published on May 3, 2019 - 8:15 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff


While La Rouge Boutique in Fresno’s Fig Garden Village may be known for carrying the Valley’s most stylish wares, the shop is supporting a greater mission for the local chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As the store celebrated its 15-year anniversary, La Rouge Boutique was proud to support 2019 Woman of the Year Erika Salinas in her part of searching for a cure with a shopping event on April 24.

La Rouge owner Farani Siroonian’s relationship with Salinas is what inspired her to host the event, providing 20% of the evening’s sales to the Woman of the Year campaign. Since opening La Rouge in 2004, Siroonian has always envisioned the boutique as a platform to help others, leaving an impact on the local community.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Fresno and Madera Counties is bringing the community’s foster children to the forefront as May 1 was proclaimed “CASA Awareness Day” in Fresno and Madera. Residents of Fresno and Madera know of foster care, but many have no idea that nearly 2,500 youth are currently in the system or of the difficulties they face now and as adults. This proclamation aims to elevate awareness for these children and CASA’s mission: To improve the lives and trajectories of children in the foster care system by working with the courts to advocate for the child’s needs and to help judges make informed decisions in their best interest.

Photo contributed | Fresno Mayor Lee Brand poses with Wilma Hashimoto, CASA’s executive director, on the proclamation that May 1 is CASA day.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has announced the promotion of Tamar Karkazian to campaign director of Light the Night.  In her new role, Tamar will oversee all responsibilities related to the Central California Light the Night walk in both Fresno and Bakersfield. She will supervise one staff member who will also have Light the Night responsibilities. Over the last two years she has taken the Light the Night campaign to new heights, bringing a new event experience to participants with the circle of survivors and opening ceremonies, and she has grown participation from approximately 1,000 to nearly 2,000 walkers in attendance.


London Properties, Ltd., announced the arrival of the follow residential salespeople: Jacqueline Gutierrez, formerly with Alterra Home Loans, joining the Fresno office; Kimberly Bretz, formerly with Pearson Realty, joining the Fresno office; Ashley Limberg-Hindle joining the Fresno office; Sara Torres, formerly with M.C. Real Estate, joining the Madera office; Danielle Verdugo joining the Clovis office; Terry Barefield, a returning London Properties agent, joining the Fresno office; and Richard Macias, formerly with PMZ, joining the Merced office.


Newport Beach-based PopShorts, a social media firm led by Fresno-native, and Partner and Head of Business Development Jake Hay, was recently named Gold Honoree for Best Contest/Promotion in the 11th Annual Shorty Awards for their most recent social media strategy campaign in support of the movie “A Simple Favor,” which stars Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. The Shorty Awards, now in its 11th year, is the first awards show honoring social media. PopShorts was listed as No. 723 in Inc. 5000 under America’s fastest growing companies and was just announced a finalist in ThinkLA’s IDEA Awards under Boutique Agency of the Year.


At the State of Downtown on April 25, Downtown Fresno Partnership officially announced the winner of the prestigious Al Allen award for 2019. The award’s recipient, Nora Monaco, is a Downtown Fresno property owner who has been instrumental in redeveloping her buildings in the brewery district in Downtown Fresno. She owns the buildings that house Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company and Zacks Brewing Company and is currently in the midst of renovating the historic 22,000 sq. foot Rustigian Building (701 Fulton St.) on the corner of Mono and Fulton with hopes of bringing in a tenant to help support the nearby breweries. She also recently completed renovations on three suites in between the Rustigian Building and Tioga Sequoia Brewing company (719 Fulton St., 721 Fulton St., 723 Fulton St.). The suites range from 1100 to 1300 square feet and feature beautiful exposed brick walls.


Employee-owned B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination are pleased to welcome new HR Manager Roman Noriega and Controller Leilani Talty. Noriega most recently served as plant HR Manager for the world’s largest total beverage alcohol company, where he tirelessly supported over 450 FTEs. He has also served as HR manager for Constellation Brands, a leading international producer and marketer of high-end beer and premium wine and spirits brands. Prior to that, he led HR for Mission Bell Winery as well as Golden Valley Health Center, one of the nation’s largest federally qualified health centers. He holds a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Fresno, BS in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and he served in the Army National Guard for eight years with a mechanized infantry unit. Talty brings 20 years of professional experience and a vivacious energy to the department. Her background includes established companies as well as start-ups, where she masterminded and implemented entire systems and back-office infrastructure, including finance, IT, HR and administrative functions. Most recently, Leilani served as controller at Sinbad Foods, makers of baklava and all other things filo-dough-related.


Fresno State officials, students, staff, faculty, alumni and supporters of the dairy science program celebrated the naming of Manuel Mancebo Jr. and Katye Mancebo Dairy Unit at Fresno State. The facility commemorates the Mancebos, who donated $1 million towards the dairy science program.  Manuel Jr. passed away in 2018 and Katye passed away in 2014.


The Celebration of Ethical Leadership awards ceremony recognizes a local individual and businesses that go above and beyond to promote ethics and trust in the modern marketplace. It will be held May 8.

At the ceremony, your local BBB will be presenting business owners the Ethics Award for Marketplace Excellence. These winners are determined through a rigorous evaluation process carried out by a team of judges, comprised of volunteers and past recipients. The following businesses have been selected as the finalists for this year’s awards:

ABC Non-Emergency Medical


California Institute of Medical Science

Momentum Broadcasting, LP

Quality Home Services

RFMC Construction, Inc.

Royal Security

Transportation, LLC

Willow Dental Group

Ms. Victoria R. Bernhardt, an attorney with McCormick & Barstow will be featured as the Keynote Speaker for the ceremony, and plans to discuss the legal and ethical considerations for the digital world. Bernhardt has focused her practice since 1991 in the litigation field, and has been successful in numerous civil jury trials in California’s Superior Courts. The 2019 Celebration of Ethical Leadership Awards will be held on May 8 at Pardini’s Catering & Banquets from noon – 1:30 p.m. More information about the event can be found at

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