Saturday, February 28, 2009


State Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod - Keynote Speaker

State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Public Health Officer for San Bernardino County - speaker

Sheriann Ferguson, manager of Countrywide Home Loans in Colton - speaker
Rialto Unified School District Governing Board Member Joanne Gilbert - Speaker
Fontana City Council Member Acquanetta Warren - speaker 

Dr. Diane Woods, president and founder of African-American Health Initiative of San Bernardino County - Speaker

Rialto City Councilman Ed Palmer - Host

Rialto  City Councilwoman Deborah Robertson - Host

Rialto City Clerk Barbara McGee - Speaker and Host

Beverly Powell, Regional Manager for Southern California Edison - speaker

(RIALTO, Calif.) Three Rialto city leaders will observe Women’s History Month (March) with a focus on women of today.

Rialto City Council members Deborah Robertson and Ed Palmer and City Clerk Barbara McGee are hosting the third annual “State of Women: A Dialogue Between Women” conference Saturday, March 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rialto Senior Center, 1141 Riverside Ave., Rialto.

The main speakers for this event are State Senator Gloria Negrete-McLeod and Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter. These women are two of only a few women in the Inland Empire holding state elected offices, and both representing Rialto.

“In November of 2006, for the first time, we finally had a woman representing us in the State Senate and another woman representing us in the Assembly,” Robertson said. “I thought then it was time to tap into a wonderful resource, to highlight during Women's’ History Month in March of 2007.”

As they did the previous two years, State Senator Negrete-McLeod and Assembly member Carter, as well as other speakers will provide information about issues that are important to women.

There will be other speakers in the areas of health, employment, education, politics, family and finances. These speakers include:
  • Rialto City Clerk Barbara McGee
  • Rialto School Board member Joanne Gilbert
  • Southern California Edison Regional Manager Beverly Powell.
  • Dr. Diane Woods, director of the African-American Health Institute of San Bernardino County
  • Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Public Health Officer for San Bernardino County
  • Sherrian Johnson, home loan consultant/sales manager of Countrywide Home Loans in Colton
  • Acquanetta Warren, Fontana City Council member

Lunch will be catered by the Complete Health Food Store, owned by Barbara Frenard, a woman-owned business in Rialto. Healthy Rialto, San Bernardino County Public Health, Brothers and Sisters in Action (BASIA), the South Coast Air Quality Management District, The Gas Company, Southern California Edison and the Rialto Redevelopment and Housing Agency will have information available.

Seating is limited, so those who wish to attend should RSVP as soon as possible by calling (909) 820-2519 or emailing


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Kathleen Dameron

(PARIS, France) - Think all people are alike?

That’s not necessarily true, especially when you are an executive with a multi-national corporation and must deal on a regular basis with employees or customers who are based in another country.

KD Conseil, a French organization owned by Kathleen Dameron of Paris, seeks to help multinational corporations work through cultural barriers to deliver the best goods and services possible. KD Conseil helps multi-national firms understand the different cultures within their organization. By understanding and working through cultural differences, KD Conseil helps the firm develop “shared practices” that will be highly efficient ways of delivering their services and products in a global market.

“A lot of what I do is help people to understand that they have a culture,” she said. “When you are in your own culture, everything goes more or less the same way. When you go to work with a different culture, they will do the same things for very different reasons. And sometimes they will do things very differently.”

“You can have some surprises,” she said. “Some of them will be pleasant, some of them unpleasant.”

While differences between countries can be quite pronounced, people within the same country can also have different cultures based on the type of work they do.

“Marketing people have a certain way of doing things,” Dameron explained. “Engineers have another. So if you put into a room, people who are all American marketing people, they would have a lot in common as to how they do things. If you are in a room with different American people, such as marketing people, engineers and sales people, there are some things that will be different. And if you put together people who are French, American, German and Indonesian then they might have very different ideas about everything.”

For instance, Dameron has worked with a multi-national company that does business in about 80 countries. When the company first started working with her, it wanted all the subsidiaries to do all things the same way. She is helping them to envision a company-wide plan that addresses the need for flexibility in how things are done.

“Their practices were creating real issues within this organization. It led to things being done partially. They wanted things done that don’t work in the French market, that don’t work in the American market.”

For instance, this company wanted all of their offices to use the same insurance forms. But on a German insurance form, it is natural to ask the customer to state his or her religion. That is because of a difference in how Germany and other countries handle the issue of giving money to churches.

“In Germany, when people pay taxes, the government sends a portion of the tax money to a church, based on the taxpayer’s stated preference,” Dameron explained. “In the United States, if I want to give money to my faith, I’ll do it myself.”

“The Germans didn’t see a problem with that question,” she said. “But if their subsidiaries started sending that form to the United States, we could have had a lawsuit. All the subsidiaries did was argue with headquarters and then do what they wanted to.”

With Dameron’s help, the company and subsidiary managers were able to see that it would be more effective to develop a “shared practice.” That is, they would agree on a form with questions that all could ask, and each subsidiary could then send a supplemental form with additional questions that would be helpful where they did business.

As she did with this insurance company, Dameron works with each of her clients to help them develop a unique solution to whatever problems culture clashes could cause. She calls this “decoding” the other culture.

“A lot of firms want a list of what to do and not to do. You can find those things online,” she said. “My added value is how I can help you learn how to understand and work with the differences within another culture.”

