Our November 20th Speaker is Jeffrey Epp


Jeffrey Epp joined the City of Escondido in August
of 1985 as a Deputy City Attorney. Mr. Epp had
previously graduated from the University of Wyoming
law school in 1984, and served as a prosecutor for
both the City of Rawlins and the City of Cheyenne,
Wyoming. After re-locating to Escondido, he held the
titles of Deputy, Senior Deputy, and Assistant City
Attorney before being appointed as City Attorney in
1996. Throughout his tenure serving as City Attorney,
Mr. Epp worked as a key part of the City’s senior
management team, and worked with several city
managers and mayors.

Although contemplating retirement, Mr. Epp
agreed to serve the City Council as an Interim City
Manager in March of 2017. After three busy months,
Mr. Epp agreed to assume the regular position as
City Manager. Escondido is a full service, general
law City. The City covers approximately 37 square
miles, with a population of 148,738 and more than
1,000 part-time and full-time employees. The City
has its own Police and Fire Departments, as well
as Water and Wastewater Departments. The City
is home to a Westfield Mall, Palomar Pomerado Hospital,
the Escondido Auto Park, Daley Ranch Recreational
Preserve, Kit Carson Regional Park, and Stone Brewing,
among many other growing and dynamic businesses.

Our October 16th Speaker is Escondido Fire Chief Rick Vogt

VogtFire Chief Rick Vogt joined the Escondido Fire Department in March 2015 to serve as the Training and EMS Division Chief and promoted to Deputy Chief-Operations in 2016. He was appointed Fire Chief in April 2017.

Before joining Escondido Fire Department, Chief Vogt served the San Marcos Fire Department for nearly 10 years as an EMS, Administrative and field Battalion Chief. Prior to that, Chief Vogt worked for CAL FIRE in Riverside County for 15 years, including assignments as a Station Captain, Training Officer and Public Affairs Bureau Manager. Chief Vogt also served as a member of the command staff of “CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 6” for eleven years.

Chief Vogt is currently a member of the California and San Diego County Fire Chiefs Associations. He has also served as a member of the San Diego County Emergency Medical Care Committee, the chair of the San Diego Operational Area CICCS Committee, and the President of the California Fire Technology Directors Association.

Chief Vogt earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree at Point Loma Nazarene University and a Masters degree in Public Administration at CSU San Bernardino. Chief Vogt has been married for 25 years to his wife Karen, who is a fifth-grade elementary school teacher. They have four children: Kierstin (21) is a senior at Cal Baptist University majoring in liberal studies, Annika (14) is a high school freshman, and twins Eric and Caitlyn (9) are in the fourth grade.

Our September 18th Speaker is Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter

Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter

Chief-CarterCraig Carter has worked for the Escondido Police Department since 1990 when he was hired as a Police Reserve Officer.  Craig was hired as a Police Officer Trainee in 1992. Craig has risen through the ranks and was ultimately promoted to Chief of Police in August 2013.

Craig has worked in nearly every division in the Escondido Police Department. Chief Carter was a member of the DUI enforcement team, SWAT, Off-Road Motorcycle Team, and has been a vocal advocate for the Community Policing philosophy.  He has served as an incident commander for several of Escondido’s critical incidents. Craig spent several years as the department’s press information officer and even served four years as the police association president.

He was an adjunct instructor at Palomar College for over 20 years teaching in the Administration of Justice department and police academies. In 2007, Chief Carter trained Marines at Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in the area of community policing, crime scene management, basic criminal intelligence and crime scene investigation prior to their deployment to Afghanistan.

Craig has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and is a graduate of the POST Command College. Craig’s specialties include emergency management mitigation, preparedness, and community policing.

In 2016, Chief Carter was appointed to the State 911 Advisory Board under Governor Brown.

Chief Carter has served as president of the San Diego County Chiefs’ & Sheriff’s Association since 2014.

Chief Carter is married with three grown children.

Our June 19th speaker is Congressman Duncan D. Hunter

DuncanDHunterCongressman Duncan D. Hunter, who represents California’s 50th Congressional District consisting of East and Northern San Diego County, is currently serving on a Transportation & Infrastructure Committee,a House Armed Services Committee, and an Education & Workforce Committee.

Congressman Hunter is a native of San Diego and
began his first term in the House of Representatives
in 2008. He is the first Marine combat veteran of the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to Congress.
He is a strong conservative who is committed to
strengthening national security, enforcing our borders, creating opportunities for American workers and protecting the interests of taxpayers. He is also a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, protecting traditional marriage and the rights of the unborn. He and his wife, who live in Alpine, are the proud parents of three children.

Our May 15th Speaker Will Be Kristin Gaspar

KristinGasparKristin Gaspar –
Supervisor for District #3
San Diego County Board of Supervisors
will be our guest speaker for our Monday,
May 15th noontime TERC meeting.

Kristin is the youngest woman ever elected to
the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
Prior to being elected in November 2016
as Supervisor, Kristin served as an Encinitas
City Council Member and then went on to
become the first Mayor of Encinitas.

Supervisor Gaspar is currently serving as the
Vice Chair of the Board. She believes in fiscal discipline and accountability. Kirstin is a proponent of protecting the environment and preserving open spaces.

While serving as Mayor, she led the way in
building a 44-acre community park in Encinitas
and fought to make sure sand on the coastline was
replenished. Kristin and her husband, Paul, have
three children: Carson, Payton and Addie.

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.