Chairman’s Message

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I am honored to be part of the leadership for the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau.  As Chair of the Board, it is my commitment that we continue to work diligently on behalf of our members to make the Chamber your partner and advocate in meeting the needs of the business community.  As the Chair, I am committed to fulfilling the new mission we have set for ourselves:

“The Mission of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau is to be the leader in the community developing a strong local economy.”

We will follow our vision of being a unified organization committed to providing unique, innovative leadership and exemplary service to enhance prosperity in our community.  With the help and support of this board of directors, the chamber’s leadership and staff, I will continue to work very hard to ensure that the Santa Clara business community finds in their Chamber, the resources and tools it needs to compete effectively and successfully, both locally and statewide.

At this time, I’d like to thank those who help to make our organization a success:

• Our members – I’m very grateful for your support and the trust you have invested in the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. You are the ones who hire the people, make the investments and fuel the local economy.  Without you, the local economy’s strength, innovation, leadership and future would be greatly diminished. When you choose to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce, you become part of a vibrant business community with shared priorities and goals.

• Our partnership with the City – it is an essential part of our success in Santa Clara. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those city leaders who have the vision to look forward and understand the significant impact of this partnership.  Continuing and strengthening our relationship with the City will be one of the keys to a stronger, more productive local economy.

• The Chamber staff and volunteers – the Chamber offers many programs and events throughout the year, all of which are designed to help Santa Clara business succeed. We provide opportunities for your business to establish and strengthen relationships with other local and regional business owners.  The Chamber staff, under the leadership of Steve Van Dorn, works closely with our members to understand their business needs, help find solutions to challenges they may be facing and facilitate relationships with local government, educational institutions and industry organizations.

2013 promises to be a great year for our city and region.  I encourage you to stop by the Chamber Office to see how you can get involved. Whether you are just starting a company or have been a long-time owner, you will find that the Chamber offers many opportunities to network and promote your business.

I look forward to serving you in the coming months.  Please contact me if I can be of any assistance to you!

Two New Discrimination Laws Mean Changes for Policies, Posters

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In 2013, employers will need to change notices, postings and employee handbook policies related to discrimination and harassment prevention to reflect two recently signed bills, AB 1964 and AB 2386.

Religious Dress/Grooming (AB1964):  As stated in the analysis of the bill, the intent is to “provide clarity and ensure that all religions receive equal protection under the law.” The added language states:

“Religious dress practice” is construed broadly to include the wearing or carrying of religious clothing, head or face coverings, jewelry, artifacts and any other item that is part of the observance by an individual of his or her religious creed.

“Religious grooming practice” is also to be construed broadly and includes all forms of head, facial and body hair that are part of the observance by an individual of his or her religious creed.

Breast Feeding (AB2386):  The new legislation was enacted, in part, to reflect a decision by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) in 2009 in which an employee was terminated because she was nursing her baby during her lunchtime break.

The amended Government Code definition of “sex” includes, but is not limited to:

• Pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy.

• Childbirth or medical conditions related to childbirth.

• Breastfeeding or medical conditions related to childbirth.

The rest of the definition of “sex” remains unchanged.

Updated Poster/Software

The California Chamber of Commerce 2013 California and Federal Employment Notices Poster and Employee Handbook Software will include changes to policies and posters as a result of AB 1964 and AB 2386.  To purchase your new poster, please complete the form on this page and return it to the Santa Clara Chamber with your payment.

Majority of Chamber PAC Endorsed City Council Candidates are Elected

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Three of the four Santa Clara Chamber PAC (SCCPAC) endorsed City Council candidates were elected on November 4th: Lisa Gillmor, Jerry Marsalli and Teresa O’NeillDebi Davis was the fourth City Council member elected.

The SCCPAC went through a comprehensive process interviewing all seven candidates running for the four open seats.  The interviews were streamed live and video taped at DingDing TV (a chamber member) and posted on YouTube.

The goal of the SCCPAC interviews was to provide a fair and transparent process so that each candidate would be given an opportunity to outline their views of the free enterprise system, a fiscally responsible government and support the interests of the business community.  More information can be found at sccpac.org.

The SCCPAC and Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau Board of Directors look forward to working with the newly elected Council Members in continuing our efforts in supporting the business community in our City.

Santa Clara to host Global Winter Wonderland Inside California’s Great America

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Witness the extraordinary brilliance of the Holiday Lantern Festival during the 2nd Annual Global Winter Wonderland event, now inside California’s Great America, running Nov. 23, 2012 through Jan. 1, 2013.  These breathtaking recreations have toured the globe, illuminating some of the world’s greatest architectural achievements, including the Statue of Liberty, Egyptian Pyramid, and the UK London Bridge. The eco-friendly lanterns, some towering more than 50 feet high and nearly 100 feet wide, were powered with low voltage LEDs and fluorescent lights. This holiday festival features Holiday Lanterns, spectacular laser light shows and world famous entertainment including acrobats and martial arts performances. Go back in time as you wind your way through the Dinosaur Maze, experience the world’s culture with illuminating, sight-seeing attractions at the Global Village and meet up with your favorite holiday characters including Rudolph and, of course, Santa Claus.

Attended by some 419,000 patrons during its US debut in 2011, the family friendly event is even bigger and better in 2012.  2011 Highlights can be seen here.

DETAILS: California’s Great America Theme Park, 4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA.  Select dates & times are Nov. 23, 2012 to Jan. 1, 2013, Sundays – Thursdays, 4pm to 10pm; Fridays-Saturdays, 4pm to 11pm: Adults $18; Children (5-12) & Seniors (62+) $16; Children 4 & under FREE.  Call (888) 598-9035 or go to www.globalwonderland.org, open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day!

WORLD RENOWNED ENTERTAINMENT includes Karaoke, Fire Dancers & Eaters, Jugglers, Stilt Walker, Magicians, Illusionists, Martial Arts, Belly & Hula Dancers, Mimes, Face Painters, Balloon Twisters, holiday music on the grounds, festive themes in Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian plus Santa and our amazing 70 ft. Christmas tree!

More than 20 rides in total: Six Thrilling Great America rides – Carousel Columbia, the world’s tallest double-decker carousel; Celebration Swings spin you around in a 70-foot diameter circle up to 11 revolutions a minute; Flying Eagles allow you to pilot your own bird of prey while zipping through the sky; Delirium, a powerful spinning pendulum, Bumper Cars and Beserker.   In addition to the Great America rides, there will be more than 15 carnival style rides – the 120ft high Super Slides and; Century Ferris Wheel with over 3000 multicolored LED lights!