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CSUSB professor serves on two Academy Award-nominated features as a consultant



When the Academy Awards nominations were announced, two of the selected films, Pixar’s animated “Soul” and Disney’s live-action “Mulan,” had special meaning for Cal State San Bernardino – biology professor Stuart Sumida served as a consultant to the makers of both movies.

Sumida, who teaches in the CSUSB College of Natural Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences, worked as a consultant for his expertise in animal and human anatomy to both the animators in “Soul” and special effects experts on “Mulan.”

“Soul,” which addresses big ideas on life through the exploits of a jazz musician, was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score and Best Sound. Sumida used his expertise in anatomy to ensure an accurate representation of a cat named Mr. Mittens.

“I was invited by the animation supervisors at Pixar to help to infuse believable types of movement and behaviors into the character of Mr. Mittens,” Sumida said in an earlier interview. “Although Mr. Mittens is a stylized animated character, the way he moves, walks and runs, and behaves as a cat are all inspired by real-life feline biology.”

The goal was to make Mr. Mittens act and move so much like a cat that viewers of the film would accept him as an integral part of the story and universe that was shown in “Soul,” said Sumida, who added that he didn’t hesitate when approached by Pixar.

“Mulan,” Disney’s live-action remake about a young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a man to help her ill father to fight invaders in China, was nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design. Sumida worked with FrameStore Visual Effects in Montreal (part of a multi-studio group that did the effects) helping on a Phoenix-like bird character.

The latest version of “Mulan” also had special meaning for Sumida. “It was nice to get to help on that one, as I’d worked quite a lot on the animated version Disney Animation did way back in 1997/1998,” Sumida said.

Sumida has served as a consultant on more than 70 films, television shows and video games since joining CSUSB. He served as a consultant to two films that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film – “Ratatouille” in 2008 and “Zootopia” in 2017.

Sumida lectures on a number of subjects that include human anatomy and physiology, evolution and topics in zoology. He is the author of three books and more than 70 journal articles – many with students, introducing them to the process of research and publication in refereed journals.

He is just as comfortable outside the classroom or lecture hall, be it in paleontology digs in Europe and the United States or reconstructing fossilized dinosaur skeletons. He is recognized internationally for his research on biological transformations that took place as back-boned animals adapted to life on land and as co-discoverer of the earliest bipedal animal to ever run on two legs, predating dinosaurian bipeds by over 60 million years.

The Academy Award nominations will be presented on April 25.

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

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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Buzzbox Premium Cocktails Announced as the Exclusive Ready-to-Drink Offering at Acrisure Arena



The First-Ever RTD Cocktail in Tetra Pak® Box Invests in the Greater Palm Springs Community as Official Sponsor of Acrisure Arena and the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds

Recently, buzzbox Premium Cocktails, the first-ever ready-to-drink Cocktail in the eco-friendly Tetra Pak® Box, announced its founding partner sponsorship agreement with Acrisure Arena, the newest world-class venue designed specifically for the Coachella Valley. The agreement includes the rights for buzzbox Premium Cocktails to be the exclusive ready-to-drink beverage served in the arena with a branded bar featuring the buzzbox line-up of ten sustainable packaged ready-to-serve all natural ingredient cocktails. In addition to being home to the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the 32nd AHL team debuting in fall 2022 and the affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, Acrisure Arena will host more than 120 sports and live entertainment events annually.

“We’re honored to sponsor Acrisure Arena and have the opportunity for fans to enjoy our buzzbox premium cocktails in this new space,” said Rod Vandenbos, buzzbox Founder and CEO. “buzzbox was born in the Coachella Valley and our production facility remains here. As a purpose-built company, we are passionate about being active members of our local community and getting involved with Acrisure Arena is one way buzzbox can share in the excitement, not only around Firebirds hockey games, but also other upcoming community events.”

“Improving the way venues operate to become more sustainable is one of the core values of Oak View Group,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group. “Sustainability is embedded in all our activities, so it’s great to partner with a company such as buzzbox, which has built its product with sustainable packaging in mind. It’s those small differences that will help us save this planet and continue to inspire positive change in our industry.”

“Our goal for Acrisure Arena is that it becomes a hub of activity for the entire Coachella Valley community while creating ways for local businesses, like buzzbox, to have a strong presence at the arena helps solidify this vision,” said John Bolton, SVP/GM Acrisure Arena. “We’re pleased to welcome buzzbox Premium Cocktails on board as an official founding sponsor of Acrisure Arena.”

