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also have a strong connection with the City . Board Chair Rich Firato and I meet monthly with Mayor Tate and City Manager Christina Turner . The collaboration between local government and community organizations over the last year has grown exponentially .”

Horner noted that while the Chamber is about 90 percent small businesses ( less than 50 employees ), the majority of the City ’ s large businesses are also members . Roughly 50 percent of operating funds come from member dues and advertising revenues , and the balance comes from annual events .
Horner is also Board Vice Chair of the Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition , which represents 18 chambers from San Francisco to Hollister that meet bimonthly to share information and best practices regarding issues of education , housing , land use , regulatory environment and transportation .
“ It ’ s good for South County to be aware and have a voice in what ’ s happening up north and throughout our region ,” Horner said .
Honoring Community Servants
Last month , the Chamber hosted its 60th Annual Celebrate Morgan Hill event at the Britton Middle School gym . Attendees filled the gym decked out in their “ Prom Night ” finery in a nod to the event ’ s theme .
“ It ’ s the longest-running awards program in Morgan Hill ,” Horner said . “ The community-at-large nominates the candidates , and winners from the past five years make the final selections . Our city has amazing people who go above and beyond , year after year . This year we honored Kathy and Brian Sullivan as Woman and Man of the Year ; our first married couple to capture the well-deserved honors .”
Tapping Into Talent
The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is guided by a 14-member board representing large and small business , education , local agencies , and the hospitality industry .
According to Firato , “ As a board , we don ’ t want to waste anyone ’ s time . Everyone is busy . We leverage our individual talents and passions . This is what makes serving on the board enjoyable and motivates people to do their best .”
“ So , for example , Mark Phillips brings his professional expertise in the resorts and tourism industry ,” Firato said . “ Diana Wood used her skill as a motivational speaker and executive development coach in co-chairing Rock the Mock this year . Ken Murray ’ s putting his tech industry background to work in leading our government relations committee .”
Firato has been involved with the Chamber since 2009 , and he led the decision to hire John Horner as President and CEO .
“ John is passionate about education . He spearheaded the Rock the Mock program which has been a huge success in preparing students for the job interview experience .”
Firato ’ s passion for music is the driving force behind the Friday Night Music series , which regularly attracts some 2,000 visitors into downtown Morgan Hill for live music , dancing , refreshments and lots of socializing .
“ It ’ s become like a ‘ little Shoreline Amphitheater ,’” Firato said . “ There ’ s no other venue like our Downtown Amphitheater in South County . Regional bands can play for their fans . Local vendors can promote their goods . Kiwanis donates proceeds from food sales to our schools . Leadership Morgan Hill installed the amphitheater lights . Volunteers love to come and pour wine . Everyone gets involved .”
Board member Sunday Minnich serves as the organizer for the Annual Taste of Morgan Hill and Car Show , held the last weekend in September . It is now in its 29th year .
Networking and New Ideas
The Chamber ’ s Member and Community Relations Director is Brittney Sherman . As a former sales director for Marriott Hotels , she not only brings a strong hospitality industry background to her role , but she ’ s a savvy communicator and marketer . She also worked for Frank Léal during his renovation of the Granada Theater .
“ We ’ re fortunate that Morgan Hill is a very sharing community ,” Sherman said . “ Our long-time members show up to our mixers and ribbon cuttings . They know new members really need to network . We help small companies with resources and referrals . Large companies like to send their new employees to Chamber meetings and encourage them to volunteer at our events . It ’ s a great way to help them connect with our local community .”
Keen to attract more Millennials to community engagement , Sherman spearheaded a joint effort of the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Chambers of Commerce to launch the South County Young Professionals Network ( SCYP ’ N ).
“ SCYP ’ N took hold quickly ,” Sherman said . “ We have members from Morgan Hill , Gilroy and Hollister so there ’ s a regional focus now and we ’ re getting involved in a variety of activities .”
Sherman sits on a working committee to support the Amgen Tour of California ’ s one-day event in Morgan Hill .
“ We ’ re exploring lots of opportunities for the entire community to engage with this event . Things like Bike to Work and Bike to School activities , a ‘ Specialized Village ’ in the Downtown Amphitheater , a movie night , and a bike ride through our local wine country .”
Last August , Sherman joined City Councilwoman Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz , community leader Cecelia Ponzini , and others in launching , Women ’ s Week . The six-day event highlighted the work of women in our community and honored their accomplishments .
“ We had a film screening , a panel of women leaders , and other activities each day ,” Sherman said . “ It was so well received we decided to make it an annual tradition , and the city declared August 21-27 annual Women ’ s Week in Morgan Hill .”
Mellea McLaughlin is Director of Publications at the Morgan Hill Chamber . She manages the Chamber website , newsletter , social media and helps with event organization .
In 1996 , McLaughlin , a native of Texas and former U . S . Army Sergeant , moved to Morgan Hill with her husband where she focused on raising their four children and got involved volunteering at the Chamber ’ s Friday Night Music Series .
