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  • Leadership Santa Maria Valley Topic Day Explores Business and Economic Development

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    March 09, 2018
    Leadership Santa Maria Valley Topic Day Explores Business and Economic Development
    On February 2, 2018, the Business and Economic Topic Day brought to life the experiences of local businesses to the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2018.

    The day started with a complimentary breakfast provided by Starry Sky Coffee Company. Owner Steven Funkhouser, who serves on the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Board of Directors and an advisor in planning the day, was present.

    The first stop was Zodiac Aerospace. Zodiac is an international company that works with major airlines providing unique products. With roughly 1,000 local employees, they explained how they are in the local area because of some little-known qualities that exist at the Santa Maria Public Airport.

    Leading the first of a round of presentations was Scott Hillis, the Chair of SCORE San Luis Obispo County/Santa Maria Valley. He presented a variety of free services provided by his agency for existing and prospective businesses. Services range from mentoring sessions, developing business plans and conducting specific workshops.

    The following speaker was the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor and Convention Bureau CEO, Glenn Morris, with the assistance of Suzanne Singh of the Chamber's Economic Development Commission. The class received an insider's perspective on the future Economic Development in the Santa Maria Valley. This included the vision of where true economic growth is sprouting.

    The final morning speaker was the City of Santa Maria Community Development Director, Chuen Ng. Chuen explained the planning process for the city, and how it influences business and future development. This included a historical viewpoint of projections of population growth, underutilized land, and the relationship with the County of Santa Barbara.

    The class then enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Cielito Lindo Mexican Grill.

    After lunch, the class toured Hardy Diagnostics, which is 100% employee owned. The company specializes in laboratory and microbiology supplies in multiple industries. The company Founder and President, Jay Hardy, shared his story of building the 250 local employee company from the ground up.

    Next on the agenda was the Business and Economic discussion panel. The panel consisted of three local professionals: Hardy Diagnostics President Jay Hardy, Tartaglia Engineering owner John Smith, and CoastHills Credit Union President/CEO Jeff York. Each shared how their respective businesses of different sizes, regulatory environments, labor pool, customer needs, and community factors play a big role in how effective they operate as a business. They also shared how their companies contribute to the local economy.

    The day ended with LSMV Alumnus Dr. David Lohman as Leadership Speaker. He challenged the class on how they communicate with others, to develop relationships and build influence to be true leaders. He also addressed how to overcome internal barriers to create genuine interaction.

    The class had a great experience seeing the collective positive impacts each organization and speaker have on the community. Big thanks to the Planning Team, Petra Gomez, Aracely Barajas, Maria Castillo, and Clint Weirick, as well as to advisors Jeff Clarin and Steven Funkhouser on the day's success!

    For more information on Leadership Santa Maria Valley, and how you, or one of your employees, can benefit from this inspiring program, please contact Nancy Gastelum, Program Director, at nancy.gastelum@gmail.com.

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