AHANA is a Spokane based non-profit organization that supports and promotes Inland Northwest multi-ethnic and multi-cultural businesses and their communities. The association is not recruiting members at this time, but volunteers are welcome to serve on committees and on the board of directors.
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 lost funding in 2009 and became a program under Community Minded Enterprises (CME) when they hired AHANA’s executive director, Ben Cabildo. The AHANA program became dormant due to lack of funding but Mr. Cabildo continued to work on other programs for organization until he retired in 2019.
In 2018, a small group of original AHANA members began meeting to reboot the organization under the guidance and leadership of Ben Cabildo. The new AHANA board re-established its 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 1995. 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
Board of Directors
Board members left to right: Yvonne Montoya Zamora, Ben Cabildo (President), Marvo Reguindin (Vice-President), Sandra Williams, Dennis Mitchell, Victor Vera, Seated: Camilo Madero.
Ben Cabildo, President – SCORE Counselor
Marvo Reguindin, Vice President — Thinking Cap Communications & Design
Nina George, Treasurer – Community Minded Enterprises
Maria Gutierrez, Secretary – ASAP Translations
Sanya Ala – Retired business owner
Francis Adewale – Attorney
Camilo Madero – ASAP Translations
Nima Michael – Wormer Associates Architecture and Engineering
Dennis Mitchell – Dennis Mitchell Empowerment Seminars
Yvonne Montoya Zamora — Retired
Raymond Reyes – Assoc Provost/Chief Diversity Officer, Gonzaga University
Michael Spencer – Business Owner
Victor Vera – SCORE Counselor
Sandra Williams – The Black Lens, The Carl Maxey Center
MISSION & VISION:
MISSION: The mission of AHANA is to advocate, 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.