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Fisher masters public speaking
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One story assignment last week went into greater depth than I expected and left me in awe at the direction life has taken one Ripon resident who loves people and farming almost equally and has become an outstanding public speaker and criminal interviewer.

As was pointed out in a recent story, Tara Fisher is forever a farm girl who has learned the art of public speaking and in digging for the truth.  Like me and most adults, public speaking can be feared almost as much as death itself.  To overcome that debilitating stage fright is quite an accomplishment.

Fisher likes to chat, to organize special programs and to interview suspects – something she did as a routine in her job as a probation officer – she evidently still has the love of farming in her blood.  That’s why she and her husband returned to the family farm on Highway 120 where she joined her dad on his 100-acre farm.

But it’s the best of both worlds for Tara who has not left the skills of the interviewer and unit supervisor at the Santa Cruz County Probation Department behind.   She mastered public speaking and interviewing to the point she has developed her own educational seminar to help other probation officers and members of police agencies by showing them how to extract information from criminal suspects who would rather keep their lips sealed.

In chatting with her about her workshop seminars, she was quick to note that her communication strategy works well in the home, too, where spouses can tend to clam up and not want to talk to each other about their marital problems.

It was satisfying to see someone who had grown up in the community to be so upbeat and determined about life in general and toward organizing something so beneficial to the character of Ripon as the launching of the city’s first farmers’ market in the middle of the downtown’s Main Street.

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• WILSON MAKES IMPACT: Another person who deserves a pat on the back for his influence on teens is Rotary’s Realtor member Tom Wilson.  Tom has quietly moved about in the background to help guide the student Interact Club – first as a community based organization and then at Sierra High School exclusively under the tireless direction of Tevani Liotard and husband Jeff.

Currently Wilson is the Rotary’s operative behind Rotary’s high school scholarship program where he has definitely been dotting his I’s and crossing his T’s.   It was Tom who made sure the applications were turned in to the club and who found Rotarians who would go to the campuses and interview the scholarship applicants.

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• CHILABERRIES: Speaking of Liotard of Mountain Mike’s Pizza fame, he has taken off in a new direction in the specialty yogurt industry with Chilaberries – with 70 ways to top off your yogurt – with a new store to open in Ripon in July.  He already has one in Manteca and another in Tracy.  It was too tempting for me to pass up while driving down the 120 Bypass last week.  It is not only good, it’s addictive.