Archive for the ‘People’ Category

KlaasKids Foundation asks for help in search for missing Oakley woman Alexis Gabe next two weekends

Friday, March 25th, 2022

Last seen in Antioch

Organizers of the Alexis Gabe search effort and the KlaasKids Foundation are asking farmers, ranchers, real estate agents and other citizens with access to unoccupied out buildings, unoccupied residences, structures, or fields to check those locations for signs of missing Alexis Gabe this coming weekend, March 26-27. (See related articles here and here)

The search for a missing loved one is a long, arduous task that requires the help and assistance of countless people. Law Enforcement and our volunteers have done an incredible job at searching public locations and lands, but we need your help to cover accessible privately owned property. For this reason, we are asking individuals with access to out buildings, unoccupied residences, and other structures to please search for any signs of missing Alexis Gabe. This effort will go far toward eliminating possible locations where she may be kept against her will, or other evidence of her current whereabouts.

If any suspicious items are located or if you have any information related to the disappearance of Alexis Gabe, please contact the Oakley Police Department at (925) 625-8855

We want to take this opportunity to thank the Oakley Police Department, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Search & Rescue and the selfless volunteers who have searched for Alexis, or otherwise supported the search effort. Another volunteer search will be scheduled and conducted on Saturday, April 2, 2022

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Bob Butler and Betty Smith are the 2021 Antioch Citizens of the Year for Most Impact, Lifetime Achievement

Saturday, March 5th, 2022

2021 Antioch Citizens of the Year Bob Butler and Betty Smith. Source; Facebook

Antioch Chamber also announces other awards

Choose Emerald HPC owned by Keith and Iris Archuleta, strategic planning consultants as Small Business of the Year, CoCo Farms cannabis dispensary as Large Business of the Year

By Allen D. Payton

Antioch resident Bob Butler was selected as the 2021 Antioch Citizen of the Year for Most Impact, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce announced, this week. Betty Smith, also an Antioch resident and president of the Rivertown Jamboree, was chosen Citizen of the Year for Lifetime Achievement.

The Chamber also announced the winners of the 2021 Antioch Business, Non-Profit, Student and Veteran of the Year Awards. The winners will be honored at the 2022 Inaugural Gala and Recognition Dinner on March 25.

Bob Butler

Butler, a KCBS Radio news reporter, was honored by the Kiwanis Club of the Delta-Antioch with their Community Service Award, last year, for his volunteer work helping people during COVID. (See related article)

Butler has decades of experience in radio and television news reporting, writing and production.  For over 40 years you may have heard his news reports on KCBS radio networks.

He has taught broadcast journalism at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University and served as President of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Butler, has been helping neighbors during the pandemic by shopping for them. When the pandemic started most of us were worried about going out and exposing ourselves to COVID-19. Going to the store and finding necessary items was getting harder, and the idea of having to bring young children and the elderly was even more worrisome.

At that time Bob stepped up to help. He shopped and delivered items to seniors, people with compromised health issues and parents with small children or children with disabilities and many people who were just too concerned to go out for fear of exposure.

Thinking of others before himself and for his effort we have named Butler the Citizen of the Year with the Most Impact.

Betty Smith

Smith has been a long-time volunteer in the community, leading the Rivertown Jamboree non-profit organization, which previously organized the annual music festival in the city’s historic downtown and more recently, the Delta Thunder speed boat races in memory of the late Councilman Gary Agopian.

Smith hit the community running, as soon as she, her husband, and three children arrived at their new home in Antioch in March of 1984. She commuted to Auburn with the telephone company for three more years, before concentrating on Vancat Enterprises and her family. She wanted her three children taught how to live in a neighborhood. She started by joining Soroptimist International of Antioch, she served on the boards of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, the Delta Learning Center, Metro-One Credit, which is now Travis Credit Union, The Rivertown Jamboree, Delta Memorial Hospital Foundation and Save a Life Sister.

She is still setting an example for her grandchildren by continuing her service in Soroptimist International of Antioch, the Rivertown Jamboree, Delta 2000/Rivertown Resource Center, Luncheon for the Antioch Police Department with the help of Chuck’s Wagon Catering, Saint Anna’s Episcopal Church Bishop Committee and Episcopal Church Women.

Betty said of her service to the Antioch Community, “With tears in my eyes I need to thank all of my family and friends for helping me along the way. I wouldn’t be here without the grace of God and your help. This is to all that have touched my life and my children’s lives. I love Antioch and I tried to plow the fields to make a better place for all.”

