-LAB’s immediate priorities include development of a dashboard and scorecard to establish relevant metrics and an evaluation system for these programs.

Keenan Named 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” Finalist by Business Insurance  

Keenan, an industry-leading California insurance brokerage and consulting firm for health care organizations and public agencies, has been named a 2021 “TPA Team of the Year” finalist by Business Insurance, the leading source of news, information and data on risk management, workers compensation and commercial insurance. Keenan is one of five finalists in the TPA Team of the Year category from a pool of 180 nominations. 

Keenan’s recognition is based on its strong team culture, commitment to its staff, and excellence in consistent and well founded claims decisions, leading to significant achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower claims costs for clients.  

“I am proud of this team, whose exceptional efforts led to our selection as a finalist,” said Sean Smith, President of Keenan. “Throughout the past year and a half, our claims professionals worked swiftly to efficiently address COVID-19 claims and provide injured workers the care and resources they needed. The results of collaboration throughout our company were exceptional.”

Throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, Keenan achieved low denial rates and estimated costs that consistently beat estimates from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) while managing compensability decisions in accordance with several new sets of laws in California. Keenan experienced a very low denial rate of 8%, versus WCIRB’s estimate of 28% and attributes this to the firm’s ability to consistently interpret challenging laws designed to provide benefits due to injured workers, as well as a thorough investigative approach that results in fully supported and consistent compensability decisions. Keenan also saw a lower average estimated cost per COVID-19 claim of $10,700 versus the WCIRB’s estimate of $29,100 and attributes this to its medical management team’s expertise and collaboration with core team members. In addition, Keenan maintained a low litigation rate of 0.012% for clients due to its team’s ability to build rapport with injured workers and collaborate with employers. 

“We have achieved these results despite an extremely challenging health crisis, and we will continue to deliver timely benefits with empathy and compassion,” said Smith. “Our bedrock principle is to do the right thing while maintaining a personal and professional relationship with our clients, every injured worker, and business partners.”

As defined by Business Insurance, the TPA Team of the Year award recognizes teams of professionals working on specific projects in the commercial insurance and risk management sector. Finalists are selected by senior Business Insurance staff from nominations submitted to the publication and are further assessed by a panel of risk managers to arrive at a winner. A complete list of 2021 U.S. Insurance Award finalists in 11 different categories can be found on Business Insurance’s website. The 2021 U.S. Insurance Awards ceremony will take place via a virtual event on Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST. 




About Keenan

Keenan has a 49-year track record of serving schools, community colleges, health care organizations, and public agencies. As part of the AssuredPartners group of independent brokers, currently ranked as the 11th largest in the U.S., Keenan provides innovative employee benefits, health benefits management, workers’ compensation, risk management, and property and liability programs throughout the country. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email or visit

Eric Frazier Named Financial Advisor at Spinnaker Investment Group

Spinnaker Investment Group has hired Eric Frazier to join its team as financial advisor, announced Morgan Christen, CEO and Chief Investment Officer. At Spinnaker, Frazier will help individuals, families and businesses develop personalized investment management strategies.

Frazier joins the growing Newport Beach investment-advisory firm from Warmington Residential, a family-owned home builder that has been building homes in Southern California for almost a century, where he coordinated subdivision projects and worked directly with homeowners. Frazier received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Chapman University’s Argyros Business School and was active with on-campus clubs and philanthropies while also competing as a triathlete.

Frazier said his involvement with ministry work at an early age instilled a passion for helping others and he found that a career as a fiduciary financial advisor would allow him to help others for a living. “Few people in my personal network have dedicated financial advisors helping them prepare for the future,” he said. “I learned while training for triathlons that you make better progress and feel more confident when working with a coach.”

Recognized by the OC Business Journal among the fastest-growing privately owned small businesses in 2020 and for the past three straight years, Spinnaker Investment Group currently has over $420 million in assets under management. The firm’s approach to client success is to combine carefully researched wealth management guidance and a wealth of human capital, with a style that is both ‘high-touch’ and ‘high- tech.’

Spinnaker serves a broad customer base throughout Southern California, as well as many clients throughout the United States. An independent practice that does not represent a specific company, bank or Wall Street institution, Spinnaker confidently and autonomously advises clients with individually tailored financial strategies designed to achieve financial independence. The firm’s services include Financial Planning, Wealth Planning, Retirement Planning, Asset Management, Securities and Insurance. For more information, visit

Early access to paychecks is becoming a key recruiting tool for employers. Here’s how DailyPay is helping customers increase hiring amid the labor shortage. 

Employers are mentioning earned wage access in job posts to boost applications. 

EWA player DailyPay is working with employers to help recruit and sort through resumes. 

DailyPay also piloted a job board on its website, featuring openings from its employer customers. 

