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Turlock Chamber wins big at Western conference
Sharon Silva
Turlock Chamber of Commerce President/ Chief Executive Officer Sharon Silva was named the Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year. - photo by Journal file photo

The Turlock Chamber of Commerce made quite an impression last weekend at the Western Association of Chamber Executives’ annual management conference in Las Vegas. Turlock Chamber President/ Chief Executive Officer Sharon Silva was named the Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year and the Business News was awarded first place in the Magazine competition for chambers with under 1,000 members.

“It’s a very big honor for the Turlock Chamber,” said Paul Porter, chamber board of directors chair. “Sharon does a phenomenal job. (The awards) speak volumes about Sharon herself and her staff. We also have a great board and wonderful partnerships with the city, community and legislators.”

W.A.C.E. is an association of chamber executives and staff professionals with members in 14 Western states designed to promote and enhance the professional development of chamber of commerce executives.  With over 800 members, W.A.C.E. is the largest state or regional association of chamber of commerce executives in the United States.

The Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year award is given each year to the chamber executive who has excelled in the following areas during the past year: financial management, communications, legislative affairs, membership programs and community services performed by the chamber.

Silva has been Turlock Chamber’s CEO since 1999.

“I love what I do because it’s so rewarding working with the businesses, decision makers and community partners in Turlock. It’s a privilege to work with the economic engines of our community,” said Silva.

Silva has seen a lot of changes in the focus of the chamber over her 13-year tenure.

“Chambers have become much more legislatively involved,” she said. “They’ve seen the benefits of working with decision makers and legislators. They’ve also become much more educational, such as with our Business Summit, and informational like with our CEO Roundtable discussions.”

Business News has been the Turlock Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly magazine since 2009. The publication is a means to keep chamber members informed on important business and legislative news and serves as an informational source for the community.

Silva and the Turlock Chamber are no strangers to accolades. The Turlock Chamber of Commerce has received the President’s Circle award from the California Chamber of Commerce for the last three years. The President’s Circle award recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws.

Silva was recognized in 2011 as the 26th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.

“Sharon’s distinguished list of accomplishments is a decade-long testimony of her commitment to the success of our community.  She has been acclaimed for her leadership roles with multiple organizations, including past board member of the Turlock Community Theater, board member of CSU Stanislaus School of Business Administration and Stanislaus County Workforce Alliance Board.  I am honored to recognize her service to the community,” said Assemblyman Bill Berryhill in March 2011.