The Irvine Chamber of Commerce was recently awarded five prestigious awards at the Western Association of Chamber Executives’ annual conference held at the Disneyland Hotel, February 4 – 6, 2015. The W.A.C.E. Conference had over 500 participants and over 850 total members from chambers of commerce across the Western United States and Canada.
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce were Honored with the following W.A.C.E. awards:
Photo: The Business Outreach Rally staff and volunteer leadership (L to R)- David Hammers (Irvine Chamber), Massis Chahbazian (Co-Chair of Business Attraction and Retention Committee), Anthony Crouch (Irvine Chamber), Linda DiMario (Irvine Chamber), David White (Co-Chair of Business Attraction and Retention Committee), David Anduri (Chair of Economic Vitality Council).
“The success of the Business Outreach Rally can be attributed to great volunteer leadership and the unselfish commitment of over one hundred, hard-working Chamber members,” said Linda DiMario, Senior Director of Economic Development and Tourism at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “Imagine fielding an army of volunteers, fully employed or company owners, who enthusiastically spend a whole or half day calling on Irvine businesses. Their trust and confidence exponentially extended the Chamber’s capacity to outreach to the Irvine business community and share valuable resources designed to help them grow their business. Almost 1,000 businesses heard that message. And an inspiring volunteer corp delivered it more powerfully than any marketing the Chamber could do. “
About the Business Outreach Rally
The Chamber’s Economic Vitality Council initiated a twice yearly, member-driven business outreach program to help improve business retention in Irvine, identify challenges and offer businesses resources to help them grow. Chamber volunteers were trained and directed to area buildings and office parks armed with a three question survey, a Business Resource Guide and a free admission to the Business Exchange networking event. It benefited the Irvine Chamber, the volunteer making the outreach and the business that was contacted.
“These awards are a great testament to the dedication of our staff, volunteer and partners,” said Tallia Hart, President and CEO of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “They work tirelessly throughout the year to accomplish our mission and serve the Irvine business community. We are proud to receive this recognition and be an example of excellence in our industry.”
About the Western Association of Chamber Executives
W.A.C.E. is the premier association of chamber of commerce executives and staff professionals with members in 20 Western states and Canada. The association’s mission is to promote and enhance professional development of chamber of commerce executives. With approximately 860 members, W.A.C.E. is the largest state or regional association of chamber of commerce executives in the United States. http://www.waceonline.com/
About the Irvine Chamber of Commerce
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential Chambers in Orange County, representing more than 800 businesses in the area. The Irvine Chamber’s mission is to promote an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of local businesses while offering members a wide range of benefits, services, programs and information. The organization serves as a catalyst for local economic growth by: promoting the city as a dynamic business and tourism destination; providing valuable training and networking opportunities; and advocating for the interests of the business community with federal, state and local officials. The Irvine Chamber remains the largest business organization in Orange County and one of the most innovative in the nation, and has received a Four Star Accreditation with the United States Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.irvinechamber.com.
The Irvine Chamber offers a robust series of free, online webinars to help businesses grow and prosper, explore new markets and strategies and navigate the world of trade and export. Initiated several years ago, these webinars now serve the interests of hundreds of member and non-member businesses every year. Interactive by design, participants are encouraged to ask their questions, share their comments and engage with the facilitator and the speaker(s) during the webinar.
On March 5, 2015 at 12:05pm, join Robert Coleman, president of the Pacific Venture Club and Catherine Marshall, an expert adviser to nonprofits and entrepreneurs, for a discussion on “How to Market Your Business by Working with Nonprofits”. The Irvine Chamber webinar program can be accessed from the Irvine Chamber Economic Development Website. Catherine Marshall is the author of Field Building: Your Blueprint for Creating an Effective and Powerful Social Movement and an independent consultant specializing in coalition building strategies for nonprofits and microenterprise entities. Catherine Marshall, an expert adviser to nonprofits and entrepreneurs for more than twenty years, will show how the two worlds of for-profit and nonprofit enterprises are closer to one another than many think. Catherine will cover how to “cross the divide” between for-profit and nonprofit organizational entities and how to form alliances with nonprofits that can lead to marketing and revenue opportunities.
