Peter Fong - District Director

Peter Fong is the District Director serving Central California and Sacramento.

SCORE Is a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. Peter Fong is the District Director serving Central California. SCORE an acronym formerly known as “Service Corps of Retired Executives” is renamed in 2008 as: “Counselors to America’s Small Business” a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE Is a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the formation, growth, and success of small business Nationwide. Peter consults and networks regularly with business and community leaders to help create synergistic, financial, educational solutions for emerging and existing businesses. He continues service in collaborating with community partners and stakeholders for economic growth. His past experience working with communities as past President of Chamber of Commerce, Boys Club of Napa, Tri-County Armed Forces, BOD’s Northbay Healthcare, GVCC and VEC. Peter is a service-connected veteran.



Robert Garcia - Co-Chapter Chair

 Bob has been a member since 2014, and past Chair. He is a former business owner knowing what it takes to own a small business. He retired as CEO of Cen-Cal Financial Group, and moderates the panel of “Ask the Experts”. When he’s not volunteering at SCORE, Bob has an active schedule as a duel resident of Fresno, and San Diego traveling with wife Jackey in Rotary, workshops, webinars as a facilitator, and Tennis.




Elizabeth “Liz” Salas - Vice Chair  

Liz has been a member since 2014. Liz is VP Business Development with Central Valley Community Bank. SCORE is one of the many organizations Liz is involved with. She serves an active role with SCORE as secretary and organizing events.




Fresno Jespreet Kaur - Secretary

My passion is to guide small business owners with the start-up process. Since my husband & myself became entrepreneurs about five years ago, we learned so much about what it takes to operate a retail business (gas stations/convenience store) & also how to make it more profitable. Owning a business or starting a new business, can be incredibly stressful and frustrating. As a seasoned business owner, I can guide you through the process of starting a new potential business. As a mentor at SCORE we provide resources and strategies as we are aware of the challenges small business owners confront early in the process especially when they start from scratch. SCORE mentorship can prepare a new entrepreneur on how to overcome those challenges to become successful. It is true that to be successful as a small business owner, it requires skills and knowledge, which can come from workshops, seminars, business classes, or from a mentor. But why pay for professional business consulting when SCORE can provide for free? As a mentor, we can provide a road map for your new business venture. I strongly believe that we should utilize SCORE resources & leverage their knowledgeable team to discover the unknowns. Otherwise, we may give up too soon and miss the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and end up working as employees for the rest of our lives. I encourage entrepreneurs to associate with SCORE for professional mentorship. The biggest benefit of having a SCORE mentor is having someone on your side to ask questions and get free advice. I am delighted to pass my skills and knowledge to a new business owner one-on-one because I believe with proper business planning, anyone can win. In fact, with SCORE, we have a team of experts in different areas such as marketing, finance, insurance, accounting, SBA loans. So, you can get complete support, facts & counseling all under the same roof. Bilingual in English, Punjabi and Hindi.

Vartan Vartanian - Treasurer 

Vartan Vartanian, PhD, CPA, MBA 

Vartan comes from a background in accounting and computer systems as well as nonprofit, public and professional organizations. As a result, he has been CFO of many company’s such as Real Estate Management Company, Large Non-Profit Organization, and Large Construction Company. He was a Professor at University Maryland. Vartan is fluent in Arabic and English.


J. Collin Petersen - Marketing Director

Jay has been a member since 2017.He has a degree in English from CSU Fresno. He has been recognized as a community leader by many organizations including the Clovis Chamber of Commerce which appointed him to the Board of Director and awarded The Geeks™ the 2010 Small Business of the Year. J. was named the 2011 Volunteer of the Year by Central Valley SCORE and has been listed as one of Business Street Online’s under 40. J. works at becoming efficient and effective in running his business so he can spend more time with his patient and kind wife, Jennifer, and be present for his sons, Aaron and Tyler, as they grow into compassionate, hard-working men who add value to society. His hobbies include peppering his conversations with as many movie quotes and geek-culture references as possible and being frustrated by his favorite baseball team. #GoGiants J is a Certified Subject Matter Expert



Volunteer Profile CVS:

Fresno, CA Rana Al Momani, Ph.D. Candidate

Rana joined SCORE because she is looking to inspire people to pursue their business. Rana has an MBA and is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership. She has 5 years of experience in leadership for an auto insurance agency where she always kept her staff motivated, she was responsible for recruiting, training and monitored sales results. Rana was also a volunteer with the Syrian refugees where she used strong organizational and cross-cultural communication skills to lead practical and conversation guiding lessons.

