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Rise Financial Pathways luncheon on March 29

The CEO of Rise Financial Pathways, Forsecee Hogan Rawls, is hosting a luncheon on Wednesday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrating 30 years and honoring business owners and


Celebrating 30 years

The CEO of RISE Financial Pathways, Foresecee Hogan-Rowles, is hosting a luncheon on Wednesday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrating 30 years and honoring business owners and philanthropists with awards for their businesses and organizations that provide for the community.

RISE has been helping the South L.A. community for 30 years by providing organizations with commercial lending opportunities, including microloans, peer lending, small business loans, business training, asset development programs, and banking programs.

“RISE is the result of a partnership with the banks, the city of Los Angeles, and the Black community,” Hogan-Rowles said. “I was part of the community leaders that put together this idea of a non-profit community development organization that would help South Central Los Angeles with the financial disparity.”

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was documented that residents in South Los Angeles were experiencing disparities across the board compared to their counterparts living in other places like Hollywood, Mid-City, and Santa Monica.

While the idea started in 1989, it wasn’t until 1993 that the organization was conceptualized, and the company started rebuilding the community and creating programs to help future generations.

“It has been very fulfilling, and we have now delivered over $10.2 million in microloans to underserved businesses,” Hogan-Rowles said. “We have created over 3,000 jobs with our work and helped over 300 families obtain homes through our program.”

RISE Financial Pathways helped start and, in some cases, were the model for other non-profit organizations and businesses that they now will honor.

Business owners  Bianca Vobecky and Brian Carr will receive the Small Business Award and Michael Banner, the Industry Advocate award.

Vobecky is the CEO and founder of Vobecky Enterprises, which has been offering help for construction, logistics, procurement, and project management transfers to inventive, comprehensive solutions to clients like the U.S. Department of Defense, large Public Utility Agencies, and the Southwest’s Top General Contractors.

Carr is a micro business owner who is an artist and a photographer who started his magazine Toytography, a publication where toy photographers can find help, and inspiration, and share their craft.

Banner has played a role in the community advocating for new programs and investments and creating partnerships for economic development. Banner also played a role in starting the Minority Real Estate Program at USC and helped bridge the partnership with the Urban Land Institute.

Queen Cora will act as the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

“I am proud of what they’re doing and was excited when approached about the opportunity. Monica Smith referred me to Forsecee, the CEO of RISE Financial Pathways. They were coordinating on who could be inspiring and impactful like previous speakers, Les Brown and Maria Shriver."

Cora is an international award-winning drummer, producer, DJ, author, photographer, philanthropist, scholar, visual artist, and business owner who has traveled to over 40 countries with music industry legends like Prince, Beyonce, Zucchero, and many others throughout the span of her 20-year career.

When asked for a peak into the content of her keynote address, Cora shared,

" As a drummer and empowerment speaker, I often integrate the power of rhythm because I recognize that within the diversity of the audience and through the spectrum of impact R.I.S.E has, music and rhythm always serves as the universal language that unifies us all."