THE GRUNION / GAZETTES.COM | By Harry Saltzgaver | April 3, 2020
An idea first conceived a year ago became reality last week with creation of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI).
A founding board, led by chair Bob Cabeza, took office and immediately appointed Jeff Williams as the interim director of the agency. Williams is the former executive director of Leadership Long Beach.
The LBCEI is a central component of the Everyone In Economic Inclusion Plan, an effort spearheaded by Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson. It will act as a Community Development Corporation, and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit group providing help to small business owners, workforce development among youth, home ownership and more to make economic opportunity available to more communities.
“With so much economic uncertainty for Long Beach, the timing is right for a Community Development Corporation to step up in ensuring small businesses and working families are a key focus of our relief and recovery efforts,” Richardson said. “I want to thank and congratulate the founding Board of Directors as well as our initial funding partner Wells Fargo Foundation for partnering to launch this important organization.”
Cabeza is the recently retired senior vice president for community development at the Long Beach area YMCA. Other board members are:
• Juan Benitez, Director, CSULB Center for Civic Engagement;
• Rev. Wayne Chaney, Pastor, Antioch Church of Long Beach;
• Sharon Diggs-Jackson, at-risk Youth advocate, retired City of Long Beach;
• Vivian Shimoyama, Founder, Breakthru Solutions (Small Business Advocate);
• Darick Simpson, Director, Miller Foundation, formerly of Long Beach Community Action Partnership.
The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion announced the new organization’s founding Board of Directors recently, and with that, also came the announcement of a new resource to help uplift economic development across Long Beach.
The organization’s mission is to expand inclusive economic opportunities to Long Beach residents, focusing on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship, youth development, housing and home ownership, and economic resiliency.
Chairman Bob Cabeza, former YMCA senior vice president of Community Development, will lead the board.
The rest of the founding directors are:
Juan Benitez, director of the CSULB Center for Civic Engagement;
Rev. Wayne Chaney of Antioch Church of Long Beach;
Sharon Diggs-Jackson, at-risk youth advocate;
Vivian Shimoyama, founder of Breakthru Solutions, a small business advocate; and
Darick Simpson, director of Miller Foundation and formerly of Long Beach Community Action Partnership.
“This founding board is comprised of amazing individuals who have been doing the real, heavy-lifting work of uplifting small businesses and our low-income families and communities for years,” Cabeza said in a statement late last week. “I am honored to serve alongside these individuals to help put into place an entity that will serve our community for many years to come.”
The organization was established in response to the “Everyone In” Economic Inclusion Implementation Plan, which Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson championed; the plan brought together community stakeholders from across Long Beach to develop a series of recommendations to expand economic opportunity in the city.
“With so much economic uncertainty for Long Beach, the timing is right for a Community Development Corporation to step up in ensuring small businesses and working families are a key focus of our relief and recovery efforts,” Richardson, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said.
LONG BEACH BUSINESS JOURNAL | By Alena Maschke | April 1, 2020
Less than a month after its first board meeting, a newly-created community development corporation will shift its focus to supporting businesses struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion was created in September, with financial support from the city and the Wells Fargo Foundation, to open up economic opportunities for the city’s underserved communities.
Launching in the middle of a public health crisis with severe economic impacts, the new organization has temporarily shifted its focus from more general goals like workforce and youth development to immediate emergency assistance for businesses.
The new board has authorized $150,000 to fund efforts aimed at supporting small businesses, assisting with food security, improving digital inclusion and providing housing support services during the crisis.
“We’re trying to work out the specifics,” Jeff Williams, the corporation’s interim director, said. “It’s all changing very quickly.”
The new board met for the first time on March 11, just days before the city began imposing restrictions on large gatherings and ordering non-essential businesses to close.
At the moment, the organization is working with the city’s economic development department to identify the needs of community organizations, nonprofits and faith-based communities and create partnerships for the deployment of emergency funds, Williams added.
Councilman Rex Richardson pushed the development of the new corporation, submitting a request for $125,000 in funds that was approved by the city council in September. The Wells Fargo Foundation has provided an additional grant of $115,000, to help sustain the CDC through its first year.
“With so much economic uncertainty for Long Beach, the timing is right for a community development corporation to step up in ensuring small businesses and working families are a key focus of our relief and recovery efforts,” Richardson said in a press release.
LONG BEACH BUSINESS JOURNAL | By Alena Maschke | September 9, 2019
In an effort to implement recommendations made by the ‘Everyone In’ taskforce for economic inclusion, spearheaded by 9th District Councilmember Rex Richardson, the Long Beach City Council has approved funds in the amount of $125,000 for the establishment of a Community Development Corporation (CDC). The Wells Fargo Foundation has provided an additional grant of $115,000 which will be used to sustain the CDC through its first year.
