To the members of our Chamber of Commerce and residents of Pacific Palisades,
When I learned, a little over three years ago, that I would become the youngest ever President of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, I was incredibly honored and excited for such an amazing opportunity. I knew it would involve a lot of work, especially with the major transformation that I knew our business community would begin to go through. But I was excited for the challenge. I knew that along with my incredible Board of Directors, we would make an impact and help the business community while bringing the Chamber into the 21st century.
In the last two years, the Chamber has come a long way. Some of the changes have been visible to many of our members and the community. Other changes were behind the scenes. We rebranded the Chamber with a brand new logo, a brand new slogan and a brand new website. We created fresh new events that brought out new members and longtime members alike, such as Foodie Fest, the Jump Start Networking Breakfast (yes, old fashioned Networking still works) and the Distinguished Speaker Series. We grew and improved some of the Chamber’s most well-known events like the Community Expo and the Polo Tournament. We introduced the Chairman’s Club which represents the top Corporate, Retail, Real Estate and Community Sponsors of the Chamber. We worked tirelessly to help the amazing team at Caruso get the new Palisades Village project approved so that the Pacific Palisades business community can begin to thrive again. These are just some of the things that we accomplished over the last two years of which I am extremely proud.
With all of the positives that we’ve had, there is A LOT of work left to do. We know that it is critical for the Chamber to get younger and bring in new members to help create an even brighter future for the Chamber and our business community. The Chamber strongly believes in helping all of our members thrive and we will continue to do everything possible to make that happen. One of the ways that we will do that is by introducing a new group within the Chamber called the Westside Emerging Leaders. The goal of this new group is to increase the involvement of young professionals, ages 21-35, in the business community and promote an energized future for the Chamber. Be on the lookout for more details about this new group on the Chamber website soon. Currently, the plan is to have our kickoff Happy Hour event on Tuesday, February 7th.
With that being said, I would like to say thank you to a few people.
First, to our Chamber members and the community; thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chamber President these past two years. I said two years ago that the entire community needed to “Commit to The Palisades.” The Chamber is fully committed to the businesses of the Palisades and we will not stop until the entire community truly believes in that mentality.
Thank you to the loyal and hardworking members of our Board of Directors. You will not find a more dedicated group of people that care so much, not only about our business community, but also the entire Pacific Palisades community overall. They trusted my leadership and believed in my vision. They also helped me learn, grow and become a better person along the way. For that, I will be forever grateful to all of them. Everything we’ve accomplished these past two years, and everything that we will accomplish going forward, is because of the incredible team effort from our special group of Board members.
I also want to thank Arnie Wishnick and Marilyn Crawford for not only all of the wonderful work that they do for the Chamber, but also for their endless love for our Chamber and community. They both truly live for the success of the Chamber and Pacific Palisades as a whole. That commitment to community is unique in today’s society.
To Susan Payne; congratulations on becoming our next Chamber President. With most of the Board returning for Susan’s term, in addition to our newest Board members, the future of the Chamber in Pacific Palisades is bright. I also want to say thank you to Susan for being an incredible partner as President-Elect for the last two years. Without her help, we would have never accomplished as much as we did these past two years.
Last, and most importantly, thank you to my wife Leigh for supporting me through this incredible journey. I am the type of person that when I commit to something, I really go all-in to say the very least. No matter how much I focused on Chamber related matters, or no matter what event I asked her to attend, she was always there to support me. I am truly lucky to have such an awesome wife. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not feel that way. Leigh was born and raised here in the Palisades, so in addition to being an amazing wife, she is also the reason that I live in Pacific Palisades today. I will never be able to thank her enough for making my life what it is today.
In closing, the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce will always be special to me after serving as the first two-consecutive term President in the Chamber’s history. I loved every second of being your Chamber President and I will always be appreciative of the opportunity to serve in this role. While many look at it as a second full-time job, I looked at it as rewarding, challenging, fun and simply one of the best experiences of my life.
Liberty Mutual Insurance – Senior Agent
Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past-President