Friday, July 25, 2008

Matt Sloan new Dameron Communications Intern

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Matthew Sloan has joined the creative staff at Dameron Communications as an intern.

“Working for a local firm allows me to get to know how a Public Relations company works, as opposed to learning how a small department within a huge corporation works,” says Sloan.

Sloan believes that interning for Carl Dameron at Dameron Communications will give him a better appreciation for the field and an understanding of Community Relations, Government Relations, Public Relations and Advertising.

“I love Public Relations and photography. My goal is to use my love for photography and my love for writing together in Public Relations. Public Relations and photography are pretty similar in that both are trying to sell products to clients,” says Sloan

Sloan is currently enrolled at California State Polytechnic University of Pomona pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.

Sloan is the 2008/2009 vice president for the Cal Poly Pomona branch of the Student Public Relations Society of America and previously served as the club’s historian for the 2007/2008 term. He also served as a chairperson for the Cal Poly Pomona Communications Club.

A summer school photography course with Dr. Neil Chapman was all it took for Sloan to join the world of photography.

After the class he started to work as a photojournalist, which led to a photography internship with Cal Poly. He is completing the internship and will start to do public relations for the music department in the fall.

He belongs to the Cal Poly Pomona Concert Choir and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sloan has worked for the Poly Post, Cal Poly Pomona’s school newspaper, as a photojournalist for the past year. He plans on being a staff writer as well as continuing to take pictures for the paper in the fall.

“Working for the Poly Post allows me to stay in the know about any events being held at Cal Poly. It also allows me access to take a look at what goes on behind the scenes and gives me the privilege to get as close as need be to get the shot,” says Sloan.

Sloan will graduate in June of 2009 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. His future plans are to work for a local Public Relations firm and grow with the company. He plans to continue working as a photojournalist and work toward merging his public relations experience with photography.

For more information call Dameron Communications at (909) 888-0321

About Dameron Communications
Since 1989 Dameron Communications has creatively met the needs of our diverse client base locally, regionally and nationally. We are an award- winning agency that creates integrated marketing solutions to increase sales and profits, win elections, inform the public or gain acceptance of potentially controversial issues. We use our 20 years of communications knowledge and experience to advance our clients’ objectives.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


California State Secretary of Education Dave Long receives a plaque of appreciation from Janice DeBenedetti, state consultant to the Home Economics Careers and Technology program.

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) Home Economics Careers & Technology teachers serve important needs in our schools, according to California State Secretary of Education David Long.

“I graduated from a small high school in Iowa, where every single person had to take Home Economics. We had no choice,” Long says. “Home economics courses are important now, more than ever.”

The home economics course Long took in his own high school focused on cooking, and what he learned still comes in handy, he says. Since becoming the California State Secretary of Education in 2007, Long has lived alone four nights a week in Sacramento, while his wife stays at their home in Riverside County, working in her job as an elementary school principal.

“My home economics teacher told me, for guys this course is called survival skills,” he said. “These days, I agree.”

Had Long taken his one home economics course more recently, and in California, it would have done even more to prepare him for a successful future. Besides learning to cook for themselves, young men and women in introductory Home Economics Careers & Technology courses learn important life skills such as managing budgets, parenting and much more.

These introductory classes also give students a glimpse into careers they could have in the industry. That’s why they’re known by the name of Home Economics Careers and Technology, rather than simply home economics.

Home Economics Careers and Technology courses prepare students to work in three industry sectors: Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation (including Culinary Arts); Fashion & Interior Design; and Education, Child Development & Family Services. The courses, which focus on both leadership and career development, are offered in high schools, Regional Occupations Programs and some middle schools.

In the 1970s, California began expanding its home economics courses, taking the focus beyond traditional homemaking. The program now has a dual focus. One program, Consumer and Family Studies, prepares students with personal and life management skills. The other, Home Economics Related Occupations, prepares students for high-skill, high-wage careers in the related industries.

“That’s why what these teachers do is so important,” Long says. “I know that some people think that every child must go to college, but many students may choose to be trained to work in a great career, and Home Economics Careers and Technology is accomplishing that goal.”

Long made these remarks to a group of teachers who were in Riverside for training in how to teach students to work in the growing hospitality, tourism and recreation industry. These teachers came from such diverse places as Bieber, a small town near the Oregon border, to South Central Los Angeles, and each of them hopes for their students to have jobs close to home in this industry.

