The board of directors elected Andrew Gregson as Vice President at this morning’s monthly board of directors meeting at the new spacious and elegant Alejandro Alcondez Mexican Grill at 57 Wheeler. The restaurant, which recently partnered with the Chamber on a red carpet ribbon-cutting ceremony, plans to expand its Friday-Saturday night entertainment events in the next couple weeks to include lunch and dinner service during the hours of 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday – Thursday, as soon as they get approvals from the County Health Department.
Also elected to the board of directors was Bruce Lazenby, Executive Director of Business Development at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuaries, and Andrew Cooper, Executive Director of the Arcadia Association of Realtors.
The trio assume their new duties in April, the official start of the year for board terms.
Meanwhile, running his final meeting as President, Pete Siberell of Santa Anita Park presented Peter Ulrich and Jillian Reiff of Valley Vista Services with certificates of appreciation for serving on the board since they are termed out.
Arlynn Robinson of Century 21 Earll becomes the new Chamber President, with Denise Weaver of Weaver & Associates Insurance as the President-elect, and Ed Beranek as Secretary-Treasurer.
The unusual special election was held to fill an unexpected vacancy of the VP slot when previously elected David Burke, General Manager of Westfield Santa Anita, was promoted to oversee a $1 billion Westfield development project in Century City. With Gregson being promoted, that left a vacant board seat to go along with another recent vacancy created with the board’s decision to remove one member who was delinquent in his dues and had not attended a board meeting or Chamber function for months.
Gregson and his Executive Factor, named New Member of the Year last summer, has been extremely active and supportive of the Chamber in many ways, from producing free videos for Chamber members, assisting with direct mail marketing strategies and recruiting many new Chamber members to training Chamber staff on Excel; producing a free seminar for Chamber members that resulted in the Chamber getting two free Microsoft Office 2010 licenses; creating innovative experiences while hosting a recent Networking Breakfast; and even spending an entire 12-hour day working visual effects for the Chamber’s new “Arcadia’s Got it All!” video.
Lazenby has also been very supportive and active with the Chamber, having Rose Hills become the first sponsor of the Networking Breakfasts — and recently renewing that sponsorship — where he and many Rose Hills employees faithfully attend each month and make a short and always fun and informative presentation to the typical group of 40-plus attendees. Lazenby also recently agreed to have Rose Hills become the first sponsor of the Business Showcase at the Taste on Sept. 23, and has committed to pay a 50% premium on top of his two sponsorships to include the Rose Hills logo on a proposed new Chamber digital display electronic billboard near the office along Huntington Drive later this year if funding can be put in place.
Cooper has been the Executive Director for several years at AAR, which was recently presented the first Corporate Community Contributor Award at last week’s Installation Dinner. Under Cooper, AAR has been very supportive of the efforts of the Arcadia Towne Center Business Association.
In other business at today’s board meeting, board members approved Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick entering into an agreement with Tinalyn Firestone to try to save Chamber members who are at least 60-days past due in exchange for a 30% commission. Firestone provides this service — and retains about 33% of the members that are otherwise about to be dropped as members — to multiple Chambers, including the Pasadena Chamber. Arcadia Chamber can end the agreement at any time with 30-days notice.
Board members offered input and direction to Hettrick regarding a pitch from a database company in Omaha to offer access to Chamber members.
Hettrick also updated the board on:
- City’s recent unanimous approval to modify City Code to allow Chamber to replace current lighted sign with digital display
- Chamber’s decision to switch to a much more lucrative agreement regarding printed member directories/community profiles and quarterly newsletters
- Progress on a new and much more economical Internet-based telephone system being coordinated by new Chamber member IT company IT Systemhouse, based in Arcadia
- Agreement with a new Quickbooks expert who will handle most of the Chamber’s accounting at a far more economical level and free up Chamber staff to focus on member management
- A significant cost-saving deal with Chamber member Sierra Honda on the first Chamber CEO car lease since 2010.
In other reports at the meeting, City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto informed the board that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony April 12 for the new Gold Line bridge to be built over Santa Anita Avenue.
The temporary representative for Westfield on the board, marketing executive Steve Jaffe, said the mall is planning a remodeling project that will bring more uniforimity to the various wings and outdoor Promenade that have been added over the years.
Siberell reminded the board of the upcoming Derby Day next month at the track, while noting that attendance is down about 10% this season and that on-track betting is also down but off-track betting is up.