Trepmaker Chairman, Ray Carlson Honored by Rotary International District 5300

Trepmaker’s very own Ray Carlson was presented with this Certificate of Appreciation by Rotary International  District 5300. Here is how Ray put it in his own words:

“What I have been doing this Rotary year, and actually for 27 years, resulted in this nice award. And at age 87 I was asked to continue what I started in Rotary – Job Creation & Entrepreneurship.”


Here is an excerpt of Ray’s letter to his family after the announcement:

As I relax in my living room chair, listening to classical music on the radio, and reflect on the last 3 days of the Rotary conference, there were many things I had hoped for that did not materialize.
But my mind creates so many objectives that I simply must ask God to make happen what I am capable of achieving with His help.
* * * *
The world isn’t through with you Ray. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to create jobs and as long you are living and breathing, we know you will be spreading your gospel of entrepreneurship. Thank you for all that you do.
— Raoul

Rose City High School Wins Rotary Business Plan Competition

Pasadena Unified School District announced this news in the website on Friday, May 19, 2017.


Pasadena, CA – Rose City High School student Hunter Smith won first place in the 2017 Rotary Business Plan Competition hosted by Rotary International District 5300 on May 4, 2017. He was among students from the Pasadena, Arcadia, and San Marino who presented their business plans before a panel of judges after competing at their local Rotary clubs. Hunter is part of the Career Exploration Options Academy, which serves students at two alternative education sites in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).
Hunter won first place with his business plan for Ralleon Custom Built, a custom computer building and repair business. As part of his presentation that included a financial plan and market analysis, he displayed a computer that he built himself, complete with LED lights and a state-of-the-art water-cooled system.

Rose City High School Principal Brian Stanley said, “I am truly proud of each student who accepted the challenge and competed in this event, and of the staff who helped prepare them. Hunter’s first place victory is a testament to his creativity and hard work, and to the dedication and expertise of school staff who worked closely with him to prepare for high-level competition. Hunter’s experience in the business plan competition is invaluable as he pursues his dream to run a successful custom computer company.”

The panel of judges rated student plans on viability and attention to detail on financial plans.

Hunter said, “I was so glad I spent the extra time preparing the market analysis for this round of competition. I was able to answer questions on the spot about things I didn’t know until I worked on this project.”

Photo: Rose City High School student Hunter Smith with Ray Carlson (right) of Rotary District 5300

To learn more about this project, please contact
Michael Slominski, Work-Based Learning Coordinator
351 S. Hudson Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101
Office: 626.396.5620

About The Business Plan Competition
For more information, please visit
Or contact  C. Ray Carlson, Chair, District Vocational Service,

About Rose City High School CEO Academy
The Career Exploration Options Academy (CEO) serves students at two alternative education sites in the Pasadena Unified School District. The Health Academy is hosted at the Center for
Independent Studies, while the Building and Design Academy is hosted at Rose City High School. The Building and Design Academy offers a construction trades curriculum, a graphic and web design curriculum, and a business curriculum. The school engages in project-based learning and all students are required to take career preparation courses. The CEO Academy is a member of the NAF National Academy Foundation Program that emphasizes career readiness through integrated curriculum, work based learning, advisory board support, and program structure and development. For more information, please visit

Stay connected to the Pasadena Unified School District!  Download the Pasadena USD mobile app at Visit us online at; follow us on Twitter @PasadenaUnified; like us on Facebook at; subscribe to PUSD Today! at; subscribe to our YouTube channel at Or call the Communications Office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (626) 396-3606.

Documentary: Love Between the Covers

Writing Romance Novels is a very specific kind of entrepreneurship.

Love it or hate it, make fun of it or respect it …  it’s a billion dollar industry. This film “Love Between the Covers” reveals the world of female authors with their throng of female fans. Many of the successful writers held two jobs before they decided to write full time. It also covers the creative process — the writing, the brainstorming, the perspective from the editors, the adjustment to new technology like self-publishing and preparing the covers.

If you love to read and love to write, and want to share your stories to the rest of womankind, then consider this literary expression.

Documentary: Silicon Cowboys

Silicon Cowboys is the story of Compaq computers. Three men banded together to form a company. They didn’t really know what it was going to be about. They just had that Trep blood in them to build something. One of their early concept was to start a Mexican Restaurant. And then they thought about transportable desktop computers. With a sketch of what it would look like that was drawn at the back of a restaurant menu, they got an interested investor and that started it all.

We always hear about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs but not as much about the hardware people. These 3 men and their idea set their eyes on building compatible computers to the almighty IBM giant.

The story covers a decade of the wild west of computer history. It’s a behind-the-scenes travelogue of the different players — not only of the PC hardware but also of Intel who developed the RAM chips which evolved to challenge software makers to more powerful programs.

It also talks about the takeover from the founders — an inevitable stage of many growing businesses where managing more people goes beyond the original founder’s training.

Like most Treps, they weren’t out to get rich. They weren’t out to destroy IBM. They were out to build something better and have fun in the process.

Watch it in Netflix or any other video outlet.

Documentary: Capital C

Interested in Crowd Funding? Capital C (available in Netflix) is a good place to start understanding about the nuances of this source of funding.

Treps need money to build their business. Through the magic of the internet, Trep ideas get matched with small and big time investors. You can google “crowd funding” and you can find several websites that act as a venue for the two to meet. is perhaps the most popular one.

What do investors get in return? Are they treated as stock holders? Is this a grant? The KickStarter website says this:

Backers that support a project on Kickstarter get an inside look at the creative process, and help that project come to life. They also get to choose from a variety of unique rewards offered by the project creator. Rewards vary from project to project, but often include a copy of what is being produced (CD, DVD, book, etc.) or an experience unique to the project.

Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans.

Kickstarter gets paid 5% of the funds collected (plus 3-5% processing fees) but ONLY IF the Trep gathers enough $ to meet his/her goal.

The documentary follows Treps who talk about their experience. It’s interesting to see how similar-minded interests help each other make their hopes and dreams a reality. Within 35 days Treps need to get funding or all the investment $ disappear. It shows how bigger companies can take advantage and run with someone else’s idea because Startups don’t have enough funding to garner copyrights. They go to China to build cheaper copycat items and kill American ingenuity.

Put this in your WATCH list.