Please join us in congratulating the 26 extraordinary people who have been selected by our readers and community leaders as our 2017 Most Inspirational People. It is our tradition to recognize and celebrate men and women making a difference, who have forged a path to success.
Many of these inspiring people found ways of turning obstacles into opportunities. They figured out ways to be resourceful. Their focus was on persistence and commitment, and they didn’t make time for excuses.
We chose our anniversary issue to acknowledge their accomplishments as a reminder that, while it’s important to know where we came from, it’s also critical to identify the trailblazers who will be leading us into the decades ahead.
Corona Life Services’ Executive Director, Buzz Brown, is a man with a heart for saving lives. He spent much of his career in sales management, as well as 11 years as an Executive Pastor, which has uniquely qualified him to serve in a ministry like Corona Life Services. At Corona Life, saving a life is their mission. They passionately believe in the value and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Buzz Brown is an advocate in giving life affirming choices by delivering hope partnered with compassion. Buzz has been the Executive Director for almost 2 years now and has made a positive impact on the lives of the clients who visit Corona Life. His specialty is volunteer recruitment and management and he is proud to share that in just the past year, the volunteer team at Corona Life Services has doubled in size and provides hundreds of hours to the clinic every year.
Buzz is honored to be a part of a team of individuals who were recently awarded Non-Profit of the Year by the Corona Chamber of Commerce. His inspiration comes from Barnabas in the Bible who was known for his positive and encouraging outlook. The teachings of Paul the Apostle on spiritual gifting has helped Buzz to understand how everyone is different yet uniquely made for a purpose. He believes that recognizing this concept and pulling from each person on your team will help organizations to soar.
Buzz genuinely loves people and feels firmly that if you don’t laugh and enjoy life, you will cease to be the blessing you were created to be. People like Buzz are the type of individual who truly makes a difference in the lives of others. Corona Life Services promotes saving the lives of unborn children. They provide physical, emotional and spiritual support to their clients as well as resources and education to those in need. The world could use more influential people like Buzz who bring resources, love, compassion, encouragement and joy together to promote the sanctity of human life.
Don Garling moved to Corona in 1990. Following high school, he began his 30-plus years in education. While working, he became a reserve police officer for the city of Anaheim and later continued his education to become a police officer in the City of Tustin.
Don was offered a job back in education in 1985 at Brea Olinda Unified School District, retiring as an administrator in 2002 to devote his time and energy to his vinyl fence company. Lifetime Vinyl Fence Fabricators Inc. has three divisions: (1) fabricating vinyl fencing for approximately 125 fence companies in Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Orange Counties; (2) working closely with homeowners’ associations to install vinyl fencing in large communities; and (3) selling vinyl fence materials to the public, as well as providing installation.
Don is very proud that he started the company as a part-time business with the help of his son, Don Garling, Jr., and that it has grown into one of the largest vinyl fence companies in Southern California. Vinyl fencing is made at the plant in Montebello and transported to the Corona location on semi-trucks several times a week where the fabrication process begins. Don states that he’s proud that they’ve been able to work together to grow their business to what it is today, while both striving for excellence.
Don has had the privilege of sitting on the California State Contractors License Board in Sacramento as a subject matter expert. He has received numerous awards such as the Ira D. Calvert Award from the Corona-Norco Family YMCA; the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Ken Calvert; the Award of Excellence from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and the Award of Excellence from Jeff Miller, State Assemblyman, 71st District.
This year, Don is Chairman of the Board for the Corona Chamber of Commerce. He believes we are all on a fabulous journey, so his theme for this year is “A journey of a lifetime.”
Don is all about family, friends, and giving back to the community. He makes a difference in his community through proud service on the governing board of the Corona Regional Medical Center, as Board President of Eagle Glen Homeowners Association, as Chairman of the Board for the Corona Chamber of Commerce, and on the governing board of the Corona-Norco Family YMCA. He is also a member of the Circle City Rotary.