Janice DeBenedetti, state consultant for the Home Economics Careers and Technology program, said there are almost 900,000 jobs throughout the state in hospitality, tourism and recreation, and that it should grow nearly 5 percent each year through 2014.

There are more than 750 schools offering Home Economics Careers and Technology courses. More than 300,000 students are enrolled in these classes throughout the state.

For more information, call Janice DeBenedetti at (916) 323-5025.


Carol Bertotto, (right) culinary arts and restaurant management teacher at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, learns the finer points of greeting newly-arrived guests at the Riverside Marriott Hotel from front desk supervisor Christina Herrera. Bertotto took part in a seminar on Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation put on by Home Economics, Careers and Technology, which supports the program at Eisenhower and other schools throughout California.

(RIVERSIDE, California) From small towns on the Oregon border to South Central Los Angeles, California secondary teachers see the hospitality and tourism industry as something that could give their students a great future.

To better prepare them for that future, nine Home Economics Careers and Technology teachers spent the week of June 23 through June 27 at the Riverside Marriott Hotel gaining an inside view of the industry through workshops and mini-internships. In these internships, they helped Marriott employees do the work that goes on each day in a hotel.

“There are jobs here that could give my students a great income as they work their way through college,” said Carol Bertotto, “And if a person has a passion to work in this industry, and learns their job well, there is room for advancement into well-paid careers.”

Bertotto already teaches culinary arts and restaurant management at Eisenhower High School in Rialto. This year, her school is changing its curriculum to create “pathways” students can follow to careers in specific industry sectors, and will add a tourism/hospitality course to its Home Economics Careers and Technology program.

Each participating teacher spent part of her week in five separate internships, each in one of nine areas of the hotel: Accounting, Outlets (restaurants), Catering, Concierge, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Kitchen, Reservations and Security. During the two-hour internships, a department supervisor explained his or her job, then allowed the teacher to have some “on-the-job” experience.

The employees also shared some insider tips. For instance, the teachers who did the Outlets internships in the afternoon hours learned how to pour beer bottles into mugs without causing them to foam excessively, while those doing this internship in the morning learned the secrets of mixing Marriott’s specialty coffee drinks.

And those who did the Concierge internship learned the lengths the hotel will go to for earning and keeping their customers’ repeat business. For any guest, that includes an eagerness to meet their customers’ needs, going so far as to run to the nearby drugstore for things like special brands of toothpaste or a bathing suit.

“CVS is my best friend,” said Corliss Brown, the evening concierge. “And before they opened (in February 2008), I sometimes ran all over Riverside looking for things.”

Some of the hotel’s guests have stayed at the Riverside Marriott frequently, or for a great length of time, and have qualified for a “frequent-stayer” rewards program. This includes floors reserved just for them with gift baskets on arrival and a luxury hospitality suite that comes with a near fully-stocked bar.
“We know some of them almost like family,” Brown said. “So, I want them to feel like they are at home.”

“In this business, we have learned the most important thing is the customer,” said Sharon Yonohera, who teaches tourism and hospitality to students at Big Valley High School in Bieber, California. “They have to be people pleasers. They have to be flexible. They have to work hard. We have to teach our students to do that.”

In addition to their mini-internships, the teachers heard presentations from Riverside Marriott General Manager Tom Donahue, Glendale Community College Tourism/Hospitality instructor Michael Lao, and the state’s Home Economics Careers and Technology staff. They also went on tours of the Riverside Convention Center, the Marriott Courtyard Inn in Riverside and the Mission Inn, to learn how these businesses provide hospitality to their guests.

Home Economics Careers and Technology courses prepare students to work in three industry sectors: Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation (including Culinary Arts); Fashion & Interior Design; and Education, Child Development & Family Services. The courses, which focus on both leadership and career development, are offered in high schools, Regional Occupations Programs and some middle schools.

In the 1970s, California began expanding the focus beyond traditional homemaking. The program now has a dual focus. One program Consumer and Family Studies, prepares students with personal and life management skills. The other, Home Economics Related Occupations, prepares students for high-skill, high-wage careers in the related industries.

