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Member Spotlight

Lorinda Forrest

Residence: Hollister, California

Organization:  San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, CA

Occupation: Small Business Deputy Sector Navigator

First job: Runway Fashion Model

Philosophy: It’s always about relationships!

Favorite music: I’m a country music fan but also love easy listening and ambient music.

Favorite movie:   “The Notebook” reminds me that love conquers these insidious diseases.

Favorite book:  The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer has been a long time favorite. Also, Just Listen by Mark Goulston

What got me interested in my work: I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so it might be in my genes. When I was little I thought playing with Barbie dolls was dumb. Instead, I tried to recruit my friends and siblings to play store, beauty salon, doctor’s office and restaurant. In college, I made money selling jewelry, Tupperware and more. In the early days of working, I worked for businesses that were starting up or expanding. Over the years I’ve started five businesses – some, such as restaurant and a holistic health/massage practice – I’d been practicing as a child. Then my passion shifted from starting my own business to helping others do the same and I entered the world of consulting and business coaching, which I found very gratifying. I love following the successes of my former clients. Two years ago I was recruited for my current role in the California Community College system. It is thrilling to think my background and passion can help grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Valley and Mother Lode region, which I serve.

Greatest accomplishment: While earning a pilot’s license is pretty high on my list, I have to say that founding a beekeeper’s association in the foothills of Central California means a lot to me. My father was a beekeeper and loved it. When I moved to a rural community, I started keeping bees myself and realized that there wasn’t any association in the area where I could find support and resources for my beekeeping hobby. I started the Sierra Foothill Beekeepers Association in 2010.  It serves beekeepers, newbees and wannabees in four counties across the Sierra Foothills in Central California and has grown to about 350 members. We teach and promote chemical-free, sustainable beekeeping practices and our experienced members mentor new beekeepers. I’m proud of this accomplishment because we have developed a wonderful community.

Success is... Helping others realize their passion while following yours.

Favorite Quote:  “Laughter is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles. It won’t take the potholes out of the road, but it sure makes the ride smoother.” - Barbara Johnson

Current Project/s:  As a grantee of the “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy” framework, my role is to serve the 13 community colleges in the Central Valley/Mother Lode region by growing business and entrepreneurship programs. I’ve partnered with the Lyles Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University-Fresno to deliver Community College Entrepreneur Pathway training for college faculty. Students will receive expedited articulation to the entrepreneur degree program at Fresno State. I’ve also put together a team to develop an entrepreneur curriculum-sharing website that is user-friendly and provides a mechanism for faculty to develop an entrepreneurial community of best-practice sharing. That website, which was to be a regional pilot program, will now launch statewide. I am hosting a regional business pitch competition, which has divisions for high school and community college students. I am hosting an “Educators Cultivating Entrepreneurship” summit in my region for high school and community college faculty and administrators. This two-day summit will focus on best practice sharing of successful entrepreneurial programs, contextualizing or embedding entrepreneurship into CTE programs and developing hacker-maker labs. Through my grant funding I’ve offered NACCE memberships to the 13 community colleges in my region and have provided scholarships for faculty to NACCE’s Entrepreneurship Specialist Certificate Online training.

How has NACCE impacted your work?   When I attended my first NACCE conference I was impressed with the quality of the presentations, the enthusiasm of the participants and the amazing work being accomplished at community colleges. I was encouraged to see community colleges in small or rural areas with strong entrepreneurship programs and powerful business and community partnerships. NACCE has become a valuable partner in helping me attain my goals as Small Business Deputy Sector Navigator.

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