IEEP Staff

Paul Granillo IEEP

Paul Granillo

President and CEO

A native of the Inland Empire, Paul was born and raised in Redlands. In 2010, Paul became President & CEO of IEEP, and restructured the organization with a vision for bettering the quality of life and business climate of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. He currently serves as Past-Chair of Mobility 21, a coalition that pursues regional solutions to transportation challenges. He also serves as Past-Chair of the California Stewardship Network; and is a sitting member of the Regional Economic Alliance Leaders of California. Additionally, he serves on the Southern California Association of Governments Global Land Use and Economics Committee and sits on the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and Cal State San Bernardino’s Foundation Board. He also serves as Past-Chair of the California Economic Summit and a Board Member of Californians Dedicated to Education. He currently serves as Board Member of the Campaign for College Opportunity and a Member of KVCR Educational Foundation.

Paul received his Bachelors of Arts from California State University San Bernardino, his Master of Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo and holds a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Paul is married to Dr. Christina Granillo, Ph.D.; they are the proud parents of Monica Marie.



Dr. John Husing

Chief Economist

Dr. John Husing is a leading authority on the Inland Empire economy, an area he has been studying since he wrote his doctoral thesis on the region in the 1960s. His influence on the business and political landscape has been so extensive that the Los Angeles Times named him one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California in 2006.  He is the writer of the Quarterly Economic Report, an economic newsletter now in its 20th year.  His company, Economics & Politics Inc., provides consulting services for municipalities and counties with economic strategies, statistical data packages, recommendations for public policy and briefing presentations to business and political leaders about the nature, growth and economic trends of Southern California.



Juan Lopez

Chief of Staff

Juan M. Lopez, a native of the Inland Empire has worked in Government Relations for the private and public sectors for over 16 years. He currently is the Chief of Staff at Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP) and City of Riverside Commissioner for the Human Relations Commission.

Mr. Lopez has over 16 years of extensive experience in California politics including providing strategic counsel on several statewide initiatives as well as grassroots organization to presidential races and state elections; additionally, he worked for five members of the California Legislature, United Farm Workers and for several private companies as a member for their Senior Executive Team.

Mr. Lopez has dedicated much of his adult life to public service. He is very involved in his community where he has been on executive boards with several organizations like Community Action Partnership San Bernardino County, Greater San Bernardino Kiwanis, California State University, San Bernardino Educational Opportunity Program Alumni Board and former Board President for the Latino Network in Riverside. He has been a coach and mentor for several sports youth programs for many children in our Inland Empire communities.

For Mr. Lopez personal and professional involvement, he has received numerous recognitions.  President Obama’s 2011 Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Black Voice Foundation 2011 Community Builders Award, Assembly Member Carter’s 2008 “30 Under 30” Latino/Native American Achievement Award and New Member Special Recognition from Greater Kiwanis of San Bernardino.

Juan M. Lopez graduated from San Gorgonio High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). He lives in Riverside with his wife a public school teacher, Guadalupe Lopez and his three children Anabel, Rosali and son Juan Jr.

Monique Valadez

Special Programs Manager

Monique is responsible for the Launch Pilot Program, planning and supporting IEEP events and oversees the organization’s communication program. Monique is a seasoned public relations professional with over 10 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  Prior to joining the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), she worked for the San Bernardino City Unified School District as a Community Relations Manager of the first Family Engagement Center where she developed curriculums and presented bilingual parent workshops on school programs and community services.  From 2011-2014, Monique became the first bilingual Media Relations Manager for the National Hot Rod Association where she managed publicity campaigns and the media center for numerous national drag racing events across the country.  From 2008-2014, she was hired by the Wally Parks National Hot Rod Association Motorsports Museum in Pomona as the Public Relations and Education Manager.  In this capacity, she developed and implemented the museum’s first K-12 educational curriculum, with a STEM emphasis, as well as created the first kid-friendly, educational hands-on exhibit, Axes & Axles: The Art of Building Cars and Guitars.  Axes & Axles welcomed thousands of visitors from across the globe and received media acclaim by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, New York Times and Autoweek.  She began her career in public affairs as the Public Information Officer for the city of Pomona in 2003.

Monique has led a civic-minded and politically engaged life.  She was recruited by the Democratic National Committee to implement the Finance Operation for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte (2012).  She was also recruited by the Presidential Inauguration Committee to implement the Finance Operation for the second Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Monique holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism from Cal Poly Pomona.

Jason Cordova

Director of Education and Workforce Development 

A product of the Inland Empire, Jason Cordova has spent the past 7 years in the public sector advancing and expanding efforts to increase college attainment throughout Southern California.

Most recently, he served as Program Director for the Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN), tasked with leading various strategic initiatives aimed at increasing college completion rates & career readiness in greater Los Angeles County.

A graduate from Chino High school, Jason holds a B.A. in American Studies & Philosophy from Connecticut College (New London, CT).

Melisa Castro

Executive Assistant

Melisa Castro, a native of the Inland Empire was born and raised in Riverside. She attended Riverside Community College and transferred to the University of Riverside , where she graduated with a degree in Spanish with a concentration in Linguistics. On her free time Melisa enjoys riding her bicycle along the Santa Ana trail. If you see her say hello!

John Orta

Education and Workforce Development Coordinator

John Orta is a product of the Inland Empire. He was born and raised in Riverside and attended California State University, San Bernardino where he graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in Business Administration – Marketing. John is a passionate and self-motivated marketing professional with an expertise in social media strategies and customer relationship management. Prior to his current role at IEEP he was the Marketing Coordinator at CSUSB Recreation and Wellness where he cultivated partnerships with both university and community leaders in order to raise awareness on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle throughout the CSUSB community.

Cindy Sanchez

Administrative Assistant

Southern California native Cindy Sanchez was born in Los Angeles and raised in Yucaipa, CA. She developed a keen attention to detail prior to her role at IEEP as a finance and insurance manager in the Motorsports industry. Cindy loves to give back to her community and has accumulated countless service hours as a volunteer volleyball coach and PTA member.