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Chamber a champ at political advocacy

POSTED June 27, 2009 2:22 p.m.
The Turlock Chamber of Commerce garnered statewide recognition earlier this month, as the California Chamber of Commerce bestowed the President’s Circle award on the local chamber.
“We were pretty honored,” said Sharon Silva, Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO. “There were only 13 chambers in the entire State of California that were recognized.”
The President’s Circle award, presented to recognize chamber excellence in political advocacy relating to business issues, was a new award, given out for the first time by CalChamber this year.
The elite group of chambers chosen to receive the President’s Circle award was primarily composed of much larger cities such as Napa, Long Beach, Riverside, and Bakersfield.
“A lot of people don’t understand why chambers such as ours in smaller communities become so politically involved,” Silva said. “The truth is we are the advocacy voice for business, and if we didn’t make sure we were working on all levels — local, state, county, and federal — when it comes to meeting the needs of helping businesses stay in business, then we wouldn’t be doing our job.”
Members of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce were formally honored for their achievements in keeping businesses informed of labor laws, working closely with legislators, and participating in legislative summits during a President’s Circle dinner on May 18. The next day, the Turlock Chamber was recognized in front of Chambers from around the state during the CalChamber Business Summit in Sacramento.
Silva said that winning the President’s Circle award was unexpected, as the Chamber did not apply, nor was it aware of the new award before receiving an e-mail announcing its victory. However, going forward, the Chamber hopes to win the award again next year through pursuing the best for its businesses at every level of government.
“What we’re really doing is meeting is our mission, what the purpose of our agency is,” Silva said. “What we do is be supportive for our businesses, keep our businesses informed, and work with them.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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