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.

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.