Heather Martinez shares her plans for “growth” of the Chamber
■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter
Hundreds of influential community figures sold out The Anchor Bar Club Restaurant for the 2017-2018 San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce Installation and Awards Dinner on March 12, where Heather Martinez was inducted as the chamber’s new President.
San Jacinto City Councilwoman Crystal Ruiz acted as installing officer during the ceremony, with former Chamber President Mike Van Der Linden by her side. Together, they swore Martinez in as president of the San Jacinto Chamber before a crowd of her peers.
“With a new board, a new city manager, and a productive City Council, we all have a lot to be excited about,” declared Martinez, as Russ Utz, San Jacinto’s newest City Council member, and San Jacinto’s new City Manager Rob Johnson sat in the audience. “With plans in motion to improve our city’s roadways, and new housing developments already under construction, our local business economy is already starting to flourish! It’s exciting to me to see us all growing together. When your business succeeds, we all succeed.”
According to Martinez, the Chamber has added 40 new members in the last two months. She thanked Timothy Kubo, chamber marketing and sales manager, and Van Der Linden. Martinez hopes to bring back an ambassador program this year, along with a couple of other “top secret” programs still in development.
The Chamber also proudly announced their Elite Partnerships with the city of San Jacinto, Patio Plaza, Perris Auto Speedway, Southern California Edison, The Valley Chronicle, and Wal-Mart. Awards were presented to the following:
The Jan Young Community Service Award – Phil Burch.
Business of the Year – AMR.
Nonprofit of the Year – San Jacinto Lions Club.
Retiring Board Members – Roberta Webb and Ken Kidby.
New Board Members – Mark Levit, Felix Rivera, Sharon Durbin, Fred Frontino.
“We are totally going to step up everything we’ve done this last year and make it better,” Martinez later added. “We want to make the membership have more value. We want to keep our membership costs low, because we are a nonprofit chamber. Everything we make we transfer back into our chamber,” she said. “Nobody here is getting paid – we’re all volunteers.”
Martinez also stressed the importance of accessible booth arrangements for their events in the future.
“We want to have free booth space at all of our events for our members, so they can make some money and put themselves out there,” she explained. “That’s probably one of the most important things you can share with the community.”
Martinez promises that joining the San Jacinto Chamber will guarantee its members free booth space for six different occasions per year, as opposed to spending $40 or more each time.
“We’re a family-friendly chamber,” Martinez stated. She encourages people to come to the Chamber mixers, where she believes is a chance for the community to realize the importance of being a member.
“If the [business] owner can’t come, or somebody that’s an employee, they can bring their family. All of our mixers are family-friendly.” The San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce will be holding their next mixer in August at Estudillo Mansion, followed by September’s mixer at Patio Plaza, and the October mixer at Farmer’s Corner, which will be decked out in Halloween style, as is tradition.