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Chamber president outlines plans for ’13

Posted: January 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Fred Arnold
2013 president, SCV Chamber of Commerce and Mortgage Professional, American Family Funding

Q: For our readers, define the Chamber’s objective.
A: I think the primary goal is helping to serve our 1,100 members so they can continue to be or become world-class companies and organizations. Our goal is to develop programs and assist in them becoming that.

Q: What has been your involvement with the Chamber?
A: Last year I helped develop the Communications Committee to bring better communication to the members, to develop the Chamber Focus newsletter, to help more effectively reach out to our members. I attend a lot of events and speak on behalf of the Chamber at the water board, City Council meetings and others.

Q: Why do you want to be chairman?
A: What inspired me was my father. In 1973 he was Man of the Year in Northridge Chamber of Commerce. He believed in giving back. So for the past 10 years I’ve been giving back in my industry through the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and the California Association of Mortgage Professionals. When I was done being president for the CAMP I wanted to focus on my own community and how I can leave it just a little bit better.

Q: Describe your history/business experience in the Santa Clarita Valley.
A: I moved my mortgage company to Santa Clarita in 1996 in Stevenson Ranch. We deal directly with the consumer. I then purchased a facility on Constellation where we have 17 employees and we operate in a 6,000 square foot facility. This community has been good to me. I also host “Out of the Rough” on SCVTV and “The SCV Chamber Business Spotlight” on AM 1220 KHTS.

Q: What do you believe members want from the Chamber?
A: Members get many different things depending on what kind of organization they are, the kind of customer they have and size of their company.
Larger member groups want training, they want advocacy for any issues they’re dealing with on a daily basis. They are big supporters of our Lunch and Learns.
You have the small businesses looking for networking and ways to go from good companies to great companies, ways to systemize their company. And they are looking for ways to grow an extra employee or two or three.
Medium sized businesses are a combination of both. We have to be quite a few things to so many people.  

Q: What do you want to achieve in the next year?
A: I think that one of the most important things is being relevant in representing our members even deeper — there’s a lot of members that pay dues and that’s it. How do we engage them to seek out additional means of education for their employees? How do we take them from being a good regional company if their dream is to be a national or worldwide organization? How do we help facilitate that? We’re on a global stage. Our companies in Santa Clarita are competing all over the world, so how do we provide education resources? How do we provide a good regulatory environment? How do we provide a great place and great town? That’s all in protecting and helping the 1,100 members we have.

A: Are there any new initiatives you’d like to launch in 2013?
Q: One of them is to continue to partner and use the great resources we have in our city. The College of the Canyon’s Small Business Development Center worked with us on Lunch and Learns and the lunches were a tremendous success. Bring in more great speakers to help our confidence grow. We’re going to piggy back on the Lunch and Learns and go deeper.
We’re going to work with the Jaycees on a 40 under 40 leadership program, where we have a 12-part course on leadership to help develop our young leaders in our city. I think it’s important to be a part of that.
We’re looking at job creation and how we can be part of job creation. How can our employees have that one extra employee, one extra intern that can train in a new skill? I’m referring to professionals that need to be retrained in a new field and are eager to learn but need those skills. I’m not referring to necessarily to college age students. I’m referring to that 40-year-old house husband or house wife that wants to go back and get a new skill. How do we get them back in the rhythm of the new workforce? We’re going to work with Veteran Affairs and (Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita) to do a VA job fair to help our over 1,000 veterans coming back.
We’re looking to put together several groups to go to small and big businesses to find out what their needs are in a collaboration with Jason Crawford [Marketing and Economic Development Manager] at the city and several business owners and reach out to them and find out what their business needs are.

sara@signalscv.com
661-287-5593

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