Something—or someone—for all at the West Coast Expo
Celebrities, politicians, physicians and even plumbers
Anyone entering the West Coast Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center first saw the imposing banners featuring the two forces behind the event—Natalie Cole (CEO) and David Miller (COO)—hanging overhead observing the goings-on like watchful parents. Then they took in the panorama of the event—aisles of vendors and sponsors on each side—on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
For those seeking celebrities, there were motivational speaker Les Brown, news anchors Chris Schauble, Wendy Burch from KTLA and Christine Devine from Fox 11; reporters Beverly White from NBC 4, Michaela Pereira from KTLA and Courtney Jones from Fox Sports West; singer Abraham McDonald; rappers Dom Kennedy and Jim Gittum; actor Darrin Henson; choirs, the Ranger$ and COGIC.
For those politician-watchers, there were Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, state Senator Curren Price and Chairman of the State Board of Equalization Jerome Horton, not to mention Assembly members Warren Furutani and Isadore Hall III.
Sponsors included AT&T, Verizon, Wells Fargo, AEG Live, USBank, the Kidney Care Institute, Walmart, Bank of America, Farmers Insurance, Southern California Edison, HSBC, Union Bank, SoCalGas, Los Angeles World Airports, Time Warner Cable, I Start Monday and others.
In short, there was something for everyone.
Unbelievably, several of the more than 300 persons attending the Job Fair in one of the upstairs meeting rooms were surprised to know that that event was part of the Expo. They were simply looking for work. Job Fair panelists included Valerie D. W. Rowe, Tonya L. Haynes, Erick Saenz, Michelle James and Keuame Don. On the other hand, there were workshops assisting in such areas as resume preparation, interviewing techniques, creative ways to search for employment using social media and others.
The workshop presenters were too numerous to name, but they came from many phases of life—business, banking, technology, real estate, health, law, religion and other areas.
And those who wanted to learn new ways to prepare delicious snacks and other items, were treated to entertaining and simple food demonstrations by Chef Barbie, who during one session of The Tasting Spot even got a little help from ex-NFL player Greg Bell.
Also, more than 150 youth showed up at the Junior Business Camp hosted by the Urban Media Foundation. They walked away with the information they needed to start and operate their own small businesses.
Major hits included the fashion show, concerts by rapper Dom Kennedy, singer Abraham McDonald and the Ranger$ and COGIC choirs.
Vendors sold everything from books to jewelry, from Costco memberships to clothing, from plumbing services to funeral plots.
The Expo included four pavilions—Technology, Business, Health and Sustainability (Green). If any pavilion did a booming business, it was certainly Health since those who stopped by were able to get professional medical help free of charge at the Kidney Care Institute.
Unquestionably, the Expo ran into competition from several other events, which affected attendance. But for a first time out, it made a strong impression.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12TH
WCE OPENING BREAKFAST 8AM
Expo Floor near Main Stage
Hosted by Motivational, Speaker, Les Brown.
PRESS CONFERENCE 9:30AM Main Stage
Our high profile press conference will recognize our Sponsors, Partners & Political supporters.
OPENING CEREMONY 10:15AM Lobby
The “Lights, Camera, Runway a Celebrity Fashion Show and Fundraiser,” on behalf of the Urban Media Foundation, will be hosted by Chris Schauble and Wendy Burch of KTLA.
West Coast business is expected to receive a massive jolt this summer, something that may kick-start a revolution among both small and large entrepreneurs. The groundwork has already been laid.
Minority business ownership has grown significantly faster than the national average for more than a decade, according to data released by the Census Bureau.
The West Coast Expo’s (WCE) founders and business partners Natalie Cole and David Miller conceived it as a signature event to be looked forward to by the business community every year.
Their goal is to bring a diverse, multicultural component to local commerce, ideally encompassing the surrounding western states in years to come, and, of course, bringing in a cash return for participating businesses.
A lively crowd showed up at Club Nokia, hosted by AEG/L.A. Live, to demonstrate support at the West Coast Expo’s pre-event mixer. They noshed on Wolfgang Puck finger food, imbibed favorite beverages, schmoozed and, of course, chatted up the Expo. The event was held Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m.