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Business

Profiles In Black: Mr. G's Restaurant

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By James Shanklin –

In March 2007, a Dairy Queen located on Limonite was replaced by Mr. G’s BBQ, selling southern style food to Riverside customers, varying from chicken, fish, collard greens and much more. And, more than two years later, Mr. G’s is still being ran successfully by founder Donald Gibson.

In 2007, Donald and his wife, Sandra Gibson, had moved to Riverside from Los Angeles, where Donald owned a restaurant, House of Burgers, and saw that Riverside was lacking a quality soul food place. So, they brought their experience from Los Angeles to Riverside County and brought chicken, greens, and black eyed peas to the city.

In two years, Gibson has accumulated loyal customers without much advertisement although he works everyday to try to put his name out there, starting with having a sign out on the Plaza’s marquee which can be seen by anyone driving down Limonite.

But currently, the plaza’s landlord is refusing to display the BBQ’s location on the marquee.

“I just want a successful restaurant. I’m one of the only soul food restaurants in Riverside and advertisements are extremely important,” said Donald Gibson, “Hundreds of cars go down Limonite, if I had a sign people will come in from simply seeing the sign.”

Mr. G’s BBQ has one of the most colorful places in the plaza, with a purple wall and fire red and yellow letters shining off the large bold letters on the building.

But for now, customers who have not been there already will have to spot it once they pull into the plaza which also has a Starbucks and Edwards Cinema.

The interior of Mr. G’s restaurant creates a relaxing ambiance for customers with visual televised entertainment, and customer service that Gibson finds to be the most important aspect of his business.

“Each employee I personally picked. We need them to be courteous, asking customers how they are and saying ‘goodbye’ as they leave,” Gibson said.

But it’s not just the customer service that keeps Mr. G’s open, the food is cooked fresh at the time of order and everything on his menu seems to be a customer favorite from the catfish, to the chicken, pork chops, red beans and rice.

“People don’t describe my food as ‘okay’ but as ‘ very very good’ or ‘excellent,” Gibson said.

Mr. G’s is closed Monday and Tuesday but is open from 10:30-9 from Wednesday to Friday and 10:30-8 on Saturday and Sunday.

San Manuel Names Jerry Paresa As CAO

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The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians General Council and Business Committee announced that effective September 1, Mr. Jerry Paresa is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the San Manuel tribal government organization.

Paresa began his employment with San Manuel in May 1989. He held several positions at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino before becoming general manager.

Since February 2000, Jerry has been with the tribal government organization as executive director of government operations. His most recent position was executive director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

“The General Council and Business Committee are pleased that Jerry has accepted this position,” said San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman James Ramos. “He has the requisite skills and abilities to continue moving our tribal government organization in the right direction and contribute to our ongoing efforts to make our government a strong and effective presence among other governments, businesses and the community at large.”

The San Manuel tribal government employs upwards of 700 personnel, who provided essential government services on the San Manuel Indian Reservation. The Tribe also is a key partner with state and local governments as well as numerous community groups and organizations.

Spotlight on Business: Monica's Taxes

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By Brian Adigwu --

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Monica Hodgson
Monica Hodgson is a tax preparer who owns her own tax preparation and accounting business which is located in downtown Riverside.

“This may sound cliché but, I really, really want to help my clients,” said Hodgson.

Hodgson was born in Pasadena, California and grew up in the suburb of Altadena with her father who was self employed. Her father owned a Federal Aviation approved repair facility for aircraft parts. Hodgson said that her father was an inspiration to her establishing her tax preparation business.

She worked for her father’s aircraft repair business for ten years and for another ten years, she worked for the Riverside Auction Department as an accountant. Six out of those ten years, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps to self-employment and started her tax preparations office.

“There is a need for a good tax preparer and I believe that my greatest accomplishment is dealing with clients,” said Hodgson.

When starting her own business, Hodgson did not expect many people in Riverside to have issues with their taxes. But that was what caused her to want to spring into action when it came to taxes. Hodgson reminds herself and others that she could help as many people as she could but she isn’t a specialist in everything like securities or other investments despite knowing all of them.

“I am a work-a-holic,” she said. “I tend to work late and then I give myself time and space to rejuvenate.” Hodgson’s biggest challenge is her willingness to work hard everyday and night so that she could help people with their taxes. In situations like the current economic recession, Hodgson wished that she would have known the importance of having enough economic capital set aside.

“I am very hands on with my clients and I educate them and give them an overview of their tax situation,” she said.

What makes Hodgson’s business unique is her proactive approach to helping people prepare her taxes.  She also gives her clients information on how the IRS works and want her clients could so in case they are having trouble with their taxes.  The tax preparer has met many people who had trouble with their taxes; especially in the current economic crisis. And through those meetings, she saw people who were emotional. She tried her best to make them feel comfortable.

“I understand my clients when they get emotional,” said Hodgson.  “I always tell them: ‘don’t worry about this, we’ll handle it.”

Right now, Hodgson’s goals are to have a staff of about four to five people and to have her office relocated on the first floor of a building so people will know about her services.  She also plans to open a new office in the Newport Beach area.

Chamber of Commerce Holds Casino Night

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The San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce looks forward to hosting their Ninth Annual Casino Night at the new Hampton Inn and Suites located in the San Manuel Village.

This year’s theme “Mardi-Gras” is sure to provide fun for all in attendance. Black jack, Roulette, Texas hold’em, and Craps will be the draw for the chamber’s premier  fundraiser. Food will be provided by San Bernardino’s restaurants and local entertainment is always a hit.

A $50.00 donation will provide 1 entry into the Chambers $2,500.00 grand prize raffle, and will admit four adult players over the age of 21. Everyone that attends will receive a program packet, which includes $200.00 in play money and one door prize ticket.

The Hampton Inn will be offering room specials for the players that would like to make it a complete evening out, as well as a free shuttle service to and from the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

Make it a memorable evening.

Call Tammy Collins at (909) 885-7515 for tickets or more information.

This event will be held on Friday, July 10th from 5 – 10 pm at Hampton Inn & Suites located at 27959 Highland Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92346.

Eat Your Way to a New Job

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Necessary Nutrition will host a special event geared toward unemployed residents of the Inland Empire on Tuesday July 7th at Goodwin’s Organic Foods and Drinks. All attendees will receive Necessary Nutrition’s special nutritional wellness program for FREE, when they register, attend and show proof of unemployment at the event.

“We really want to help our community by offering unemployed residents our services at no charge,” says Necessary Nutrition’s founder Robin De-Ivy Allen.

“Research shows that people who eat well and take care of themselves have more confidence, energy, clarity and focus, all of which can give a job seeker the extra edge when out looking for  employment.”

The event will include a seminar showing attendees how to use food and nutrition to gain an extra edge in the job market, as well as a special presentation from image and color expert Peggy Ricks of First Impression, showing participants how to create a winning look to help them land the job they desire. “I’m going to teach participants about the importance of color and how their wardrobe affects their chances of securing employment, says Peggy.”

This is event is designed to help participants reinvent themselves for success, inside and out.

A grand prize drawing will take place. The selected attendee will receive a special “Stimulus Reinvention” package which will include Necessary Nutrition’s full 16-week nutrition program, a

color and image consultation from Peggy Ricks of First Impression, a three month’s supply of Necessary Nutrition’s nutritional supplements and more.

This package is valued at more than $1000.  

The special nutritional wellness program each attendee will receive is designed to help them reduce their body fat, manage their weight for the long term, increase their energy, confidence, self-esteem and show them how to eat for optimum nutritional value.

To register for the event visit www.NessyNutri.com.

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