Kristen A. Holstrom is a dedicated attorney specializing in family law. Although officially an attorney for six years, she has actually worked with Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, for 17 years. She had the opportunity to work under her father, prestigious attorney Dayn Holstrom, at age 16, when she began to learn the intricate details of family law.
Dayn Holstrom has distinguished himself and his team of highly-experienced, knowledgeable attorneys at Holstrom, Block & Parke as the number one family law firm in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. His commitment to excellence is evident throughout his numerous achievements, including graduating summa cum laude with the highest GPA in the history of the school, being honored as a Super Lawyer, and being distinguished with an Avvo rating of 10.
Kristen attended Jacksonville University in Florida and was recognized for her athleticism and determination in soccer, receiving a full athletic scholarship and earning a B.S. in business with an emphasis in marketing and economics. Post-graduation, Kristen returned to her roots in California and earned her Juris Doctorate from Trinity Law School, successfully passing the state bar exam.
Kristen influences Holstrom, Block & Parke through her hard work, compassion, and heart for her community. Currently their Assistant Managing Partner and Director of Client Relations, she is loyal, determined, resourceful, creative, and persistent in all of her endeavors. She’s also involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire, and an active member of the Barristers Club of Riverside, Corona Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Bar Association, Riverside County Bar Association, and San Diego County Bar Association.
Despite her heavy involvement in her career and community, Kristen still manages to balance her home life as well, stating, “My most proud accomplishment is becoming a mother and balancing work and motherhood, which is not an easy task.” Her strength, compassion for others, and tenacity were nurtured by her two loving parents. “I followed in my father’s footsteps, and my mother provided continual support to make me into the woman I am today.”
Kristen continues to be recognized for her outstanding service with awards like the 40 Under 40-Best & Brightest from the Corona Chamber of Commerce for the past two years. She was also honored as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers this year, chosen from compiled peer reviews, statewide surveys, and independent research. She was one of less than 2.5 percent of lawyers to be recognized statewide with this award.
Kristen is committed to representing clients during their divorce and is especially qualified to handle cases involving family law matters such as dissolution of marriage, restraining orders, child custody, and support. Her talent and management skills are impeccable, and any one of her clients would attest to her creative legal strategies, aggressive nature, and unwavering loyalty. She is someone you can count on to fight for justice, and lend a helping hand. She is an inspiration to all women, young and old.
Yvette Avila is a Business Development Officer at Altura Credit Union and a proud board member of the Corona-Norco Student Educational Foundation. In her current role at Altura Credit Union, she creates and maintains business partnerships with select credit union employee groups and community partners.
She’s proud to represent Altura in the community, and it’s not unusual to see her at community events. Altura has sponsored “Story Time with Santa” at the annual Festival of Trees event, where Yvette is happy to volunteer her time, providing hundreds of children with the opportunity to ring in the Christmas season. She has also served as interview skills workshop facilitator for the CNUSD Career Day and CTE Expo. Giving back to the community is a strong passion of Yvette’s, and providing the community with useful and practical financial information brings her joy.
Yvette earned her B.A in arts at Cal Poly, Pomona, majoring in gender, ethnicity and multicultural studies with an emphasis in women’s studies and a minor in public relations. She furthered her education by earning a master’s in business administration from Brandman University. Her proudest accomplishments are her academic achievements, and she states, “I am the first in my immediate family to graduate from a university, and the first on both sides of my family to graduate with a master’s degree.”
Yvette is honored to be interacting with the community through Altura Credit Union. She says, “As a part of our community outreach, we offer financial literacy courses. I believe knowledge is power, and the more people know, the better decisions they can make, especially when it comes to finances.”
Yvette is an incredible leader who is strong and perseverant. She says she owes it all to her mother, who executes life with grace and grit, and she shares, “I hope one day to be half the woman she is.” Like her mother, Yvette tends to see the best in people. She tries to always keep a positive outlook and the will to move forward. Her favorite quote is, “Keep going and remember where you started,” and she follows this way of life and shares it with others.
