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Col. Merryl Tengesdal, USAF


Today's podcast was taped 4 weeks ago, and we saved it to launch this week in honor of Veterans day. 


On this week show we speak to Merryl Tengesdal a retired career military officer who is the first and only Black woman to fly the United Sates Airforce's U-2 spy plane used for specialized high-altitude reconnaissance missions. She is one of five women and only the fourth Black person to be in the U-2 program. She shares the plane's nickname, The Dragon Lady.


Tengesdal is a military veteran, aviator, and commander who served in both the US Navy and the US Air Force. Tengesdal had also served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan, and served as Director of Inspections for The Air Force Inspector General from October 2015 through August 2017, retiring at the rank of United States Air Force Colonel.


Col. Tengesdal is a true hero and a formidable and accomplished woman. I really enjoyed our conversation and I think you will also. 

Mark S. Allen

When we opened the Rancho Cordova Film Office three years ago we were very fortunate to get some TV coverage about our opening. A producer from ABC 10 in Sacramento called me and told me that the following morning at 5.30am their entertainment reporter would be here with a crew to do a series of live shots from our new offices for the Sacramento Morning Show. 5.30am I thought, is that even a time when people are up. 


Well the next morning our whole crew was in the office gushing down on coffee trying to wake up, and sure enough right on the dot and on cue at 5.30am our guest today shows up…he was so bright and cheery as he came bounding into our office and started to talk to us about the new Rancho Cordova Film Office. That was back in February of 2020 and that reporter was none other than Mark S. Allen. Mark is one of the best known and most popular local TV reporters in Sacramento but what sets Mark apart he is also well known and successful on the national stage with his Emmy Award Winning National shows. 

Doc Talks Edition

In June of last year, here at the film office we organized and presented the California Capital Documentary Film Festival. It was our first year and all in all, the festival went of without a hitch, well maybe a hitch or two but was enjoyed by all who attended. We presented around 60 documentary film  over three days and we learnt some lessons along the way.


Well the time has come for the Second Annual California Capital International Documentary Film Festival which this year will take place on Saturday, Sept 30 and Sunday, Oct 1.


We will screen over 50 films at three screening locations. Two of the screening locations will be at Rancho Cordova City Hall (yes we turn City Hall into a movie theatre) and the third, at Cal Cap Black Box Theater which is next door to our offices in Rancho Cordova.


We are very excited about the films selected this year and amongst them are 23 films from 23 different countries from around the world so truly an “International Film Festival”.


Over the next 6 weeks or so leading up to the festival, we will be presenting a series of shows every Friday that will feature the documentaries we are showing. We will talk with the filmmakers about their films, and the host for this series of shows will be two of the young guys who work with us here at the film office, Daniel Aniceto and Rafael Portillo, both are avid filmmakers and understand the process of making films.

Previous Episodes


   The Show

The Rancho Cordova Podcast is a weekly show brought to you by the California Capital Film Office, the official Film Office for the City of Rancho Cordova, CA. 


The City of Rancho Cordova, a neighbor to the City of Sacramento, is an emerging urban center with a small-town feel. With over 79,000 residents and a daily workforce of 65,000+ makes, Rancho Cordova is one of the largest employment centers in the Sacramento region. Whether you call Rancho, All-America City, Playful City USA, or Tree City USA, its friendly and safe neighborhoods reflect diversity, opportunity, partnerships, and fun, making Rancho Cordova a community where anyone can live, work, learn and play. 


Every week we get in-depth with the goings on in our City. We speak with a cross-section of our community and divide our show into six different topics. 


Get to Know City Hall: we get up close and personal with the men and women who work hard every day to make Rancho Cordova “All America City” a distinction made twice (2010 & 2019) by the  "National Civic League” who’s mission is to “advance engagement to create equitable, thriving communities”, and Rancho Cordova certainly fits that description.


The "Business" of Rancho Cordova: We have in-depth conversations with business leaders, entrepreneurs, and business owners large and small, and take the temperature of the economic climate of our city. Rancho Cordova is a great place to do business and we find out why. 


Arts and Entertainment: Rancho Cordova is known as the “City of Events” and houses one of the best Art Complex in our region The MACC,  as well as a black box theatre, Symphony D'oro, a Swing Dance Band, a Barrell district featuring 5 beer breweries, a Kambucha Brewery, two distilleries, and a Meadery. Rancho features one of the largest July 4th fireworks displays and a whole slate of large outdoor events. We will speak to the folks who organize these yearly events and discuss what makes these events so great the year after and we will speak to the many artists that make Rancho Cordova their home. 


Rancho Cordova Sports: The history of Rancho Cordova is closely linked with some of the most talented athletes in the country, and has a uniquely powerful history of youth sports achievement. Rancho Cordova features one of the best and most prolific "Sports Hall of Fame" in the Sacramento Region with an induction ceremony yearly. Guest Host Mike Marando features a monthly show where he gets in-depth with many of the acclaimed sportsmen and women that had their start in our city.


Interesting People: Rancho Cordova is home to many interesting people with deep roots not only in our city but the region in general. These are the folks that made Rancho Cordova the city it is today. This segment features in-depth interviews with many of these interesting people as we get in-depth about their life and history in Rancho Cordova. 


So if you live in our city, the City of Sacramento, or surrounding cities in the Sacramento region, or are thinking about moving here,  you will find this podcast interesting, informative, and most importantly fun. 

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Executive Producer & Host



Executive Producer 

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Fact-Checking & Research



Editor/Sound Design

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