Past Events

RSM Accounting Career Panel flyer
RSM Accounting Career Panel | April 8, 2024
Please join us in welcoming RSM, the fifth-largest accounting firm in the U.S. employing more than 17,000 professionals nationwide. Members from RSM will discuss the many opportunities within the accounting field, tax, audit, business consulting, technology & more!


Guest Speakers

  • Craig Tatlonghari | Partner, Tax Services
  • Jennifer Rosa | Senior Associate, Business Risk Consulting
  • Nic Enriquez | Project Manager, Culture Diversity & Inclusion—Market Strategy
  • Ian Kaminsky | Business Analyst, Audit Technology

Campus to Corporate speakers
Careers in Accounting Panel | May 1, 2024

From Campus to Corporate

CSU Monterey Bay Alumni share Their adventures in Accounting.

Guest Speakers

  • Christopher Riggin | Senior Tax Consultant, Deloitte | Fresno City College, 2016 | CSU Monterey Bay, 2018 | Master of Professional | Accountancy, UC Davis, 2019
  • Larissa Lea | Financial Advisor, Pence Financial Group | Monterey Peninsula College, 2019 | CSU Monterey Bay, 2022

How to Market Your Business

Gale Daikoku
Gale Daikoku at the E-Center

Need some tips with marketing or connecting with new business contacts? Then come hear from marketing and b2b social media expert, Gale Daikoku. Gale currently works as the Director of Global Influencer Marketing for SAP and has spent over 20 years in the tech/marketing field.

How to Patent Your Idea

Brent Fairbanks
Brent Fairbanks

Brent Fairbanks is a Primary Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with a focus on data processing of sensor measurements, where the sensor systems include seismic exploration, motion tracking, device location, and determining battery charge levels. He serves as an Assistant Outreach Coordinator for the Western Regional Office, supporting programs for inventors, entrepreneurs, and other communities in the western United States along with K-12 STEM activities. Brent has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and joined the USPTO in 2016 after a prior career of developing Electronic Design Automation software for the semiconductor industry.

How to Write a Business Plan

Mark Tolliver
Mark Tolliver

Find out how to make a plan for your new business!

The E-Center welcomes Mark Tolliver, former CEO of Planet and Palamida.

Dream It! Make It! Series

Ann Chasson & Mary Rubin | The Dancing Cat
Ann Chasson & Mary Rubin | The Dancing Cat

Summary: Ann & Mary started their ‘passion business’ of finding homes for adult cats 8 years ago. They are located in downtown San Jose and have cultivated a strong community of cat lovers and dedicated volunteers. They have 7 paid employees, 200 volunteers, 70 foster homes and have facilitated over 1,200 cat adoptions.

Tips & Recommendations for Aspiring Entrepreneurs from Ann & Mary:

  • Take a risk!
  • Don’t underestimate print publicity -the two cite one of the reasons for their growth due to receiving early and regular, free, print publicity of their organization.
  • Have a good team -you can’t do everything on your own. If you want sustained growth, make sure you build a good team.
  • Pay your people -if you want good people, expect to pay them well. Those costs should be part of your budget, don’t try to skimp in this area.
  • Ask for money -don’t be afraid to ask for money. You believe in your cause deeply so don’t feel bad fundraising so you can keep it going.
  • Be clear on your mission -your mission is what brings people in, so, be clear on it. This will drive everything you do and if it isn’t clear you will inevitably suffer from ‘scope creep’.
  • Build a good website -here’s another area where you may need to pay for professional services. A website is often the first thing prospective patrons or employees see, so make sure it is good. Have lots of pictures as well (so helpful when it comes to placing cats in good homes:)
  • Build community partnerships -your community is there to support you so make sure you have strong relationships with them.
  • Form follows function -This means that the purpose of a space should be the starting point for its design. For example, if you want to build a community then have a large table in the center of the space to allow for gathering as opposed to individual smaller tables.
  • Volunteer! If you are thinking of starting a non-profit (or a “passion business” as Ann prefers to call it), consider volunteering at a similar organization first. This way you can learn the details of the operations.

