• Message from the President and CEO

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    April 2017

    We are now officially into the second quarter of 2017. Where did the time go? April showers certainly are going to bring May flowers and the early showing has been spectacular. But before we leave the first quarter, I’d like to again congratulate the winners and all of the nominees for Business of the Year. Last month, we hosted the annual State of the City dinner and it was a night to celebrate and recognize all Chamber businesses and volunteers. The event was a success and we are honored as an organization to collaborate with so many brilliant, dedicated, and exceptional businesses. Each and every one of you lends us credibility and strength.

    We recognized the following award winners at the State of the City dinner:

    Green Business of the Year: San Rafael Airport LLC
    Small Business of the Year: Sun First Solar
    Large Business of the Year: EO Products
    Co- Citizen of the Year: Bill Carney and Tamra Peters, Sustainable San Rafael, Resilient Neighborhoods
    City Employee of the Year: Lynn Murphy, Mental Health Outreach
    Mary Lou Jacobson Outstanding Chamber Board Member: Tim Hoyle, According to Hoyle
    Elissa Giambastiani Business Advocacy Award: Roger Smith, Circle Bar Trust

    As we head into spring, the San Rafael Leadership class is finalizing their class project, Pedal Power. Each class of the San Rafael Leadership Institute conceives of and carries out a class project. The skills achieved in this group setting, which include leadership vision, facilitated debate and decision making, are geared to assist each and every person in mastering collaboration and collective problem solving. This year, the 25 participants set out a goal of supporting and encouraging bicycle riding in Marin County by installing emergency repair stations in San Rafael and throughout the County. These Fixit Stations include all the tools necessary to perform on-the-road basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. Through a very generous grant from Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM), several Fixit Stations will be installed. The unveiling of the first Fixit Station will take place on May 10th at the Albert J. Boro Community Center (formerly Pickleweed Park). Check our website calendar later this month for details.

    The Education Committee will host the annual Excellence in Education Awards this spring on Wednesday, May 17, 5-7pm at the Smith Rafael Film Center. The San Rafael Chamber Education Committee has recognized over 100 deserving recipients with these awards over the past 17 years. The Chamber has a long history of supporting education. We support programs and legislation that create a qualified and capable workforce. We actively participate in the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay, host a student on School to Career Job Shadow day and encourage local businesses to provide meaningful internship experiences. That does not compare to the enormous contribution that our educators give to our kids, but recognizing the accomplishments of outstanding educators every year and welcoming new teachers every fall is our small way of saying thank you for all that they do for our children every day.

    The Health and Wellness Resource Group (HWRG) will be joining Dominican University’s Wellness Fair this spring on Thursday, April 27th, 11am-1pm. HWRG committee members meet monthly to promote health and wellness-related resources and information to increase the financial success of businesses and the personal well-being of individuals. They are helping business owners and managers support the health of their employees and understand the value of doing so. This is the first time we have partnered with Dominican University’s Wellness Fair. The HWRG members will be on campus to educate students, faculty and staff how to lead a healthier life.

    This is just a sample of the committee activity planned for 2017. If you wish to get involved and make a difference by participating on a committee, please call the Chamber office at 415-454-4163 and we’ll get you connected to our talented volunteer committee Chairs.

    However, if you don’t have the time to serve on a committee or attend an event or participate in one of our programs, no fear – the Chamber is working for you, Promoting Business and Building Community at the same time. When you have a question, need a resource or face a problem, we’ll be here for you.


    Joanne K. Webster

    President and CEO   
    415 454 4163 x 101

  • 'Message from the President & CEO' is typically released every other month