Author: manager1

Membership Lunch a Great Success

Friday February 22nd the chamber hosted the first open Membership Lunch at the Life Center facility here in San Fernando. The event was sponsored by several of our members and included our featured guest speaker California State Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg.

over 50 members and guests were treated to a great lunch by Stonefire Grille in the beautiful main hall of the Life Center. Outfitted with the latest audio and video technology, this room was a showcase for our speakers and guests. Chair of the Government Affairs Committee Tom Ross acted as host for the program, and opened the event with a list of the chambers accomplishments and plans for the future. Key among these is our close relationship with the city of San Fernando and helping to steer the business agenda, the establishment of our Business Explorer post 1911 for educating youth about business, and our involvement in starting the process of forming a Business Improvement District (BID) here in San Fernando.

Chamber President Adriana Gomez spoke about the importance of creating a cohesive business advocacy group through the chamber. As we reach 90 members and growing we are taking seriously the responsibility of business leadership and passing that on to our members encouraging their involvement as well. The future is a bright one if we all are moving forward.

The lineup included short talks from our Mayor Joel Fahardo, and our new City Manager Nick Kimball. Joel pledged his support for the chamber, and the chambers efforts on the BID, and he expressed his optimism that we as a city are moving in the right direction. Our newly appointed City Manger Nick Kimball mentioned that his experience as the finance director of San Fernando along with his over 7 years working in the city gives him great insight and allows him hit the ground running as city Manager. Nick understands the importance of a healthy and diverse business community and has pledged his support for the Chambers efforts. Were glad to have both of these people behind our membership and San Fernando’s businesses.

Members of the SFCCC Board receive recognition from Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg

Senator Hertzberg took the stage and gave us a great talk on the state of our Sacramento government, how it impacts us here, and some key ways he can help us in our efforts. San Fernando is the only city that is completely surrounded by his district. He sees the great possibilities and potential of our city and has recognized the rapid growth of the Chamber as a sign of our maturity as a business community. Sen Hertzberg has already provided over five million dollars in funds for the renovation of our water systems in San Fernando that will allow us to keep our Water Independence. Many in the audience were unaware that San Fernando is the only city in Los Angeles that is not purchasing all its water from the Metropolitan Water District. While we are a customer of MWD, by renovating and modernizing our water infrastructure, we can assure our future independence and reduction of total costs. He also pledged to support the BID efforts to help grow and support the business in town, and looks forward to working with the city staff and Chamber staff on building San Fernando. One of his important projects that will help us in many ways is his commitment to the homeless and helping to find housing and care for those on the streets. He sees this problem as a ‘human” issue, not a political one. Cleaning up our off-ramp leading into town, and the streets and back alleys must involve seeing that those who populate these areas are given an opportunity to transition back into society in a respectful and humane manor. In this way we have more investment in the neighborhood, we have cleaner streets, less crime, healthier conditions, and everyone wins.

After his remarks the Senator took photos and presented the chamber board with certificates of recognition, and spent time with many in the audience discussing their issues. We are truly privileged here in San Fernando to have the attention and interest of one of the states most influential elected officials. We thank him and his staff for being our guests, it was a pleasure!

 

October Business Roundtable

Last month many of our local businesses met for an informal “Business Roundtable” discussion. As part of our breakfast education series, the chamber wanted to give business a chance to not just sit and listen to a presenter, but to be the presenter themselves. Each person brought with them specific, unique and interesting challenges they have expierenced. Everyone around the table had input to give and advice for each. This forum lent itself to lively discussions that included HR issues, hiring procedures, proper ways to quote customers for contract work, and much more.

This event was so successful that we are planning a followup for 2019 and expand on the format. The more people who attend the more advice, and unique situations we can discuss. This learn-by-doing discussion format becomes a great incubator for new ideas and business relationships. So watch your email for our next event and don’t miss it!!

Chamber Scholarship Program

Part of the mission of the chamber is to be an educational conduit for businesses and the community. To this end the chamber has pledged to support our local students through our scholarship program as they begin their journey into higher education. As the treasurer for the San Fernando City Chamber of Commerce it was a great honor and privilege to be able to disperse our first scholarship award to a young man named Fernando from San Fernando high school.  Fernando is a business major looking to attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall. He was so excited to receive the scholarship at an event held at the school last week. He explained that he’s preparing to use the money to purchase a computer that he can use throughout his college years.
This would not have been possible without the growth of the chamber over the last several years. Thanks to the hard work of our board and your participation in fundraising, volunteering, and recruitment of new members, we are now able to provide these scholarships directly to the future of our community, our graduating students. With your help and the growth of the chamber through fundraising and membership, we are committed to help more students next year and the years to come.
Please remember as chamber members your donations, through sponsoring a table at an event,  donating a prize basket at a mixer, or recruiting a member, helps us represent our business community in so many ways. If your inspired to help expand our scholarship program we welcome your participation and donations. Contact us through our staff at director@sanfernando.com.
And I can’t wait to do it again next year!
David Powell
Board Member
Treasurer

From the Government Affairs Desk….

January kicked off the new year and a new milestone for the Business and Government relationship here in San Fernando. Our new City Manager Alex Meyerhoff, who has been at the desk of City Manager for less than 6 months, attended both our Chamber board meeting, and the regular meeting of the Government Affairs Committee. Also in attendance at both these functions was Nick Kimball our city Finance Director. At the board meeting they both provided the chamber directors with a comprehensive look at where the city is in regard to a host of different areas, including finances, business development, trash collection, and much more. This meeting was a great step toward capitalizing on the recent growth in our business sector, and building upon that success.

At the government affairs meeting Alex and Nick again recapped the points of their board meeting presentation, but got into the details of next steps with the committee. We discussed the upcoming “Measure A” a ballot measure proposing to make permanent the .5% sales tax initiated several years ago as a emergency fundraising action. Several committee members questioned the need for additional tax, while others were looking for greater efforts in business development to add to the present tax base.  Another outcome from the meeting was the interest in forming a business marketing and promotion “Red Team” of business leaders and key city personal. This team would be charged with working to attract and retain business in town with the goal of keeping our present businesses and achieving “no vacancy” in our business districts. Committee members are reaching out to our membership now to find interested people with the time and talent to commit to growing the vibrant business environment here in San Fernando. If your interested, send an email here to let us know.

Our next Government Affairs and Business Development committee meeting is coming up February 27th, Tuesday Morning. Different day but were flexible, things are busy here in San Fernando.

 

2017 Candidates Forum

On Thursday February 16th 2016 the two incumbents for city council, the four challenging candidates, and over 100 local businesses and residents met in the grand auditorium of San Fernando Middle School.

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Business Fair 2017

January saw the Chamber hold its biggest event in our education series, the Business Fair. Working with the Valley Ecnomic Alliance, this event attracted over 100 local business people

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Holiday Mixer 2016

As we end our second full year as the premier chamber of the northeast valley, we can see the business community getting bigger and better here in San Fernando. And what better way to celebrate than with a nice big Holiday Blowout!

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