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Eason Moderates Student Entrepreneur Panel at Make/SHIFT Conference

Business and Entrepreneurship Sector Navigator Chuck Eason helped community college Maker students from across California share their success stories at the Make/SHIFT conference, held April 24-26 at the Hotel Irvine.

The goal of the panel was for students to share how their experience with the entrepreneurial ecosystem has furthered their education and life paths. Panelists were:

  • Christian Espinoza, furniture maker, Sacramento City College
  • Leah Slyder Vass, chocolate maker, Laney College
  • Anthony Cheng, tote bags recycled from Surfrider Foundation canopies, Orange Coast College
  • Alliya Smith-Brown, artist, Sierra College
  • Jhoany Chong, Graphic Design, City College of San Francisco

The session also explored the intersection between maker culture and entrepreneurship, which Eason sees as a natural pairing. Moving forward, he hopes to create more opportunities for interdisciplinary and experiential learning.

“Our sector is working to infuse entrepreneurial concepts such as design thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, lean business model, etc. into makerspace programs,” Eason said. “I was honored to have the opportunity to moderate the student entrepreneur panel at the NACCE Maker/SHIFT Conference.  The students were amazing and really showcased the experiential learning opportunities that makerspaces provide.”

The Make/SHIFT conference was sponsored by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. For more information, visit

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