Changes to Employment Law – Are You Ready?

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This year’s new California employment laws stand out by the extent to which they require virtually all employers to take proactive steps to comply.  The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau, in partnership with Hixson Nagatani LLP, will present an employment law update on January 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Chamber Office.  Attendees of this seminar to learn how to:

  • Update sick leave and/or PTO policies to comply with California’s new sick leave law, including new insights that can be gleaned from the California Labor Commissioner’s recently published answers to FAQs.
  • Amend leave policies and practices under anticipated new CFRA regulations.
  • Comply with a new California court ruling that requires reimbursement for employees’ business use of personal cell phones.
  • Adjust pay rates to comply with new minimums for exempt computer software professionals and non-exempt workers.
  • Modify anti-harassment training to include prevention of “abusive conduct,” under a new state law.
  • Adopt or amend arbitration agreements to preclude California employment law class actions.
  • Conduct background checks in compliance with “ban the box” laws being passed across the country.
  • Have compliant technology use policies, in light of the December 2014 NLRB ruling that employees are allowed to use company e-mail to engage in protected speech.

The program will also review several new developments in the area of wage and hour law, noteworthy recent lawsuits, settlements, and verdicts, and a variety of other hot topics.

Time will also be reserved for attendee questions during the program.  All attendees will receive detailed PowerPoint slides and additional written materials concerning the subjects addressed.

Your presenters will be attorneys Brian Nagatani and Mary Wang, who are partners of the law firm Hixson Nagatani LLP.  Hixson Nagatani LLP advises and represents employers in a wide range of employment law matters.  The firm provides advice and counsel on proactive steps that employers should take to ensure compliance and minimize legal risks, including with respect to creating and updating personnel policies and practices, personnel-related forms, risk assessment of contemplated personnel actions, and managers’ legal training.  The firm also defends employers against actual and threatened employee claims, including claims made in state and federal courts, arbitration, and government agencies.

To register for the January 21 session, please complete the enclosed form or register online at www.santaclarachamber.org/events.  Registration is $45 for members and $60 for non-members.

Santa Clara’s All New Convention Calendar is Here!

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The Santa Clara Convention Center has a new Convention Calendar (conventioncalendar.com/sc) which is now available on your smart phone, tablet, and PC.  Planning your next event at the Santa Clara Convention Center just got easier!

The new calendar is a great way to keep up with featured events at the center.  The new calendar receives thousands of visitors planning for their event in Santa Clara each month.  We also have sponsorship opportunities available for businesses seeking exposure to visitors and exhibitors coming to town for their event.  If you are interested in showcasing your business to this lucrative target market, please contact us to reserve your space.  Also, be sure to visit the new calendar to enter your eMail address to sign up for alerts on featured events.

Hotels on Pace for Best Annual Hotel Occupancy & Average Daily Rate Ever

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The eight hotels surrounding the Santa Clara Convention Center and Levi’s Stadium are on pace to record their best annual hotel occupancy and average daily rate ever. Santa Clara full service hotel occupancy is at 81%, up two percent year-over-year. Average daily rate is at $186, up $21.00 compared to previous year.

Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau President Steve Van Dorn says “the increases are due to a number of factors including hotel upgrades, strong business climate, increased Convention Center bookings, and the opening of Levi’s Stadium.” Van Dorn added “we’re on pace for a record year.” 

In November, 2014, the same hotels averaged 75% occupancy, a 5% year-over-year increase. Average daily rate in November was up to $197, climbing $27 compared to previous year. For a complete listing of these Santa Clara hotels, visit SantaClara.org and/or SiliconValleyMeetings.com.

New Year’s Resolutions to Grow Your Business with the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce!

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As you plan your business strategies for 2015, we hope you will continue to include the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau on your list of organizations to become more engaged with to assist you in achieving your goals and growing your business.

Even though 2014 was an upbeat year for most business sectors and 2015 is predicted to have continued growth, we hope you will take advantage of these great opportunities to grow your business even more with the Santa Clara Chamber.  Here are a just a few to kick off your 2015:

Employment Law Update January 21, 2015 from 8:30-10:30am at the Chamber office.  Your presenters will be attorneys Brian Nagatani and Mary Wang, who are partners of the law firm Hixson Nagatani LLP.  Hixson Nagatani LLP advises and represents employers in a wide range of employment law matters.  Registration is $45 for members and $60 for non-members.

Attend our January 29, 2015 “Mixin’ in the New Year” connection event.  This is a NEW joint mixer with the Campbell and San Jose Chambers of Commerce.  You’ll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with members of each chamber, all while enjoying the hospitality of Lunch with Tony @ The Tech Cafe.  Also meet with our exhibitors during the mini-business expo. Members who RSVP by Friday, January 23 will attend at no charge; those who RSVP between January 24-28 will be assessed a late registration fee of $10; non-members and any on-site registration are $20.

Learn about what’s new in Santa Clara at Outlook 2015 on February 18, 2015.  Mayor Matthews will give his “State of City” presentation and key Santa Clara developers will give us an update on their projects.  Networking begins at 5pm and program concludes by 7pm and will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  Registration is $30 for members and $45 for non-members.

Block your calendar on April 23, 2015 for our second annual Silicon Valley Chamber Business Xpo!  This very successful XPO will return in 2015.  We expect over 100 exhibitors and over 1,000 attendees.  The XPO will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  More information will be available in the new year.  This is a must attend event in 2015!

Use Save Local Now.  This app is a great way to showcase deals and events that you are offering at your place of business.  And best of all, it’s FREE to members!  To learn more about how to utilize Save Local Now to bring more people to your business, contact Alice Martinez at (408) 454-1253 – it only takes 15 minutes!

