Our Vision for IERCC’s eCommerce and Blockchain Division
By Hema Dey
For businesses across the U.S. and around the world, 2020 and 2021 have been defined by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S. right now, the massive supply chain backlogs at major ports are highlighting the dangers of relying so heavily on overseas manufacturing, while at the same time a major explosion in eCommerce is putting even more strain on the traditional channels of transportation infrastructure.
It would be easy to see all of this as an unqualified negative, something to be overcome so that we can return to a pre-pandemic way of doing business. We should see it as a wakeup call, though, and an opportunity. In particular, the Inland Empire has all the elements needed to take advantage of the new shifts in how people are doing business and to bypass the shortcomings inherent in the overreliance on overseas sources.
As the head of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new eCommerce & Blockchain Division, my mission is to help mid- to large-sized enterprises in the region take advantage of the opportunities offered in this new economic climate and to employ the natural strengths of the Inland Empire to do so. Businesses here are ideally situated to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., and we have the freight and logistics capacity to distribute what we produce promptly. We don’t just have to set our sights domestically either—with Ontario International Airport and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles nearby, we can ship our goods internationally as well.
The surge in eCommerce during the pandemic has permanently changed the face of business. There are methods to position both B2B and B2C enterprises for growth to take advantage of this. At the same time, businesses need to make sure that their digital channels are optimized to give them the online visibility they need domestically and internationally. In a world that has flipped to eEverything so rapidly, businesses unaccustomed to doing significant amounts of business online need to transition quickly.
To these ends, I’m committed to finding the best professionals to advise and educate IE businesses and to provide a platform for technological advancement to foster domestic and international commerce. My executive committee is comprised of experts who can advance those goals. Sari Megan Kern, a fractional Chief Data Officer and the founder of Alpha Data Strategies, says, “The division is focused on financially driven models, such as product and pricing analysis, that feed into any eCommerce model.” Throughout the pandemic, her work has been specifically focused on cost comparisons that allow manufacturers to find out-of-the-box solutions to the crises associated with offshore production of goods.
Joe Van Tassel, headhunter for technical roles, brings his expertise to the question of talent acquisition and restructuring. He sees opportunity in the talent relocating to the Inland Empire due to the rising cost of living in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Many of those new residents continue to commute to jobs in other regions, in large part because they’re unaware of local alternatives. “The appetite for people to stay close to home for work is higher than ever because of the pandemic,” he says. “It’s an excellent time to drive more employment to the IE because of the shift in thinking in society with work/life balance, and the opportunity that the IE can seize from a business growth standpoint in logistics and manufacturing.”
Joining them to round out my advisory team are Monisha Coelho, Blockchain and Corporate Attorney, and Craig Petronella, Cybersecurity and Blockchain Guru. Their knowledge of the legal and security challenges businesses face in expanding their eCommerce presence can help Inland Empire businesses avoid pitfalls as they grow.
The possibility ahead is one that I see as a Great Pivot—back to made-in-the-U.S.A. manufacturing and to greater opportunities for the companies in the Inland Empire. I want to empower, educate, and motivate businesses to position themselves for success in the evolving world of eCommerce. Now is the time to identify the ways in which your business can thrive by being part of the solution to the problems of the old industry models, and our division is here to help you do that. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years to meet the challenges of today and the future.
Hema Dey, CEO, Iffel International – SEO2Sales
Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai
Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners
Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.
Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.
Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”
This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.
“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.
IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.
For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.
Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference
Coming October 5th
Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?
The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.
Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”
Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.
The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”
“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”
Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.
Full event details are available at: economy.iechamber.org
Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools
Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry.
Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.
The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”
Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community.
Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve.
For more information on Webb Investments, please visit webbinvestments.com.
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