Fresno, CA Woody Alexander, MBA

Woody has been a member since 1997, from when he jointed to today with marketing, technology, and relevance to serve clients. When not volunteering he keeps busy with his Financial practice, teaching online course for U.C. Berkeley and University of Phoenix. He participates with workshops and webinars as a facilitator and panel for Q & A.



Hanford, CA Misael Aponte, MS Computer Science, MBA Candidate

Misael was a client and saw the value they provided and joined SCORE to give back to others with his background in technology. He is a facilitator for Google webinars and a Certified Subject Mentor Expert. U.S. Navy Veteran, Hablo Españo





Fresno, CA Everette DeVan

I joined SCORE to network, as well as do what I can through volunteering to help our community and to realize dreams. I also joined SCORE to assist in the impact of my life as I want so badly to not be just a dreamer. I have over 22 years of hospitality experience, particularly with hotel operations, sales, catering, venue operations and sales. I have also been licensed as a Life Insurance Agent and understand the sales process. Currently studying real estate and looking to open my own management company. Graduated in 1996 from Fresno High School. During my time in high school, I spent three years with The FHS Marketing Academy, which taught me the basics of sales, business ownership, and advertising. Currently affiliated with the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a Board Member, The Fresno Chamber of Commerce as an ambassador, and the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce as a contributor. Prior engagements include being on the board of Directors with the Mid-Valley Christian Job Corps, and volunteering with the Fresno Rescue Mission.

Madera, CA Yuliana Franco

Yuliana has been a member since 2015, and Past Chair. She has served on several committees and leadership. When she is not volunteering at SCORE, she has an active career in the Financial Benefits Planning and raising her family with 4 active girls that is the pride with her and Sergio. She is active in Young Professionals, Rotary, Church, and Community. CSU Alumni, Habla Español.


Clovis, CA Jim Gargiulo, CPA trained 

Jimis a retired financial executive with over 40 years’ experience in agriculture and public accounting. He initially plans to contribute his experience as a Mentor. After he gets some experience with the organization, he may consider other roles. Jim grew up in an Air Force family and traveled extensively before settling down in the California Central Valley. He has been married to his wife Jill for 39 years and they have two children and four grandchildren. He earned a BA in Accounting from the University of West Florida and a California CPA license. Jim hopes to benefit SCORE by using his experience to positively impact the clients he will mentor and looks forward to learning new things and making new friends.

Kristina Gonzalez, Administrative Assistant

Bruce Hoffman, Volunteer





Fresno, CA Thomas H Jones, CPA Trained

Tom has been a member since 2017. He served as Treasure, and Certified Mentor. He and his family owned a successful cleaner for several years and has retired. When he’s not volunteering, he has an active life with family and grandkids, and golf. Tom received “Mentor of Year 2018”. Tom is a Certified Subject Matter Expert.

Fresno, CA Barry Franklin Kriebel, JD

Barry Kriebel was President of Sun-Maid Growers of California, Inc. for 32 years. Mr. Kriebel managed 600 employees, 700 growers, and sales in 50 countries. Mr. Kriebel served as Vice President and General Counsel of Sun-Maid Growers of California, Inc. from 1980 to 1985. He was Partner in Blumberg, Sherr & Kerkorian, Fresno, CA until 1980. He was General Counsel of Sun-Maid Growers and its Affiliates until 1976. He has a Bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University in 1972 and a law degree from Georgetown University in 1975. Barry is a Subject Matter Expert.

Fresno, CA Andrea Lee, Intern CSU Fresno

I am a current Business Administration student at Fresno State University. I am also the founder of a fledgling web-based start-up known as Project Pathway that aims to help students with career development. I am very excited for the chance to serve with SCORE as I have a big interest in entrepreneurship and would love to help in any way I can. Thank you for this opportunity! 



