2022 Power Pitch Judges

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Leticia Velasquez

Owner of Mix Salon and Touchup Bar

 

Leticia Velasquez is the owner of Mix Salon and Touchup Bar and has been a licensed cosmetologist for almost 30 years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from California State University, Bakersfield, in 2003.

Leticia served as Campus Director at Western Beauty Institute, Lancaster; Director at Sephora, Bakersfield and Director at Glow Medical Aesthetics, Bakersfield. After ten years of management, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of owning a salon and retail store.

Her work has been published in “The Knot” and in “California Weddings.” She was named Business Women of the Year by the Small Business Development Center in 2018 and Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference First Place Power Pitch recipient in 2021. She is a Nine Zero One Certified Beauty Coach and is currently working on Mix Pro Beauty, a line of hair extensions and professional beauty products.

She is involved in various local non-profit organizations and currently sits on the CSUB Alumni and Latina Leaders of Kern Country board. God, family, friends, and community are her greatest inspiration.

Sheryl Barbich

President of Barbich Consulting

Sheryl is President of Barbich Consulting, which has been facilitating change since 1990. Previous positions held include President of Integrated Knowledge Group, Inc., an agriculture-specific accounting software company; Chief Financial Officer for Coleman Homes, Inc.; and Vice President and Manager of the Bakersfield Business Banking Center for Security Pacific Bank.

 Sheryl is a graduate of the University of California, with a B.A. in Economics, and the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington, equivalent to a Masters of Business Administration, concentration banking and finance.

She is the author of two books, Strategic Planning: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Successful CPA Firm, and The Quick and Easy Guide to Delegation: Key to Profitability and Growth, published by the American Institute of CPA’s.

Sheryl is currently Chair of the Kern County Museum Foundation Board. She is a past president of the CSUB Foundation and the Kern High School District Foundation. She is a past Chair of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, the Bakersfield Museum of Art, the CSUB Foundation for Research, and the CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics. She is a past president of Greater Bakersfield Vision 2020, the Rotary Club of Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Racquet Club, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, and AAUW. She is also the past chair of the Golden Empire Transit District, the Kern County Board of Zoning Adjustment, and Options Unlimited.

 Sheryl is the recipient of the CSUB President’s Award, 2002; co-recipient of the John Brock Award, 2003;  the Woman Defining Philanthropy-Women’s & Girls’ Fund , 2016,the CEWAER Woman of Distinction 2004, and Women with a Heart for Bakersfield, 2002, James Radoumis-Kern County, 2014, the Junior League of Bakersfield Sustainer of the Year 2015, and the Judi McCarthy Woman Defining Philanthropy 2016.

Raji K. Brar

COO Countryside Corporation

 

Born and raised in the Central Valley, Brar is a first-generation Indian American. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Punjab, India. She was born in Fresno County, where her parents started their life in the States working in the fields as farm workers. Her family eventually made the move to Bakersfield, where she went to Junior High, High School, and College. She attended West High and was involved in various clubs, played for the soccer team, and was elected as Student Body Secretary during her Junior and Senior years. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Health Care Administration from CSU Bakersfield. After college, she worked as a Chemist for BC Laboratories and in Administration for Clinica Sierra Vista. Today, along with her family, she owns Countryside Corporation, which has a Construction & Real Estate Development division and operates various franchises (Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Countryside Markets, Me-nEds Pizzeria, Countryside Car Wash and Shell Gas Stations). They employ over 450 people throughout Kern and Tulare Counties and have been in business for over 30 years.

In the past, Brar has had the privilege of being the first Sikh Woman ever elected to a City Council Seat in the State of California. In 2006, she was elected to the Arvin City Council. Due to this historic achievement, she was named “Women of the Year” by the California State Senate. She was also elected and served on the Governing Board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and was the Vice-Chair of the Arvin Redevelopment Agency and Secretary of the Arvin Chamber of Commerce. Brar is a three-time Gubernatorial Appointee. In January of 2015, she was appointed by Governor Brown as a Director to the 15th District Agricultural Association and in 2016 she was appointed by Governor Brown and confirmed by the California State Senate to serve on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. In 2020, she was reappointed by Governor Gavin Newson to serve on the CVRWQC Board. In 2018, she was appointed by the Kern County Board of Supervisors to the Kern Medical Governing Board. Currently, she serves on various boards; President of CSUB Foundation Board, Kern High School Foundation Board, KERO Channel 23 Community Advisory Board and on the Advisory Board for Kern Venture Group, which is an Angel Investment Fund. In the past, Brar has served on the CSUB Alumni Association Board, CSUB BPA’s Executive Advisory Council, Vice President of Rio Bravo Greeley’s Educational Foundation Board, Leadership Bakersfield Advisory Council, Girl Scouts of Central California South Board, Kern Health System’s Board, Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Board, Bakersfield Police Community Advisory Panel, Government Relations Committee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, City of Arvin Economic Development Committee and Subway’s Marketing Board.

She has also had the honor of being chosen by Bakersfield Life Magazine’s “20 under 40” People to Watch and received the Girl Scouts “Women Inspiring Girls Award.” She was the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year for 2018 and was chosen as the Businessperson of the Year for the 2019 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards. She also received CSUB’s Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2020. Brar has been a keynote speaker for the Central Valley SBDC Awards, KCHCC Business Awards, Kern County Women’s March, and the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference along with Jay Shetty and Shannon Doherty. In 2020 she was chosen by the California State University System as one of the 24 Remarkable Women of the CSU an honor she shared with the likes of tennis legend Billy Jean King, Congresswoman Karen Bass, and United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. She also had the distinct honor of being inducted into California State University Bakersfield’s Class of 2021 Hall of Fame.

Of all the boards she serves on the one dearest to her heart is the Bakersfield Sikh Women’s Association, which is a nonprofit she cofounded. The mission of the association is to give back to the community through their various programs; Kaur Care, which is a partnership with community hospitals and the public health department to provide free health, cervical, and breast cancer screenings as well as Covid 19 testing and vaccinations. They also have created a toll-free first-of-its-kind Bi-Lingual (Punjabi/English) Resource Line, You Are Not Alone, which partners with the Family Justice Center, DA’s office, and the Police Department to help folks in crisis access the resources they need. The Sikh Women’s Association’s Seva Scholarship initiative gives out needs-based scholarships to deserving students throughout Kern County. Since its inception in March of 2015, the Women’s Association has given out over $150,000 in scholarships. Brar is constantly thinking of ways to grow and develop her family business. She stays active in community endeavors, and she is committed to being of service to her community. She is happily married to her college sweetheart and husband of over 20 years, and loves being a mother to her two boys ages 17, 14 and her 14-year-old daughter!