We are a diverse group of individuals dedicated to improving the African American community one conversation at a time. The Inland Empire (I.E.) Smoke Out Project is a new program at Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce (RCBCC) funded by the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP). I.E. Smoke Out is a five year project uniquely centered and focused on creating large change within local African American communities located in the Tri-County South Region (including Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties).

Our goal with Inland Empire Smoke Out Project is to adopt or amend tobacco policy to: 

  1. Include a prohibition or restriction on the sale and/or distribution of any mentholated cigarettes and other flavored tobacco, including electronic smoking devices (ESDs) products and paraphernalia (e.g. flavored premium cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, hookah tobacco, e-cigarettes, e-hookah, wrappers) including Electronic Smoking Devices ESD’s
  2. Include a prohibition or restriction on the redemption of low-cost tobacco products and tobacco product coupons within local community stores

Pepi Jackson leads the RCBCC as the CEO and President. An award-winning business and social innovation leader, Pepi has been instrumental in increasing RCBCC’s programmatic impact by 80% and introduced new and important measures to demonstrate the holistic impact of the program. Under his tenure, RCBCC has gone from an early stage startup company to a sustainable organization. He is now a leader in the African American small business services in the Riverside County area.

Funding has increased by 90% thanks to the growth of existing and cultivating new partnerships and fundraising streams and geographic expansion of operations in Perris and Moreno Valley. Pepi has been recognized across multiple media and news outlets including The Edison Diversity program as a leader in social innovation.

Pepi brings over 20 years of leadership experience across both the for-profit and non-profit sector. Prior to joining RCBCC, Pepi was a successful financial director in the Auto Industry for 20 years. “I’m honored to lead such a unique, dynamic growing organization” said Pepi. “You don’t have to be a business owner to feel the affect that we are making in our communities. Helping in a holistic manner is the reason why we continue to be successful.

Dr. Bobby E. Sheffield possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in the area of Psychology, a Master’s of Science degree in Psychology and he has been awarded a postgraduate degree (Ph.D.) in Counseling Psychology. These qualifications have prepared him to successfully manage personnel and implement a variety of service-oriented programs for mid to large corporations and nonprofits, thereby qualifying him as the Vice-President for RCBCC and Program Director for RCBCC’s Programs.

RCBCC and others have afforded him a wealth of experience in a variety of multicultural service oriented capacities where he has served in Executive and Senior Management roles for various Non-Profit Agencies. Dr. Sheffield serves on various Board of Directors for Companies, and is sought after as a Consultant and a Trainer of Trainers for small to medium Companies. He has a passion for teaching, as an Adjunct Professor for Los Angeles Trade Tech College and Compton Community College he taught Early Child Development. He has and continues to work in the African American/Black Communities which gives him a full understanding of that culture.

In the past 25 plus years, he has made a conscious effort to understand and appreciate the dominant cultures he works with and serves also; he has pledged Kappa Alpha Psi.

Dr. Sheffield says, “That he is excited to serve on the Board and be working for an African American Non-Profit that not only is transforming African-American small businesses, but bringing a holistic approach to the African-American Community, thereby changing lives through Economic Empowerment.”

Sylvia Jackson leads the Covered California Initiative for RCBCC as a Navigator Grantee. She is an Executive Director of the Covered California Initiative for the last five (5) years. Sylvia along with 32 other Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC) has been successful in enrolling over 9500 new health insurance policy holders.

Prior to joining RCBCC, Sylvia worked for Apple One as an Executive Counselor, where she was responsible for obtaining job orders for Administrative positions. For 5 years, Sylvia was able to fill over 1500 job orders with qualified applicants resulting into 68% growth for Apple One.

Sylvia serves on 6 Boards in the Community. All of the Boards are Medical Related. Sylvia, along with her Community Partners, serve the “under-served.” Most of her duties demands Outreach Events and Workshops to assist those who need assistance for Healthcare, Housing and Job Development.

Sylvia Said, “I enjoy making a difference in other people lives and the rewards are in seeing the improvements in the Individuals lives. When our Communities are Healthier; the Economy is Stronger”.

Vianca Sanchez has been with the Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce since 2017. In her experience at RCBCC, Vianca has been given the opportunity to utilize her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Management as a Financial Administrator.

 Vianca is a valuable team player, she naturally possesses influential leadership skills and serves as an important part of RCBCC. Vianca oversees the financial department at RCBCC, encompassing all chamber programs; including Building Resilience in African American Families (BRAAF), Covered California, and our new addition Inland Empire Smoke Out Initiative under the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP). “I work with numbers” -Vianca Sanchez.

Tammie Davis-Sheffield holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Early Child Development and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. Tammie is in dwelled in her Community as she has a passion and a drive to work with young children and youth in the African American Community.  She believes that if she can be a positive role model for one (1) child and influence their lives for the better, her job is complete. Tammie worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for over 15 years where she worked as a Supervising Campus Aide with the LAUSD School Police Division in various Middle and Senior High Schools within the District and a Director of Youth Services. She worked in the community of South Central Los Angeles where she founded and developed a Girls Mentoring Program and a Drill Team and drum Squad for girls between the ages of 9-15 and boys between the ages of 11-14. This Mentoring and Drill Team/Drum Squad was an outlet for the children involved. They participated in local parades and many Community Events.. Tammie ultimately opened and operated a successful Home-Based Family Child Care where she had to hire, train and develop staff in day to day operations of running a Child Care. She has cared for more than 100 children during her 20 years of operation. She also worked in various Group Homes throughout Los Angeles and Riverside Counties for teen males and pregnant females where she had to Counsel the youth and ensure their day programs were completed per their IEP’s.

 Tammie continues her entrepreneurial spirit as she is Licensed Child Care Provider, a Licensed Life Insurance Agent, a MaryKay Consultant. She currently is a licensed life Insurance Agent for People Helping People (PHP); a Financial Marketing Organization that brokers for various insurance companies.

Tammie says, “Her extensive experience in Schools and Community Organizations will afford her the opportunity to bring value and support to RCBCC Board of Directors.”

 

Chavente has been a valuable asset to the Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce, serving as an Executive Administrative Assistant since 2019. In her time at RCBCC, Chavente has contributed tremendously to our chamber projects, holding the team to a high standard of accountability and reliability.

Not only is she a team player, Chavente goes above and beyond to provide professional, quality assistance to the Inland Empire Smoke Out team. Chavente is looking forward to learning new things, meeting new people, and engaging with community members to make impactful changes in our African American neighborhoods.