2013 Microbusiness Expo & Celebration Preview!


AnewAmerica Newsletter
Microbusiness Expo & Celebration Preview!    
Join us at the Kaiser Center Roof Garden! Click here for more information! Purchase your tickets today!
Special Thanks to our Platinum Sponsor, Union Bank! 
Dear Friends of AnewAmerica,  Join Us at our 2013 Microbusiness Expo and Celebration: "Building Dreams, Changing Lives". Our Expo features the culinary talents and unique goods and services of over 30 of our entrepreneurs with live entertainment and music and a wonderful range of prizes for our  Pick-A-Prize drawings and silent auction! Don't miss your chance to win four round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines! And much much more! 

Click here to view the full newsletter! 

Award Spotlight

Green Business of the Year Award: Irma Villa 

AnewAmerica Class of 2008

Villa's Tailor Shop
Irma's design and sewing talent is at the heart of her business. She provides custom tailoring, alterations and embroidery services to her loyal clients. She also makes modern reproductions of vintage dresses and bags for boutique designers in the Bay Area. Her shop also carries all-natural beauty products. 
Click here to read the full story!  
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Betty Bedregal 
AnewAmerica Class of 2012

Betty's Butterflies
Originally from Peru, Betty immigrated to the U.S. to find better and safer opportunities for her family. Betty first joined AnewAmerica's program in 2012, and with the support of AnewAmerica, she and her family opened Betty's Butterflies Day Care, a bilingual, multicultural, and green day care in Mountain View.  
Volunteer of the Year Award: Nga Do
In Her Own Words: 
My passion is to assist low-income people earn a better living. I wanted to volunteer with AnewAmerica after learning about the amazing work they do to serve the hard working entrepreneurs in the Bay Area.  
Volunteer Group of the Year Award: San Jose State University Bridge2Success Internship Team  
Special Thanks to our Sponsors!
About AnewAmerica
Our purpose is to promote the long-term economic empowerment of immigrants and other low-income communities through asset building and green business development.
For more information, visit us at 
Jeff Butler -- Women's Business Center Director
1918 University Avenue, Suite 3A
Berkeley, CA 94704
T: 510.540.7785 ext. 301

For Oakland, Richmond & Concord Training Sites:
Lisset Ramirez -- Market Manager, East Bay  
1470 Fruitvale Avenue, Suite 5
Oakland, CA 94601
T: 510.532.5240

For San Jose: 
100 East Santa Clara Street, Suite 107
San Jose, CA 95113 
Priscilla Jang -- Client Manager 
T: 408-351-3623

In this Issue
Award Spotlight
Sponsor Spotlight: 
Union Bank
An interview with Julius Robinson,
Executive Vice President - Group Head, Corporate Social Responsibility 



The Life of a Business

It’s Celebration Time!

Join us for AnewAmerica’s Expo and Celebration: “Building Dreams, Changing Lives”

Thursday, November 15th, 2012; 6pm-9pm
Albert H. Dewitt Officer’s Club
641 West Redline Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
Buy your ticket now!

Special thanks to our Gold Sp
onsor, Union Bank!
For more information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, contact us at (510) 540-7785 ext. 305.

A message from AnewAmerica CEO, Viola Gonzales

Dear Friends of AnewAmerica,
I’m excited to invite you to our 2012 Microbusiness Expo and Celebration: “Building Dreams, Changing Lives” and I hope you will join us! It’s a lively event, celebrating AnewAmerica’s entrepreneurs, community partners, volunteers, and supporters. Our microbusiness expo featured the unique goods and services of at least 30 of our entrepreneurs. In addition, we’ll have local ethnic cuisine, live music, a Pick-A-Prize drawing, and much more!

AnewAmerica’s work is increasingly essential in this harsh economic and political climate. We need your support in order to continue our crucial work. Please join us at this year’s Microbusiness Expo and Celebration. Consider donating to AnewAmerica today. Your investment creates jobs, build dreams and changes lives.

Donor Spotlight: Heritage Bank of Commerce
An interview with Diana Olveira (Vice President, Marketing Director)

(Pictured from left: William J. Del Biaggio, Jr. - Heritage Bank, (Founding Chairman & Executive Vice President), Connie Klink – formerly, AnewAmerica (General Manager-South Bay), Diana Olveira – Heritage Bank (Vice President, Marketing Director), Robert Lattimore –AnewAmerica (Chief Operating Officer).