While culinary, fashion and child development courses remain staples of most schools’ home economics curriculum; programs now address broad topics like tourism and hospitality, consumer affairs and energy conservation.

For more information, call Janice DeBenedetti at (916) 323-5025.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


A few years ago, Black men in San Bernardino County died at an average age of 56, Black women at an average age of 63. White people in the county lived an average of 13 years longer. The African-American Health Institute has worked to decrease this disparity, and will present some of its efforts at a national conference in San Diego this October.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) A veteran of 35 years in the public health arena, Dr. V. Diane Woods, and other community partners within the African-American Health Institute will present results and follow-up interventions of the African American Health Planning Project of San Bernardino County at the 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition of the American Public Health Association in October.

Dr. Woods is the president and CEO of African-American Health Institute of San Bernardino County. She is also the assistant research psychologist in the psychology department of the University of California, Riverside.

“For Americans of African ancestry,” Woods cites, “there is a disproportionately higher mortality rate across all preventable health conditions. In San Bernardino County alone the average age at death for the Black population is 59 years.” One reason she points out is a lack of significant investment and “political will” of the County Supervisors to aggressively address health issues of local residents. One glaring deficit is the lack of significant funds going to Black owned community-based organizations working on health issues within their communities.

“You know the cliché,” she says: “Blacks don’t care about health concerns. It’s a myth. A similar impression carries over to Latinos and Native Americans, as well.
Look at it this way. In our county we have community groups and organizations doing what they can with limited money. These organizations start with their personal resources, donations from the churches, and a few dollars from different sponsors but not enough money to sustain programs that matter to their people. They cannot hire and pay people a decent wage to keep programs going for a long period of time. These Black organizations are doing what they can to help others, not just only Black folks.”

“Data from the AAHI Planning Project (funded by The California Endowment) indicated 78.9 percent of the Black population in the study had health insurance coverage with 60 percent having their own physicians. This type of findings also dispelled a common myth that Blacks do not have insurance. Woods has used the findings from the planning project to work with the community on nine strategic recommendations to change the poor health outcomes of Blacks.

Woods’ and the community partners’ presentation will share ways they work together to address health issues with the Black population, as well as other ethnic minorities.

The theme for this five-day meeting and exposition of national public health professionals is Public Health Without Borders.

The APHA meeting and exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world. It attracts more than 15,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers and other related health specialists. As the APHA executives say, “The world of public health is in continual motion, and there is no better time to stay abreast of the research and learn about emerging issues.”

Dr. Woods and colleagues will present six sessions, which are “We The People – Champions for Policy Change” (with Katie Greene, health policy analyst for AAHI ); “Invisible Bars – Barriers to Women’s Health During and After Incarceration” (with Kim Carter, CEO and founder of Time For Change Foundation); “Engaging Community for Structural Changes to Eliminate Critical Public Health Social Epidemics in America and the Bahamas” (with Dr. Robin Roberts, of the Medical Society of the Bahamas); “Utilizing Community Participatory Research Methods to Document Women’s Health Issues in Prison” (with Kim Carter and Disep Ojukwu, a statistician for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health); “Epidemiological Modeling of Interventions for Women in Prison” (with Kim Carter); and “Creating a Community Driven Policy Advocacy Infrastructure to Address Ethnic Health Disparities” (with Katie Green.)

The nearly 80 conference proceedings and more than a thousand sessions will span information technology, health law, women’s issues, community research, pubic health education, gay and lesbian issues, human rights concerns, maternal and children’s health, school health education, numerous government-related topics, emergent public health issues, and matters concerning all people, especially American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

More than 700 numerous organizations’ booths will be on hand, for information and distributing free materials. Public Health students are strongly encouraged to attend. The African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County, of which Woods is CEO and president, will have its own in the Public Health Expo booth. She says, “We’ll be displaying material from our various collaborative partners and participating community stakeholders.”

The American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition runs from October 25 through 29 at the Convention Center in San Diego. The public is welcome, with a reduced fee for admission.

For further details on all aspects of the event, call (909) 880-2600.

