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City of Tustin to Present Proclamation to Diane and Gerry Aust on November 17

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The Tustin City Council is recognizing Diane and Gerry Aust for chairing the Tustin Public Schools Foundation’s 25th annual Dinosaur Dash at the city council meeting on Tuesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. at Tustin City Hall, 300 Centennial Way.  Please join us that evening for the special presentation.

Background Information

After being in existence for one year, the Tustin Public Schools Foundation decided they needed a major fundraiser.  A committee was formed of board and community members, which included Diane and Gerry Aust – both educators in the Tustin Unified School District and residents in the Tustin community.  The committee designed the “Race of the Millennium” which was held on Sunday, December 1, 1991, and consisted of a 2K Brontosaurus Blitz and a 5K Dinosaur Dash.

At the inaugural Dinosaur Dash, there were almost 1,500 runners and 200 volunteers.   Diane and Gerry Aust were School Coordinators and Chairs of the Brontosaurus Blitz Fun Run.   The 2K was started by then Mayor Chuck Puckett.   The committee was thrilled when they realized they netted $10,000 to be donated back to the classrooms in the 15 schools in the Tustin Unified School District.

On Sunday, November 1, the Dinosaur Dash celebrated its 25th anniversary and hit a milestone!  There were almost 7,000 runners, walkers and bikers, and over 700 volunteers.  Nearly $200,000 was raised to be donated back to the 29 schools in TUSD.   Once again, Diane and Gerry chaired the entire event and Mayor Chuck Puckett started the 2K Race.  For the past 25 years the Austs have served on the Dinosaur Dash team and are known as two of the “dinosaurs” of this committee.   They also have co-chaired the event for the past several years.  They are proud of the dollars the Dinosaur Dash has raised over the years for students and schools in TUSD!

We hope you can attend the presentation at the Tustin City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 17, at 7 p.m.

Congratulations on a well-deserved honor, Diane and Gerry!   You two are Dino-mite!

 Source: Mark Eliot

Director of Communications and Public Information

Tustin Unified School District

(714) 730-7339


Twitter: @TUSDschools



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TUSTIN, CA, OCTOBER 1, 2015 – HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (“HMWC”) has been selected by “INSIDE Public Accounting” as one of the nation’s 300 largest CPA firms.   HMWC specializes in serving the financial and tax needs of privately-held businesses and their owners throughout Southern California.  INSIDE Public Accounting is the leading public accounting publication of record.  The “IPA 300” is the only ranking of its kind in the profession.

The IPA 300 issue, published in October, ranks CPA firms by revenues, with $7.6 million being the minimum to make the list this year. This definitive list was compiled by analyzing more than 500 responses to IPA’s Survey and Analysis of Firms. CPA firm associations also assisted in identifying the nation’s largest firms.  The annual IPA rankings are among the longest-running, most accurate and up-to-date for the nation’s largest accounting firms. INSIDE Public Accounting was founded in 1987, and is published by The Platt Consulting Group, located in Carmel, Indiana.

Says Steve Williams, Managing Partner at HMWC, “We are pleased to be recognized for our growth, which stems from our mission to provide our clients, regardless of size, with a level of service and quality that is unparalleled in the industry. This honor reflects the quality of our firm’s partner and management group, as well as our staff and administrative personnel.  We are very proud to have been selected.”

For copies of the 2015 IPA 300 Firms October issue of IPA, please contact Chelsea Page at (317) 733-1920; cpage@plattgroupllc.com.

About HMWC:  For more than 45 years, HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (www.hmwccpa.com) has specialized in serving the financial and tax needs of privately-held businesses and their own­ers throughout Southern California.  The firm offers a complete array of services, including audit and accounting, tax consulting, Complete Financial Office Solutions, business advisory consulting, estate and financial planning, pension and human resources consulting, information technology consulting, mergers and acquisitions consulting, forensic accounting and business valuation.  Industries served include real estate, contractors, healthcare, manufacturing and distribution, financial services, professional services and not-for profit.   HMWC serves business of all sizes, including emerging businesses, and is one of a few CPA firms nationwide to specifically serve Women-Owned Business and Seniors.  The firm is one of Orange County’s top 15 accounting firms, as ranked by the Orange County Business Journal, and the largest in Tustin.  HMWC is a member of Integra International, Inc., an interactive global network of local independent accounting, audit, tax and consulting firms.


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TUSTIN, CA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 – As part of the firm’s community and philanthropic efforts, 18 management, staff and family members of HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (“HMWC”) volunteered on Saturday, September 19, 2015 to help clean-up the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve as part of the statewide “California Coastal Cleanup Day.”  The Newport Bay Conservancy estimates that at the annual event over 1,000 people venture out into the marsh from the land and the water to remove over 20,000 lbs. of trash and recyclables.  HMWC was also one of the major sponsors of the annual clean-up day.