1. Why does Heritage Bank support the work of AnewAmerica?
Heritage Bank of Commerce was founded by business people for business people and we believe that everyone should have the same opportunities for success. Your programs provide the support, training, real business concepts, social responsibility, and so much more for new Americans. Your team does this with a passion that is unparalleled. Our bank supports organizations like yours that foster success and show proven results with financial assistance and volunteers. We’re delighted to be part of such a powerful organization.

2. Why is it important to enable low-income new Americans to learn microenterprise development skills?
In order for new Americans to really fulfill their dream of a better life here, they need the tools to build a solid foundation and your microenterprise development program guides them through what could be a very daunting process of learning business rules in the United States. As they complete your three-year program armed with confidence, drive, tools, and a clear goal for their business, they are set to explore the personal fulfillment of operating their own business and giving back to their communities.

3. What does Heritage Bank see as the value of providing financial literacy education to new American entrepreneurs?
We believe that everyone should have the same opportunities for success, and by providing structured, proven process to teach entrepreneurs financial literacy, we not only empower them, but we also strengthen the communities in which they live, which in turn strengthen the overall local economy.

4. Anything else you would like to add?
We are just thrilled to partner with the staff at AnewAmerica. Everyone we’ve met is outstanding and truly driven by passion to help new American entrepreneurs succeed. We can’t help but be feel compelled to join with you on your mission. Thank you!

Entrepreneurial Spotlight
The Life of a Business: Planning, Emerging, Establishing

Building a business is a process. At AnewAmerica, we are experts in guiding our entrepreneurs through the labyrinth of business planning, start-up, growth and expansion. In this issue, we highlight three of our entrepreneurs, each in a different stage of development.

Luis Mora
AnewAmerica Class of 2012

itekh Tech Support
12972 San Pablo Av e, Richmond
(510) 253-2636
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Glancing at the computer on his desk, Luis Mora states, “My goal for the future is to be financially independent, so my business is the first step towards being financially independent... And then to give back to the community, help out. That’s what I want to do.”

When Luis was a student at San Francisco State University, he began fixing computers as a hobby. After two years of working at a computer store in Berkeley, Luis says, he realized that he had the hands-on experience and the drive to start a business of his own. However, he did not have a business background or formal training. When Luis began AnewAmerica’s Business Incubation program, he put what he learned into action immediately, and his business developed over the course of the class. He also enrolled in a fast-paced, 22-week IT certification program to increase his technology skill set. In July, Luis participated in a Stride Center program, which is enabling him to continue to learn as he expands his business and client base.


Elvio Colombana
AnewAmerica Class of 2012

Lobos Ice Cream
1131 4th Street, San Rafael
(415) 250-3584

Elvio Colombana’s first market for his ice cream was his family. His unique frozen treats, infused with homemade tastes such as watermelon, limon and tahin, soon became a success at a local flea market. Elvio and his cousin produced and sold their ice cream at weekend markets for five years before Elvio decided he wanted to focus on making Lobos Ice Cream a long-term, sustainable business venture. He learned about AnewAmerica’s Business Planning Incubator program from a friend and enrolled in our Business Planning Course.

Elvio states, “AnewAmerica helped my business take off. I learned so much. AnewAmerica helped me to refine my business plan. ” Learning administrative skills, increasing my fluency with computer programs like Excel, and interacting with other entrepreneurs in a classroom setting enabled me to develop my business ideas.”

Lobos Ice Cream is now located outside a popular bar in San Rafael. The 3’-by-8’ stand has provided a strategic location for introducing customers to his unique ice cream. Elvio’s goal is to have a truck and a store of his own. In the meantime, he plans to make his stand a Certified Green Business. “I’m out here on the street building this, I’m an entrepreneur,” Elvio reflects. “I’m just trying to do my little piece. If it calls for me being the ice cream man, that’s just the beginning.”


Claudia Carreño
AnewAmerica Class of 2012

From her first job at a taqueria to her current position at a restaurant in Berkeley, Claudia has learned the ins and outs of the food industry through hard work. Claudia came to AnewAmerica to transform her knowledge of food service into a business plan. Her goal is to open a Mexican fast food restaurant and catering operation in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Claudia is focusing on saving money and creating a plan for her family in order to be financially secure when she makes the transition to self-employment, which she hopes to complete within two years’ time. “The main obstacle is money,” says Claudia. “It is hard but not impossible.”

Currently, Claudia balances her restaurant job with preparing occasional orders for small events. “AnewAmerica,” Claudia says, “has provided useful assistance with accessing loans, as well as vital business training and information on budgeting, which I view as the starting point for any successful business. Eventually, my dream is to make the business grow and have more employees, who are happy to work for the business.”