About the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County
AAHI-SBC is a community-based resource focused solely on improving health among Americans of African ancestry, the poor and under-represented (URM) ethnic minorities in the Inland Empire. Please visit our Web Site at and learn more about what self-help groups and others are doing to improve the conditions of Blacks. You will also find the history of AAHI-SBC, an extensive list of partners, and activities underway.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Members of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference Planning Committee listen to Chairman Phyllis Clark present information about this July 26 event that will empower everyone, especially Blacks, to take charge of their physical, spiritual and emotional health.

(Riverside, Calif.) – Statistics show Black men in the Inland Empire live, on average, to be only 56 years old, and Black women live to an average of 63 years.

That’s about 13 years less than white people in the area.

When the African-American Health Initiative publicized these statistics a few years ago, some agencies decided to do something about it. In 2005, a coalition formed to put on the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference.

The Fourth Annual Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference is set for Saturday, July 26 at California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside.

“This is the premier wellness conference in this area,” said Phyllis Clark, chairman of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference planning committee. “It is well-established and well-sponsored.”

Sponsorships for this year’s conference are still available. They include The American Cancer Society, Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhARMA), Southern California Edison, the Riverside Community Health Foundation, Inland Agency, Dameron Communications, Brothers and Sisters in Action (BASIA), Abbott Vascular and Novartis.

These sponsorships allow the conference organizers to put the event on at no charge.

The conference features some top-notch speakers, both local experts and those from outside the Inland Empire. But participants also can learn more about taking charge of their health in at least 40 information booths that will be set up in or near a courtyard by Cal Baptist’s Wallace Theater.
“This is a solutions-based conference,” Clark said. “People walk away with information they can apply.”

For instance, in one booth – actually a mobile medical clinic – doctors working with the University of California, Irvine Medical School will conduct clinical breast exams for women, and prostate cancer screenings for men.

In another booth, the American Cancer Society will give people a Colon Awareness Questionnaire, a survey designed to promote awareness of the benefits of colonoscopies in detecting early forms of colon cancer. Colonoscopies, and other types of screenings such as mammograms are performed in medical clinics with specialized equipment, but like the more basic breast and prostate exams, are vital tools in keeping people healthy.

“We want to make sure people know colon cancer is preventable and curable,” Clark said.

Most people should start having colonoscopies when they are 50 years old, Clark said. Since Blacks are more genetically predisposed to colon cancer, doctors often urge them to begin these screenings at age 40 or 45, and people with a close relative who contracted colon cancer early in life are often urged to have their first colonoscopy in their 20s or 30s.

Yet another American Cancer Society booth will feature “Ask the Experts.” Three specially trained health care workers will be on hand in this booth to answer questions. They can’t discuss specific cases, but can provide general knowledge about many health care subjects, especially those involving cancer.

And if you get there early, you can take a class in healthy eating at the Riverside County Nutrition Services booth. This is information you can pass on to others who would like to make healthy changes to their diet.

This 30-minute class, offered from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., and again from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., is designed for both health care professionals and others, said Diane Wayne, a senior nutritionist with Riverside County Nutrition Services. It will address how to lower cholesterol and fats, and skills needed to select heart-healthy foods.

“And you will get a free cook book,” Wayne said.

The course is free, but participants must register Riverside County Nutrition Services before the day of the event. Call (951) 358-5880 to register or for more information about this course.
In a nearby booth, Chef Tony Stemley of French Quarter Catering will have his healthy sweet potato pie for sale. During the afternoon portion of the conference, Stemley will explain healthy cooking as part of a panel discussion on wellness.

From 7:30 a.m. through 9:30 a.m. Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference participants are encouraged to walk about the booths on the Cal Baptist campus, availing themselves of all the resources provided.

The conference itself begins at 9:30 a.m. with presentations until noon by guest speakers. Conference participants will then enjoy a healthy and complementary lunch, and may continue to visit the booths to learn more about being healthy.

The keynote speaker Nikia Hammonds Blakely, represents the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a member of both its Young Women’s Advisory Council and its Circle of Promise speakers’ bureau, which targets Black women. Hammonds Blakely will not only give a motivational speech which explains how she became a breast cancer survivor when she was just 16 years old, but also will provide musical entertainment.

Other speakers are:

· Dr. E.M. Abdlulmumin, a psychologist at the University of California – Riverside Counseling Center and psychology professor for the Thomas Haider UCR/UCLA Program in Biomedical Sciences at UCR. Dr. Abdulmumin is also the founder and executive director of the DuBois Institute, a recreational and educational program for youth at the Bobby Bonds Sports Complex in Riverside.

