Meet Six Local Men Influencing the Community
Dr. Richard “Chip” Casteen
To say that Dr. Richard Casteen, known as “Chip” to family and friends, is an accomplished dental surgeon, doesn’t even begin to describe the Bakersfield native’s amazing life journey. As an implant specialist, he thinks of himself as a “mechanic,” happy to take on the most challenging reconstructions—some might say, the dental basket cases. But he has also found time to give to others by providing dental services to natives in Guatemala through a Helps International mission—as a “Jungle Doc.”
He spent some earlier years in modeling, pottery and stage acting. Additionally, He is active in Rotary International and a passionate supporter of Alpha Canine Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter in Bakersfield. A part-time resident of Ballard, he enjoys the tranquility of the Santa Ynez Valley—and the short flight he pilots to get there.
David Dobbs, Owner, Imbibe
A lifetime native of Bakersfield, David Dobbs operates Imbibe, the premier wine and spirits business in Bakersfield. With 25 years in the wine business in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, David returned to Bakersfield in 2008 to raise a family and launch Imbibe. In fact, Imbibe is considered among only a handful of retailers nationally that cater to the extraordinary wines produced by boutique wineries around the globe.
David brings so much more to life through charity and fundraising through his connection to Rotary Club. His greatest passion though, he insists, is as a mentor to young men dealing with challenging life situations.
“Building trust and a willingness to change starts the process,” he says. “There’s just nothing more satisfying than helping a broken man achieve a personal breakthrough that positively changes a life path.”
Brad Barnes, CEO, Entruity Wealth
At 6 feet 10 inches tall, Brad may be the tallest wealth manager you’ll ever meet. But Brad also has a warm and engaging style that has made him a successful financial adviser to hundreds of clients who depend on his sage wisdom, experience and execution to help them achieve financial security. As Entruity Wealth approaches its founding anniversary, he and son Andrew have built a leading edge wealth advisory firm.
A lifelong Bakersfield native, Brad attended West High School and the University of Southern California where he majored in business. He’s very active as a board member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown and serves on the CSUB Investment Board. He is also a Certified Kingdom Advisor and enjoys spending weekends at the Lazy B Ranch in the hills of northeast Bakersfield. Wife Julie, daughter Laurie and daughter-in-law Kaylee complete Entruity’s Barnes roster.
Angelo Mazzei, Founder and CEO, Mazzei Injector Company
Angelo Mazzei is a serial problem-solver in life with 22 patents to prove it. His unquenchable curiosity has led to many innovative products in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with devices in industries as varied as agriculture, wine, swimming pool and spa, and municipal drinking and wastewater treatment. But his lifelong hobby and passion has been building street rods. Work he did early with automotive exhaust systems became the genesis of his first patent for the original Mazzei Injector in the ’70s.
He is active with the Western Street Rod Association and also finds time to serve on the boards of Cal State University Bakersfield, Valley Republic Bank and the Kern Agricultural Foundation. He and his co-founder and wife, Mary, enjoy semi-retirement today. His daughter, Celia, remains a driving force behind their CFD initiatives.
Artie Niesen, Owner, Front Porch Music
Bakersfield-born Artie Niesen has been a 40-year fixture in the local music scene. His passion runs across many genres. Front Porch Music, which he opened in 1978, has become a go-to spot for top musicians—including the Stray Cats, Sheryl Crow and Joe Bonamassa—in search of vintage instruments. In fact, he has collected a significant number of Bakersfield-made Mosrite guitars, made famous in the ’60s by the Ventures. Their unique sound and “fast” neck make them highly sought after 65 years later. Though his Polish-born mother tried to teach him the polka, he naturally gravitated toward rock and country. As a drummer, Artie has played with many bands over the years.
His Yorkie, Ginger, who is particularly fond of tacos, keeps him company every day at the store.
Dr. Mark Ashley, CEO, Center for Neuro Skills
Acquired brain injury is among the most complicated treatment scenarios in health care—as complicated, in fact, as the brain itself. Dr. Mark Ashley, founder and CEO of Bakersfield-based Centre for Neuro Skills—launched in 1980—says his path in life was largely shaped by an older brother who returned from Vietnam with a debilitating brain injury. He knew there had to be a better way. So inevitably, his life’s work, he shares, became to discover better clinical and treatment protocols for maximizing traumatic brain injury recovery outcomes. Based on available industry data, he believes that his patients achieve at least 25 percent better physical, behavioral/emotional and psychosocial outcomes. His practice treats 600 patients across its five California and Texas offices.
When not working, he enjoys his seven grandchildren, all of whom live in Bakersfield.