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2014 Ron Brown Business and Economic Summit Comes to Southern California

Ron-Brown-Summit-BANNER-2-600W-X-160H-a

LOS ANGELES, CA- Where can Inland Empire entrepreneurs go to learn how they can grow their business?  The CA Black Chamber of Commerce and Foundation has the answer during their annual Ron Brown Business and Economic Summit to take place at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel on August 21 to 23.

This year’s theme is “Fitting Pieces Together for Business Success”. The event opens with the First Women’s Symposium “Success Above the Glass Ceiling… Is It Real?” and welcome reception on Thursday and closes on Saturday with the Ron Brown Awards Gala honoring leaders in government, small business of the year, and chamber of the year.

Learn how to develop partnerships and contract with major suppliers in the public and private sector, as well as how to build wealth in minority communities. Non-profits can learn grant writing and non-profit funding strategies along with applied technology. Speakers for the weekend include Janice Bryant Howroyd, Founder and CEO of the ACT-1 Group; Cynthia Marshall, AT&T Senior Vice President-Human Resources; Lisa Cagnolatti, Vice President Business Customer Division, Southern California Edison; Carol H. Williams, CEO and Founder Carol H. Williams Advertising, Inc.; and Barbara Perkins, President, Iyanla Vanzant Enterprises. During the summit, youth entrepreneurs will learn how to identify alternative business opportunities and access capital for their business ideas.

For more information on the summit, visit www.calbcc.org or call BPC Media Works at 951.682.6070.

“Boo Hoo… Poor You!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

For some time now, the Holy Spirit has been saying to me, “No more pity parties!”  We are not victims.  It’s time out for feeling sorry for ourselves. Is God saying this because He has lost His compassion?  No.  God is saying “no more pity parties” because He has already released us from every trap.  We are agonizing over matters that God has already resolved. Stop It!

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, God made an important promise.  He told us that we could never be backed into a corner.  In every temptation and challenge, He has already given us a way out.  That means that whatever we are facing right now, we have a righteous way out.  We are not waiting for a way out – we have the way out.   Why should we ever feel depressed or overwhelmed when God has already given us the way out? Choose Gratitude. It’s so much more empowering than feeling sorry for yourself. Chew on that one for a while!

Our problem is that we think that the world revolves around us. Well, I got some news for you. The world does not revolve around you. You are not the center of the world; you are a part of it. There are people out there who think the world revolves around them; that everything somehow ends up being about them.  They drive us nuts. Yet there are times we drive ourselves nut thinking the same thing, even if with less vanity.  We take things too personally; we don’t think about the other person, just our own part in whatever the situation, thinking it’s either all our fault, or that it has something to do with us, even when we end up finding it has nothing to do with us. Let’s call a spade a spade…. Selfishness…..that’s what having a pity party is all about…. and if you didn’t know, let me just tell you that  “Selfishness,” is the enemy of God. The enemy of God’s sovereignty and His mercy.

Listen, Jesus serves as an example of someone who if anyone could have warranted having a pity party for himself. He faced what no one will ever have to face. What no one else could bare to face….

and yet Christ went to the cross not deserving it, but taking the weight of our sin upon Himself as He was about to die an agonizing death upon the cross for which He did not deserve, but He took our place of guilt in order to remove our sins. He did not sing a song of pity words of”.. Troubles…I’ve got more than anyone.” He did not whine or complain or pout about the cross. He did not ask for…… or throw his own pity party!

The conclusion of the matter and our response is clear: We need to recognize we all are capable of self pity. We need to let adversity lead us to God and not lead us to whining, complaining , quitting or having pity parties. If you sense that you are slipping into self pity… take rest in knowing that God will lift you up if the weight of pity begins to bring you down., but  only if you  let Him. Stop wasting your time complaining. Stop throwing your pity party.  Just praise the Lord.

May the God of truth enable us to carefully and rightly dissect His precious Word, allowing God’s Word to say what it says, remembering that God says what He means and means what He says.  May we be those who tremble at His Word (Isaiah 66:1-2).  

A Fresh Start for Inland Fashion

Wonderland Dreams shirt in Blue

Wonderland Dreams shirt in Blue

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The Inland Empire has become a Mecca for the fashion industry. Local residents shop at specialty boutiques, attend fashion shows or begin careers as fashion designers. Paul Martinez, a San Bernardino resident, plans to be a leader in this movement with the launch of his clothing brand, Fresh Clinic, early next year.

Martinez  has been obsessed with fashion since his first day of college at UC Riverside. “I remember thinking that if I wanted to make myself presentable to employers in the fashion industry, then I better start taking my clothes more serious,” said Martinez.

As a new college graduate, Martinez struggled to find a job and fashion internships were competitive. Financial setbacks and the economy made Martinez a fashion entrepreneur. Fresh Clinic started as a blog for Martinez to express his love for fashion, but because of the weak job market it’s now become a business. Fresh Clinic combines urban and upscale clothing for a unique take on modern fashion.

Martinez embraces what his home, the Inland Empire, can bring to the table.

“I believe it is important to buy from local designers, hire local models and work with local professionals. The only way the Inland Empire will be competitive in this industry is if we work together and bridge the gap with professionals in Los Angeles,” said Martinez.

Martinez works with local graphic designer Luke Vicious, of Rialto, to design a collection of shirts.

“I have been following Luke for a few years as a fan of his art, but now it’s cool we are working together,” said Martinez.

Vicious has made his impression on the fashion industry for the past few years, and designs for Los Angeles brands StampdLA,

One Love shirt front

One Love shirt front

TISA and JoyRich.

As a young veteran in the fashion industry, Vicious is confident in Martinez’s future success.

“Paul is a great client to work with, being that his ideas have meaning behind them. It motivates me to do my best, and I see his graphics as works of art that tell a story. These original concepts will always stand out because they can’t be bought on a site or duplicated. This makes Fresh Clinic a rare, valuable brand because it keeps fashion traditions alive,” said Vicious.

Martinez also works with Amanda Pelaez, a graphic designer and graduate of Cal State San Bernardino.

“I like Amanda’s work because she is able to design the ideas I give her without needing much direction. She is definitely a self starter who does not waste time,” said Martinez.

Pelaez is excited about her work with Fresh Clinic. “Working with Paul has always been gratifying. He knows what he wants, and he tells you clearly & concisely. I look forward to the future of Fresh Clinic,” said Pelaez.

Martinez is hopeful for the future. He now has a job and is managing his own business.

“I learned to create opportunities for myself, instead of waiting for them to come my way. I encourage everyone, especially the youth in our communities, to do the same.”

Fresh Clinic’s goal for the community is to provide free fashion shows, fashion events and scholarships to Inland Empire residents.

“I want to give our people something to look forward to, to bring hope back into their lives. We all have a long road ahead, but the most important message is to never give up. I’m happy to say my team has no room for quitters.”

You may contact Fresh Clinic by email at FreshClinic@live.com. Visit the Fresh Clinic website at www.FreshClinicLife.com for updates on the brand and follow Fresh Clinic’s Creative Director on Instagram @freshclinicpaul.