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  • Champions for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley: Chamber Welcomes New Board Members for 2019-2020

    July 1st marks a new fiscal year for the Santa Maria Chamber, and with it new leadership is welcomed to the Chamber Board of Directors to replace those who have served their term limits.

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber Board of Directors is made up of senior executives from member companies and partner organizations. The board provides strategic and policy guidance to ensure the Chamber’s program of work serves the best interest of Chamber members and the Santa Maria Valley community.

    Board members serve three year terms, and can serve two consecutive terms before having to rotate off the board. The formal installation of new board members (and recognition of outgoing board members) takes place each year at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Gala. This year, the Gala will be held July 25th from 6pm to 9pm at PCPA Theatre.

    This year’s outgoing board members are:
    Ed Carcarey, General Manager, MEGA 97.1
    Eddie Murray, First Vice President, The Murray Group- Morgan Stanley
    Cameron Stephens, Vice President, SM Tire

    “I joined the Chamber board because the mission of the Chamber aligns with my passion: to serve entrepreneurs and business owners in Santa Maria and the Central Coast,” said Ed Carcarey, who has served on the board for a total of 9 years. “The best way to grow our own companies is to help the city and other companies grow. If we do that then we will get all the things that we want. If we are not actively involved in the success of our community then we are part of the reason it is failing.”

    Eddie Murray agreed that serving on the board was a way he could give back to the community. “I had lived here most of my life and liked the idea of giving back and being involved with our growing area.”
    Murray says being a board member gave him a better understanding of Santa Maria. “I was able to meet a lot of great people that truly cared about or city and wanted to see it grow in the right direction,” Murray explained. “It also helped put in perspective what all it takes to do that.  A lot of these projects that have just come on-line have taken many, many years to complete.”

    For Cameron Stephens, being on the Chamber board gave him more professional experience, and allowed him to continue on a family tradition of serving the community. “I viewed the Chamber board as a way of gain more business experience and surround myself with peers from other business segments that I could learn from,” Stephens said. “Also my father served on the board (and was also board chair like myself) in the mid to late 1990’s and I took pride In knowing that we would only the second father-son duo to do so.”

    The five new Chamber board members share the same passion for giving back to the community. They are:
    Danny Deveraux, VP and General Manager, CalPortland
    Donna Ferrell, General Manager, Santa Maria Town Center
    Doug Janzen, Executive Director, The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center,
    Emily Kitts, co-owner and quality manager at Naughty Oak Brewing Company
    Rick Rust, Public Affairs Project Manager, Aera Energy

    “As a new board member, I hope that I can find meaningful and important ways to give back to a community that has welcomed our small business with so much enthusiasm,” said Emily Kitts.
    Kitts says that while on the board, she would love to see the Santa Maria Valley continue efforts to work together as a region. “It’s great to see the areas of Santa Maria, Guadalupe and Orcutt all working together and lifting one another up as the entire Santa Maria Valley,” Kitts said. “Hopefully that can continue even further and that connection will grow.” 

    Doug Jenzen is also excited to use his position on the Chamber board to encourage regional unification. “Joining the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is an exciting opportunity to help promote our region and all of the incredible, interesting, and innovative work that the people in the region are achieving.”

    Danny Deveraux says taking a leadership position on the board means he can be a voice for his employees. “We have 275 employees locally and I want to help promote a friendly yet responsible business environment that results in a productive and safe community with a high quality of life.”
    For Donna Ferrell , participation on the board will enable her to be on top of important and changing issues and trends in the community and marketplace. “I believe it is important for leaders to participate and interact with the local community to build relationships and to lead by example to improve the community and economic growth,” she said.

    Rick Rust agrees that a board position sets an important example to other leaders in the community. “As a board member I hope to inspire collaboration between business segment in order to build effective strategies to build a better community,” Rust said.

    The 2019-2020 Chamber Board of Directors will be chaired by Jean-Luc Garon, General Manager of The Radisson Santa Maria. Garon has been a Chamber boar member since 2014.

    “We need to be a business friendly community to continue to attract companies to grow and prosper,” Garon said. “I want to make sure Santa Maria continues to do as much as they can to be business-friendly, which will benefit our entire community.”

    While the board is made up of a range of business leaders, they remain unified in their desire to help inflict positive change to the local community.

    “Our members are fortunate to have a strong group of business leaders serving on the Chamber board,” said Glenn Morris, Santa Maria Chamber CEO. “The diversity of businesses, experience, and background in the room allows us to have a lot of confidence in the decisions they make. I’m continually impressed by the way everyone sets aside their personal interests and tries to lead the Chamber in ways that truly represent the entire employer community.”

    The Chamber would like to thank all of our outgoing board members for their continued leadership and support while serving on the board, and welcome our new 2019-2020 board members to this exciting leadership position. 

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