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TMC Financing: FSB Core Strategies Utilizes SBA 504 Loan to Purchase Historic Office Building

Local PR Firm buys 130-Year-Old Historic Property in Downtown Sacramento

FSB Core Strategies purchased the historic property located at 1800 J Street in Downtown Sacramento to serve as a new home for their business. The property is perfect for this tight knit firm – giving them an added family-feel to their operations. 

Cherri Spriggs Hernandez, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, is enthusiastic over the move. “Moving into our own building has been so incredibly exciting! Since our building is nearly a 150-year-old Victorian, it really changed our office culture quickly – and for the better! We always say we’re the most family business you’ll find, but none of us are actually family. Now we have a ‘house’ for our family!”

Founded in 2002, FSB Core Strategies is a public affairs, public relations and political consulting firm that has received many awards and accolades over the years for their impactful work. The firm is owned and operated by President and CEO, Jeff Flint, and Principals Cherri Spriggs Hernandez and Kristy Babb. The firm’s expertise expands from strategic council to research to website development and has been instrumental in many local political campaigns throughout the years.

This small business’ new home also has a history in politics. The 3,963 square foot historic Victorian building was built in 1887 and was originally the home of the Wittenbrock family, a family that was prominent in early California politics. In 1962, the home changed hands and became the headquarters for Senator Thomas Kuchel’s reelection campaign. The building is one of the last Victorian homes converted into office space on a commercial corridor in midtown Sacramento.

“The SBA [Small Business Administration] 504 Loan Program allowed this small business to go from leasing to owning with only a 10 percent down payment,” says TMC’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, Jim Azevedo. “It’s always so great to see a small business make this transition that will be so beneficial to them down the road.”

Moving into their building is the start of a new chapter for the business. “We have so much pride in our new building that each and every project we take on has even more meaning because we know we’ve made this investment. We’d like to purchase a building for our southern California office next,” said Spriggs Hernandez.

The 504 Loan Program

The 504 loan provides quality financing to small business owners for the purchase of fixed assets like commercial real estate and equipment. The SBA created the loan program to promote prosperity amongst small business in the United States and encourage job growth.

The borrower injects a small down payment starting at 10 percent, a conventional lender provides the first mortgage, and the SBA provides the second mortgage up to 40 percent of the total project cost. Conventional lenders are incentivized to participate in the program as they can finance only 50 percent of the project and remain in first lien position.

To show its support of all US veterans, the SBA incorporated an additional incentive into the SBA 504 Loan Program for veteran small business owners. The VetLoan Advantage Program offers a $3,000 cash rebate at the time of funding to offset the costs of appraisals, environmental reports and other loan expenses to veterans who own 51% or more of the business. FSB Core Strategies was eligible to participate in this program and it is considered by many to be an added benefit to an already very attractive loan program.

TMC Financing has over 35 years of experience providing 504 loans to small businesses and is a Premier Certified Lender with the SBA. TMC works with you to obtain best loan package possible in the shortest amount of time. A TMC 504 loan expert can answer all your questions and discuss your financing options. Contact TMC today to get started.

Sacramento Business Journal: PR firm buys one of last J Street Victorians

One of the last Victorians on a commercial corridor of midtown Sacramento’s J Street has a new owner, and plenty of history.

Public relations firm FSB Core Strategies is planning to move 11 employees from a leased office at 520 Capitol Mall to 1800 J St. by month’s end. The firm bought the three-story, 4,100-square-foot building with an Italianate design in November for $1.16 million, according to property records.

Firm partner Cherri Spriggs Hernandez said there were two reasons to buy the building at the corner of 18th and J, which dates to 1873. One was practical: After leasing its two offices in Sacramento and Orange County, the firm wanted to establish a permanent home, she said.

But the other had a bit more whimsy. “This was always my dream,” she said, as an art major in college who liked architecture and fell in love with the building when it came on the market last summer. “To me, it’s the quintessential historic Sacramento house.”

FSB is the Sacramento area’s third-largest PR agency, based on 2016 PR fee income. While the firm was mulling whether to buy, Spriggs Hernandez said, she delved into the building’s history.

It was one of nine Victorians German immigrant Rudolph Wittenbrock built in midtown Sacramento, while making a fortune in hops. His was first, with a concrete stoop outside still bearing the family name. He built the others later for his daughters as they married, but 1800 J is the only one left.

The building remained a family home until 1961, then served as an art gallery, union hall and eventually an office for law firm Jones & Dyer. The firm, which bought it in the 1990s, is consolidating elsewhere after one partner’s retirement and the sale to FSB.

