Andrew Choi is the Project Manager for the City of Los Angeles, Chief Procurement Officer. He is responsible for the development of the City’s procurement technology, including the City’s new regional procurement platform and the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network. Andrew is also responsible for the oversight and implementation of City procurement policies and procedures. In his spare time, he enjoys watching nineties sitcoms with his husband and two recently adopted kittens.
Tomás has more than 15 years of economic development experience in low-income communities of Southern California. He applies his finance, new market tax credits, and redevelopment skills to develop creative and innovative economic development solutions for private businesses.
Prior to this role, Tomás worked as a Program Manager for the Whittier Redevelopment Agency and Vice President of Real Estate for Genesis LA Economic Growth Corp. In addition to CC, he teaches a class as a part-time instructor for the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Tomas also serves on the board of Common Future., the New Market Tax Credit Community Advisory Board for Dudley Ventures Community Investment and is a fellow in the Aspen Foundation's Job Quality Fellowship.
Tomas has a master's degree in Planning from the University of Southern California.
Bruce has a unique skill set that is suited for small business acquisitions. His expertise in small business lending, tax credit programs, and small business management helps clients successfully navigate funders' applications and due diligence procedures to secure financing. Prior to his work in lending, he ran a small, family-owned, electric wholesale distributor. Bruce served as Investment Consultant to PERS in Governor Jerry Brown's 1st administration. He secured the first term debt for LA's largest apparel manufacturing company, American Apparel, in LA’s Empowerment Zone. He assisted the company with implementing socially responsible hiring practices and set up their hiring tax credit program for 5,000 employees.
Bruce also designed and launched LA County’s largest Economic Development Assistance Revolving Loan Fund as Chief Credit Officer for the Valley Economic Development Center.
Bruce has a Series 7 credential and an MBA in Finance from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
With over ten years of professional experience, Amanda Enriquez is a true team player. Amanda has her undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management, a Master’s in Business Administration, and holds multiple certificates with the SBA and Intuit QuickBooks. Amanda has worked in numerous industries at various different levels which gives her a unique perspective and allows her to effectively communicate with a wide spectrum of audiences.
Amanda is a southern California native with an understanding of multi-cultural, underserved communities. Amanda is passionate about education and considers herself a lifelong learner. Among other experiences, Amanda volunteered her time with a woman’s re-entry clinic helping recently released women learn the valuable employment skills necessary to avoid recidivism. Amanda offers a participative learning approach, and truly lives by the statement “Teamwork makes the dream work”. With her positive outlook and can-do attitude, Amanda is excited and committed to helping proliferate the entrepreneurial spirit.
In November, Amanda represented MCS as a panelist at the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development 2020 virtual Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED) conference; speaking to over 100 participants about the challenges of, and recommendations to becoming a successful business owner.
Michelle is the Small Business Liaison for Caltrans District 7 Small Business Outreach Program. District 7 is one of the largest districts serving both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The goal of the Small Business Outreach Program is to educate and provide resources to Small Businesses (SB), Disadvantaged Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE). We’ll assist you in getting certified and accessing the opportunities that are right for your business. Your success is important to us, because when you participate, you help Caltrans increase economic opportunities and meet our small business utilization targets (25% SB, 5% DVBE, 17.6% DBE).
Melanie Rae, Founder + Author, Guided Business Plan – guidedplans.com
Melanie Rae is the creator and author of the national GUIDED Business Plan™ training platform which includes books and classroom materials such as Corporate Toolkit, First Time CEO, Contracting Confidence, and Top Shelf Retail. As an early adopter of experiential learning in the entrepreneur space, Melanie created a Demo.Write.Discuss format that entrepreneur educators have utilized to teach more than 10,000 business owners. She crafted a format to simplify writing Continuity Statements.
In 2020 Melanie was commissioned by WBDC and CMSDC to design a city-wide program to introduce government and corporate contracting to thousands of underrepresented business owners in Chicago. Her English/Spanish curriculum for scaling businesses won a City of Chicago Innovation award in 2019. McDonald’s partnered with YWCA USA to sponsor a 6-week GUIDED Business Plan™ course to teach 350 women at 14 YWCA locations. SoCalGas, California Water Association, and WBENC tapped her to teach business continuity to certified suppliers. She has taught more than 1,500 classes, served as president of a Toastmasters International club for three years, and loves to be on a hiking trail. A native of Massachusetts, she resides in Los Angeles. In Fall 2021, she is launching a forum for career professionals transitioning to entrepreneurship.