Category Archives: Uncategorized

Our April 17th speaker will be: Mayor Sam Abed

Sam Abed, Escondido’s Mayor, will be the guest
speaker for The Escondido Republican Club’s (TERC) monthly lunchtime meeting on Monday, April 17th. Among other topics, Mayor Abed will be sharing a video showing the City of Escondido’s most recent economic accomplishments.

1-SamAbed-smMayor Abed, who is fluent in 3 languages, enjoys
playing tennis in his ‘free’ time. He and his wife,
Mona, have lived in Escondido since 1987. They
have two daughters.

Before coming to Escondido, Mayor Abed
spent 12 years in a very successful career
with IBM worldwide from 1974 to 1987.
He was elected to Mayor in 2010 and 2014.
Previous to that, he was elected to Escondido’s
City Council in 2004 and 2010. Mayor Abed
is very active in many civic and community

Our March 2017 Speaker is Michael A. Schwartz


MichaelSchwartzMichael A. Schwartz is the founder and
Executive Director for San Diego
County Gun Owners PAC (SDCGO).

Mr. Schwartz has been involved in
political activism for 10 years including
campaigns at the local, state and federal level.
He has served on the Executive Board
of the San Diego County Republican Party
and the San Diego NRA Members Council.

Mr. Schwartz’s background is in financial
sales and services and he left that industry
to launch SDCGO after 16 years. When he
is not fighting to restore and protect gun rights,
he enjoys off-roading, travel, shooting and
spending lots of time with his wife of nine years,

Our February 2017 Speaker is – Brian Melonakos








Brian Melonakos                                                                                                    

Executive Adviser and former President and CEO, Shofu Dental Corp., San Marcos, CA. Career executive, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries, “Sentinel Doctor”, focused on Healthcare Reform. (Heritage Sentinels are the activist section of the influential Heritage Foundation).

Brian and his wife Kathleen have lived in Escondido since 2004 and are the parents of three daughters. Brian has been a Precinct Captain in 2016 and 2012 in Escondido and he and Kathleen recently became members of TERP, as well as a Chairman’s Circle members of San Diego Republicans. Brian has lobbied in Washington D.C. as a representative of the Dental Trade Association against the Medical Device Tax, and ran a meet-up group Healthcare Freedom, which opposed the passage of Obamacare.

The power point presentation for TERC will include the following points:

1.    Status of Repeal and what Repeal does and does not do

2.    Summary of Replacement Proposals from incoming HHS Secretary Tom Price, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Heritage Foundation

3.    Latest update on likelihood of final legislation and prospects for passage

4.    Recommended communications strategies for Republicans

Our January 2017 Speaker is – Edward Grangetto

Edward Grangetto – Co-Founder –
Escondido Growers for Agricultural Preservation (EGAP)

 EdwardGrangettoEdward Grangetto is a native of Escondido, who followed his father and grandfather into the field of Agriculture.  He has worked for Grangetto Farm and Garden Supply as a field representative since 1974.  He and his wife, Karen, also manage the family ranch where they grow Avocados, Lemons, and Wine Grapes.

Edward is a graduate of USIU and a Certified Crop Adviser and Licensed Pest Control Adviser for the State of California.

Edward is proudest of his achievements in the local realm of agriculture; co-founding (along with John Burr) Escondido Growers for Agricultural Preservation (EGAP) and advancing the new sustainable Agri Business Mode for local food paired with the “rural experience.” Edward resides in Escondido with his wife, Karen, and their dog, Kenya.

Our December 2016 Speaker Russ Knowles


Escondido Fire Chief Russ Knowles

 Russ Knowles joined the Escondido Fire Department as a Firefighter on February 4th, 1991.  In 1999 Russ attended Palomar College’s Paramedic School Program and obtained his certification as a Paramedic and worked as a Firefighter Paramedic for about three years.  He was promoted to Fire Captain on January 5th, 2002. While Russ was a fire Captain, he also served as President for the Firefighter’s Association. As President, Russ was involved with the Proposition “P” campaign in 2004. Proposition P, was a Public Facility Bond that was approved by the voters to provide approximately $84 million dollars to build Police Fire Headquarters, rebuild Fire Stations 1 & 3, and build two new fire stations 6 & 7.

Russ was promoted to Battalion Chief on February 24, 2008.  As Battalion Chief, Russ was responsible for “C” Division and Fire Department Facilities. Just enough time had passed since Prop P was approved, so that along with the managing the station facilities, Russ was the fire department’s liaison for the construction of fire stations 1, 3, 6 and 7.

