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THE LATEST CHAMBER NEWS

CONGRATULATIONS to the Robert Mayer Leadership Academy Class of 2016!

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The graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, June 15th, at the gorgeous Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, in the Tides Ballroom. After completing a nine-month long program, each student was awarded a certificate of completion and book, written by Academy sponsor Robert Mayer, Sr.

Speakers Lucy Dunn from the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) and City Clerk Robin Estanislau gave words of wisdom and encouraged the graduates to become more involved with their community. Then the graduates had a chance to speak about their experiences, going up in groups. All 27 graduates thanked Joyce Riddell, the Academy facilitator, and Robert Mayer, Sr., for the unforgettable connections made and invaluable learning experiences. Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Weikko Wirta commended the graduating class before calling them up individually to receive their plaque and book, shake hands and take a photo. After the graduation ceremony, the class of 2016 presented a gift to Joyce Riddell. She thanked them and noted that this class had now become a part of the 300+ Academy alumni. The ceremony concluded with a group photo.

Applications for the 2016-2017 Leadership Academy are now available. For interested candidates, please contact the HB Chamber at (714) 536-8888.


The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Hires New President and CEO

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA (June 10, 2016) – The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce the addition of new Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer, James O’Callaghan.


For several months, the Board of Directors conducted a nationwide executive search in a diligent effort to select the right candidate before hiring Mr. O’Callaghan.

James has served as the President/CEO of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce for the past four years.  He is currently on the board of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) and is a graduate of their Academy (a three-year operational and leadership development curriculum).  Prior to joining the Chamber, O’Callaghan was Executive Director of Venice Visitor and Director of Visitor Services for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Before entering non-profit management, James held leadership roles for various commercial companies.

Mr. O’Callaghan holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in Political Science and a masters of Education from Columbia University.

“I am excited to be joining the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and to be part of such a vibrant community. This represents an extraordinary opportunity to combine my backgrounds in economic development and tourism monetization. When I first moved to California twelve years ago, Huntington Beach is where I chose, so this is a homecoming of sorts,” said O’Callaghan. He will begin his term as President/CEO on July 11, 2016.

For any questions or inquiries, please contact Chairman of the Board Weikko Wirta or Chairman-Elect Barbara Mason at hbchamber@gmail.com.


Huntington Beach Expo Event Recap

Over 60 businesses exhibited at the Huntington Beach Expo, which took place on Thursday, June 2nd at City Hall. This annual event, co-sponsored by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and the City, was attended by people of all ages partaking in complimentary health screenings, donation drop-offs, food trucks, prizes and more. Exhibitors showcased what their companies were all about and connected with the community, illustrating the importance of local business. Stay tuned for the video recap! Thank you to all businesses who signed up to exhibit at the HB Expo, we can't thank you enough!

John H. Eader Elementary School Receives CA Civic Learning Award

John H. Eader Elementary was the recipient of the CA Civic Learning Award of Distinction on Tuesday, May 24th. An appellate court justice presented the award to Eader Elementary, which was only one of the six schools in the state of California to receive this prestigious award! Local community public officials and the Huntington Beach Chamber Board Members Michael Grant and Nicole Thompson were in attendance.

The Civic Learning Award for public schools is co-sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. The award is to recognize and value the important role of public schools in preparing students for participation in our democracy, and have a partnership to support civic education in California. The awards are designed to both celebrate successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and to identify successful models that can be replicated in other schools.

 Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said, "Visiting the Civic Learning Award Excellence schools is always among the highlights of my year. I'm inspired by the engagement and achievements of the students and the dedication and creativity of educators and the entire communities supporting these schools. It's exciting to see these model schools innovating in engaging, real-world civic learning, and I congratulate the awarded schools at all levels."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, "I'm proud of these outstanding schools and teachers, who are preparing students for their roles as citizens in the 21st century. Starting with students in elementary and middle school, teachers are engaging their students in mock trials, mock congress and other rigorous and relevant opportunities that develop civic skills. Their efforts make our students and our democracy stronger."

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