People On The Move
By Josaline Cuesta, California Program Director, Small Business Majority & IEBJ Content Contributor
Based in Southern California, Xiomara Peña is currently the Vice President of Programs & Engagement at Small Business Majority, where she leads a team of 13 to drive the organization’s external engagement efforts and build visibility. Xiomara has grown into an executive position at Small Business Majority, so I sat down with her to learn more about that evolution and her thoughts on the future of the small business community.
For nearly a decade, Xiomara Peña (Xio) has worked in various roles at Small Business Majority to ensure that entrepreneurs feel supported and empowered. To align with Small Business Majority’s mission, she has focused on lifting the voices of diverse small business owners to create an inclusive and equitable table that benefits smaller firms in underserved communities.
She has been named one of the “Top 50 Women Leaders of Los Angeles for 2023;” showcased among changemakers such as America Ferrera, Kali Uchis, and Emeraude Toubia on a list of 100 influential Latinas shaping our world; and she currently serves on the Advisory Council for Support Latino Business, just to name a few of her accomplishments.
As the daughter of immigrant parents born in Honduras and Mexico, Xio knows firsthand the uphill battle many immigrants endure to gain the American dream. “My parents worked hard and were fortunate to be able to apply their entrepreneurial skills towards making a living,” said Xio. She grew up in low-income areas and became a single parent at a young age. But she also became a first-generation college student who hustled through school, being pushed by the example of her immigrant parents, who heavily touted the importance of working hard. “I take from these experiences and lean on them in my everyday work,” said Xio. She continues, “While some may describe them as barriers, they created opportunity and promise to me.”
Indeed, many small businesses–especially those owned by people of color, women, and immigrants–encounter multiple obstacles to small business ownership due to entrenched discriminatory policies and practices exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the daunting consequences of the pandemic, Xio has always searched for the positives. She has been excited to witness the recent surge in new business formation among the Latino community and the pursuit of independent enterprises due to entrepreneurs seeking new opportunities to combat layoffs and cutbacks. “Entrepreneurship is a proven pathway for Americans from all walks of life to build an income, independence, and financial security for themselves, their families, and their employees. This path to finding independence has become even more essential for people in under-served communities who have been shunned by traditional access to capital opportunities.”
Alongside the organization’s small business engagement team and other leadership, Xio works collaboratively to strengthen relationships with policymakers, small business owners, and organizations nationwide to amplify an equity lens in the small business ecosystem. She understands the power of community-based organizations and the strength of knowledge. Although she has worked with various small business owners and small business organizations across the country, her deep-seated work in California has given her a unique perspective on the true needs of Latino and Black small business owners who have faced systemic barriers to ownership. She has described these challenges as a “broken infrastructure that promotes chronic job loss, income instability, and a continuous cycle of poverty.”
Ahead of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Xio is once again helping to lead innovative thinking and working to expand access to capital for under-resourced communities. Presented by Small Business Majority and powered by Support Latino Business, Xio will helm the 2023 #SupportSmallBiz Grant that opens on September 14 and will award four grant prizes totaling $2,500 each to eligible small businesses. This grant is a fantastic opportunity for Hispanic-owned small businesses to access the capital they need to grow and expand their businesses.
Additionally, starting in September, Xio will take on more opportunities to fix the broken small business lending infrastructure by supporting a new partnership with Small Business Majority’s Venturize.org and Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) to expand a network of responsible small business lending partners and assistance providers to support entrepreneurs nationwide. “Inequalities in the small business ecosystem have always existed, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic only exacerbated the barriers that have always been present and created even greater vulnerabilities for entrepreneurs, especially in the lending industry. Small business owners of color are huge contributors to our economy, and we want to be certain they have the tools, resources, and capital they need to thrive. I’m excited to help build transparency in this space and create sustainable generational wealth through entrepreneurship,” said Xio.
Join our mailing list to learn more about Small Business Majority and Xio’s work to support small businesses. Find free, unbiased education and resources, including how to apply for the #SupportSmallBiz Grant, by visiting: Venturize.org
People On The Move — Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C
Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C Joins Optima Health
Claudia Medina Salazar, PA-C is the newest member of the Optima Health medical team.
“I’m excited to begin my career as a physician assistant alongside the highly respected and accomplished Optima Health medical staff,” said Ms. Salazar. “I look forward to gaining added insights into primary care while working with patients to collaborate on care plans that they can incorporate seamlessly into their everyday lives.”
Ms. Salazar received her BS in Biology from the University of California, Riverside and her MS in Physician Assistant Practice from the University of Southern California. Her path to the medical field was formed through personal tragedy.
“My dad passed from a heart attack when I was a very young girl,” explained Ms. Salazar. “Recollections of that experience made me very passionate about preventative health for myself, family and friends. Today, that extends to the patients I treat.
“So many chronic conditions that are prevalent today are rooted in the minor choices we make every day. I make it a point to address ‘little things’ that can lead to an improved quality of life.”
The mission of Optima Health is to improve the health of patients served with a commitment to excellence and to offer the highest quality patient-centered care in a caring, convenient and accessible manner. Practices are located in Riverside and Crestline.
For more information, call 951-788-0008 or go to optimahealthgroup.com.
Mountain View Services, Inc. Recognized and Awarded as Medium-Size Family Business of the Year
Mountain View Services, Inc. (MVS, Inc.) Recognized and awarded as MEDIUM-SIZE FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, BY ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL AT THE 24TH ANNUAL FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS AWARDS.
