Brian graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. While still in school, he worked in a variety of restaurants from a sushi place to Outback Steakhouse and first experienced a love for serving and meeting people. After graduating, he gained experience as a front desk agent at the Ritz Carlton Hotel where he learned valuable customer service skills. His father was retired and “itching to get back into business,” in the early 2000s so they opened their first Cold Stone Creamery location in San Dimas. For the next 7 years they opened and operated Cold Stone Creamery franchises. During that time, they felt a strong desire to open a restaurant which would allow them the freedom to create a concept and menu. In 2009, they opened Rose City Pizza, only three doors down from one of their original Cold Stone Creamery locations in Rosemead.
Michael Patris has always had an interest in history. Whether collecting antiques, collecting and working on antique cars, or restoring a 1923 California bungalow in Alhambra, pieces of the past always seemed too important to brush aside. After several years working in the news and film industries, Michael speaks publicly about Southern California transportation, collecting antiques, and Mount Lowe.
Paul opened his performing arts school PopRock Academy in 2011 and has been educating a new generation of actors, dancers and musicians. His students has been in notable productions such as the Red Light, Green Light doll from Squid Game, various Pixar, Netflix, Nickelodeon, Disney, ABC projects, and countless commercials. He is also the current President of the San Gabriel Educational Foundation, helping the students of the San Gabriel Unified School District.
Jesse Torres is principal and founder of ArroyoWest LLC, a minority-owned management consulting firm specializing in economic and workforce development. ArroyoWest clients include major economic development agencies, community colleges, chambers of commerce, corporations, and other organizations, and the project have range from helping to stand up COVID-19 relief programs for small businesses to helping to devise strategy for the implementation of regional workforce initiatives. Jesse is also the co-founder and president of Small Business Front Inc., a community building and media startup focused on small business, and he is the creator and co-host of the entrepreneurship podcast “Hack My Business.”
A native of Beirut, Lebanon, Aida Dimejian immigrated to the U.S. in 1976 and settled in Pasadena with her family. Aida is a former Huntington Hospital Registered Nurse who found her niche and her passion in the field of Real Estate, joining her husband Hovig who founded Century 21 Golden Realty in 1987, which is not Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Golden Properties. Aida oversees the management of their 3 businesses which are Real Estate, Mortgage and Escrow. She was the president of the Pasadena Foothills Association of Realtors in 2002 and currently serves the organization with various committees and task forces.
As founder and CEO of Quality Material Handling, Inc., Hector Pinto’s dedication and determination over the past 31 years has taken his business from a small one-man show to the growing multi-million dollar company it is today.
Alexandra (Alex) Strauss was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. In High School Alex first encountered meth, which she later turned to after school, hanging around and out in South Central LA. During that time Alex found out she was pregnant at 19 years old, soon after she started going to school again at PCC, found a job, and concentrated on raising her daughter. Through severe medical conditions that her daughter was born with Alex found solace in God when she was tired and angry. As her daughter has grown Alex has found a love for hiking in the mountains, content creation, and photography.
Coaching people is a hobby for some but, Drew has been coaching since 2001. He was one of the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coaches at Western Michigan University from 2002-2004, then went on to personal training and management of a corporate gym from 2007-2013. In 2014 he founded and opened his gym Pendulum Fitness with his wife and business partner. Outside the gym Drew and his wife, Chris, have 2 children and he loves to pour over coffee, & Michigan Football.
Monterey Park Council member Peter Chan was first elected to the City Council in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. He was the mayor three times in 2015, 2018 and 2020. Prior to his elected position, he graduated from La Salle College, Hong Kong and received a BA in Business Administration from University of Wisconsin. He is an accountant by profession.
Robert Simon was born at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He is a Cal (UC Berkley) graduate and a Chez Panisse alum. He is inspired by all things sustainable and organic when it comes to food. Robert has judged wine for 12 years and operated two restaurants in Napa Valley plus four different locations in San Gabriel Valley. He has two kids, Max and Rachel, 27 and 28 respectively. Robert and Deborah have been married for 31 years and operate and own Bistro 45 for 33 years.