Who Is a Groundbreaker?

An innovator, a pioneer, a person with an original idea
that makes change, growth and improvements happen in the world.

As Californians, we're used to the ground moving and shaking beneath our feet. We're also used to groundbreaking innovation happening all over the state. And as the capital of California, Sacramento is ground zero for a lot of that innovation, giving it a bounty of new and vibrant ideas, residents and places. Credit all that to a mix and a multitude of Groundbreakers -- inspiring people who are setting trends, starting movements, creating events and trying to improve things locally, regionally and statewide.

We’ve created a regular “gathering place” -- events rotating through Sacramento’s most interesting and lively places -- for California Groundbreakers to talk about what they’re doing, and for people to get enthused, inspired to help, and ready to turn their own idea into reality.

 

Meet the people behind California Groundbreakers

Vanessa Richardson During the day,  I'm a a business writer and editor for publications like Entrepreneur, Money and the Sacramento Business Journal, and for companies like First Republic Bank, Intuit and Wells Fargo.  I grew up in Sacramento, and after high school, I left to see the world and thought I'd never return. Then I heard how Sacramento was changing and buzzing with a new vibrancy. After a visit to see if it was true, I moved back in Spring 2015, and like most new and returning residents, I'm happy with my decision. While living in San Francisco, I headed up programming and eventsfor the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, specifically forINFORUM, the division devoted tor members in their 20s and 30s.  I got everyone from Spike Lee to King Abdullah of Jordan to come to town, sit down in a chair and talk about their projects and themselves. I think there are plenty of people in Sacramento who would like to have stimulating conversations along with their craft beers and cocktails. And I think it's high time for Sacramento to host these conversations with Groundbreakers doing great things in town, the Capitol Region and statewide.

Vanessa Richardson

During the day,  I'm a a business writer and editor for publications like Entrepreneur, Money and the Sacramento Business Journal, and for companies like First Republic Bank, Intuit and Wells Fargo. 

I grew up in Sacramento, and after high school, I left to see the world and thought I'd never return. Then I heard how Sacramento was changing and buzzing with a new vibrancy. After a visit to see if it was true, I moved back in Spring 2015, and like most new and returning residents, I'm happy with my decision.

While living in San Francisco, I headed up programming and eventsfor the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, specifically forINFORUM, the division devoted tor members in their 20s and 30s.  I got everyone from Spike Lee to King Abdullah of Jordan to come to town, sit down in a chair and talk about their projects and themselves.

I think there are plenty of people in Sacramento who would like to have stimulating conversations along with their craft beers and cocktails. And I think it's high time for Sacramento to host these conversations with Groundbreakers doing great things in town, the Capitol Region and statewide.

Vanessa Richardson
Executive Director

Rich Beckermeyer Rich is a Sacramento-based photojournalist, and his clients include Ogilvy PR, KVIE and the Sacramento City Unified School District . His strategy: Telling stories one visual at a time. Rich’s latest project “Dementia / LaDemencia,” creating images of his grandfather , suifferng from Alzheimers and dementia, during the last six months of his life is as a method of both creating and remembering memories. Images of this project are at Hacker Lab and the Sierra Health Foundation.

Rich Beckermeyer

Rich is a Sacramento-based photojournalist, and his clients include Ogilvy PR, KVIE and the Sacramento City Unified School District . His strategy: Telling stories one visual at a time. Rich’s latest project “Dementia / LaDemencia,” creating images of his grandfather , suifferng from Alzheimers and dementia, during the last six months of his life is as a method of both creating and remembering memories. Images of this project are at Hacker Lab and the Sierra Health Foundation.

Rich Beckermeyer
Board Member

Scott Eggert As president of MKTNG, Scott Eggert is a seasoned digital communications leader, havingled digital and social media communications strategies at four marketing agencies, including the one he cofounded. His experience includes work with national companies in the luxury home products industry, tourism, agricultural and meat production, wineries, and financial institutions. As president and longtime board member of Social Media Club Sacramento, Scott serves as a catalyst to elevate the use of social media among individuals and businesses for professional growth.

Scott Eggert

As president of MKTNG, Scott Eggert is a seasoned digital communications leader, havingled digital and social media communications strategies at four marketing agencies, including the one he cofounded. His experience includes work with national companies in the luxury home products industry, tourism, agricultural and meat production, wineries, and financial institutions. As president and longtime board member of Social Media Club Sacramento, Scott serves as a catalyst to elevate the use of social media among individuals and businesses for professional growth.

Scott Eggert
Board Member

Nicole Grant Kriege Nicole is a consultant and content/events curator helping brands to inspire their audiences. While working for the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, she grew its young professionals division, INFORUM, from 500 to 2,500 members by hosting a compelling lineup of celebrity speakers and panel discussions. She played an early role at Yelp as a Community Manager, building SF's awareness of the brand, and helped found The Bold Italic, an online magazine celebrating all things SF. Nicole has worked with companies like Levi’s and Art.com, and consulted for IDEO, the legendary design firm. Her Commonwealth Club travels have taken her to China, Dubai, Russia, and Libya. You can find her at nicolegrantkriege.com

Nicole Grant Kriege

Nicole is a consultant and content/events curator helping brands to inspire their audiences. While working for the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, she grew its young professionals division, INFORUM, from 500 to 2,500 members by hosting a compelling lineup of celebrity speakers and panel discussions. She played an early role at Yelp as a Community Manager, building SF's awareness of the brand, and helped found The Bold Italic, an online magazine celebrating all things SF. Nicole has worked with companies like Levi’s and Art.com, and consulted for IDEO, the legendary design firm. Her Commonwealth Club travels have taken her to China, Dubai, Russia, and Libya. You can find her at nicolegrantkriege.com

Nicole Grant Kriege
Board Member

J-E Paino When he signed on as a board member, we asked J-E for a short bio. He gave us this: "Hop Grower w/ Ruhstaller Beer. Sacramentan since 2009. Occasional Pain-in-the-O. Generally a pretty nice guy . . . I don't like to talk much about himself." So we'll do it for him. J-E has been a CA Groundbreakers supporter from the start, donating kegs to our very first event when we emailed with a meek request last summer, without even knowing who we were. He has also been a big supporter of local arts organizations, including M5Arts, the Sacramento Ballet and the Red Museum. He learned how to brew beer, grow hops and build a prosperous business all from the ground up. His love for Sacramento and his passion to make it a better place mirrors ours. He has big goals for us, and we're excited that he's going to help us reach them.

J-E Paino

When he signed on as a board member, we asked J-E for a short bio. He gave us this: "Hop Grower w/ Ruhstaller Beer. Sacramentan since 2009. Occasional Pain-in-the-O. Generally a pretty nice guy . . . I don't like to talk much about himself." So we'll do it for him.

J-E has been a CA Groundbreakers supporter from the start, donating kegs to our very first event when we emailed with a meek request last summer, without even knowing who we were. He has also been a big supporter of local arts organizations, including M5Arts, the Sacramento Ballet and the Red Museum. He learned how to brew beer, grow hops and build a prosperous business all from the ground up. His love for Sacramento and his passion to make it a better place mirrors ours. He has big goals for us, and we're excited that he's going to help us reach them.

 

J-E Paino
Board Member