Welcome to our newest MBEP member, the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, an organization dedicated to building economic vitality. The chamber officially celebrated its centennial in 2018, but its roots may date back to as early as 1904, says chamber CEO Paul Farmer. Since assuming that role since 2012, he’s overseen a 40 percent increase in the chamber’s revenue and membership, now comprised of more than 700 active members.

The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce is riding the forefront of change, as chambers of commerce shift away from being primarily a source of information, community promoter and host of special events and ribbon-cuttings. That, says Farmer, is yesterday’s chamber. “Today’s successful chamber is a convener, catalyst and champion,” says Farmer. “As a convener, we bring together people who can solve challenges. As a catalyst, we help foment solutions. As a champion, we enlist support from residents, businesspeople and elected officials to bring about the success we have helped envision.”

For its efforts, the Salinas Valley Chamber has been honored by the Western Association of Chamber Executives two out of the past three years. The award, for visionary work leading communities, is presented to only five out of 850 members.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, the chamber hosted its biggest event of the year, as it honored exemplary individuals and businesses at its 98th annual Awards The luncheon was sponsored by Rabobank, at Sherwood Hall. Each of this year’s honorees help make for a more vibrant community. Says Farmer, “We like to say our Awards Luncheon is the one annual event we hold where ‘everybody comes because everybody goes.” Learn more.

To view more member stories, visit our Member Spotlight page.