The winners of the other awards are:

2021 Small Business of the Year is Emerald HPC and owners Keith and Iris Archuleta, strategic planning consultants.

2021 Large Business of the Year is CoCo Farms cannabis dispensary.

2021 Non-Profit of the Year is the Rotary Club of the Delta (Antioch).

2021 Student of the Year is Gio Terrones of Antioch High School.

2021 Lifetime Veteran of the Year is Tom Menasco.

2021 Veteran of the Year is Gerald “J.R.” Wilson.

The Chamber will also be celebrating posthumously the lives of Antioch music teacher and musician Romano Marchetti and Tom Guarino of PG&E, who did so much for our community through their dedication and service to Antioch. 

This premier event will be held on Friday March 25 at the Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center. If you would like to join in and celebrate with the winners, you can purchase tickets at www.antiochchamber.com.

A request was sent to the Chamber asking for more details about each of the winners, but a response was not received as of publication time. Please check back later for any updates.

Dr. Sean Wright, CEO of the Chamber and Ana Cosovic contributed to this report.

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Antioch residents crowned Ms. Golden State All World Beauties Elite, Man of Distinction

Monday, February 14th, 2022

Antioch resident Luella Hill-Dudley is crowned Ms. All World Beauties Elite as Man of Distinction winner and fellow Antioch resident, Paul Wright (back left) watches on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Photo: Danae Forrest-Braggs

Second year in a row an Antioch lady has won in the pageant

Paul Wright Man of Distinction winner. Photo courtesy of Paul Wright

By Allen D. Payton

Antioch resident, Luella Hill-Dudley, was crowned Ms. Golden State All World Beauties Elite at the Inaugural California All World Beauties pageant held Saturday, January 22, 2022, in Newark. In addition, Paul Wright, also of Antioch, won the Man of Distinction competition.

“All World Beauties and Man of Distinction want you to know, if anyone ever told you that you couldn’t win I’m living proof we all were made to win,” Hill-Dudley shared on her Facebook page following her coronation. “It may wear you out, but don’t give up you(‘re) going to win.”

“My reasoning for being a part of the pageant is to inspire other men and women to see their own inner beauty and beauty is not based on your looks but your character as a person,” she later shared. “Also, my desire to help others to believe in themselves no matter what and to show them if I can do it, they can, too.”

In another Facebook post Hill-Dudley wrote, “My first title was Ms. Antioch Elite but on January 22, 2022 I became Ms. Golden State Elite isn’t God good. This is a very proud moment in my life. I give all glory to God.”

Samantha Richardson, the National All World Beauties Royal Ambassador, which is an overall title, is executive director of the California pageant, which she took on after being crowned a national queen.

“Luella also won the Spirit of Pageantry award. She did really well. She was really great,” Richardson stated. “Luella also had the highest interview score of 10 from all three judges, a perfect score.”

When reached for comment about his experience with the pageant, Wright said, “Absolutely amazing, motivational. It takes your self-confidence to the next level.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I thought of doing something like this,” he shared.

Hill-Dudley with her Ms. Antioch Elite sash.

Asked if his wife, Maggie had encouraged him to enter the contest, Wright said, “my wife assisted in the event. But we are going to take it to the next level, representing the city of Antioch and the state of California.”

This is the second year in a row an Antioch woman has won in a category of the All World Beauties pageant.

“We had a queen last year from Antioch who we celebrated, Janice Lipnisky, who passed away in September,” Richardson shared. “She was crowned Ms. California AWB Elite. We all went to Texas for the national competition, last year, as at large entries, since there wasn’t a state-level competition at that time.”

According to the national organization’s Facebook page, “at the inaugural California All World Beauties and Man of Distinction Pageant the Staff, Delegation, and Nationals staff in attendance honored our beloved Queen Janice Lipnisky, who passed suddenly after the 20th Anniversary pageant. Janice, you were a pillar of strength, beauty, and determination! We love you and will miss you.”

The late Janice Lipnisky was honored at the Inaugural California pageant on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Photo: National All World Beauties Pageant

Wright posing in his bright-colored suit during the January pageant.

This year’s inaugural California competition had different categories, including the Elite division for women ages 45 and up, Mrs. Queen for married ladies ages 21 and up, a Ms. category for ladies ages 30 to 44, and Ms. Plus for plus size 12 and up ladies ages 30 to 44.

