Friday, September 26, 2008

Animator for Transformers 2 Coming to Art Institute

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire will host an award-winning animator who has worked on the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Eagle Eye films, as well as other projects.

Hock Hian Wong will visit Room 154 of The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire on Saturday, Sept. 27at 12:30 p.m.

“He'll talk about his experience working with producers and directors like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich and also his experience directing cinematics and doing animation for games and films,” said Santosh Oomen, academic director for the Media Arts & Animation department at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.

Bay is the producer of Transformers and its 2009 sequel, Pearl Harbor and other films. Emmerich directed Independence Day, Godzilla and other films.

Besides animation, Wong is also an expert in pre-visualization, a concept used by many producers to create scenes before they begin shooting a film. This process can be as simple as filming the “story board” and as complex as creating 3-D renditions that might be used to create the film’s scenes and characters.

Wong created pre-visualization for both Transformers 2 and Eagle Eye, as well as for a Harry Potter ride at a theme park. He’s now working with Emmerich on the film 2012, which will be released next year.

As a freelance animator, Wong primarily works with film producers and directors, but his clients also produce both shows and commercials on television.

Prior to becoming a freelance animator last year, Wong worked in the cinematics department of Sony Computer Entertainment, where he supervised animation of such games as Warhawk, Lair, Killzone, Socom and many others.

Wong’s visit is combined with an end-of-quarter party for The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, so visitors can also enjoy a pizza lunch while there.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Council Challenger Louis Davis Up To Task

Louis Davis

(CORONA, Calif.) Louis Davis heads into the November 4 Corona City Council elections excited and ready for the challenge. He knows the council’s recent history well, having attended virtually every meeting for the past four years. He knows their frustrations, thinking and their limitations.

His bid for a seat on the Corona City Council is Davis’ first outing toward a major political office, but it isn’t his first outing into being a community leader. He’s been a member of the Corona Circle City Rotary, the Corona Library Trustee Board, the Norco Family YMCA Board and the board of the Riverside Community College Foundation. Early in 2004, Davis joined Southern California Edison, and currently serves as a Region Manager for Local Public Affairs serving unincorporated Riverside County, Norco and the City of Riverside.

“To be a member of the Corona City Council,” he says, “would be an honor and a privilege.” Our city needs to be able to sustain itself regardless of the difficult economic times. Corona has spent too many years being responsive to conditions; it’s time to be proactive to aid the community and businesses. We’re the third largest city in western Riverside County. It’s time we showcased Corona’s uniqueness and it ability to be driving force in Riverside County.”

Davis, however, doesn’t envision much happening for Corona with the present City Council makeup. “I just don’t see any long-range planning for our city’s future. Corona simply cannot be stuck in neutral for the next 20 to 25 years. Our city council is in need of a jolt of energy, and some fresh blood to take on this challenge. I am that fresh blood.”

A “challenge” is something he’s certainly accustomed to.

For 20 years Davis has lived with fused vertebrae in his neck plus damaged ones in his back, making some movements impossible and painful. By his late 20s Davis was paying for years of strenuous athletics including baseball and primarily football – “It was a matter of moving guys a lot bigger then me,” he says today.

Then, 21 years ago this very physical man was in the middle of his normal weight training routine in his regular gym when something went wrong, seriously wrong, with his neck vertebrae. Today the 49-year-old Corona resident walks slightly bent and can’t turn his head flexibly. “I just accept the pain,” he explains, “but I still get regular exercise.”

The father of four has refused to let the pain and discomforts affect his ability to raise his children or work to provide for his family. And it is with that same determination he is willing to take on the challenge to make Corona the model city for Riverside County.

“Given the chance on the City Council,” he states, “I can help take Corona where it ought to be, a leading Southern California community.”

About Louis Davis
On November 4, voters willing, Louis Davis will begin initiating three major programs for Corona: “I want to bring us venues that will generate revenues for our General Fund; I plan to bring prominent educational institutions to the city; and I’ll work hard to guide Corona to prepare for our future by bringing in high tech businesses with high end jobs, institutions that will survive economic downturns.”

