Besides being a World Famous vacation destination, the Coachella Valley is also a diverse community of year round residents who call the desert home. The Palm Springs Local Local Scoop page is dedicated to highlighting community stories and the people who make the Coachella Valley the unique area that it is.
By Denise Ortuno Neil
Do you believe in Magic? Well, after watching Magician Vic Velazquez perform, you just might. The Magican and will be preforming his Magic starting this Thursday, April 13th from 6pm to 10pm at the Village Fest in Palm Springs.
Velazquez is brand new to the Coachella Valley, just recently moving to the desert from Wisconsin, in pursuit of a career in the film industry. He traveled the distance to Southern California, deciding to anchor in our beautiful desert as he already had a family member residing here, making it a convenient spot as it is close to Hollywood.
The young new comer to the desert is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, with a B.A. degree, majoring in Radio/T.V./Film. His goal is to work on a sitcom, whether it be in front of or behind the scenes, he is open to a variety of capacities.
But long before he entered college, or moved to California, it was Magic that sparked his interest, and still does. It was at the open mined age of 8, when Velazquez first began to perform his Magic. He had learned a trick from a rented video, the “Pull the Rope from the Body” trick. After performing the trick for his sister, who was visibly impressed and a bit shaken from it, he knew he carried the ability to convincingly baffle with his sleight of hand.
Velazquez has been delighting audiences ever since his introductory performance. With over 17 years of experience behind him, he continues to find immense satisfaction in performing Magic. He explains how at first he did it just for fun, but then he realized how it was making people genuinely happy and sparking their sense of wonder, “I love showing people that what looks impossible, is possible…that anything in life is possible”, said Velazquez.
He has performed at a variety of events, from birthday parties, to private parties and corporate events. He even produced, wrote and performed in his own 4 episode Magic Show that aired locally in Wisconsin. His style of Magic lends to the art of Street Magic, where the magician stuns audience’s with up close and personal tricks. There are no flashy props, and no woman will be sawed in half in Velazquez’s show.
When asked who his inspirations are, he was quick to mention the legendary Harry Houdini, and Gregory Wilson, who is known well in the world of Magic.
You can catch Velazquez performing his Magic for free (gratuities are appreciated) at the Village Fest in downtown Palm Springs starting Thursday, April 13th from 6pm to 10pm. His exact location at the popular street fair is TBD…but like he jokingly says, “If you can’t’ find me at first, it just means that I’m performing my invisible man act….just keep looking”.
By Denise Ortuno Neil
Whole Foods Palm Desert will help kick off the weekends of Coachella Fest with their Pre-Fest Beer Garden on Thursday, April 13th and again on Thursday, April 20th. The event will get the music fest party started with fabulous beer, food and music, all benefiting one of our community’s most important organizations, FIND Food Bank.
Since opening in 2014, Whole Foods Palm Desert has been a welcomed addition to the Coachella Valley specialty market scene, providing the valley with the best in healthy food options. This year’s Pre-Fest Beer Garden, will mark the stores first entry into taking part in Coachella Fest fun. The idea was sparked by venue Supervisor, Buzz English and Stone Brewery Rep, Damaris Rojas, who were thinking of ways for the high profile store to get involved with festival events, while engaging and helping the community. The idea was quickly supported by Store Team Leader, Nathan Bulicek and will be enthusiastically executed by Marketing & Community Relations Team Leader, Christy Jeziorski, who has a background in event production, “I appreciate the crew entrusting me with this responsibility, it definitely gives me life to create experiences for others to enjoy” said Jeziorski.
The decision to incorporate FIND Food Bank as the benefiting charity was a natural one, as Whole Foods Palm Desert has been working with them since the store opened. FIND Food Bank is the only food bank of its kind in the Coachella Valley, helping to fight hunger and food insecurity.
The Pre-Fest Beer Garden will be located in their outdoor patio area from 12pm to 6pm, and will welcome festival goers, locals and visitors alike. Beer garden guests will be able to enjoy a variety of beer, food and music in an inviting, casual setting.