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also have a strong connection with the City. Board Chair Rich Firato and I meet monthly with Mayor Tate and City Man- ager Christina Turner. The collaboration between local government and commu- nity organizations over the last year has grown exponentially.” Horner noted that while the Chamber is about 90 percent small businesses (less than 50 employees), the majority of the City’s large businesses are also members. Roughly 50 percent of operating funds come from member dues and advertising revenues, and the balance comes from annual events. Horner is also Board Vice Chair of the Silicon Valley Chamber Coalition, which represents 18 chambers from San Francisco to Hollister that meet bi- monthly to share information and best practices regarding issues of education, housing, land use, regulatory environ- ment and transportation. “It’s good for South County to be aware and have a voice in what’s hap- pening up north and throughout our region,” Horner said. Honoring Community Servants Last month, the Chamber hosted its 60th Annual Celebrate Morgan Hill event at the Britton Middle School gym. Attendees filled the gym decked out in their “Prom Night” finery in a nod to the event’s theme. “It’s the longest-running awards program in Morgan Hill,” Horner said. “The community-at-large nominates the candidates, and winners from the past five years make the final selections. Our city has amazing people who go above and beyond, year after year. This year we honored Kathy and Brian Sullivan as Woman and Man of the Year; our first married couple to capture the well-deserved honors.” Tapping Into Talent The Morgan Hill Chamber of Com- merce and Visitors Center is guided by a 14-member board representing large and small business, education, local agencies, and the hospitality industry. According to Firato, “As a board, we don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Everyone is busy. We leverage our individual talents and passions. This is what makes serving on the board enjoyable and motivates people to do their best.” “So, for example, Mark Phillips brings his professional expertise in the resorts and tourism industry,” Firato said. “Diana Wood used her skill as a motivational speaker and executive development coach in co-chairing Rock the Mock this year. Ken Murray’s putting his tech industry background to work in leading our government relations committee.” Firato has been involved with the Chamber since 2009, and he led the decision to hire John ܛ\\\Y[[S˂'\\[ۘ]HX]YX][ۋHX\XYYHH[Bܘ[HX\Y[HYHX\[\\[Y[܈H؈[\Y]™^\Y[K'B\]&\\[ۈ܈]\X\H]B[ܘHZ[HY^HY]\Xœ\Y\XY[\H]XYB \]ܜ[۝ۈ[ܙ[[܈]H]\X[[Y\Y[˜[وX[^[˂']8&\XYHZHH8&]Hܙ[[B[\]X]\8&x'H\]ZY 8'\x&\›\[YHZH\۝ۂ[\]X]\[][KY[ۘ[[[^H܈Z\[ˈ[[ܜ[[HZ\˂][\ۘ]\YYH[\\ˈXY\\[ܙ[[[[YH[\]X]\Y˂[Y\ݙHYH[\[K]\[ۙH][Y 'B\Y[X\[^HZ[X\\\Hܙ[^\܈H[X[\Hو[ܙ[[[\[H\YZ[[\[X\]\š[] ]YX\]ܚ[[]YX\•H[X\&\Y[X\[[][]B[][ۜ\X܈\]^H\X[\HܛY\[\\X܈܈X\[[HۛH[Hۙš][]H[\HXܛ[\K]x&\H]H[][X]܈[X\]\H[ܚY܈[0X[\[\[ݘ][ۈوBܘ[YHX]\'x&\Hܝ[]H][ܙ[[\B\H\[[][]K8'H\X[ZY '\ۙ][YHY[X\\\Z^\[Xۈ][ˈ^Hۛ›]Y[X\X[HYY]ܚˈBSH8(SԑSS8(SPTSTS PVH N[X[\[Y\]\\\˜[Y\[ˈ\H\[Y\ZHœ[Z\][\YY\[X\YY][[[\YH[H[Y\]\][ˈ]8&\HܙX]^B[[HۛX]\[[][]K'BY[]X[ܙHZ[[X[[][]H[Y[Y[ \X[X\XYYH[YܝوH[ܙ[[[[H[X\و[Y\B][H][H[[”ٙ\[ۘ[]ܚ T8&SK'T8&S]ZXK8'B\X[ZY 8'H]HY[X\™H[ܙ[[ [H[\\\x&\HY[ۘ[\[x&\H][[Y[H\Y]HقX]]Y\˸'B\X[]ۈHܚ[˜[Z]YH\ܝH[Y[\و[YܛXx&\ۙKY^H][[[ܙ[[ 'x&\H^ܚ[قܝ[]Y\܈H[\H[][]B[YH]\][ [›ZHZHܚ[ZHX]]Y\H8&XX[^Y[Yx&H[B۝ۈ[\]X]\H[ݚYBY [HZHYHY\[[H[K'B\]Y\ \X[[Y]H[[X[Z][ؚ[]X[[Xދ[][]HXY\X[XB۞[K[\[][[Y[&\YZˈH^ Y^H][YYYHܚوY[[\[][]H[ۛܙYZ\X\\Y[˰'HYH[HܙY[[H[[وY[XY\[\X]]Y\™XX^K8'H\X[ZY 8']\[XZ]YHXYYXZH][[X[Y][ۋ[H]HX\Y]Y\ KL[X[Y[&\YZ[[ܙ[[ 'BY[XHX]Y[\\X܂وXX][ۜ]H[ܙ[[[X\HX[Y\H[X\X]K]]\X[YYXH[[]][ܙ[^][ۋ[ NNMX]Y[H]]Hق^\[ܛY\Kˈ\^H\X[ [ݙY[ܙ[[]\\ؘ[\HH\YۈZ\[Z\\[[[[Y[Y\[]H[X\&\Y^BY]\X\Y\˂Z^KB