“What we’re hoping to achieve is to bring access and opportunities to communities that have traditionally been underserved or are – just from a statistical standpoint – not as thriving as other parts [of the city],” Linda Nguyen, Wells Fargo’s vice president of community relations for the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County West Region, told the Business Journal.
Wells Fargo does not require cities to match its contribution to local projects, Nguyen said, but she also noted that the foundation felt re-assured by the city’s participation. “To me this is something very unique and very remarkable that a city would want to come in, that they want to provide funding and support,” Nguyen said. “I think it demonstrates that we’re getting buy-in from various stakeholders and that this is truly a public-private partnership.”
For the city, the partnership is a first step in funding what was envisioned by the economic inclusion taskforce as a permanent investment in the development of neighborhoods whose economic success has trailed behind that of the city overall. “By matching the Wells Fargo grant and working with the Long Beach Community Action Partnership, the city really gets to partner in a solution, rather than be solely responsible for the implementation of the recommendation,” Economic Development Director John Keisler told the Business Journal. The Long Beach Community Action Partnership (LBCAP), a local nonprofit dedicated to creating pathways to self-sustainability for low-income residents, has been selected to oversee the CDC.
Keisler noted that this most recent collaboration is one of many public-private partnerships the city has entered into in recent years to realize ambitious projects, such as the new Long Beach Civic Center. “It’s very creative. It offers a lot of opportunities for learning, on both sides,” Keisler said. “Traditionally, we’ve put a lot of pressure on government to deliver these kinds of solutions.”
Instead, the CDC’s staffing structure and programming will be defined through a series of meetings with stakeholders such as local educational institutions, small business owners and nonprofit organizations, according to Richardson. This process is scheduled to start this month and last through the remainder of the year.
“The community development corporation should look and feel like Long Beach,” the councilmember noted. “It should look and feel very different than what traditional economic development has looked and felt like, it should be more approachable.” The city, Keisler emphasized, won’t be involved in the selection of the CDC’s board or staff.
Darick Simpson, executive director of LBCAP, said his organization is interested in providing programming in partnership with the CDC once it has been established. Currently, LBCAP functions as a fiscal sponsor, managing the funds provided by Wells Fargo to establish the CDC.
“I see our role, initially, as being successful as the fiscal sponsor that we were brought in to be,” Simpson noted. “Once that role expires and the funds are distributed . . . I want it to be clear that we have greater capabilities than just being the fiscal managers.”
In its main capacity, LBCAP provides youth and workforce development programming. “Understanding that that’s part of the goal of the CDC, we certainly want to be a strong partner at the table when the CDC is created and be a provider of those services,” Simpson said. “That’s what I think we need more of in Long Beach: more of a collaboration in leveraging resources.”
Leveraging existing resources and creating more access for all Long Beach residents and businesses is at the core of the city’s plan for economic inclusion, and will be the primary objective of the newly-minted CDC. “Over the past year and a half, it’s become clear that we can do a better job connecting local people, local neighborhoods, local corridors to economic opportunity,” Richardson said. “The CDC is a connection, a network of resources, strategically deploying resources and connecting them to [pursue] economic priorities for communities.”
Environmental Health Public Affairs Manager, LA County Department of Public Health
Carl Kemp is currently the Environmental Health Public Affairs Manager with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and has more than 20 years of experience in communications and public affairs. Prior to joining Public Health, Carl managed his own government affairs and public relations practice with a wide range of clients from international shipping to major non-profits. He also created the Office of Government Affairs and Communication in the City of Long Beach, and went on to create the Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations at the Port of Long Beach.
Kemp has a long history of community involvement in the Long Beach area, including earning a B.A. and MPA from California State University, Long Beach, where he served two terms as student body present. He also has earned a certificate in Executive Leadership from the Harvard University School of Government. He has developed messaging around many major initiatives from local to federal government, including the Green Port Policy at the Port of Long Beach. Over the years, Carl has served on many boards and has been blessed to be involved in numerous initiatives to improve the community and contribute to the people within it.
Carl’s proudest accomplishment is being a father.