Russ was promoted to the position of Division Chief in December of 2009 and Deputy Chief in September 2013.  As Deputy Chief, Russ served as the Fire Department Operations Chief.  As the Deputy Chief, Russ was responsible for the day-to-day details of running the Department including supervision of three Battalion Chiefs and the Training and EMS Division.  In 2010 Russ was placed in the position to oversee the construction of fire station 4. Russ has been an integral part of many innovative changes to increase department efficiencies.  On June 4th 2016 Russ was promoted to Fire Chief.

Russ has been on several memorable emergency incidents throughout his career. He was the first fire engine to arrive on scene of the Paramount Fire in January 2007. The Paramount Fire was largest structure fire in Escondido’s history; it engulfed 56 units under construction at Escondido Blvd and Woodward Ave. He’s been on numerous wildland fires over the years, they include the Paradise Fire in 2003, the Witch Fire in 2007, and the Coco’s Fire in 2014 in which he served as Unified Operations and assisted with the Incident Commander as the fire burned in to Escondido. Two other memorable incidents were the infamous Escondido Bomb House and the 60,000 gallon Hazardous Materials spill at the Water Treatment Facility after a tank failed.

Russ is a graduate of the San Diego Regional Training Center Supervisor’s Academy, the Regional Training Center’s Fire Department Executive Development program, and the North County Leadership Program. Russ served as the Chair of the North Zone Operations Chiefs and the North Zone liaison to the San Diego County Operations committee. Currently Russ is the Chair of the North Zone Fire Chiefs Committee and the North Zone Coordinator.

Russ holds an Associate’s Degree in Public Fire Service from Santa Ana College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Administration from Cogswell Polytechnic College.

Our November 2016 Speaker – Mark Larson

MarkLarsonEach week his voice is heard on a variety of programs and commercials via more than 2,000 radio and TV outlets worldwide. Mark’s Southern California talk show airs on AM1170 “The Answer” (KCBQ), weekdays 6 to 9AM. He is also heard on various programs on sister-station KPRZ 1210AM. The KCBQ show is also simulcast live on CRN Digital Talk Radio’s “CRN-3″ Channel (available in more than 12 million cable television homes across America) and everywhere on iHeart Radio. Mark is a frequent guest host on Dennis Prager’s national SRN network talk show. He also serves as a news analyst and commentator on KUSI Television (Channel 9) in San Diego.

Known for traveling the world to gain insight on important stories, he’s covered the Iraq war on location in the Middle East, smuggled Bibles to the underground church in Southeast Asia and done ground-breaking broadcasts from war zones including the Persian Gulf region and Afghanistan. Mark’s also visited Russia and made several trips to China, including Tibet. His continuing on-site broadcasts in the USA and around the globe give him a unique perspective on current events.

With the San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association, Mark served as President for a record eight consecutive terms. Radio & Records twice named him to its “All-Star Players” list, citing him as one of only twelve “local legends” in American talk radio.

A strong advocate for the United States military, Mark is a lifetime member of the Navy League, a member of the San Diego Military Advisory Council and has Honorary Plankowner status with the USS Ronald Reagan, commemorating his on-going support of the ship and its crew since commissioning in 2003. He is also a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors.

Mark owns and operates Mark Larson Media Services, Inc.

A sought-after advertising spokesman for many regional and national clients, Mark is often selected for special speaking engagements. Assignments have included emceeing many political events and several related to the San Diego GOP National Convention. He was chosen by the Reagan White House to help organize and emcee major California rallies with the 40th President. For ten years, he was part owner of two Salt Lake City radio stations.

Prior to moving to the Broadcast Company of the Americas in August 2007 (through 2008) Mark was heard on his popular daily show on Clear Channel’s KOGO. Before joining KOGO in 2004, he was a well-known radio talk show personality on Salem Communications’ KCBQ/KPRZ San Diego and KRLA 870AM, Los Angeles. He was also the main guest-host for SRN network’s Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt shows. Mark joined KPRZ as General Manager in 1994, after eighteen years with KFMB (CBS) Radio in San Diego, where he was Program and Operations Manager and a popular afternoon personality. He also served as National Program Director/Radio for KFMB’s parent company.

