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American Red Cross to Honor Local Heroes



First responders, canine nonprofit, school administrator, teen cancer patient among honorees at the Inland Empire Heroes Luncheon on Tuesday, February 18

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (February 12, 2020) The American Red Cross is honoring individuals from Riverside and San Bernardino Counties for their outstanding acts of heroism, dedication and service at the organization’s Inland Empire Heroes Luncheon. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 18, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and features radio and sports personality Jeff Pope as master of ceremonies.

“We are so proud to recognize ordinary people with extraordinary courage from across the Inland Empire that are saving lives and creating safer communities,” says Lois Beckman, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Riverside County. “Attendees will be introduced to unsung heroes, such as a teen with brain cancer helping fellow hospital patients, a local school administrator who used CPR to save her colleague’s life, a nonprofit placing service dogs with veterans and so many others.”

An independent committee of leaders in the business and civic community chose heroes in eight categories. The 2020 Inland Empire Heroes Luncheon honorees include the following class of local standouts.

Animal Welfare Hero: Fire Captain Tyler Reynolds, City of Riverside Fire Department Riverside County

Fire Captain Tyler Reynolds was instrumental in establishing the Horse & Animal Rescue Team (HART) in Riverside County after he saw the need for a trained team to respond to large-animal technical rescues. With partners, Captain Reynolds created, funded and implemented the innovative HART program, which provides rescue services to protect the welfare of the horse population in Riverside County.

Corporate Hero: Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water Riverside County

Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water, one of Nestlé Waters North America’s regional spring water brands, has been a longtime partner of the American Red Cross. Arrowhead supports the mission of the Red Cross through generous financial and in-kind donations, hosting blood drives and volunteering at Sound the Alarm events. Arrowhead employees are champions of the Red Cross and are committed to helping people when they need it most.

Disaster Services Hero: Alexander Tardy, National Weather Service Riverside & San Bernardino Counties

Alexander Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS), plays a critical role in ensuring that the Red Cross and other community organizations and first responder agencies are ready for disasters and weather emergencies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The resources and services provided by NWS and the education and community outreach provided by Alexander Tardy helps the Red Cross and community partners prepare for and respond to disasters big and small.

First Responder Hero: Deputy Destiny Derryberry San Bernardino County

On the morning of March 30, 2019, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Destiny Derryberry responded to call from a family in Big Bear Lake. When she arrived on scene, Deputy Derryberry found a man without a pulse  thinking he was beyond saving, family members had stopped administering CPR. Deputy Derryberry determined there was still hope and began chest compressions.Later, fire personnel thanked Deputy Derryberry for her efforts, crediting her quick response as being instrumental in saving the man’s life.

Gift of Life Hero: William “Bill” Reines Riverside County

Platelets have a brief shelf life of just five days, making committed platelet donors vital to fulfilling the Red Cross mission. William “Bill” Reines started donating platelets in 1987. He regularly commutes across county lines from his home in Corona to the Red Cross Santa Ana Blood Donation Center to donate. Bill has donated more than 417 units of platelets, helping to make a lifesaving difference in the lives of thousands of hospital patients.

Good Samaritan Hero: Kristin Kraus San Bernardino County

When SOAR Charter Academy administrator Kristin Kraus took a Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid training class, she had no idea her lifesaving skills would soon be put the test. One day, Kristin was alerted that a teacher’s aide had lost consciousness. She jumped into action, rendering CPR and AED aid until first responders arrived. Kristin’s actions helped to save her colleague’s life. In recognition of her efforts, Kristin has also received a Lifesaving Award from American Red Cross Training Services.

Service to the Armed Forces Hero: Canine Support Teams, Inc. Riverside County

For more than 30 years, Canine Support Teams, Inc. (CST) has served the community by training and placing service dogs with clients with disabilities and, most recently, with veterans. Since its inception, CST has placed hundreds of assistance dogs with people in need. In 2012, CST launched PAWZ for Wounded Veterans, providing service dogs and specially-trained PTSD service dogs to support veterans with disabilities.

Youth Hero: Lezdy Rodriguez San Bernardino County

Two years ago, Lezdy Rodriguez was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Although many would be disheartened by this news, Lezdy has committed his time to helping other kids undergoing cancer treatment. Lezdy started the Snak Pak Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing joy to cancer patients at the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital. By sharing his passion for art with children who face the same life-threatening conditions he does, Lezdy hopes to show them that they are not alone.

In addition to the inspiring heroes being honored at the event, 25-year-old Albert Madrid will be posthumously honored with the Spirit of Hope Award. Albert tragically lost his life in 2019, saving two young children from a mobile home fire in Highland.

The Inland Empire Heroes Luncheon is made possible thanks to the generosity of sponsors, including: Presenting Sponsors Babcock Laboratories and Sysco Riverside; Disaster Relief Sponsors IAPMO, J.J. Roofing and Raising Cane’s; Community Preparedness Sponsors Altura Credit Union, High Desert Association of Realtors, Hope Reigns Foundation, Inland Empire Business Journal, Modern Woodmen, Opus Bank and Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians along with other local sponsors.

“The support of our sponsors enables us to honor individuals making a difference in our communities, as well as raise funds for vital Red Cross services across the Inland Empire,” says Yevette Baysinger, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of San Bernardino County.

For more information about the Inland Empire Heroes Luncheon, please visit

About the American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region has proudly served Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties for more than 100 years. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter or Facebook.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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IECE Presents its Inaugural State of Entrepreneur Report on Dec. 9



The first-ever State of Entrepreneurship Address for the Inland Empire is being held by the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m. at 4th Sector Innovations in Ontario. 