President Growth Small Business, LLC
Vivian Shimoyama has directed initiatives for public, non-profit, and private sector organizations setting strategic vision, and managing organization growth which resulted in economic impact. She is a recognized expert on small businesses and has advocated for thousands of small business owners through local, state, national and international initiatives. Dedicated to growing small businesses she heads two ventures — Growth Small Business, LLC and is the Chief Operating Officer of Scale Smarter Partners, these firms accelerate business growth through guided tools that allow companies to thrive. She advises and advocates for small businesses in a range of industries with outcomes that lead to opening doors of opportunity for entrepreneurs, strategic positioning, and focus on building operations infrastructure necessary to support growth.
Most recently, Ms. Shimoyama was the Regional Executive Director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Initiative for Southern California. She built a regional team and worked with national organizations to create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business and management education program, access to capital, and business advisory support services.
She is the Chair Emeritus of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board, National Association of Women Business Owners, and NAWBO Education Foundation, and advisor to the California Small Business Education Foundation, and University of Southern California Small Business Supplier Diversity Office.
As a national and international leader, she has served as an appointee to the National Women’s Business Council, an independent federal government advisory council that advises the President and U.S. Congress on issues important to women owned businesses. Ms. Shimoyama has served as an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business; was a member of the U.S. delegation and facilitator for the landmark 10 Downing Street Economic Summit headed by the U.K. government; U.S. delegate to the Asia-Pacific (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit, bringing together private and public sector leaders for women’s economic empowerment.
Ms. Shimoyama has been honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners, and received the National Women In Business Advocate Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In 2020, she was selected by the New York Museum of Arts and Design as one of 45 artists that have made significant developments in art jewelry since the mid- century: 45 Stories in Jewelry: 1946 to Now features pieces and jewelry artists in the past eighty years that have broadened the scope and reach of art as a wearable medium. Shimoyama Studio is located in downtown Long Beach where her fused glass artwork is displayed along with her creation The Glass Ceiling Pin that has received national recognition for breaking invisible barriers … glass ceilings.
REV. WAYNE CHANEY
Pastor- Antioch Church, LB
Wayne Chaney personifies the contemporary spiritual leader. He uniquely bridges people from different generations, cultures, and demographics through his relevant teaching and architecture of spirited worship atmospheres. His rich family heritage of clergyman fuels his genuine love for people. He stewards a five-decade legacy left by his grandfather, Joe Chaney, Jr. as he pastors Antioch Church of Long Beach. Wayne’s determination to shift culture is permeated throughout his ministry expression, oratory and brand tentacles.
Wayne has never been satisfied with status quo so whether it is a national television show, radio show, church congregation, regional festival, or by feeding thousands of people every month, he is destined to make a difference. Chaney is the visionary of the Long Beach Gospel Fest, the city’s premier gospel event held on the beautiful shores of downtown Long Beach. This yearly gathering brings politicians, business owners, gospel singers, and over 25,000 people together for inspiration, worship and music. “Beyond the gospel music, we are witnessing the addition of something new and wonderful to Long Beach,” he said to the Los Angeles Times.
He is strongly engaged civically as the former President of the California National African American Network, SBC, Board Member of the National African American Network, and on the Executive Board of the California Southern Baptist Convention. Pastor Chaney serves on the Executive Board of Global Tribe International, whose mission is to rescue those in physical and spiritual poverty, reach communities with the gospel and recruit and empower young leaders. He is also the president emeritus of the Long Beach Ministers Alliance.
Pastor Chaney has added published author to his expanding repertoire as his novel Your Miraculous Potential: Maximizing God’s Creativity, Power and Direction is now available at retailers everywhere.
DR. JUAN BENITEZ
Director, CSULB Center For Civic Engagement
Dr. Juan M. Benitez is a father, educator, and community leader dedicated to Long Beach. He serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and as an Associate Professor of History at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
With over 20 years of experience in higher education, Juan heads university-wide community engagement projects, programs, activities, and initiatives. He has helped raise close to $3 million in funding for projects in the region, working with over 100 nonprofit organizations and community groups as well as thousands of students and community members.
Through his work with the CCE, Juan helped to implement The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative in Long Beach, a 10-year effort to improve neighborhood conditions that contribute to good health. Juan also worked with AmeriCorps and community groups to create a collaborative vision to address youth development, parent engagement, equity and opportunity gaps, and school discipline issues in Long Beach schools.
Juan is also the proud son of hard-working immigrants from Mexico who came to the United States to pursue a better life for their family and achieve the American Dream.
Juan was elected to the Long Beach Unified School District Board, Third District, in June 2018.
Program Manager, LBCEI
Joey King is a humanitarian and community leader with a passion for making a positive impact. Born in St. Thomas, USVI, and raised in Barbados, Joey moved to California in 1985 and joined the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. After serving his country, he settled in the Long Beach area in 2000 and began raising his four children, two boys, and two girls, who are the center of his world.