Active in a variety of charitable organizations, Mark is a member of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Air & Space Museum, now serving in his fifth term as Chairman. He has also been part of on the Global Leadership Council and Board of Directors for Heart to Heart International. Mark’s also been chairman of Media Fellowship International, San Diego Prison Fellowship international and is a founding board member and current chairman of the Family Heritage Foundation. He was also a charter member of the Salem Communications Political Action Committee. As a board member for Enough Is Enough, he also serves as spokesman

His voice is heard regularly on the “ Turning Point” radio and television broadcast, with more than 2,000 weekly airings worldwide. He’s also featured on Purity Products’ Health Line radio and TV programs.

Mark has served as columnist for REFRESHED Magazine, the Christian Examiner and Daily Californian (Southern California) newspapers. He is currently a contributing writer for Other special updates are posted on

Mark is listed in Who’s Who In America and Who’s Who in the Media and Communications.

A proud father of three grown children, he is married to the lovely Mrs. Larson.

Our October 2016 Speaker – Ruth Weiss

RuthWeissSMRuth Weiss – with Election Integrity Project (EIP)- will be our guest speaker for TERC’s lunchtime meeting on Monday, October 17th.

Ruth is doing an exceptional job as San Diego County Coordinator and statewide Director of Education and Training for Election Integrity Project. Ruth works with other volunteers statewide who believe that “…our Republic is a miraculous gift from God and who understand that it is ours only as long as we, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘can keep it’.”

She believes that with “…active stewardship and citizen involvement in the electoral process, we can once again have fair and honest elections in the State of California…”

As Ruth recently stated:  “We, the People, as always, are the only answer to any problem that society may face.  Helping to secure a fair and honest election is a high calling indeed.

Our September 2016 Speakers:

Candidates at September’s meeting will include:

Escondido City Council – District #3:
Joe Garcia

Escondido City Council – District #4:
Mike Morasco will be unable to attend due to travel.

Escondido City Treasurer:
Robroy Fawcett and Douglas Shultz

Escondido Union High School District–Trustee Area #4:
Dane White

Escondido Union Elementary District – Region #1:
Giovanny Miranda

Escondido Union Elementary District – Region #3:
Mirek Gorny

Palomar Community College – Governing Board Member:
Tim Fillinger

Palomar Health Board Member:
Dr. Doug Moir



Our August 2016 Speaker – Kristin Gaspar

Kristen GasperKristin Gaspar is a successful small businesswoman, local elected official, and active mother. As Supervisor she will bring real-world small business experience, practical local government knowledge, and a determination to make government work for our families.

In 2002, Kristin and her husband, Paul, decided to take a chance and grow their own small business. It certainly wasn’t easy, and they spent many nights going over the books to make sure they could keep the doors open, and eventually grow and create more jobs. In the years to come, their hard work and perseverance paid off – and Kristin rose to Chief Financial Officer of the six offices of ‘Gaspar Doctors of Physical Therapy’, which employees nearly 100 people.

As Kristin’s business grew, so did her family, and she felt it was time to play a more active role in her community to ensure that their children inherited the same quality of life she benefitted from growing up in North County. As a young mother, she decided to run for the Encinitas City Council. She won, running on a platform of fiscal responsibility and stressing the need to get back to the basics of enhancing public safety, protecting our environment, improving streets and neighborhoods. In 2014 she ran to be the first elected Mayor of Encinitas, and was elected.

On the city council and as Mayor, Kristin delivered balanced budgets every year while maintaining the highest credit rating. She lead the way in building a new 44-acre community park. She fought to make sure sand on the coastline was replenished. And, she helped block a sales tax increase that would have hurt small business owners. Kristin and Paul have three children, Carson, Payton, and Addison, and one dog Frankie.

In her free time, she coaches the La Costa Canyon Pop Warner Cheerleading Squad and is a 3rd grade civics instructor at Mission Estancia Elementary School. She is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Our July 2016 Speaker – Radio Host – Carl DeMaio

CarlDeMaioCarl DeMaio, host of The Carl DeMaio Show, heard daily on AM-600 KOGO, is a nationally recognized government reformer, who has built a business and a political career on making broken government programs work again for the people.

At age 23, DeMaio started his first company, Performance Institute, to provide training and consulting solutions to help financially-troubled government entities cut costs while improving performance.

He won a seat on the SD City Council in 2008 and helped turn the city around from the brink of bankruptcy through his ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ reform agenda.

He will “talk about the financial challenges facing California and San Diego, while offering commentary on the kinds of reforms that could fix the problem.

He is working on a statewide ballot measure to implement Pension Reform in the State of California…”