Santa Clara Chamber to Honor Members, Install Board of Directors

Pyramid Awards

The UPS Store’s Ravindar Lal (center) was honored as Business Member of the Year at the 2013 Pyramid Awards.

On June 19th Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce members and community representatives will gather to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments and honor Chamber members whose contributions have made a significant impact on the Chamber’s success. This year’s Pyramid Award honorees are Joe Siecinski as Individual Member of the Year, The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc. as Business Member of the Year, and Kevin Moore as our Distinguished Community Leader. Additionally, the Chamber is pleased to announce a new award: the Don Von Raesfeld Chamber Volunteer Award in recognition of a volunteer’s effort to further the Chamber’s mission through their assistance. The first recipients of this award are Marge Banko, Marlene Ybarra and Dee Alarcon.

Joe Siecinski is an active member of our Chamber and the Santa Clara community. He participates in the Power Partners Connection Club as well as serves as an Ambassador mentoring new members through their first year of membership. He refers a great deal of business to other members of the Chamber and The Power Partners in addition to running ActionCoach Santa Clara, where he provides clients with business coaching. He is always willing to help fellow Chamber members with tips on networking and helping them to grow their business.

The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc. is being honored as the Business Member of the Year for the many partnerships they’ve developed with the Chamber and various businesses and organizations in Santa Clara. John Mlnarik and his staff have been supportive of the Business Experience Day program, hosting students in their offices as well as sponsoring other Chamber events throughout the year. They support the businesses and community by providing free paper shredding days as well as community blood drives. And Barry Harper, Vice President of Business Development, is an active member of the Winner’s Circle Connection Club, providing leads and support to other member businesses.

Kevin Moore is being recognized as the Distinguished Community Leader honoree. Kevin wrote a letter in December, 2003 that was the catalyst to bringing the largest development project to the City of Santa Clara to date. He was instrumental in working with the Chamber of Commerce and entire business community in bringing together a strong coalition to support the building of Levi’s® Stadium that would forever change the face of the North of Bayshore area of our City. He also brought together the citizens of Santa Clara, neighboring cities and elected leaders to support this amazing project. Due in large part to the approval of this project, we are now witnessing unbelievable growth that will bring millions of dollars of economic impact to Santa Clara and the entire region.

The Don Von Raesfeld Chamber Volunteer Award will recognize three volunteers this year who have volunteered with our Chamber for close to 10 years. Marge, Marlene and Dee spend a few hours with us each month helping to put the monthly mailer together as well as working on other projects for the Chamber. Between the three volunteers, they have been responsible for more than 70,000 pieces of mail that the Chamber sent to our members (monthly newsletter, special event invitations, etc.) In addition to their Chamber volunteer work, all three are involved with various non-profit organizations that serve our community, helping to keep Santa Clara a great place to live, work and do business!

The awards will conclude with the Ambassador of the Year and our scholarship recipients for Business Experience Day 2013/2014. Outgoing board members will be recognized for their contributions and the incoming Board of Directors and Officers will be installed. The evening will close with an address by Greg Carey, Managing Director, Investment Banking Division for Goldman Sachs.

He will discuss how the financing for the stadium project came together and will be showing a short video highlighting the community leaders that were instrumental in getting the project approved. Invitations will be mailed in May; however, sponsorships are available – please see the sponsorship form included in this mailing. We look forward to seeing you on June 19th!


California’s Great America Opens 38th Season

Flight Deck Red

California’s Great America’s 38th season kicked off last month on March 29. “We’re coming off a terrific 2013 and plan to deliver an even better 2014 for our guests,” Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. “From dynamic new shows to a freshly painted Flight Deck, guests of all ages will enjoy the enhancements.

The Park will introduce several new food options for 2014, including Auntie Anne’s®, The Churro Factory, which will make fresh churros, an ICEE Mix It Up Stand and an all-day dining plan, along with the bright new red look for Flight Deck.

In addition to free parking and free Halloween Haunt admission, Great America has improved Gold Pass benefits for 2014, including additional Bring-A-Friend dates, 20 percent off Great America merchandise and most food options, Early Ride Time on select Saturdays and $35 discounted tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm when visiting Southern California.

There is still time to purchase a regular Season Pass for just $62.99, or a Gold Pass for as low as $84, making California’s Great America one of the Bay Area’s best entertainment values. For more information and/or Park operating days and hours, visit their website at

New Idea for a Product/Service? Apply to Santa Clara University’s CAPE Program by May 31


Santa Clara University launched CAPE (California Program for Entrepreneurship) in 2010 as an initiative of the Leavey School of Business. The goal of the program is to get businesses of all types up and running in California.  In its first four years, CAPE has graduated 95 entrepreneurs representing 83 ventures. Of those, more than 85% are still active and growing businesses or have been sold.

Their goal is to give a California resident, who has a good idea and plan for a product or service, the tools to develop and launch a business. CAPE will be accepting applications from March 3 through May 31.