Claudia, who prepares food for the youth and elderly in her community, plans to provide good benefits to her employees and contribute to her community and those in need through her business.


2012 Graduation

On July 12th, over 50 new American entrepreneurs graduated from AnewAmerica’s Business Planning Course at a special ceremony held at the beautiful Valley Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Holy Names University in Oakland. Graduates included students from our English, Spanish, and Vietnamese-speaking classes held in Richmond, San Jose, Oakland and Concord. We are very proud of our hard-working, dedicated entrepreneurs!


Like us on Facebook!
Like “AnewAmerica Community Corporation” on Facebook to view pictures of the event and to stay connected to future events!

Spring 2012

Saluting the Women of AnewAmerica

“AnewAmerica salutes its women entrepreneurs and the contributions they make to the economy, the community and their families. Thanks to the generous support of the U.S. Small Business Administration, AnewAmerica is able to operate as a Women’s Business Center, supporting the startup and growth of women-owned businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. This issue celebrates our talented and successful women entrepreneurs.”
-Jeff Butler – AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center Director

Donor Spotlight: Cathay Bank

An Interview with Esther Wee, Senior Vice President & CRA Officer

1. Why does Cathay Bank support the work of AnewAmerica?
AnewAmerica helps new Americans, especially those below the extremely low-income limit, to attain economic self-sufficiency. Their three-year micro-business development program provides thorough and comprehensive training to about 1,200 individuals annually. AnewAmerica is resultsoriented and its programs lead to job creation. It provides financial
literacy education in three languages to a broad spectrum of families in the Bay Area.

2. Why is it important to enable low-income new Americans to learn micro-enterprise development skills?
Historically and globally, micro-enterprises represent an efficient self-sufficiency and job creation platform. However, it is through training programs like AnewAmerica’s micro-business development program that many micro-entrepreneurs are armed with business management skills that ensure the long-term viability and success of the micro-enterprises.

3. Cathay Bank is a strong supporter of AnewAmerica’s work as a whole, and specifically our work in financial literacy education. What do you see as the value of providing financial literacy education to new American entrepreneurs?
Cathay Bank is the oldest bank in the country founded by Chinese Americans. Over the past 50 years, we have witnessed the growth and success of many of our customers - from micro-enterprises to multimillion dollar corporations; we know what it takes for a new American to run a strong and successful business. New entrepreneurs today face an even more difficult and challenging world. Financial literacy education will help optimize resources to result in a win-win for all, the entrepreneur and the community. Cathay Bank applauds AnewAmerica for their strong commitment to community development and the success of their financial literacy programs. To learn more about Cathay Bank’s efforts to serve communities, visit

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Agnes Baariu
AnewAmerica Class of 2008
Kenyan Safari Designs

Agnes started Kenyan Safari Designs to bring Kenyan necklaces, earrings, carved wooden animals, bowls, utensils and other handmade African decor to the Bay Area. Agnes has a close relationship with the impoverished Kenyan women who make her products, and she is dedicated to helping them improve their lives. She currently sells Kenyan jewelry and artifacts at the Ashby Flea Market; however, she is passionate about opening a storefront and focusing on wholesale markets. A storefront would enable her to sell her products all year, without being contingent on the weather, which is the downfall of the open-air markets in which she does business. AnewAmerica is working with Agnes to find a location that will best suit her business needs. AnewAmerica is also helping her to secure the credit she needs to expand her business.

Agnes is passionate about sharing the culture of Kenya with the Bay Area, and having a storefront will enable her to increase the scope of her products in service of this vision. In addition, as a single mother, her business is crucial to supporting her family. She states, “The knowledge I gained through AnewAmerica has been very helpful. I am building my business and bringing it toward the next level, where I want it to be.”

Shop at Kenyan Safari Designs at the Ashby Flea Market: Saturdays 10am-5pm; Sundays, 11am-5pm.

Iliana Sarmiento
AnewAmerica Class of 2010
Body Sculpture Spa

Iliana owns and operates Body Sculpture Spa, a spa dedicated to helping people lose weight. She credits AnewAmerica for helping her establish and grow her business: “Through the financial seminars, tax workshops, marketing, business planning, green business practices, asset planning and social responsibility curriculum, I learned how to help my business succeed. Thanks to AnewAmerica, I was awarded a NOVA Microenterprise Grant from the City of Sunnyvale for $10,000, which allowed me to update my business by purchasing new equipment. After I completed AnewAmerica’s 25-week business planning course, my gross revenue greatly increased. The income I receive from my business helps to support my family and my future life goals. My business pays for my children’s education, regular family expenses, and savings for the future.”

