Wednesday, August 27, 2008

California Junior Black Chamber of Commerce

Matthew Sloan (left), Mary Cooksey (middle) and Christopher Sloan (right), representatives for California State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter of the 62nd District, pose for a picture prior to the opening ceremony of the 1st California Junior Black Chamber of Commerce Conference.

Madison Gunter III (left), Business Development Manager for CISCO Systems, David Jones (middle), Enterprise Technology Director for Microsoft Corporation, and Robert Hoffman (right), Government and Public Affairs for Oracle answer questions from the young audience during the Technology Industry and New and Emerging Technology Jobs Panel.

During lunch, the Honorable Rod Wright (senate candidate for the 52nd District) took a moment to share inspirational analogies from his childhood.

(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) Dr. Aubry Stone, president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce welcomed approximately 20 young students and professionals to the first California Junior Black Chamber of Commerce Youth Summit in Los Angeles. Speakers from Microsoft, Oracle, CISCO, Kiss My Bundt Bakery, Eden BodyWorks and Diversity City Media shared the secrets of success in life and business. The young men and women ages 16 to 25 were invited to attend by California state assembly members and senators.

Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter had the largest contingent with six college students: Matt and Chris Sloan, Mary Cooksey, David Hall, Nicolette Bourne and Hai Vo.

Dameron Communications, a leading Southern California advertising and public relations firm, sent three interns to the conference: Twins Matt and Chris Sloan, 24-year-old residents of San Bernardino, who are seniors at California Polytechnic University of Pomona and Mary Cooksey 19 years old from Azusa a sophomore at California State University of San Bernardino.

The three other college students included David Hall, 24 years old from Los Angeles and a senior at Cal Poly Pomona; Nicolette Bourne, 25 years old from Claremont, a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona currently working as a service clerk for the First Financial Credit Union and Hai Vo, 23 years old, a graduate of University of California Riverside currently working for the Redlands Unified School District as a substitute teacher.

Event speakers included Dr. Jamillah Moore, president of Los Angeles City College. She spoke on the importance of having a college education and pursuing your passions in life.

“Get as many internships as you can so you don’t end up working a job that you aren’t passionate about,” said Dr. Moore.

David Jones of Microsoft, Madison Gunter III of CISCO and Robert Hoffman of Oracle spoke at the “Workforce Development and Opportunities for Young Adults in the Technology Industry and New and Emerging Technology Jobs” panel. This panel ensured its listeners that the technology workforce isn’t just for computer nerds any more, there are opportunities for just about anyone.

David Jones stressed the point of “Learning how to learn.” We learn every day and if you can find an effective way to absorb and retain knowledge then you can work anywhere and do anything. The key is you have to want to learn and remembering that failure is the key in every learning environment.

“The key to my success is that I keep my options open,” said Gunter.

Gunter was not a computer nerd, much like many of the young people attending the conference, but that didn’t stop him from working for CISCO Systems. He was hired at a start-up company that was bought by CISCO and went back to school to learn more about the world of technology to move up the ladder to become a business development manager.

“I’m a geek!” said Robert Hoffman.

Hoffman was one of the few speakers at the panel who learned how to program computers as a child. He stuck with his passion and combined his love of programming with his love of policy to help write the book on regulating the Internet. This led him to his job as vice president of government and public Affairs for Oracle.

All three of these panelists encouraged the youth to gain experience in low-risk environments like internships to learn more about your career choices. They also insisted that the more you fail, the more you learn how to succeed, which in-turn told the youth that failure is needed to grow.

The panel “Young, Gifted and Black” included Chrysta Wilson of Kiss My Bundt Bakery, Dante Lee of Diversity City Media and Jasmine Lawrence of Eden BodyWorks.

Chrysta Wilson didn’t come from a rich family but pushed forward to make her dream a reality. She has her Master‘s degree and worked a regular 9 to 5 job and decided to sell the world a part of her passion, baking. She quit her job March of 2008 and made a full commitment to her bakery. Her story was an inspiration to everyone in attendance showing that hard work and determination are the first things needed to pursue your dream.