Yvette believes in the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” and believes we can all make the world a better place if we just offer a helping hand. Yvette is an influential woman with a powerful message to share.
Dean Seif, owner of CARSTAR Allstar Collision in Corona, was one of three business executives honored by the California Chamber of Commerce as a 2017 Small Business Advocate of the Year for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses. For over a decade, Dean has helped his community to be one of Southern California’s leading job creators.
He’s worked with the Corona Chamber of Commerce to engage local, state, and federal governments on issues critical to growing career-building jobs. An entrepreneur with a record of success in three industries – in the aerospace industry as a flight crew and later in aerospace manufacturing, in real estate sales, and in automotive collision repair. As he and his wife Shannon were growing their businesses and family, they became concerned at the growing gap between public policymakers and employers. This concern resulted in Dean becoming involved in the Corona Chamber of Commerce where he became chairman of the board in 2015, leading more than 10 lobbying delegations to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to work on many issues on a bipartisan basis. Locally, Dean has testified more than 40 times before the Corona City Council, the Planning Commission, and various policy committees of the City of Corona, as well as the County of Riverside, on issues including local development, job attraction, defeating unnecessary regulations, and the development of infrastructure projects. In Washington, D.C., under Dean’s leadership, the Corona Chamber forged a close working relationship with the State of California Office of Military Affairs. This has helped expand national support for one of the Corona region’s most important employers, the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NAV-SEA), Corona Division (Norco), which provides nearly 1,000 community jobs. Dean has also traveled to the state of Indiana with a joint Navy/Corona community delegation to tour NAV-SEA facilities.
Dean takes his responsibilities very seriously. Many admire his focus and dedication. “Dean’s outreach to the community far extends beyond his business,” says Bobby Spiegel, president and CEO of the Corona Chamber of Commerce. “His philosophy is to share his blessings with others.” Dean currently serves as the chair of Legislative Action Committee at Corona Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Farzaneh was the big winner of The 2016 Aesthetic Show’s highest national awards for Best Overall Patient Surgical Enhancement and the Best Non-Surgical Rejuvenation. Because of his determination to provide his patients with unparalleled service, Dr. Farzaneh was voted a Patients’ Choice Award winner and Most Compassionate Doctor Award winner in 2008-2016.
Board certification is critical and Dr. Farzaneh is a proud Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the only board dedicated exclusively to cosmetic surgery. He is also honored to be a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. After completing an internship in general surgery and then residency in maxillofacial surgery at the University of Maryland’s Hospital and the world-renowned R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, he completed an additional two-year post residency fellowship in facial, body and breast cosmetic surgery under the directorship of world renowned surgeon, Dr. Howard Tobin.
To date, Dr. Farzaneh has completed more than 10,000 procedures. These include belly button breast augmentation, endoscopic brow lifts, high definition tummy tucks, injectables, infrasonic and ultrasonic liposculpture, and more esoteric procedures like CO2 laser skin resurfacing, radiofrequency skin tightening and injectables. Thanks to the use of small incisions and utilization of telescopic cameras, patients are often able to benefit from minimal visible scarring and little downtime.
Dr. Farzaneh has personally hand picked and assembled a team of experienced and Certified Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses and Medical Aestheticians to ensure a comprehensive experience for all minimally invasive procedures such as Botox, facial fillers, laser treatments, skin rejuvenations and acne scar reduction.
His amazing wife, Cathleen Wu Farzaneh, is an accomplished business manager and an esteemed graduate from the exclusive Shanghai Normal University in China. She assisted her husband in founding True Care Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa and has worked alongside him since 2010. The two make an extraordinary team that complement the business and take care of each patient with tender love and care.
True Care Ambulatory Surgery Center, an onsite, fully certified, state-of-the-art surgery center with an experienced Board Certified Anesthesiologist, allows Dr. Farzaneh to provide the level of safety that each patient deserves when considering surgical procedures.
To Dr. Farzaneh, cosmetic surgery is much more than an income. Every operation is a chance to give patients a new beginning and an opportunity to surpass their expectations of what a cosmetic surgeon should offer. His measure of success is the patient’s happiness.
