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Published October 22, 1998
Volume 6, Number 10



Pleasanton's Business Groups Offer Ways to Expand Your Contact with the Community


Whether you're interested in expanding your business, participating in the creation of regional economic development plans, or simply getting to know your business neighbors a bit better, Pleasanton offers a variety of business groups to fill your needs. 

The largest of these organizations are the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, the Tri-Valley Business Council, and the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Pleasanton Chamber
The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce currently has over 1,000 members, making it the largest business organization in the area. 

Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce
The staff of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce—Joan Leighty,
Dave Bouchard, Demaree DePiano, and Mary Loura, from left to right.


The organization focuses its work on three major areas: economic development, member services, and events and activities. All of the group's activities are designed to promote the economic vitality of the community. 

Probably the most popular items on the Chamber calendar are the many networking opportunities that are offered. A Monthly Mixer is held at a member business from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., drawing an average of 150 people. 

The group also sponsors a Monthly Membership Luncheon, usually attended by 100 or more, that offers an opportunity to make new contacts as well as listen to speakers on hot area topics. Past speakers at this event have included Pleasanton Mayor Ben Tarver and other local luminaries.

In addition, the Chamber offers opportunities to participate in more structured networking through their program, the Chamber Connection. Groups ranging from five to 15 members are set up to exchange leads, promote their businesses, and engage in roundtable discussion of business issues. 

A number of other activities are sponsored each year as well, including an annual dinner, golf tournament, community service awards, and a barbecue during Pleasanton's annual Heritage Days. 

The Chamber has created several volunteer committees to meet their mission, which also creates opportunities for members to work together. Members work as Ambassadors, promoting the Chamber and meeting new members; on the Economic Development committee, discussing issues affecting the local economic climate; or on one of several committees that help the Chamber to better serve its members. 

Members also have a number of promotional and advertising opportunities. The Chamber publishes a member directory every year, as well as the Business Connection newsletter. New members are also listed on Pleasanton Business Today, a television program broadcast each month on Channel 30. The Chamber web site at www.pleasanton.org also provides exposure for members. 

Chamber members qualify for member-to-member discount programs on items ranging from newspaper advertising to long-distance calling. Special group health plansboth HMOs and PPOsare available through the organization as well. 

For more information on the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, contact Dave Bouchard, executive director, at (925) 846-5858. 

Tri-Valley Business Council
The Tri-Valley Business Council also works to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of the area, but takes a more regional focus. 

The Council is currently made up of over 90 corporate presidents and senior executives. The group's mission is to become represent the private sector on a variety of regional issues, and sponsors policy committees which conduct research, track public policy, participate in public hearings, and act as facilitators with government and community representatives to resolve issues. 

Crayons
Tom O'Malley, president of the Tri-Valley Business Council, at the Crayons to Computers warehouse.

The latest project to be undertaken by the group is a one-year project to define a vision of the region in the year 2010. Beginning this month, a Vision Leadership Team chaired by Tim Hunt, associate publisher of the Tri-Valley Herald, will begin to create a shared vision of the Tri-Valley. Using public input, the Council will be assisted by Collaborative Economics of Palo Alto in producing a vision for the future as well as economic, social, and environmental indicators to serve as both guidelines and milestones. 

"Our goal is to take action now to ensure that the Tri-Valley achieves the proper balance between economic vitality and quality of life, and that plans and actions are in place to attain the community's desires for the Tri-Valley in the year 2010," says Tom O'Malley, Council president. 

The group has already accomplished a great deal. One of their best known projects is the "Crayons to Computers" surplus materials warehouse, where local businesses can donate items for use in local schools. Since its founding in 1996, Crayons to Computers has given over 2,000 computers to the schools and has donated over $1.8 million in materials for use in local classrooms. 

In 1997, the Council also co-sponsored a first-ever Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which generated over 100 student exhibits. Now an annual event, it had global impact when a local student team won third place in the Intel International Fair earlier this year. 

Another area in which the Council is active is transportation. They were instrumental in forming the Solutions on Sunol (SOS) Coalition, which was successful in acquiring local, state, and federal funding for a project which would add carpool lanes to I-680 between Pleasanton and Milpitas. 

The Council has also sponsored five career fairs in the last two years, aimed at attracting local residents to local employers. 

For more information, contact Tom O'Malley at (510) 816-5927, or view their web site at www.trivalley.org.

Convention & Visitors Bureau
At first glance, it might appear that the activities of the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau would only interest businesses in fields related to tourism. 

Not so, says Lisa Dial, CVB executive director. 

"Tourism puts money into the local economy but doesn't put additional stress on the city's infrastructure, such as police, fire, and schools," she says. 

The area has a lot to offer. With Pleasanton's historic Main Street and Livermore's wine country, the area draws visitors from around the world. 

"In the past year, we have booked 36 different travel groups from around the country," she says. "That represents nearly 3,000 hotel rooms and more than 8,000 overnight visitorsand these bookings are only what we can officially track." 

While there's an obvious appeal to businesses like restaurants, shops, and art galleries that see visitor spending directly, other businesses may join the CVB as a means of networking with other members.

The CVB also maintains a web site, available at www.trivalleycvb.com, where it provides information on its members and the region.

For more information, contact the CVB's Lisa Dial at (925) 846-8910. 

Other Networking Groups
Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley has many other smaller, networking-oriented groups. Many of these can be found listed in the calendar section of Hacienda Network, including: the Tri-Valley Business Builders, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Association, Business Network International, and Business Women's Network. Check their calendar listings to find names and numbers of appropriate contacts. 
 
 



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