805.643.7222 | info@ventura-chamber.org| 505 Poli St., 2nd Floor, Ventura, CA 93001
https://venturachamber.com

I Am the Chamber

Heather Arena - Three Sisters Events

The amount of growth both professionally and personally that we have had this year, we owe, in part, to our involvement in the chamber of commerce. We are so blessed by this “little” but MIGHTY community of Ventura and all the good that is happening here! We look forward to another year in the Ventura Chamber!

Nan Drake - EJ Harrison & Sons

The Ventura Chamber of Commerce is the heartbeat of the business community and a mainline artery to City Hall. The Chamber assists members with the sometimes difficult task of maneuvering through complicated City matters.  I believe that our Chamber does this (and more) through its many committees and mixers which gives the opportunity to be on top of what is happening in Ventura -- and the bonus of having fun while doing it.

We could never have gotten where we are today without the help of the Chamber!

Swift Chip is a Managed IT Services provider, serving all the IT needs of small to mid-sized businesses. We have locations in LA and Ventura counties, and provide 24/7/365 support to our many happy clients. As enthusiasts of making IT “just work” without the hassle, we are able to save our clients time and money, while keeping them on the cutting edge. We act as a contracted IT department for pennies on the dollar of what it would cost to have an in-house person, while providing an entire team’s worth of skills and experience.

Since there’s difficulty in a potential client being able to determine if an IT company is professional or not, we’ve gone out of our way to obtain the highly respected CompTIA Managed IT Services Trustmark, a 3rd party audit of our company and how we work. We hold all of our practices and policies up to scrutiny.

Additionally, IT Security is becoming ever larger of a focus for us, so expect to see some new offerings along these lines from us soon!

We’re very happy to have our two offices in Ventura, and Santa Monica, since that lets our team service a wide array of clients in SoCal.

We started small, and built the company from the ground up. We could never have gotten where we are today without the help of the Chamber!

Kenneth May
Swift Chip Inc.

There are so many opportunities for you to grow your business. Take it from me and my 11 years of being a proud Chamber member, it's worth the investment.

Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) has been a Ventura Chamber of Commerce member for over 50 years. My involvement hasn't spanned that amount of time, only 11 years, but what an 11 years it's been!

This Chamber CONNECTS. It connects business owners to the city and our local elected officials. It connects me with the best, most involved business; from restaurants to hair dressers to who I had repair my garage door when it broke last year. Most importantly, it connects me to small business owners -- helpful as I am the Business Lending Officer at VCCU.

VCCU offers everything a bank does, but with lower loan rates and higher interest rates. I pride myself on the level of service our local VCCU office gives to our membership and community. Stacy Oates, our Branch Manager in Ventura, is so dedicated to this community and the Chamber’s "Ventura Leadership" program. And I am actively involved with the Chamber's "Teacher of the Month" and "Principal for a Day" programs and I serve on the Board of Directors too. VCCU gives back in so many ways.

For more information about me, please visit the VCCU website.

Join! Renew! Get involved! There are so many opportunities for you to grow your business. Take it from me and my 11 years of being a proud Chamber member, it's worth the investment.

The Chamber helped us get here and I am looking forward to the next step already.

Photo caption: From left to right: Judy Tailor, Rachel Holst, Robert Jacobi, Lindsay German, Anthony Sewell, Karen Williams

At Main Course California, we love creating memorable events! Main Course California is a creative, service-driven catering company that specializes in sustainable, from-scratch cuisine and personalized care at every event. We specialize in off-site catering for private parties, corporate events, and weddings. From corporate cocktail parties to full-service weddings and event production, we are there every step of the way.

Main Course CaliforniaMain Course California Catering was started by Rachel Holst and Robert Jacobi in August of 2008. Originally we were going to just stick to catering. That changed when the economy hit bottom in early 2009. We decided that the only way out of the economically induced slump was to try and get as much attention in the local Ventura community as possible. We decided to open the Main Course Bistro and joined the Ventura Chamber. I figured; why not combine our talents and start creating new trends at the Chamber? In 2009 I joined the Chamber board and became the Marketing Chair. Together with then-president Sandra Burkhart and the Chamber team we created some awesome ideas to draw attention to the chamber and our company . One of the outcomes of our collaboration was what later became the well-known local event "Taste."

