Focus on Santa Clara – Outlook 2015

Outlook 2015

Interested in learning about what’s going on with all the building growth in Santa Clara?  Want to know what Santa Clara will look like 5-10 years from now?  Then plan on attending Focus on Santa Clara – Outlook 2015.  Join members of the region for a no-host reception where you can network and mingle.  The program will include Santa Clara’s Mayor Jamie Matthews state of the city update, letting you know what’s currently happening in the City and where it’s headed. Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO for the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce will host a discussion with Steve Eimer, Executive Vice President of Related Cos. and Joshua Howard, Executive Director of the California Apartment Association, Tri-County Division.  Each will give highlights of what their organization is doing to enhance business and residential growth in our area.

Registration is $30 for Chamber Members and $45 for non-members.

Corporate sponsors include California’s Great America, El Camino Hospital, Graphic Packaging International, Inc., Hilton Santa Clara, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Intel Corporation, Irvine Company, Kaiser Permanente, Marvell, M.E. Fox & Company, Inc., Menlo Equities, Oracle, Related California, San Francisco 49ers, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Southwest Airlines, SummerHill Housing Group, and UCSC Silicon Valley Extension.


Annual Board Retreat Prioritizes Strategies

Board Retreat 2015

Board of Directors Retreat group photo at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club

The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau held its annual Board of Directors Retreat last month at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose. The focus of the one-day retreat was to establish strategies to assure the organization continues to excel. Board members were divided into groups to develop “smart goals” to address any barriers facing the organization.

The overall big picture and five year strategic plan was discussed as well. “This input from our Board made of community and business leaders is invaluable,” says Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau President & CEO Steve Van Dorn. The five year strategic plan includes the Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Santa Clara Convention Center.

City & Chamber Fighting to Keep Convention Center & Other Valuable Land Due to RDA Dissolution


As I have reported to you in the past, the City of Santa Clara and Chamber have been working very hard to keep over 100 acres of Santa Clara real estate out of the hands of the State, County and other taxing agencies that make up our Oversight Board.  Unfortunately, the courts in Sacramento recently ruled that Governor Brown’s RDA Dissolution law is legal and all assets purchased with redevelopment funds must now be returned to the State and Oversight Board agencies.

Many cities in California spent their RDA funds on human resources, studies and other miscellaneous City projects.  Santa Clara invested their funds in purchasing land and building a convention center to provide future revenues for the City and to promote economic development.  In fact, several years ago, the City Council made a bold decision and asked the voters to approve purchasing the Great America property with RDA funds.  The voters approved this and not only saved the amusement park from closing, but also brought in an additional $5 million a year in lease revenue to the City’s general fund.  The Convention Center, Hyatt Regency, Tech Mart and Hilton Hotel were other examples of this sound RDA investment strategy.

The overall strategy paid off and brought over $13 million a year in lease revenue to the City’s general fund to pay for police, fire and infrastructure improvements.  It also led the way to major expansion and development of our North of Bayshore area.

Unfortunately, Governor Brown and the legislature passed a law that will now take these assets away from the City.  The Oversight Board is moving forward swiftly to move the land assets and Convention Center away from the City to be sold to the highest bidder.  These proceeds will not be coming to the City and will be dispersed to the Oversight Board member’s taxing organizations and State as required by law.    

I hope you agree with me and find this is simply outrageous.  Unfortunately, there is little we can do since the court has made a final ruling in favor of the Governor’s law.  We do hope that the Convention Center will remain under the control of the City, but it is still too early to know what will finally happen.

Imagine our Convention Center being run and owned by another company that has no skin in the game.  They could do whatever they wanted to meet their bottom line numbers reporting to agencies that don’t even represent the City.  We certainly hope this does not become the final outcome.

We are working very closely with the City Manager and Council in making every effort to be sure our voice is heard throughout this process.  If you’d like to have your voice heard, please reach out to Ken Yeager your County Supervisor.  He can be reached at 408-299-5040 or by email at

Steve Van Dorn

Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau President and CEO

Member Referrals for February 2015

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.

Jim Mercurio with San Francisco 49ers referred Walter Wilson with Minority Business Consortium.   If you are or know of a minority business that needs assistance, contact Walter at 408-660-9271 to learn more.  To contact Jim for the latest on the 49ers, call 408-562-4949.  Go Niners!!

Ravinder Lal with The UPS Store #4636 referred Rebecca Wang with Touch to Heal SPA.   For a relaxing way to relieve the stress of everyday life, contact Rebecca at 408-271-8729 and schedule an appointment for a healing massage.  Do you need flyers, business cards, posters or signs for your business?  Did you know the UPS Store #4636 on Homestead does much more than packing and shipping?  Call Ravinder at 408-247-4010 to find out more.

Kam Barn with U-Haul Co. of Southbay referred one of his colleges, Marlon Masongcay with U-Haul Moving & Storage.  If you are moving or need a place to store your belongings until you find that perfect home, contact Kam at 510-224-7608 or Marlon at 408-660-3108.

Sergio Oliveri with Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau referred Gene Campbell and Kristen Kintner with The Glasshouse SJ, LLC.  Are you looking for a unique and awesome venue to host an event?  Contact Kristen at 408-606-8148 and find out more about this fantastic venue right in downtown San Jose!

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.

Spotlight on Pyramid of Leaders: Intel & Kaiser Permanente

Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau’s Pyramid of Leaders represents the foundation of our membership.   They help sponsor events, support issues, and are the fore runners for the Chamber and the community.

Starting this month, we will be highlighting some of our Pyramid Leaders so that our members can learn more about their businesses and how their relationship with the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau has benefited their organization. 

We hope you enjoy learning more about our Pyramid Leaders each month and that you will also consider increasing your level of membership to become a Pyramid of Leaders member.  For more information, contact Carol Zimring at or (408) 380-1236.


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Santa Clara is home to Intel’s corporate headquarters and the flagship Intel Museum which showcases more than 40 years of Intel’s innovations. As Santa Clara’s largest employer and the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker (based on revenue), Intel develops advanced digital technology products, primarily integrated circuits, to bring smart connected devices to people around the globe. During the last five years, Intel has contributed approximately $65 million to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region focusing much of its corporate philanthropy on improving math, science and engineering education. In 2014, Intel’s California employees volunteered a record 330,000 hours and donated $8,798,000 in corporate and foundation gifts to our local site communities.

Intel is proud to support the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, as this organization provides a critical voice for large and small businesses on matters that directly impact the regional economy. Together with the Chamber and its other members, Intel collaboratively works to enhance our community through education, volunteerism, industry leadership and innovation. The Chamber’s leadership and advocacy in supporting all of the region’s businesses and the issues that are important to them is vital to keeping Santa Clara and Silicon Valley the preeminent innovation center in the world.


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Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. In the Silicon Valley, our Santa Clara and San Jose Medical Centers serve more than half a million people.

Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

Realizing our vision of total health means forming meaningful partnerships in the communities we serve. The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is an important resource for connecting to Silicon Valley businesses. From the opportunities to give back to the community through Chamber events to the knowledge exchanged from meeting individual members, it’s a great way to identify new partnerships and strengthen the existing relationships we have with our local business community.