Many locals remember Karla Asch-Rosen as a young, beautiful 15-year-old who battled a brain tumor. During the year of her illness, residents and groups held fundraisers, donated gifts, cooked meals, wrote encouraging letters, held prayer events and stood by the family. Many of her supporters wore a blue bracelet with the word “Amen,” which she chose to signify her life.
Ten years later, her mother and founder of the Let It Be Foundation, Ruthe Rosen, has never forgotten how much it meant to her that the community cared. She never imagined that she would be a CEO of a nonprofit organization, inspired by her daughter Karla. But today, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
The organization assists local families of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. They rely on the community to continue to provide support and services to these families. Ruthe said, “It’s the simple act of kindness that can change someone’s life or maybe even yours.” She knows all too well that her healing really began when she started this work, and she hopes that others feel as inspired by the strength of these families.
Mark and Larry Peabody aren’t just running a business – they’re carrying on their father’s legacy. As leaders of Peabody Engineering & Supply, Inc., a manufacturing company in Corona, they’ve continued their father’s dedication to innovation and integrity, with a passion for excellence.
Peabody is a manufacturer of rotationally molded plastic products, including their proprietary line of chemical and water storage tanks, as well as custom molded products for a variety of industries. Peabody also manufactures RF Transparent Architectural Concealment enclosures for hiding cellular and microwave antennas from public view on buildings and other architectural features.
A company committed to treating employees like family, Peabody Engineering received the Manufacturer of the Year Award from The Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and the Inland Empire’s Top Workplace Award from The Riverside Press Enterprise in 2014. They were a finalist in 2015 and 2016 and were nominated again in 2017. Mark was one of the top three finalists in 2014 for the CSUSB Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award, and he won top honors in 2015, along with his brother Larry, in the Family Business category.
Asked what qualities make the company an ideal place to work, Peabody Web Editor Ruth Noordwal listed ingenuity, passion, integrity, faith, commitment, diligence, industry, innovation, pride, and heart.
“There is a real spirit of ‘team’ in our company,” Ruth said. “Everyone is willing to pitch in and help by doing whatever they identify as a need. No one has an attitude that it’s not their job. The attitude is, ‘If the company wins, we all win’.”
To foster employee development, Mark and Larry Peabody encourage employees to attend conferences throughout the year and continue their education through college courses or trade schools. They also routinely bring in training experts.
Ruth is especially impressed with Peabody’s generosity to employees and the community, a factor that earns team member loyalty in return. The company provides support to such efforts as Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse; Compassion International, which invites employees to sponsor children in poverty; the Circle City Rotary Club; and the Corona-Norco Family YMCA. The company recently donated $5000 to Hurricane Harvey relief through a matching program with their employees.
Mark Peabody is the Chief Executive Officer of Peabody Engineering & Supply, where he has worked for 39 years. He’s a fourth-generation California native and a 13-year resident of Corona with a B.S. degree in finance. Mark has been married to his wife Cheryl for 33 years and they have two adult sons, both of whom are Eagle Scouts and currently work for the company.
Mark has a passion for his community, having served in organizations like Little League, the Boy Scouts of America, the Foundation for Community and Family Health, and the YMCA, where he has held several leadership positions. In addition to being the immediate past chairman for the Corona Chamber of Commerce, he’s on the Governing Board of the Corona Regional Medical Center. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Circle City Rotary Club in Corona as the fundraising co-chair, and is actively involved in serving at Crossroads Christian Church.
Larry Peabody is the President of Peabody Engineering & Supply, where he has worked for 42 years, and is married to his wife of 40 years, Theresa. Larry has two adult sons living in Texas – one is an attorney and the other is an industrial engineer. Both are also Eagle Scouts. Larry travels extensively for the company and has served in many organizations over the past 40 years in his hometown of Cerritos. He also enjoys spending time with his family.