In 2011 Rachel and I decided to make Lindsay German our business partner. We closed the Bistro and concentrated on catering only. Main Course got noticed for our culinary ability and hospitality and customer service. We started to cater for some big names such as Lynda.com, Mercedes, Applied Silicone, VACE and CMH to name a few. We are currently the exclusive caterer for the Museum of Ventura County and always looking for new clients. Who isn’t? The Chamber helped us get here and I am looking forward to the next step already.

 

The Chamber of Commerce has always helped people to find out where to go to get the best service in your community. This is because it is built from real people in our actual community who have used those services and products

Hello, I’m Derek Duncan. I own and operate TAG Computers, which is your Tech Assistance Group. We opened six years ago in Ventura to provide excellent, but affordable onsite computer & technical support for individuals and businesses for all of Ventura County. I come from a very corporate environment, working with Hewlett Packard and Proctor and Gamble for many years, and working with our local businesses has been the greatest opportunity ever. The Ventura Chamber of Commerce has played a vital part in helping my company establish itself by providing consistent opportunities, very friendly places and events to meet and build great relationships with businesses and loyal people in my community. The Chamber of Commerce has always helped people to find out where to go to get the best service in your community. This is because it is built from real people in our actual community who have used those services and products. Being born and raised, still living and working in Ventura, I believe in creating relationships built on trust, consistency, and a mutual belief in helping our neighbor. Being a member is not only FUN, but it is also a way to create ever lasting relationships with others in the business community. Thank you Ventura Chamber and Happy New Year!!


The Chamber has been there the whole time, helping me grow my business and providing the opportunity to meet many great business people, with the relationships that are important in my business for referring each other, to the deeper friendships providing support.

I've been a fully licensed Insurance & Financial Services Professional for 25 years in Ventura, and joining the Ventura Chamber of Commerce was the second thing I did, and I've never regretted it! I've seen so many changes, as a volunteer Ambassador the whole time, on the Board of Directors, Vice Chair of Membership, served on task forces for HealthCare Reform, committees that developed the Chamber logo and other marketing ideas, helped create programs for networking and the Connection Breakfast, and am active and committed to growing the Biz Connections Leads Groups.


I started out in my practice meeting with young clients and new homeowners and parents around the kitchen table, for Health & Life Insurance, and with the Chamber's help, have since grown with my clients and market, helping Boomers and Seniors with Retirement Planning, Employer Group Insurance Benefits, Tax-Sheltered Indexed Accounts, Long Term Care and Medicare Supplements.

The Chamber has been there the whole time, helping me grow my business and providing the opportunity to meet many great business people, with the relationships that are important in my business for referring each other, to the deeper friendships providing support. Most of my business is word of mouth and referral and the Chamber provides so much more than the average networking group, with so many committees and opportunities to get involved.

After recently going through vocal carcinoma, I've learned to listen more and talk less, so I now offer a complete courtesy insurance and financial review to Ventura Chamber members and family, friends and business co-workers and partners. Thanks again to the Ventura Chamber for being there for me, and helping grow my business for the next 25 years!
Jim Nicoll
Nicoll Financial Insurance Service

I do Chamber and I Chamber a lot

I am the Chamber - really I am!  Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) has been a Ventura Chamber member for 50 years and for the past three I have been an instrumental part of that partnership.  Prior to joining the VCCU team, I didn't Chamber because in the area that I lived in, you just didn't do that.  But in Ventura, that's not the case, I do Chamber and I Chamber a lot.  I always say, "you get out what you put in" and it's so true!  Because I am active in the Chamber, you are reading this right now!
Being an active Chamber member to me is more than just networking.  I can easily collect 20-30 business cards, but then what?  It's about being active, hosting The MIX!, sitting on Chamber committees, supporting the Teacher of the Month program, showcasing your business at the expos, sponsoring events if you can, and building relationships with individuals and  businesses, because at the end of the day we all have to keep the lights on.
The Chamber provides me and VCCU additional exposure!  You're familiar with VCCU, right?  Maybe you are a member or know someone who is.  Today, we continue to grow, open more branches, and provide better service.  And because we Chamber, VCCU has receiving accolades through the Chamber that we never have before: Large Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Business of the Month, and Young Professional of the Year.
I am the Chamber and I love it! 

At MortgageCouch, we ARE the Chamber. We've built and cultivated so many valuable relationships with a wide range of Ventura Chamber businesses.

At MortgageCouch, we've worked tirelessly over the last year to become the "Most comfortable home loan broker in Ventura County."  Our team would never be able to provide our outstanding clients with such "comfort" through this challenging process, if the community at-large didn't, in turn, make us feel comfortable.