In 2020, Joey began his non-profit work, which was fueled by the pandemic. He has since hosted a number of Digital inclusion events, Covid vaccine events, street safety events, Back to School Events, Holiday give away events, home ownership events, cash for college events, and more. Joey has become known as the “Food Mafia of Long Beach” for his exceptional efforts in providing food for over 3 million meals in 2022 alone. His dedication to serving his community has made him a beloved figure in Long Beach, and his work continues to make a significant impact on the lives of those around him.
DARICK J. SIMPSON
Executive Director - Miller Foundation
Darick J. Simpson, currently serves as the president and CEO of the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation — one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the city. He formerly served as the executive director of Long Beach Community Action Partnership.
Simpson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Alabama and a master’s in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, led LBCAP for the last 13 years. The nonprofit assists youth and families to reach self-sustainability.
Under Simpson’s direction, LBCAP became Long Beach’s public access television broadcast outlet and started a training program for youth in the performing arts and broadcast journalism. He grew LBCAP from a staff of 24 with a $1.3 million budget to an agency with a $10 million budget and 80 staff members.
A resident of Long Beach, Darick is a recognized leader in the community. Additionally, Mr. Simpson has served on various national, state, and regional boards including the PBS SoCal Advisory Board and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Commission.
Program Director, Elite Skills Development
Sharon Jackson’s professional career includes 12 years with IBM where she served as an auditor and administrative branch manager. Her 20-year career with the City of Long Beach included serving as an Analyst in the Long Beach Police Department’s Narcotics and Crime Analysis Divisions and Coordinator of the Neighborhood Nuisance Abatement Program. For the final 10 years of her career she was the city’s Airport Public Affairs Officer.
Following her retirement in 2009, Sharon, and her husband David, began a journey to discover and connect with their family roots that landed them in Selma, AL, where they purchased and renovated a historic home in Downtown Selma. The home has been used as a center for racial healing and social action and a learning center for students studying the Civil War, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Movement.
A student of history, Sharon is an trained genealogist and author of, Images of America:SELMA. Published in November 2014, the book has been very well received and is now in its second printing.
Currently, Sharon serves as the Program Officer for Elite Skills Development, a non-profit organization that provides services to create pathways to self-sustainability for at-risk and under-resourced youth and young adults.
Sharon is a member of the Long Beach City College Citizen Oversight Committee, a board member of the Long Beach African American Cultural Center, the Executive Committee of the Selma Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc-Long Beach Alumnae Chapter and The Links, Inc.
CDC WORKING GROUP
Antioch Church | Carl Kemp
Antioch LB | Wayne Chaney, Jr.
City of Long Beach, Economic Development | John Keisler
City of Long Beach, Economic Development | Rebecca Kauma
City of Long Beach, Health Dept. | Katie Balderas
City of Long Beach, Health Dept. | Kelly Colopy
Council District 9 | Rex Richardson
Council District 9, City of Long Beach | Alanah Grant
CSULB | Juan Benitez
CSULB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Wade Martin
Elite Skills Development | Sharon Diggs-Jackson
Growth Small Business, LLC | Vivian Shimoyama
Habitat for Humanity | Dinesa Thomas-Whitman
LA County | Herlinda Chico
LA LISC | Tunua Thrash-NtukLandspire Group | Treana Allen
LB Economic Development Commission | Jessica Schumer
LB Forward | Petit Christine
LB Opera | Derrell Acon
LBCAP | Darick Simpson
LBCAP | Marisa Semense
LBUSD | Kim Johnson
LINC Housing | Suny Lay Chang
Our Essence Beauty Supply | Deidre Norville
Pacific6 | Brandon Dowling
PGWIN | Nick Schultz
PGWIN Board | Weston LaBar
POLB | Bonnie Lowenthal
Pride Real Estate Professional Association | Jacqueline Case
PV Jobs | Erik Miller
Ronnie’s House | Shirin Senegal
SHS Connections | Shawna Stevens
SoCal Grantmakers | Seyron Foo
United Cambodian Community, Midtown BID | Susana Sngiem,
Uptown BID | Doris Felix
Uptown BID | Joni Ricks-Odie
Uptown BID | Tom Carpenter
Urban Agriculture Council | Rod Dodd
USC Small Business Diversity Office | Rhonda Thornton
Villages at Cabrillo | Rene Castro
Wells Fargo | Linda Nguyen
Elite Skills Development | Sharon Diggs-Jackson
Office of Councilmember Rex Richardson | Alanah Grant