The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce installed new officers last week at the installation of the 2021-2022 board of directors.
The installation took place in-person at the Seal Beach Yacht Club (which is actually located in Long Beach).
Dick Douglass of Ferguson Realty will be the Chamber’s vice president.
Kori DeLeon of RTI Insurance will be the Chamber secretary. (DeLeon is a past Chamber president.)
Rob Jahncke of Javatinis Espresso will again be Chamber president.
Chamber president looks back
“This last year serving as Seal Beach Chamber President, it was a really tough year since our organization is event based for about 50% of our financial budget,” Jahncke wrote.
“Fortunately we had an outstanding Board of Directors for the year with a lot of innovative people who were completely prepared to work outside of the norm. A lot of firsts happened last year, a virtual board retreat, virtual networking, virtual monthly meetings with webinars,” Jahncke wrote.
“This was also the year of inspiration for our first ever ‘Car Cruise’ which was a great success. (We even had drivers go around a second time because they had so much fun seeing Seal Beach residents cheer them on.) However, as positive as these changes were, our Chamber could not survive in the virtual environment indefinitely and I knew we had to move forward when the time was right,” Jahncke wrote.
“Let me share with you one of our more memorable moments in a step transitioning back. The Chamber monthly meetings are foundational to our organization where many members connect and get informed,” Jahncke wrote.
“Our first ‘in-person’ monthly meeting last April 8, 2021 was a hybrid meeting outside in Eisenhower Park with the permission of the City with Mayor Joe Kalmick, using the table and chairs from ‘Music in the Park’. It was a ‘Man on the Moon’ moment for us with so many new things all coming together,” Jahncke wrote.
“Again, our board members stepping forward to help with the technology to make the outdoor meeting possible to attend virtually (It was NOT easy).
“Others helped to setup and carry food from ‘The Hangout’ for everyone. It was simply amazing to watch everyone come together. It was all worth it. Seeing many people at the meeting coming together for the first time after so many months with ‘air hugs’, fist bumps, was so touching. It shows how strong our Seal Beach community is and I love being a part of it,” Jahncke wrote.
• Javatinis, owned by Chamber President Rob Jahncke, was named Business of the Year.
“I am very honored to receive the award ‘Business of the Year’ from the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce. This was unexpected,” Jahncke wrote in an Oct. 18 email.
“Our business was simply in survival mode, like most everyone else,” he wrote.
“It was an extremely tough year for ALL business last year with the Covid-19 pandemic having ever changing rules and guidelines,” Jahncke wrote.
“Much appreciation goes to my staff, who were continuing to work even with all of the turmoil. We had to learn how to pivot and change, looking out for our customers, for my staff and the various regulations. Even with all of the changing rules, a lot of information was unknown,” Jahncke wrote.
“Eventually, I found my way by carefully reading the new regulations and separating the truth in what was required from the various opinions from many different sources,” Jahncke wrote.
“A great big ‘thank you’ goes out to the people of Seal Beach who really supported all of the local businesses through this tough time,” Jahncke wrote.
“When the pandemic started, I quickly pivoted by adding a new Online Ordering system, Curbside Pickup and Grubhub delivery which enabled me to help to meet people at their point of comfort in the pandemic,” Jahncke wrote.
“Anyone could get coffee at a level of service from zero contact delivery, our curbside pickup option, all the way up to ordering in person, in the store. We wanted all of our guests to feel comfortable,” Jahncke wrote.
• Cheryl Loofbourrow received the Esther Kenyon Esther Kenyon Heart of the Chamber Award.
• Board member Karen Kuns received the Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Considering all the amazing Volunteers I work alongside, it is a huge honor to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award, especially since it’s an award for something I lovingly and willingly do,” Kuns wrote in an Oct. 18 email.
“This past year our Ambassador Team implemented the ‘Member Spotlight’ program through the Weekly Squeal, sharing a common goal of highlighting and promoting our Chamber members and their businesses, as well as serving them through the pandemic,” Kuns wrote.
“So, kudos to our 2021/2022 Ambassadors that I consider the ‘Face of the Chamber’ and true earners of this award,” Kuns wrote.
• Matt Pixa, of My Portfolio Guide and a board member, received Business Person of the Year.
“It truly is an honor to be named Business Person of the Year,” Pixa wrote in an Oct. 14 email.
“Over the years I’ve had opportunities to consider running my business in other cities and am so grateful to have always called Seal Beach not only my home, but a perfect domicile for my business,” Pixa wrote.
“This community and the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce is unique so it’s a true blessing to call this place home,” Pixa wrote.
“Receiving a community based award like this means the world to me and makes me want to continue doing my very best for all those I’m fortunate enough to be connected with. Thank you,” Pixa wrote.
Retiring board members
Retiring from the Chamber board were:
• Director Conni Medina, of Clarity Consulting, Inc.
• Appointee Matthew Thomas, of Taste Nation, LLC.
• Appointee Les Johnson, who recently retired as Seal Beach Community Development director.
• Director Paul Rice of Main Street Cyclery.
• Appointee Tia Wildermuth, pastor of First United Methodist Church.
Wildermuth gave the invocation for the installation ceremoney.
Chamber Board members for 2021-2022
In addition to the officers already mentioned, Chamber board members for the next year are:
Deb Machen (who provided the Sun with the list of officers)
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the title of Cheryl Loofbourrow’s award.