June 2018 Highlights
Cannabis Issues & Solutions at "CannaBiz"

The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) hosted the first ever " CannaBiz" on June 27th - a conference and webinar at the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center  that featured presentations by leading advocates and supporters of the ever-growing cannabis industry.
Kenn Phillips, President and CEO of TVEA shared results from The Alliance's San Fernando Valley cannabis dispensary survey. The Alliance conducted a survey with 48 businesses near or next door to cannabis dispensaries and gathered information regarding the smell, parking, illegal activity, homeless concentration, and safety issues. 

The event was MC-ed by Barbara Oberman, Owner of Barbara C. Oberman Insurance Services, Inc., who provides insurance services to the cannabis industry including employee benefits, worker's compensation and commercial insurance.
CannaBiz presenters included Cat Packer, Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation who presented "Reforming Pot Policy," and shared challenges of creating regulations in the ever changing environment.  

Dr. Dennis Harp, a food Scientist with Quail Ozone Systems presented how ozone systems can be used to eliminate cannabis smell off of clothing and money and surface disinfection. 

Amy Berliner, Founder and CEO of Aegis Bomedical and Biotech and leading authority on bitcoin technologies shared how bitcoin could take over the market for cannabis and other products associated with it. 

Michael Goral, Tax Partner with Squar Milner discussed tax issues facing the cannabis industry. Despite the ways the retail sale of recreational marijuana has shaped and developed a new market, it is still not recognized under federal law and poses a number of issues to those working in cannabis accounting or as a CPA. 
The event concluded with a question and answer session that was moderated by Stephen Landsman, Partner with Squar Milner. 

Sponsors and partners included Squar Milner, San Fernando Arts and Cultural Center, Barbara C. Oberman Insurance Services, Inc., City of Los Angeles and Paints 4 Less. 

Photo 1- From left; Kenn Phillips, Chairman of TVEA Randy Witt, Dennis Harp, Cat Packer, Barbara Oberman, Amy Berliner, Michael Goral, Stephen Landsman and CannaBiz Coordinator Angela Amirkhanian. 
Photo 2 - Cat Packer presents "Reforming Pot Policy."
Photo 3 - Panel Q&A. 

Visit to view more photos. 
538 Jobs Saved & 175 Business Assisted

The Valley Economic Alliance continues to connect  and refer businesses in need to helpful resources and services through its business assistance, layoff aversion and business outlook labor demand programs, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. 

During fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, The Valley Economic Alliance's business assistance team saved 538 jobs, assisted 175 businesses and surveyed 55 business with hiring needs! 

TVEA focused on businesses that may need to relocate or close due to  Metro's Measure M and the proposed "Option B" storage and maintenance facility site. Kenny Broderick, Business Assistance Specialist with TVEA, met with two furniture restoration shops that have been in business for over 25 years in Van Nuys.  Kenny connected them to other businesses in the "Option B" storage facility site, city officials and metro leaders so they could educate them on how imminent domain/relocation of their businesses would hurt their companies and cost employees jobs. The shop owners also attended Metro public hearing meetings to voice their concerns regarding relocation.
During the meeting, the shop owners also identified other areas the businesses needed assistance with including website creation, social media training, quick books training and the value of Google business products. TVEA connected them to the West Valley Business Source to attend classes for social media training and establishing a social media footprint highlighting and utilizing the great reviews they have from customers, creating websites and using Google business products to their full advantage. Both businesses have since seen an increase in business and exposure to more clients from the west side and South of Ventura Blvd.

In May 2018, TVEA focused on assisting businesses  near cannabis dispensaries.  Kenny assisted a Beauty Salon in North Hollywood that shared they had lost up to 50% of their business due to smell, illegal parking issues and vandalism matters. Kenny connected the Owner of the salon to various resources and solutions including Quail Ozone Systems to install air filtration system to remove the cannabis and cigarette smell from the salon. The filtration system has since mitigated the smell of the cannabis and cigarettes. 