As she led a tour of the house Tuesday, Spriggs Hernandez pointed out where FSB will have a conference room overlooking 18th Street, a reception room from the front entrance on J, and second-floor offices.

The third floor is actually a sub-basement with cabinetry installed by the law firm. Those will be removed to create a plug-in space for employees visiting from the Orange County office, while an employee break room on that floor will be retained.

Spriggs Hernandez said there will also be some general aesthetic improvements, such as carpeting and paint. But she said she’s eagerly anticipating the future, from spending summer mornings on a back patio to hosting Halloween parties to being a place for people to drop in on Second Saturdays.

The new location gives FBS greater visibility, but also a different kind of reputation as a public relations firm in an accessible, welcoming neighborhood rather than a traditional office, she said.

“That makes us different as a firm, because people can see the closeness between us as partners,” she said. “That closeness is why clients choose us.”

“We’re a family business, and we’ve been joking the family finally has a home,” she said.

Nate Cyphers, a vice president at CBRE Sacramento, brokered the sale on behalf of FBS Core Strategies. CBRE Sacramento first vice president Tony Whittaker represented the seller.

FSB Core Strategies Announces Bill Romanelli as New Senior Vice President

New Hire Will Add Leadership to Public Affairs Practice and Help Drive Long Term Strategy


Sacramento (August 7, 2017) – FSB Core Strategies (FSB) today announced long-time public affairs practitioner, Bill Romanelli, previously Senior Director with APCO Worldwide in Sacramento, has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and will provide further leadership to the firm’s Public Affairs Practice.

“Bill is an exceptional addition to our team—his reputation for being a thoughtful, skilled strategist and communications professional is widely recognized, said Jeff Flint, FSB President and CEO.  “We have been looking for the right person to provide further leadership to our Public Affairs Practice along with the partners for some time and Bill embodies our firm’s values, culture and strategic vision. He is the perfect person for the position.”

Romanelli has nearly 25 years’ experience representing companies, associations, industry coalitions and nonprofits seeking to tell their story and advance their cause on a variety of local, state and federal issues. Over the years he has led multiple communication and outreach campaigns to educate and influence decision makers, reporters and local communities on a wide variety of issues. He possesses experience in energy and natural resources, conservation, environmental remediation, flood control, civil justice reform, health care, land use, and public safety.

“This is an exciting new chapter for me and for FSB Core Strategies,” said Romanelli. “They’ve been a firm to watch for a number of years already, and I’m very honored to be joining this dynamic and growing team.”

Romanelli rounds out FSB’s senior leadership team, which includes Jeff Flint as firm president and CEO, Cherri Spriggs-Hernandez as firm principal and chief marketing officer, Kristy Babb as firm principal and chief administrative officer, Jerry Amante as the firm’s general counsel and senior vice president and David Murillo as vice president of the firm’s Association Management Services practice.  Romanelli’s addition helps position the firm for future growth and will assist in the firm’s long-term strategic direction.

FSB Core Strategies recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, though the company has been providing public affairs, public relations and association management services statewide since 2001 through predecessor companies. Recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the premiere public affairs and public relations firms in the region, FSB has delivered great successes on behalf of government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. FSB employs a team of 20 professionals between offices in Sacramento and Orange County.

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FSB Core Strategies announces staff promotions in Orange County

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (July 24, 2017)—FSB Core Strategies, a public affairs, public relations and trade association management firm based in Sacramento with an office in Anaheim, recently announced three promotions for members of its Orange County team. FSB promoted Alex Burrola, Mayra Vega and Rachael DiCicco, all long-time team members and entrenched in southern California projects.

“We’re only as good as our team,” said FSB Core Strategies President and CEO Jeff Flint, “and our team is the gold standard when it comes to innovative, resourceful, thoughtful public affairs and public relations practitioners. Alex, Mayra and Rachael’s promotions are well-deserved and we take pride in cultivating a culture that affords professional growth and rewards. The longevity of our entire team – in Sacramento and Orange County – is what differentiates FSB from other public affairs and public relations firms.”

Alex Burrola has been promoted to Senior Account Supervisor.  Burrola is an invaluable member of the public affairs team and has been part of the Orange County office since 2012. He provides senior leadership to the junior team while leading multiple client campaigns and projects.

Mayra Vega has been promoted to Account Supervisor. Vega works in the public affairs and public relations practices and creates and implements strategic outreach and bilingual media programs in an effort to foster and maintain long-lasting relationships between clients and various southern California communities. She has been with FSB since 2014.

