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By Press Release

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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By Press Release

Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ Opens in Redlands 



Asurion® Repair Experts Provide Fast Fixes on Phones, Tablets, Laptops, and More

A new electronics repair shop, Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™, has opened in Redlands at 9980 Alabama St. The store offers professional fixes for most consumer electronics, from smartphones, tablets, and computers to game consoles, smart speakers, drones, and more.

While common repairs include cracked screens, battery issues, and water damage, the company’s repair experts have fixed millions of devices and can help with most any tech mishap, and many basic repairs can be completed in 45 minutes or less.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to introduce Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions to Redlands as we continue to serve this region,” said Damon Madison, Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions District Manager. “Our team prioritizes customer satisfaction above all else. By offering free diagnostics on all device issues, matching competitors’ prices, and guaranteeing fast-turnarounds on device repairs, we’re dedicated to making our customers’ experience affordable and convenient.”

The store’s expert repair technicians fix all kinds of technology, regardless of make or model, and the store is an authorized repair provider for Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel smartphones. Customers can book a repair appointment online or stop by the store for walk-in service. The store offers free, no-obligation diagnostics on all gadgets, as well as a 1-year limited warranty on all repairs. It even offers a price match guarantee on any local competitor’s regularly published price for the same repair.

The new Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions store brings the company’s retail footprint to more than 750 locations across the U.S. Formerly known as uBreakiFix®, all U.S. locations will rebrand as Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions throughout 2022.

“We are excited to serve people in Redlands with fast and affordable tech repair,” said Dave Barbuto, CEO of Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions. “We all rely on our phones and laptops more than ever before, and our mission is bigger than repairing shattered screens and broken charge ports. We fix tech because people depend on it to stay connected to things that are important to them. I look forward to serving this community through our new location.”

The new store is located at:

Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions

9980 Alabama St Suite C, Redlands, CA 92374

(909) 801-3008

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By Press Release

New Partnership Announced; Stater Bros. Markets joins Entertainment Giant



Toyota Arena has announced a new partnership with Stater Bros. Markets effective July 1, 2022.

Guests of the arena will soon be able to experience the new branding of the North Patio, which will include live concerts featuring local bands and up-and-coming professional talent. “We are thrilled to welcome Stater Bros. Markets as a partner to Toyota Arena,” said Michael K. Krouse, President & CEO. “It’s a natural fit – this is our community’s grocery store of choice and the amazing Stater Bros. Charities provides non-profit organizations in our local region with support. We are on board to help as well.”

The marketing amenities this partnership will provide Stater Bros. will include a presence on several assets including the arena’s Interstate 10 marquee, overhead LED scoreboard, television monitors throughout the facility, website, and more. The relationship created through this agreement will also provide benefits for Toyota Arena guests, including new Stater Bros.-inspired food and beverage options.

The benefits to the community will go beyond lifestyle and entertainment, however. Stater Bros. and Toyota Arena recognize the important role they play in the overall development of the City of Ontario. The city’s vigorous commercial and residential growth, and its status as a destination location will result in economic growth, jobs, and a thriving community. The partnership will also open up new opportunities to support the giving efforts of the market’s non-profit charitable arm, Stater Bros. Charities.

“This really is an exciting day for the entire Stater Bros. team. As a company, we work hard to establish great business relationships, and with Toyota Arena, we’ve found an excellent partner,” said Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden. “I look forward to the new opportunities our partnership will bring and its benefits for the City of Ontario and the Inland Empire as a whole.”

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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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