The Office of Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian and Van Nuys Police Department were also contacted to investigate possible illegal activity. Since the meeting, investigators have been interviewing and gaining evidence regarding recent fighting cases that took place in the shared parking lot. Police have also increased patrolling the area and contacted agencies to investigate illegal activity, gambling and hours of operation ordinance.

Photo 1: Kenny Broderick and Kenn Phillips at a business assistance meeting with Raffi Saakyan, Owner of Sherman Oaks Collision Center. 
New Business Accelerator Program Members

The Valley Economic Alliance and C-Level Roundtable in partnership provide an environment for businesses to propel their growth through their Business Accelerator ProgramThe program welcomed its new accelerator members in June.

Members are Remy Meraz with Me Tyme Network, Alicia Cole with Patient Safety Advocate and Public Speaker, Sandra Ortiz with Inspirational Leadership Group, Jessica Reveles with J Squared Communication and Ericka Lynette with Gorgeous in Minutes. 
The Alliance works with entrepreneurs in a shared office space for 90 days and creates momentum, opportunities and fun.  Business owners have support and build meaningful relationships and prospects for accelerated growth.  Our community of members collaborate to have every member identify objectives and take relevant actions to meet their goals.

The program is sponsored by Comerica Bank. 
In the News 
Businesses Concerned About Proposed Light Rail Facility

By Lisa Sigell, CBS

Most people would be happy to hear about a Metro light rail line coming to their community. But not everyone in a San Fernando Valley city is smiling about it. 
VITA Global Networking Breakfast presents Global E-Commerce
July 25, 2018

Humprey Ho
Out and About

TVEA's Jacqui Matsumoto and TVEA Boardmember Carmen Bowen from Concorde Career College with City of Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian on June 28th at Los Angeles Fire Department 89, hosted by the Universal City North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
Project GRAD Los Angeles' class of 2018 graduation on June 1st at Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at CSU, Northridge. 

Project GRAD has been on the front lines of college completion in the northeastern San Fernando Valley since 1999, helping hundreds of students and families navigate the path to and through college. 
"Becoming a Person of Influence" mastermind graduating group on June 6th.  

From left; Gail Lara, Director of The Alliance's Women's Collaborative Mentorship Program, Fernan Juarez, Wendy Baines, Remy Meraz, Patricia Gainer, Vilma Juarez, Beatriz Ascon and Coach with Top Leaders Lillit L. Cholakian. 

The new Toastmasters Chapter launched "Speaking your Business" on June 5th

The new chapter meets  every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:30pm-8:00pm in The Valley Economic BFG Boardroom and focuses on improving communication and leadership skills.

Please call 818-359-2692 for more information or to register. 
The Airbag Recall Coalition and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
held a special press conference on June 11th at the North Valley Occupational Center.

Over the next 3 months, a special project will focus on Pacoima, Sylmar and Sun Valley auto shops.
Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian hosted a luncheon on June 29th at the Japanese Gardens. 

This special luncheon recognized partners and the larger community for their invaluable service to the Assemblymember's office. 

Save the Dates

VITA Global Networking Breakfast - Global E-Commerce 
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
The Valley Economic Alliance - BFG Boardroom

The Valley Economic Alliance Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, July 26, 2018
The Valley Economic Alliance - BFG Boardroom
*invitation only 

Heart of Giving - learning breakfast for non-profit organizations
Friday, July 27, 2018 
Sam's Cafe - New Horizons
*invitation only

Annual Board of Governors Meeting and State of the City Reports
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Cal State University, Northridge
*invitation only

Valley of the Stars Awards Ceremony
Friday, September 7, 2018
City of Calabasas, Civic Center 

Valley Hackathon IV
Friday, September 21, 2018
TBA - Glendale, CA

"Hero Hired" Career and Resource Fair
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Los Angeles Valley College
Integrity Coaching
August 16th & 17th

Put your Dream to the Test & Becoming a Person of Influence 
Series Begins August 22nd
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The Mission of The Valley Economic Alliance is to engage and unite Valley stakeholders to raise standards 
of living and economic vitality across the San Fernando Valley.
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