USC Civic Engagement Economic Development Programs Advisory Committee
Immediate Past President
Director of Business Development
State of California Alliance Liaison
Deputy District Director
Deputy Associate Administrator
Senior Business Advisor
Southern CA Outreach Manager
THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC ECONOMIC STUDIES
NAWBO-LA (National Association of Women Business Owners)
BOYLE HEIGHTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
SCMSDC (Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council)
U.S. VETERANS BUSINESS ALLIANCE
PROCUREMENT & PURCHASING County of Los Angeles
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
NLBWA-LA (National Latina Business Women's Association)
CENTRO DE NEGOCIOS
LISC LOS ANGELES
SMALL BUSINESS MAJORITY
Roberto is a native Angeleno with over 12 years of digital marketing, entrepreneurial, and management experience. He is the Founder and CEO of Braven Agency, a Digital Marketing Agency based out of Los Angeles. He has worked with multiple startup and small businesses varying from early stage to family owned. He is also a serial entrepreneur having launched multiple companies in the past decade. Roberto is currently a Google National Speaker and Google Digital Coach. He holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. from UCLA.
William Osgood, Certified Business and Executive Coach with CFR & Associates, a Small Business Veteran Advocacy. As a certified business coach, William has logged over 5,000 hours working with over 200 companies. William served in the USMC (United States Marine Corps) for three years prior to getting a medical discharge. He has three companies, CFR & Associates, CFR Supply Chain Management which has joint ventured with an 8(a) firm to provide water treatment chemicals to the VA, and CFR Staffing & Recruiting.
William serves as the State of California's US Veterans Business Alliance Liaison where he raises an annual allotment of funds for the organization and builds chapters around the state of CA. He chairs an Annual Turning Construction Contacts into Contracts Conference, now in its 8th year. William is the former President of the LA Chapter of the US Veteran Business Alliance, and now serves as the State of California’s Alliance Liaison, Vice - Chair of the TBAC (Transportation Business Advisory Council) for LA METRO, TBAC Legislative Chair, Chair of the LAUSD SBAC (Small Business Advisory Council), Co-Chair of the DGS SBAC, and member CAL VET’s Business Advisory Council.
With over 17 years of financial services experience, Mr. Pizano has held various positions in the industry mostly dedicated to serving underbanked, underserved, and credit-challenged communities. His past work experience includes consumer lending and credit, retail banking, home mortgage, and commercial/small business lending. Mr. Pizano, who attended California State University, Northridge with a major in Finance, is a recognized expert in credit, consumer and business lending, consulting and underwriting.
In a career spanning 19 years Liz has coached, trained, and mentored over 2,000 high caliber leaders including executives, elected officials, Olympians, and White House Appointees. Her coaching style blends neuroscience, sociology, and quantum physics principles with her human behavior and education background to help leaders lead from inspiration and live fulfilled lives.
Liz has her Masters Degree in Education from Harvard and her Bachelors Degree in Sociology from San Jose State, where she was the first NCAA Div I All-American Women’s Water Polo player in school’s history. Liz is a Trained Facilitator of The Demartini Method®, a human transformation methodology created by world-renowned Human Behavior Specialist Dr. John Demartini. In 2018 Liz was honored with both LA Biz’s Woman of Influence and Hispanic Lifestyle’s Latina of Influence awards.
Miguel A. Acuña is the Microloan Manager for the City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department. He established the first ever Microloan program for the City of Los Angeles to provide financing to viable microenterprises and small businesses that private financial institutions or community lenders cannot finance.
He’s also the founder and former Director of the BusinessSource network. Under his leadership, the BusinessSource Network and Microloan Fund have:
· Assisted over 11,000 small businesses and micro-enterprises
· Launched 730 new small businesses
· Created and retained over 7,500 jobs
· Funded over 1,300 business loans totaling $180 million
· Generated over $224 million in wages, leading to a local economic stimulus of $584 million.
Cesar Armendariz serves as the Senior Director of Community Health at Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Armendariz oversees the Health Navigation, Independent Living and Diversity Services, and Community Partnership teams, as well as the three Community Resource Centers, with three more in development. His innovative programs and community partnerships are addressing Social Determinants of Health - such as food insecurity, housing and other socio-economic concerns - throughout the Inland Empire, and is leveraging existing and new partnerships to improve health outcomes and enhance the lives of members and the community-at-large. Cesar Armendariz is a native of Los Angeles County, and is an alumnus of the University of Southern California (‘94 & ‘12), where he is also an Adjunct-Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business, Department of Business Communication.
Terri Billups is the Assistant District Director, Economic Development for the SBA Los Angeles District Office. In her current role, Terri is responsible for economic development in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Terri’s experience in the Los Angeles District Office includes serving as the Assistant District Director, Lender Relations and leading the 8(a) Business Development Program.
As part of her SBA career, Ms. Billups was the Deputy District Director for the SBA, Michigan District Office covering the entire state of Michigan, and the Deputy District Director (DDD) for the Pittsburgh District Office in Pennsylvania.
Aisha Shelton Adam, Esq.
Ms. Adam conducts impartial workplace investigations on behalf of public and private sector employers. She has investigated claims involving multiple respondents, anonymous complainants, and high-level executives in a range of issues from discrimination, sexual misconduct, whistleblower retaliation, harassment, and abusive conduct to implicit/subtle bias.
Ms. Adam also is an experienced investigator in Title IX sexual misconduct claims. She has investigated cases involving student-on-student misconduct, teacher-on-student misconduct, and intoxication and the ability to consent. Ms. Adam also has experience questioning parties using trauma-informed techniques. Her other areas of expertise include preventing workplace harassment through customized employee and supervisor training, preparing employee handbooks, and counseling.
Bet Tzedek attorneys and advocates help people of all communities and generations secure life’s necessities. Wherever people are in crisis, Bet Tzedek’s core services and rapid response programs provide stability and hope.
Bet Tzedek provides free, comprehensive legal assistance and representation, volunteer and court-based self-help services, and legal education to more than 40,000 people each year.
Bet Tzedek’s services keep families in their homes; secure care for those with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities; protect seniors from abuse and real estate fraud; ensure access to safe housing and legal wages; and obtain guardianships for children to stay in safe, stable homes.