Body Sculpture Spa is located at 213 E. Maude Ave. in Sunnyvale.



Nancy Rosales
AnewAmerica Class of 2009
Pepitos Ic e Cream and Abel 1950
Green Business of the Year Award- 2011

Nancy has a passion for giving hand-churned, all-natural Mexican ice cream a contemporary twist. Her business, Abel 1950, combines the best of traditional Mexican paletera recipes, passed down from her grandparents, with high-quality agave liquors. Nancy’s ice cream passion is rooted in exploring the flavors of her culture. Her current ice cream flavors include Mexican Hot Chocolate, Sweet Mango, Caramelized Sweet Corn, and Sweet Potato. Nancy is committed to using green business practices. Her product is all-natural, sold in recyclable containers, and she is moving toward using 100% organic ingredients. Nancy states, “I got an amazing education at AnewAmerica. The classes helped me develop and plan for my business. AnewAmerica enabled me to network with the resources I needed to launch and grow my business.”

Abel 1950 desserts can be found in Draeger’s Markets and Whole Foods Markets in San Francisco. Nancy’s first ice cream business, Pepitos Ice Cream, is still available for catering and events. Pepitos’ fusion flavors include Flan, Dulce de Leche, Pine Nut and Guava Sorbet. Nancy is pictured above (left) with her mom (right).

Cammy La
AnewAmerica Class of 2001
Vi Gallery

Cammy La owns and operates Vi Gallery, a boutique in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center specializing in unique woodcarvings, silk scarves and other items imported from her native Vietnam, as well as decor made by local artisans. Cammy states, “AnewAmerica is always there for me. They empower women and they empower minorities. My business is a big blessing. My dream come true.”

Cammy regularly returns to Vietnam to purchase inventory for her business. She maintains a relationship with the artists who supply her gallery, and witnesses the craftsmanship and effort that go into the beautiful water puppets, lacquer boxes and silk lanterns she sells on their behalf. Cammy also spends much of her time in Vietnam volunteering at a Global Education and Development Agency orphanage, which she also financially supports.

Cammy is dedicated to green business practices, and is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business. Visit Vi Gallery at 4 Embarcadero, 4EC in San Francisco. Open Mon-Fri 11am–6:30pm, Sat 11am–6pm. Cammy also sells her products on the Anew E-Store, operated through a partnership with E-Bay’s

Tina Ferguson-Riffe
AnewAmerica Class of 2012
Smoke Berkeley

Tina grew up on Texas barbecue. She’s always had a love for food, which naturally led her to a life as a chef. Last fall, she opened Smoke Berkeley, a Texas-California-France inspired BBQ restaurant. Tina’s signature dish is a tea-smoked salmon served with ginger-cilantro sauce. In addition, she sells a variety of smoked meat sandwiches and entrees, including smoked beef brisket and pulled pork. Sides include organic collard greens, jalapeno mac & cheese, griddled zucchini pancakes, coleslaw, potato salad, and Mexican cornbread. She also serves up fresh squeezed Meyer lemonade. Her desserts have already earned her fame: her chocolate pecan pie received mention in the East Bay Express as one of the top “Ten desserts for the Budget-Conscious”. Everything served at Smoke Berkeley is homemade and the produce comes from Catalan Farms, a local organic farm owned by Maria Catalan.

Tina states, “AnewAmerica helped me to align my business, put my business plan together, and learn about the logistics of tracking revenue and inventory. I can’t tell you how much joy I feel when I am able to speak to each of my customers. People want to know that you appreciate their business. I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Visit Smoke Berkeley at 2434 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, Tuesday-Saturday 12-7pm.



AnewAmerica Honored by Nancy Skinner

AnewAmerica was honored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (14th District) at her annual Women’s Empowerment Dinner, held on March 8th at the Mira Vista Golf and Country Club in El Cerrito.The evening celebrated organizations and leaders who are dedicated to serving women. AnewAmerica was honored alongside three other agencies: Bananas, Inc, Women’s Cancer Resource Center and the Women of the Year Committee 2009-2011. AnewAmerica is a Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center. Approximately 60% of our entrepreneurs are women.

We are also proud to note that our own Board of Directors Secretary, Chris Sorensen, was one of the 12 special women to be honored and recognized at the dinner.

Pictured above, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (left) and AnewAmerica CEO, Viola Gonzales (right).

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