There was a changing of the guard at the annual meeting of the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce as the board chair’s gavel was passed from Cartograph Wines owner Alan Baker to Shelley Anderson, of the Healdsburg High Academic Internship Program. New and returning board members also took the oath of office during the meeting, held March 5 at the CraftWork space in the downtown Mitchell Center.
Executive Director Tallia Hart addressed the newly minted board and outlined a year ahead to be focused on strengthening membership, exploring new chamber-sponsored events, collaborative marketing to continue to lure wine country visitors and the rekindling of a chamber Government Affairs Committee.
“We hope to align with the city over local business interests such as economic development, parking and continued public relations outreach started after the wildfires,” said Hart, who will begin her second year at the chamber in August.
Attorney Daniel Maraviglia will lead the Government Affairs Committee which holds open meetings the first Friday of the month at 9 a.m. at the chamber offices.
“We’re open to looking at all local issues presented to us from a business perspective,” said Maraviglia.
Baker will be chair of the chamber’s marketing committee where he said he looks forward to attracting added help and support from volunteering chamber members. The chamber has an $80,000 marketing budget, thanks to city and county government grants and local tax monies.
“Before we were left with no funds and not much to do,” said Baker. “Now we have funds which means we have work to do and need more ideas and help.”
Other board members include Will Seppi, Costeaux French Bakery; Brad Pender, Healdsburg Lumber Co.; Skip Brand, Healdsburg Running Co.; Brain Ferrell, So Eventful and The Posh Privy; Emily Harris, Recology Sonoma Marin; Tom Nelson, Duchamp Hotel; Richard Norgrove Sr., Bear Republic Brewing Co.; and Sam Tesconi, Ramey Wine Cellars.
Aleena Decker and Charlene Staton are the other office staff that work with Hart.
During comments following the official portion of the annual meeting, the current public health emergency involving the COVID-19 virus incident was discussed amidst official and unofficial announcements of more event cancelations and postponements. Just after the meeting, the city of Healdsburg declared an official local emergency and the postponement of the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Parade through downtown.
“We have an opportunity here to reach out to San Francisco and those places where workers are working at home,” said Brand.
“We should invite them to come to Healdsburg and do their work and relaxation. We should focus on what’s local and what’s in our backyard.” Nelson said, “we can tell people to come to Healdsburg and work remotely from here.”