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  • Convener of Leaders and Influencers

  • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is a convener of leaders and influencers. Here are some ways we have been a convener during the 2019-2020 fiscal year:

    • The Chamber continues to convene and facilitate a key community leaders call weekly to ensure various sectors are coordinating and sharing information/resources related to the pandemic and community needs.
       
    • SM Connect! Young Professionals held a Virtual Leadership Roundtable: Met with local CEO’s and community leaders to discuss with young professionals about leading during this time, leadership traits and strategies, as well as networking.
       
    • The Visitors Bureau held a SMV Tourism Virtual Meeting with Tourism Partners: Met with local tourism partners to check in on how they are doing as well as their strategies moving forward during this time.
       
    • The Visitors Bureau held their first Hospitality Happy Hour for hotel hospitality workers.
       
    • The Chamber held their first virtual Mixer and saw over 35 local business members participate in this networking event.
       
    • The Chamber continues hosting Virtual BYB (Build Your Business) Breakfast meetings every Friday Morning
       
    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley continues to meet virtually for topic days and project meetings. The class of 2021 has been rescheduled to run January – November 20201. Recruitment will begin this fall.
       
    • The Chamber convened a Key City Leaders weekly check-in, including senior reps from City, County, Hospital, Schools, Non-Profits, and Faith Community. Calls continue on a weekly basis to ensure clear communication and coordination of needs and resources.
       
    • The Chamber helped create a national coalition (Save Small Business Coalition) to advocate for increased federal funding to mitigate business losses incurred due to government-imposed closures. The current proposal is focused on creating a national impact fund, similar to what was done following 9/11.
       
    • The EDC is helping facilitate connections for organizations needing support during COVID-19. This includes connecting Safran Seat Shells with Marian Medical Center as a solution to help repair medical masks. The EDC also connected Comcast with Santa Maria Joint Union High School District to assist with connectivity issues for students now using online learning.
       
    • The Visitors Bureau connected four entities with hotels to meet their housing needs – Santa Barbara County Department of Emergency Management, United Way of Santa Barbara County, Marian Regional Medical Center and the California Strawberry Commission.
       
    • Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals’ steering committee met via zoom to discuss how to continue to engage young professionals while respecting social distancing, and to plan a digital happy hour.
       
    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley is working on reformatting their topic days to comply with social distancing guidelines, and has rescheduled the next class to begin in early 2021.
       
    • The Business/Government Roundtable reviewed a potential ballot initiative proposing changes to state law to address increased commercial theft and other crimes.   The Roundtable also reaffirmed the Chamber’s support for the city’s proposed Public Art Plan and recommendations to broaden the funding scheme associated with the plan.
       
    • Chamber CEO Glenn Morris was joined by Marian Regional Medical Center CEO Sue Anderson and Safran Cabin Interiors CEO Tony Guy as members of the Hourglass Board of Directors.   The Chamber was pleased to nominate these two local leaders to help guide this regional economic development initiative.
       
    • The Chamber staff joined staff from six other Central Coast Chambers for a training on “telling the Chamber’s story” and a mixer to build relationships with our partners across the region.
       
    • The Chamber hosted the 2019 State of the City, where City Mayor Alice Patino and City Manager Jason Stilwell gave an update on successes and challenges the city is facing.
       
    • The Chamber met with representatives from Hancock College and local school districts to explore ways to collaborate better to align CTE educational programs with local business needs.
       
    • Chamber CEO Glenn Morris participated in the CalPoly President’s Local Economic Development Committee quarterly meeting.
       
    • The Advisory Committee for the SMV Tourism Marketing District (managed by the Chamber) met on October 3 to get an update on marketing efforts and discuss ways to expand tourism visits to our region.