With labor shortages impacting nearly every industry, employers are looking for more ways to attract talent. 

For many, offering on-demand pay, also known as earned wage access, is becoming a recruiting tool. Services like DailyPay, an EWA player used by restaurants, retailers, and healthcare companies, have long been sold as a way to retain talent. But now, DailyPay is getting more involved in its customers’ recruiting processes. 

The startup beta tested a job board on its website for North Carolina-based roles. Users could search for jobs from employers that offer DailyPay. 

DailyPay has plans to expand that, Jeanniey Walden, chief innovation and marketing officer at DailyPay, told Insider. 

“We think that will enable those who have gotten used to on demand pay to find more jobs, and help get the most productive people staying in that same circle,” Walden said. 

DailyPay is one of several EWA players that works with employers to set up on-demand pay as an employee benefit. Other players, like Dave and Earnin, go direct-to-consumer, giving consumers access to earned wages regardless of where they work. 

Coming out of a massive rebrand, DailyPay is now leaning into the employee-facing side of its business and getting more involved in the hiring process. It’s the first time the fintech will advertise directly to consumers, Walden said. And it’s hoping that consumer awareness will drive more candidates to its employer partners. 

“When they’re in the market for their next job, we hope that they’ll look for DailyPay and be more aware of it,” Walden said. 

DailyPay is banking that its consumer brand could boost its value-add to employers 

In addition to its job board beta, DailyPay has been testing the impact of advertising EWA in employers’ own job postings. DailyPay customers are able to fill roles 53% faster when candidates saw that on-demand pay was a benefit, Walden said. 

At Applebee’s franchise locations owned by Flynn Restaurant Group, a DailyPay client, menus feature a QR code that links to job openings at the restaurants, promoting the ability to get paid on-demand as a perk. And grocery chain Kroger featured DailyPay prominently as a perk during its job fairs. 

“We’ve seen a number of our clients using DailyPay to help recruit in a variety of ways,” Walden said. 

And DailyPay is also looking for ways to help companies filter through candidates. 

DailyPay has found its users are more productive at work, meaning they call out less frequently and pick up more shifts, Walden said. Approximately 10% of DailyPay users haven’t drawn on their wages, but check their balances daily. 

“If you’ve got a choice between candidates that look the same, and one used DailyPay in the past, you know that they’re most likely going to be very aware of their financial state, picking up those extra shifts and calling out less,” Walden said. 

Come September, when several federal COVID-related unemployment benefits expire, DailyPay is preparing for a wave of job seekers. 

Unemployment benefits are typically paid weekly, as opposed to the more common bi-weekly or monthly payroll schedules in the private sector. And DailyPay is positioning itself as a way to transition workers back to the job market, offering the flexibility to access wages whenever they need. 

Originally shared by Business Insider:

ViewSonic Donates $25,000 to Riverside County Esports League

In Partnership with Riverside County Esports League ViewSonic Grants First Esports Scholarship

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions and education technology, announced today its first scholarship has been awarded as part of the charitable contributions to the Riverside County Esports League. This donation will enable students to earn scholarships through their participation in the league, support development of online curriculum for esports related content, and help to provide prizes for tournament success.

Julius Dimaranan, 17, of Arlington High School in Riverside, Calif. has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship. Playing competitively since early 2019, Julius is a 7-time tournament winner of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. He will be attending Riverside Community College and will major in electrical engineering after transferring to either UC Riverside or Cal Poly Pomona.

In the course of two years, the Riverside County Esports League has hosted 25 online tournaments and three in-person tournaments in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and, more recently, Rocket League for over 200 middle and high school participants.  The Riverside County Esports League is the first California county office of education to host an esports league. With schools across the United States diving into esports with scholarship programs and competitive teams, the Riverside County Esports League is poised to grow significantly in the coming years.

“Esports provides students with valuable life skills such as teamwork and collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and strategic planning, time management and social skills,” said Jeff Muto, Business Line Director at ViewSonic. “Studies show students involved in activities are more successful in the classroom and have higher confidence levels. Esports leagues transform many students’ gaming hobby into a valuable asset that can now offer students opportunities for scholarships and even careers in this growing and lucrative field.”

The global esports market is valued at $612 million, with an audience of 134 million, according to SuperData* with some estimates as high as 1.084 billion.**

ViewSonic has been an early advocate for esports as a way for students to grow and connect with others. Like any sport, esports requires talent, dedication, and the right tools. ViewSonic continues to develop gaming monitors for the casual gamer to the professional and has a full line of award-winning models that deliver complete immersion and responsiveness for the ultimate gaming experience. Engineered with tournament-grade features, these monitors are designed to give students the edge needed for any gaming environment. ViewSonic is happy to be able to grant the first scholarship to Julius Dimaranan and look forward to providing many more scholarships to these talented students through their partnership with the Riverside County Esports League.