“Identify Theft and the IRS: Keep yourself SAFE!” will be the topic on the March 12 webinar. Identity theft and fraud are big businesses these days. Not only have you read about it, you probably know somebody yourself who has been the victim of identity theft or may even have experienced it yourself. However, what you may not be aware of is that identity theft extends far beyond others using your credit card accounts or running up bank charges in your name. Criminals are now filing taxes for others fraudulently, stealing their tax refunds, and creating havoc with their credit reports. Fortunately, the IRS knows that tax-related identity theft is a frustrating process for victims and is committed to working with you. Join this webinar presented by Neki Cox of IRS Communications Outreach Systems and Solutions and she will show you how to protect your identity from criminal breaches and the warning signs of potential identity theft.
On March 19, 2015 at 12:05pm, “Five Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cybercrime in Your Business” will be the topic of this free live webinar. Do you know what threats exist in this day and age targeting your business? After this webinar presented by Sherman Crancer of IPBidders.com, you’ll be able to see what threats are out there and how to protect your business from nefarious attacks. Sherman will cover 5 key steps to take to reduce the risk of cybercrime. The world is changing, and so too is the threat landscape. The growth in information technology is attracting more and more cyber criminals looking to steal the valuable corporate data produced and consumed with this technology. From intellectual property to protected health information, from digital financial assets to trade secrets shared within the corporate network, attacks to the vital information that drives our businesses are becoming more commonplace, and the associated risks also increase as cyber-crime becomes more profitable and prevalent. This program is being presented in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration located in Santa Ana, CA.
“Virtual Reality and Small Business Opportunities” with presenterBen Delaney, the Founder and CEO of CyberEdge will be featured on the March 26 Irvine Builds Businesses Webinar Program.
You may have already heard about the technology of Virtual Reality: immersive, interactive, three-dimensional experiences which participants can enter worlds from the privacy of their own homes or offices. You may have seen or even tried on a Head-Mounted Display, the viewing device that immerses users in virtual worlds.
What you may not know is that virtual reality products and services have been available for more than twenty years. New, lower-cost options will soon create a bonanza of follow-on support products that will include everything from specialized websites to entertainment and education products, to product design services. Industry giants such as Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung and Google are leading the charge to affordable, accessible VR. Imagine being able to design a motor in 3D, walking through your dream home and being able to look around you from a thousand miles away, or being able to watch a sports event as though you really ARE there. These and many other virtual reality applications are available today, and at surprisingly affordable prices.
Could you be a part of this? Join author and virtual reality expert Ben Delaney to understand what Virtual Reality is, and a quick look at the first golden age of Virtual Reality.
By Linda DiMario Starting a new year is full of possibilities and this high energy,
well-connected Chamber of Commerce, and its Economic
Development and Destination Irvine work, is already kick
starting this action plan for 2015. New initiatives, next stage
projects and the continued support of the smartest, most
dedicated Chamber volunteers who ever powered an agenda
is how we do it!
Everything is happening under the auspices of the Economic
Vitality Council (EVC), chaired by David Anduri, Citizens
Business Bank. The EVC and over 100 Chamber members
are re-inventing what it means to influence the economic
vitality of a community. And, while they are busy making
Irvine a better place to do business, they are also burnishing
their reputations, increasing exposure for their businesses,
expanding their knowledge base and extending their
networks and connections.
This win-win approach has launched and sustained so many
new initiatives that “kick starting” almost seems to be an
Take the Business Outreach Rally. Together, Ed Linck,
Eberle Company, followed by Brian Andersen, Fusion
Communications, Inc. led a Task Force that executed not one,
but two, very successful business outreach rallies in April
and October, 2014. Over 100 Chamber members unselfishly
donated over 600 hours contacting almost 1,000 Irvine
businesses. Their mission was simple but compelling: ask
the businesses how the Chamber can help them grow their
business and share our impressive resources with them. So,
how is this Task Force going to celebrate the New Year?
Kick Start: They are planning now to make the next
Business Outreach Rally in April, 2015 even better, bigger
and more effective.
Take International Outreach. This tenacious Task
Force, led by Dan Han, Ignite Payments Agape, took on the
challenge of connecting with every international chamber
and business association in Orange County. Their goal was to
identify ways to work together and leverage our considerable
assets to a common purpose: increase Irvine’s awareness as a
magnet for international business location, trade and export.
Their success was rewarded and the Chamber hosted this
prestigious group of organizations in July at which these goals
were affirmed. So, how is this Task Force moving forward?
