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  • Pamela Froman

Dads and Grads 2017

Your dad is the best friend you will ever have. He'll fight for you, give advice, and he's your rock when you need someone to lean on. On Father's Day you can show him how much you appreciate him.

It's also graduation time. Millenials are preparing for their next step in life, after they don that cap and gown. Today's jobs have plenty of perks that make work fun! And how you get to work is changing too with new technologies emerging.

So celebrate that special person in your life. Hip hip hooray for dads and grads!

DADS

Father's Day is the perfect time to celebrate that special guy in your life, whether he be your father, the father of your kids, your step-father, father-in-law, grandfather or even your great-grandfather – if you're lucky! Father's Day takes place on Sunday June 18 this year.

You can bond with your dad by casting a line! Fishing is a diverting water activity perfect for the whole family. Nestled in the heart of the Malibu Mountains, Troutdale is a series of artificial ponds chock full of fish. Grab dad, bring your rod and try your luck to grab some game! The entry fee at Troutdale is $7 and you get a bamboo pole, corn for bait, and a bucket for the fish you catch. You pay for the caught fish and to have them cleaned. www.allyoucanfish.com

Dad will work up his adrenaline go-kart racing! There is no better thrill than shooting along the track at MB2 Raceway in Thousand Oaks. The facility provides state-of-the-art indoor go-karting facilities, with high-performance electric European karts capable of speeds of up to 45 mph! www.mb2raceway.com

If your dad loves the ocean – whether it be by surfing, paddleboarding or kayaking – a perfect way to spend the day is at Malibu Surf Shack. This sensational seaside space offers rentals, private lessons and tours for any watersports enthusiast. www.malibusurfshack.com

Get out for a breath of fresh air with a hike! Getting back to nature with outdoor exercise is the perfect way to bond with your dad. One of the many perks to living in Los Angeles is all of the great hikes close by. The infamous M.A.S.H. hike is located off Kanan in Malibu Canyon. With a end point of Century Lake, you can swim in the clear waters, view the stunning scenery and check out the adventurous rock climbers. Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks is a gorgeous hike capped off by the 70 foot waterfall that plunges into a pool below.

Dad will break out his inner warrior with a paintball session at Stryker Paintball in Santa Paula. Your epic day is full of fast paced, adrenaline pumping, real life fun whether you are a beginner or a pro. There are six courses and the $40 admission includes 500 paintballs, air refills, full face safety mask, paintball gun, airtank and harness. www.strykerpa.com

What dad doesn't like a good brew? Make your dad's day with a delicious beer tasting. Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie in Agoura Hills is a local microbrewery and brewpub with a full selection of craft brews and full lunch/dinner menus daily. Live music and breathtaking mountain views add to the ambiance. www.ladyfaceale.com

Take dad out for a game of golf. Westlake Golf Course in Westlake Village has golf professionals that will improve your game, as well as rental clubs, demo clubs, and loaners. Adjacent to the driving range is a putting green and chipping green. www.westlakegc.com

Sports dads love to check out their favorite teams in action! Treat Dad to a Dodger game this Father's Day and cheer on the Dodgers as they face the Brewers at 1:10 p.m. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive Dodger Boxers, courtesy of Chef Merito Seasonings. After the game, all families are invited to play catch on the field! http://m.mlb.com/dodgers/tickets/info/fathers-day

Start a camping tradition for Father's Day. Pitch your tent, roast s'mores over a campfire, tell stories and memories about your family. There are tons of campgrounds nearby, especially by the beach. Sycamore Canyon Campground sits in Point Mugu State Park on the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu. The 13,300-acre park boasts beautiful beaches, rocky peaks, and miles and miles of hiking trails. Tents and RVs are welcome at this drive-up campground. Each site is $45 per night, plus $10 for any additional vehicles. Sites may be reserved at reserveamerica.com

Spa days are not just for gals. If you have a dad who appreciates being pampered, there are many options. Book him a professional shave, luxurious massage, hair cut, or even a facial. The Art of Shaving offers the 45 min Royal Shave for $60 – $65. The Art of Shaving's high quality products, handcrafted accessories and expert shaving technique provide optimal shaving results while helping against ingrown hairs, razor burn, and nicks and cuts. www.theartofshaving.com

Celebrate Father’s Day at Larchmont Sanctuary Spa in Los Angeles with a package of treatments specially tailored to dad. He will get a 60 minute warm stone massage with an additional 15 minute reflexology treatment that uses pressure points in the hands, feet and ears to further relax his overworked muscles. If those two treatments don’t leave him laid-back enough, he’ll finish his visit with a 20 minute soak in a jacuzzi tub while sipping a cold beer. www.larchmontsanctuary.com

