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Chamber of Commerce reports ‘strength’

Posted: September 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Chris Angelo speaks at SCV Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday.

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The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is in a position of strength and growth, Chris Angelo, chairman of the board, announced at the chamber’s annual membership luncheon Thursday.

Having mapped out its 2012 strategic vision in 2011, the chamber set four goals and is achieving all of them, he said. The goals included fiscal health, membership attraction and retention, new growth and government advocacy on behalf of the business community.

The business organization is operating lean and efficient and in the black, Angelo said. He told some 150 people attending the lunch that revenue is up 6 percent and expenses are down 10 percent year-over-year.

“After 80 years and several recessions coming out of the 2008 recession,” Angelo said, “membership retention is at all time high and the growth rate is at an all time high through sound fiscal management and by re-tooling events that provide value for our members.”

The chamber’s membership retention for 2012 is 93 percent, up from 85 percent in 2011, he said. New membership growth this year is 10 percent, up 1 percent over the year prior. The chamber has 1,120 members this year, up from 1,083 the year before.

“The membership totals puts us at an almost all time high — from the last time we saw our peak at 1,200 members” Angelo said.

Averaging nearly 15 new members per month, the chamber has set a “stretch goal” for 2012 of attracting 25 new chamber members per month, he said.

The chamber has focused on partnerships with organizations in Santa Clarita to create value for members, he said. The business organization has aligned itself with the Valley Industry Association, Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., SCV Latino Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the city of Santa Clarita, The Signal and SCVTV.

“We’re working on partnerships because people are doing more with less money,” he said. “We have to create different values for members of the community.”

In support of the business community, the chamber’s government advocacy committee has weighed in with the Los Angeles County Commission with its support of the Disney Ranch and Newhall Ranch project, Angelo said. The chamber, also voiced its opposition to the high-speed rail.

Jeffrey Hacker closed the lunch meeting by announcing the nominees for the 2013 board of directors: Anya Smilanick of Small Dog Creative, Nancy Starczyk of Realty Executives, Pete Bellas of College of the Canyons, Damian Jones of Pacific Strategy Group and Marlee Lauffer with Newhall Land. The slate of candidates was approved by the members by virtue of no objections voiced.

The chamber is in a position of strength and continues to be relevant to the needs of the members, Angelo said. It does not take the membership for granted.

“In 2013, the chamber will be set up very well for the business community.”



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