1114 J Street, Modesto, CA 95354 - Phone: 209.577.5757 - Fax: 209.577.2673|Monday, October 23, 2017
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Message from the CEO – January ’14 

message_from_ceoCecil Russell, Chamber CEOEach new year almost always brings with it change and transformation for the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and life in general. This year poses no different. As we start this new year at our Chamber, I reflect on Ralph Curtis who served as our Chairman of the Board for four years. Not only is four years a new record of service as Chairman of the Board, but it also came at another time of change for the Chamber. We added more members to the Board of Directors and reinvigorated the entire Chamber. I came on board as the President/CEO during this time. I previously served as a Board Member for a number of years and also served as Chairman of the Board, so I know the challenges of the position. During Ralph’s tenure, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of our Chamber and took on the task of retrofitting our beloved Modesto Arch. Our committee work has been tremendous and includes events and projects like the State of the City, State of the Region and particularly our ‘Pathway to Job Growth and Prosperity’ Plan with the Land Use and Transportation Committee. We brought back a key component of Education by reestablishing our Education Committee and producing a successful Annual State of Education event. We also upgraded our website to be state of the art with a great business directory to better serve our members, businesses and the general public. I thank Ralph for his dedication and unparalleled support of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. It is now time to welcome David Gianelli, of Gianelli & Associates, as our new Board Chairman. I and the entire Board look forward to David’s leadership as we move into 2014.

By now you may know that Constance Anderson has taken an opportunity and joined the staff of California State University, Stanislaus. Constance was a very valuable member of our staff. She was our Operations Manager and was a great partner in assisting me with the day to day duties of running the Chamber. We wish her much success with her new position at CSU Stanislaus. We will all miss her both personally and professionally.

We have many challenges ahead in 2014. We will be starting off the year with our Annual Gala & Member Choice Awards at The Gallo Center for the Arts on Saturday, January 25th. We will announce the winners of our annual awards and bid farewell to our outgoing and retiring Board Members Pamela Cullors; Kathy Halsey; Michael Moradian, Jr.; Chris Ricci; James Ridenour and Amy Wolf. We will also be welcoming our new Board Members Kristi Ah You, Jeff Burda, David Gingerich and Kole Siefkien. We will honor Ralph Curtis for his service as Chairman of the Board and welcome David Gianelli as our incoming Chairman. It will be a great evening with great food and drinks and is expected to be very entertaining.

Our cover story this month features the auto sales industry in Modesto. This industry is one of the most advantageous in retail for our local economy. You may have noticed all of the auto dealerships in this area have been remodeling and renovating their facilities over the last year. These dealers have invested millions of dollars in their dealerships to help better serve you, their customers.

We are encouraged that our agricultural economy continues to grow, and hope that it will fuel other areas of our economy to grow as well. Your Modesto Chamber will continue to work with the leaders of our city, county and other organizations to further our efforts in improving the quality of life for all.

May this year bring all of you good health, happiness and success in your personal and professional lives. Happy New Year!

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