My SGV Podcast

My SGV Podcast

Welcome to the My SGV Podcast. A show where you will hear personal stories of triumph over failures, and how others successfully navigated the unique landscape that is the San Gabriel Valley. What makes us different? Well, just like you, we have chosen the San Gabriel Valley for our home or businesses, or both. We believe it is the people and small businesses that make this community great and we love to share their stories with you. We always encourage your questions and feedback and you can find all of our contact information at


April 16, 2024 58 mins

Vanessa Tilaka Kalb’s family has been in the food business for several generations, beginning with her grandparents in Thailand who owned a restaurant below their apartment and her father’s Thai market in Los Angeles, which was the first of its kind in the city.

Her culinary career has spanned from working as Sous Chef under Bryant Ng at Spice Table, to San Francisco’s Flour+Water and Octavia, then back to LA with M. Georgina. While...

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Grace Takayama was born to a Korean mother and a Japanese Father. Nearly all her friends and family had traditional roles installed in them, the  husband  worked and the wife took charge of the household. Most of the men in her family were Bookkeepers, which inspired her to do the same.

Right after graduating with a degree in Accounting she wasn’t sure what her next step should be and found work keeping books at different ...

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Ryan Fletes is a 25-year-old entrepreneur based in San Gabriel, CA. In 2020, he launched his spicy seasoning company driven by his love for hot sauce. Before Ryan co-founded his new company, he worked in advertisement and sales at different companies in Southern California. Today, he applies the knowledge and experience he gained into Camp Scoville.

Ryan's innovative product offers a healthier and more versatile twist on tradit...

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Nigel Williams' artistic journey began at the age of nine, selling his watercolors to tourists on the island of St. Maarten where he grew up. With a passion for both art and music, Nigel pursued a degree in Music Education at Berklee College of Music in 1992. During his time at Berklee, his pastel work was showcased in an exhibition featuring musician-artists. Upon returning to St. Maarten in 1997, he studied under prominent l...

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Alvaro Ontiveros is an immigrant from Mexico who first came over to spend time with his friends. During the pandemic in 2020 Alvaro started Birria Master when he lost his job in the tea industry. He started in Ave 26 with his own version of birria tacos and then soon made his way back to Pasadena as a taco truck.

Before his taco business took off, Alvaro had spent his working time in the restaurant industry, eventually end...

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Hugo Garicia was born in LA and grew up in the city of El Monte where he attended school from Cogswell Elementary, Kranz Middle School, El Monte Highschool, and later graduated from East LA College.

While in high school and into college Hugo held a variety of different jobs all around the SGV - El Monte, West Covina, Rosemead, City of Industry, Monterey Park, Pasadena. He began his career in fitness in 2010 working for a b...

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Ryan Lopez was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He created Lord Empanada as a necessity after losing his job due during the Pandemic in 2020. Ryan started Lord Empanada out as a popup in August of 2020, prepping the Empanadas out of his parent's kitchen and frying them in a portable fryer on the weekends outside of  local breweries. He was fortunate to quickly gain a positive following and was able to open a brick & mor...

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Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo was born and raised in San Gabriel to Mexican immigrant parents. She is author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016) and Incantation: Love Poems for Battle Sites (Mouthfeel Press 2023). She considers herself an experiential, witness poet and place, including the SGV, is a regular theme in her work. A former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange ...

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February 20, 2024 52 mins

Edward Rodarte's journey from the streets of Compton to becoming a prominent figure in both politics and corporate America is a testament to the power of resilience, transformation, and a relentless pursuit of a better life.

Born and raised in the tough neighborhoods of Compton, California, Edward faced adversity from a young age. Growing up, he experienced bullying, which left him searching for a sense of belonging a...

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Diego Anguiano grew up in South El Monte with his parents and brothers. Despite being surrounded by gangs and experimenting with drugs, Diego was able pull through the hard times and graduate High School. After graduating he created a meme page for and about El Monte on Facebook. El Monte Memes took off and soon he a had hundreds and then thousands of followers on the page. After seeing multiple copies of his page and content appea...

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February 6, 2024 62 mins

Andrew Lee was born and raised in Monterey Park. At the age of 6 he started playing golf. He became a pro golfer in 2010 and taught golf for over 15 years. In the past few years Andrew has retired from golf to pursue Zindrew, his chili oil business that he began as a surprise for his wife.

Andrew is an entrepreneur at heart having started several businesses throughout the years. Some of those businesses include frying cala...

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Eric Tjahyadi is a serial entrepreneur and a proud native of San Gabriel Valley. When he’s not staying active, traveling, or binge watching favorite shows, he enjoys mentoring and giving back. Eric spends most of his waking hours building a new startup division at Sony Music Entertainment and running a few passion projects - Bone Kettle (a family operated polished casual restaurant in Old Town Pasadena) and Supa Coffee (a coffee/te...

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January 23, 2024 54 mins

Lucy Liu is a master life coach helping women up-level in business and life to confidently live an epic life! She is an unshakable optimist, wife, mom, entrepreneur, empowerment workshop facilitator, motivational speaker, best selling author and podcast host of The Lucy Liu Show. Entrepreneurs & high achievers hire her to see clarity and take quantum leaps FAST. Because most of them are overthinking, scattered and self-doubting...

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Kelly Grandmaison, wants to thank you for being a part of her second shot at life. At 26 years old, she was diagnosed with CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome). CRPS is a debilitating illness that typically comes with a 50/50 diagnosis, years of back and forth diagnosis, and several medical treatments that cannot cure it, but can attempt to help mitigate pain.

Kelly spent her senior year of college on crutches, taking 26 ...

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Jason Kim has cultivated relationships with owners, buyers, and developers in the SO CAL market place as well as with tenants and is able to match these groups and their needs for mutual benefit. He suggests, “I like to let my actions and strategic advice speak for themselves and to focus on execution and deploying my team to generate solutions and innovations that add value to the client.” Prior to taking the helm at FCE Jason was...

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If you could only eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be? Let us know in the comments!

Clarissa Castillo-Ramsey, PsyD is an award-winning transformational coach for creatives, author, and abstract artist. Her top-rated podcast, Painting Your Path, helps mid-life creatives start living life on their terms.  Whether attending her capstone online events From Employee to Creative Entrepreneur or The ...

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Elizabeth Wong Ahlers is currently running for California  State Senate District 25 after nearing the end of 25 years of home education and raising 6 children.  Elizabeth believes that we can change California and that Family and parental rights are worth fighting for.

Though a survivor and fighter for life and freedom, she focuses on the redemptive qualities of life’s difficulties, the good that comes out of the bad, the ...

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Writer and Producer Koji Steven Sakai’s film and television projects have played on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Peacock, Paramount+, Roku, and Tubi. He has worked with a variety of talented and award-winning actors and filmmakers, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, James Shigeta, Michael Jai White, Mel Gibson, Mickey Rourke, Randall Park, RZA, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard, and Wilson Cruz.

He has ...

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December 12, 2023 51 mins

Martha is the Founder and CEO of Frendii, a Los Angeles County based early stage, technology startup working on a solution for women over 50 that builds community and facilitates frequent social and human connection. She is a second time entrepreneur. She also launched Yaya Fitness, a mobile personal training business for women over 40. Prior to the start of her entrepreneurial journey, Martha worked in financial services in corpor...

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Javier Hernandez is a first-generation Mexican-American born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. He later earned his Executive master’s degree in urban planning and development from the University of Southern California. Javier has nearly 20 years of experience advancing local, regional, and s...

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