IECE’s goal in producing the State of Entrepreneurship research study is to bring the voice of local entrepreneurs to those who need to hear it most – local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers. 

The Voice of the Entrepreneur survey, on which the address is based, sends powerful feedback on the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners of the Inland Southern California region face. 

Survey results were drawn out earlier this year by reaching out to IECE’s extensive network, consisting of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners representing a diverse group of industries. The IECE will continue to distribute the Voice of the Entrepreneur survey in the spring of each calendar year to find out what Inland Empire entrepreneurs and business owners are going through. 

The report is a potent tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, and business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the region. Using measurable data, the goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners and obstacles that may be impeding business growth. 

The result is a concise report that gives insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus. 

The evening will start and end with networking and food; in between, the SOER report will be presented, which includes examining the indicators of entrepreneurial activity and how the IE measures up as a region; learning of the Voice of the Entrepreneur direct survey results and the common themes, as well as an IE Ecosystem assessment; and regional perspectives from influencers that include: 

  • Rod Vandenbos, founder and CEO, buzzbox beverages, Indio; 
  • Mike Napoli, Tech Coast Angels, Palm Springs; 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr. President, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ana Karina Suchánek, president, Cask Restaurant Group, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga; and 
  • Pepi Jackson, president and CEO, Riverside Black Chamber of Commerce 

Click the following link – Secure Your Spot for the 2021 State of Entrepreneurship Address – to attend, network and learn more about entrepreneurship in the region. Whether you are a seasoned or soon-to-be entrepreneur, there is a perspective for everyone who wants to know more about how to strengthen the Inland Empire economy.

The presentation will unveil breakthrough metrics and perspectives on the State of Entrepreneurship throughout the Inland Empire, including: 

  • Why a report like this is essential for the collective growth of our region; 
  • What the report consists of: indicators for entrepreneurship and what real entrepreneurs in our communities are telling us through our Voice of the Entrepreneur survey results; and
  • Regional perspectives from influencers and officials that are active in our ecosystem. 

The event will also include food and cocktails while networking within an inspirational setting at 4th Sector Innovations Ontario. 

To learn more, visit the IECE State of Entrepreneurship Report website

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By Press Release

Southwest Airlines will fly from Ontario International Airport, CA, to Austin in 2022



The announcement from Southwest Airlines that it will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

The announcement from Southwest Airlines that the low-cost carrier will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

Southwest will offer flights between ONT and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport daily on the following schedule effective March 10, 2022.

Flt #OriginDestinationDepartureArrivalFrequencyAircraft
1204ONTAUS10:55 a.m.3:35 p.m.Mon – Fri &
474ONTAUS9:50 a.m.2:30 p.m.Sat737-700
1739AUSONT4:35 p.m.5:55 p.m.Mon – Fri &
257AUSONT2:55 p.m.4:10 p.m.Sat737-700

The new flights are available for booking immediately at

“The addition of the Texas state capital to our route map is welcomed news and further indication of confidence by ONT’s largest air carrier,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “It is also another sign that ONT’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway and gaining momentum.”

The announcement of the new Southwest flights comes as ONT continues to experience an impressive pandemic recovery. In August, ONT reported passenger traffic was within 7% of pre-COVID levels.

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By Press Release

Family Fun Month of Rides, Slides & Glides



Alpine Slide Big Bear Observes Family Fun Month with a Variety of Delights 

August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf. 

“The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks.

Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft. deep, heated splash pool. Parents can spread a blanket out on the grass, or relax on the shaded, wrap-around deck at the base of the double waterslide. 

“Alpine Slide is also home to three attractions that are the first and only in California, which includes the Mineshaft Coaster, the Soaring Eagle, and the Alpine Slide,” added Eubanks. “Each of these rides offers something unique and suitable for all ages.” 

Mineshaft Coaster, which is the first and only mountain coaster in California, is an amusement-style, thrill ride that stretches over one mile long on a stainless-steel-tube track. It has all the bells and whistles of a roller coaster such as steep descents, hairpin turns, tunnels, bridges and 360-degree corkscrews. Here’s the kicker…the rider actually controls the speed of the coaster cart, which can reach max speeds of 30 mph.

The Soaring Eagle is a one-of-a-kind ride not seen anywhere else in California either. The Soaring Eagle has dual seats so a parent and child can ride side-by-side. It starts by lifting riders backwards on a zipline cable to a 70-foot tall launch tower. Once it reaches the top, it then catapults forward at 26 mph, on a 100-foot long vertical drop, that travels 500 feet back to the base. The Soaring Eagle not only offers folks an opportunity to experience the sensation of flying, but they are treated to a bird’s eye view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain vistas, too. 

Another distinctive attraction on site is the Alpine Slide, which is the only authentic bobsled /luge experience in California. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down a quarter-mile long concrete track with high-banked turns and long straight-aways. Each sled is equipped with Teflon runners, ball bearing wheels, control handle and brakes. Youngsters who meet the height requirements can ride with their parents on this fun-filled feature ride.  

Rounding off the family-fun activities at Alpine Slide is a go-kart track, putt-putt golf and video arcade. When it’s time for a break, head inside for an ice-cream cone. An ice-cream bar located at the snack bar offers 12 different tasty flavors to choose from, such as Banana Split, Cotton Candy or Birthday Cake!     

Alpine Slide, located at 800 Wildrose Lane (just off Big Bear Blvd.), is open daily. The Summer hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For general information, height requirements, pricing and specific hours for each attraction, please visit or call 909-866-4626. 

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