“People want a list of what to do and what not to do because makes them comfortable,” she added. “Some of that is really useful and helpful. Some of it is giving yourself a crutch so you don’t have to learn about other people’s cultures. What you really need to do is learn how to decode the other culture.”

Dameron offers her assistance in decoding cultures primarily by presenting one- to three-day seminars to company executives in retreat settings. She is also a public speaker who has given presentations on multicultural competence to the French multi-national defense company Theles, executive MBA students at French business school Essec and to the French organization Societa Frances de Coaching, which is an organization for business coaches and life coaches.

Her recent clients include:
• AGF of the Allianz Insurance Group
• Rio Tinto Alcan
• BNP Paribas
• College de Polytechnic, which is the premier engineering school in France, she trains management/leadership executives enrolled in the continuing education program
• ESSEC, the premier business school in France, she trains students enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration and Master of International Affairs programs for executive management
• Thales
• KCI Laboratories
• Thomson Multimedia
• Tyco Electronics
• Veolia Water
• Vuitton

To reach KD Conseil, phone (331) 4221-0073 or email French speakers may obtain information about the company through the website and English speakers will be able to do so soon.

Kathleen Dameron was born in East St. Louis, Illinois and also lived in southern California. She graduated from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands in California. She also has a degree from the Universitè de Paris. She resides in Paris, France, where she established KD Conseil in 1992.

KD Conseil helps multi-national firms understand the different cultures within their organization. By understanding and working through cultural differences, KD Conseil helps the firm develop “shared practices” that will be highly efficient ways of delivering their services and products in a global market.


Monday, February 23, 2009


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Danielle Hobbs is adding a new twist to her motivational one-woman show “Hero” show this year. This year’s show, scheduled for 8 a.m., Friday, Feb. 27, at Frisbee Middle School in Rialto, features cultural heroes such as Cesar Chavez, Selena and Amelia Earhart.

Hobbs started the Hero show, named after the Mariah Carey song, “Hero,” to empower local youths and show that they can be a positive part of American history and future heroes. “I have been doing this African American heritage program since 2004,” Hobbs said. “The new show adds a little more cultural diversity. The show raises African American awareness, but it’s more about American triumph.”

“I want youths to walk away from this show knowing they can be whatever want to be,” Hobbs said. “I like empowering youths to be better and to have big dreams.”

Hobbs has a long and diverse history in the entertainment world. She first started dancing at the age of 4 , as an after-school hobby. She showed so much promise that she eventually graduated from high school two years early. Hobbs went onto to tour the world with a dance troupe.

After graduating from Long Beach State in 1998, Hobbs turned her dance skills to the music world working on music videos for artists such as Chico DeBarge, Usher, Will Smith, Master P, Snoop Dogg and the East Side Boyz. She later graduated to choreographing awards shows for BET and MTV and doing promo tours for Mariah Carey, Eve and Missy Elliot.

More recently Hobbs has worked with A-list star Beyonce, choreographing the “B-Day” video and working with Beyonce and Shakira on the video for “Beautiful Liar.”

Hobbs is currently working on a book titled “I Dance: A Simple Handbook for Starting a Successful Dance Career” scheduled to be published later this year. The book shows aspiring dancers how to make it in the entertainment world. “I’m so happy to have the opportunity to share my experience with upcoming dancers,” she said. “There are many young people who have the talent to succeed in this industry, but they just need someone to steer them in the right direction.”

For more information about the Hero show please call Dameron Communications at (909) 888-0017.


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Sunil Thankamushy has what most young men would consider to be the dream job. He gets paid to design and play video games like “Call of Duty: Finest Hour.”

Thankamushy, founder of the video game studio Spark Unlimited, is a guest speaker at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, located at 630 E. Brier in San Bernardino, at 11:50 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25. He is talking to students about how to break into the video game industry. Everyone is welcome. Please check in at the front desk.

“Sunil is a veteran insider of the video game industry,” said Santosh Oommen, Academic Director for Game Art and Design at The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. “He offers our Game Art and Design students valuable tips on how to break into this business.”

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire’s Game Art and Design program prepares young people for jobs as video game designers and animators.

Thankamushy was one of the first animators selected by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Interactive Studio. Thankamushy was one of a handful of people chosen to create the best-selling World War II video game “Medal of Honor.” As animation director of “Medal of Honor,” Thankamushy helped turn Spielberg’s ideas into a multi-billion dollar video game franchise.

“Medal of Honor” is loosely based on Spielberg’s Oscar-winning movie “Saving Private Ryan.” Imagine Games Network (IGN), a web site covering the video game industry, ranked “Medal of Honor” as one of the top 25 games of all time for the PlayStation console.

After leaving DreamWorks Interactive, Thankamushy also worked at video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) before starting his own studio, Spark Unlimited. The studio has launched two originals games, “Turning Point: Fall of Liberty” and “Legendary.”

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Web Design & Interactive Media, Interior Design, Fashion & Retail Management, and Media Arts & Animation. It offers an Associate degree in Graphic Design, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design.

The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire offers an Associate degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Management. Each program is offered on a year-round basis, allowing students to work uninterrupted toward their degrees.

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

For more information, or to arrange a tour, call The Art Institute at (909) 915-2100 or go on line to

The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire is one of the Art Institutes (, a system of more than 40 locations throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.