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San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates centennial

Posted: March 25, 2011 3:37 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2011 5:07 p.m.

The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce will honor a century of leadership on Saturday, May 14 with a dinner gala.

"It's the chamber's 100th birthday and about 300 guests are expected to attend what we're calling 'The Party' -- our annual dinner gala and inaugural ball," said 2009 Board Chairman Michael Fiore and chair of the event.

The Party will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Guests will begin the evening with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6 p.m., which will also feature "100 Years of Valley Business," a display of artifacts, photographs and documents from community members' personal collections and the Chamber archives.

Another highlight of the evening will be "100 Years of Leadership," a retrospective video featuring historical pictures and information.

Five awards will be presented at The Party: Chamber Award of Excellence, Community Award of Excellence, Chairman's Award of Distinction, Committee Chairperson of the Year, and the Mendenhall Memorial Award. These awards recognize member businesses for their key roles in the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, as well as their community involvement.

"The chamber currently has 450 members and has relied heavily on its volunteers, who have been vital to the organization's longevity," said Chairwoman Heidi Lennartz. "The chamber has ebbed and flowed through the years, but one thing has always been constant: board members and volunteers who have made it thrive."

One vital reason for the chamber's success over almost the past two decades has been CEO Nancy Hoffman Vanyek.

"Nancy has been with the Chamber for 24 years," Lennartz said. "The vitality of our business community and the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber would not be where it is today without her leadership and influence."

Lennartz said while many chambers across the nation have experienced a decrease in membership over the past several years due to a down economy, the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce has sustained its membership.

"I believe that it's an indication that we're giving value back to our members," Lennartz said. "As one of the first chambers to be founded in the United States, we've always been cutting-edge."

About the SFV Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1911, the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th birthday as the San Fernando Valley's premier business organization promoting economic vitality and community growth. Its experienced leadership and burgeoning membership work together to make the chamber a powerful force in improving the quality of the community and economic life in the dynamic San Fernando Valley.


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