Yolanda Carrillo is an exceptional woman with a purpose and a heart of service, who has worn many impressive hats. A leader in Corona and Riverside County as the executive director/CEO of the Corona-Norco Family YMCA for nearly 20 years, she also serves on the Corona Chamber’s legislative action committee and their board of directors.
Yolanda helped create a footprint for the YMCA at Home Gardens and considers helping to expand Y services to children and families one of her proudest accomplishments. Through the YMCA, Carrillo has created strong public and private partnerships with the local school district and the cities of Corona and Norco to privatize delivery of social services. She has also advocated to increase federal and state funding to more than 1,500 families served by the YMCA.
Yolanda credits her parents as her inspiration to becoming the passionate leader she is today. Coming from a family of six siblings, she recognizes the positive impact her parents had on their lives. “Once we were fortunate to realize that having a college education was our ticket to a better life, we knew it was our turn to give back in a meaningful way to others.”
Yolanda is also incredibly inspired by the families she serves. “The very families I serve live in strife and struggle every day to succeed – to put food on the table, to keep the lights on, and to fill their gas tanks, all the while trying to encourage their own children to succeed amidst adversity.”
She holds a dual Master’s of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Community Psychology, having graduated with honors; a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services; and a Child Development Program Director permit.
Yolanda has been recognized for her tenacity, organization, humanitarianism, and kindness through countless awards. Her first award was the Woman of Distinction Award in recognition of economic and social development from Soroptimist International in 2000, and she was this year’s Norco Area Chamber of Commerce Community Champion of the Year.
Yolanda is credited with federal and state advocacy to keep the NAVSEA Naval Surface Warfare Center open, saving 1,000 jobs in the community. She revitalized the Navy League community network for the base while advocating before Congress and with the State Military Commission on lobbying trips organized with the chamber.
As a city planning commissioner, Yolanda has been a strong advocate for streamlining regulations, a key priority for the Corona Chamber. At the federal level, she worked on legislation to streamline national environmental regulations, helping Corona complete the groundbreaking SR-91 freeway design-build expansion currently underway.
Her multiple trips to the State Capitol have yielded important developments for women-owned businesses and job training. She has also been part of a bipartisan regional coalition to provide common-sense protections for business owners threatened by nuisance lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Yolanda enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, her husband, and her family. She makes time to have fun with her friends, dance, laugh and most of all, “To do God’s work every day.”
She made a choice long ago to live a life that matters. She encourages others to believe in themselves, and that it’s never too late to change their course and add to their destiny. Her goal to make a loving mark in this world is her legacy, and it will echo in the lives around her. She says, “In the end, I believe how we lived our lives will be the only thing that really matters.”
Pamela Edwards-Swift is no stranger to hard work and success. She started her journey toward becoming an attorney in her early 20s, when she was a young mother going through a divorce with her first husband. When she found herself as the sole support for herself and her son, Edwards-Swift balanced childcare with working full-time and attending college part-time. While these were tough days, she persevered as she had a goal to provide a better life for her family.
Upon entrance into the Western State University College of Law, Pamela found herself drawn to family law, but at the time she passed the bar exam, she found herself dealing with student loans and other financial obligations. As a result, she accepted a job at a civil litigation firm that represented businesses, construction companies and homeowners. It was an area of work she was not passionate about, so ten years later, she was inspired to open her own firm. When she did, Pamela made the conscious decision to limit her practice to what she was drawn to originally: family law.
In 1997, her dream of being a family law attorney became a reality when she opened her first “office” (the downstairs bedroom of her house). Over the past twenty years, the firm of Edwards-Swift and Associates has grown and morphed a few times, but is now settled in its current office in Chino Hills. Edwards-Swift is a certified family law specialist, and has been awarded the prestigious designation of Super Lawyer for eight years in a row.
Pamela’s generosity and compassionate heart is loyal and steadfast. She donates her extra time to the Los Angeles Superior Court and San Bernardino Superior Courts on a pro bono basis. In addition, Pamela contributes regularly to organizations such as the Let It Be Foundation, many local schools, and larger charities, like Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and The Salvation Army.
