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Small businesses are the backbone of our community and the driving force behind our local economy.
The City's Economic Development Division in partnership with the Small Business Administration/SBDC Los Angeles presents a series of events aimed at showcasing resources and opportunities that can
help small businesses flourish in today's competitive economic climate.

Don't miss out on the chance to learn, grow, and connect with fellow business owners...
let's grow Glendale!


Armen Ghazikhanian, V.P. Sr. Relationship Manager at Chase Bank


SBDC will facilitate an interactive discussion with representatives from traditional banks, CDCs, and venture capital firms in order to provide insight on how the lending process works from the inside.

Financial Fusion: Exploring Opportunities and Insights in the Lender Roundtable

Moderator: Ted Hiatt,
Associate Regional Director 

Colette Moore, Director at
Pacific Coast Regional SBDC

Alexandra Dawson, Director of Lending & Investments, LISC

David Granfard, Lender Relations Specialist/ OIG Liaison, SBA Los Angeles District

Ahmad Shafique, President, Advantage CDC



Strategic Approach to Business Success – A Focus on Business Planning

In today’s ever-changing business environment, a company has to keep focused on its vision and purpose for existence; it has to keep scanning, learning and adapting to ensure that its mission is accomplished. A key tool is the business plan and the continuous strategic planning and review.


Eddy Sumar of Synergist LLC


Empowering Growth: Navigating Certifications and Procurement for Small Businesses –
Your Path to Informed Success

Attendees will learn about the various certifications and opportunities available and whether or not government contracting is a viable option for their business. Representatives from the City of Glendale, L.A. County Purchasing Department will also be on hand to answer questions about how to get certified to do business with the City.


Afshin Bokaei, Deputy Director at 
City of Glendale Finance Dep

Nuha Nazy and Emilia Rogowska
Advisors with

Enrique Gonzalez, Supervisor, Apex Accelerator,
LA County Department of Economic Opportunity 



Smart Finances for Business Success: Know Your Numbers & Ensure Your Cashflow

Every business enterprise needs to know its numbers and ensure Its cashflow—the lifeblood of the organization. What does it mean to know your numbers? It starts with a good product and or service; it continues with business acumen and is crowned with financial acumen.

Learn the key elements and tools for knowing your numbers and ensuring healthy cashflow.


Eddy Sumar of Synergist LLC


Unlocking Financial Potential: Navigating the Landscape of Access to Capital for Businesses

SBDC consultants will walk clients through the traditional lending process, loan packaging steps and provide a loan readiness checklist. Attendees will also learn about the importance of credit, how to build credit, and how the SBDC Team can help.


Nate Jemison and Sasha Globa of SBDC LA



Strategic Outreach:  Mastering the Art of Marketing to Corporate and
Government Entities

Attendees will learn the value of market research, capability statements and how to tailor their marketing strategy specifically to government entities and corporations.


Nuha Nazy and Emilia Rogowska
Advisors with

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Elmy Bermejo
Regional Administrator, Small Business Administration

Ms. Bermejo has a passion for building and strengthening relationships while assisting people and organizations attain their goals. She has been a senior government official with more than 25 years of experience at the executive level and has established a successful record of collaboration with public and private stakeholders on a range of issues including workforce development, disaster relief, and small business. Ms. Bermejo recently served as the Northern California Director for External Affairs for Governor Gavin Newsom; before that, she served as a Senior Adviser and Outreach Director for Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis of California, the first woman ever elected to this position. Ms. Bermejo also served in President Barack Obama’s administration at the U.S. Department of Labor as the Regional Representative to the Secretary and as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. She serves on the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, The Women’s Foundation of CA, and as an Advisory member of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) and the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Public Good. 

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David Granfard

David Granfard Lender Relations Specialist/OIG Liaison at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Los Angeles District Office. My prior experiences are in external/internal auditing for various CPA firms as well as being part of fortune 500 companies Internal Control/SOX compliance teams.


Additionally, I served in the US Army Special Operations as Linguist/Interrogations/Investigations where I spent 9-12 months in FOB JAF, Afghanistan, conducting 900+ missions and delivering 2,200 intelligence interpretations/reports for various agencies as requested.


I hold a B.S. in Accounting/Finance from University of Phoenix, San Jose, CA Campus.
I hold a MSHRM from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA.

