Chairman’s Welcome


I am pleased to serve as the 2017 Chairman of the Board for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. The continued support from our members and the board of directors is invaluable to the Chamber as it strives to promote a healthy business climate for all.

As 2016 closes, the current economic challenges have impacted every business, regardless of size and industry. Companies have had to make tough decisions and take steps to reshape and reinvent their business models.

Despite all of this, the Bakersfield area remains one of the most powerful economic forces in the country. Our county is still ranked as one of the nation’s top oil and natural gas producers, and several global brands have set up distribution centers locally due to our proximity to Los Angeles and the Bay Area as well as access to two of the state’s major routes. The local agriculture sector also remains a mecca for small and large companies to set up their operations.

As the Chamber enters its 97th year, the organization will remain a vital part of the business and community landscape in Kern County. Continuing with efforts to lead, grow and build an atmosphere that ensures all businesses thrive is key to everything the Chamber works to provide its members.  Chamber staff tirelessly works to improve the organization’s role in the community as a business advocate, community convener and leadership incubator.

As 2017 rolls in, the Chamber remains committed to face whatever challenges and changes will impact local business. On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank you for allowing us to be stewards of the Chamber, and we are excited to work for you – our members.

Derek Abbott
2017 Chairman of the Board
Vice President, Community Development & Resource Planning, Tejon Ranch Company