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Marlen Lara is the Manager for MCS West Valley Business Source Center. Marlen earned her Bachelor of Science in education with a minor in business from the University of Central Florida and has spent her 20 year career in Economic Development. Marlen has been nominated for the San Fernando Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business Award” and was a SBA/WBC Recipient of Excellence Award for “The Local Director of the Year” along with “The Regional Director of the Year”. She currently sits on both nonprofit and for profit advisory boards empowering entrepreneurs and their success.
Marlen has dedicated over 20 years to the industry specializing in consulting and microfinancing. She understands the needs of the small mom and popshops attempting to launch their businesses as well as the challenges they face. As a business owner herself she recognizes the day to day struggles that entrepreneurs face. She has played a vital role in the success of many existing businesses by supportin them as they grow financially and reach the next level.
Derek Kissinger graduated with a BA in Psychology and Business from the University of Minnesota and went on to earn and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Derek worked as a Business Consultant for MCS for 3 years, with a focus on helping small business owners realize their growth potential. In 2016 Derek became the Program Manager for the MCS BusinessSource Network and in 2018 he was promoted to Economic Development Director.
Derek’s focus is to help businesses in need of tools and resources achieve profitability and growth. Through access to capital and managed growth, these companies are carefully prepared to become profitable and undergo healthy, sustainable growth, with the ultimate goal of long-term job creation.
Elya Cohen Narinyan is the Co-site Manager and Business Consultant of the MCS West Valley BusinessSource Center.
Elya is a multilingual specialist and a formally educated and trained MD, Master of Legal Studies, and Master of Social Work with experience in business as well as in governmental work. Her business orientation, expertise, and ability to work in a diversified community made it possible to become useful in her new homeland. Being an immigrant herself, Elya is dedicated to the support and guidance of immigrants in LA with a dream to start or grow their businesses.
Elya joined the LA business industry back in 2017 when she started working for the Woman’s Business Center which earned an SBA award in 2018. Elya has been working for the West Valley BusinessSource Center Since 2019. She specializes in business taxation, provides consulting and workshops in specific languages, and assists with earning funds for a business; Hence, she plays a key role in building Armenian, Iranian, Russian, and Ukrainian Business Communities in LA.
Giovanna Gioiello is a Program Specialist with the MCS Harbor BusinessSource in San Pedro. She joined the MCS team in July of 2012 as a community and business liaison and has enjoyed working in partnership with many community programs including the Harbor Gateway Work Source Center, the Councilman’s office, and the San Pedro, Wilmington, and Los Angeles Gateway Chambers of Commerce.
With over ten years of professional experience, Amanda Enriquez is a true team player. She’s a southern California native with an understanding of multi-cultural, underserved communities. Amanda offers a participative learning approach, and truly lives by the statement “Team work makes the dream work”. With her positive outlook and can-do attitude, Amanda is excited and committed to helping proliferate the entrepreneurial spirit. As the Site Manager at MCS’s BusinessSource Center Amanda is able to consult small business owners in the city of Los Angeles, building strong sustainable businesses and growing economic development in the Harbor region.
Reyna Chavez joined Managed Career Solutions, Inc. as a Program Specialist in 2013. As a program specialist she was trained to help entrepreneurs start their own business, providing them with the resources they needed to launch a business in the City of Los Angeles. She also provides clients with workshops, counseling, and permits and licenses. As she gained greater experience, Reyna began to work more closely with Microenterprises and Operating business in assisting and teaching business owners how to achieve their business goals; access capital; use marketing strategies, or developing a business plan. In 2015, Reyna was promoted to a junior. Business Consultant. In November 2020 Reyna led a team with the launch of the COVID-19 Sidewalk Vending Grant Program. A $5,000 grant was awarded to 128 sidewalk vendors in the City of Los Angeles to help with the hardship caused by COVID-19.
Reyna is passionate about helping business owners who might be stalled or lack the requirements which may keep businesses from growing. She finds providing counseling to her clients can help them see the options they have and make it easier on them to succeed or accomplish the help they need.
Reyna is fluent in Spanish. She has completed the MCS Workforce Development Professional Registered Apprentice Program through Cal State Long Beach.