I am a native of Iran, shiraz up to age of seven years old, then we moved to Sweden due Islamic Revolution/Iran-Iraq war. I lived in Skelleftea, Sweden until I was nineteen years old, then we moved again to San Jose, CA where I resided with my family until 2018. In 2018 I moved from San Jose, Ca to the southern California area due to meeting my significant other who is from the southern California area.

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Ted Hiatt
Associate Regional Director, SBDC LA

As Associate Regional Director of the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network, Ted Hiatt manages federal, state and county economic development grants for the 5th largest funded SBDC Network in the nation. The L.A. SBDC Network consists of 7 service centers throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara County with the mission of helping small businesses start, grow and thrive. Ted has held a variety of roles within the SBDC program, where he served as Operations Manager, Director of the Long Beach City College SBDC Service Center, and was also the federal and state legislative liaison for the entire Network. Ted has launched several specialty programs for the Network such as the Access to Capital Team, Centro de Negocios SBDC, and Black Business Strategies.

Previous to his work with SBDC, Ted worked in the television industry, and helped produce movies in Canada, Spain and the U.S. Ted has written several screenplays and has pitched film and television projects to ABC, Sony, Fox, CBS and Warner Bros. He is also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. Ted comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has a history of working with public/private partnerships, including Saint John’s Child & Family Development Center in Santa Monica. An investor in real estate, Ted is also a California Real Estate Licensee. A graduate of the Estudio Internacional Sampere in Madrid, Spain, Ted holds a B.A. in Media Arts with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona.

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Alexandra Dawson
Director of Lending & Investments, LISC

Alex leads LISC LA’s housing team where she manages real estate investments that facilitate the production and preservation of affordable housing and facilities in the region. Since joining LISC in 2016, Alex has managed $90 million in LISC investments that have supported the development of over 2,300 units of affordable housing and 128,800 square feet of commercial space across the region. She also oversees the statewide LISC Housing Development Training Institute (HDTI), the Keep it Affordable Academy and affordable housing related technical assistance programs.

As a native Southern Californian, Alex is passionate about affordable housing and community revitalization in Los Angeles. Prior to joining LISC, Alex served as a project Manager for Cesar Chavez Foundation where she was responsible for managing new construction and acquisition rehab projects across the Southwest. Alex is a graduate of University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Art in International Studies and minor in Latin American Studies, and a graduate of LISC’s Advanced Housing Development Training Institute.

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Colette Moore

Colette Moore is the Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CDFI, PCR Business Finance, helping small businesses to start, grow, and successfully run their businesses. Colette is a former business owner of a staffing franchise and has significant experience working in corporate organizations in marketing including with Walt Disney Studios.  


Colette holds a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) and her MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. 
Her greatest joy is to advocate for and educate small businesses.

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Eddy Sumar
Synergist LLC

Eddy A. Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, and CEW, is the Founder of ER$ Consulting Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California; Education and Youth Skills Development Liaison - Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce; a member of the CIE-DEC 2020-2023 District Export Council; an award-winning International Trade Financing Consultant; a Consultant for the Center for International Trade Development (CITD); a member of the Guidepoint Global Advisors, and an Associate of Quote 2 Cash (Q2C).  Mr. Sumar has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration (B.B.A.) from Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, West Bank where he enjoyed a Fulbright scholarship and graduated as Valedictorian.  He also obtained his MBA with distinction from Leicester University, Leicester, UK.  Mr. Sumar has 30+ years of experience in the credit and collection field.  As International Trade Financing Manager with Rain Bird International, Inc., Mr. Sumar championed the exploration and institution of worldwide trade financing programs and ran the international trade financing efforts in the Americas and the Asia Pacific Regions. As former Director of Education and Community Outreach for Credit Management Association (CMA), he brought credit education to high schools through ERS’ Credit Boot Camp. He is an Alumnus of GSCFM and received the NACM/Robert Half Student of the Year Award in 2000, the Best Article Award in 2003, and the CCE Designation of Excellence Award in 2004. 