MVS, Inc. has been named and awarded by the Orange County Business Journal as Medium-Sized Business of the Year for Orange County and the Inland Empire at the 24th annual Family-Owned Business Awards.
This award recognizes MVS, Inc. and the Goodman Family for their business accomplishments, and contributions to our local community, as an Orange County-based family-owned business, with at least 2 or more family members actively involved in the business. Since President/CEO took 100% ownership of MVS, Inc., several of the Goodman family members, have joined their team, some of which, have supported MVS, Inc. for serval years. Employed by MVS, Inc. are Eric’s wife, Roxanne Goodman as Finance Manager, daughter Vanessa See, as Marketing Manager, son Grant Goodman, as Social Media Manager; and son-in-law Mark See, as Internet Manager. Each of the 43 nominees for Family-owned Business of the Year, through Orange County Business Journal, range from restaurateurs to construction, to wealth management, all of which have a legacy that grows their roots and moves the needle in Orange County.
“The more people we meet, the more we can help.” – Eric Goodman, President/CEO, MVS, Inc.
“Together we can move mountains.” – Crystal Cook, Executive Director, MVS Foundation.
People On The Move: New Mountain View Services Foundation Executive Director — Crystal Cook
Mountain View Services, Inc. Introduces MVS Foundation and its new Executive Director with support from OCCF (Orange County Community Foundation)
Recently, Eric Goodman, President/CEO Mountain View Services, Inc. (MVS., Inc.) created the MVS Foundation as a way to give back to our communities. He and MVS, Inc. have been doing this for many years. With the help of the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), MVS, Inc. has established a fund and a formal grant process. To date, MVS Inc. has supported many great organizations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Heart Association, OneOC, Mountain Shadows Foundation, Angle View, United Way, Momentum UCP, The ARC, The Wooden Floor, Thunder, Lighting and Peace, Independent Choices, Peppermint Ridge, Hope House, Olive Crest, HomeAid and the Boys and Girls Club, to name a few.
Mountain View Services, Inc. (MVS, Inc.) has a mission to provide the highest quality products and services available to their customers so they, in turn, can provide the highest quality service to the residents they serve. MVS, Inc. is a leading Healthcare supply and distribution company, serving more than 500 Care Facilities for Developmentally Disabled Adults and Children, Home Care Facilities, Hospice Care Companies, Nonprofits, Schools, Care Centers, and Homeless Shelters.
The MVS Foundation was established with a vision to help others. Helping others in several components, including funding their mission. Eric says, “the more people we meet, the more people we can help.” Eric announced he has hired Crystal Cook as the MVS Foundation Executive Director. Eric shared “that I could not think of a better person to partner with on this journey to build and develop the MVS Foundation. In my 29 years of working with charitable organizations as a Board Member and volunteer, Crystal is by far one of the best nonprofit leaders I have ever met.” She showed him how professionals work in the nonprofit field through her compassion for others, follow-up, and professionalism. MVS, Inc. decided it was time to bring Crystal on to help build this vision out. To create a mission and strategic plan that allows the Foundation, with Crystal and Eric’s leadership, to offer non-profit mentorship, coaching, board development, and fundraising expertise to other companies looking to get more involved with charitable foundations. “Giving can move mountains, and we cannot do it alone,” says Foundation Executive Director Crystal Cook. Together we can move mountains.
Crystal Cook began her career at the young age of 14 years old, working for Wienerschnitzel in Moreno Valley and being promoted to store manager by 16 years old. Just two years later, realizing that she was soon to need her own medical insurance, she obtained a second job in the banking industry, where she was shortly scouted and recruited to the credit union industry by a credit union recruiter. Working within the credit union industry was where she learned about philanthropy, volunteerism, and the people helping people philosophy. Being an Ambassador of the Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of the Leadership Moreno Valley Program, and Co-Chair of the MV/Val Verde USD Student of the Month Program, to name a few, it was this; her drive and authenticity, that her career blossomed from there.
Today, Crystal brings with her over two decades of industry experience, including large nonprofit health agencies serving as Executive Director for the American Heart Association, Inland Empire Division, as Senior Development Director with The Leukemia & Lymphomas Society, East Bay, San Francisco, North Bay, and Napa. Since March 2022, Crystal resigned from her most recent role with HomeAid Orange County serving those experiencing homelessness to stay home and serve her family, her boys (Jaxon, 5, and Tyler, 3), and shares what a blessing this has been. Crystal and Eric had been networking as she was supporting Eric with his efforts to find the right fit for his team for the MVS Foundation. She shares that she was humbled and honored when Eric reached out, sharing, “I have a crazy idea, this should be YOU while working remote and putting your family first.” Now, she is serving her family and Mountain View Services as MVS Foundation’s newest and first Executive Director.
Bizz Buzz1 month ago
Hernandez resigns as County CEO; Snoke will continue filling in pending Board action
By Press Release1 month ago
BDK Logistics Intelligence Fully Leases 114,190 SF Industrial Facility in Corona, CA
By Press Release1 month ago
Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Give Back to Military Families
Government & Regulations1 month ago
Board of Supervisors Appoints Luther Snoke Interim County CEO
Business3 weeks ago
Sunset Soirée 2023: A Night of Collaboration and Celebration in the Inland Empire
Business2 weeks ago
Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai