NOVEMBER 3, 2017



Panelists & Presenters

Lori Wilson


Lori Wilson, a native Californian raised in Fresno, graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accountancy. She currently is employed as the Regional Director of Finance for a national homebuilder. Her rich career, education and her heart-felt passion to make a difference laid a solid foundation and prepared Lori to serve in her community and inspire others to do the same.


She has been involved civically in Suisun City for the last eight years. During her campaign for City Council, Lori promised residents if elected, she would continue to engage the community in an open and honest dialogue and give those who may feel excluded from the system, a sense of empowerment. Shortly after Lori’s election to the City Council in 2012, she was appointed “Mayor Pro Tem.” While Lori often has to make tough decisions, her priorities and her focus continue to be on projects that will increase the quality of life for California residents, improve economic sustainability and overall safety. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Chavares Wilson, and they have two adult children.

Session 1 ~ The Time is Now!

Tonia Burgess, DGS

Tonia is a Customer Liaison with the California Department of General Services, Procurement Division, Certification and Outreach Branch and serves as the Department’s Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Advocate. In this role, Tonia assists California SB and DVBE businesses with accessing state contracts. She also educates SBs and DVBEs on the benefits available to them when working with state and local agencies.  Through collaborative efforts with our strategic partners, Tonia is the lead analyst in planning and participating in workshops, procurement panel discussions and conferences that host thousands of SBs and DVBEs per year.  Tonia also works closely with state departments to ensure that they are using SB and DVBEs in their contracting. Tonia holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.  She has over 29 years working in state government in the areas of customer service, small business certification, outreach, and advocacy.

Tara Covington

Session 2 ~ The Entrepreneur's Mindset

Tara has been a stable executive force with the Little Miss African American Scholarship program based in Los Angeles for the past 24 years. She has watched it blossom from its formative years to the national program that we see today. Looking forward, Tara’s hope for the future of Little Miss African American is that the young women will pick up the torch and help propel it into the future so other young ladies coming behind them will be inspired to wear their CAP (Confidence Awareness and Pride) for a lifetime. In 2008, after 16+ years in education and an untimely illness, Tara started her own consulting business working as a Virtual Executive Administrator assisting C-Level Executives in start-up entities. Presently, Tara sits on the board and serves as a Train-the-Trainer instructor for Delphinidae, an Internet and brick-and-mortar based training company. As a new empty nester, she looks forward to the future adventures of living life on her own terms here in Fresno.

Antoneya Brooks


Michelle Garcia

Jennifer Hammock

Lucy Vasquez

Doris Alkebulan, P.E.

Peyvand Haijan

Erica Noble, CPA


The Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce is a locally-based membership organization with a global reach advancing the interests of the greater African-American business community.


1444 Fulton Street

Ste. 206

 Fresno, CA 93721



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