San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SJCHCC) has been an active organization within the San Joaquin Hispanic community for the last 50 years.
SJCHCC has an annual impact on 100K residents with approximately 400 business members, including small business owners, associations, and entrepreneurs that employ 25,000 people throughout the area. Over the last two to three years, SJCHCC partnered with two other Chambers, the Central Valley Asian-American Chamber of Commerce (CVAACC) and the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC). By joining forces and expanding their resources, they were able to “aid businesses in staying open by providing solutions for businesses to become resilient during the pandemic. We produced a business plan for them to have an online presence to continue conducting business, some by using a delivery app and can now sustain themselves,” said Lisa Sunday Vela, the CEO of SJCHCC.
SJCHCC started in 1972 under the name Stockton Mexican American Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber advocates for Latino-owned businesses and is one of the oldest and founding Hispanic Chambers in the state and US Chambers of Commerce. It is a resource for all people in the community that encourages businesses as well as individuals to network and connect through several events throughout the year.
One of the key programs that SJCHCC offers is the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance. Ms. Vela is thrilled to be collaborating with such dedicated people from the SJCHCC, the AACC, and the CVACC to create a Central Business Hub.
Ms. Vela said, “The Chamber Alliance represents the county’s full diversity, advocating for small businesses, providing critical resources, and creating opportunities for success. We provide one-on-one business services in multiple language assistance through our Central Business Hub to successfully navigate through common processes (i.e., permitting process, starting a small business). Our Alliance has built an inventory of business and workforce development efforts to streamline business initiatives and increase collaboration within all agencies. Our entrepreneurial approach provides high-quality tech and design services while training participants to be the workforce of tomorrow. Our consultants provide technical and professional support services to local businesses and fuel economic development. All members have access to our subject matter experts.”
Other signature programs and services that SJCHCC offers are Business Forecast Conference, Latina Business Conference, and our Advocacy, Procurement, and Entrepreneurial assistance programs.
To commemorate 50 years of serving the Central Valley, the SJCHCC is hosting a Dinner and Awards program at Lindley House, Port of Stockton, on Saturday, June 25, 2022. Doors open at 5 PM, and the program starts at 6 PM. Please see their website, www.sjchicpanicchamber.com, for more information.
Along with keynote speakers, presenters will recognize longtime members during the program by honoring them with the Legacy Award. Some of the notable recipients are:
Paul Guerrero, SJCHCC Legacy Advocate
Julian Canete, Hispanic Chamber Legacy Leadership Award
Andrew Ysiano, Latino Times Hispanic Chamber Legacy Champion
Jim Molina, State Farm Insurance Agent, Legacy Member Award
Jose Rodriguez, El Concilio, Latino Community Service Legacy Award
Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, Civil Servant Legacy Award.
The Business Award recipients are:
Excelente Auto Body & Frame Inc., Business of the year
California Human Development, Community-Based Organization of the Year
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Corporation of the Year
Barney C. Kramer (posthumous recipient), Entrepreneur Business Advocate of the Year
Dr. John James Gutierrez (posthumous recipient), John Aguilar Spirit of the Year
Steve Morales, Volunteer of the Year
Ms. Vela is honored to direct this organization and build on the experience of those that preceded her. She attributes part of the organization’s success to her outstanding Board of Directors.
She said, “I have a robust Board of Directors who are innovative leaders who have raised the bar for Chambers throughout the nation. They are outstanding leaders in our community.”
What does the future hold for SJCHCC? “Our future is bright as we EVOLVE and adapt business models to meet new realities. We harness human ingenuity and innovation to improve our health and enrich our society. And through the toughest of times, the SJCHCC supports workers and families and help them lead stable, secure, fulfilling lives through the dignity of work,” said Ms. Vela. “The collective ability of businesses and workers to serve, create, solve, and compete in the enterprise system is why the SJCHCC is dynamic. It is the enduring mission to help those job creators strengthen our economy and expand opportunity—now and for future generations.”
Ms. Vela continued and said, “EVOLVING and moving forward is the only direction to go. We will continue to compete and lead through our work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, modern workforce, and access to capital. We EVOLVE and move forward into a robust and widespread recovery that extends not only to the industries and workers who have fared well in the pandemic but also to those who continue to struggle. There are limitless opportunities for growth and innovation thanks to accelerated technological advancements. The SJCHCC has created pathways in the fastest-growing industries to harness the potential of our people, strengthen our communities, and help drive a new era of inclusive growth. We ALL EVOLVE.”
If you’re interested in participating with or supporting the SJCHCC, contact them via telephone at (209) 943 – 6117, or via their website and multiple social media outlets.