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IVRCC Advocates for Valley Success in Sacramento

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

The Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Brawley were honored with the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) 2022 President’s Circle Award during the Capitol Summit in Sacramento Wednesday, June 1, for their efforts in advocating for businesses and working with legislative committees. As one of just 14 Chambers to receive the award state-wide, the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (IVRCC) published vote records of state legislators on key business issues and generated letters to state elected officials on issues of interest to Members. “Our top local chamber partners play leading roles as community problem solvers and the voice of business on public policy,” said Jennifer Johnson, CalChamber director of local chamber relations. “We commend them for all their hard work over the last year fighting on behalf of California business.”

IVRCC flew to Sacramento to join CalChamber, legislators, business advocates, and international and foreign partners to discuss voter turnout, international trade, legislative focuses for the benefit of California businesses, and more. We discussed how the world’s fifth largest economy, which is the State of California, has continued to grow despite challenges.

After receiving the President’s Circle Award, IVRCC Vice President and CEO Bari Smith Bean met with the President and CEO of CalChambers, Jennifer Barrera, to highlight some of our efforts both locally and across the State. Our efforts to advocate for businesses by both supporting legislative bills and opposing those that would harm our Members, were recognized by Barrera. “I was immensely impressed by President Barrera’s vision and foresight for CalChambers and the business community across the State in this everchanging California environment. We had a wonderful conversation and I enjoyed introducing her to many aspects that were new to her about the Imperial Valley and the opportunities coming to our region soon. We discussed housing prices, the Salton Sea, Lithium Valley, and education expansion in our region. I look forward to accepting her invitation in the future to lead a round table with business leaders about our region and immense opportunities,” said Smith Bean.

Following the Award Ceremony and Recognition, IVRCC met with international partners, including the Australian Consulate, who focus on import and export endeavors, legislative action, and promoting business, where we discussed the future of Imperial Valley, its business community, and more. IVRCC attended the 96th Annual Sacramento Host Breakfast where we met with the Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and we discussed key aspects of the future of Imperial Valley. “A resounding theme that I shared with both CalChambers President Barrera and Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis is that the Imperial Valley region is the last frontier when it comes to a rich history of Golden State excellence. We have 500,000 acres of fully irrigated farmland, growing education opportunities, tremendous renewable energy potential, as well as housing that is nearly a fourth the cost of the California state median, which is $880,000 per home. On behalf of the entire Imperial County, I expressed our sincere gratefulness to the Lieutenant Governor and state leadership for their recent allocations in the budget to invest in the Imperial Valley region,” said Smith Bean.

IVRCC is proud to serve its community and looks forward to continued growth and follow up discussions with the constituents met on this trip. IVRCC is honored to be presented with the CalChamber 2022 President’s Circle Award. As the end of IVRCC’s first year nears, we look forward to celebrating our achievements with our Members, and we look forward to another year of growth. “We strive to be the voice for the business community in the Imperial Valley and legislative advocacy is a key component to being successful in this pursuit,” said Smith Bean.

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