Small Business Spotlight: BurkeMedia

A native of DHS!!! So many leave their hometown , why did you stay?

I graduated from Desert Hot Springs High School in 2005. I actually had plans to attend Cal Poly Pomona in the fall of that year, so I was totally planning to ditch my hometown, at least during the weekdays for a few years…

Here at the Grand Opening!

As time went on, and with some fortune on my side, I was blessed to have been hired at KESQ News Channel 3 just after my first semester, which I was very happy about because I started to fall more and more in love with Desert Hot Springs and I always had this desire to eventually try to do my part to serve the community when the time was right. While I still wasn’t sure if I was definitely going to start a life here, I knew that I wanted to have it be at least a part of my life to some capacity.

…. I had several trips, from Los Angeles to New York and many places in between, and as fun as they were to visit, nowhere necessarily captured me as a place I wanted to live, so I discovered my place here and made it my home.

With his wife Monique

I’m sure you’ve marveled at our growth….

…Five to six years ago, thanks to Facebook and social media, more residents started becoming aware of the good there is here in the community, and the opportunities to serve, so many started stepping in to do their part. The overall vibe started to shift to a “Hey, Desert Hot Springs is actually pretty cool and we can make this city what we want! I don’t see problems, I see opportunity! Let’s move forward!” Much thanks to things like Advancing DHS, this still is expanding its reach to more and more of our residents.

We have seen many more public events, such as art walks, concerts in the park, churches throw barbeques for the community, monthly community breakfasts, comedy nights, local businesses throwing parties for the community with music and entertainment, fall festivals, Fourth of July events, Easter Egg hunts, and even a concert sponsored by Mike Tyson.
….This new vibe has just seemed to attract good. Although maybe not what everyone wants quite yet, we have attracted more businesses such as Dollar General, Taco Bell, and Quick Quack, with interest from Best Western and Grocery Outlet. We have also seen shots taken, and many successes, at starting new small businesses here, like DOMO and Southern Fried, with many in between . 

Just a man about town, he is literally EVERYWHERE it seems!

As an owner of a small business, what advice or wisdom would you share for those considering opening a small business here in DHS?

Don’t expect immediate results, and be cautious. I think a lot of the time everyone who gets involved or tries something new in town seems to think their sole project will be “the savior of Desert Hot Springs”, then they get discouraged and give up quickly. Progression happens slowly with a lot of people doing their part. You can do your part and encourage others to do theirs with a bit of humility and hard work.

…Become a local expert and meet your community! I know running a business can be tough, but it is super important time is made to be engaged on social media and make yourself visible at community functions. Post about what you do and tag your business page on local Facebook groups, speak at a council meeting, join a local organization – or a few, support nonprofits and events, go to other local establishments and meet both the owners and the regulars, meet your city leaders one on one, throw a grand opening party with free food and entertainment. Desert Hot Springs has a small town feel in many ways and a strong sense of community, being visible and making what you do known, and striving for excellence in your chosen profession, will lead to great results and the residents will support you!

Why do you love DHS?

I love Desert Hot Springs because we have been, are and will continue to be unique. We are blessed with the finest cold and hot water, and we are blessed with incredible mountain views – debatably the best in the Coachella Valley, with a higher elevation that keeps our weather a little cooler. We have incredible hiking trails and are the gateway to the Sands to Snow monument, and we are the gateway between the Morongo Basin and Coachella Valley.

We have the kindest, hardest working people who take pride in their community and want to make a difference, many of whom would literally give you the shirt off their back if you were in need. We have people that genuinely care about our youth, our seniors, our homeless population and get hands-on involved to help the local sports and art programs, make plans to help the less fortunate and just do random acts of kindness that are not associated with a group or organization. If you ever hang out at a local establishment like our local Starbucks or at Dillon’s, you are sure to meet very interesting travelers and tourists with impressive backgrounds and with great stories to tell.

I love DHS, because #IAmDHS

About Advancing DHS

Advancing DHS is governed by it’s six member Board of Directors:
Gary Gardner, President
Courtney Moe, Vice President
James Nindel, Treasurer
Richard Cromwell III, Board Member
Charlette Franklin, Board Member
Ivan Sewell, Board Member.


Meet Dr. Kephyan Sheppard. He is a DHS/Palm Springs native. After graduating from Palm Springs High in 1996, track and field afforded him several collegiate and professional opportunities that saw him travel around the country as an athletic competitor. In 2004, after marrying his bride Tricina, he relocated his family back to the Desert Hot Springs. In that time he has served our city in multiple capacities as a an educator, member of clergy , a mentor to our youth, and beyond. He serves as the Community Champion for Advancing DHS and believes that his passion for the city is shared by many.His role is to spread positive news concerning Desert Hot Springs in an effort to enlighten some and enable others to see what many fail to realize… that DHS is simply amazing!


We want to hear from you! Send feedback and suggestions, let us know what’s going on in your community, let’s have coffee! You can also become a financial supporter. This endeavor is fueled by generous donations from those who desire to help us present our beautiful city in a positive light! 

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