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a strong local economy , creating network opportunities , promoting our community , representing local business interests to regional and state government , and political action .”

When it comes to building a strong local economy , Turner said “ It ’ s about getting our community to shift their spending habits by shopping locally , especially those who work outside of Gilroy . Even a 10 percent change makes a huge difference .”
The City of Gilroy provides the Chamber with its RFPs so the Chamber can notify local businesses of opportunities . Chamber members often provide each other with referrals and discounts . This can be a real benefit to small business as well as some of the largest members such as the Gilroy Unified School District .
“ On the politics and policymaking front , we ’ re constantly tracking activity by state lawmakers ,” Turner said . “ Our government relations committee makes recommendations to Chamber members about new legislation coming out of Sacramento .”
“ We meet six times a year with the Silicon Valley Coalition of Chambers . We can make our voices heard louder and stronger together , as we did recently on the issue of the minimum wage increase .”
The Gilroy Chamber sponsored the March 1st State of the City address by Mayor Roland Velasco . On April 20th , it will host the Fifth Annual Legislative Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn . The Summit provides a platform for Q & A with our region ’ s key representatives : Zoe Lofgren , Jimmy Panetta , Bill Monning , Anna Caballero , Mike Wasserman , John Varela , and the Mayors of Gilroy and Morgan Hill . The Chamber will also be hosting a State Assembly Candidates ’ Forum .
As Turner explained it , “ This is how we represent local business interests to government through our elected officials . Through forums that encourage friendly debate and spark productive conversations , person to person .”
Planting Seeds
Gilroy ’ s Economic Development Corporation , led by Tammy Brownlow , and the Gilroy Welcome Center , managed by Jane Howard , are both offspring of the Chamber that spun off years ago . “ Today , we ’ re all strategic partners ,” Turner said .
The Chamber also facilitates a connection between the business and education sectors of Gilroy . “ We liked what John Horner had done with ‘ Rock the Mock ,’ and we adopted it with a few tweaks to fit our community ’ s needs .” The event connects high school students with local business and community leaders in mock job interviews . The kids learn to dress for success , ace a job interview , and establish a good social media presence .
“ At last year ’ s Rock the Mock I gave a talk about the six words to remember in the business world . . . Show Up and Do Your Job . I talked about earning money mowing lawns as a kid . And the time I got a pink slip early in my career and learned to keep going after a setback . The kids enjoyed it . At this year ’ s Rock the Mock , we had a job fair and by the end of it , 35 students had landed summer or part-time jobs with local employers .”
This summer , the Garlic City Car Show will return . The Chamber has been running the event for two years and according to Turner , “ we took it up a notch or two .”
In the fall , the Chamber will support the Gilroy Gardens annual Business Expo , during which the park is open to the public and residents can connect with local business owners . The event typically draws up to 1,000 attendees .
Last year the Chamber also tried a new idea . “ Pumpkin People was a great promotion to get people into the local restaurants through the month of October ,” Turner said . “ Chefs created special dishes that included pumpkin as an ingredient . Restaurant goers got their passports stamped with each sampling of a pumpkin dish at a participating restaurant . Meanwhile , Gilroy residents decorated their yards with Pumpkin People . The community really got into the spirit of the event .”
A Place for Arts & Tourism
Gilroy has a strong heritage as a community that has embraced music , theater , and fine arts .
According to Turner , “ Art is an asset that brings locals and visitors to our downtown . We ’ ve commissioned an Italian artist , Gianni Martino , to create a mural celebrating the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley . In September he ’ ll begin work on an 18x45 foot mural on the CMAP building . Most people don ’ t realize that California ’ s wine industry began right here in South County and it ’ s a growing industry . The mural will help tell that story .”
Knowing that sports events are a big draw in communities like Gilroy that have young families , the Chamber ’ s “ wishlist ” includes a 5K and 10K Fun Run . Its members hope to implement such an event this year .
The Relationship Guy
Eric Howard serves the Chamber as its Business Relationship Manager . Howard is a former retailer and partner in a dealership . He ’ s got some majorly impressive boxing memorabilia on his office wall . For the past two years Eric has been involved with membership , organizing mixers and breakfast meetings , being an ambassador , and helping to run the annual business expo , among other things .
“ Mark is an outstanding leader , even tempered with a good sense of humor and an amazing work ethic ,” Howard said .
“ I love this staff and we have a great board that ’ s focused on helping our membership . As a small business , you have one voice . In the Chamber , you ’ re part of a 700-member organization representing about 15,000 employees . It ’ s easier to make your voice heard .”
The Front Office
The Chamber ’ s Membership Support and Engagement Coordinator is Candace van Sambeek . Her focus is marketing , notably social media and email campaign management . She ’ s also been serving as an administrative assistant to the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation .
