Multi-Ethnic Business Association d/b/a AHANA was established in 1998. AHANA is a Spokane based non-profit organization that provides education, technical assistance, and outreach to all multi-ethnic and multicultural businesses owners and their communities. AHANA is an acronym for Asian, Hispanic, African, Native American.
AHANA was formed in 1998 as a trusted organization to support and engage multi-ethnic and multi-cultural business owners and working professionals. The organization addressed business needs and provided solutions for those businesses to become successful in the Inland Northwest.
AHANA went dormant in 2009 when AHANA’s executive director when Ben Cabildo was hired by Community Minded Enterprises (CME) — AHANA became a CME program with the hire but it was not able to be funded. In 2018, a small group of original AHANA members began meeting to reboot the organization under the guidance and leadership of AHANA Founder Ben Cabildo and Marvo Reguindin who had been the General Manager for Inland Northwest Business Alliance. The new AHANA board re-established its state non-profit status under the name Multi-Ethnic Business Association (MEBA) and is doing business as AHANA because of the strong name awareness it has in Spokane.
The needs faced by multi-ethnic and multi-cultural (MEMC) businesses have not changed since 1998. Today, AHANA continues to work on the following issues MEMC businesses face:
- Lack of information and resources and mentors for MEMC businesses
- Lack of capital
- Lack of business management experience and knowledge
- Lack of business marketing, financial experience and knowledge
- Lack of connection and access to business and contracting opportunities
These issues are addressed through a 5-point program that:
- Provides assistance in accessing working capital for start-ups, business retention and expansion.
- Assists in business counseling, training, educating and accessing information and resources.
- Assists by creating awareness of AHANA’s business presence in the Inland Northwest.
- Assists with networking opportunities and by developing partnerships with government, organizations and the business community through supplier diversity programs.
- Promotes workforce diversity to expand employment opportunities for AHANA professionals
MISSION & VISION:
MISSION: The mission of AHANA is to advocate, educate, assist, and develop business growth and opportunities for multi-ethnic and multi-cultural businesses; and advocate for increased employment in the Inland Northwest.
VISION: An Inland Northwest region with many successful and thriving multi-ethnic and multi-cultural businesses fully engaged in the political, social and economy of the region.
Board of Directors
Francis Adewale, President- Attorney, City of Spokane
Joni Wynecoop, Vice President – Deputy Executive Director, Spokane Tribe of Indians Office of the Executive Director
Yvonne Montoya Zamora, Secretary – Retired
Kerra Bowers – Business Owner, Little Scholars Development Center
Dennis Mitchell – Dennis Mitchell Empowerment Seminars
Ronny Oliver – Partner Diversity Lead, CLEAResult Consulting, Inc.
Raymond Reyes – Assoc Provost/Chief Diversity Officer, Gonzaga University
Michael Spencer – Business Owner
Marvo Reguindin, Executive Director — Thinking Cap Communications & Design
Ben Cabildo, Founder, Chief Consultant – SCORE Counselor
Maria Gutierrez/Camilo Madero – Contract Technical Advisor/Outreach
Sanya Ala – Contract Technical Advisor/Outreach
To apply to become an AHANA Board Member
AHANA board members are volunteers with leadership experience or seeks to gain such experience and who identifies with our stated vision, values, and organizational purpose to serve on the board of directors. To apply, upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for at least two client or employer references as Word or PDF documents. Please make sure your last name is part of the file name. For example: M.Sanchez-resume.pdf
If available, you may also upload brief examples of related work projects you have contributed to, such as presentation materials, blogs, videos, policies, budgeting, grant proposals, etc. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until filled.