Thursday, April 3, 2008


Pictured from left are Phyllis Clark, founder of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference; San Bernardino County Supervisor, Fifth District Josie Gonzales and Lisha Smith, field representative for Gonzales. Gonzales was one of several elected officials who attended the conference and presented certificates of recognition to Clark and the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference.

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) The fourth annual Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference ( has set the date of the 2008 conference for July 26 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at California Baptist University in Riverside. “This conference is dedicated to improving the overall health and well being of the African American community,” said Phyllis Clark, conference founder and president.

“Many of the diseases that African Americans suffer from are lifestyle related,” Clark said. “If we change our behavior, and change the behavior of the next generation, we can prevent many of these life-shortening health problems. The goal of this conference is to provide African Americans with the tools to make better lifestyles choices.”

A 2005 study of African Americans in San Bernardino County, completed by the African American Health Initiative (AAHI) led by Dr. V. Diane Woods, reported that African Americans in San Bernardino County die 13 years younger than Whites. Many due to lifestyle-preventable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer.

As a member of the AAHI team and surviving daughter of a mother lost to colon cancer, Clark’s experience led her to commit herself to help Black people live longer.

“The Healthy Heritage Conference focuses on the major health and wellness issues in the African American community such as cancer, heart disease and organ failure,” Clark said. The conference also addresses emotional health issues which are often not discussed in the Black community.

“Mental health advocates are finding there are many emotional health issues in the African American home such as alcohol, drug abuse and depression,” Clark said.

The 2008 conference will offer seminars from the nation's leading healthcare professionals, together with free screenings for HIV/AIDS, prostate cancer and blood sugar levels, Clark added.

The 2007 conference featured presentations from nationally renowned healthcare professionals specializing in minority health issues. The keynote speaker was psychologist Dr. Kimlin Ashing-Giwa, director of City of Hope’s Center of Community Alliance for Research & Education.

The 2008 Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference Committee started planning for 2008 last August. The committee includes staff members from Riverside County Public Health Department, the American Cancer Society, the Southern California Witness Project, Inland Agency, Clark Marketing Group, Dameron Communications and many volunteers.

Sponsors for the 2007 conference were First 5 San Bernardino, Abbott Labs, Riverside Community Health Foundation, Novartis, Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and Kaiser Permanente.

“Although the information is targeted at the African American community, the conference is open to all nationalities,” Clark said.

San Bernardino County 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales attended the 2007 conference to gather information for her constituents. Gonzales was one of several elected officials who presented certificates of recognition to Clark at the conference. Clark was also recognized by U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter, Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge and the Rialto City Council.

As a Supervisor, Gonzales sees the financial effects of mid- to low-income families who do not go to the doctor regularly. Many of these families make frequent trips to the emergency room, which is a huge strain on the government, Gonzales said.

“Many of our residents don’t make the commitment to practice health prevention,” Gonzales said. “This transfers into huge costs for the county.”

She said the conference offered area residents a chance to learn about ways to prevent serious health problems and about different health insurance options.

Gonzales added that it was important that Inland Empire residents monitor their health and pay attention to potential health problems.

“When we’re young we think we are never going to get sick,” Gonzales said. “As years pass it may not seem that our health is deteriorating, but there are signs, and we must train ourselves to recognize the symptoms leading to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.”

Failure to plan for future health problems can have a disastrous effect on personal finances. “One third of all bankruptcies are because of health care costs,” she said.

To join the planning committee, or become a volunteer, sponsor, presenter or vendor for the 2008 Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference call (951) 565-4431 or e-mail .


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The Inland Empire African-Chamber of Commerce will hold its 18th annual Awards Banquet 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the Canyon Crest Country Club, 975 Country Club Drive in Riverside.

Awards to be given this year are Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, which will recognize a person between the ages of 16 and 21 who has started his or her own business, and New Entrepreneur of the Year, recognizing the owner of a business that has recently started or a person who is thinking of starting a business.

“This event recognizes African-Americans in business in the Inland Empire,” said Dolores Armstead, Chamber vice president.” “We especially want to give recognition to a young business person and one who is just starting out.”

Keynote speaker is Roland Gilbert, a personal and professional development coach and expert in sales leadership. He formed RNG Consulting Group in 2006, which specializes in helping sales teams market their businesses.

“Our honorees have already accomplished some fantastic things in their businesses,” Armstead said. “And Roland Gilbert will motivate all business owners to reach higher levels of success.”

Admission is $50. Reservations should be made by Friday, April 18.