At MortgageCouch, we ARE the Chamber.  We've built and cultivated so many valuable relationships with a wide range of Ventura Chamber businesses, from FASTSIGNS to Surf Brewery, as well as sponsoring Ventura County's Fusion soccer club.  Last month, we closed our first home loan for a Chamber member - Colleen's Weddings Your Way, and donated $500 to the charity of her choice, the Easter Seals. In addition, our philanthropic endeavors also include Chamber non-profits: The Cal-Vet Home of Ventura, Food Share, and Project Understanding.

At MortgageCouch, we want to revitalize the home loan acquisition process throughout the region, and we've taken a giant step toward that lofty goal through our invaluable relationships with the Ventura Chamber and its fine members.

We ARE the Chamber and we ARE Ventura County's mortgage broker. For more information, please visit www.mortgagecouch.com.

Matthew Couch & Shelby Bishop
MortgageCouch

From the moment we joined, we were able to learn more about the local business environment and have had the opportunity to network with hundreds of local business owners...

PODS of Tri-Counties has been a member of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce since we opened our doors 10 years ago. From the moment we joined, we were able to learn more about the local business environment and have had the opportunity to network with hundreds of local business owners at countless events, giving us the chance to promote PODS and create partnerships with other businesses and local non-profits. The Chamber allows me to promote my business through various marketing tools and will advise on any city business issues I may be facing. The Ventura Chamber of Commerce is a true advocate for the local business industry and teaches you how to properly network and make the most of your time while at an event. I recommend any new business owner to take part in this wonderful organization that always gives its unwavering support for a business’ success.

When Vista Honda became Ocean Honda in March of this year, I advised our new owner that his first order of business should be to become a member of the Ventura Chamber of commerce. This allows me the opportunity continue to work with and for the Chamber and carry on the good times.

While living in the San Fernando Valley in the 90’s, I joined and was a Board Member of the Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce where I learned the benefits of Chamber Membership. Upon relocating to the Ventura Area in 2008, I took a job as sales rep with what was then Vista Honda. I discovered that though the company had been a Ventura Chamber of Commerce member for several years, no one was representing them at the various functions and events. I quickly jumped in to be the face and voice of Honda at these events because my experience has always been that the benefit you get out of the Chamber of Commerce is dependent on the amount of effort you put in. With this in mind, I am now an Ambassador, I attend the Connection Breakfasts, I go to Mixers and participate whenever and wherever I can. Yes, it takes up some time but the recognition, referrals and customers I have gained over the past six years have been nothing short of tremendous. And best of all, what I really love about the Ventura Chamber of Commerce is that all of these efforts have always been lots of fun! The staff is supportive, the membership energetic and the events always well planned and attended. Thanks, Chamber, for being all that you are!

Buzz Noe
Ocean Honda

Whether I attend a Mixer, Training Module, Networking Breakfast, Business Expo, or some other event, I know the Ventura Chamber will provide a fine value for both my time and money.

My name is Greg Bird and I AM THE CHAMBER. Since 2000, I’ve worked for Gold Coast Broadcasting, LLC, a locally owned group of six radio stations serving all of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. GCB has been a member of the Ventura Chamber since 1997. Currently, I serve on the Chamber’s Marketing Committee, and have done so for the past four years.

I maintain a close relationship to the Ventura Chamber of Commerce because quite frankly, it’s good for business. Whether I attend a Mixer, Training Module, Networking Breakfast, Business Expo, or some other event, I know the Ventura Chamber will provide a fine value for both my time and money. From my perspective, the very best business relationships contain some sort of personal connection to the other person. The Ventura Chamber of Commerce provides a platform where business professionals can come together for fellowship, frivolity, and fun.

Zig Ziglar taught me long ago; I get more of what I want, when I help others get more of what they want. And that is how it goes with the Ventura Chamber of Commerce. You truly get out of it, what you put into it. I found that my years of media experience could bring value to the Marketing Committee, so that is where I focus my energies.

 

Networking is the backbone of the Chamber of Commerce. Come to an event, and meet someone new. You never know …. your next big client could be a handshake away?

We joined the Chamber Ambassadors, held a ribbon cutting and participated in all of the networking activities. We found this to be a very effective marketing strategy for CCIS.