There are many entrepreneurship programs in Silicon Valley. CAPE is unique.

  • Unlike most programs, CAPE is free. There is no cost to participate in the program.
  • CAPE does not take an equity interest in the businesses it helps to launch.
  • Participants do not need to be affiliated with Santa Clara University.
  • There are no restrictions on what kind of businesses will be considered, as long as the business is based in California and deemed by evaluators to be viable.
  • The 6-month program is held mostly on weekends.

CAPE alumni have launched “low tech” business ranging from gourmet hot dogs to elder care as well as more technology-driven enterprises like engineering consulting, mobile apps for retailers and online gaming.

The participants have access to more than 150 mentors and experts from the Leavey School of Business and the business world. Over six months, they work together to refine their business plans. The program culminates with a business plan competition where cash prizes are awarded.

CAPE’s 2014 program runs from June through October. The application is available at this link Applications are due May 31, 2014.

Santa Clara Post Office to Remain Open

Santa Clara Post Office

Congressmen Mike Honda (D-CA17) recently lauded US Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe for his decision not to close the historic Santa Clara Post Office at Franklin Mall.

“I am grateful to the Postmaster General for this decision,” Congressman Honda said. “The Franklin Mall Post Office is historic, beautiful, convenient, and necessary for downtown Santa Clara. This is a facility, in the heart of an old mission city, which services small businesses, students, older residents, and everyone else in the area.”

Local civic leaders and citizens have been working to keep the post office open since rumors first surfaced that it would close. The City of Santa Clara sent two letters to the postal service urging them not to close the facility. A petition started by Ken Sinclair of the Downtown Merchants Association garnered over 6,000 signatures.

Since first hearing of the potential closure from his constituents, the Congressman has taken many steps to try to keep it open. In December of 2013, he wrote a letter to the Postmaster General urging him to “keep the post office open and operational.” For months, Congressman Honda’s staff stayed in touch with the office of the Postmaster General, reiterating the Congressman’s concerns. Last week, he spoke with Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman, as well as his colleagues on the Oversight Committee, about this issue.

“I’m very glad that all of our actions led to this decision” the Congressman added. “The Post Office has a difficult job, deciding which facilities to keep open and which they have to shutter. I’m glad they realized the value, history, and importance of the Santa Clara facility.”

The Franklin Mall post office opened in 1936. It is the only downtown building that predates the renovation of downtown Santa Clara in the 1960s.

Member of the Month: UPS Store #4636

UPS Store Santa Clara

The name says a lot but it doesn’t say it all.  What was once a small pack, ship and mailbox store has now turned into the leader in small business services in Santa Clara.  With a wide variety of services, The UPS Store on Homestead and Kiely is your one stop shop for all of your business needs.

Services like faxing, copying, and mailbox rental are a staple of this type of business, but did you know that this UPS Store is also a full service print shop?  From banners to business cards and posters to postcards, and even graphic design, The UPS Store can help you with your printing project from concept to completion.  This UPS Store even offers services like Live Scan fingerprinting and Notary Public 7 days a week.

At The UPS Store our way of doing business revolves around the principal that our customers and clients are our greatest asset and that everything we do for our clients from small to large portrays that philosophy.  So come on down and see why we were voted 2012-2013 Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year!

Visit The UPS Store at 2784 Homestead Road or online at

Now Online – The Chamber of Commerce Community Profile & Membership Directory

Cover Image

The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the launch of its new publication website at

This interactive site features the editorial, pictures and design elements of the Chamber’s recently published, full-color community profile and membership directory. Included on the publication website is a link to a free downloadable eBook – an exact replica of the print publication in digital form – complete with links to member and advertiser websites. In addition, users will find links to the Chamber website, the publication’s advertiser directory and the Chamber’s searchable membership directory at where users search member businesses by name or category, access contact information and easily connect directly to business websites.

The eBook is downloadable to computer desktops and on-the-go via most wireless, web-enabled devices – generating added Chamber, business and community exposure to a worldwide audience, anytime, anywhere.

Village Profile’s new cross-platform Mobile App provides added value to participating publication advertisers with expanded networking opportunities and is now accessible via the Internet from any iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or any other web-enabled mobile phone, or tablet.

To access our V1 Mobile App portal, a user can simply type in the following URL and launch it: Navigate to your state and Chamber community App Page and bookmark it, or add it as an icon to your smartphone home screen.

Features including the community publication cover graphic; links to the online publication; access to the multi-media advertiser directory business listings and Chamber contact information is only one click away, via direct phone dial-up, email, or GPS-driven directions to the Chamber and participating advertisers business location. The Village Profile® Mobile App provides unmatched benefits to smartphone users and participating publication advertisers, providing expanded reach and exposure in the mobile marketplace.

This leading-edge, technologically advanced, royalty-generating publication is produced at NO COST to the Chamber and is made possible through a partnership between the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Village Profile® – an innovative Chamber publisher.

For publication information, please call 800-600-0134 x220, e-mail, or fill out the following no-obligation RFP.