James McClain: Retired Master Chief, Veteran Entrepreneur Outreach.

Madera, CA Lia McGinnis

Lia background is in Agriculture and Farming, banking, financial services, and insurance. Over 30 years’ experience, 10 years in management and a small business development officer. My fob functions include researching, identifying, and establishing relationships with prospective small business. This also includes collecting, organizing, and conducting preliminary evaluation of small business loan approval.

Fresno, CA Lin Mei

I am interested in volunteering, learning and the opportunity to help other people and learn from them. I am a trainer, coach with 15+ years of experience in China.  For the past 3 years, I travelled frequently between Central California and Shanghai, China. I deliver soft skills and leadership workshops and seminars for management of multi-national companies doing business in China. I am a member of China Democratic National Construction Association. I am also: MBTI certified consultant; Gallup Clifton Strength-finder certified coach; Belbin Team Role Certified consultant; Lego Serious Play certified facilitator. I received my MBA degree (Royal Roads University) in 2006. I joined SCORE as a new volunteer and found it is good match to meet new friends and learn new things.

Ali Nekumanesh, CFE, CSM, Franchise, Workshops, Co-Chair

Ali has been a member since 2010 and past Chair. He is well known for the work he and wife Debbie provide for the community. Not only a successful owner operator of Colorado Grill and VP Operations Deli -D he still finds time to volunteer at SCORE. He facilitates workshops/webinars, Developing a Business Plan, and Franchising. Ali is a SCORE Certified Subject Matter Expert.

QuickBooks Workshop (SCORE event) - Fresno Regional Workforce Development  BoardSteve Ocheltree, CPA, Financial, Workshops, QB’s 







Daniel Payne, Veteran Protégé, Chair 






Waseem Salama, Marketing, Tech, Web Design, Co-Chair







Mikhail Sarkhosh, Insurance, Workshops>br/>I learned about SCORE through a longtime family friend, Ali Nekumanesh. Helping people has always been the most rewarding part of my career.  After learning more about SCORE, it was an evident this program was for me.  My background is in Information Technology, from content creation to cyber security. I have an AA in Information Technology and Bachelor of Science in digital cinematography. My father was in the insurance business writing with a captive company for 26+ years, when in 2012 he became independent.  After college, I helped him make this transition and quickly fell into the world of insurance.  I am affiliated with GRAND (Growing Resources for Autism and Developmental Disabilities), Agency Council Member Representative for various insurance carriers, and Advocate for Fresno's Park & Recreation Department. Mikael is a Certified Subject Matter Expert.


Clovis, CA Tom Sims

I have been a pastor for 45 years and during that time I have been involved in many nonprofit organizations as board member and chair as well as executive director and consultant. I am a published writer, a Distinguished Toastmaster, a trained coach, workshop leader, adult educator, and curriculum developer. In our last non-profit, we developed a micro-loan and coaching program for small businesses. I have managed online communities beginning in the 1990s on CompuServe as well as today on Facebook. At one our Toastmasters meetings I met Jaspreet Chauhan as an “ice breaker” and asked what she did? That is when I learned about SCORE and decided to join. With my background this was a good match to learn more and to help entrepreneurs requesting assistance.


Fresno, CA Laura Ward, JD

Laura facilities workshops/webinar and speaker panel for “Ask the Experts”. Her business practice is structure, succession planning, and estate planning. She is an active member of ABR and alumni of Stanford Law School. Laura is a Certified Subject Matter Expert.

Jacqueline Williams, Volunteer

I, like several other clients of SCORE Central Valley, joined the chapter and became an active administrative volunteer in February 2018 while completing my SCORE Mentoring Certification. In 2018, I served as the VP of Education & Training and currently, I am the Chapter Secretary. As a volunteer in leadership, I have conducted curriculum and facilitation evaluations that helped improve our mentor training and workshop coordination. I co-chair the Mentoring Roundtable that meets monthly for hands-on training in SCORE Mentor Tools, resource sharing, and group discussion. Giving the opportunity, I recruit members and promote the valuable workshops and training offered by SCORE. I participate as a SCORE vendor at conferences and attend several networking events. It’s an honor to represent the Central Valley Chapter all sectors of our community. 


