Chamber of Commerce receives
Centennial recognition from City

September 16, 2015
Santa Paula News

There was a Centennial Celebration for the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce when the organization known to be “In Business For Business” was recognized by the City Council.

Mayor John Procter presented a proclamation to Chamber CEO Fred Robinson and Board Director Al Guilin at the September 8 council meeting.

The chamber, since it was founded in 1915, has “continuously served the business community,” as well as acted as city ambassadors for out-of-town visitors where tourists are given history and information on what to see and do in Santa Paula. Procter said others come by the chamber to find out more about starting a business in the city.

In addition the chamber networks with its members and through the community with regular Mixers highlighting a local business and its Santa Paula Sunrise breakfast meetings where members, teachers and public safety responders are recognized.

The chamber stages the annual Citizen of the Year luncheon that also honors businesses and beautification efforts. Traditionally the Mayor presents the State of the City Report at the event.

“The chamber has a long rich history,” said Procter, but he noted when he saw the “long list” for past chamber presidents, “There’s one name missing — my grandfather’s!”

Robinson thanked Procter and noted the chamber “Is a really cool and neat place,” with its offices at the historic Depot where chamber staff greets the stream of visitors including those that either arrive by tourist train or stop by because they are train enthusiasts. 

“I’ve been doing some volunteer work for a couple of years now,” and the chamber office reflects a “collaborative” relationship with the city.  

The Depot was built in 1879 in Sacramento and shipped to Santa Paula, “Probably the first of its kind here, prefab!” said Robinson.

The building was improved through transportation grants and now is a symbol of Santa Paula; it also houses the Santa Paula Society of the Arts and the Depot Gallery.

“The relationship between the chamber and the city has been remarkable,” said Board Director Al Guilin. “It’s great to see two organizations working together for the betterment of the city…”

And the city received something in return: “We do bear gifts…the city’s Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce membership plaque for 2015. I wanted to give it to you…it’s been sitting there a while.”

Chamber members according to the website, “enjoy a better community to live in and a better place to do business. They participate in Chamber programs that promote Chamber development and leadership.”

The chamber offers membership in the Chairman’s Circle and aside from being an information source for residents and visitors it also offers an online Community Calendar.

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