Does your dad love to putter around with an engine? Then check out the Father's Day Car Show waterside at Channel Islands Harbor at Harbor View Park in Oxnard. This fun-filled event offers up a variety of custom cars, hot rods and classics. There are also vendors with wares for sale, food to chow down on, music and a 50/50 prize raffle. And it's all free! www.milestonecarsociety.com Catch a tune with your music-loving dad. Angel City Brewery’s Father’s Day Food Truck and Music Fest is a day made for dads with beers, bands, artisan vendors and more! Get some grub from Brewwings, Market Burgers, and Kai Kai Dumplings. Rock out to music by from Naked Walrus, Ghost Lit Kingdom, Waterparx, and NOVALA. http://angelcitybrewery.com/event/fathers-day-food-truck-music-festival

If your dad is an art enthusiast then the perfect way to celebrate this Father's Day is at the Pasadena Chalk Festival and Art Show. More than 600 artists create temporary masterpieces on the streets of Pasadena. This festival is the largest of its kind in the world and styles of artwork range from classical to modern. hwww.pasadenachalkfestival.com

Is your dad a foodie? Sign up for a cooking class to let him experiment in the kitchen. Sur La Table in Woodland Hills is the perfect space to start. They offer classes on everything from Cuban food to souffles to delicious Thai. Browse for your favorite dishes at www.surlatable.com

Grab your dad and your running shoes and head out to the 4th Annual Father's Day 5K, 10K and 1K in Ventura. A beach gear and game package worth over $200 will be awarded to each two person team category per race. Categories are: Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Grandfather/Grandson, Grandfather/Granddaughter. Also, four new gas grills will be given away in a random drawing based on bib numbers. www.fathersday5k10k.com

This Father’s Day, head out to Descanso Gardens for a mouthwatering picnic-style lunch on the main lawn. Enjoy the delicious menu featuring Angus beef burgers, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, Hebrew National hot dogs and more. www.descansogardens.org

The Father’s Day Celebration at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is offering a delicious barbecue buffet of tri-tip, charbroiled marinated chicken, old fashioned macaroni and cheese, barbecue beans, coleslaw, and garlic rolls. Finish your lunch with old fashioned fudge brownies and oatmeal raisin cookies. Spend the rest of the day touring the Ronald Reagan presidential museum, Titanic at the Reagan Library, and the Air Force One Pavilion. www.reaganfoundation.org/programs-events/events-calendar/fathers-day-celebration

Does dad have a soft spot for trains? You’ll be on track with a Father's Day trip on the Fillmore & Western Railway Co.’s Father’s Day BBQ train in Fillmore. Take a scenic ride on a vintage train through Heritage Valley, where you will be served a delicious lunch of tri-tip, chicken, and all the fixings. www.fwry-blog.com

GRADS

This year over 2.8 million university graduates will join the U.S. workforce with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. And these millenials will be an estimated 46 percent of all U.S. workers by the year 2020. The millennial generation, defined as ages 18 to 34, has overtaken the baby boomer generation as the nation’s largest living generation. To put this in perspective, the most common age in America right now is 22. As well, millennials are ushering in an age when minorities will lead the U.S. population.

So what characterizes these young, educated professionals? What are they looking for in a work environment?

Millennials face higher university tuitions and more student loan debt than any previous generation, as well as stiffer competition to land the sought after jobs. Student loan debt is at a record high — nearly quadrupling over the past decade.

Millenials are characterized as over educated, under employed, but truthfully many are keen on promoting their professional life, and few marry early. Despite being the most educated generation many remain underemployed or working side jobs until they get to their coveted career choices. However millennials are also characterized as optimistic and most have a positive outlook.

Millenials also tend to gravitate toward a more laid back, informal work environment. And many companies are using this to their advantage as they offer creative employee perks and benefits. "Startup" culture is the perfect atmosphere for these new grads, who tend to let their social life and habits bleed into their work life, with a work-hard play-hard mentality. What's most important is a work life and personal life balance. Perks such as an onsite fitness center, fully-paid medical coverage and unlimited tuition reimbursement don't hurt either.

Some of the perks that millenials are looking for include:

Unlimited Paid Time Off – Unlimited vacation time is a new trend that has garnered a lot of attention. Employers are meeting the demand on how employees spend their time by merging all forms of paid time off into a single unlimited PTO. The line between professional and personal time is becoming increasingly indistinct, and giving employees more freedom over their time off is increasingly appealing.

Working Remotely – Millennials don’t want to be chained to their desk at an office. Not only do they love the idea of working from home, they’re expecting it,with almost 70 percent of stating the belief that traditional office space is not required to create a positive and productive work environment.