Event vendors include, Pizza Port, Mother Earth, Avery Brewing, Modern Times, Oskar Blues, Stone Brewing, Hangar 24, La Quinta Brewing, Firestone Walker, Conscious Kombucha and many more!
The music lineup in equally impressive with The BrosQuitos, Lance Riebsomer (Black Water Gospel) and DJ Journee (Stronghold Reggae) performing on April 13th, and DJ Alex Updike and Cesar Flores (Ocho Ojos) performing April 20th.
A donation of only $0.25 to FIND Food Bank is all that is needed to get in, of course guests can donate more if they wish. ID’s will be checked and wristbands given to those who wish to sample beer. Additional food and beverages may be purchased from Whole Foods Tap In Taproom, store, or “groceraunt” to be consumed in the Beer Garden. No outside food or beverage is allowed.
The Whole Foods Palm Desert Pre-Fest Beer Garden is a great way to get the music fest party started with fantastic beer, food and music, while supporting FIND Food Bank, one of our community’s most important organizations.
Whole Foods Palm Desert is located at 44-459 Town Center Way, Palm Desert
For more information visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com
By Denise Ortuno Neil
Most of have either heard about, been involved with, or been asked to join a multi-level network marketing organization. For some people it works, and for some it doesn’t. But for one local Coachella Valley resident, the concept has not only worked, but has changed her life.
There are many different kinds of network marketing systems out there, promoting a variety of products. The premise is that sales are procured by “Ambassadors” of the product and then they get others to sell the product also, getting commissions by what the people recruited by them sell, and so on, and so on. It can be a very lucrative business for people who put forth the effort to make it happen. That is exactly what Kelly Garcia did with Plexus. She is no only benefitting from the product financially, but more importantly, she says it has benefitted her health extensively.
Kelly Garcia is like most of us who live a hectic life. The mother of six kids, also maintains a full time job, while doing everything else in between. As Garcia explains, she was rundown and exhausted. Her energy level was extremely low, and she had struggled with weight issues in the past and was pre-diabetic. That all changed when she saw a friend of hers post on Facebook about how she was feeling better than ever and had loads of energy. Garcia was intrigued.
Her friend told her that she had been taking Plexus, and that it had not only given her energy, but had helped her with hormone balance and even helped her sleep better. Garcia was sold, as the product that her friend described was everything that she needed. She went ahead and ordered the product through her friend. Within two weeks, she had loads of energy and had lost 12 pounds. Confused, she contacted her friend and asked if weight loss was a normal side effect to the product. Her friend revealed that not only was it a side effect, but actually one of the main purposes of the product. Garcia was floored.
She was completely excited! Not only was the product giving her more energy, but it was also allowing her to lose weight without altering her diet. She continued to use Plexus and noticed that her friends were commenting on how great she looked. One of her friends was skeptical about the Plexus, and in a state of concern for Garcia, researched the product. She found that it is based in natural ingredients, without extreme stimulates such as caffeine. Her friend decided that she would start taking the product too, and ordered it from Garcia. Garcia admits that in the midst of her excitement about trying the product in the first place, she had overlooked the fact that she had become an “Ambassador” (clients can purchase Plexus without being one). So when her friend ordered the product from her, Garcia was paid a percentage. Again, she was floored, “I can make money from this awesome product too?” she recounts saying.
As many of us do on social media every day, Garcia had been network marketing for years, suggesting services and promoting products that she used and liked. The difference with doing it with Plexus was that she was actually going to get paid for her suggestions. It was all coming together for her.
Plexus was founded in 2006, with a Breast Chek Kit and Breast Cream (Plexus Body Cream) to assist women detect lumps in their breasts. Soon after, they developed the now famous, Pink Drink (Plexus Slim), formulated to help Type 2 diabetes patients balance their blood sugar levels. Clinical research proved that not only did the Pink Drink aid in lowering patients’ blood sugar levels, but also promoted weight loss, lowered cholesterol, reduced inflammation and sugar addiction, and helped to control their appetites.