Jordan Cook
Jordan Cook | Founder of Paragon Body

Summary: Paragon Body is a nutrition, corporate wellness, and personal fitness company. Jordan defines entrepreneurship as “learn as you go”. He started Paragon Body in 2016 and now has 11 employees & contractors, works with about a dozen corporate clients, and has recently moved to a bigger location. Jordan stresses the importance of establishing core values for one’s business and to hire accordingly. Jordan continues with the values of helping individuals achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle in the workplace, at home, and in the community.

Tips & Recommendations for Aspiring Entrepreneurs from Jordan

  • Avoid downward comparisons – avoid the habit of comparing yourself to others. Instead, think of something that you started out doing as a beginner and have now become an expert in. Look how far you have come to accomplish that, be grateful for where you started and where you are now.
  • Set goals -it is important in your personal and professional lives to set goals. This makes you more likely to reach those goals, writing them down increases that likelihood even more!
  • The importance of mindset -your mindset is energy and a superpower. Make the choice to not dwell on the past but look forward to the future with positive energy.
  • Identify your mentors- list 3 people in your life that can provide knowledge and insight and use them!
  • Get organized -use a calendar app to help you keep your schedule in order. Jordan loves google calendar.
  • Never burn bridges -always do good by people
  • Ask for what you need -Jordan says that, after all, “closed mouths never get fed”.
  • Book recommendations-

Campbell Retail Queens
Brooke Ramirez

Brooke Ramirez | Bombshell Boutique

Bombshell Boutique is a women’s clothing and accessories boutique, located in Campbell California. The owners, a Mother-Daughter duo, Brooke and Jo Ellen Ramirez, opened the doors in 2006. The boutique offers affordable, trendy, and contemporary items for Bombshells of all ages and offers a personal shopping experience to everyone who walks in the door. Not only do they pride themselves on excellent customer service, they also believe in giving back. The shop holds several fundraisers each year for organizations both big and small. The owner is also active in their efforts to bring the community together, through volunteering and events.

Tammy Liu and David MacGregor-Scholes

Tammy Liu and David MacGregor-Scholes | Redemption

Redemption is a lifestyle boutique dedicated to California makers creating small batch & sustainable goods, locally owned and operated by a husband/wife team with a shared love of art, slow fashion, and our planet. Their passions for conscious consumerism and community is what inspired them to open Redemption in 2015. The belief is that we cast a vote for the world we want with every dollar and hoped to curate a space for the like-minded. From apothecary to apparel, skincare, accessories, to art and home decor, Redemption stocks a wide range of products, all locally made by artists and small businesses right here in our Golden State!

Tips & Recommendations for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

  • Find your cheerleader – starting a business can be scary, so having that person in your corner that believes in you and supports you is invaluable!
  • Be true to your core values – the business owners all stated that they believe their longevity, staying afloat during covid, and success have been due to the fact that they stay true to their core values, whether it is sourcing from local makers or finding affordable suppliers, don’t compromise on what’s important to you.
  • Don’t go into debt to start your business – both owners started with their savings or what they could get from family. Brooke recommends not spending a lot on the look of your store, a common mistake a lot of new retail owners make. Spend it smartly!
  • Get professional help early – both entrepreneurs mentioned they got professional help (accounting, legal, etc.) early on in starting their businesses. They recommend not skimping on this area, though many will be tempted to do it on their own to keep costs down, these are the areas you don’t want to shortcut.
  • Biggest cost – your biggest cost will be, and should be, inventory.
  • Biggest challenge – the biggest ongoing challenge you’ll face is hiring quality employees.
  • Favorite quote – “Once you know your worth, you’ll stop giving discounts.” from Brooke R.
Last Updated 5/15/24