Advisory Board


Advisory Board

Claudia Moreno

MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan |

MPA Candidate at Harvard Kennedy

Claudia Moreno is a first-generation UC Berkeley Latina graduate. Upon graduating, she had the opportunity to intern for the White House Administration. An opportunity not only granted too few in her community but also an opportunity that exposed her to public service for the first time. Following the internship, Claudia continued breaking generational barriers and transitioned into the private sector. During this time, she joined UCLA’s Riordan MBA preparatory program, a fellowship that brought clarity for what she truly cared for – impacting her community. This realization encouraged her to make an intentional pivot from private to public sector, joining Small Business Majority. As Southern California Outreach Manager, she elevated the underserved communities’ voices through entrepreneurship and proudly served the same community she grew up in, the Inland Empire. Currently, Claudia is pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her studies focus on economic development and the future of work. Truly humbled by the passion and impact entrepreneurs have in our communities, she hopes to be equipped with the tools offered at MIT and Harvard to come back to the Inland Empire and work towards making equitable policies for our small businesses. In her free time, Claudia practices yoga and jiujitsu. You will always see her enjoying a cup of coffee.

Claudia Shah

Lead Business Advisor – Los Angeles Small Business Development Center – SBDC

Claudia Shah has over 26 years of experience working locally and internationally in different industries from Manufacturing to Financial Institutions in both Colombia and in the United States. 

Her experience has made her a “seasoned” professional as she has experienced the varying dynamics of different companies and seen firsthand their leadership and management preferences. Additionally, Claudia has experience in relating to one of the most important aspects of any business- the individuals in leadership and management positions and how to work with them in transferring that leadership direction throughout the rest of the organization. 

Holding different positions in her career like Administrative and Finance Director, VP of Human Resources, and now as a Business Coach, has enriched her valuable power of developing talent acquisition plans; coaching entrepreneurs with their startup or existing businesses; improving their social media plans; and managing their day to day business among others.

Claudia is working with the Lead Center SBDC (Small Business Development Center) in California, Leading the Hispanic community in LA County. In this position she has been nominated twice (2016 and 2019) with the National Latina Business Women Association LA for the Inspirational Leader Award. 

Her professionalism, experience, and knowledge are structural elements that can help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed.

Carolina Castillo, Ed.D.

Executive Director of Development
USC Civic Engagement and Economic Partnerships

Dr. Carolina Castillo serves as the executive director of development for USC Civic Engagement. In this role, she provides leadership and strategic planning for the university’s annual $1.3 million fundraising USC Good Neighbors Campaign that funds over 50 university-community partnerships to enhance the lives of families residing in the neighborhoods surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. She is passionate about social justice, empowering Latina/os, equity in education and creating pathways to generational wealth, and supporting others to reach their full potential.

Dr. Castillo has been employed at USC for more than 30 years, including serving as assistant director of the Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research at the USC Rossier School of Education. She is a community college transfer student who earned three degrees from USC: BA in Communications, Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs, and Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Leadership. 

She serves on the board of directors for the KHEIR Center, BELLA and is the founding advisor for the USC Hermanas Unidas student organization. Dr. Castillo has extensive experience in higher education, philanthropy, nonprofit and community engagement. She has served on the Los Angeles City Commission on Community and Family Services and as a facilitator in the Parent Institute for Quality Education.

Erica Arias

CEO, Business Owner

Erica A. Arias, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Police Museum & CEO of AriaStrategies Inc., possesses over 15 years of experience in business management, nonprofit & leadership development and strategic management. Erica’s areas of expertise include nonprofit governance, business development, innovative leadership practices, fundraising, board development, and strategic planning. She has trained and mentored constituencies in the nonprofit sector, law enforcement, higher education and startups. Her previous roles include President of Alpha Prime Consulting, LLC and CEO of Imperio Tech LLC, as well as an extensive background in Higher Education management. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in building strong and sustainable organizations.

Erica serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Northeast Police Activities League and she has been a featured guest speaker at several conferences for small business/nonprofit advocacy and development including workshops for the USC Office of Civic Engagement. Erica is an active member of several local chambers of commerce and has recently been nominated by the Los Angeles Business Journal for the “Rising Star” 2020 Women’s Leadership Award. Erica was a program graduate of the USC Bridges to Business Program. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education both from the University of La Verne, and earned her second Masters degree in Executive of Leadership from the University of Southern California.

Eric V. Ibarra

Eric V. Ibarra is a social entrepreneur and a visionary leader who brings greater resources to nonprofit and for-profit social impact spaces by centering the voices of the youth in community-based programs and collaborations. His passion for supporting youth of color to be self-empowered moved him to found Las Fotos Project, a photography mentoring organization inspiring teenage girls to use cameras to advocate for gender, racial, and social justice. He expanded this work to create pathways to life-long economic success by opening access to the creative economy in Los Angeles through paid arts and culture work-learning opportunities for those aged 16-24.  He believes in a future industry that reaches new heights through the creativity of black and brown youth and is committed to building a collective impact model for transformation and systems change to improve the lives of young people.