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July 22, 2011 > Chamber annual business luncheon

Chamber annual business luncheon

By Simon Wong

Members of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce recognized outgoing Board members, Shiyami Clunie (AT&T), Julie McKillop (Neumanali) and David Tucker (Waste Management) and Chairman Ron Peck and welcomed Landon Baines (Morgan Stanley), Chris Lam (Pucci Foods) and Barbara Leslie (AT&T) at the 2011 Annual Business Luncheon at La Quinta Inn & Suites, Hayward.

Dr. Doris Yates, Cal State University, East Bay, was presented with the Chairman's Award for her work as Chair of Leadership Hayward. Yates is a long-standing Chamber member and a graduate of Leadership Hayward, Class of 2006-2007.

Not only is the Hayward Chamber of Commerce celebrating its 70th anniversary, Leadership Hayward, sponsored by the Chamber in cooperation with the City of Hayward and California State University, East Bay, celebrates its 20th anniversary.

"The Chamber tries to make your businesses more successful and the City of Hayward a better place in which to work and live. The past year has been a difficult time, economically, but, with your support and that of staff, the Hayward Chamber has remained one of the largest and most active in the East Bay," said Peck. "Our services are expanding and our membership grows. Brian Schott did an excellent job as Interim Executive Director and Kim Huggett continues the good work."

The Latino Business Roundtable has firmly established itself as an important partner. The Non-Profit Alliance, coordinated by Hayward Area Historical Society Executive Director Myron Freedman, consists of the Chamber's 57 non-profit members. Chamber directors and members sit on the Council Economic Development Committee, the Climate Action Management Team, Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board, the Planning Commission, Hayward Redevelopment Area Committee and Hayward Unified School District's Fiscal Integrity and Transparency Advisory Group. There is greater communication between the City and the Chamber which have jointly hosted several seminars, such as the Restaurant Boot Camp. The organization's ambassadors, under Ed Mullins' leadership, reach out to members and potential members and provide strong representation at mixers and ribbon cuttings.

Hayward Downtown street parties continue to be the Bay Area's greatest opportunity for family reunions per block. There was a spectacular Light Up the Season event in partnership with the City and the Santa Paws Pet Parade proved popular. The Chamber-hosted State of the City Address at Chabot College was well-attended. After a two-year hiatus from the travel business, almost 50 people travelled to Tuscany, Italy; there are plans for another trip next Spring. The business federation also started communicating electronically this year and is now on Facebook. The Chairman's Leadership Circle has recruited several companies to invest in the agency - PG&E, Kaiser Permanente, Calpine, St. Rose Hospital, Bay Area News Group, Eden Medical Center, R. Zaballos & Sons and others who have made contributions, including Wells Fargo, AT&T, and Waste Management of Alameda County.

"None of the past year's achievements could have been accomplished without the organization's volunteers and dedicated staff led by Susan Ojeda-Cobos who has been with the Chamber for 36 years," said Peck appreciatively.

"On behalf of the Leadership Hayward Class of 2010-2011, I'd like to thank the Chamber, Dr. Doris Yates, our employers and colleagues who gave us the time and opportunity to participate in this tremendous program. I've learned more about Hayward's past, present and future plans in the past nine months than in the 20 years, or more, as a member of the city's Downtown community. My classmates and I have forged friendships and made useful contacts that will help for many years to come," said Sheryl Knudson, Executive Assistant, R. Zaballos & Sons.

"We were privy to an inside view of the City of Hayward and of some of the best local businesses. We learned about the city's beautification project, the art and science of public policy and assessed the challenges of meeting so many needs with limited funds. There is a vast array of public and private educational institutions in the city, from the university at 'the top of the hill' to the community programs that provide pre-school and day-care services. Chabot College has a state-of-the art meeting space and television studio. Members of the business community and non-profits are using media and social networking to reach out and encourage others to become involved. We were able to closely inspect some of the area's finest healthcare facilities, learn how delivery of construction projects is assured and observe police and fire demonstrations of cutting edge technology and learn of the studies underway to improve public safety service. The passion of the employers and employees, whom we met, what they do for their work, for their families and for our community were insightful. It's clear the collaborations, partnerships and synergy toward which we all work will help make Hayward an even better place."

Graduates of the Leadership Hayward Class of 2010-11 are Landon Baines (Morgan Stanley), Gary M. Carter, Dawn L. Ellerbe (CSUEB), Jasmine Gacusan (City of Hayward), Sheryl Knudson (R. Zaballos & Sons), Mark Koller (Hayward Police Department), Miri Lee (St. Rose Hospital), Martin Lesica (Eden Medical Center), Noel Munivez (Hayward Area Recreation and Park District), Iris Murillo (Life Chiropractic West), Laura Orabi (Hayward Unified School District), Michele Pacheco (Bay Valley Medical Group), Alexandra Pastor (Fiduciary Trust Company), Bernadette Sledge-Daya (Ruus Elementary School), Bernardo Varela (Hayward Unified School District), Maria Walter (City of Hayward) and Alison Wenz (Hayward Area Historical Society).

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