January 2013

Feb. 26th, 12-1pm

Presented by Rick Robins & Jed Biagi, Main Street Forum NC



Like most communities throughout the U.S., Nevada County faces economic challenges that are impacting our businesses and each of us individually. A public bank addresses these challenges by:

  • Investing public funds locally
  • Keeping credit flowing & supporting local businesses and community banks
  • Providing a vehicle to stop foreclosures
  • Increasing county revenues

Main Street Forum NC will present the ins and outs of public banking and how a Nevada County public bank can benefit each of us at the local level.

This event is open to the community, attendance is by donation. Register here.

Four sessions, beginning Feb. 19th

Set yourself or business apart from the crowd and master the skill of video production to add revenue to your business.  Three-time Emmy-nominated videographer, Doug Bertran, teaches you how to put the spotlight on your business and secure your share of the massive online marketplace.

The course will cover:

  • Planning and pre-production
  • Video production
  • Post-production
  • Uploading to various sites
  • Pros and cons of each

You can’t afford to miss this course… if they’re not watching your video – they’re watching someone else’s!

Class meets Feb. 19, 21, 26 & 28, from 6-7:30pm

Cost: $224

Register here.

Doug Bertran is Creative Executive of BertranMedia. His work in international television has been viewed by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. BertranMedia adds its award-winning broadcast expertise to local, national, and international media campaigns.


Excel for Event Coordinators

Feb. 7th, 9-11am

Presented by Mike Freedman, Right-Click.Biz

Learn to use Excel as a simple and low cost database tool in this hands-on, interactive class.

Great for:

  • Event Coordinators
  • Mailing Lists
  • Sales Leads
  • Customer Service Tracking

Beginning & Intermediate skill levels

Students will become familiar and confident using Excel to build basic formatting for spreadsheets.

Menus and Navigation * File Management and Editing Tools * Data, Formulas and Formatting 8 Building Data-Specific Spreadsheets * Sorting Specific Details & Info * Extracting Data * Report Design * Formatting for Printing

Bring your computer and questions, and be prepared to excel at databased spreadsheets.

Members $27, Non-Members $30.

Click to register here.

You may also mail or bring a check to Sierra Commons for no additional registration fee.

Jan. 15th, 12-1:15pm

Blogging to Grow your Business

Presented by Erin Thiem, InnSide Nevada City Blogger

A blog is a comprehensive medium that provides detailed information about your business, services and products and Business Blogging is fast becoming a vital part of any online strategy. When utilized effectively, a blog can be a valuable asset for your company. Erin will give you some tips and ideas for launching your own (free) blogging site so you can increase your community presence and customer base.

If you haven't visited Erin's fabulous blog, check it out!

There is no charge to attend, but we appreciate your donation so we can continue providing these public educational events. Please RSVP here.


Wednesday, Feb. 13th, 6-8pm

Applied Cryptography, with Martin Kosina

Today's computer security is based on years of complex mathematical research; however, strong ciphers themselves are not sufficient to protect information and – when applied naively –  can actually result in more damage due to misplaced expectations.  In this talk, we will explore how basic building blocks of digital cryptography are combined into digital equivalents of age-old trust mechanisms such as signatures, certificates, and secure envelopes. The oft-confused concepts of authentication vs. authorization, privacy, and non-repudiation will also be discussed. Hackers and security experts alike understand most attacks occur at this level, exploiting loose ends in general reasoning, rather than cracking ciphers with supercomputers.

Martin Kosina is a software engineer who has been working with distributed systems, industrial automation, and transaction processing for almost 20 years. His recent work at GridNet focuses on applying industry-standard encryption techniques to secure field provisioning of smart grid devices, as well as general scalability issues encountered in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments.

Attendance is by donation, public welcome.

Please RSVP here.

Tech Talks take place at Sierra Commons second Wednesday of every month, 6-8pm

This monthly series, moderated by Erika Kosina, was created to inspire the Nevada County technology community and act as a catalyst for collaboration. Informal networking takes place at 6pm, followed by lecture at 7pm (with an incentive for early arrival).

We are pleased to announce that Sierra Commons has officially started business at our new location. 

792 Searls Ave, Nevada City, CA 95959


Today was our first official day open and it sure was exciting.  Even with boxes, computers, desks, and miscellaneous office equipment strewn haphazardly throughout the building, we managed to get some solid work in.  Nick Santos was first in, getting his computer set up and ready for his conference call.  Nick had a moment to read the front page Union article about his company Environmental Consumer.

Brian Gillings came by for his first mentoring session with a local startup.  Writers Vanessa Richardson and Ron Metz sharpened their pencils, fired up the Internet and began wordsmithing.   Abe Miessler got his .NET on and Samantha Hinrichs –PR maven and owner of Mud and Pearls promoted the upcoming Wild and Scenic Film Festival

At this point, the conference room is in need of some TLC.  But it will be ready this Thursday for two sessions of Free Yourself to Write, with Jan Fishler.  The by-donation workshops are targeted toward people who want to write, but don’t know where to start.  For more info on the workshops please email or call Jan at www.janfishler.com  or 530-265-5105.

Sierra Commons would like to give a big thanks to all of the people who helped us move and made our dream of a new home a reality.  Without you, Sierra Commons would not be here.