We joined the Ventura Chamber to promote our company, Central Coast Imaging Solutions (suppliers of Canon office equipment). Our customers range from home offices to large corporations, mirroring the Chamber's members. We joined the Chamber Ambassadors, held a ribbon cutting and participated in all of the networking activities. We found this to be a very effective marketing strategy for CCIS. As an Ambassador, we were also encouraged to attend other committee meetings and Board meetings. At one time, Workman's Compensation rates increased dramatically and put our company at risk. The Chamber's Legislative committee jumped into action, went to Sacramento to appeal for reform...and made a difference. When there was talk of a healthcare reform, the Chamber formed a committee to research and recommend a solution that would be business friendly. After experiencing how the Chamber could impact business and economic growth, I remained on the Legislative committee. Traveling to Sacramento, Washington D.C. and China with the Chamber has provided me with a deeper understanding of our political environment and a global education. Currently, I am a second year Director on the Board, Trustee on the PAC, and the Chair of the Legislative Committee. All of the activities that our company has participated in with the Ventura Chamber have added great value to our company.

The bottom line is the Chamber is the most valuable tool for my business and if I was to start my business again I would join the Chamber right after getting my business license.

I have been a member of the Ventura Chamber for almost year, and it has been one of the best decisions I ever made, the only regret was to not joining sooner. The Ventura Chamber holds monthly mixers and Connection Breakfasts, has four different networking groups, one of which I belong to. This has given me the opportunity to meet and network with a lot of other business owners. I have received a lot of business from many Chamber members, servicing their homes and businesses. My involvement and attendance at Chamber events has resulted in getting plenty more referrals. I believe every business owner should be part of the Chamber. I gladly accepted being a Chamber Ambassador and have done my part to share my positive experience of being a member to new and fellow business owners. The bottom line is the Chamber is the most valuable tool for my business and if I was to start my business again I would join the Chamber right after getting my business license.

Frank Perez
Cleaning Plus

Not only is Biz Connect a great way to meet some terrific businesses as potential clients but I have used several fellow Biz Connect members for my own business purposes.

I’ve been a member of Biz Connect since September 2012.  Not only is Biz Connect a great way to meet some terrific businesses as potential clients but I have used several fellow Biz Connect members for my own business purposes.  Chamber events like mixers and the Connection Breakfast are great to get my business known within the larger business community but Biz Connect lets me know these businesses on a deeper level, thus increasing the chances of referrals.  Whether a fellow business owner like me or an employee of a terrific company, these members keep this group hopping.  I have formed close alliances with fellow Biz Connect members; members of my own group as well as other Biz Connect groups.  Biz Connect has helped my business grow while getting to know other great business people with the Chamber as a whole.

Carol Pompe
CP Bookkeeping

Good networking with fun people has been a hallmark of my experience with the Chamber, and I’ve built relationships with people throughout the business community.

When I moved to Ventura in 2008, I was faced with the challenge of building a business network from scratch. I knew nothing about Chambers of Commerce, but learned the Ventura Chamber of Commerce sponsored a monthly networking breakfast, which was a start. I arrived at the event to find a banquet hall filled with people; the event involves each attendee giving a 20-second commercial for the entire group. I was nervous, and am embarrassed to admit I thought the commercials would be boring. But my commercial went fine, and I heard others that were so entertaining I laughed out loud. The people were very friendly and professional; after the event, another attorney, Rick Nyznyk, introduced himself and invited me to lunch. In the years since, good networking with fun people has been a hallmark of my experience with the Chamber, and I’ve built relationships with people throughout the business community.

The Ventura Chamber is a valuable outreach and community involvement tool that helps Gold Coast Transit to stay involved in the community that we serve on a daily basis.

Gold Coast Transit has been a Ventura Chamber of Commerce member for over 30 years. We find the Chamber to be a valuable resource that allows us to reach out and interact with local businesses and their employees. The Chamber helps us to be informed about new legislation, the development plans of the City, and new businesses that are opening in the City.

As a government agency we work closely with businesses and other governmental agencies and find the Chamber of Commerce provides a valuable link and means of connecting with the businesses and agencies in Ventura. Networking opportunities, business expos, training classes and other information resources are valuable benefits of being Chamber of Commerce members.

Steven P. Brown
Gold Coast Transit

The networking and marketing opportunities have helped me grow my business, while giving me the chance to serve my community.

In the summer of 2005, I was excited by the endless opportunities being the new owner of FASTSIGNS of Ventura would bring. I was new to the area and looked forward to becoming part of the community. The best advice I got was to join the Ventura Chamber, get involved and give it time. Being an active member has been a great way to very quickly learn about our wonderful city. I have made so many business connections and great friends.