Call the Inland Empire African-American Chamber of Commerce at (909) 888-5223 for more information, or email


(PALM SPRINGS, Calif.) The Palm Springs/Inland Chapter of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) will host a student Career Day Saturday, April 5 in Corona.

The conference is sponsored by the Palm Springs/Inland, Los Angeles, Orange County and Pasadena chapters of ASID. It takes place at the FLOORCO Design Center showroom, 146 Via Trevizio, Corona from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“I encourage all interior design students and industry professionals to join us for a great networking opportunity,” said Sara Sandoval, academic director for interior design at the Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. “Students interested in interior design will benefit from the networking with dynamic professionals, a wide variety of educational choices and career options in the field.”

The conference is open to students and industry professionals. Student members of ASID may register for $20. Interior design students who are not in ASID may do so for $30, and interior design professionals may register for $40.

For more information about registering, contact Traci Kunz at, or by calling (760) 346-5300, or Maria Cruz at or (760) 449-0724.

Participants will find employers to network with and possibly a new job, but this conference offers them much more. Most importantly, they will have an opportunity to learn from interior design experts in Southern California about current topics in the field.

There will also be at least one speaker whose expertise is in helping people find jobs. Scott Saunders, director of career services for the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, will discuss strategies for finding employment, including networking in the hidden job market.

“Especially in the field of interior design, at least 50 to 80 percent of the open positions are hidden, meaning they are not publicly posted,” Saunders said. “My presentation will show them how to network in the hidden job market by making industry contacts and by working with organizations such as ASID.”

Other topics to be addressed by industry professionals include green design, how to obtain required state certifications, and contemporary design techniques. There will also be keynote speakers, product tours and vendor booths.

Lunch is served during the conference, and the last two hours are dedicated to a “social networking event.” During this event, there will be an expanded vendor display of potential employers, live music, wine tasting and an opportunity to network with students and industry professionals. Many of these professionals, including Sandoval from the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, will be available to critique resumes or answer questions about the industry.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion and Retail Management and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes ( with 40 educational institutions throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals.

For more information about the Art Institute or a tour, call (909) 915-2100.


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)– Have you ever dreamed of marketing your own line of clothes? Do you want to decide what hot fashion looks will show up in Nordstrom’s, Macy’s and other top fashion retailers?

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire ( is offering a new degree program in Fashion and Retail Management that will allow students to learn the inner workings of the fashion business. With the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire’s year-round schedule, students could obtain this bachelor’s degree in three years.

“We finally have a program right in our back yard,” said Phyllis Clark, who has worked in fashion merchandising for more than 20 years and serves as a member of the new major’s program advisory committee. “Students in the Inland Empire will have a very exciting opportunity to study fashion merchandising and retailing as a career.”

The Inland Empire needs a qualified labor force in the fashion industry, Clark said, because there are a growing number of large, upscale retail centers in the two-county area. A few of these are Victoria Gardens and the Ontario Mills Outlet Mall in the west San Bernardino Valley, the Galleria at Tyler and Riverside Plaza in Riverside and the Cabazon Outlet Mall in Cabazon and El Paseo in Palm Desert.

Now that the fashion and retail management program has begun, Clark said, the Art Institute also plans to expose others to the world of fashion by bringing in speakers and staging fashion shows.

“They have an important and necessary role in the fashion landscape of the Inland Empire,” she said.

“Anyone who would love to have a job in fashion or retail management should study in this new major at the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire,” said Jerry Foust, Dean of Academic Affairs. “We focus on entry level careers, and our new degree program will give students the skills necessary to enter the world of fashion and retail management.”

The program provides a broad-based general education, then offers specialized courses in marketing, fashion design and retail management. Topics students will learn include retail marketing, designing fashion portfolios, staging fashion shows and predicting fashion trends, to name a few.

As with all of the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire degree programs, the fashion and retail management courses will be taught by instructors who have worked in the field. One of the program’s instructors is Robert Delgadillo, who designs advertisements for the chic and upscale Beverly Hills clothing boutique, Kitson. Delgadillo is also an instructor in the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire’s graphic arts department.

You can start classes before summer at the Art Institute. The next sessions begin May 8. For more information, or for a tour of the campus, call (909) 915-2100.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion and Retail Management and Media Arts & Animation. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes ( with 40 educational institutions throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary professionals.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Gift baskets filled to overflowing with gourmet goodies, pampering products or specialty items a company can use to market itself, have garnered a high award for Marilyn Taylor, owner of The Bountiful Basket.

Rave Reviews! magazine has named this Southern California business one of the Top 50 Gift Basket Businesses in the United States. The award recognizes The Bountiful Basket as one of the major gift basket makers based on Taylor and her team’s dedication to her business, the creativity of her customized baskets and the wide variety of upscale products included in them.