For Pamela, inspiration comes from “people who stay steadfast and strong in the face of adversity.” She is motivated by every member of her Bible study group, called “Lydia’s Ladies,” and also her mother, who is successfully battling her third bout of breast cancer.
Pamela and her staff are all dedicated to serving the needs of their family law clients. They believe that every family situation is different, so by becoming knowledgeable in many different approaches to family law, they can provide their clients with a focused and unique approach to all situations.
As the Medical Director and Certified Physician Assistant at Bella Sol Med Spa, Nina Gaetano brings over 10 years of combined experience in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine. She began her career in the primary care setting, where she developed an expansive clinical knowledge base while gaining exposure to aesthetic medicine. She quickly developed a fascination with anti-aging and aesthetic treatments and procedures. Rapidly advancing to the level of Master Injector, Nina has established a large following of loyal patients while also training novice injectors in the art of non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
Based on her philosophy that there is no “one size fits all” approach to skin care, Nina teaches her patients how their skin changes throughout life. She personally designs individual medical aesthetic skin care programs to help them achieve their best results. Widely known for her injection skills, Nina is part of a unique category of injectors nationally certified in the art of facial lifting techniques. Her expertise also includes laser hair removal, tattoo removal, non-ablating resurfacing laser and light therapies, microneedling, medical-grade chemical peels, and other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Due to her advanced knowledge and experience in cosmetic laser technology, Nina continues to train physicians and other professional practitioners in the use of laser and light technology.
Nina’s passion is helping her patients achieve their health and beauty ideals both inside and out. She takes time to listen, helping patients choose the procedure and skin care products that are right for them. Nina possesses the combination of an exceptional artistic eye with the injection skills of the best plastic surgeons to shape and rejuvenate the face into the most aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking outcome possible. She is loved by her patients for her understated and natural aesthetic style, combined with her warm and caring personality.
Nina stays up-to-date with the latest cutting-edge skin care products and techniques by participating in ongoing training and continuing education programs. Named a Top Aesthetic Dermatology Physician Assistant by 2016 Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare, Nina has also been quoted in several top regional publications.
Bobby Spiegel has served as CEO and president of the Corona Chamber of Commerce since 2001. He oversees a million dollar budget and a professional staff of four full-time and two part-time employees. A graduate of W.A.C.E. (Western Association of Chamber Executives) Academy, he’s served on their board of directors and as president of SCACCE (Southern California Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives).
Born in Alaska in 1955, Bobby’s early love for travel led him to explore many cities throughout the United States, as well as China, France, Greece, Israel, and Mexico. In 1958, his parents relocated the family to Corona.
Starting work at just 14 years old, Bobby developed a strong work ethic, ensuring a job is completely finished prior to clocking out. At 18, he owned his first business, followed by a second business within 12 months. He’s owned and managed businesses in the retail, construction, and service industries, including Spiegel Enterprises.
Bobby was active with the Corona and California Jaycees, which he attributes his leadership skills to and where he also met his wife, Karen.
In 1990, Bobby was recognized as Corona’s Citizen of the Year, and in 2009, he and Karen were recognized for their philanthropic contributions by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). In 2011, CBS (Congregation Beth Shalom) honored the Spiegels with the coveted Legacy Award, and in May 2012, Bobby was honored by the American Diabetes Association with the Father of the Year Award.
Bobby has had a lifelong connection with CBS, serving on their board of directors for 29 years. He was also charter president for the Circle City Rotary Club in Corona in 1989.
Bobby possesses an infectious, positive attitude. His favorite quote is: “The purpose in life is not just to be happy, the purpose in life is to have mattered; to have mattered whether or not you ever existed on the face of this earth at all is more important than the temporary or egotistical illusion called happiness.” He’s a consummate professional and a remarkable man, but he also has an incredibly engaging personality. One attribute he possesses that no one can deny is he makes everyone he meets feel special.
