Connect with us

People On The Move

Rachel Hickenbottom Joins CRG as Vice President of Development and Construction




Rachel Hickenbottom, CRG Vice President of Development and Construction

Industry veteran joins firm to bolster Southern California development team

April 9, 2020 — CRG, a national real estate development and investment firm, announced today the hiring of Rachel Hickenbottom as Vice President of Development and Construction for the West Region.

Hickenbottom will be responsible for CRG’s pre-development, development and construction activities for industrial projects in the West Region, including key markets throughout California, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Reno, Phoenix and Denver. She will help to execute on the company’s expanding presence in the West Coast by leading the planning, design and construction for ground-up and value-add industrial assets.

“Rachel is a perfect cultural fit and brings meaningful development expertise as we grow our Southern California and West Region presence,” said Shawn Clark, President of CRG. “Her integrity, creativity and results-oriented personality are exactly what CRG is looking for as we add talented people to our team.”

Hickenbottom, a 25-year-industry veteran, has distinguished herself amongst a male-dominated field. She started her career with Majestic Realty in 1994 and moved on to become a Development Assistant and Property Manager at Panattoni Development in 2001. Hickenbottom joined DCT Industrial nine years ago as a Regional Manager, climbing the ranks to Vice President of Development & Construction through the successful acquisition and merger with Prologis.

At Prologis, Hickenbottom worked on key projects including Mountain View Industrial Park 4 & 5 and the Moreno Valley Logistics Center.

“I’m proud to be a woman in real estate,” said Hickenbottom, who is an active member of the Inland Empire chapter of Commercial Real Estate for Women (CREW). “There should be more, and that’s one of the things CRG values. This is a special group, and I consider myself fortunate to be working with old friends and a uniquely-talented group of people.”

Joining Bud Pharris, Senior Vice President, Partner and West Region leader for CRG, and Joe Williams, Vice President of Development, Hickenbottom’s addition bolsters the firm’s continued West Coast expansion.

CRG is currently pursing entitlements with its development partners on two buildings totaling 270,000 square feet in Carson, California and another 165,000-square-foot building in Moreno Valley. The firm has another three Southern California development projects in escrow totaling nearly 100 acres.

“This is one of the most important markets in the country, and our key stakeholders need team members who understand the unique challenges and opportunities of developing industrial projects in the region,” Pharris said. “That’s why I couldn’t be happier to have Rachel joining us. I’ve known her for 20 years. She’s a proven veteran and a difference maker for us and our clients.”

Hickenbottom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton. She is also a licensed California real estate salesperson.

About CRG
CRG is a privately held real estate development firm that has developed more than 8,500 acres of land and delivered over 197 million square feet of commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-family assets exceeding $12 billion in value. CRG, headquartered in St. Louis, leverages a powerful North American platform with local market expertise and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Southern California and Philadelphia. CRG’s philosophy of developing for the future and anticipating the enhanced needs of next generation users led to the creation of their industrial brand, The Cubes, and their multi-family brand, Chapter. For more information, visit CRG’s website at

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

Continue Reading

People On The Move

Spectrum Names Cable Veteran Wally Bakare West Regional Vice President of Field Operations



Spectrum announced Wally Bakare is the new Regional Vice President of Field Operations for the company’s West Region, which comprises the company’s cable systems serving customers in Southern California, Hawaii and Arizona. Mr. Bakare succeeds and will report to Shannon Atkinson, who was recently promoted to Senior Vice President, Field Operations, overseeing multiple regions for the company. In this role, Mr. Bakare returns to Southern California and will be based in El Segundo.

As Regional Vice President of Field Operations, he leads the 4,000-member West Field Operations workforce, including the field technicians who perform installation and service calls in homes and small and medium-sized businesses. His organization is also responsible for the monitoring, maintenance, construction and upgrade of local broadband networks, including the company’s network evolution, which will bring symmetrical and multi-gigabit speeds to Spectrum’s entire 41-state service area, as well as network expansion.

“Wally’s more than 25-year career in the industry is highlighted by his focus on organizational performance across all areas of Field Operations,” said Ms. Atkinson. “He has a unique ability to diagnose operational gaps and develop strategic and tactical plans that will improve performance and enhance the experience for millions of Spectrum customers across Southern California, Hawaii and Arizona.”

Since August 2021, Mr. Bakare has served as Regional Vice President of Field Operations for the company’s Northwest Region, which includes the company’s operations in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, as well as Central and Northern California. He earlier spent five years in the West Region as Area Vice President for the SoCal Central management area, serving communities in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Mr. Bakare began his career in the industry in 1996 with Nextel Communications and later spent seven years at Comcast in a variety of broadband and telephony leadership roles, before joining Time Warner Cable in 2006. While at Time Warner Cable, he held a series of telephony and operations leadership positions in Southern California and Ohio before moving to Charter in 2014 as Area Vice President for its California management area.

Mr. Bakare holds a master’s degree in Telecommunications Management from the University of Maryland University College and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Cable Executive Management Program.

Continue Reading


IE Chamber and AmCham Peru Forge Strategic Partnership for Business and Youth Development



Building Global Bridges: IERCC and AmCham Peru Unite for Cross-Continental Business Growth and Youth Empowerment

On December 12, 2023, a landmark event unfolded as the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce (IERCC) took a significant step in expanding its international influence by forging a strategic partnership with The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Peru. In a meeting that symbolized the dawn of a new era in cross-continental collaboration, Eddy Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, an esteemed member and Chair of Education and Youth Skills Development at IERCC, presented Mr. Aldo R. Defilippi, the Executive Director of AmCham Peru, with the Certificate of Honorary Global Member.

This partnership marks IERCC’s foray into the Latin American continent, signifying a major stride in its mission to build collaborative networks that facilitate market entry and growth for US and Peruvian companies. IERCC President and CEO Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented on this milestone, stating, “This partnership with AmCham Peru is a significant achievement for IERCC. It represents our dedication to fostering international business relations and our commitment to the growth of businesses in both regions. We are excited to embark on this journey, offering our members unprecedented access to new markets and opportunities.”

The collaboration between IERCC and AmCham Peru is set to open new avenues for businesses in both regions. It will enable members of AmCham Peru to tap into the vast resources and connections that IERCC offers, thereby facilitating smoother market entry and business expansion.

A key focus of the partnership is the development of youth and education programs. During the meeting, Mr. Aldo R. Defilippi was introduced to various initiatives led by IERCC aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow. Further emphasizing this commitment, Mr. Defilippi received a copy of “The Hidden Dreams,” authored by Eddy Sumar, which explores the importance of identifying and pursuing the aspirations of young individuals.

Mr. Ornelas, Jr. further elaborated on the significance of this aspect, stating, “Our focus on youth and education is a testament to our belief that the future of business lies in the hands of the next generation. By aligning with AmCham Peru, we are not just expanding our business network, but also cultivating a fertile ground for young minds to grow, innovate, and lead.”

IERCC’s partnership with AmCham Peru is a forward-thinking move, indicative of its commitment to nurturing a global business community that supports both immediate business interests and long-term developmental goals. This collaboration is set to be a beacon of innovation, growth, and shared success, benefiting businesses and young leaders in both the United States and Peru.

As the Inland Empire business community looks on, the IERCC and AmCham Peru collaboration promises to usher in a new era of international business cooperation, bridging continents and cultures for mutual prosperity.

Continue Reading

People On The Move

Driven and Influential Latina Shaping the Expansion of the Small Business Ecosystem



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 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:

Continue Reading

Business Journal Newsletter

Events Calendar

« April 2024 » loading...