Since Chevron’s “Fresno Doers” commercial published in May, it seems like it’s everywhere.
“This is a story about doers, energy and the world’s most productive farmland.” Cue the flute here.
Can you hear it in your head?
If you read The Bee online, you’ve likely seen the ad play before watching a video. It’s also all over the KFSN-TV (better known as ABC30) website. It’s even been spotted on Snapchat, the social media platform that lets you send photos that eventually disappear.
The ad pays tribute to Fresno County’s rich agriculture history and products, such as Jumbo Thompson raisins, The Big Fresno Fair and Kingsburg’s Swedish roots.
But did you know many of the actors in the commercial are real-life Fresno County people?
Everyone likely recognizes Parker, the Fresno Grizzlies mascot. Mike Cruz, the president of Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company, also is no stranger to the downtown crowd. You also get a glimpse of Mecca Billiards, located on Fulton Street.
And then there’s Nate, the guy with a septum piercing and earlobe gauges who’s operating a drone.
Nate ‘The Doer’ Deister
Nate Deister, 33, is a Coalinga resident who works for Chevron as a production operator. The way Deister describes it, he’s one of the people in charge of saying how much and how often steam is needed to heat up oil so it can be pumped out of the ground.
Originally from a small town in Colorado, Deister met his wife through a mutual friend in Colorado. Deister moved to Coalinga, where his wife’s family lived, 13 years ago when they married. They have an 11-year-old daughter.
Deister enjoys his life in Coalinga, where people now always mention the commercial when they see him. “I really like the small-town mentality,” he said. “I like going to the grocery store and knowing everybody.”
Deister has worked for Chevron for about 10 years but got his start in the oil industry 12 years ago grinding welds. He worked his way up and worked for a bigger rig company before being recruited by Chevron.
“Most of the guys had assumption: ‘They’d (Chevron) never hire someone like me,’ ” Deister said. “I thought differently and said ‘Why not?’ ”
Deister is upfront about his appearance and said he was surprised Chevron approached him.
“Based off what commercials are normally comprised of, I don’t fit the cookie-cutter format,” he said. “It’s not generally someone who’s covered in tattoos or has facial piercings. That’s generally not what people use for the face of a company.”
But Chevron did choose him: “I think it’s very forward thinking and sends the message that appearance doesn’t determine someone’s value.”
Don’t forget about George
George Beal, 69, has been a Chevron dealer in the San Joaquin Valley since 1996. He and his brother own several Fresno Johnny Quick Food Stores and supply Chevron gasoline.
In the “Doers” ad, he’s the guy standing at a gas station who tells the narrator “Don’t forget about me!”
Beal, born in Munich, Germany, came to the Valley in 1969 after living in Garden Grove.
“The first time I ever came to Fresno, I thought it was probably abundant with opportunities,” Beal said. “In the 40 to 50 years I’ve been here, I think it still has all those opportunities it did in 1969. There’s so many opportunities here.”
Now, he has a family of his own: four sons, a daughter and nine grandchildren.
He’s had a favorable relationship with Chevron and was happy to do the commercial.
“I don’t think people realize the vast holdings or contribution of energy that Chevron has here in the Valley,” he said. “If you think about it, everything you do is energy related – whether you grow oranges or pick grapes.”
One of the first faces you see in the commercial is 29-year-old Damaris Flores. In the ad, she’s at the Centerville Fruit Station and proclaims Fresno County to be “FresYes County.”
The line is a play on the “FresYes” phrase, a term realtor Jason Farris used to name his company and expand on the real estate blog and website. It’s become a popular slogan for Fresnans, and a cheeky joke for people from out of town who are trying to prove they fit in.
The stay-at-home mom was recruited for the ad through her husband’s employer, Harvest Field Organic Farm, a nonprofit farm located at Fresno Adventist Academy. Hope Obermiller, who runs the farm with her husband, David, also is featured in the ad.
Flores’ husband, Matthew, grows the crops in the greenhouses and high tunnels for the farm.
Damaris and Matthew met as teenagers at Teen Bible Academy, a three-week program for youth that focuses on solitude (the Floreses spent their time in Yosemite), study and service.
“We really hit it off,” Damaris said.
At the time, Damaris lived in Bakersfield and Matthew was from Hanford. They’ve lived in the Fresno area for just over a year.
The couple is raising three boys: Micah, 9; Elijah, 4; and Jacob, 2.
Matthew and Micah are in the commercial also.
The Flores family is “an adventurous family. We love hiking and camping,” Damaris said. And Micah, who shovels Jumbo Thompson raisins into a bag in the commercial, is “such a boy.”
“He loves being outdoors, going biking, riding his bike around the farm,” Damaris said. “He and the Obermiller kids love building tree houses.”
The commercial has been a blessing in the Flores family’s lives.
“God truly is leading us,” Damaris said, “and I feel like that commercial really has been a great blessing to us, and our son as well. He’s providing for us in ways we didn’t think of.”