5/7/14 It’s a very exciting time for the city of Tustin, and I personally am very proud to be part of the Tustin Chamber of Commerce. With the recent completion of the Tustin Ranch Road bridge overpass at Edinger Road, the opening of two Marriott hotels and the resumption of some really exciting developments at the Legacy, Tustin is one of the most exciting cities in Orange County – which makes it a really great place to live and to do business!
In fiscal year 2014, the Chamber has seen similar strides that have paralleled the City’s progress. Last September, the Chamber held its first golf tournament in four years – a hugely successful event with over 80 participants and a terrific fundraiser for our designated charitable organization, the Tustin Community Foundation.
On Sunday, March 16, the Tustin Chamber of Commerce held its 3rd Annual Leprechaun Leap 5k race at the District. The race included a .4 mile lap inside the South Hangar. The race was run by nearly 1400 runners – that’s twice as many as last year. We raised several thousand dollars, a portion of which will be donated to Tustin Community Foundation, our designated charitable organization. The race was a truly successful collaboration with the City, TCF and the Chamber. We look forward to making this annual event a regular citywide calendar event.
Upcoming events for the Chamber include Chili Cook-Off, the State of the City and the Gala. On June 1, the Chamber will host a hospitality tent at the Chili Cook-Off for members and business professionals to network. On June 5, the Chamber and the City will collaborate on the 19th Annual State of the City which will be held in the evening for the first time and at the opening of the new Tustin Market Place Community Center. Then on June 27, the Chamber will feature the Four Tops Revue and a DJ at the 57th Annual Gala, an event that is certain to be a crowd pleaser.
Another highlight for the Chamber has been with its Board of Directors and Ambassador programs. I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to these two outstanding membership groups that have been instrumental in bringing about so many positive changes to our organization. Our Board now includes a diverse group of professionals ranging from an attorney, two CPAs, a reverend, a banker, city and school district officials, real estate professionals and several highly successful business owners. Our Ambassador program has seen tremendous growth and success growing from just a few members to a group of fourteen very involved and dedicated individuals. Many of these Ambassadors represent the future leadership of the Chamber, and we are very fortunate to have their participation and membership.
The Chamber is continuing its path towards infrastructure and fiscal improvements, paving a way towards a more resilient organization. We recently upgraded our computer, network and WiFi systems, hired a new Office Manager (Juanita Jaros) and strengthened our balance sheet by building of cash reserves and paying down of debt.
Working with the City; Into the Future . . .
Our relationships with the City and legislative officials run deep, and our relevancy in the community is profound. We will strive to continue to strengthen our ties with the City of Tustin through our Business and Economic Development Committee (BEDC) which meets every month, is attended by several City officials and has seen a significant increase in popularity due mostly to Vice Chairman Jon Kimbrell’s steadfast dedication and continuous efforts. The Chamber is currently working on a plan in collaboration with the City to develop a visitors’ / tourist bureau that would work towards increasing revenues within Tustin by attracting more tourism.
Our plans throughout 2014 are to engage our members and the community in activities that will inspire and produce economic growth and an improved quality of life for the citizens and businesses that are part of Tustin. I encourage and welcome all those who do business in Tustin to join us at the Chamber as we unite to contribute to a greater Tustin with benefits to all who live, shop, work and travel here.
As we near the close of fiscal year 2014, I am very excited to be able to turn the Chairmanship over to Jon Kimbrell. Jon has already assembled a strong, diverse Board of Directors that promises to be effective. I am very confident that Jon, the Board and the Ambassadors are very well positioned to continue to bring success to the Chamber and the City well into the future.