Chamber chairman tallies results of collective action
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 9th, 2017

By Bill Toops, The Glendale Star

​Officially completing his term as 2016 Chairman of the Board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Blake provided a detailed report of goals identified and accomplishments achieved by the local business organization over the past 12 months. He presented the message to an audience of more than 400 elected representatives, city officials, state and local lawmakers, chamber members and special guests during the 66th annual State of the City address and dinner March 2 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa.

In firm partnership with the mayor, councilmembers, city management and staff, Blake declared “the dream for Glendale is being realized right here and right now. We can be very proud of our city, of our mayor and council, the entire management team and the chamber of commerce for all the good things you do to cause Glendale to shine like a bright beacon to the rest of the Valley.”

Among a lengthy list of achievements, Blake highlighted the chamber’s performance in membership and growth, unprecedented candidate endorsements, the formation of a political action committee and the development of a local business incubator and accelerator, as well as the active and rigorous pursuit of a Glendale First policy for the selection of city event vendors.

“I was personally able to witness the incredible economic growth that is happening daily in Glendale and was witness to many of the acts of kindness and generosity, both small and large, that occur daily in Glendale,” Blake said. “This is a wonderful city and community in which we live.”

He cited the current total net membership of the Glendale chamber at 1,150. Blake said the chamber is 2.4 times larger than it was just three and one half years ago and that the chamber team has added more than 200 new members annually for the last three years. In addition, he said, the chamber is receiving state-wide and national recognition for its growth, accomplishments and relationship with the City of Glendale.

Blake said in 2016, the chamber hosted more than 100 events, engaging more than 8,000 attendees; delivered its third consecutive balanced budget; maintained a 94-percent retention rate; hosted almost 50 ribbon-cutting ceremonies; debuted the new BNC National Bank conference room; and worked in conjunction with the city’s economic development team in outreach and commitment to Glendale’s business community.

Acting as promised, Blake noted the chamber endorsed candidates for mayor and city council in the most recent 2016 election cycle. Further, he said, the chamber’s political action committee is proceeding “very intentionally” and expects it to be ready and operational prior to the upcoming mid-term elections.

“I can state that the chamber will continue to be a voice of and for business and the community of Glendale in future elections and in government affairs,” Blake said. “We can’t live in the past; we can only live and do our best today and look forward to the future.”
With regard to the establishment of a city-based incubator and accelerator, Blake said the chamber has worked closely with City Manager Kevin Phelps and Director of Economic Development Brian Freidman to identify at least one central location and perhaps a second. The chairman contends that such a joint venture would add significant horsepower to the city’s economic engine.

Last, but far from least, Blake reiterated the chamber’s concern, commitment and insistence of a formal city policy and practice that would give qualified and capable Glendale businesses first consideration in the vendor selection process for all of the city’s signature events. To that end, the city has been surveying stake holders, business and residents alike, in an effort to evaluate the preference, purpose and performance of each of its public events.

“It has been a wonderful experience for me to serve as your chairman of the board for 2016,” Blake concluded. “Glendale moves forward with everyone’s help – lifting, or doing what they can, from where they stand. Continue to lift from where you stand.”

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