For further information, or to contribute to the Louis Davis Campaign, go on line to


Auditor-Controller helps build better financial officers

Robert Byrd

(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) For more than five years Robert E. Byrd, Riverside County’s elected Auditor-Controller, has sponsored an educational teleconference for financial professionals to review the past year’s developments affecting accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments.

For the past 13 years The Government Finance Officers Association has offered its Annual Governmental GAAP Update teleconference to educate accounting and auditing professionals of changes, and on Thursday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., more than 3,000 accountants and auditors will participate from sites across the U.S.

The GAAP Update will offer a comprehensive and practical overview of all of the major developments in accounting and financial reporting during the past year that affect state and local governments, with special emphasis on the activities of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

The Inland Empire site for the GAAP Update teleconference is in Moreno Valley at the Riverside County DPSS Training Center at 22690 Cactus Ave., Suite 100.

The term GAAP, or "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles," has a specific meaning for accountants and auditors. GAAP is the basis for preparing all financial statements so that financial professionals and investors can trust the results.

Specific topics that will be addressed at this year’s teleconference include:

1. Components of fund balance and definitions of governmental fund types (new GASB statement)
2. Derivatives (new GASB statement)
3. Recognition and measurement attributes (active GASB project)
4. Implementation guidance (recent changes to the GASB’s Comprehensive Implementation Guide)
5. Common reporting deficiencies and practice clarifications (based on experience in the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program)
6. Best practices in accounting and financial reporting (GFOA recommended practices)
7. GASB Technical Plan
8. Service efforts and accomplishments (SEA) reporting (amendments to GASB concepts statement and proposed guidelines for voluntary reporting)
9. COSO Update (new guidance on monitoring internal control)

Other topics include: emphasis on the activities of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, along with a look at governmental funding types, recognition and measurement systems and recent changes in the board’s Comprehensive Implementation Guide.

The GAAP Update will also review common reporting deficiencies, best practices in accounting and financial reporting and new guidance on monitoring internal controls.

To register for the GAAP Update, association members may go on line at The registration fee is $135.00 for active members and $185.00 for nonmembers or other accounting professionals in the private sector. These costs are for registration prior to October 3, 2008. After that date, the fees will be $185.00 for active members and $235.00 for nonmembers.

“I believe in Riverside County,” Byrd says, “and I want the entire area to be better informed and knowledgeable. I am willing to contribute wherever I might be of benefit.”

Sponsoring the Annual Governmental GAAP Update teleconference is a natural contribution to financial professionals involved in state and local governments for Byrd. “The more we all train, learn and share knowledge,” he explains, “the better we can help our communities. This teleconference goes a long way toward that objective.”

The Government Finance Officers Association Director of Technical Services, Stephen Gauthier, will host the event. Gauthier is an instructor at the association’s national training seminars and is the author of numerous association publications including “Governmental Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting.”

In 2002, Robert Byrd became the county’s elected Auditor-Controller with more votes cast than in the entire history of the office. In so doing, he was the California’s first African American elected to that office. He was subsequently re-elected to a second four-year term in June of 2006.

Byrd virtually revolutionized the office of the county’s Auditor-Controller by restructuring it to provide optimum customer service while improving the quality and flow of information to the county’s management. He adds, “We refocused Riverside County’s audit function to not only serve its regulatory mandates, but also to incorporate flexibility to audit proactively,” thus bringing fresh standards to the county’s processes and functionality.

He sees his professional contributions as going beyond what’s expected of his office, however. He has been chair of the Riverside County Employee Campaign and Legislative Chair for the State Association of County Auditors. Additionally, Byrd has been a commissioner on the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission, and members of the Society of Municipal Finance Officers, the Government Finance Officer’s Association and the State Association of County Auditors.

Committed to his community, he’s a member of Riverside Rotary, board member of the Next of Kin Registry, is on the International Relations Council for Riverside and performs as Finance Chairperson for La Sierra Academy’s Board of Trustees.
For details on the Riverside County Auditor-Controller's office call (951) 955-3800.

