State business leader visits Rotary Club

The Glendale Noon Rotary Club was treated to a very informative and inspirational business speech three weeks ago by John Kabateck the executive director, California, of the National Federation of Independent Business. Kabateck returned to his hometown of Glendale to bring us up to speed on what to expect and to watch for in the coming year.

Kabateck has been the voice of the federation in Sacramento since May 2007. The federation represents 20,000 small businesses in California and more than 350,000 throughout the country. Kabateck started his legislative career in Sacramento in 1991 and has served on the staffs of Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson. He has also worked for former Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel and the California Restaurant Assn. as senior legislative director.

Focusing on the impact small businesses have on the economy, Kabateck said small businesses will clearly lead us out of the recession. There are 3.6 million small businesses in California, but over the past three years more than 400,000 have gone out of business. California leads the nation in the highest gas and sales taxes, plus we have the second-highest income tax rates. Kabateck indicated that we must be active in calling on the Legislature to be accountable to small business if we are to come strongly out of the current recession.

He said the state Legislature must constantly know of the impact their regulations have on the success of small businesses. The federation acts on a nonpartisan basis to effect good legislation. In 2011 health-care laws need to be reviewed to balance benefits with costs along with unemployment benefits extension. A bipartisan look at taxation needs to occur in the Legislature. The Little Hoover Commission's regulations need review and reform to positively help small businesses be successful to end the recession, he added.

Kabateck introduced Jeff Wright, our area representative of the federation, so the club members would have a contact to work with on their business goals. The federation locally conducts seminars on labor law, workers' compensation programs and has networking meetings.

I learned from John that the federation has a charitable Young Entrepreneur Foundation that gives scholarships to high school seniors. Last year, they gave scholarships to 140 students nationwide.

Kabateck was joined by his mother and father, Jack and Glady Kabateck, who live here and have been very active in Glendale community life.

Glendale Noon Rotary Club meets at noon every Thursday at the Glendale Hilton Hotel, 100 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale. For information, call Glen Passmore at (818) 957-6476.

Holiday season brings great music

The West Glendale Gateway Kiwanis Club was recently treated to a very special holiday music concert presented by Ann Louise Christensen and her featured band.

Christensen, a pianist and keyboard player for many years, has performed around the world. She is also a songwriter and shared her holiday song with the Kiwanians in the concert. She also told the club that she has opened a music studio here in Glendale to teach students the many areas of musical presentation.

The club members got to sing some songs with the band that featured Geno Escarregu on drums and Jerry Case on guitar.

Ann Louise brought her latest Holiday Songs Album to the concert, which she sold to club members, and she gave back to the club all of her earnings for Kiwanis scholarships and charities.

West Glendale Gateway Kiwanis Club meets at noon every Wednesday at the Glendale Masonic Lodge, 244 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale. For information, call Dave Fortune at (818) 507-6210.

BRUCE CAMPBELL can be reached at (626) 403-1010, cell phone (626) 664-2223, or

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