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Media Life: Colfax High grad’s new book perks up Starbucks CEO

By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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When you’re getting high praise from the likes of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, there has to be a reason. For Peter Sims – author, speaker, entrepreneur and Colfax High School Class of 1994 – the praise is all about his new book “Little Bets.” Sims pulls together a variety of success stories in “Little Bets”– from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock and prize-winning architect Frank Gehry – to show how methodically taking small, experimental steps can lead to big things. The Christian Valley native’s “Little Bets,” with the subtitle “How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries,” is out this month under the Simon and Schuster imprint. Schultz, who knows his way around a great concept, describes “Little Bets” as “a powerful and practical book.” The book is the latest in a string of successes for Sims, who also co-wrote “True North,” a volume that landed on both Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-seller lists three years back. His business-centric writing has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Fortune and Tech Crunch, and the Stanford Business School graduate fetches five figures for speaking engagements. Now living in San Francisco, Sims said he still retains ties to the area, including keeping in contact with former Scoutmaster Bob Haydon, an Auburn banker who remains a friend and mentor. After Colfax High, Sims went on to earn an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School. He’s worked in venture capital and frequently speaks or advises at corporations and universities, including Cisco Systems, Eli Lilly, Current Media and Qualcomm. The book is already getting positive reviews for Sims, who now lives in San Francisco. “I have many teachers, coaches and members of the community to thank,” Sims said. And if the Sims name sounds familiar, it may be because of the distinguished court career his father, Judge Rick Sims has had. The elder Sims cut his judicial teeth as a Placer County Superior Court judge for two years in the early 1980s before being elevated to the California 3rd District Court of Appeals. Once talk of the town It’s a kind of a between-the-lines newsworthiness that Media Life believes deserves at least a mention in passing. Sande Bernadou’s obituary appeared earlier this month in the AJ after passing away March 21 in Southern California. She died after a short illness at the age of 54. Thirty-seven years ago, her looks and charm made a big splash with the judges and she was selected as 1974’s Miss Auburn. She graduated from Placer High in 1975 and shortly afterward left for Los Angeles. Bernadou made a bigger splash on a bigger stage in April 1976, when she appeared in the pages of Penthouse as its April “Penthouse Pet.” By all accounts, Bernadou went on to lead a full and happy life afterward, returning to Auburn on occasion to enjoy Class of 1975 reunions.