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One of the reasons Belen Sanchez joined the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is that she likes to help others. You might say she is paying it forward. “My family helped me a lot when I started my insurance business and it seems to be a good thing to pass it on.” Belen is a true Fresnan attending local grammar schools and graduating from Duncan High School, Fresno City College, and Fresno State.
She got a lot of business training at her mother’s restaurant, Julia’s, and used that knowledge to treat people right and be a helper to her community. It is notable that she met her husband in high school and they have been together ever since. She is also a volunteer at SCORE and helps guide new business owners to be successful. Belen says, “it is a good idea to join the CCHCC (Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) because there is a lot of good information shared there that can help business people grow.” She adds that the networking is excellent and it is like a “small business community that helps each other.”
Belen likes to help new business owners and even tells people considering a business that they should “have confidence, show their talent, and help others when they can.” Besides all this she is a dedicated wife and mother of three successful children and is excited about their future as well.
She is the owner of Belen Sanchez Insurance Agency here in Fresno.
He is a true entrepreneur and loves to help others as a business consultant. Amir is a product of the Fresno Unified School system and a graduate of Bullard High School. He says he has always imagined himself as self-employed and has successfully followed that dream. He attended Fresno City College and graduated in the field of Legal Studies. He is also a graduate of Kaplan University. He has also always been involved in leadership training from high school into college and the private sector.
His first business was a pressure washing business that cleaned commercial buildings. It grew quickly and he sold it. Then he started a paralegal business that became a business consulting firm. One of his most interesting businesses was his Mobile Video Game business that would go to the house of kids having a party and let them enter into a big truck to play video games; too cool. After that endeavor he focused his time on helping his dad open one of Fresno’s most successful restaurants.
In 2014 Amir attended some very successful networking functions in the bay area and believed that would be a hit in Fresno and he was right. That same year he started REZCOM a professional nonpolitical business promoting networking to improve individual businesses. He started with two businesses and it has grown to 300 today. The benefit to members is to provide professional long lasting relationships to help ones business to succeed. For more information go to REZCOMGroup@gmail.com; you will be glad you did.
Perhaps Amir’s zeal for life and business comes from the many years he was a youth minister and evangelist. He definitely learned a lot about working with people and he loves passing that on to others. In addition to that he has been married for twenty years and he and his wife have five children. He even finds time to be on the board of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he is the chairman of the Ambassadors group. He advises those interested in being in business for themselves to invest in personal development. Read about successful titans of industry and listen to motivational programs. Beware of not letting self-doubt cloud your mind or your enthusiasm; think positive and — go for it!
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Albenis Curiel is a native Californian who is a hard worker who likes to help people and grow his business. He is co-owner and CEO of Au Auto Repair. He puts the customer first and works hard to do a great job and create return customers. He is a graduate of the Santa Clara University school of Engineering and moved to Fresno because he is familiar with the area having attended Clovis West High School.
He has a very positive attitude and has joined the Board of Directors of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce because he wants to grow his business and help others do the same. He got started in a very different field after finishing college. He began with the sale of medical equipment and then moved on to aircraft engines and finally got involved in the water treatment industry before meeting up with an old friend who lived in Fresno and was in the auto repair business. As they say one thing led to another and their mutual zeal for the auto industry got them into auto repair and they have grown steadily. They are about to celebrate their first year of business and they are looking at steady growth.
Albenis was raised in an entrepreneurial family, both of his parents owned a business and he saw that as his path as well. He is striving to succeed where he is at and then looks forward to future businesses as well. His mission is to set the “gold standard” in auto repair, thus the symbol Au (for gold). His goal is to create longterm relationships with clients by always following the golden rule of treating others the he wants to be treated.
He advises other people wanting to start a business to find a mentor to guide you and help you. “That can be a major springboard to doing it right.” When you have questions reach out to others or chamber members that have experience. In a parting thought Albenis says, “one should not work constantly or you will burn out, take a vacation and many of your questions will work themselves out at that time.”
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It is a new year and the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has a new president. Brandie Quintanilla Carpenter is a Fresno native and a graduate of Hoover High School. Brandie has always been a hard worker and after high school decided to attend college at UC Berkeley. There she earned a BA degree in sociology. Her goal after college was to be involved in education and become a teacher that eventually become a school principal. After her college experience, she was ready for a new challenge and returned to Fresno to see what opportunities presented themselves. She had a chance to be an administrator at a radio station and accepted it upon being offered the job. It was while at the radio station that she learned to be a sales professional. The year was 2002 and she truly enjoyed what she was doing and it was an opportunity that opened many doors. She is currently a marketing consultant for the Business Journal here in Fresno. Brandie is one of the most experienced presidents to run the chamber because after joining as a member in 2004 she rose through the ranks as secretary, treasurer, vice president and now president. Now, that is dedication. The local chamber is in good hands. Not only is she a professional, head of the chamber and acting executive director, but she is also a wife and mom to a four-year-old bundle of energy baby boy. Speaking of energy, where does she get hers? Her goals for the chamber are for new growth and to let the Hispanic community know that the chamber is a resource for them to utilize and improve their lives and businesses. She says there will be a search for a new executive director. She also looks forward to working with the new board of directors to take the chamber to the next level. “We have a great board and we are committed to exiting things like expanding the number of special events held each year.” Her advice to students is to do research and find answers to your questions and ask your peers, you may be surprised by what they know. Ask an experienced person in that field, they would love to offer advice She also wants community members to know they can call the chamber office if they have questions or would like to participate. It is going to be a great year at the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
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Eddie Castaneda is a very enthusiastic leader of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He is currently the Vice President and has worked his way up from chamber member to board member to secretary, treasurer, and now VP. He is a hard worker and does all he can to make the chamber as successful as possible. Keep in mind that being an officer is a volunteer position so we tip our hats to all the officers. He is a valley native and was born in Fowler and later moved to Fresno where he attended local grammar schools and then attended St. Therese and graduated from San Joaquin Memorial High School. He says he got married at nineteen marrying his high school sweetheart. He initially got involved in his families business that specializes in imports. He enjoyed that, but got an offer to work with the city of Fresno and accepted the opportunity. A few years into this work he got a call from Comcast, they were looking for a bilingual person to work with their clients. He thought that might be an interesting challenge and now he has been there for over a decade. Eddie is always moving forward and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration focusing on entrepreneurship. He likes to say that, “business is in my blood.” That is one reason that he loves working with local business people and helping through his chamber contacts. He likes to show them new ideas and ways of growing their business. With all the responsibilities he has Eddie always puts his family first working together with his wife to raise two daughters, that are in college, and an energetic son in the sixth grade. He is excited about helping the chamber grow and make it like a “family” for all concerned. He adds, “people can learn a lot just from the connections they make during our networking mixers.” One of his goals is to reach out and make partnership relationships with local groups like REZCOM and SCORE. With people learning to work together it will improve their businesses and help them grow as individuals that can also turn around and help others. Eddie also likes to work with young groups like the business student groups at the local colleges and enjoys mentoring and letting them know that if “they put in the time and effort it will open up new vistas for them and they will be able to succeed through those efforts.”
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