He is the recipient of the CMA 2006 Credit Executive of the Year Award, the CCR Credit Excellence Awards 2011 in International Credit Management, and CMA Instructor of the Year Award 2012.  Mr. Sumar is a public speaker and enjoys writing and traveling.  Mr. Sumar has travelled to 143 countries and counting. He is the author of 'From the Cutting Board to the Cutting Edge: Re-inventing Credit in the 21st Century,' published by NACM; A Treasure Hunt with Otis—Acquiring the Wisdom Needed to Navigate the Journey of Life, published by Xlibris 2008, The Hidden Dreams—Prospecting for the Precious Resource of Untapped Youthful Energy, published by Xlibris, 2010, A Financial Odyssey—The Quest for Financial Freedom, published by ERS Consulting Services, 2010, The Adventures of the Nine Netzers—Finding Fortunata in the Land of Discordia, published by ERS Consulting Services, 2012, and A Customer Service Adventure—Adventure into the Maze of Customer Delight, published by ERS Consulting Services 2012.

Armen Ghazikanian
V.P. Sr. Relationship Manager, Chase Bank

Armen Ghazikhanian, has been in financial industry for over 20 years. Experienced banking professional with a strong background in branch management and business banking. Recognized for adeptness in business development, fostering relationships, and optimizing portfolios. His goal is to understand your business in a way that allows Chase to bring unique insights and value to every interaction with your firm. He can provide you access to the broader team of experts in areas such as cash management, SBA financing, access to capital and other business services.

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Nathaniel (Nate) Jemison
Advisor with SBDC LA

An experienced Business Banker with over 20+ years’ experience in commercial and corporate lending to corporate and middle market companies. Nate also has over 22 years’ experience providing independent financial consulting services to small and medium sized businesses, including commercial credit underwriting support. Nate is a graduate of California State University Long Beach and has worked for Security Pacific National Bank, Union Bank and Manufacturers Bank after graduating from the formal Security Pacific National Bank Commercial Loan Training Program in 1982. He has owned a Small Business Financial Consulting business since 2001 and has been providing Access to Capital, Loan Packaging and Small Business Technical Assistance Advising services for the Los Angeles SBDC Networks since 2008. He is currently the manager of the LA SBDC Access to Capital (ACT) team at the Long Beach Lead Center and Nate recently retired as a part-time Credit Underwriter for a minority-owned Los Angeles area Certified Development Financial Institution (CDFI) since 2001.

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Nuha Nazy
Advisor with SBDC LA

Nuha Nazy is a serial entrepreneur with a background in finance, operations, and analysis. As an analyst, she either wrote solicitations or bid on over $750 Million in contracts. Nuha capitalized on her business experience to found RightSource Services in 1997. Nuha owned several entrepreneurial ventures through the years. RightSource provides administrative and procurement services to utilities, corporate and government entities. As CEO of Z-Axis Factory, Nuha built a pilot shared-manufacturing facility to house small businesses and provide them with the industrial equipment, space, and staff support to build their product-based businesses. Through Z-Axis Labs, she conducted research with a medical partner in the application of 3D print and visualization technologies to pioneer patient-specific digital and physical models, reducing the time in surgery for patients by over 15%.

It’s why she’s long been a consultant to many Fortune 500 businesses, melding multiple resources into creative solutions for complex demands and projects! This experience led to the creation of a training program to help other small businesses pursue utility, corporate, and government contracts, delivered with the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center (LASBDC), the City of Long Beach, and Southern California Edison. Through the RightSource program, Contracting as a Second Language, Nuha works with dozens of small businesses to diversify their client base.

Nuha holds a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers University. IT Liaison - US General Services Administration (GSA). Certified MCCT Trainer. GSA F.A.S.T. Program Participant

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Afshin Bokaei, C.P.M.
Deputy Director of Finance, City of Glendale

Afshin is a procurement professional with over three decades of experience in both private and public sectors. For the past 21 years, he has been working for the City of Glendale. Afshin currently holds the position of Deputy Director of Finance and has been leading the city's purchasing section since 2009. Prior to that, he was managing purchasing functions for Glendale Water and Power.

Afshin is an avid advocate for modernizing government procurement and simplifying the bid and contract process to enhance transparency and increase small business participation in government contracts. 

He has obtained several professional certifications, including a lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) certificate from the Institute for Supply Management. Afshin holds a bachelor’s and a master's degree in Business and Industrial Management.


He is also a graduate of the Glendale Leadership Academy, class of 2010.

Afshin has been a long-term resident of Glendale and lives in the city with his family.  

