Now's the time to sign up for the United Way of Kern County's 23rd Annual Professional Development Conference for Nonprofits.

It will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. The $55 cost per person includes a continental breakfast, lunch keynote speaker Rich Harwood, professional development workshops, workshop materials, trade booths and door prizes.

Harwood, founder and CEO of the Harwood Institute, will share tools for organizations to "Turn Outward" to engage communities in creating real, lasting change, according to a United Way news release.

To register or for more information, go to or call United Way of Kern County at 834-1820.

The Kern Chapter of the American Red Cross is sending another volunteer to help in Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

Sandy Archer is to serve as staff services supervisor in the New Jersey region, according to a Red Cross news release.

The Red Cross says you can donate to efforts to provide food, shelter, emotional support and other help by going to, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013.

The NAACP Bakersfield Branch will hold its 1st Annual State of African Americans in Kern County forum at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Beale Library, 701 Truxtun Ave.

Local leaders in business, politics, employment, education, law enforcement and health will present. The moderator is attorney Curtis E. Floyd.

The Downtown Business Association will hold its 2013 State of the Downtown Breakfast and Installation of Officers from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Bakersfield Marriott Hotel, 801 Truxtun Ave.

The cost is $30 for DBA members and $40 for non-members, and reservations are due Friday by calling 325-5892.

The incoming chairman is Jeff Hayward of the Bakersfield Marriott.

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce will hold a business development seminar Feb. 12 on building a strong non-profit board.

Steve Sanders from the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office will explain how to recruit excellent board members, transform an existing board and become a better board member.

Registration and check-in begins at 11:45 a.m. with the seminar from noon to 1 p.m. at the chamber, 1725 Eye St.

The cost is $30 for chamber members, and $60 for non-members. A box lunch is included. RSVP at 327-4421.