Yolanda Carrillo – Small Business Advocate of the Year

Yolanda Carrillo

Yolanda Carrillo

Carrillo was nominated for the Small Business Advocate of the Year Award by Mark Peabody, chairman of board for the Corona Chamber of Commerce, and Bobby Spiegel, president and CEO of the Corona Chamber.

“Her input is invaluable and we know when Yolanda speaks, others listen,” states their letter of recommendation. “She does extensive research and is like a ‘velvet hammer.’ Her tenacious follow through is admirable.”

Carrillo has been a leader in Corona and Riverside counties for nearly 20 years as the executive director/CEO for the Corona-Norco Family YMCA. She also serves on the Corona Chamber’s legislative action committee, as well as the Corona Chamber’s board of directors.

Through the YMCA, Carrillo has created public and private partnerships, and strong working relationships with the local school district, and the cities of Corona and Norco to privatize delivery of social services at the Y while advocating before the federal and state governments to increase funding available to more than 1,500 families served by the YMCA.

Improving services while saving taxpayer dollars is a key priority for the Corona Chamber, and Carrillo has helped save hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs while improving the daily lives of hundreds of families, expanding their access to early education for their children, and improving the job skills necessary to build careers.

Carrillo is also credited with federal and state advocacy to keep the NAVSEA Naval Surface Warfare Center open. The base, just north of the city border of Corona, had been on the top of the list for closure in the last two Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) processes.

The facility is responsible for more than $300 million in annual payroll and related contract business activity within the community, and its closure would have caused immediate and devastating job losses in the community. Carrillo revitalized the Navy League community network for the base while advocating before Congress and with the State Military Commission on lobbying trips organized with the chamber. While working to save the base, she also traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Corona Chamber delegation, visiting various congressional offices, from Congressman Ken Calvert to Congressman Darrell Issa and Congressman Mark Takano.

These efforts led to the base being kept open, thus saving 1,000 jobs

Carrillo also has helped streamline the planning process in the city of Corona. As a city planning commissioner, she has been a strong advocate for cutting red tape and streamlining regulation, a key priority for the Corona Chamber. At the federal level, she worked closely with Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Corona) on legislation that helped streamline national environmental regulations and helped Corona complete the groundbreaking SR-91 freeway design-build expansion that is currently underway.

In addition to her federal work, Carrillo has worked with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director Louis Stewart to bring Corona into the regional I-Hub project area because of the technology firms located in Corona.

Her multiple trips to the State Capitol have yielded important developments for women-owned businesses and job training. She has been part of a bipartisan regional coalition involving both Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) and Assemblymember Eric Linder (R-Corona) to provide common-sense protections for business owners threatened by nuisance lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act.