Kick Start: By planning the first collaborative International
Trade Week event in May 2015 to celebrate our partnerships,
build awareness for trade and export opportunities and
help our businesses expand into new markets.
Take Start-Ups. Led by Seema Ali, Financial Advisor, this
Task Force took on the big challenge of trying to identify and
assemble all the people, organizations, moving parts and
elements that compose Orange County and Irvine’s business
start-up and entrepreneurial eco-system. Our expectation is
that we could better communicate Irvine’s strength as fertile
ground for start-ups if we collaborated, shared and leveraged
existing assets to create and sustain a stronger eco-system. So,
with this eclectic group assembled in November and amazing
synergies cultivated, how is this Task Force going to welcome
the New Year?
Kick Start: They will spend 2015 optimizing these
impressive connections and resources to help the Chamber
develop the best Start-Up web pages, create a “brand” for
Irvine’s start-up outreach and organize these impressive
resources to build a bigger, better start-up eco-system.
Take Entrepreneurial Education. When the Chamber
thought about investing in a high school based entrepreneur
program, Alie Gaffen, Pacifica Hotels, and her task force
members went to work. Surveying the existing programs,
uncovering new ones and identifying the Chamber’s best
opportunities was achieved. And now, it is all about making
Kick Start: Having identified and recommended a
particularly well-matched entrepreneur program for
Chamber support, we are now preparing to connect the
Chamber members with the right talents to help mentor
these eager students. Stay tuned…
Take the Middle School Financial Workshop. Led
by the intrepid and inspiring Peter Chan, Prudential, and
ably assisted by Wes Rowlands, National Youth Mentoring
Association, this task force of Chamber member facilitators
leads groups of 60 to 80 young people twice each year
through a financial knowledge and investment challenge.
These eager students participate on their own time and
with the support of their math teachers. They are amazingly
smart and it is influencing the lives of our students in a
very meaningful way.
Kick Start: Grow the program. Increase the number of
students we reach and continue to cultivate the support
of principals and teachers. Now that’s inspiring!
Take Career Pathways by Design. When Irvine Valley
College brought their Advanced Technology Education Park
to our attention, the Chamber embraced the opportunity
to work with them to create the 21st century learning and
practical experience environment. Now led by Corine
Doughty, Irvine Valley College, this business and education
collaboration is now ready to move into its next stage
fueled by an advanced manufacturing and life sciences
skills gap assessment and strong business engagement.
Their mission: to help Irvine attract and retain talent and
keep Irvine competitive into the future.
Kick Start: Explore other “learn and earn” models in
other states, meet with the businesses that will benefit
the most from a well-trained, skilled, job-ready talent
pool and begin to generate the collaborations required
to build this new educational experience. No small task
but the Chamber, IVC and all our partners are all-in.
Take our Hotel Partners. When we say: Irvine Hotel
Partners – fueling Irvine’s economic vitality – it is more
than a slogan. It is a fact. Our Irvine hotels collect a
Transient Occupancy Tax on every room sold to a business
traveler, meeting attendee or tourist. This revenue generates
millions of dollars for the City’s General Fund and supports
everything from city services to public safety. Residents
and the business community benefit from a clean safe
environment in which to live and do business. So, how
do we improve upon that? By launching more aggressive
meeting and visitor programs that will drive business to our
hotels and generate more revenue for them and the City.
Kick Start: Destination Irvine is poised to leverage
the growing economy for our hotel partners and
Irvine with another wave of incentives for corporate
meetings and an amazing, fully-loaded, Orange County
sweepstakes (airfare, hotel and attractions) running on
Trip Advisor and Expedia. Vacation time for some lucky
family is going to be particularly sweet.
These brief stories highlight the expansive scope of work
made possible by the talent and commitment of our staff
and members. Get the confetti, streamers and horns ready
because it promises to be another spectacular year!
A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Kim Sherman, IOM, Director of Membership, at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, has graduated from the program and has received the recognition of IOM. Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM Graduate Recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. In addition, participants can earn credit hours toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually.
“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”
Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates. Institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country. Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to theirorganizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.
Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.
About U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment. institute.uschamber.com @IOMeducates
We have recently developed a short, but comprehensive communications survey to help us assess and improve our Chamber communications initiatives.