HMWC volunteers helped collect the trash and recyclables throughout the day.  Coastal Cleanup Day is the only day of the year when volunteers are allowed to enter many sensitive areas of the Bay where trash washes in from surrounding cities, polluting the Bay’s waters, harming its wildlife and threatening public health.  Upper Newport Ecological Reserve totals 752 acres. This coastal wetland, one of the largest in southern California , is renowned as one of the finest bird watching sites in North America. During winter migration up to 35,000 birds may be using the Bay at one time, including several  rare or endangered species. Considered a “critical estuary” habitat, Upper Newport Bay is one of the most pristine remaining estuaries in Southern California.

According to the California Coastal Commission, every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day.  In 2014, nearly 67,000 volunteers removed more than 1,190,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways (2015 amounts, when tallied, are expected to be similar).   The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet.

About HMWC:  For more than 45 years, HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors (www.hmwccpa.com) has specialized in serving the financial and tax needs of privately held businesses and their own­ers throughout Southern California. The firm is one of Orange County’s top 15 accounting firms, as ranked by the Orange County Business Journal, and the largest in Tustin.  HMWC CPAs & Business Advisors has been recognized by the Orange County Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” in Orange County for 2010-2012.  The firm has also been named by the Tustin Chamber of Commerce as the “2012 Small Business of the Year.”









September 6-12 Recap

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The September Membership Breakfast has come and passed. Chair Jennifer Dougherty announced she would be moving to Georgia and would have to resign from her duties as Chair. Brian Penny has stepped in and become Tustin Chamber of Commerce’s new chair. As always we welcomed the Tustin Police Department to honor the Officer of the Month, Police Officer Adam Nikolic. This month we congratulated Bill McInerney as August’s Ambassador of the Month. City Manager Jeff Parker and City of Tustin Management Analyst Stephanie Najera presented the chamber with the proposed development in the Tustin Legacy. We saw what is currently in the works and what will be happening in the future in our great city. Make sure to check out the City’s Website at http://www.tustinca.org/. In attendance this month was Mayor Chuck Puckett, Councilmember Al Muarry, Congresswoman Mimi Walter’s Representative Ben Rejniak, Assemblyman Don Wagner’s Representative Scott Voigts, Chief Charles Celano, Parks & Recs Director David Wilson, Board Members: Jerry Craig, Cris Cusac, CFO Emily Banks, CPA, Brian Penny, Jennifer Dougherty, David Hamilton, Cindy Brunner, Glen Hackler, Rand Scherff, Lindburgh McPherson, Ambassadors James Moore, Bill McInerney, Tammy McInerney. Office Manager Juanita Jaros & Lisa Gross.

Check out the photos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TustinChamber/posts/10206009102804468

August 23-29 Recap

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The Tustin Chamber of Commerce had a very busy week last week. We had 2 ribbon cuttings of our own, 1 City of Tustin ribbon cutting, a rededication for Temple Beth Shalom and Mimi Walter’s Cybersecurity and Identity Protection Forum.

Monday U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (CA-45) hosted a Cybersecurity & Identity Protection Town Hall at the Laguna Hills Community Center. Rep. Walters invited 45th District residents to join her and a panel of industry and government experts to ask questions and learn how they can improve their online security and take steps to protect their personally identifiable information. Additionally, members of Rep. Walters’ staff were available during the town hall to help anyone experiencing difficulties with a federal agency.

Tuesday the city of Tustin officially opened Victory Park in the Tustin Legacy. There was food and beverage provided to the more than 200 people in attendance and prize giveaways for children at the park. The Chamber was well represented and is looking forward to many more park opening to come! Find out more about the Parks at http://www.tustinca.org/depts/parks/info/default.asp.

On Wednesday Dr. Dustin Agneli of OC Doctors, 1254 Irvine Blvd. #150, hosted a great ribbon cutting! Chamber members in attendance got to see all of Dr. Agneli’s special equipment for rehabilitating and relaxing his patients. He also provided all attendees with a complimentary massage and adjustment. The Chamber would like to recognize Ben Rejniak from Congresswoman Mimi Walters Office, Joe Sturges from Assemblyman Donald Wagner’s Office, Karissa Willette from Diane L. Harkey, Board Member of the Board of Equalization, Vice Chair Cris Cusac, CFO Emily Banks, CPA, Board Members George Strickland and Cindy Bruner, Ambassador Carol Fite, and Member Services Associate Lisa Gross for their attendance. To learn more about OC Doctors go to http://www.theocdoctors.com/home.