· Charles Fossett III of Montclair, a sociology professor and author of Heartbrokers and Marriagebrokers, two books that explore personal relationships.

In the afternoon, from 1:10 p.m. to 4 p.m., a wellness panel is facilitated by Pastor Gerald T. Hightower, founder and senior pastor of Purpose Center International in Perris. It also features Dr. Stephen H. Barag, a physician at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, speaking on hypertension and the doctor-patient relationship, Dr. Dave Williams, coordinator of the Riverside County Wellness Program, speaking on the holistic approach to wellness, Chef Anthony Stemley, sharing his techniques to prepare healthy meals and Tiombe Preston, a marriage and family therapist from othe Black Women’s Health Project, speaking on emotional health.

The free Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference is organized by a committee which includes staff members from Riverside County Public Health Department; the American Cancer Society; the Southern California Witness Project, a breast cancer awareness group; Inland Agency; Dameron Communications and many volunteers.

For more information or to attend the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference call (951) 565-4431 or e-mail


Taylor Iverson and Roxanne Morgan review samples for an Interior Design project they were working on earlier this year at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire. Interior Design students have recently put their studies to practical use by working with Habitat for Humanity to design fixtures in an 1,800 square foot home nearing completion in Riverside.

(SAN BERNARDINO Calif.) “Ours isn’t a typical college class,” said Marie Feuer, an instructor of the Human Factors interior design class at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. “There’s no read-this-chapter-and-take-a-test here. Ours is a hands-on effort, taking the design students from the abstract and theoretical, to the concrete and the real world.”

After five weeks of intense planning, researching and designing, a dozen of the institute’s students are ready to actually install what they’ve created in a new 1,800 square foot house built by Habitat for Humanity in Riverside for Stephanie and Ron Suarez and their six children.

On Thursday, July 24 at 7 a.m. students will arrive, along with Feuer, at the Riverside location ready to go. Their designs for cabinetry, shelving, storage units, kitchen and bathroom fixtures will become a reality when they execute the installation themselves.

Feuer notes, “The students had to submit proposals to the Habitat for Humanity staff which agreed on one without any changes at all. The plans had to be budgeted out, a list of tools assembled, building codes had to be assessed and a timeline established. The students used CAD software along with PowerPoint and InDesign programs, and even submitted materials samples. And they needed to determine what impact their choices of lighting and color would have on the family.”

“There were a thousand details to be dealt with,” she continues, “way beyond what designers normally have to handle. The students learned to get their hands dirty in the real world, understanding what a pain it can be to actually build their brilliant designs.”

The interior design students were split into two teams, and part of the learning was to learn how to get along in order to come up with so much and do it all on time and on budget.

Feuer explained how the students met with the Suarez family over dinner one night and set about interviewing the soon-to-be new homeowners. “The students asked question after question,” Feuer says. “Like, what were the children’s needs – for instance, our class created closets that will expand as the children’s lives evolve and they begin growing up.” And what did Mrs. Suarez like in a kitchen, how much storage space does the family need now and will require in the future? This was a wonderful evening.”

The students’ research included a trip to the Pitzer College, Claremont campus. “It’s prized as a ‘green’ school,” Feuer explains, “and we wanted to learn all we could in order to incorporate as many of the environmentally sensitive solutions as possible. We and Habitat wanted the house to be ecologically sound, not just be looking good.”

At the heart of the entire project at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire was the Academic Director for Interior Design, Sara Sandoval, “a queen at finding the best, unique projects for her students,” Feuer says. “It was Sara who contacted Habitat for Humanity in the first place. She gave me enormous freedom, just asking me to keep her informed of what we were planning and how we’d pull it off. To have an academic director who allows you that freedom, and who shows that she respects me and what I do, made the entire effort a total joy.”

The Suarez/Habitat for Humanity home is at 2929 11th Street in Riverside. Installation on the 24th begins at 7 a.m. and will run all day. The family will be handed the keys at a celebration July 29.

It’s not too late to start classes. Courses begin Aug. 21, offering day, evening and weekend classes 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 offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Culinary Management, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion Design 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 ( ), a system of over 40 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.