“As educators, one of the most significant things we can do for kids (especially secondary students) is to provide places and activities where they can be themselves and feel as though they belong. Esports accomplishes that for many students, said Steve Hickman, Ed. D. Educational Technology Services Coordinator for Riverside County Office of Education. “The games are important, but for scholastic esports, the opportunities to develop resilience, problem-solving, communication, and social skills, and to foster student capacity for teamwork and leadership, all while uncovering and supporting pathways to college and career, this is what makes scholastic esports so important to the Riverside County Office of Education. We are tremendously grateful to the ViewSonic Corporation for sharing our vision and enabling us to provide this timely and necessary service to the students of Riverside County.”

The Riverside County Office of Education Foundation and the Riverside County Esports League are actively seeking donations to fund additional scholarship opportunities. Such financial contributions greatly assist in RCOEs efforts to ensure that every student in Riverside County graduates from high school academically and socially prepared for college, the workforce, and civic responsibility. Please contact Ed Lewis, Foundation Director at 951-826-6345 or, to explore partnerships or contribute.

For further news and information about ViewSonic, visit and follow on LinkedIn  Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

About ViewSonic

Founded in California, ViewSonic is a leading global provider of visual solutions and conducts business in over 100 countries worldwide. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic is committed to providing comprehensive hardware and software solutions that include monitors, projectors, digital signage, ViewBoard interactive displays, and ‘myViewBoard’ software ecosystem. With over 30 years of expertise in visual displays, ViewSonic has established a strong position for delivering innovative and reliable solutions for education, enterprise, consumer, and professional markets and helping customers “See the Difference.” To find out more about ViewSonic, please visit

About Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE)

RCOE is a service agency supporting the county’s 23 school districts that serve more than 430,000 students. RCOE services include administrative support to districts, programs for preschool, special education, pregnant minors, correctional, migrant, and vocational students. In addition, the organization provides professional training, support, and resources for more than 18,000 teachers, administrators, and staff throughout the 7,000 square miles of Riverside County. Learn more at

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*SuperData. **

This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company’s expectations with regard to future events. Actual events could differ significantly from those anticipated in this document. Trademark footnote: ViewSonic and the ViewSonic trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of ViewSonic Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other corporate names and trademarks stated herein are the property of their respective companies.

5 Ways to Attract and Retain Warehouse Workers

By Tompkins Solutions

While the labor shortage began long before the pandemic, the problem has intensified over the last year as a rampant rise in online shopping, rash of store closures and mandatory social distancing wreaked havoc on warehouse operations. While automation has helped alleviate some of the strain on warehouses, these ongoing disruptions are forcing companies to find new ways to attract and retain top talent. Here are five ways to increase job satisfaction and create an optimal work environment for warehouse employees.

On-Site Amenities

With many warehouses already strapped for space, dedicating a large area for an employee game room, gym or on-site child care may not be feasible. Make break areas more inviting by providing comfortable furniture, relaxing décor, various games, Wi-Fi access, charging stations for mobile devices and free snacks and beverages. Create an outdoor space with picnic tables, basketball hoops and other areas for employees to relax, enjoy and socialize when the weather permits.

Temperature and Lighting

Extreme temperatures and inadequate lighting not only affect employee wellbeing and productivity but can also compromise worker health and safety. Incorporating windows and skylights into your warehouse design can improve ventilation and also provide access to natural light, which studies show is the highest rated office perk among many employees. In addition to bringing in more daylight, companies should consider replacing old fluorescent bulbs with LED fixtures, which enhance visibility, produce less heat and reduce maintenance and energy costs.

Warehouse Layout

Determine ways to minimize the amount of time it takes employees to get from one place to another, including restrooms, break rooms and other frequently used areas within the warehouse. This goes for outside the warehouse too—ensure employee parking is located within a short walking distance of the building and away from high-traffic areas that could pose a safety hazard.

Automation and Technology

Many companies are trying to combat the shortage with automation. Robotic goods-to-person solutions such as automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that deliver goods to workers can significantly reduce travel time for employees while also increasing throughput and order accuracy. In addition to robotics, software and wearable devices are also gaining popularity in the warehouse. These tools can be used to monitor worker safety and health, streamline processes and provide real-time training and support. Labor management systems can also be used to track performance and recognize and reward employees for going above and beyond.

Middle Management

Companies must invest the time and money in hiring and retaining top talent in middle management. These managers can make employees feel valued and appreciated by fostering a collaborative culture, improving communication and processes and soliciting feedback from front-line workers. Managers that encourage and listen to feedback from warehouse workers will not only increase employee satisfaction and retention, but also gain valuable insight that can ultimately improve operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Check out our other resources to learn more about how to optimize your warehouse operations and meet changing customer demands.