The Escondido Chamber of Commerce has served as our city's business advocate, promoting free enterprise and a strong business community for over 120 years. I have enjoyed being a part of this premiere volunteer organization for nearly thirty years. That's not unusual, the Chamber has many long term members, but what is unique (at least in this Chamber) is that I am now completing my
term as Chairman of the Board.
I first served 1998-1999. Ernie Cowan was the Immediate Past Chairman and Erick Altona Esq. the Chairman Elect. Our CEO was David Ish. That time is remembered for our Hawaiian Slack Key guitar concert promotion and was the first year the Chamber began endorsing political candidates.
In 2005-2006, my second term as Chairman of the Board, Dick Daniels was the outgoing Chairman. I will forever fondly remember that Installation Dinner held at Orfila Winery. As incoming Chair I was allotted a few minutes to say hello. Instead, I brought my fiancée on stage, took a knee and proposed marriage! She said yes and the outpouring of good will was truly wonderful. The Chair Elect was Les Abshire and our CEO was Harvey Mitchell.
I joined the Chamber in 1989. When asked why, I usually reply "To meet people on a favorable basis" and when I look at photos of the men and women who have served as Chairman of the Board in the Chamber's Board Room, I see the faces of friends and can recall their many achievements. Our Mayor Sam Abed and Council member John Masson for example. Or attorneys Carl Skaja, Constance Larsen and Erick Altona. And, don't forget master woodworker Brian Murphy or health care executive Floyd Farley and bankers Les Abshire and Fred Baranowski.
2017-2018 has been a banner year for the Chamber. But it is clear that we have all stood on the shoulders of those leaders that served before us and to all of you - Thank you!
Kevin S Svetich, CLU