The Office of the Auditor-Controller is headed by Robert E. Byrd, CGFM, who is elected by the voters of Riverside County. The Auditor-Controller staff and management teams are dedicated to providing sound financial accounting, auditing, and reporting in order to serve the citizens of Riverside County. More information is available on the Web at


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Black Culture Foundation to honor eight heroes

The Black Culture Foundation of San Bernardino will honor eight local heroes Friday, Sept. 26. They are, from top to bottom: Commitment To Service Award Winner Pastor Gwendolyn Rose, Humanitarian Award Winner James McCombs and Black Rose Award winners Velda Griffin, Terrence Stone, Roy Mabry, Lea Michelle Cash, Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds and Beulah Pitts.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – The San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation will honor eight local heroes Friday, Sept. 26 at the 19th Annual Black Rose Awards.

The Black Rose Awards program presents three types of awards: Humanitarian Award, which will be given to James McCombs this year, the Commitment To Service Award to be received by Pastor Gwendolyn Rose, and Black Roses for Lea Michelle Cash, Beulah Pitts, Roy Mabry, Terrance Stone, Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds and Velda Griffin.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in the National Orange Show - Valencia Room, 689 South E Street, San Bernardino. It starts with a social hour, followed by dinner and the ceremony at 7 p.m.

Each award recognizes the recipient has given significant service to the local Black community.

The Humanitarian Award recognizes the person whom the selection committee feels has gone farthest beyond the call of duty to show kindness to others. His fellow members of the Inland Center Kiwanis Club estimate McCombs spends about 30 hours a week volunteering.

“James McCombs epitomizes the role of a true Kiwanian,” said his nomination, which was sent in by a fellow Kiwanian on behalf of the entire chapter. “He’s dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.”

McCombs does this as a mentor to the Key Club at Cajon High School, where he teaches community services and leadership skills to students. The Key Club is a student-run organization affiliated with Kiwanis International, and mentoring these youth is one of many duties McCombs performs as a Kiwanian.

McCombs also is chairman of the scholarship committee for Inland Center Kiwanis, and in this role visits nine high schools and middle schools to seek applicants for Kiwanis scholarships. He reviews these applications, selects recipients and presents them to graduating seniors during their commencement ceremonies.

When he’s not working with high school students, McCombs keeps busy helping a much younger group. For the past 18 years, he has served as a member of the steering committee with the March of Dimes/Walk for Babies and has served as a coordinator and facilitator, overseeing registration for this event.

Mc Combs has also volunteered his time over the past fifteen years to support the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House, by collecting “pull tabs” from aluminum cans and turning them in for cash to a recycling center. This effort has generated thousands of dollars for the Ronald McDonald House.

Another committee on which McCombs serves each year counts the relays ran during the Relay for Kids run held at Sylvan Park in Redlands. He also participates in the relay.

McCombs frequently volunteers at the Center for Individual Development’s annual Harvest Fair. The Center for Individual Development is a recreation center for children and adults with disabilities.

Every holiday season, McCombs volunteers at the Giving Tree, which the Salvation Army of San Bernardino mans at the Inland Center Mall from Thanksgiving to mid-December. This project allows Inland Center Mall shoppers to purchase gifts for area children whose families can’t afford presents.

“He can be found almost anyplace lending a helping hand to any organization that supports children and disadvantaged adults,” his nomination read. The nomination also pointed out that despite volunteering on a regular basis and until recently, working as a United States Post Office employee, McCombs finds time to help and encourage his wife, three daughters and grandchildren, and to take part in ministries at Traditional Community Fellowship Chapel.

The Commitment to Service Award honors the person the selection committee believes has given the most of anyone through a community service organization.

This year’s winner, Pastor Gwendolyn Rose, opened Rescue Team Ministries in 2002 as a place where people in unexpected difficult situations could find solutions and keep their dignity.

Since its opening, Rescue Team Ministries has given thousands of dollars to victims of fires, evictions, and to those who have recently had a death in their family. It has sent hundreds of pounds of clothes, shoes and books to Africa to help educate and clothe people on that continent, and Gwendolyn’s husband Don Rose has traveled to African villages to give Christian messages.