Since 2009, Plexus Worldwide has gained enormous momentum, and has introduced their weight loss products and supplements to rave reviews. Their network marketing business has launched them into being one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. (2014, Inc.500 magazine).
Their product line consists of 16 products, 2 of which are weight loss specific. The others focus on gut health (pro-biotics), lowering blood sugar and wellness. The products are all natural, GMO free, and eco-friendly. The company is so confident in their products that they offer a 60 day money back guarantee. As with most health supplements, Plexus products are not FDA approved, and people who are interested in starting a weight loss or health supplement regimen should ALWAYS check with their doctors first to see if it is right and safe for them.
For Garcia, the Plexus has been a great fit and has changed her life. In the 2 years that she has been taking the product she has lost an impressive 93 pounds, is experiencing balanced hormone levels, increased energy and is no longer considered pre-diabetic, “My health is incredible” says Garcia.
The fact that Plexus also has provided Garcia with additional income is an added bonus, something that she is grateful for. It is her pleasure to tell people about the product that has turned her life around, “I’m known as the crazy Plexus lady” she jokes. But joking aside, Garcia is elated when she hears how the product has helped the people she has suggested it to, “I get goosebumps” she says.
The Plexus program is perfect for Garcia’s busy schedule, and suits her lifestyle. But again, not everyone who purchases the product need enter into the network marketing program. However, those who do seem to gain supplemental income like Garcia, who now has 170 people on her team. The income potential is directly related to the effort that is put in. Average income for Gold Range Ambassadors goes from $12,000 to $20,000 a year, and goes up from there. Not bad for a part-time gig.
Garcia’s goal is to get to a strong leadership positon in the company, which she is 4 tiers away from. That would enable her to only do Plexus, no longer having to keep a job outside of her home.
There will always be those who are skeptical about not only network marketing, but weight loss product as well. But for Garcia, both have had a positive and life changing effect on her by being part of Plexus. When it comes down to it, the choice is always up to you to decide for yourself.
To learn more or to purchase Plexus from Kelly Garcia visit www.pinkdesertplexus.com
By Denise Ortuno Neil
There is one thing that is indicative of doing business in the Coachella Valley, like most places, you have to get your name out there. But out here in the desert, it’s even more so since we are a tight knit community. The best way to do that, is to network. Local real estate expert GP Gerber, knows this all too well and defines himself as the “Networking Guy”. Gerber has worn many business hats, always moving forward with a positive and direct approach in all that he does.
Originally from Aspen Colorado, Gerber was a ski instructor for 20 years, and entered the field of real estate in 1981 specializing in property managment. In the mid 90's, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where he was a managing partner of a successful real estate website development business that tapered off after 911. Gerber then moved to Palm Springs in 2002 to care for his mother. In 2003, he started BizNetworx, a business center in downtown Palm Springs and in the same year married his lovely wife Michelle, owner of Salon 119 in Palm Springs. He soon got back into real estate sales and worked for prominent real estate companies including Hughs Properties and Realty Executives.
Gerber ventured into high end vacation rentals with his business G8 Estates in 2010. In 2012 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and took some time off to care for his health, but returned full force at Capitis Real Estate Services & Development, where he remains today.
On Gerber’s downtime he enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf, titling himself a “Consummate boggy golfer”. He is also community focused contributing highly as a Rotarian, and at Temple Isiah. He is constantly on the move and can be frequently seen at local Chamber Mixers. He is fervently dedicated to working with children through the Interact Rotary Club, which mentors kids from 12-18 with leadership roles, “That’s what makes me happiest, working with kids”, says Gerber.
Gerber’s background in real estate and his dedication to networking insures his clients that he is up to the task of getting the goal obtained whether they be a buyer or a seller, vacation seeker or full-time resident. He is a true renaissance man, always making himself better, and moving forward with a delightful optimistic outlook and pursuit to all that he does.
For more information about GP Gerber, visit www.gerber4re.com