Category: Important News

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.

Nigeria Seminars

One of Trepmaker’s ongoing projects are seminars we hold in Nigeria Africa. To date Trepmaker has taught over 10,000 college level Nigerians about starting a business. In a country where there is 80% unemployment, this is a vital tool in its economic future. Below are some articles related to Nigeria.


John facing a crowd of 600 future Treps.
John facing a crowd of 600 future Treps.

During the ECWA Theological Seminary in Kagoro, Nigeria on December 2016, the group decided to form an Entrepreneur Club that would meet frequently to discuss ways to grow a business. It was also agreed that a website would be a good venue to seek feedback and engage business owners to share their experiences. Before we move on to a more sophisticated site, we want to make sure that there is enough interest. This page is created to serve this very purpose.



The Trepmaker team composed of John Frykenberg, Sarah Philips and Raoul Pascual went to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria and held an Entrepreneur Project for 4 days. About 1,029 students filled the stadium and listened to steps on “How to Make a Job.”

The Vice Chancellor of the university made a formal welcome the Trep team.
The Vice Chancellor of the university made a formal welcome to the Trep team.

We thank all of our sponsors: The Rotary Foundation; Rotary Club of Altadena, Dist. 5300, USA; Rotary Club of Skovde-Billingen, Dist 2380, Sweden; Rotary Club if Sagamu-Central, Dist 9110. Also the International Foundation for Entrepreneuerial Education Training who is our cooperating organization. And of course we thank our host Olabisi Onabanjo University for their wholehearted support and generosity.


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Sarah’s Big Night

On September 17, 2016, our very own Sarah Philips was honored at the 6th Annual Fiesta sponsored by “Life and Times Media” at the Carson City Convention Center.

Congratulations Sarah!

If you have a Facebook account, you can watch a video of the wonderful evening:

Below is the letter Sarah received:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of LIFE AND TIMES MEDIA GROUP, I am happy to inform you that you have been selected as a recipient of our 2016 “Educational Excellence Award”. This honor, given annually to a distinguished Educationist in our Community, will be given to you at the Life and Times 6th Annual Fiesta which will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Carson Civic Center, 801 East Carson Street, Carson, CA 90745 beginning at 6 p.m.

The Board considered your outstanding achievements in over 20 years as an Educator, Administrator, Mentor and Community Leader. The board also considered the exceptional role you have played with the Rotary International (Altadena) in teaching basic ‘entrepreneurial education’ essentials in the midst of overwhelming poverty in Nigeria and your role as a licensed social worker in San Bernardino County CA. Former recipients of Life and Times Awards include Former Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Professor Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s former Foreign Minister and currently Nigeria’s UN Ambassador, Former Mayor Jim Dear of Carson California, and Late Ambassador Ade Adefuye, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Julius Kpaduwa, Dr. Iheanachor Emeruwa etc.

Life and Times Media Group was founded in 2010 with the aim of celebrating the achievements of hard working Africans at home and in the Diaspora and dispelling the negative stereotypes that we have been associated with in the Western media. Today our magazine and online newspaper has over 34,000 paid subscribers and our free online editions are read by over 1.2 million people worldwide. We also provide public relations services and special publications to a wide range of large organizations in the United States and Africa. Our Annual Fiesta is a forum to celebrate achievers and trail blazers within our community in both community services and professional callings. The Fiesta also showcases our emerging talents in fashion design, music and the arts.

Kindly confirm your willingness to be at the event to accept the Award by August 15, 2016. You and a guest will receive complimentary VIP dinner passes to the event.

Please provide us with a one-page brief bio of yourself and digital picture in high resolution for publication in the magazine and in the event brochure on or before August 15, 2016. You may invite additional guests to support you. Additional guests (outside your two (2) complimentary tickets) will purchase dinner/event tickets for $60 per person or $600 for a table that sits 10 people. Friends, business associates and family can also purchase pages in the event brochure for $100 a page to congratulate you on this laudable achievement.

We look forward to your kind response and you joining us in Carson in September!

Thank you,

Chike Nweke

Life and Times Network Inc. Publishers of Life and Times Magazine • 7095 Hollywood Blvd. • #485 • Hollywood CA 90028

New Way to Look at Marketing

Original title:

Forget Your Ps; Mind the Four Ms of Marketing

It’s All About Merchandise, Market, Media and Message

By . Published in Advertising Age on .

Fifty-six years ago, E. Jerome McCarthy conceived the 4Ps of marketing: Product, price, place and promotion.

Today, product is still the starting point for most marketing programs but the other three Ps are not particular helpful. Price would seem to be part of product. And Place and Promotion are fuzzy concepts.

Instead of the 4Ps, a marketing mix for the 21st century might include the 4Ms: merchandise, market, media and message.