“This is a prestigious award,” Taylor said. “Rave Reviews! is an upscale magazine that caters to advanced basket designers serving a high-end clientele.”

This is the third time Taylor's has been named a Top 50 Gift Basket Business. In 2005and 2006, Gift Basket Review magazine named her to its Top 50. This magazine caters to both professional gift basket designers such as Taylor, and to those who design gift baskets as a hobby.

Before being named to Rave Reviews! Top 50, Taylor completed a detailed questionnaire. It asked about the types of baskets she designs, which are the best sellers and how she markets her baskets.

“Some gift basket retailers don’t design their own baskets, but order shipments from large foreign suppliers then resell them,” Taylor said. “We take great pride and pleasure in designing our customers’ gift baskets ourselves.

“Our biggest competitor is Costco. People can go there and see 20 baskets all the same, with no personality.”

“For the same price they can have a beautiful unique basket custom designed for their recipient, delivered to their customer’s or loved one’s door.”

Taylor does half of her business on the web, and will ship orders all over the world. Many of her customers are out of state; one of her biggest clients is in Texas and a large number of orders come from New Jersey and New York.

Since 1995, Taylor has made a career out of designing her own gift baskets. Her team scours trade shows and elsewhere looking for gourmet foods and uniquely shaped baskets. They have more than 500 different products that can be used to create a specially designed gift, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the local area.

What’s more, the baskets and other gift containers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

For instance, she discovered a company that hand makes baskets in the shape of states, and uses a California-shaped basket to hold an assortment of products native to the state, including chocolates manufactured locally.

“We have a wonderful variety of made-in-California products that are not found in any grocery stores,” Taylor said.

About four years ago, they started designing children’s baskets, and now sell many of them to families with children at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and other hospitals throughout the United States. These baskets are filled with interactive toys, games and books.

“I search the globe for things that get children to use their minds,” she said. “It’s hard to find things that aren’t video games or otherwise keep them in their own zone.”

Earlier this year, one of her top-selling kids’ baskets included Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.

For adults, both men and women, many of her best-selling baskets contain her Bountiful Spa Therapy line of lotions and other items for the bath. She developed this line after sampling hundreds of similar products and finding none that were “just right.”

Other baskets could be filled with coffee, cookies, chocolates, savory snacks, fruit or many other choices.

At the website, Taylor has dozens of examples to choose from, $10 to $500. These are grouped by themes such as holidays, corporate, children’s and teenagers’ baskets, college students’ designs and gifts with different varieties of products.

But, if none of those designs are exactly what you’re looking for, The Bountiful Basket can custom-make the perfect gift that you will be proud to give and will fit within your budget.

“If someone is allergic to peanuts, we won’t put that in there,” she said. “Or if they would rather have tea than coffee, we can accommodate that.”

She also encourages businesses to include their own products in their gift baskets. And she can imprint names and custom messages on the ribbons that adorn the baskets, for an even more personalized and professional touch.

How do you create an award-winning business from the Inland Empire?

“We treat every customer as though they’re a business next door and they come back again and again,” she said. “Our business is our passion and it shows in every gift we create.”

For more information about The Bountiful Basket, call (909) 425-2203 or visit


Art Institute of California-Inland Empire president Byron Chung has been recognized for arts leadership.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – The Inland Valley News has named Byron Chung, president of the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, as the region’s Outstanding Leader in the Arts for the Inland Empire.

Chung, a Chino Hills resident, was chosen from a competitive field of highly qualified candidates for one of the 11th Annual Celebration of Excellence awards. These honors recognize leaders who have made a positive impact in the Inland Empire and the Inland Valley.

“I’m honored to receive the award,” Chung said. “However, I feel it is a culmination of the hard work everyone here has done over the last few years to build this wonderful school for young artists to develop.”

This year’s awards program is sponsored by The Inland Valley News. Leaders in Arts, Business, Civics, Community Activism, Community Service, Education, Religion and Youth Leadership will be recognized.

Chung and other honorees will receive their awards April 19 at the 11th Annual Celebration of Excellence Awards Gala at the Avalon Ballroom at The Fairplex, Pomona.

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design and Media Arts & Animation and Fashion and Retail Marketing. There are also Associate of Science degrees in Graphic Design and Culinary Arts. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

It’s not too late to start classes. Courses begin March 31, with offerings in the days, evenings and on weekends for new and reentry students. For details or a tour of the campus call (909) 915-2100, or go on line to

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of The Art Institutes ( with 38 educational institutions throughout North America providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.