The past chairs of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce are uniting to form a new advisory group that will tap into their collective wisdom and experience, keeping them engaged to help the Chamber accomplish its goals even after they’ve finished serving on the organization’s board.
The SCV Chamber of Commerce Past Chair Advisory Committee is the brainchild of current Chamber Chairman Chris Angelo, who envisions the committee as a valuable resource to help him and the Chamber’s future chairs.
“When you serve as the chair of the Chamber board, you only serve a one-year term,” said Angelo, President/CEO of Stay Green Inc. “During that year, the chair not only exercises leadership and guides the Chamber’s efforts, but he or she also gains valuable experience. There’s no substitute for that. The new Past Chair Advisory Committee will help the Chamber retain an ongoing connection to those lessons and knowledge.”
The committee will offer assistance to current Chamber leadership, and serve as a sounding board for Chamber leaders as they shape strategies to help the local business community thrive.
During the committee’s first meeting Thursday, April 12, at TPC Valencia, Angelo told participants he hopes the group’s corporate knowledge can be captured to foster local economic growth, help the Chamber achieve its goals and avoid reinventing the wheel.
“I hope this meeting will be the first of several meetings throughout the year,” Angelo said as he opened the gathering, attended by current Chamber board members in addition to the past chairs who participated. “Your staying connected with the Chamber, the business community, and me is a great benefit to the Chamber and Santa Clarita as a whole.”
Marlee Lauffer, a past chair of the Chamber, said the new group will help keep Chamber leaders energized even after their terms as board chair expire.
“Kudos to Chris Angelo for starting the Past Chamber Chair Committee!” said Lauffer, Vice President of Corporate Communication for Newhall Land. “It was powerful to blend the previous leaders of the organization with the current leadership and share observations and ideas. While the faces of leadership change yearly, the mission of the Chamber stays constant and our first meeting reinforced the fact that membership, advocacy and the economy are always the focus!”
In the inaugural meeting, Angelo provided the group with an overview of the current state of the Chamber and its goals. He noted that Santa Clarita’s economy is on an upswing, in contrast to the economies of much of California and the nation. Angelo also led a lively discussion, during which attendees provided opinions and concrete suggestions to help Angelo create an action plan.
“Through all that these past chairs offer, I’m gaining insight into how the Chamber can better serve, not only Santa Clarita’s business community, but also the entire Valley,” Angelo said. “From these advisors’ perspectives, what are our strengths? What challenges do we face? The wealth of experience these leaders bring to today’s Chamber is invaluable in helping us continue to succeed.”
SCV Chamber President/CEO Terri Crain praised Angelo for conceiving and creating the advisory team. “There are a lot of past chairs with a lot of good ideas that they want to share,” Crain said. “They’ve just been waiting to be asked.”
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