Step 1: Merchandise
In the five decades since McCarthy first proposed the 4Ps, the concept of marketing has broadened to include many other things besides products: Services, people, ideas, movements, organizations, cities, states, countries and countless other conceptual ideas. All of which could benefit from marketing thinking and execution.

Instead of product, perhaps a better term to describe the identity to be marketed is merchandise, which could include almost anything.

So the first step in any marketing program is to identify your merchandise in great detail. Its name, its price, its competition, its size, its weight, its position in consumers’ minds.

Step 2: Market
One of the major reasons to use a marketing-mix approach is the order of the steps. As most marketing people would agree, Step 1 is a thorough study of the product, service, person or conceptual idea to be marketed.

Step 2 is to identify the market to be conquered. Yet too many marketing people skip this and quickly move to Step 4: Message.

Earlier this year Automotive News and Advertising Age recently reported on the story behind Nissan’s new advertising efforts. Christian Meunier, the new U.S. sales chief, criticized the Nissan brand as “vague” despite billions of dollars spent on ads.

So he locked a group of 35 to 40 marketing and advertising professionals from four agencies in a room for about two weeks to generate new ideas.

The idea they developed? Commercials that show how Nissan cars and trucks can help consumers overcome everyday challenges ranging from potholes and bad weather to running late in dropping children off at school.

The new campaign is called “Take on,” but still includes Nissan’s slogan, “Innovation that excites.”

But what’s the market for Nissan vehicles? A brand that includes sedans, sports cars, SUVs, vans, minivans, trucks and commercial vehicles. And, of course, electric cars. That’s typical thinking: Moving from Step 1 to Step 4 without first figuring out what the Step (2) Market should be.

Marketing is like warfare. No military general would attack on all fronts. Rather the point of attack is crucial to an army’s long-term success. And so it is in marketing.

Quite often a company needs to change its product line in order to zero in on a specific market. Subaru dropped all two-wheel-drive vehicles in order to focus on four-wheel drive.

Why is Starbucks so successful? (With domestic sales of $16 billion last year, Starbucks is second only to McDonald’s in restaurant revenues.)

You might assume that Starbucks is winning the coffee wars with better coffee. But that’s only part of the answer. Starbucks focused on the high-end coffee market, with a price to match and an environment that enhanced the high-end idea.

“Fourbucks,” a derogatory nickname used by many customers and prospects, only reinforced the position of the brand at the high end of the market.

As long as there is competition in the marketplace, you can’t effectively appeal to everybody like Nissan is trying to do. That’s not marketing. Step 2: Market is absolutely critical. Pick a segment of the market to appeal to.

Step 3: Media
The next most-important decision to make is media. And if you are launching a new brand, your obvious choice is PR.

That’s exactly how Howard Schultz built the Starbucks brand. “It is difficult to launch a product through consumer advertising,” said Schultz, “because customers don’t really pay attention as they did in the past.”

In its first 10 years, Starbucks spent just $10 million (total) on advertising. And the company didn’t launch its first TV campaign until 26 years after its founding.

Many marketing managers believe a campaign should spread its advertising resources over a range of media. I think that’s wrong.

Every medium has its advantages and disadvantages. For maximum efficiency, I believe a marketing campaign should focus on the one medium that works best for its product or service.

Five years ago, the average marketing department spent 38% of its advertising budget on TV. Last year, the average marketing department spent exactly the same percentage on TV, 38%.

Is the trend to digital a good trend or not? It depends on the product. No one medium is best for every product or service.

TV is best for mass-market brands, especially brands that can use product demonstrations to differentiate their brands from competition.

Print is best for luxury brands like watches and jewelry.

Radio is best for brands with a strong verbal message, especially if that message can be expressed in rhyme or alliteration.

The Internet is best for brands that have news value. For example, brands that pioneer new categories. Furthermore, brands launched on the Internet do best with video campaigns, not just type messages.

Step 4: Message
The marketing mix ends with the selection of the message. Hopefully, a singular idea expressed in one medium with one target market.

How often does that happen? Not very often. For four reasons.

Merchandise is a mixture of many products and services. Take the four leading automobile brands: Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda. They all make virtually all types of vehicles.

Market. When you make everything under one brand name, you have no target market to appeal to. You have to appeal to everybody.

Media. A broad line of products designed for everybody doesn’t lend itself to any specific medium. To cover a wide range of products requires a wide range of media. That’s woefully inefficient.

Message. No wonder the slogans of the four largest automobile brands are nothing but mush.

  • Ford: “Go further.”
  • Chevrolet: “Find new roads.”
  • Toyota: “Let’s go places.”
  • Honda: “The power of dreams.”

Last year, these four brands spent a total of $2.4 billion on advertising. Perhaps these four brands could use a little marketing-mix thinking.