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Business fair builds relationships, funds staff scholarships


Each year, the Small Business Resource Fair offers the UCLA community an opportunity to learn about products and services that could prove useful in their work. Last year, more than 1,000 staff members attended the event, with 50 small business vendors strutting their stuff. This year's fair is set for Thursday, Jan. 25, from 10:30 to 2:00 p.m. in the Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom.

Co-sponsored by UCLA Staff Assembly and UCLA Campus Purchasing, the fair has an additional benefit: generating scholarship funds to help staff members pursue continuing education and professional development.

Bettina Pedone, a nurse practitioner who joined the Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center in 1998, cited her Staff Assembly scholarship as a steppingstone to career advancement.

"I knew that I wanted to move up in my organization," Pedone said. She applied for and received a Staff Assembly scholarship and used it to pay for a leadership course offered through UCLA Extension. "I would not have taken the class without the award," said Pedone. This past summer she was promoted to a supervisory position, and the class, she said, has helped her greatly in her new job.

New to the fair this year will be personal service businesses in addition to more conventional business vendors, expanding the range of offerings from office furniture to yoga classes. All staff, faculty and students are invited; departmental contacts and decision-makers are especially encouraged to attend.

"It's a fun event," said Staff Assembly President Shelley Brown, a senior administrative analyst with Corporate Financial Services. "Staff have the opportunity to network with the vendors on hand and with each other."

Already planning to be there — as he did last year — is Dean Dacumos, director of student services at the School of Theater, Film & Television.

"I realize that it is to my benefit to attend because it helps me know my options on available products for whatever project I'm working on," Dacumos said. "You never know when you are going to need something."

For more information about the fair and Staff Assembly, visit

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