Bobby and Karen pride themselves on their community service and continual volunteerism. They have five adult children with a bachelor’s degree or higher all living in Corona and enjoy spending time with their seven-year-old grandson.
Karen Spiegel began her political career in 1996 as elected city treasurer for the City of Corona. After six years, she embraced the City Council elections in 2002 and has served the City of Corona since, including as mayor in 2006, 2010, and 2014. With more than 30 years of service to the region, her actions speak volumes and her unique passion for service truly sets her apart from the crowd. Karen has worked for positive change and looks forward to continuing her efforts as she seeks the office of supervisor in the Second District of Riverside County.
Karen’s vision and years of active involvement have led to many inspiring programs and firsts for the community. She takes the initiative to create new programs, such as the Healthy Corona Initiative; the Corona LAFF (Life After Fifty Five) and partner with Riverside Meals on Wheels; Mayor’s Youth Council; and the Riverside County Women’s Leadership Program and Conference. She’s been instrumental with the first Strategic Plan for Corona, City of Corona mobile app, the Veteran’s Memorial, and the Corona Military Banner Program, in addition to introducing the Mayor’s Messages.
Karen has been credited for her leadership in regional transportation issues, collaboration, and regional partnerships. She has helped deliver nearly $3 billion in infrastructure like roads and bridges. With her depth of knowledge and commitment to the community, she proudly represents Corona and Riverside County on the regional and state levels in many organizations, serving in a leadership role in several, including: member and past chair of Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC); regional council member to SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments); Metrolink board member; and past chair of the Riverside Division of the League of California Cities.
Karen is an energetic member of the community, and her “roll-up your sleeves” attitude has led to her immersing herself in many civic, business, and community activities, including the Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimist International, Corona Fire Safety Foundation, and United Neighbors Involving Today’s Youth (UNITY).
Karen has been recognized and honored for her service with numerous awards, including Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Public Service Award (League of California Cities), Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Woman of the Year (CA Senate), and the YMCA Distinguished Service Award.
Karen graduated from California State University, Long Beach, then received a master’s degree from Pepperdine University, and was a Marriage Family Counselor (MFC). Her career has taken many paths, from counseling, to electrical contracting and accounting, to publishing and marketing. When she married her husband, Bobby, in 1985, she came to Corona and worked in the family business, Corona Industrial Electric, Inc., until it closed in 1995. They began Spiegel Enterprises & Publications in 1989, and Karen remains active in the local e-commerce and marketing business.
As a dedicated realtor in Chino Hills, Valerie Pestana credits her success to one of her biggest role models: her grandfather. He was a beloved realtor for over 40 years, and the values he taught Valerie are evident in her work ethic. “I want to follow in his footsteps – always acting with integrity, giving the best advice possible, and treating my clients with respect,” she says.
Valerie has a unique advantage as a realtor. With over 15 years of tax experience, she helps buyers fully understand the benefits of becoming a homeowner and sellers plan for the best strategy to minimize tax on their gains. She is committed to her clients and maintains an incredible level of satisfaction with all of them. She recently improved her system of listing properties, which now provides service even faster than before. Her goal is to get her sellers top dollar for their homes in the shortest time possible, and she is determined to meet the needs of every client.
Beyond her commitment as a realtor, Valerie participates in several organizations. She is a member of the Chino Valley Lions Club and Past President of TEAM Chino Hills Lunch Network, and a board advisor on the 100 Women Who Care – Chino Valley Chapter. Her dedication is reflected in her love for the city she lives in.
Valerie recognizes the importance of embracing and maintaining her values, and she feels blessed that God has always provided for her, through good times and bad. She believes her faith has brought her success and hopes to pay it forward by helping women who come from challenged backgrounds achieve independence in the business world.
Kristi Kim has a reputation for giving back to her community. As a State Farm agent, Kristi ensures every individual client is well taken care of in all aspects of their financial life. She’s a member of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors, as well as an Ambassador for Life Qualifier and a member of the 100 Women Who Care. In addition, she serves as a Let It Be Foundation event sponsor. Kristi contributes her success to God, hard work, great mentors, and the support of her family.