Emilia Rogowska
Advisor with SBDC LA

Emilia is committed to using her 15 years of experience in marketing and business advising to create expanded opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. Building on her prior experience as Creative Director at Precision Dialogue and as Co-Founder of Z-axis Factory Shared Manufacturing pilot in Chicago, Emilia helped focus RightSource Services on working with government and large corporations to better incorporate entrepreneurs and small businesses into their procurement spheres. She recently helped build and launch the Contracting as a Second Language program that RightSource delivers through the Small Business Development Center in Los Angeles and other agencies. The program walks small business clients through the entire process in a series of classes and workshops, from introduction and all the way to drafting their first solicitation response. Emilia also built a digital marketing training program for the City of Long Beach to help small businesses survive and thrive through Covid.
It is this focus that allows Emilia to bridge the gap between what the corporate world says about their desire to work with small businesses and increasing the actual participation of entrepreneurs.

Emilia holds a B.S. in Forensics and Theater Arts from Bradley University. Emilia is the Director of Certification Committee at LBGLCC. Emilia is a MCCT Certified Trainer. F.A.S.T. Program Participant – US General Services Administration

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Sasha Globa
Advisor with SBDC LA

Sasha Globa is a Business Advisor with the Los Angeles Regional Network Small Business Development Center’s Access to Capital Team (ACT).  He helps small businesses plan for growth and source the capital they need to support their expansion plans. Sasha is a finance and lending professional with several decades of experience supporting business operations in a range of industries, from multinational manufacturing and distribution to tech startups. He started his career at Price Waterhouse, followed by financial management roles at Intel Corporation and Pepsi Cola International. 

His experience encompasses business development, financial planning and analysis, as well as financial reporting and internal control.  More recently, over a fourteen-year period, Sasha served as an executive and lender at a mission-based nonprofit institution providing SBA 504 commercial real estate financing, where he also launched the Community Advantage SBA 7(a) loan program for underserved small businesses.

Sasha has been active on a national level, serving as an SBA 504 industry trade association board director and executive committee member, where he advocated for SBA loan program improvements on behalf of small businesses. Sasha holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (MBA) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BA, Accounting). Sasha is a licensed CPA.

Enrique Gonzalez
Supervisor, Apex Accelerator,
LA County Department of Economic Opportunity

Enrique Gonzalez has worked on economic growth and improvement for the bulk of his career. Earning his BA from Pace University - NY and MA at the School of International Service from American University in Washington DC.  His studies focused on political science and comparative economic development. He has served as the LA County APEX Accelerator (formerly PTAC) Program Manager for the past 8 years. As Supervisor and Program Manager for the APEX Accelerator he has emphasized the empowerment of entrepreneurs by leveling the playing field with major prime contractors.

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Ahmad Shafique
President, Advantage CDC

Ahmad has been involved in the lending industry for over 27-years, with a primary focus on SBA lending. Ahmad started his career as an intern with Long Beach Area CDC, now known as Advantage CDC, where he went on to become Sales Manager.  His desire to learn more convinced him to work for banks and he has worked from small-to-medium-to-large banks such as South County Bank, Banco Popular and Wells Fargo.  He has worked as underwriter, SBA BDO and Relationship Manager.  In August 2014 he was called back to Advantage CDC.  After working there for close to a year, he became acting President, and later was promoted to President and Director of Advantage CDC.  He built his new team at the CDC, which included experienced BDOs and processor.  He is a member and ex-president of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, LA Chapter. Ahmad’s background is complemented with two MBA degrees, and many professional training courses and certifications. He has been a resident of Southern California since immigrating to the US in 1995.  After work, he devotes most of his time to his two sons, and enjoys listening to music, and travelling.

1:30PM - 7:30PM
Event Program
1:30PM - 2:00PM | Registration/ Check-In
2:00PM - 2:30PM | Opening Remarks

2:35PM - 3:15PM | Breakout Session #1
(Tracks 1 and 2 Concurrently)
3:15PM - 3:30PM | Networking Break

3:30PM - 4:15PM | Breakout Session #2
(Track 3 and 4 Concurrently)
4:15PM - 4:30PM | Networking Break

4:30PM - 5:15PM | Breakout Session #3
(Track 5 and 6 Concurrently)
5:15PM - 7:30PM
2024 Sponsors & Exhibitors
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