“Plus, our Men of Distinction category for ages 21 and up,” Richardson added. “We didn’t have a teen category for ages 15 to 17, Miss for ages 18 to 29, or Miss Plus for sizes 12 and up for ladies ages 18 to 29.”

Each of the winners were crowned and received prizes and gifts.

“They received their regalia, which includes the crown and sash, or stole for the men, plus their national entry fee paid,” said Richardson. “In addition, the winners also receive prizes and gifts from sponsors.

The winners of the California pageant will compete at the national pageant on June 25, 2022. For more information visit the national organization’s Facebook page.

Those interested in competing in next year’s California pageant can visit the national website at AllWorldBeauties.com and let the organizers know. They will put you in touch with Richardson.

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Antioch woman is 2022 Contra Costa Humanitarian of the Year, to be honored at MLK event Jan. 18

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder of Antioch

Student Humanitarian of the Year, Ygnacio Valley High senior Kaia Morgan of Pittsburg

2022 MLK Humanitarian of the Year Gigi Crowder.

Contra Costa County will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 44th Annual Ceremony in 2022.  The Board of Supervisors invites the public to the ceremony on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at 11 am. This year’s theme is “One People, One Nation, One Dream.”

“Together, we will commemorate Dr. King and commit to improving the lives and future of our children and community members,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Diane Burgis. “We look forward to having you join us at the event to come together and work toward a common vision and goals of acceptance, tolerance, and respect.”

Countywide recognition will be given at the ceremony to the Adult Humanitarian of the Year, Gigi Crowder, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Contra Costa and a 19-year Antioch resident, and the Student Humanitarian of the Year, Pittsburg resident Kaia Morgan, a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. Honorees will be recognized for their leadership, advocacy, and service to Contra Costa County, its residents and communities in the spirit of Dr. King’s work and achievements.

About Gigi Crowder

Gigi R. Crowder, L.E. a native of Oakland, CA. is the mother of two biological children; 30-year-old twin sons and has served as a foster mom and mentor to many more through divine interventions. Gigi served for over nine years as the Ethnic Services Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and has worked in the Behavioral Health Care field for more than 32 years after completing her studies at the University of California, Berkeley. As a family member of several loved ones who have received private and public mental health services, she is a strong advocate for promoting culturally responsive behavioral health services for all peers and family members. She is unapologetic about focusing efforts to address the needs of African Americans who she deems as the most harmed and neglected due to systemic racism. She created, Black Minds Matter 2! which has given her opportunities to speak across the nation.

Gigi is the Executive Director for NAMI Contra Costa, having accepted this position in January 2018, after serving in a consultant role as their Fund Developer. She is also the FaithNet Coordinator and has advanced efforts statewide to reduce mental health stigma by training Faith Leaders using the Mental Health Friendly Communities training curriculum she co-designed. Gigi promotes utilizing natural resources such as those found in faith/spiritual communities and works hard to advocate for the use of community defined strategies for all, with particular focus on better addressing the needs of unserved, underserved and inappropriately served ethnic and cultural communities. Her current focus is addressing the needs of those living with mental illness who are often criminalized for living with a medical condition.

Highlights of her career are being inducted in the Alameda County Women Hall of Fame for her work in developing programs to enhance employment opportunities for individuals with psychiatric challenges, receiving the 2013 MHAAC Mental Health Achievement Award. She also received the 2016 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from NAMI California, the 2020 “Making a Difference Award,” from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Gigi is also credited for positioning NAMI CC to beat out 600 other NAMI Affiliates and win the NAMI 2021 Multicultural Outreach Award.

2022 MLK Student Humanitarian of the Year Kaia Morgan.

About Kaia Morgan

According to a tweet by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Morgan is being honored, “for her commitment and hard work in leading the charge to change the mascot for Ygnacio Valley High” from the Warriors to something else. Following the lead of a teacher at the school, Morgan started an online petition which gathered 750 supporters.

Kaia is a senior at Ygnacio Valley High School. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a cheerleader at her high school, as well as a dancer. She became interested in confronting social issues after gaining awareness of them online and quickly became passionate about addressing injustices against minorities. In February of 2020, she was inspired by a class lesson on the harm of Native mascots to use her voice to speak out against racism on a more local level, starting with the Native mascot at her own high school. She started the Change the Mascot Committee at Ygnacio Valley High School that month, and as of December 2021, their mascot is now the wolves. Kaia currently lives in Pittsburg, CA with her loving parents and two siblings. She plans to attend college in the fall and study psychology.

