On March 22, the membership of the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce voted (nearly unanimously) to unite with the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce and form the West Ventura County Business Alliance (WVCBA). WVCBA will be the voice for the interest of business with government, promote economic development, work to improve the regional economy, and protect the interests of the two communities.
Talks of the two organizations joining forces have been ongoing for many years, but not so earnestly until 2020.
"We came very close to an agreement last year, and then one of the pieces didn't fit correctly in the overall puzzle," says Oxnard Chamber CEO Nancy Lindholm. "We were able to adjust a few details in the first quarter of 2021, so now we are very close to finalizing the unification of the two chambers. We are excited about the strong, united voice we will be for business as the WVCBA."
With nearly 1,000 members that employ more than 60,000 individuals, WCVBA will provide a much larger audience for its members who rely on networking and word of mouth advertising to grow their businesses. Other entities that find display advertising beneficial will also see an increase in exposure. Collectively, there will be many more opportunities for involvement, and some members will benefit by investing only in one organization, versus two chambers.
Operationally, members will not see immediate changes. Both chambers will continue to operate "as is" for the foreseeable future. The combined boards of directors will guide the WVCBA as it evolves over time.
"Our vision is to reduce duplication of overhead and operating costs so we can service our member investors at a higher level," adds Lindholm, who will assume the position of President and CEO of the Alliance. Joining her team are CeCe Adame, Director of Membership; Jovie Baclayon, Communications Manager; Bailey Huerta, Marketing and Social Media Manager; and Sharen Strong, Director of Member Services.
Details will be worked out in the coming months, including overlapping memberships, integrating databases, boards of directors, signature events, and more, and logo and website development. Members of both organizations will be informed of progress along the way.