Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara County’s South Coast Chambers are excited to announce the merger of three of the area’s largest business organizations. The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region, the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce will be uniting to form the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce – from Goleta to Carpinteria.
The new Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce will be mobilizing the power of our 1,100 members to create a better business environment out of the devastation of the current economy. We believe this organization will fill the void that has been exposed by the economic meltdown, and be a more effective advocate for our issues and concerns.
If our community is going to recover, it will be the small business community that leads the way, and they can’t do it without this organization providing the vital support and resources.
The group is excited to announce the organization’s new name – Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce – from Goleta to Carpinteria. The name represents our mission, who we are, and who we represent.
The new organization was formed by the unanimous support of the business and civic leaders from all three boards of directors. Recognizing that the business community already has connections throughout the three cities, the united group best represents business and community needs across government boundaries. The unique and distinct qualities of each community’s culture, events, and neighborhoods will be honored and cherished while a new focus on county-wide and regional issues can be addressed.
“As our current business climate continues to evolve, we tried to forecast our members’ future needs and give Carpinteria a stronger voice in the South County. Being a native Carpinterian, I did not take this merger lightly, but I and my fellow board members believe this is our future,” said Curtis Lopez, Chairman of the Carpinteria Board of Directors.
The newly formed Chamber is dedicated to the economic health and vitality of all communities from Goleta to Carpinteria. The Chamber will continue its work helping businesses, residents and visitors thrive. Key work will be advocating for responsible public policy, offering networking and community-building opportunities, providing access to business development resources, and supporting visitor services across the region.
Kristen Miller, who has served as President & CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce for the last 18 years, will lead the organization as the Chief Executive Officer.
“Creating a unified voice for business on the South Coast is both the culmination of a long process and at the same time a natural next step in a rapidly changing world. Business and community, work-life balance, and sustainable workforce practices are all coming together and making us a more unified community. While some areas of our lives are becoming more isolated, we are coming together,” said Miller.
Joyce Donaldson, IOM, President & CEO of the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce will serve as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer – Carpinteria Liaison, overseeing operations and Carpinteria-centric initiatives. With 17 years of professional chamber leadership experience, Donaldson has served as President and CEO for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber since 2015.
“The Carpinteria Chamber Board of Directors and Leadership Teams are enthusiastic about the newly formed Chamber,” states Joyce Donaldson. “This is an exciting step to unify the voice of the entire business community in the South Coast Region, combining our robust resources and talent to create an even stronger environment in which businesses can flourish.”
Stephanie Armstrong, Interim Executive Director of The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region, will serve as the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing communications, marketing and public policy. Armstrong is 4th generation Santa Barbara, deeply attached to the community where she grew up. She has been with the Chamber for nine years.
“The current economic and cultural climate we find ourselves in calls for change, innovation, and unity,” says Armstrong. “By joining forces we will be a stronger, more unified voice with the combined leadership from our three organizations in achieving our common goal to help our businesses and represent the unique qualities of our communities. We are excited for this next chapter.”
The organization is eager to preserve the unique character of each City and focus on individual needs as well as the regional needs of the business community. The signature events and networking opportunities of each Chamber are all included in the merged program of work. The organization is working to pivot priorities to serve members in new ways during the current COVID-19 Pandemic given that events are not allowed at this time.
It was announced previously that the Goleta and Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce boards voted to pursue a merger. During recent strategy meetings with leadership, Carpinteria Chamber Board of Directors joined the discussion. Leadership from all three organizations are very excited for the immense potential of a regional Chamber to be a voice for business. The merger will be effective July 1, 2020.
The Goleta Chamber of Commerce represents 450 members and 30,000 jobs in the region. Operating since 1947, the Chamber envisions a community where businesses flourish, residents thrive, and visitors are inspired by our exceptional quality of life.
Founded in 1878, the mission of The Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region is to enhance and promote the regional economic environment through support of our members and collaboration with businesses, government, and community resources.
Founded in 1912, The Carpinteria Valley Chamber has been a unified voice dedicated to supporting local business while enriching our community. The Carpinteria Chamber represents 300 enthusiastic members dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the Carpinteria Valley.