The CORONA Chamber is pleased to share our three new additions to the volunteer Board of Directors for this coming year. Patrick Akes with Grimes-Akes Family Funeral Home, Crystal Lopez with Carter Bradley In-surance Solutions, and Eugene Mon-tanez, co-owner of Allegra Market-ing-Print-Mail/Image 360 will join 23 other business leaders to serve the greater Corona business community.
Akes, 36, grew up in the funeral home atmosphere. He reflects back on his grandmother playing the or-gan (before music was piped in), for services in the LA County area. Today, he is the manager for the Corona of-fice, located at 500 W. 7th St., 92882 and can be reached at (951) 737-3771. They provide full-service funeral ar-rangements, pre-arrangements, and cremations, and are able to assist in any global needs. Established by the Grimes’ in 1947, Patrick joined his fam-ily in the profession, and they run the Riverside Akes Family Funeral Home.
Patrick is involved in many philan-thropies from the Lions Club to the ELKS and more. Through the ELKS Lodge in Corona, Patrick is a Past Exalted Ruler (PER) and services the CA/Hawaii Elks Association as their VP. During the holiday season, Pat-rick’s wife Deserie colors Patrick’s hair and beard white, enabling him to help Santa in numerous requests.
An avid sportsman, he started wrestling in 1999, retiring in 2012 due to a fractured neck. Re-involved in the sport when he was Exalted Ruler, they were searching for a way to raise more funds, and his think-ing outside of the ‘wrestling ring’ turned into an annual fundraiser for disabled children in our community.
Lopez, 36, is the Founder and Owner of Carter Bradley Insurance Solutions. Crystal learned about the importance of insurance at a very young age. When she was 17 years young, she lost her father from a drunk driver. After her father’s death, her mother and siblings were left with no insurance to cover funer-al expenses. Her family had to hold car washes and different fundraising events to cover over $9,000 in ex-penses. With the breadwinner of the family deceased, Crystal had to drop out of high school to work jobs and help support her family. Eventually she obtained her G.E.D. and found a job helping a gentleman and his wife selling life insurance. Soon af-ter, Crystal made it her mission to educate the community about the importance of Life Insurance, and her passion for insurance began.
As time went on, Crystal became a mom to Carter Bradley (thus the name of her company). She states: “He motivated me to strive for more, to leave a legacy, to build and educate on a major need, which is something that I can relate to and experienced.” This was her biggest motivation to-ward entrepreneurship, and Crystal is passionate about helping others. She can be reached at (951) 547-4240.
Montanez, 64, is co-owner of Alleg-ra Print and Mail and Image360 Signs and Displays. He and his wife Paula and their team help companies solve problems through their expertise, cre-ative solutions and can-do attitude. Located at 127 Radio Road in Corona, they can be reached at (951) 734-8181.
Eugene founded the printing business while in high school. Oper-ating out of his mother’s garage, his entrepreneurial spirit was ignited, and in 1976 he and Paula married and opened their business, then known as ZAP Printing and Graphics. Through-out nearly 50 years in business, Eu-gene has always been on the cutting edge of technology. As the author of “Direct Mail is Not Dead: Grow your business with targeted direct mail,” Eu-gene is often called upon to speak or share his wisdom with others.
With a strong commitment to com-munity, Eugene served on the City of Corona Planning Commission for eight years, followed by 16 years on the Coro-na City Council, including three years as Mayor, in 2007, 2012 and 2015. Nu-merous non-profit groups benefit from his generosity and membership: Coro-na Rotary, Corona Elks Lodge, Riverside Chamber, American Diabetes Assoc., and RCC Foundation Board. His and Paula’s greatest joys are grandsons Royce and Archer.