If you are an Irvine Chamber member, please take a moment to complete our Communications Survey.
We will be giving away a gift basket (TBD) to a lucky respondent, selected at random.
The new issue of the Business Connection magazine, centering around ‘jump-starting the new year’ has been mailed out and is also online!
Extra copies of the Business Connection have been distributed to key places throughout Irvine as well as the Irvine Chamber of Commerce office.
Our next issue of the Business Connection magazine will be published the first week of March.
Please let us know your feedback on the Business Connection magazine by emailing our Communications Department.
Also, please be sure to complete our new Communications Survey so we can better gauge our communications initiatives.
Once completed, the trail will connect Irvine’s Open Space Preserve to a larger
trail network from the mountains to the sea
IRVINE, CA (December 15, 2014): The City of Irvine, in partnership with Irvine Company, will commemorate the opening of the next phase of the Jeffrey Open Space Trail (JOST) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 10. The 3.5-mile walking, jogging and bicycle trail, located along Jeffrey Road between the I-5 and Portola Parkway, will mark another important addition to the City’s vast permanent open space program.
The new section of the JOST features an 11-foot-wide paved and a separate 5-foot-wide decomposed granite trail, three pedestrian bridges and two undercrossings, providing for uninterrupted biking and walking connectivity through the Villages of Cypress, Woodbury and Stonegate. The trail also depicts the history of Irvine with timelines, plaques and monuments along the route.
The ribbon cutting will take place at Cypress Community Park; located at 255 Visions, Irvine. The event is free and the public is invited to attend; no RSVP is required. Following the ceremony, attendees are welcome to walk, run or bike the trail plus participate in a variety of trail activities, including a scavenger hunt and giveaways.
For more information, visit cityofirvine.org or call 949-724-6606.
Since its incorporation in 1971, Irvine has become a nationally recognized city, with a population of 242,651, spans 66 square miles and is recognized as one of America’s safest and most successful master-planned urban communities. Top-rated educational institutions, an enterprising business atmosphere, sound environmental stewardship, and respect for diversity all contribute to Irvine’s enviable quality of life. This family-friendly city features more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields and dedicated open space and is the home of the Orange County Great Park – the first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. For more information, please visit cityofirvine.org.
Program Part of More Than 40 Cities Participating in Statewide California Restaurant Month
Irvine, CA, — More than 40 Irvine and surrounding area restaurants will celebrate Irvine Restaurant Week January 9-15, 2015.
“Irvine’s international community features restaurants offering a wide variety of foods from across the globe. Irvine Restaurant Week is an incredible opportunity to experience some of this diverse dining at a value you can’t get at any other time of the year,” Haase noted. “It’s a chance for both residents and visitors to dine around the world in just over 40 square miles.”
No passes, tickets or coupons are required to participate in Irvine Restaurant Week. Diners simply visit their favorite participating restaurants during the week of January 9th-15th to enjoy special prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus. For more information on participating restaurants, check out: www.destinationirvine.com/restaurantweek.
Participating Restaurants: 90 Pacifica, Ah-Lien Hot Pot, Aioli, Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, Avocado Café, The Balcony Grill & Bar, Bluewater Grill, Capital Seafood, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, The Counter, Crystal Jade, Cucina Enoteca, Cumin, Curry House, Daily Grill, Del Frisco’s Grille, Eats Kitchen & Bar, Floe, Ha Long Vietnamese Cuisine, Ha’ Penny Pub, Il Fornaio, Lamppost Pizza, Las Fajitas Grill, Luna Rossa, LYFE Kitchen, The Melting Pot, Mokkoji Shabu Shabu Bar, Mother’s Market & Kitchen, O Fine Japanese Cuisine, Oak Creek Café, Paradise Restaurant, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Pho Saigon Pearl, Prego Ristorante, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Slater’s 50/50, Stonefire Grill, SWSH Shabu Shabu, TaiChi Cuisine, Tender Greens, Urban Plates and The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Irvine Restaurant Week is part of California Restaurant Month, designated by Visit California. Over 40 destinations across California, from the desert and coast to wine country and High Sierra, are hosting restaurant weeks and other value-driven food programming this January.
“Last year’s fourth annual California Restaurant Month was another success, with 40 participating destinations, 29 million paid media impressions and nearly 14 million earned media impressions. We’re thrilled to see the program grow so we can continue to tell California’s amazing culinary story,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president & CEO.