This is the third year in a row a woman from Antioch has been named the county’s Humanitarian of the Year, with Velma Wilson honored, last year, and current District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker was honored the year before. See the entire list of past honorees.

To learn more about the Dr. King Ceremony, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/5307 on the Contra Costa County website.

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Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis announces passing of husband Richard Clayton

Saturday, December 11th, 2021

Supervisor Diane Burgis and her late husband Richard Clayton in photo posted on her Facebook page on June 19, 2021.

OAKLEY, CALIF., December 11, 2021 – Supervisor Diane Burgis lost her husband Richard Clayton this morning to suicide. He is survived by his wife, his parents, John and Carol Clayton of England, his brother Barry, (Deb) and sister, Nina (Rob), daughter Kianna and son-in-law Andrew Lee, his stepsons, Jacob, Sam, and Dusty Burgis, grandsons, Arlo, Brody and Huxley, and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

“Like many of us, Richard’s mental health was severely impacted by the pandemic. I would ask anyone who is suffering from a mental health crisis to reach out for help, and I’m respectfully requesting that you respect my privacy and the privacy of Richard’s family at this difficult time,” said Supervisor Burgis.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Frazier announces resignation from Assembly to pursue career in transportation, spend time with family, friends

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Assemblyman Jim Frazier. Source: Twitter

“It was the best job in the world, helping people and solving problems.”– Jim Frazier

Currently serves Antioch and most of East County

By Allen Payton

In a post on his official Facebook page and Twitter feed, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 State Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-11) announced he will be resigning from his position at the end of the month.

In addition to posting his letter of resignation, at 12:32 pm Wednesday, he tweeted, “It has been a joy and a privilege to represent District 11. I extend my sincerest appreciation to each of you. Thank you all.” Frazier posted a similar comment on his Facebook page, writing, “It has been a joy and a privilege to represent District 11. I extend my sincerest appreciation and love for an incredible 9 years of service. Thank you all.”

His announcement dispels the rumors that Frazier, who moved from Oakley to Fairfield a few years ago, would run for supervisor in Solano County, State Senate or Congress, if Rep. John Garamendi was going to retire. But the Assemblyman, was first elected to the Assembly in 2012 following his time on the Oakley City Council, could have served one more term, since members of the state legislature can only serve a total of 12 years in either the Assembly or State Senate or a combination of both, due to term limits in Proposition 28 passed by voters in 2012.

When reached for comment Frazier said, “it’s time to move on and I have a strong urge to get back into the transportation sector, pursue my passion, and help people achieve their goals in transportation.”

“It was the best job in the world, helping people and solving problems,” he continued. I’ve served for 14 years in public service. It’s time to move on.”

Asked about the rumors he might run for another office, Frazier laughed and said, “nobody asked me.”

The press release reads:

“California State Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) today announced his resignation from the California State Assembly, District 11, effective December 31, 2021. Mr. Frazier will be seeking new opportunities in the field of transportation.

Assemblymember Frazier said, “This is the best job that I have ever had. I have enjoyed serving the State of California and the 11th Assembly District and greatly appreciate the confidence that my constituents have shown in me over the last nine years. I am proud of the many successes that we achieved together. My future plans are to put to use my passion and experience in the transportation sector, explore new career opportunities and spend additional time with family and friends.”

Mr. Frazier was elected to the California State Assembly, District 11 in November of 2012. The 11th District encompasses portions of Solano, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties and includes the following cities, towns, and areas: Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis Air Force Base, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

Assemblymember Frazier currently serves as Chair of the powerful Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, providing oversight of open meeting laws, Offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Controller, and State Treasurer, State holidays, seals, and official acts, emergency services, Outdoor Advertising Act (billboards), alcohol, gaming, horse racing, the State Lottery, and tobacco. He has been an advocate for enhanced unemployment and disability policy as chairman of Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. As a key member of the Assembly Veteran’s Committee, he supported legislation to improve lives of veterans. Mr. Frazier oversaw and helped coordinate state public works activities while serving as the Assembly Speaker’s appointee to the State Public Works Board. Mr. Frazier previously served as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, overseeing transportation infrastructure managing $2.3T in annual commerce, and promoting system improvements and job creation.

