The impact of COVID-19, specifically on women entrepreneurs, will be the topic of the third annual ShEconomy virtual panel discussion on Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m. by the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration Office of Academic Equity in collaboration with the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center and the JHBC Department of Marketing at Cal State San Bernardino.

The ShEconomy event is geared toward women and others who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and is especially relevant as it will feature a panel of successful entrepreneurs who will share their experiences on how to deal with difficulties and become successful, said Francisca Beer, associate dean and director of the Office of Academic Equity at the Jack H. Brown College and a professor of accounting and finance.

The virtual event will be from 6-8 p.m. via Zoom. To register for the free event, visit the third annual ShEconomy Eventbrite site.

The panel will talk about starting a business and how they overcome the challenges, said Beer, who will give a short presentation on the state of the ShEconomy. 

The panelists are:

  • Karen Suarez ’07 (psychology, human development), assistant vice president, community relations consultant focused on the regional needs in affordable housing, small business development, workforce development and financial education for Wells Fargo serving San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Suarez serves as a board member of the CSUSB Philanthropic Board, Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services and is the co-chair of the Inland SoCal Housing Collective.
  • Maritza Gomez ’16 (business administration concentration entrepreneurship), founder and CEO of MG Custom Printing. She is a business counselor for the Inland Empire’s Women’s Business Center. She is part of the executive board and marketing director for the National Association of Women Business Owners for the Inland Empire. Gomez is one of 47 women featured in the book, “Next Bold Move” by bestselling author Tarra Flores Sloan.
  • Shirley Coates, president and founder of the Riverside-based, Society of Extraordinary Women Inc., whose mission is to “empower women and girls to discover their extraordinary selves through education and mentoring for a lifetime.” Coates led a successful professional life as a corporate executive and entrepreneur. She was one of the first minority women in California to own and operate an aerospace supply company that supplied critical flight components to both NASA’s Space Shuttle program, and United States military. She would later start and manage her real estate firm, Coates Real Estate in Riverside. 

Moderating the panel session will be Michelle Skiljan ’97 (BS information management) and ’02 (MBA entrepreneurship), executive director of the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley Women Business Centers, programs of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at the CSUSB Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration.

For more information, contact Marina Kamel at

For more information regarding the JHBC Office of Academic Equity and learn about previous ShEconomy events, visit the Jack H. Brown College Office of Academic Equity website.