Business Buzz – November 2018


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Cindy Powell, Orinda Chamber of Commerce’s new executive director, and Roy Hodgkinson, outgoing Chamber president, are working together to promote a healthy business community in Orinda.

Cindy Powell Named Executive Director of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce
    Last month the Orinda Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors welcomed Cindy Powell as their new executive director. Powell replaces Sophie Braccini, who now works at UC Berkeley. No stranger to Orinda organizations, Powell is just finishing up her third year as co-president of The Orinda Association (OA) and will remain on that board in 2019.
    Roy Hodgkinson, outgoing chamber president says, “Cindy has been a member of the Chamber through The Orinda Association, with whom we share an office. After she spent two months providing interim executive director support, the board was delighted to name her as our executive director.” Hodgkinson’s three-year presidency is ending soon, but he will remain on the board not only to enable a smooth transition for the new co-presidents but also to continue many of his outreach activities. One such activity is SCORE, which provides free, unlimited counseling and resources for start-up business and improvement of existing businesses.
    Powell’s diverse volunteer experiences include time in all of her children’s schools; coaching baseball and soccer; being a “dresser” (and sometimes model) at the Orinda Woman’s Club’s annual Festival of Trees; and answering the phone three mornings a week for Seniors Around Town. In 2016, she was honored by the Orinda Juniors with a 25-year pin.
    This year her entry in the Lamorinda Arts Council’s Art of Mixology craft cocktail fundraiser was based on her famous mandarin marmalade. In some circles, she is known for pickling vegetables, earning the moniker “the Green Bean Queen.” Somehow, she also manages to play tennis for the Orinda Country Club. In the last three years as OA co-president, she established liaisons with many local groups including Rotary, Mayor’s meeting, Planning Dept., Parks & Rec. and Lafayette and Moraga Chambers of Commerce.
    The Orinda Chamber’s calendar of events during the year is prodigious, but Powell is up to the challenge. All of her abilities are now directed at providing vitality to the chamber through activities promoting intra-business opportunities in Lamorinda. Be sure to attend the themed monthly mixers she is scheduling. Her leadership combines business acumen, wit and the ability to anticipate local trends. This is sure to nurture the heart of our business community to be healthy and strong.
    Keep abreast of Chamber news, including monthly mixers, at To contact Powell, email or call 925-254-3909 to make an appointment to visit her at the Orinda Chamber of Commerce offices, 26 Orinda Way, across from Café Teatro in the Orinda Library Plaza.

Norm and Morgan Weiss of Computer Software & Hardware invite customers to visit them at their new location, One Orinda Way, Suite 4.

Norm and Morgan Weiss of Computer Software and Hardware Have Moved to One Orinda Way
    Norm Weiss has been fixing computers in Orinda for 30 years. He operated out of 43 Moraga Way for 27 of those years. Norm has a degree in physics and economics from UC Berkeley but says it’s his life credential as an elementary school teacher that allows him to explain technology situations so that people can understand them. His son Morgan, who joined the family business four years ago, has a degree in architecture from Arizona State. It’s the years of experience that brings customers back, according to Norm, who has relied on repeat business from satisfied customers and word of mouth to grow his business.
    He chose Orinda because he wanted to live and work in the same town so he could be there for Morgan as he was growing up. Now Morgan handles house calls for Computer Software and Hardware (CSH) among other duties. Customers come from a variety of backgrounds including people who work at UC Berkeley and St. Mary’s College. The following protocol is suggested before calling CSH for help:
    Identify your operating system – is it Windows or Mac?
    What version of Windows or Mac are you operating under?
    What exactly were you doing when the problem occurred? Were you on a website? What button did you press?
    Try turning your computer, laptop or tablet all the way off. Wait five minutes and turn it on again.
    If that doesn’t work, give us a call. If a house call is needed we travel to Oakland, Walnut Creek, Orinda, Lafayette and Moraga.

    Norm enjoys family time with his wife Karen, a preschool teacher, and their extended family. He is also a devoted poker player. He and his fellow fraternity buddies have played a weekly poker game every Thursday night for 50 years. “We call the player who has only been in the game 25 years ‘the new guy,’” quips Norm. He had a car in the Orinda Car Show and supports the Educational Foundation of Orinda and Friends of the Orinda Library. Morgan Weiss, his wife Anna and daughter Shira also live in Orinda. “Shira loves visiting parks so we spend a lot of family time outdoors exploring different parks in the area,” says Morgan.
    To explain how they prefer to do business Norm says, “We like to do things personally; we don’t want texts about problems. Give us a call or stop by.” Pricing at CSH is on a case by case basis. If Norm gives you a quote for four hours but it takes longer, he sticks to the original quote. If they cannot fix your problem, there is no charge and there is never a charge for a diagnosis. Look for occasional discount coupons in the Grapevine booklet sent through the
    Visit Norm and Morgan at One Orinda Way, Suite 4 (next to Living Lean) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or give them a call at 925-253-1978 to discuss your computer questions.

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