“When Pastor Rose is not rescuing victims from the street, you can find her in the prison system ministering the word of God and fighting in Sacramento for the rights of those incarcerated,” her nomination read. “She can be seen evangelizing to those in need on skid row or sharing God’s love in convalescent homes.

Gwendolyn Rose recently received her Master’s Degree from Cal State, San Bernardino and now teaches special education students for the County Schools of San Bernardino. She and her husband are the parents of six children.

The Black Rose Award winners are others whom the selection committee believes have done exceptional things for the Black community over the past year.

It has given this award to different people, and sometimes to organizations, over each of the previous 18 Black Rose Award ceremonies. This year’s winners join an ever-enlarging group of Inland Empire residents who are making a difference in their community.

Lea Michelle Cash raised her four grown children as a single mom. At the same time she has served in various volunteer capacities in southern California for more than 18 years.

When her children were school-age she volunteered as a PTA mom. She also volunteered with the now closed Los Angeles County Maclaren Hall for abused and abandoned youth, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS/Inland Empire Health Underwriters, San Bernardino’s National Night Out and as Rialto’s team captain for Revlon’s Breast Cancer Run/Walk.

In addition, Cash has worked as a freelance entertainment reporter, for the Black Voice News for two years, and previously for the Precinct Reporter for 16 years.

Three years ago, Cash started a nonprofit organization called The Brightest Star, Inc., thus embarking on her dream of building self-esteem and self-worth in children who are abused, neglected and abandoned to live in residential treatment facilities (orphanages) and foster homes. The Brightest Star, Inc. recruits and works with celebrities in the fields of art, television, music, sports, politics, motion pictures, radio, theater, education, community service and business.

Los Angeles County 5th District Michael Antonovich and former Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamonte have both participated in and awarded proclamations to Brightest Star, Inc. She also recently received an Honor Award from the Los Angeles Foster Care Awareness Campaign for outstanding contribution to children in the Los Angeles County foster care system.

Beulah Pitts has been a member of St. Paul AME Church for 40 years, and a deaconess there for many of them. She is a one-woman “sick committee” visiting sick people from her church at least three times a week, one of whom lives in Perris.

Two women in her church are disabled, and Pitts helps them by visiting at least once a week to pay their bills, shop for their groceries, take them to doctor’s appointments and run other errands for them as needed. She also makes telephone calls and sends get well cards to the sick and shut-in worshippers at her church, as well as birthday cards to members who are celebrating another year.

The first Friday of each month is Prayer warrior time at St. Paul, and Pitts is there before 6 a.m. to prepare and serve breakfast to all participants. She also shops for the food and cleans the reception hall.

Pitts also trained volunteers at the Westside Community Center, which was part of her job when she worked for the City of San Bernardino. She’s now retired.

Roy Mabry has extensive experience with the California Department of Corrections, where he achieved the level of Lieutenant. As former President for twelve years of the Association of Black Correctional Workers (ABCW), Mabry helped to provide training for law enforcement officers throughout the state of California and throughout the country.

Although he is now retired he continues to volunteer with and speak to the law enforcement community and the public at large about prison issues. He also speaks at schools, encouraging youth to stay away from drugs and violence and to get involved in community service.

Through his leadership he sponsors a variety of awards and scholarships for deserving high school students as well as funds for programs that cater to underprivileged children.

“As important as good law enforcement is to the community, without community involvement, it would be difficult for law enforcement officers to perform their duties to the desired effect,” said those nominating Mabry. “True leaders recognize the importance of community and do everything possible to involve the community in a positive manner.”

Mabry has volunteered since he was a young man living in the Deep South region of the United States, working with a local chapter of the YMCA. He continued with the YMCA when he moved to California. His involvement with a group of abused children from the Phoenix House enabled them to attend activities sponsored by the Association of Black Correctional Workers.

Also, as the developer of the African American achievement calendar, he assists a variety of organizations educate others in African American history. The Pomona Valley Delta sorority uses the calendar to provide scholarships to numerous recipients. Many branches of the NAACP have also participated in fundraising events using this historical calendar.

During the past two years, he designed what he describes as the key to understanding Black history, the African-American Heritage flag. This flag depicts thirteen days in each year that are significant to Black history and culture.