Flexible Work Environment – Along with telecommuting, many millenials desire a flexible workday, without scheduled hours.

Feedback – Millennials, in particular, have a huge need for positive feedback, performance assessment and professional development opportunities. It’s reflective of this generation, as millennials are have a deep seated desire to learn and grow in their careers, and they need to feel fulfilled and engaged.

Health at the Workplace – The popularity of employer-provided wellness programs is increasing, and it's more than just access to a gym. Many companies offer stress management, yoga classes, wearables, gamification, dietary consultations, mental health supports and more. It’s also comes as no surprise that millenials want choice in their insurance options in order to customize a program suited to their individual needs. Millennial employees also love work-family and lifestyle benefits, such as access to dogwalkers, child care providers, and even therapists.

Here are a few companies that are getting it right.

One of the most in demand companies to work for with millenials is tech giant Google. They offer luxe perks like free gourmet food, haircuts, and laundry services. And the culture speaks for itself: Their town halls, support, and unconscious-bias workshops create a safe and inclusive workplace. Google also provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50 percent of their salary for the next 10 years.

Intuit promotes health in its millennial workforce with onsite gyms that are open 24/7. And the personal finance software company doesn't stop there – they also provide 45 bikes for cycling commuters. As well, the management isn't afraid to get their hands dirty – during tax season, CEO Brad Smith joins his workforce in answering customer calls.

Chili's Bar and Grill offers college tuition reimbursement, as well as the opportunity to earn school credits.

Netflix gives new parents one paid year of maternity and paternity leave. Parents are also allowed to return part-time or full-time and take leave as needed throughout the year.

Airbnb gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.

Twitter provides perks such as three catered meals a day, as well as benefits like on-site acupuncture and improv classes.

Spotify gives employees six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. The company also covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance.

Fidelity offers a perk to help employees repay their student loans. All full-time employees at the manager level and below can get up to $2,000 a year paid toward their student loan, up to a total of $10,000. Employees still make their own payments, while Fidelity's benefit is sent directly to the loan provider by a third-party vendor and applied to the principal, reducing the overall size of the loan.

Whatever you want to call it, be it temporary retail, flash retailing, pop-up store, or pop-up shop, it's all the same fun and funky idea. Pop-up shops are taking over the retail industry and shaking up traditional stores. And millenials are buying. But what exactly is a pop-up?

A trend that began in cities like Tokyo, London, Los Angeles and New York, pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that sell merchandise. In fact, almost any product out there has been sold via a pop-up shop at some point. Ranging from art to fashion to tech and even food, pop-up shops are short-term stores that are as creative as they come. And they come in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

Pop-up shops have a limited shelf life, ranging from one day to three months. They are typically located in high foot traffic areas such as city centers, malls, and busy streets. A huge advantage to shopping in this up and coming environment is the prices, which are typically much lower than permanent retail competitors. Why a pop-up? Companies use the engaging format to sell products, create a presence during holidays or events, launch new goods, generate awareness, move inventory, test ideas or location. As well. benefits of this kind of retail environment create a comfortable space for customers, allowing a personal touch. And of course, it's cool!

So, who can start a pop-up? Anybody! Big-name companies, including eBay, Target, JCPenney, and Gap, have all hosted pop-up products to test markets. As well, local artists and fashionistas are increasingly trending in the pop-up market. There are even food trucks that are bucking the traditional in favor of this new retail style!

Millennials and automakers have a tenuous relationship. The stereotype says that young adults would prefer to use Uber, take public transportation or even hitch a ride rather than drive themselves. But that viewpoint is a falsehood. Millenials are a large, diverse group with complicated views about cars that are fundamentally different from that of previous generations.

The real story is that millennials aren’t ditching car ownership altogether, they’re simply delaying it. Millenials are practical – and most have a ton of student debt – so flashy cars they really can’t afford are not attractive for them. As well, millennials want cars that integrate seamlessly with their smartphones and sync with other technology. And not surprisingly, millennials are more likely to have a optimistic opinion of autonomous vehicles and features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and self-parking.

Most car manufacturers are developing infotainment platforms and connectivity system worth considering. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer unified, consistent app ecosystems and feature sets regardless of the make or model of your car. Both CarPlay and Android Auto rely on your smartphone to get you connected.

As millennials reshape the automotive industry, car makers are necessarily rethinking their products. Some are even thinking beyond cars. New mobility vehicles include gadgets like scooters, hover-boards and electric bikes.

Graduating millenials are sure to create a huge impact wherever they go. Up and coming changes are becoming the new now. And that's a positive!

Congratulations to the class of 2017 and Happy Father's Day!

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