Additional key accomplishments:

  • Delivered numerous improvements to transportation infrastructure across high-speed rail, highways, and public transportation, securing $30B in total transportation funding and $5.2B for highly impactful SB1 infrastructure project.
  • Fostered legislation to obtain $1.2B in funding for special needs population, supporting and overseeing series of hearings throughout the State of California, evaluating the mission and effectiveness of relevant state agencies.
  • Established reputation as champion for California Delta, serving as key member of Delta Protection Commission focused on protecting fish and wildlife, safeguarding farmers, and ensuring continuous environmental and economic viability of delta by promoting water conservation, improved water quality, and improved management of land use and development.
  • Secured $12 million to remove abandoned and derelict commercial marine vessels throughout the Delta region through the 2021 State Budget.
  • Secured funding for Special Olympics for 6 years, including $20M funding through the 2021 State Budget.
  • Secured funding for Solano First 5 in the amount of $2 million to create a Fairfield First 5 Center through the 2021 State Budget.
  • Secured $500,000 for East Contra Costa Fire Protection District’s training program.
  • Authored legislation for a Veteran Designation of CA Driver’s License to recognize military service, resulting in hundreds of thousands of additional dollars for Veterans.

Mr. Frazier’s was recognized with many awards during his Assembly career. His accomplishments include (partial list): 2018, Legislator of the Year from the California State Commanders Veterans Council, 2017 California Transportation Foundation Elected Official of the Year, Director’s Special Recognition for Infrastructure Advocacy by American Society of Civil Engineers, 2016 Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year, 2016 AMVETS Legislator of the Year, 2015 Decoding Dyslexia: Assemblymember of the Year, 2015 California Transportation Foundation: Elected Official of the Year, 2015 Small Business Legislator of the year by California Small Business Association (CSBA) and California Small Business Roundtable (CSBR), 2015 CA Waterfowl Association, Grant Kenyon Award, Legislator of the Year, Appreciation Award: Sikh Communities of Napa and Solano Counties and Fairfield- Suisun Unified School District.

An avid supporter of non-profits, Mr. Frazier was a Founder and Vice President of the Friends of Oakley Community Foundation from 2007 until 2013. A dedicated volunteer, Mr. Frazier served on the Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, a Board of Director member for Impact Teen Drivers and dearest to his heart, he has been a volunteer with Special Olympics since 2005.”

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Tri Delta Transit CEO named Small Operators Transit Professional of the Year

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Jeanne Krieg shares a laugh with Rachel Ede, Chair of the CTA Small Operations Committee, while receiving the award on Nov. 3, 2021. Source: Tri Delta Transit

Jeanne Krieg honored by the California Transit Association

By Leeann Loroño, Manager of Customer Service and Marketing, Tri Delta Transit

ANTIOCH, CA, Tri Delta Transit’s CEO, Jeanne Krieg, was honored to receive California Transit Association’s (CTA) distinguished award Small Operators Committee Transit Professional of the Year 2021. She was honored on Nov. 3 during an awards breakfast at the CTA’s 56th Annual Fall Conference & Expo in Sacramento.

The CTA has 52 Small Operator members throughout the state which each operate fewer than 100 buses. The organization gives the award to an outstanding individual who has provided strong leadership and vision to a California transit agency or made a notable contribution that benefits public transit in general.

Krieg has done both of those. She has served as CEO of the agency for 26 of its 44-year history. Krieg has met every challenge the agency has faced, while continuing to grow the organization through innovation that focuses on meeting the transportation needs of Eastern Contra Costa County. Under her leadership, Tri Delta Transit is often first adaptors for programs such as “green business” certifications, Mobility on Demand, real time route applications, mobile ticketing apps, free Wi-Fi, Tri Delta Watch hazard reporting, electric buses, and (soon) hydrogen fueling stations and buses.

“What makes our CEO such a strong leader is not only her passion for the industry and vision for innovation, but also her focus on providing ultimate customer service for our riders,” says Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Board of Directors Chair Ken Grey. “In addition, she takes as much care of the staff as she does the riders, with an open-door policy, benefits and morale programs, as well as providing training support and personal touches that result in very low turnover.”

Krieg encourages sharing of resources and information, which she does herself by serving on the CTA Executive Committee, for which she served as Chair from 2002 to 2004, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) executive committee, and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Oversight and Project Selection Committee, not to mention being active on many sub-committees. Her many contributions to the transit industry over her 30-year career have benefitted many other agencies and the industry as a whole.