Thursday we welcomed Yoga Squared to the Chamber! Yoga Squared is located in the heart of Downtown Tustin at 195 El Camino Real in Suite 201. Our Gracious hosts had refreshments from Radical Botanicals and a Brooke Taylor Trunk Show. They also had an artist ready to create beautiful works of art on hands and arms. They are also offering a special 10 days for $10 for new members! Some of our presenters showed off their yoga form during certificate presentations. Those in attendance from governmental offices were Ben Rejniak of Congresswoman Mimi Walters Office, Joe Sturges from Assemblyman Donald Wagner’s Office, Karissa Willette from Diane L. Harkey, Board Member of the Board of Equalization. Chamber Members in attendance were Vice Chair Cris Cusac, CFO Emily Banks, CPA, Past Chair Jon Kimbrell, Board Member George Strickland, Board Member Glen Hackler, Board Member Jeffrey Hakim, and Board Member Cindy Bruner, Ambassadors James Moore, Tammy McInerney, and Bill McInerney, and our Member Services Associate Lisa Gross.

Sunday afternoon Temple Beth Shalom had their rededication ceremony and had a staggering 1,000+ people in attendance. The Tustin Chamber is proud to have such an integral part of our community as a member.

Aug. 9-15 Post

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This week we held our Monthly Membership Breakfast at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club. We honored our June and July Officers of the Month, Officer Shonn Rojas and Officer Eric Kent. We also honored our Ambassadors of the Month for June and July, Bill and Tammy McInerney,  respectively. Our sales abilities received a little boost from our speaker David Behr. Our breakfast was attended by Mayor Chuck Puckett, Council member Al Murray, Chief Charles Celano, Assemblyman Don Wagner’s Representative Scott Voigts, Mimi Walter’s Representative Ben Rejniak, Board Members: Jennifer Dougherty, Brian Penny, Emily Banks, Cris Cusac, Cindy Brunner, David Hamilton, Jonathan Stone, George Strickland, Elise Perkins, David Laughray, Rand Scherff, and Glen Hackler. And as always Office Manager Juanita Jaros, Member Sales Associate Lisa Gross.

Photos can be seen on Facebook courtesy of Anthony Wang Photography. https://www.facebook.com/TustinChamber/posts/10205822714504877

This week’s Movie in the park was Paddington at Centennial Park. Paddington is the story of a young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. Tustin families enjoyed the night under the stars and had a great time at one of Tustin’s great parks. See more on the Tustin parks at http://www.tustinca.org/depts/parks/info/default.asp

Aug. 2-8 Update

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This week many of our members participated in the National Night Out at the District. We would like to thank the Tustin Police Department for participating in this great event. This free event was a success and brought many families to out to strengthen police-community relationships. The OC Register has a great article that you can read here-> http://www.ocregister.com/articles/district-676109-night-tustin.html

This week Movies in the Park brought us The Hundred Foot Journey at Peppertree Park. The movie is about two restaurants across from each other that settle their differences through understanding. It was a night enjoyed by many Tustinites.

Concerts in the Park was a huge hit with The Reflexx bringing Tustin hits from the 80’s. They covered such bands as Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, New Order, A-Ha, The Cure, Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, Devo and many more!

Thank you to the City of Tustin for putting on these great events for the summer! Take a look at their upcoming events here. http://www.tustinca.org/cals/default.asp

A Weekend of Events

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It was a busy week for Chamber members last week. Thursday PGA Tour Superstore held a mixer that was truly made for business. As most of us know the fairway is a place many business arrangements are made and PGA Superstore will help get you in the game. There was food for everyone, Beer, Sangria, Golf Lessons, Free Driving Range Sessions, a putting contest and many giveaways. It was a mixer like no other. Make sure to read the Weekly Tustin Chamber Newsletter to see when PGA Tour Superstore will have their next event. Head to their website at http://www.pgatoursuperstore.com/irvine.jsp to see how to get your golf game in full swing.

On Friday the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic development held a workshop for small business on applying for the California Competes Tax Credit. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is travelling the state to inform businesses about the California Competes Tax Credit. It’s an incentive provided to businesses to promote job creation in the state of California. 25% of all funds are reserved for small businesses that make under $2 million in gross revenues. The tax credit is non-refundable, but can be carried forward for 6 years to offset any taxes owed on the business return to the Franchise Tax Board, and in some cases it can be passed through to the owner’s individual income tax return. The awards for the application period from July 20, 2015 – August 17th, 2015 will total $75 million. 62 people attended of which were several Chamber Members. Chamber Members Clark & Company provided coffee and were on hand to help answer tax related questions. The event took place at the Tustin Library’s Professional Training Center. Chamber attendees included CFO Emily Banks, Board Members Glen Hackler, Rand Sherff, George Strickland, Jerry Craig, and Cindy Brunner. Office Staff in attendance were Office Manager Juanita Jaros and Member Services Associate Lisa Gross. For more information on the tax credit and to see if your business qualifies please contact Clark & Company at http://clarkcompanycpas.com/contact/.