Mabry is also the founder of a national youth group called Continuing The Dream, and chairman of the newly formed African American Correctional Employees Association, both established in 2007.

Terrance Stone is the founder of Young Visionaries, a non-profit agency solely dedicated to eradication of youth gangs in San Bernardino County. Young Visionaries provides mentoring, after school tutoring, community outreach, arts therapy, youth violence prevention, leadership, youth employment development, and youth advocacy training.

Stone has established anti-gang programs throughout the county, especially in the desert regions. Additionally, he serves as an executive board member of the San Bernardino County Gangs and Drugs Task Force, a volunteer position that requires collaboration of numerous non-profit agencies in San Bernardino County and law enforcement.

Stone recently has helped to form a Gangs and Drugs Task Force sub-committee to deal solely with gang and drugs issues in the High Desert. He also has trained High Desert residents about the many facets of the gang and drug subculture, resulting in a better awareness and in programs designed to address the issues in the High Desert.

Stone has been invited to the Bahamas and Australia to assist with their gang prevention programs. He has partnered wit the San Bernardino Police Association to provide sports program for the youth of the community, and has been a speaker at assemblies motivating students in the San Bernardino City and Rialto school districts. He has been involved in banquets honoring community members and providing scholarships to students.

“There is no other individual in this county who has taken the steps to personalize the eradication of the gang element in this county,” read his nomination. “Mr. Stone has experienced first-hand the negative effects of this subculture and is truly making an impact in this county at the most basic level, the individual child.”

Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, a San Bernardino native and daughter of Hardy and Cheryl Brown, is the managing partner of BPC Media Works, LLC; Co-Publisher of The Black Voice News and Executive Director of California Black Media.

She serves her community through activities that promote diversity, cultural pride, and political and economic awareness through media, arts and education.

One project she worked on was to collaborate with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools office to develop an outreach program that by creating videos, encouraged family storytelling and strengthens students’ computer and writing skills. The project also brought diverse cultures together to facilitate better understanding and sensitivity. The 10-week project culminated in a celebration where six videos were screened, and participants told how the project taught them new skills and provided an opportunity to learn more about the people in their community.

Again with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, Browns-Hind produced the “Footsteps To Freedom Underground Railroad Tour,” an educational project designed to teach educators, students and community members about the plight of enslaved African-Americans. She has helped conduct tours with more than 300 teachers, students and community members who travel from Kentucky to Canada to trace the steps of the Underground Railroad. She partnered with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, California State University, San Bernardino and the Riverside County Office of Education, to arrange the tours

Brown-Hinds is an accomplished writer, publisher and lecturer who has received many personal honors and awards.

Her former principal at San Bernardino High School, where she was president of the Associated Student Body, nominated her for this award.

For the last six years, Velda Griffin has been the Executive Director at Option House, an agency that works to prevent domestic violence and assist its victims. Under her leadership, the agency has expanded services to include teen violence prevention, workshops and training for men and more transitional housing for those clients who are further along in their goals of healthy lifestyles.

The agency has never been well supported with public funds, so during her leadership Griffin has put together a board to assist in raising private donations.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taste of Korea Coming to the Inland Empire

Visitors enjoy a previous Taste of Korea in southern California.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – A taste of ancient Korean culture is coming to downtown San Bernardino’s Court Street on Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Taste of Korea is designed to acquaint Inland Empire residents with Korean culture.

Events will focus on Korean Royal Cuisine, food of kings and queens of ancient Korea. Largely through the efforts of Hwang Hae-seong, founder and director of the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine, these ancient recipes have been kept alive and passed onto the public, first in Korea and now throughout the world.

The Korean General Consulate of Los Angeles and the Korea Agro-Trade Center of Los Angeles are sponsoring this event, along with the Art Institute of California - Inland Empire and the City of San Bernardino.

“The Korean sponsors want to make people aware of Korean food,” said Chef Eyad Joseph, academic director of The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. “There are no festivals like this in the Inland Empire and there isn’t much awareness about Korean food here, yet kimchi, a staple of the Korean diet, is becoming one of the most popular Asian foods worldwide.