“I was surprised and honored to receive this award,” Krieg said. “The award really belongs to the board of directors and staff for making Tri Delta Transit such a great organization.”

The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, doing business as Tri Delta Transit, is a joint powers agency of the governments of Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, Brentwood, and Contra Costa County that provides over 2,500,000 trips each year to a population of over 315,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They currently operate 15 local bus routes Monday through Friday, four local bus routes on weekends, on-demand ride share service Tri MyRide, and door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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Antioch’s Markstein Sales Company president Laura Markstein honored for work on “Distributors Against Human Trafficking Initiative”

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Laura Markstein (center) is honored with the Public Affairs Award at the 84th Annual National Beer Wholesalers Association Convention Oct. 3-6, 2021 and joined by (L-R) NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser, Markstein General Manager Jennifer Grant, Markstein Director of Operations Tom Roberts, and new NBWA Chairman of the Board Peter Heimark. Photo: Markstein Sales Company

The company has worked relentlessly both locally and nationally to combat human trafficking with programs and promotions aimed at stopping this heinous crime

Markstein Sales Company, the largest woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor in Northern California, announced that its president, Laura Markstein, has been awarded the esteemed Public Affairs Award by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) for her company’s work helping to end human trafficking in the United States. This award, given to one individual per year, if given at all, was announced at the NBWA 84th Annual Convention earlier this month. As a long-time supporter and sponsor of the local New Day for Children organization that provides funding to help American children who have been recovered from sex trafficking, Markstein took her efforts to a national level during 2021 when her company joined the NBWA’s Distributors Against Human Trafficking Initiative.

As part of its effortsMarkstein installed signage on all of its 75 vehicles that are typically on the roads of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties 14 hours per day, six days per week. The goal of these signs was to raise awareness locally and to provide easy access to hotline information for people that suspect, or know of, human trafficking cases. Markstein also provided personalized training, leveraged from both NBWA and New Day for Children, for all truck drivers and merchandisers so they know what to look out for on their daily routes and in the businesses they serve. Complementing these efforts, Markstein also regularly appealed to other companies around the country to join in the fight to end human trafficking. (See related article)

Owner Laura Markstein places a sign on one of the company’s trucks. Herald file photo.

“Once we learned that our beer and beverage drivers had a unique visibility to many of the prime locations where traffickers often exploit victims, we wanted to leverage our position and do all we could to help fight this tragedy,” said Laura Markstein, CEO of Markstein Sales Company. “While we are proud of the work we have done to help this cause, this is a growing problem in our country and it needs every company and American citizen to do their part to help – whether that be company sponsored programs or simply a watchful eye in someone’s everyday life. These efforts make a tangible difference and we can all do our part to help.”

Human trafficking is a growing problem in the U.S., with more than 11,500 human trafficking cases reported in 2019 alone. California has consistently had the highest human trafficking rates in the United States with 1,507 cases reported in 2019.

“We chose Laura for this award because her company exemplifies what every beer and beverage distributor in the U.S. could be doing to help stop human trafficking,” said Craig Purser, President and CEO of NBWA. “If every member in every state across the country also contributes their part to help spot human trafficking while on their daily routes, we can make significant progress towards ending this criminal activity.”

The NBWA Initiative

In 2020, the National Beer Wholesalers Association launched Distributors Against Human Trafficking, to help combat human trafficking in the United States. Working alongside state attorneys general, NBWA created an awareness training video to help more than 140,000 beer distribution employees in the U.S. recognize and report signs of human trafficking. To date, NBWA has successfully trained nearly 24,000 beer distributors from 207 companies, surpassing its initial goal to train 10,000 distributors by the end of 2021. Beer distributors are uniquely positioned to help fight this heinous crime given their level of access to locations often unseen by the public as they visit around 600,000 licensed retail locations across the country.

About Markstein Sales Company

Markstein Sales Company is a fourth-generation, woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor based in Antioch, Calif. Founded in 1919 with just a horse, a wagon and six cases of beer, Markstein is now in its 102nd year and distributing over four million cases annually to 2000 retailers in the Bay Area. The company’s portfolio is composed of multiple world-class beers including the Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands family of beers, several high-quality craft beers and many others, as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Markstein is known for outstanding customer service, dedication to their employees and commitment to the community. The company continues to rank as best in class by retailers and is one of the top ten largest Woman Owned Businesses in the Bay Area. More information can be found at https://www.marksteinsalescompany.com

 

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