For all of these events, please register online at www.santaclarachamber.org/events.  Look forward to seeing you in 2015.  Please reach out to me at steve.vandorn@santaclara.org for any other suggestions you have on how we can work together in growing your business!

Member of the Month: Wells Fargo Santa Clara

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Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, more than 12,500 ATMs, online (wellsfargo.com), and mobile devices.

Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco, but they’re decentralized so every local Wells Fargo store is a headquarters for satisfying all their customers’ financial needs and helping them succeed financially. They do business with one in three U.S. households. Wells Fargo has more than 265,000 team members in 36 countries across our approximately 90 businesses.

Bob Koch is the Wells Fargo representative for Santa Clara.  For all your banking needs, please contact him at (408) 277-6646.

Member Referrals

We would like to recognize and acknowledge member referrals for the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce.  The following new members were referred by an existing member of the Chamber, and we would like to recognize and thank them for their support.

Ozzie Diaz- Christians with Diaz- Christians Accountancy Corporation referred Ray Aldrete with Top Tier Performance.  If you need help with leadership training and business consulting, call Ray at (646) 251-1703.  Since tax season is upon us, you may want to call Ozzie at (408) 554-6594 to schedule an appointment for your taxes.

Mark Porter with Express Employment Professionals referred Victoria Lei with Changhong Research Labs, Inc., an integrated multinational corporation of military industry, consumer electronics and core components that just opened a new facility in Santa Clara.  To learn more, visit their website www.chanhong.com.cn or call (408) 882-7506.  If your company needs to hire additional employees or if you are looking for a new job, contact Mark at (669) 342-4915.

Lidia Blair with Pizza Party referred two new members: Nan Xiang Wang with JX Cuisine, a new restaurant in the old Pizza Party location at 3581 Homestead Road.  The restaurant has been completely remodeled and transformed into a wonderful Chinese restaurant!  Stop by and try their delicious cuisine or call for take-out (408) 565-4958.

Lidia also referred Alfredo Calvillo with Brilliant General Maintenance, a full service commercial cleaning and maintenance company specializing in all aspects of cleaning.  So to find out more, call Alfredo (Freddie) at (844) 271-6677 and get your company clean and sparkling for the New Year!

For delicious pizza and more visit Pizza Party at 1998 Homestead Road #101 and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner or call (408) 248-5680 to take a pizza home! 

Want to see your name here?  If someone you know would benefit by joining the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, please refer them to Carol Zimring at (408) 380-1236.  Every month we publish new member referrals, listing both the new member and the Chamber member who referred them.  When a member has referred a total of three new members, they will receive a $100.00 advertising credit for use in our weekly and monthly publications.

Chamber, CVB and Convention Center Highlights

As the year ends, here is a recap of some of the accomplishments from our staff at the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau and Santa Clara Convention Center.

Chamber of Commerce:

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Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce highlights include the increase of Pyramid of Leaders membership by more than 60%, the launch of the Silicon Valley Young Professionals Tech Seminars and the first annual Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO.

  • In the first six months of FY 2014-2015, we increased our Pyramid of Leaders membership by more than 60%
  • Launched both Twitter and Facebook accounts for the Chamber
  • Successfully hosted first annual Silicon Valley Chamber Business XPO
  • Santa Clara Chamber PAC endorsed three candidates for City Council and two for Santa Clara Unified School District, all were elected in 2014
  • Silicon Valley Young Professionals launched Tech Series Seminars
  • Partnered with other community organizations to launch new programs, including Lunch with the Legends and South Bay Mixer

CVB Marketing & Communications

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CVB Marketing & Communications highlights include developing a responsive santaclara.org website, creating a “49 Awesome Things To Do in Santa Clara” blog and launching a #SantaClara49 selfie contest.

  • Transitioned SantaClara.org to Responsive Web Design format to fit on all electronic platforms
  • Increased Visit Santa Clara’s total social media presence to nearly 30,000 followers
  • Published “49 Awesome Things To Do in Santa Clara” blog
  • Launched Visit Santa Clara “Selfie 49” Photo Contest
  • Participating on Super Bowl 50 Communications Committee
  • Hosted Santa Clara presentation to California tourism’s “Visit California” staff

CVB Convention Sales, Marketing, & Services

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CVB Conventions Sales, Marketing & Services highlights include generating over $8.2 MILLION GROSS in Convention/group bookings for the Convention Center this year and also assisting to bring WWE Wrestlemania 31 to Santa Clara.

  • Sales team generated over $8.2 MILLION GROSS in Convention/group bookings for Convention  Center in 2013/14 fiscal year
  • Increased hotel in-house bookings by 208%, hotel weekend business by 80% , and lead production by 65% since 2009/10
  • Surpassed 2013/2014 room night goals and achieved all 2013-2014 CVB & TID goals
  • Worked with Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Jose CVB’s, and San Jose Sports Authority to book WWE 2015, NFL 2016 Super Bowl 50, and 2014 PAC12 Championship
  • Began bid process for College Football Championship 2018, 2019 (still pending) and worked with City of San Francisco/CVB and San Jose Sports Authority to bring 2024 Olympics to Bay Area

Convention Center

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  • Installed new floor on Convention Center theatre stage
  • Hosted 506 events FY 2013-2014
  • Installed new sound system throughout Convention Center
  • Upgraded and expanded Concession Stand B
  • Installed two new permanent coffee fronts that can also be used for “grab and go” food items as well as a bar
  • Purchased new modular systems which will improve the quality/look of public food services