“We at the International Culinary School want people to know a lot more about Korean food as well,” Chef Joseph added.

The Korea Agro-Trade Center is an agency of the Korean government and its purpose is to promote Korean agriculture. It has done this by holding cooking festivals in the Los Angeles area, Chef Joseph said, but this is its first time the Taste of Korea will be held in the Inland Empire.

Han Bok-Ryeo, president of the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine, and 61-year-old protégée of Hwang Hae-seong Hwang, is the featured guest of the Taste of Korea.

She will give a cooking demonstration of Korean Royal Cuisine during the festival, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. She will be accompanied by a team of six additional professional chefs who are highly trained in this cuisine, three from Korea and three from Los Angeles.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. with Korean cultural performances from the Korean Classical Music & Dance Co. This organization is directed by University of California Los Angeles professor Dr. Don Kim, and is comprised mainly of UCLA students, and will give musical demonstrations of traditional Korean dances and drum routines throughout the day.

Opening ceremonies will be held at 12:30 p.m. In addition to the music demonstrations by the Korean Classical Music & Dance Co., the team of chefs assisting in the Korean Royal Cuisine demonstration by Han Bok-Ryeo will prepare other Korean dishes at various times during the day.

A cooking competition is also planned, with eight two-chef teams from the International Culinary School, two from Arroyo High School in San Bernardino and two from Los Angeles-area high schools, representing the Korean Consulate. Students are competing for the chance to win a combined $5,000 scholarship to the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire in San Bernardino.

In this competition, students will prepare kimchi, the pickled vegetable dish that has been a staple of Korean diet for more than 3,000 years. The students will also use kimchi to prepare a fusion dish.

“Fusion is incorporating another culture into the dish,” Chef Joseph explained. “They could make kimchi pizza, kimchi burritos, kimchi sandwiches or anything else they can imagine.”

The third requirement in this timed, Iron Chef style competition, is to use Korean mushrooms to prepare an appetizer. If time permits, the students will also use Asian pears to make a dessert.

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, Fashion & 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 has the Inland Empire’s only degree programs in Fashion Design, Fashion & Retail Management, Culinary Arts and Culinary Management.

It’s not too late to start classes at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. Courses begin October 6 and classes are offered in the day, evening and on weekends for new and reentry students.

For more information or a tour, call (909) 915-2100 or visit

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

Emam El-Hout new president of Art Institute of California-Inland Empire

Emam El-Hout

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – Emam El-Hout has been named president of the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.

“I am looking forward to great accomplishments with the team already here,” El-Hout said. “The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire is an important source for developing the talents of those who want to work in the technology, design, fashion and culinary fields.”

El-Hout was previously the Western Region Vice President for Finance of Educational Management Corporation (EDMC), the parent company for The Art Institutes. In that role, he had spent most of the past year serving as interim president, first at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, and since April, at the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.

Emam joined EDMC in 1997 as a Business Manager and was a member of the start-up team for The Art Institute of California Los Angeles. He became Director of Administrative and Financial Services at the Art Institute of California, Los Angles and helped that school grow to more than 2,000 students in a five-year period.

Prior to joining EDMC he worked with other educational institutions in financial aid, accounting and finance for more than 10 years and was also a senior auditor for the federal government.

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire began offering classes three years ago and has already seen great transformations in its curriculum, brought on by the popularity of the college. In less than three years, it has grown to almost 800 students.

Classes started in 2006 with 40 students in Graphic Design, Web Design and Interactive Media, and Interior Design. Programs in Media Arts and Animation and Game Arts and Design were added later in 2006, Culinary Arts and Culinary Management in 2007 and Fashion & Retail Management and Fashion Design in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire has blossomed into an important community resource during its three years. One of its most recent accomplishments is sending a team of Interior Design students to assist in the design, construction and installation of bathroom and kitchen fixtures and children’s closets for a house built by the Riverside chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire are two 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 or to arrange a tour of the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, call (909) 915-2100.


ACQUIRE Learning Center new host of Inland Empire African American Chamber mixers

Suzy and Craig Aguillard

(RIALTO, Calif.) ACQUIRE Learning Center, 1188 West Leiske Drive in Rialto, is the new host of the monthly Inland Empire African-American Chamber of Commerce mixers.

The Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce will host a Grand Opening at ACQUIRE Learning Center on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. It will serve refreshments and ACQUIRE Learning Center owners Craig and Suzy Aguillard will offer tours of their building, in which they offer tutoring programs for children in kindergarten through high school.

“We are pleased to offer our ACQUIRE Learning Center to the Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce for its monthly mixers,” Craig Aguillard said. “As a community-owned business we look forward to contributing to helping others in this way. We also are excited to be able to show them how ACQUIRE Learning Center is helping our area’s children to succeed, by providing quality supplemental education, after school tutoring in English language arts, math, science and critical thinking.”

The Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce previously held its mixers in the conference room of Dameron Communications, which provides public relations for ACQUIRE Learning Center. But Dameron Communications has recently relocated and no longer has a large conference room where it held the mixers.

“We have enjoyed the past year at Dameron Communications, which is unfortunately no longer available,” said Dolores Armstead, vice president of the Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to our new mixers at the ACQUIRE Learning Center, which is more centrally located for members in Riverside, the West Valley and San Bernardino.”

ACQUIRE Learning Center is located at 1188 West Leiske Drive, Ste. 100 in Rialto, 92376. For more information, call (909) 875-3356 or visit

Twin college seniors go back to high school

Matt and Chris Sloan speak to students in the journalism class at San Bernardino High School, their alma mater.

(San Bernardino, Calif.,) It’s common for high school students to hear from guest speakers, however, it is rare for them to hear from twin former students who graduated merely five years ago.

California State Polytechnic University in Pomona seniors Christopher and Matthew Sloan are pursuing degrees in public relations.

The twins, interns at Dameron Communications, spoke to two groups: a graphic arts and printing course and a journalism course.

The two San Bernardino High School alumni came expecting to speak to the graphic arts and printing class (a San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools Regional Occupational Program) at San Bernardino High School taught by Lawrence Herrbach. However, upon the request of their former English teacher, Henry Ho, they gladly spoke in his class as well.

The first presentation was on the importance of the graphic arts/printing class and how the basic skills learned in the class can be applied within careers in printing, graphic design and even in photography.

The Sloans stressed that these basic skills could be used as a building block to many careers in life, as well as different career paths in college.

The students had many questions about college, including: student housing, the cost of college, the affordability of college and even questions about college parties.

“The best part of guest speaking was the opportunity to share with students that even if you come from a single family home, you can still go to college. I was shocked to discover that most students did not know that they could receive financial help to attend college, nor that the cost to attend a Cal State is just $3,500 a year,” said Christopher Sloan.

Matthew thought the hardest part of the presentation was trying to convince one student that just because he knows how to build engines, it doesn’t mean he will be hired as an auto mechanic without first being certified. Sloan advised the student to sign up for the high school auto shop program and then upon completion of the course, take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exam.

Their experience with the college newspaper, journalism and photography courses and being photography lab technician/teacher’s assistants, allowed them to give a second presentation on journalism and photography.

“The journalism presentation was a lot different. Students sat at the edge of their seats soaking up any and all advice I could possible give them. Given that no one within the class has prior journalism experience, the quality of the paper they produce is simply amazing,” said Matthew. “They really put in the extra effort to go above and beyond the typical student.”

Mr. Ho challenges his students to write on topics such as conflict, sporting events and pep rallies. He runs the course both as a class and as a high school newspaper.

His class has much to learn about journalism and photography; however, they are off to a great start.

In the spirit of community service, Christopher and Matthew Sloan have decided to volunteer once a week to help advice the staff of the San Bernardino High School newspaper.

“The most important thing I have learned from my mentor Carl Dameron, of Dameron Communications, is that you must find a way to contribute to your community. Right now, I can do this by helping with the high school newspaper and guest speaking on as to why attending college is so important,” said Christopher.
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 wining agency that creates integrated marketing solutions to increase sales and profits, win elections, inform the public or gain acceptance of a potentially controversial issues. We use our 20 years of communications knowledge and experience to advance our clients’ objectives.