Kenny Phan is a Chinese Vietnamese coach in the San Gabriel Valley. His family moved from Vietnam to America in 1980. Kenny graduated from Monterey Vista Elementary, Garvey Intermediate, and Mark Keppel High School. In 5th grade he pick up basketball and never looked back. Currently, Kenny runs the Mofufus Basketball league and has done so since 2001. The league has become a staple of adult recreational basketball league in the SGV. In 2014 he started coaching his daughter which lead to him training and coaching youth basketball. Basketball has taught Kenny life lessons and provided many opportunities, great memories and experiences that he remembers to this day.
Jon Narcisso, is the founder of Jon Narcisso Millinery, a bespoke and custom hat company. Each hat is made from scratch, by hand every single day using some of the worlds finest materials such Rabbits fur, Ecuadorian Paja straw and 100x beaver. My journey and passion in millinery (haymaking) started back in 2012, creating custom 1 off pieces for small boutiques and clients around the Los Angeles area. I am a self-taught milliner that developed the skill over the years by consistent practice over and over again. Though I was self taught, I did my due dilligence but researching and studying other hat-makers around the world. I always believed I needed to find foundation before creating my own style and technique. My perspective on hatmaking is focused on symmetry, bold shape and color. I love to express myself the RAW, UNCUT form. That’s what makes my hats special and unique. I currently have a small studio showroom to showcase my work and to meet and build with clients.
Coming from a single mother household, Armando learned some life struggles early on, specifically around money, but hard work and perseverance helped him excel In his studies. He attended UCLA, where he earned a degree in Psychology and also fell into the world of Real Estate and Mortgage. Armando started his career in mortgage while attending UCLA. Today, he ranks in the top 1% of loan officers nationwide and runs a successful branch of a local mortgage firm.
Salvador Melendez is a Council member and past Mayor for the City of Montebello. In this capacity, Salvador is responsible for formulating policies, protecting the welfare of the City of Montebello and overseeing the City of Montebello’s financial operations. He is also a member of several organizations like: The Montebello Lions Club, League of California Cities, Independent Cities Association, Southern California Association of Governments, Claremont Lincoln University Council, Board member of MELA Counseling, SGV COG, and Metro Advisory Council.
Lisa Liu, the founder of Cairn Cookies, loves creating deeply impressionable flavors and a cozy environment. Cairn Cookies was made to bring comforting memories and joyful tastes to local neighborhoods. Lisa found that she can connect deeply with the community at the farmers market. She was able to combine a love of flavors with the love of creating efficient operations and an enjoyable culture for employees in this business model.
Brian graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. While still in school, he worked in a variety of restaurants from a sushi place to Outback Steakhouse and first experienced a love for serving and meeting people. After graduating, he gained experience as a front desk agent at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where he learned valuable customer service skills. His father was retired and “itching to get back into business,” in the early 2000s so they opened their first Cold Stone Creamery location in San Dimas. For the next 7 years they opened and operated Cold Stone Creamery franchises. During that time, they felt a strong desire to open a restaurant which would allow them the freedom to create a concept and menu. In 2009, they opened Rose City Pizza, only three doors down from one of their original Cold Stone Creamery locations in Rosemead.
Michael Patris – Part 2
Michael Patris has always had an interest in history. Whether collecting antiques, collecting and working on antique cars, or restoring a 1923 California bungalow in Alhambra, pieces of the past always seemed too important to brush aside. After several years working in the news and film industries, Michael speaks publicly about Southern California transportation, collecting antiques, and Mount Lowe.
Paul opened his performing arts school PopRock Academy in 2011 and has been educating a new generation of actors, dancers and musicians. His students has been in notable productions such as the Red Light, Green Light doll from Squid Game, various Pixar, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Disney, ABC projects, and countless commercials. He is also the current President of the San Gabriel Educational Foundation, helping the students of the San Gabriel Unified School District.
Jesse Torres is principal and founder of ArroyoWest LLC, a minority-owned management consulting firm specializing in economic and workforce development. ArroyoWest clients include major economic development agencies, community colleges, chambers of commerce, corporations, and other organizations, and the project have range from helping to stand up COVID-19 relief programs for small businesses to helping to devise strategy for the implementation of regional workforce initiatives. Jesse is also the co-founder and president of Small Business Front Inc., a community building and media startup focused on small business, and he is the creator and co-host of the entrepreneurship podcast “Hack My Business.”
A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Aida Dimejian immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 and settled in Pasadena with her family. Aida is a former Huntington Hospital Registered Nurse who found her niche and her passion in the field of Real Estate, joining her husband Hovig who founded Century 21 Golden Realty in 1987, which is not Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Golden Properties. Aida oversees the management of their 3 businesses which are Real Estate, Mortgage and Escrow. She was the president of the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors in 2002 and currently serves the organization with various committees and task forces.