Emerald Bay

President’s Message

Chamber steps up small business advocacy with new Executive Director
By Duane Wallace

Duane WallaceYou don’t have to be a big business to get the attention you need from the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber Board at our annual strategy workshop last year laid out the steps needed to strengthen our role of assisting small businesses in our community.  This action was in response to increasing requests for assistance from small business owners who are feeling overwhelmed by the system. This February we met again in a retreat setting to evaluate where we were, where we are, where we need to go and how we intend to get there. The Board also chose a new Executive Director, Tamara Wallace, who has the right set of experience, skills and energy to accomplish all the Chamber Goals as well as handle the myriad of government crises and member issues that come at us. Tamara has hit the ground running. Besides working on transportation, City, County and TRPA issues she has started meeting face to face with as many of our member business owners and managers as she can in order to be sure of what you all need from our Board and staff. Tamara is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, USD, as well as the former Economic Development VP at the Greater Tulare Chamber of Commerce.

It was pointed out by Board members in our retreat that in addition to redevelopment which benefits large businesses that we must step up our role as pro-active economic development advocates for small business. There are those businesses that want to expand but don’t have the resources to hire expensive experts to help them. There are those who need help because they have become tangled up in the regulatory web and just want to survive. Specifically, last year the Board set goals that improved our listening, evaluating, supporting and advocating for our business members. In response to the Board goals and strategies this year, Tamara has put our plans to pen in an extensive Plan of Work that lays out goals, priorities and steps toward success in meeting each goal. Recommendations included in our plan will include the following elements. We will stay involved with the TRPA regulation and permit streamlining process. Our Board and Executive Director will continue to be a helpline group of individuals that business people can voice their concerns to. Our current legislative task force has had many challenges to take on this past year. That looks to be the case this year also as we continue as watchdogs on the implementation of community plans and recently passed ordinances. We will continue to break down.

Duane Wallace
President,
South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce
(530) 545-3563