People have traveled from three different counties in order to enjoy delicious signature dishes created by restaurant owner Julie Cannataro. Julie grew up working in her parents’ Italian restaurant, where she learned to make her families’ recipes which originated in Calabria, Italy. Giving back is one of Julie’s favorite pastimes. She hosts numerous nonprofit fundraising events at her restaurant every month, and it’s not unusual to see her working side by side with her crew while catering at nonprofit events. Julie is proud to be a member of 100 Women Who Care.
Mike Ryan is a financial professional, helping businesses and families with solutions to protect their business, family, finances, and future. He’s on the Board of Directors for the Corona Chamber of Commerce, as well as Chairman of the Board for Peppermint Ridge, a board member of the Dayle McIntosh Center, and board member and secretary for Circle City Rotary. He’s on the fundraising and annual walk committee for the Alzheimer’s Association and a member of the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative. Mike is known for his work with families, small businesses, and the senior community, as well as those with special needs.
Dr. Betty Uribe is Executive Vice President of California Bank & Trust and a sought-after, dynamic, bilingual, bicultural, international speaker, consultant, coach, and author. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, organizational turnarounds, and peak performance, she’s been honored for her strategic intellect and humanitarian endeavors. With a drive for business and a heart for making a difference, Dr. Betty shares her passion for values on a global scale. She also serves the local community on the boards of private companies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Betty’s #1 international bestseller, #Values, shares her story and heart for serving others.
Dr. Stephen Ferrari is Director of Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback. He has a Ph.D. in psychology and is certified in neurofeedback, specializing in the treatment of attention deficit disorder. Dr. Ferrari has conducted hundreds of seminars on attention deficit disorder (ADD, ADHD), mild to moderate autism spectrum disorders, sleep disorders, chronic depression, chronic anxiety, and peak performance training in both public and private settings, and has successfully treated thousands of children and adults for these issues. He is also a regularly contributing writer and frequent speaker on these disorders at local and regional educational and psychological conferences.
Jack Hibbs is founder and Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills. His worldwide radio broadcasts, encouraging listeners to develop a Biblical worldview in and out of the home, are heard on international radio stations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands. He serves on several national executive boards, including the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., a nationwide advocacy group defending America’s faith, family, and freedom. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married over 30 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Thirteen years ago, Kathleen Ray volunteered to help organize the annual October Walk for Life event for Corona Life Services, a pregnancy center for women in crisis – and she never looked back. She went on to serve on the Corona Life Services Board and has a genuine love and respect for every person and life. Her biggest inspiration comes from her peers – women of all backgrounds, ages, and faiths, who use their strengths, stories, and even tragedies to help others and make a difference.
Hard work and community service are in the veins of Sally Carlson, who has been serving the underprivileged for decades. She’s a mainstay at the Corona-Norco Settlement House, which has been operating continuously for over a century, and her leadership is evident with the many families who frequent it. Her determination to ensure the children of these families are cared for and fed is a testimony to how Sally has lived her life.
Dr. Moreno and Kristi Diehl believe patients need to be fully heard and should be encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the medical decision-making process. In their experience, patients who participate in the discussion better understand and adhere to their treatment plan, yielding better outcomes. They both provide home visits to three local assisted living facilities to care for geriatric patients who can no longer drive.
Judy Rogers was known for her caring heart. She was the founding director of Caring for the Hills, where for decades, she would feed anyone in need from her front porch. At her kitchen table, Judy created lists, took phone calls from people in need as late as 9:00 PM, and organized driving teams to pick up food for delivery. She often called the Chino Hills community her “Angels” for coming through when needed to fill holiday baskets. The Angel volunteers included civic groups, scout troops, churches, businesses, and the City of Chino Hills. Judy demonstrated that volunteering brings individuals into the active folds of a community, where they can make a hands-on, front-line impact. Mrs. Judy Rogers, thank you for leading by example – you will be missed.