“ All my work is very mission driven ,” van Sambeek said . “ The people here are great to work with and there ’ s always a lot going on in Gilroy . We don ’ t have a slow month around here . Everybody
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a strong local economy, creating network opportunities, promoting our community, representing local business interests to regional and state government, and political action.” When it comes to building a strong local economy, Turner said “It’s about getting our community to shift their spending habits by shopping locally, especially those who work outside of Gilroy. Even a 10 percent change makes a huge difference.” The City of Gilroy provides the Chamber with its RFPs so the Chamber can notify local businesses of opportunities. Chamber members often provide each other with referrals and discounts. This can be a real benefit to small business as well as some of the largest members such as the Gilroy Unified School District. “On the politics and policymaking front, we’re constantly tracking activity by state lawmakers,” Turner said. “Our government relations committee makes recommendations to Chamber members about new legislation coming out of Sacramento.” “We meet six times a year with the Silicon Valley Coalition of Chambers. We can make our voices heard louder and stronger together, as we did recently on the issue of the minimum wage increase.” The Gilroy Chamber sponsored the March 1st State of the City address by Mayor Roland Velasco. On April 20th, it will host the Fifth Annual Legislative Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn. The Summit provides a platform for Q&A with our region’s key representatives: Zoe Lofgren, Jimmy Panetta, Bill Monning, Anna Caballero, Mike Wasserman, John Varela, and the Mayors of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. The Chamber will also be hosting a State Assembly Candidates’ Forum. As Turner explained it, “This is how we represent local business interests to government through our elected officials. Through forums that encourage friendly debate and spark productive conversations, person to person.” Planting Seeds Gilroy’s Economic Development Corporation, led by Tammy Brownlow, and the Gilroy Welcome Center, managed by Jane Howard, are both offspring of the Chamber that spun off years ago. “Today, we’re all strategic partners,” Turner said. The Chamber also facilitates a connec- tion between the business and education sectors of Gilroy. “We liked what John Horner had done with ‘Rock the Mock,’ and we adopted it with a few tweaks to fit our community’s needs. tQٕ)͍́Ց́ݥѠ)ͥ́չ䁱́)ѕ٥̸Q́ɸѼɕ)ȁՍ̰ѕ٥ܰ)х͠ͽɕ͕+qЁЁ啅ˊéIѡ5$ٔ)хЁѡͥݽɑ́Ѽɕ)ѡͥ́ݽɱM܁U)eȁ)$хЁɹ)䁵ݥݹ́́ѡ)ѥ$Ёͱɱ䁥䁍ɕ)ɹѼѕȁ͕д)Q́啐иЁѡ́啅ˊe)Iѡ5ݔȁ)ѡаԁՑ́)յȁȁеѥ́ݥѠ)̻t)Q́յȰѡɱ )M܁ݥɕɸQ ȁ́)չѡٕЁȁݼ啅́)ɑѼQɹȰqݔѽЁ)эȁݼt)%ѡѡ ȁݥ)ѡɽɑ́Յ ͥ)ɥݡѡɬ́)ѼѡՉɕͥ́)ݥѠͥ́ݹ̸Qٕ)䁑Ʌ́Ѽİѕ̸)1Ё啅ȁѡ ȁͼɥ)܁qAյA݅́)ɕЁɽѥѼЁѼѡ)ɕхɅ́ѡɽ՝ѡѠ)=ѽȳtQɹȁͅq ́ɕѕ)́͡ѡЁՑյ)ɕиIхɅЁ́Ёѡ)́хݥѠͅ)յ͠Ёѥѥ)ɕхɅи5ݡɽɕͥ)Ʌѕѡȁɑ́ݥѠAյ)AQչɕ䁝ЁѼ)ѡɥЁѡٕлt)Aȁ̀Qɥʹ)ɽ䁡́ɽɥх́)չѡЁ́ɅͥѡѕȰ)̸)ɑѼQɹȰqЁ͕́)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)AI%05d)ѡЁɥ́́٥ͥѽ́Ѽ)ݹѽݸ]eٔͥ)%хѥа5ѥѼɕє)ɅɅѥѡ]ɥ́)Mф ɄY丁%Mѕȁe)ݽɬԁЁɅ)ѡ 5@ե5Ёe)ɕ锁ѡЁ ɹéݥ)ɥЁɔMѠ չ䁅ӊe)ɽݥ丁QɅݥ)ѕѡЁѽ今t)-ݥѡЁٕ́́ɔ)Ʌ܁չѥ́ɽѡ)ٔչ̰ѡ ˊe+qݥ͡ӊtՑ́,,ո)Iո%́́Ѽ)ՍٕЁѡ́啅ȸ)QIѥ͡)ɥ!݅ɐ͕ٕ́ѡ ȁ)́ ͥ́Iѥ͡5ȸ)!݅ɐ́ɵȁɕхȁѹ)͡!éЁͽɱ)ɕͥٔ᥹Ʌ)́݅ȁѡЁݼ啅)ɥ́ٽٕݥѠȴ)͡ɝ饹́ɕ)ѥ̰ͅȰ)ѼոѡՅͥ́)ѡȁѡ̸+q5ɬ́хȰ)ٕѕɕݥѠ͕͔)յȁ饹ݽɬѡt)!݅ɐͅ+q$ٔѡ́хݔٔɕ)ɐѡӊé͕)́͡͵̰ͥ)ٔٽ%ѡ Ȱ׊eɔ)Ёȁɝѥ)ɕɕ͕ѥЀ԰啕̸)%ӊéͥȁѼȁٽɐt)QɽЁ=)Q ˊé5͡M)Ё ɑѽȁ́ )مM!ȁ́́ɭѥ)хͽ)иMéͼ͕٥)ɅѥٔͥхЁѼѡɽ)ٕЁ Ʌѥ+qݽɬٕ́䁵ͥɥٕt)مMͅqQɔɔ)ɕЁѼݽɬݥѠѡɗé݅)Ёɽ丁]eЁٔ)ͱ܁Ѡɽչɔٕ剽)ѽ乍) ѥՕ(