Rachael DiCicco has been promoted to Assistant Account Executive. Rachael joined FSB two years ago upon graduating from California State University, Chico, where she studied journalism and public relations. Rachael is an integral member of the team and works in all three of FSB’s Practice Areas: Public Affairs, Consumer Public Relations and Trade Association Management.

FSB Core Strategies recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, though the company has been providing public affairs, public relations and trade association management services statewide since 2005 as a predecessor company. Recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the most premiere public affairs and public relations firms in the County, FSB has delivered great successes on behalf of government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations.


FSBulletin: Fall Edition

FSB Named Top Public Relations Firm in Sacramento and Orange County
Ranked No. 4 in SacramentoNo. 15 in Orange County  

FSB in the Community

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Jerry Amante, has been named a Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Ambassador.  In September, the USC Dornsife School’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Director, Dan Schnur, announced that the Institute had named about two dozen public and private sector community leaders as Unruh Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors are part of the Unruh Institute’s effort to provide guidance and advice to students who are interested in making a difference in both the private and public sector in their communities. The Ambassadors also serve on discussion panels and as lecturers and also mentor students.  Beyond the USC Campus, the Unruh Ambassadors engage with both the students and the broader Southern California community on behalf of the Unruh Institute.  FSB congratulates Jerry on his appointment to that select group of community leaders and wishes him and his colleagues much success.

Rachel Smith has been appointed to the board of CA Groundbreakers, a new civic-engagement, community-focused organization highlighting people making change for the better in California. This month they will kick off their “Policy and a Pint” panel series which focuses on the current California ballot initiatives.

Mayra Vega was part of the “Meet the Funders” panel at the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual convention.

FSB proudly sponsored the OC Taypayers Association’s Roses and Radishes Event held on Sept. 8

Client News
1st Annual Farm Tank Summit- Sacramento, CA

Ford sponsored Sacramento’s inaugural Farm Tank Summit on Sept. 22 & 23 at the Hyatt Regency. This event was a great venue to continue Ford’s sustainable materials conversation in the region and tout their practice of replacing petroleum-based plastic with plant-based materials.

Driving Skills for Life


Ford Motor Company Fund’s Driving Skills for Life program teaches thousands of newly-licensed and permitted teenagers around the world how to be safer drivers. With the help of professional race car drivers, DSFL is conducted in both hands-on and web-based curriculum and the four-hour program is available at no cost. The Ford DSFL program addresses both the inexperience factor as well as issues surrounding distracted driving. In September, hundreds of teens in the Fresno area learned that car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and took the initiative to become better-prepared to take the wheel.

Anaheim Chamber of Commerce – Annual Job Fair 

Spanish Language Outreach Specialist, Mayra Vega, appeared on Univision to promote the Anaheim Chamber’s Annual Job Fair on 8/31.

Sacramento Area Human Resource Association’s Annual Conference

FSB managed the Sacramento Area Human Resource Association’s (SAHRA) highly-anticipated Annual Conference on September 20th and 21stat the Sacramento Convention Center. Attendance ascended over last year’s Conference, as hundreds of HR professionals came together to network and learn the latest trends in human resources. The two day program consisted of 15 top-notch speakers, a sold-out exhibit hall, and a cocktail reception. FSB is honored to represent this reputable organization, a local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. FSB looks forward to another successful SAHRA Conference in 2017!

Staff News

Jeff Flint Turns 50 on Oct. 19. Happy Birthday to FSB’s President and CEO!

Will Hixson has been promoted to Association Operations Manager. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of FSB’s association management clients. Will is involved in all aspects of FSB’s association practice including membership development and outreach, marketing and communications, and event coordination.

Mayra Vega has been promoted to Special Projects Manager and Latino Outreach Specialist, working directly with the CEO. She serves on multiple teams conducting community outreach, specifically within the Latino community, and securing community partnerships for clients. Additionally, she is responsible for creating and implementing client campaigns in Southern California through events and media outreach.

Rose Smoot, IOM, CAE joins FSB as Finance Director of Association Management Services. She oversees the financial and operations arm of the association management services of FSB.

Jessica Sweeten has been named Association Operations Coordinator. As the Association Operations Coordinator, Jessica assists with the day-to-day operations on our Association Management team including invoicing, managing & updating membership profiles and membership outreach.

FSB in the News

Also, be sure to check out EVP & Chief Marketing Officer Cherri Spriggs Hernandez‘s interview for The Membership Management Report, October 2016 edition. Full text below!