On Saturday Night, chamber member Wilcox Manor hosted an event to raise money for another chamber member, the Tustin Community Foundation. The theme was 1920’s murder mystery, and there was over 100 attendees. The party included a live auction, dinner and a show. TCF’s Erin McPherson Nielsen was in the cast as well as Wilcox Manor’s Michael Demoratz, Chamber CFO Emily Banks, and Chamber Member and Chick-fil-A owner Peter Brakke. Board Member Cindy Brunner’s daughter had a role as did Chuck Puckett, Tustin’s Mayor. This has been “THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TCF EVENT we have ever had!!!” according to Erin McPherson Nielsen. She went on to say “We raised $20,000!! Thank you to everyone who supported the Foundation with your generosity. Can’t wait to give out our grants!”  For more information on upcoming events and how to participate in the Tustin Community Foundation go to: http://www.tustincommunityfoundation.org/Sites/US/CA/Tustin/TustinCommunityFoundation-76764/Web/Home.htm

Chamber Members Collaborate to Create Something Special

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It was a great night in Tustin. On July 14th Chamber member Pinot’s Palette held a fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin, another chamber member.  Pinot’s Palette had a great painting lined up for everyone who came out. Beginners to expert painters were encouraged to put brush to canvas and step by step recreate a work of art. A Day at the Dunes was the theme for the night’s paining. It was a landscape painting of sandy dunes overlooking the ocean at sunset. There was wine and fun for all in attendance. The most important thing for the evening was that the proceeds of the event went to The Boys & Girls Club. The Boy & Girls Club’s mission is to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to realizetheir full potential as healthy, productive, caring, and responsible citizens. The Tustin Chamber of Commerce encourages our members to come together and help promote each other’s businesses. We are extremely proud of Pinot’s Palette for putting on this event for our one of our charitable organizations and encourage all of our businesses to collaborate and do business together. If you are looking for a list of businesses and charities that belong to our chamber please visithttp://business.tustinchamber.org/list. We hope to hear more about successful business partnerships in the future and know that our members are striving to make our community a better place in which to work and live. If you would like your event or hot deal promoted by the chamber please email us details at president@tustinchamber.org.

Chamber members in attendance included, Vice Chair Cris Cusac, CFO Emily Banks, Board Member Elise Perkins and Member Services Associate Lisa Gross.

For more information on Chamber Events visit: http://business.tustinchamber.org/events/calendar/

To learn more about Pinot’s Palette and their painting classes visit: https://www.pinotspalette.com/tustin

And to donate or find more FUNdraisers please visit our friends at the Boys & Girls of Tustin here:


Bowl of Heaven Ribbon Cutting

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The Tustin Chamber of Commerce Celebrated the arrival of one of its newest members Bowl of Heaven last Wednesday. Bowl of Heaven offers Acai Bowls, Juices, and Smoothies that are dairy free and have no sugar added. Their goal is “to delight, nourish, and satisfy each guest in a way that creates loyalty and trust.”

Located in The District, the largest shopping center of Tustin’s Legacy, Bowl of Heaven is a short drive for Tustinites. During our Ribbon Cutting Founder Dan McCormick stopped by to support his newest store. Bowl of Heaven plans to expand its operation to more than 30 stores in the near future. They plan to make our community a better area not only with their delicious meals but with their jobs for Tustin’s youth. Their ideal candidate for Bowl of Heaven employees is someone they can give life skills to make their store, and surrounding area better.

Chairman of the Board Jennifer Dougherty encourages all chamber members and anyone in the surrounding area to make a stop by this great establishment. Her favorite in the North Shore Bowl that has Organic Açaí, Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, 100% Apple Juice & MAQ 7 blended together and topped with organic hemp flax seed granola, fresh banana, and honey.

Board members present: Jennifer Dougherty, Chairman, Cris Cusac, Vice Chair, Emily Banks, CFO, Glen Hackler, & George Strickland. Ambassadors Present: James Moore, John Mavros, Patricia Matias & Christian Keeney. Chamber Staff: Lisa Gross,  Member Services Associate. Government Leaders: Mimi Walters showed her support and sent in a certificate for Bowl of Heaven. Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey’s staff members Andrew Fromm and Karissa Willette presented a certificate. Tracy Tran representing Assemblyman Donald Wagner’s office presented a certificate.

Check them out at http://bowlofheaven.com or visit them at 2423 Park Avenue  Tustin, CA 92872.