Ge Xiong, Veteran Protégé 

Ge and his wife Pangia were SCORE clients and valued the resources provided for their business idea. They were introduced to SCOE’s Veteran Portege program and joined SCORE to help others. Ge was recently promoted into the helicopter pilot program as Warrant Officer – Congratulations. His tour as Active Duty Guard has kept him busy with the Pandemic, Hurricanes, Floods and Fires.


Sanger, CA Pangia Xiong >br/>Pa is Active Duty Guard with a terribly busy schedule during the Pandemic, Hurricanes, Floods and Fires. She is an amazing mom balancing career and raising a family. They have 3 beautiful girls: Sophia 12, Mila 6, and Luna 1 month. The family is immensely proud of their parents as Ge was Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for evacuating 240 people from the Mammoth Falls Fire, last month.


Clovis, CA Tou Xiong, Intern CSU Fresno 

I was born in Thailand and grew up in Fresno; my family came to the US as refugees from Southeast Asia. I loved to cook and taught myself how to cook when I was in kindergarten. I join the US Army for over 4 years as a Human Resource Specialist. Currently attending CSU Fresno as a marketing logistics major, with two more semesters left for my degree.  I joined SCORE after attending Simple Steps workshop series and was amazed what I learned was so relevant for my education. I am volunteering on the Marketing Committee and signed-up to co-facilitate Google workshops.


Salida, CA Patrice Hoffman With a certification in Life Coaching Patrice has great communication skills. When Patrice is not selling Real Estate, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 highly active children. She currently serves in ministry at her church and is active in her community. Being a Wife and Daughter of a Veteran, she is personally vested to seeing that all our Veterans and their families are taken care of. Patrice prides herself in always putting honesty and integrity before all else.    I joined SCORE, to give back with my background as a coach and learning the resources they offer and grow professionally to help others. I look forward in giving back to others helping them succeed in the American Dream of owning a business.

Modesto, CA Gary McKinsey

For over 40 years Gary has owned a tax and business consulting practice. He specialized in working with and guiding small business owner’s proper record keeping, ideas for marketing and growing their business. After completing the sale of his business ten years ago, he opened a new business specializing in coaching and presenting workshops. The mission of his coaching and workshops is to provide guidelines for entrepreneurs and business owners to follow and avoid making expensive and time-consuming mistakes. Gary has a bachelor's degree from California State University Stanislaus. As a SCORE volunteer he hopes to have the opportunity to counsel individuals prior to their going into business. Since the SCORE services are free. It opens the door for individuals to receive competent guidance before starting a business. Ideally the guidance will reduce the chances of the individuals going into business and failing. Gary is a Certified Subject Matter Expert.

C:\Users\owenr11\Desktop\Ron Owen\Self Picture from LinkedIn.jpgRonald Owen, Banker, Volunteer, Workshops




Roland Bernard, Volunteer/Intern

My name is Roland, I am a current software engineering student at California State University Monterey Bay. I have an AS degree in Agribusiness and another one in Agricultural Sales and services. I am currently working full time at a local public agency as a Business Analyst. My roles consist of leading projects, work with stakeholders, create requirement documentation, data analysis for decision making, business process review, working closely with programmers and managers to make sure projects are done efficiently, and more. I am looking forward to helping the community the best I can as a SCORE intern.



Modesto, CA Brenda Cabrera

Brenda Cabrera is the Founder and Director of Kidz Childcare & Preschool and Endeavors Child Care Business Consulting. She is passionate about fostering a positive, safe and fun environment for children that promotes learning and social skills. She brings more than 20 years of experience as a Director of Preschools and Children’s Programs. Brenda has her AA degree in Child Development from MJC, a Certificate of Achievement in Child Development, and a Certificate of Completion in Child Development. She has completed courses from UC Davis in Child Development and Early Childhood Teaching and has earned her teaching credential. Brenda’s inspiration for founding Kidz came from the desire to satisfy the need she saw for affordable quality childcare in the Stanislaus County area. Kidz has been awarded Best Childcare by Reader’s Choice in Ceres and has been recognized by the Small Business Development Center as a Contributing Employer to the community for hiring more than 10 employees in a single year. Brenda has worked continuously since 2012 with SCORE Mentors and with the SBA.