“Be determined to make your mark!” said Dante Lee.

Dante Lee is the owner and creator of Diversity City Media. He has built sites such as,, and more. While his classmates were fooling around on and, Dante was observing what it takes to create a successful Website and learning about consumer needs.

Jasmine Lawrence is the creator and owner of Eden BodyWorks. She decided to research and create all natural hair care and body products after losing all of her hair from using a chemical product. She is 17 years old and finishing up her last year of high school, but makes the time to pursue her passion.

“Have passion and do what you want and love what you do!” were Lawrence’s last words of advice to the on-looking youths at the conference.

This panel agreed that success as a young entrepreneur is not something that comes easily. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to make your dream a reality. They also agreed that if you aren’t following your passion then your dream will never come true. Two important things are to have a plan and to trust in God and everything else will come with time, they stressed

“I came to this event not knowing what to expect and left more determined and focused to accomplish my dreams and pursue my passions in life. It’s one thing to read or hear about the American Dream, but it’s quite another to see successful young people that are living the American Dream,” said Matthew Sloan.

The first California Junior Black Chamber of Commerce conference accomplished its goal and set the standards for future conferences. The goal was to let a few representatives learn that being young and black doesn’t mean you are out for the count.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Experts in movies and games will share talents

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – Two industry experts, one in movie animation and the other in video game character modeling, will share their talents with Art Institute of California-Inland Empire students and the public at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30.

Their presentations take place in Room R-154 at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire. The experts are Brian Wells, an animator with the Los Angeles studio Rhythm and Hues; and Anwar Taylor, a character modeler for the game company Blizzard.

“Brian Wells is a respected leader in animation,” said Santosh Oommen, academic director of the Media Arts & Animation, and Game Art & Design programs at the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. “He represents one of the bigger animation studios in Los Angeles, Rhythm and Hues.”

Students in the senior year of their bachelor’s degree program will meet with Wells after the presentation for a private portfolio critique.

Wells served as animator for a dozen or more movies. His work appeared in “The Golden Compass,” “Evan Almighty,” the 2006 version of “Charlotte’s Web,” “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” and its predecessor, “Garfield: The Movie,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” “Cat in the Hat” and many others.

“Anwar Taylor is working at Blizzard, which has the best game seller of all times World of Warcraft,” Oommen said. “He will show you how he approaches character modeling in Autodesk Mudbox, which is software designed by professionals in the film and games industries that allows artists to ‘sculpt’ three-dimensional characters digitally, without having to worry about the technical details.”

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.

For more information or a tour, call The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire at (909) 915-2100.

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.


Monday, August 25, 2008


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Female patients at the LaSalle Medical Associates clinic can have mammograms without even leaving their doctor’s office.

“Many women are apprehensive about having mammograms,” said LaSalle Medical Associates Director Cheryl Emoto. “So, our goal is to make the exams as unintimidating as possible. We want our patients to come to LaSalle where they’re familiar with the relaxed facility and the personal staff.”

“Mammograms take only a few minutes,” Emoto added. “But it is so important for women, especially, to have annual exams for those over 40. And for younger women, too, if they notice a breast lump or have concerns.”

LaSalle has contracted with Inner Images, bringing mobile mammogram equipment directly to the clinic at 565 Mt. Vernon Ave., San Bernardino, one day a month, Dr. Emoto explained. The program began in late January and was overwhelmingly received.

“We look forward to helping our patients find beginning signs of breast cancer so that we can treat it early,” said Dr. Emoto.

About two weeks after taking the mammogram, patients are notified of the results. Should the tests indicate anything at all out of the ordinary, patients are brought in for consultation and possible further tests or even recommendations of specialists.

Mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 percent in women over the age of 50; and studies suggest for women, even between 40 and 50, mammograms may lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by up to 35 percent.

Prior appointments are recommended. Most insurances cover mammograms with prior authorization, and for women without insurance there are programs that patients may qualify for, providing low cost or no cost mammograms.

For an appointment, call the office at (909) 890-0407.