Chairman’s Welcome


Steve_MurrayChamber Poised for Growth in 2016

As Danielle’s tenure as board chair ends and Steve’s begins, we would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to the Chamber members and to the Chamber board of directors for their continued support. Though 2015 has been a year of many changes and challenges, we are confident that the Chamber is stronger than ever, and is poised to make 2016 great and prosperous for our members.

2015 started with transition as the Chamber began the search for a new President/CEO. During that search, we were lucky to have the services of former CEO Chris Frank to lead the talented staff at the Chamber. After a months-long search, the Chamber’s board selected Nick Ortiz to head the organization in April 2015. Nick and his team are passionate about the role the Chamber plays in our community and are committed to the vision of the Chamber as a catalyst for creating a stronger economy and championing our region.

Since Nick’s hire, the Executive Committee has been working in a collaborative process with members, staff, and some hired consultants to really ask two fundamental questions – what do we want our organization to look like and what do we want it to do? This six-month review process is the featured subject of this Metro newsletter.

The Chamber has worked with local HR consultant, and former Chamber Board Chair, Holly Culhane to develop an organizational structure that not only aligns form with function but is a roadmap for growing the organization – in members, programs and staff. We have also worked together to analyze our programs and committees to determine what is resonating with our members and what is no longer relevant. We are also unveiling our 2016 theme – Engage, Enhance and Empower – that will help drive our expected outcomes of member focus, member return on investment, and high caliber programming.

With all these changes, the one thing that will not change is the staff’s commitment to provide our members with exceptional service and enlightening events. We will continue assisting our members in nurturing and growing their businesses. Finally we will continue to celebrate our community, and the unique quality of life we have here in Bakersfield.

As we move into 2016, we invite your feedback on these changes. The Chamber will celebrate its 96th anniversary this year and throughout that time one thing has been constant, the support of the local business community. We want to thank you for allowing us to be stewards of the Chamber, and wish you nothing but the best for 2016.

Danielle Wade

Immediate Past Chairwoman of the Board
Vice President and General Manager, Bright House Networks Bakersfield

Steve Murray

Chairman of the Board
Owner, Murray Family Farms