• Incoming Board Chair Plans to Help Businesses Navigate Change, Expand Latino Business Outreach

    Edgar Gascon of Hacienda Realty will serve at the Chairman of the Board for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce 2020-2021 fiscal year. We talked with Edgar to hear why he wanted to serve on the Board, and his goals for the Chamber in the upcoming year.

    Why did you want to be on the Chamber Board of Directors?
    I joined the Chamber Board of Directors to further involve myself in the community. I began my involvement with the Chamber as an Ambassador, and through my involvement with the Ambassador Committee I quickly saw the value of the Chamber and the opportunity the organization provides to build relationships within our business community. I wanted to be a part of that growth for our local businesses. 

    What are your priorities as Board Chair?
    My priorities as the Board Chair are to provide resources and be a convener to our business community in times of uncertainty and change. As our community and businesses grow, there will be new issues with growth. The Chamber will continue to provide guidance and resources to the business community. Another focal point is to also expand our outreach to the Latino Business Community. I want to ensure our Spanish speaking business have the resources to maximize their efforts but also receive input and participation to encourage a balanced representation and influence of these businesses in our community.
    What skills/background/experiences have you had that you feel will help with this leadership position?
    My degree in Industrial Psychology and background in sales has given me valuable experiences in learning to intake all perspectives of the company while working effortlessly to meet the end product. Listening and understanding my clients has given me the ability to discern the key wants and needs to better assist them. 
    Why do you think it is important people get involved in volunteer positions?
    I think it's important to get involved because it's a way of helping those with the skills or knowledge that you can provide. Whether its cleaning up the parks, volunteering for an event, or hosting a industry talk - giving back to others allows us to improve our community and help one another with our skills and knowledge.

    What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
    Being a dad of an 18 month old boy, my favorite thing is to be with my family. I enjoy reading and playing golf on my down time but these last 2 years have been full of evening walks, Blues Clues episodes, and Target formula runs. 

    The best book you’ve read recently and why?
    The Rhythm of life by Matthew Kelly. This book was a great read as I transition into a new level of responsibility both professionally and personally, it addresses how to focus our energy and intention into living everyday with purpose and determination. 
    Why would you encourage others to join the Chamber?
    I would encourage other to join the Chamber because it allows you to give back to our community and businesses through various venues. You can meet new people at the Mixers, welcome new businesses through the Ambassador program, enhance our local tourism or even help at events such as the Awards Gala. We have the opportunity to contribute and shape our community for us and our generations to come. 

    Any final thoughts?
    As we find ourselves in a time of change & turmoil across our country, I encourage everyone to look at our community as the place to start change. Economic or social change can be ignited with the decision and actions of one person, with that I look forward to starting a new year of positive change and continuous support for our community and local businesses.