“Harnessing the power of a respected national brand with their roots right here in the Coachella Valley aligns with the Firebirds mission to unite under one Valley, one Team, rising together”, said Steve Fraser, President Coachella Valley Firebirds and Acrisure Arena.

buzzbox’s own 65,000 square-foot state-of-the-art California production facility is also located in the heart of Coachella Valley. The Acrisure Arena is scheduled to open in December 2022 and in addition to hockey, the arena will host musical performances and events. For more information about the construction of Acrisure Arena, visit

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New All-American Restaurant Opens in Ontario



Offering Guests a Local Blend of America’s Best Food and Spirits in an Exciting and Social Atmosphere, Eureka! is Set to Open in Ontario on Monday, June 6, 2022

Making its delicious debut on Monday, June 6, 2022, Eureka! opens in Ontario, across the street from the Toyota Arena. With a commitment to being a scratch kitchen and providing exceptional hospitality, Eureka! creates a one-of-a-kind dining experience like no other restaurant: great food accompanied by a creative craft beverage program. Eureka! features an elevated collection of the best local craft beers, small-batch whiskeys, and classic yet modern cocktails at an approachable price point that is perfect for the local community to dine, drink, and socialize.

“We build our restaurants always keeping in mind our values; Energy, Discovery, and Community. We strive to create an energetic environment, where guests can discover their new favorite style of burger or unique small-batch whiskey, while supporting the local community through our beverage program featuring the best breweries, distilleries, and wineries in California and local events. As the epicenter of the Inland Empire, Ontario is the perfect destination for us, from the beer geeks, to the local professionals, convention attendees, concert goers and to the families looking for an all encompassing dining experience, look no further than Eureka!.” stated Founder Paul Frederick.

Whether guests are looking to enjoy a delicious dinner, grab a craft beer during “hoppy” hour, or listen to live music, Eureka! is the ideal restaurant for any occasion. Adding a contemporary charm to Ontario, Eureka! boasts its expansive restaurant seating 179 guests with a Californian modern design atmosphere nearing a 4,700+ square feet in total. The restaurant features a spacious interior with a mural  tributing the California Jam festival by artist Nichole Blackburn, a modern lounge area, and a weatherized patio for guests that like to dine al fresco. The center-focus of the dining room is the indoor/outdoor bar top which carries the lively atmosphere throughout the entire restaurant.

Eureka! specializes in American classics with a modern twist with its diverse selection of appetizers, all natural, carrot-fed Angus beef burgers from Santa Carota, signature plates, innovative salads, and delectable desserts. Menu highlights include the Mac N’ Cheese Balls with a scratch made beer cheese sauce and Fresno chiles; Bone Marrow Burger featuring bone marrow shiitake butter, grilled onion, horseradish mustard aioli, and roasted Roma tomato; Fresno Fig Burger topped with fig marmalade, melted goat cheese, bacon, tomato, red onion, arugula, and spicy porter mustard; and Bourbon Barrel Cake finished with pecans, caramel, and paired with vanilla bean ice cream.

The beverage program at Eureka! revolves around the restaurant’s commitment to serving premium products that are highly sought after. Eureka! offers 17 craft beers on tap including the best local breweries: Kinds Brewing Co., Hamilton Family Brewery, Claremont Craft Ales, Ritual Brewing Co., and Ironbark Ciderworks, and many more. The signature cocktail program includes guests’ favorites: Wild Child with vodka, watermelon, mint, lemon, aloe, rosé and habanero salt, the Tipsy Pig Old Fashioned with bacon-infused Whiskey Pig 10 Yr. Rye, bitters, and barrel aged maple syrup, and the perfectly designed for the summer, The Headhunter King, a tiki cocktail featuring Jamaican rum, macadamia nut, lime, pineapple, orgeat, and falernum (limit 2 cocktails per guest). Additionally, there are 40+ small batch whiskeys and a special off-menu selection featuring various hard-to-get and strictly allocated whiskeys like Pappy Van Winkle and offerings from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection available to the most discerning whiskey drinkers.

Eureka! is adding craft to Ontario at 900 Via Piemonte, St 101, Ontario, CA 91764 underneath the Element Hotel. The restaurant’s hours are: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30am with Monday – Friday “hoppy” hours from 3p.m. to 6p.m. Weekly events include half-off wine on Tuesdays, Steal the Glass on Wednesdays, live music on Thursdays, and $6 Bloody Marys and Mimosas on the weekends.

Eureka! is hiring for all positions and hosting a Hiring Fair on site from Monday, May 9 to Saturday, May 21, 2022 from Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit Eureka! Ontario’s website.

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