“California is the top U.S. destination for culinary travel – we have long been a leader in fresh produce and seafood, farm to fork dining, winemaking and more that any traveler will find a one-of-a-kind culinary experience here to suit any taste. California Restaurant Month gives visitors a chance to experience it all with special offers they won’t see at any other time of the year.”
Last year travelers in California spent $29.6 billion on food and beverages, more than for any other spending segment and constituting 29 percent of all visitor spending last year (Source: Dean Runyan Associates), Beteta said. For more information about California Restaurant Month, visit www.visitcalifornia.com/restaurantmonth.
As the official Destination Marketing Organization for Irvine, the mission of Destination Irvine is to partner with the tourism and hospitality industry to brand and promote Irvine as a preferred overnight destination in Southern California for groups, sports events, leisure visitors and business travelers. Destination Irvine’s goals are designed to enhance the economy of the city of Irvine through sustained growth in tourism spending, resulting in an increase in economic impact.
Visit California is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, travel and tourism expenditures totaled over $106 billion in 2012 in California (20 percent of which was international), supported jobs for 917,000 Californians and generated $6.6 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Visitor’s Guide, go to www.VisitCalifornia.com.
# # #
Wendy Haase, Destination Irvine,
New Director of Sales to Promote Irvine as a Preferred Overnight Destination in Southern California
Irvine, Calif. Dec. 5, 2014 – The Irvine Chamber of Commerce has hired Demea Metcalf as Director of Sales for Destination Irvine, the official destination marketing organization for Irvine. Metcalf will promote Irvine to domestic and international markets as a preferred overnight destination through a strategic program of sales initiatives that will reach meeting planners and travel buyers.
“Demea’s experience and engagement with the local business community and corporate market will widen the scope and impact of our programs,” said Linda DiMario, Sr. Director, Economic Development and Tourism, Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “She will be a great partner for our hotel sales teams.”
The Destination Irvine sales team is a one-stop resource, offering complimentary services for planning and service support to all groups holding conventions, trade shows, meetings, and public events in Irvine. Complimentary Event Service Programs include: RFP distribution, event planning assistance, site negotiations, site visits, contract negotiations, familiarization tours, off-site venue recommendations, referrals to area restaurants, shopping and attractions, and more. www.destinationirvine.com/meet.
Metcalf brings 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry to the organization. Most recently she served as a sales manager at the Embassy Suites Irvine. Prior to, she worked with the Hilton Sales Worldwide National Team in Dallas for more than seven years. She has a bachelor of science in information systems from California Baptist University and is currently working towards her master’s degree in education.
Demea Metcalf can be reached at email@example.com or (949) 502-4127.
About Destination Irvine
Under the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit 501(c)6, Destination Irvine, funded by a self-imposed assessment through a Hotel Improvement District (H.I.D.) positions Irvine as a destination for visitors, meetings and groups. Destination Irvine through direct sales efforts including database marketing, lead generation, trade show participation, and familiarization tours, sells the destination. In addition, Destination Irvine promotes Irvine through marketing, advertising and public relations efforts.
Wendy Haase, Director of Tourism Marketing
On Thursday, December 4, Irvine Valley College (IVC) President Glenn R. Roquemore will join President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden at the White House College Opportunity Summit. The Summit will bring together colleges and universities, business leaders, nonprofits and others that are committed to supporting more college opportunities for students across the country.
This year’s summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage college going, and supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. Read more about IVC’s commitment to expand college access.
Here’s how you can participate in the College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, December 4th:
Watch the entire summit live here, or at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #CollegeOpportunity
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD
All panels will be streamed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live
9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education
9:15 a.m. Panel Discussions I and II
Moderated by Cecilia Muñoz and Secretary Julian Castro, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
11:50 a.m. Remarks by THE PRESIDENT
2:45 p.m. Remarks by THE FIRST LADY
3:00 p.m. Remarks by THE VICE PRESIDENT
For media information on the Summit – Press are directed to contact: Media_Affairs@who.eop.gov and include “College Opportunity Summit Coverage” in the subject line.
Documents: Updates and Information about the summit will be posted by the White House at WhiteHouse.gov/College-Opportunity (note: this URL will be updated and the live stream will appear here).