Collectively, Small Business Owners are the largest financial contributors to the American economy. Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities.

Join us for this FREE workshop to hear directly from some of the leading business organizations that are here to help individuals just like you!

*IMPORTANT PARKING INFORMATION: Parking is located North side of the building in the attached parking structure


9:00 AM - 9:10 AM

Special Guest — San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia


  • John Valdivia (Mayor at City of San Bernardino)

    John Valdivia

    Mayor at City of San Bernardino


    The Mayor is the chief spokesperson for the City of San Bernardino. He presides over City Council meetings and represents the City of San Bernardino on a variety of regional boards and commissions. Together with the City Council, the Mayor, is charged with ensuring that fundamental municipal services are provided to protect and promote public health, safety, and welfare.

    John Valdivia was elected by the San Bernardino residents and installed on December 19, 2018 as the City’s 29th Mayor. He was originally elected to represent the City’s third ward with nearly 70% of the total vote. During his tenure, Mayor Valdivia committed himself to neighborhood values, volunteering, and promoting civic pride for San Bernardino.

    Mayor Valdivia grew up in San Bernardino, attending City schools from k-12, and has been a proud resident since returning from college in the mid-west.

    Mayor Valdivia can best be described as passionate, energetic, and conscientious of the issues plaguing San Bernardino residents and the local public policy. He often reminds himself of the credo, "If not ME, then WHO? If not NOW, then WHEN?" He abides by that conviction as he prepares for meetings, town hall presentations, and community advocacy on issues that will improve the quality of life for citizens in San Bernardino.

    As San Bernardino Mayor, he commits to dedicating the resources and personnel necessary to tackle crime and to support the businesses of the City. He will continue to exercise good neighbor values and continue to consider the impact of policy on the local taxpayer and business.

    Mayor Valdivia pursued undergraduate studies from Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri), and graduate studies from Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, CA), and Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA). He is the proud husband to his wife, Bethany, and father to their two children.

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  • Sylvia Gutierrez (Economic Development Specialist at U.S. Small Business Administration)

    Sylvia Gutierrez

    Economic Development Specialist at U.S. Small Business Administration


    Sylvia works for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County / Inland Empire District Office. She is an Economic Development Specialist and Women’s Business Outreach Representative. She has more than 20 years of experience in business development. Her marketing and outreach activities reach the tri-county area of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino. She is invited to speak on SBA Programs and Services by various organizations and TV networks like Univision. Sylvia is tasked with participating at events that assist entrepreneurs start, grow and expand a business. She also works with Chambers of Commerce and ED professionals in public and private sectors.
    Sylvia holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from USC, and M.A. degree from The American University in Washington, D.C., in International Economic Policy, Business, and Finance. Sylvia is an active member of Toastmasters and she holds an Advanced Leadership and Toastmasters Silver Certificate.
    She was named 2019 Women of the Year by Congressman Lou Correa of California’s 46th District.

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  • Hilda Kennedy (Founder/President of AmPac Tri-State CDC, Inc)

    Hilda Kennedy

    Founder/President of AmPac Tri-State CDC, Inc


    Hilda Kennedy is the Founder/President of AmPac CDC. Prior to establishing the CDC, Kennedy worked in local government for the City of Inglewood, as Chief of Staff to the Mayor, Executive Assistant to the City Manager and Economic Development Director. As Economic Development Director, Kennedy established a $45 Million loan fund, leveraging HUD 108 funds with matching bank funds, to provide financing to businesses in the community.
    Hilda Kennedy served on the White House and SBA Council on Underserved Communities; one of 15 representatives chosen across the country. She is current President-Elect for the National Association of Women Business Owners-California; Past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Inland Empire Chapter, and is immediate Past President of the Risk Management Association – Inland Empire Chapter. Kennedy serves on the Board of the National Christian Foundation and is a Board Member of the National Association of Development Companies. Hilda Kennedy is an active member of her church in Ontario, CA and serves on the Board of the Mt. Zion Economic Development Corporation.

    Hilda has been recognized for her efforts to promote the growth of small businesses – she was recognized as the 32nd Senatorial District Woman of the Year by Senator Gloria Negrete McCloud 2012; received the 2012 ANITA Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners – Inland Empire Chapter; received the 2012 Community Excellence Community Builder Award, with her husband Pastor Brian Kennedy from Inland Valley Newspaper; received the 2011 Women in Business Champion Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration – Santa Ana District Office; was a recipient of the Black Rose Award-2009.

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  • Jeffrey Kowallis (V.P. Business Development Officer at Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking)

    Jeffrey Kowallis

    V.P. Business Development Officer at Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking


    One of my professional strengths would be my ability to quickly analyze and evaluate potential credit. Additionally I pride myself on excellent follow through with my colleagues and customers alike. Specialties: I specialize in commercial banking. Anything from C&I to real estate to business accounts.

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  • Edward Ornelas Jr. (President & CEO of Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce)

    Edward Ornelas Jr.

    President & CEO of Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce


    Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. is the President & CEO of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. Edward became involved with the IERCC in 2014 when he secured a position as VP of Business Development. In 2016 Edward was promoted to President & CEO by the Regional Chamber's Board of Directors.

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  • Christine Sanchez (Business Development Officer at Accion)

    Christine Sanchez

    Business Development Officer at Accion

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Access Pass

Light refreshments will be provided. *IMPORTANT PARKING INFORMATION: Parking is located North of the building structure directly attached the the structure

Standard Price Free


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