Porterville, Hanford hire new chamber directors

Hanford and Porterville each have two new, fresh faces leading their Chambers of Commerce.

“My goal is to rebuild the passion for the Hanford Chamber of Commerce,” said its new director, Joey Joslin.

Joslin was appointed December 1; he was initially approached by the chamber’s longtime executive director Mike Bertaina in June of 2017 to take over after Bertaina’s retirement.

When Bertaina retired, former board member Catherine Willis was appointed as an interim director while the organization dealt with financial issues and refined its recruitment procedure.

Willis unexpectedly passed away a few months later, leaving the directorship again open.

The board, then containing several new members, appointed Joslin.

Joslin said that when he started as director many of the board members had either termed out or were facing health problems and resigned, giving him some fresh faces and new energy.

He states that his motto is, “New board, new director, new direction.”

Goals for 2018

Besides revamping the chamber’s website — which hasn’t been updated in two years — Joslin plans on increasing membership.

He said that right now the
membership is at 400, but that there are 1400 registered business in Hanford. His goal is to get at least half of them to join.

Another goal is to increase the incentives for businesses to join the Chamber. Joslin plans on encouraging member to member discounts such as a gym membership that will only be available to other chamber members.

Networking mixers also help local businesses with resources and building a customer base.

“We just had a great Holiday mixer at Hanford’s Maciel Mortgage,” said Joslin.

Several events are already scheduled for 2018. The Distinguished Citizen and Business Awards Dinner is March 31, and the KJUG concert series, put on with Hanford’s Parks and Recreation Department, is planned for May and June. The annual Christmas Tree Auction is also already planned and will be held on December 6, 2018.

“We have a great board and we share the same great vision,” said Joslin.

Porterville Chamber’s New Leader

Porterville’s new Chamber of Commerce Director, Monte Reyes, is taking over for Stephanie Cortez, who announced in September her plans to depart at the end of the year.

The chamber formed a selection committee and took three months to find the perfect match for their organization. After the vetting of many candidates and extensive interviews. Reyes came out on top.

“Reyes’ genuine passion for the Porterville community set him apart and afforded the chamber board confidence that the organization and community would be in good hands. A true son of Porterville, Monte is part of a long line of community builders, visionaries, and leaders,” a statement from the chamber stated.

Reyes doesn’t come in as a novice — he has served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014 and held the position as Vice Chair of Community Outreach in 2012.

Reyes is a current Porterville City Council member whose family roots in the city stretch back four generations. He was appointed to the Porterville City Council in July of 2014 to fill the seat of Pete McCracken, who passed away shortly after winning reelection.

Reyes was born in Porterville then moved with his mother to the Bay Area where he eventually worked for an internet start up business.

“A graduate of the Leadership Porterville program in 2010, Monte has become a visible part of the Porterville landscape. He was the Chairman of the Board for the Porterville Youth Leadership Academy, and he has a special place in his heart for Porterville’s emerging leaders,” the chamber’s website states. “Reyes was the Porterville Chamber of Commerce Male Volunteer of the Year Award recipient in 2014 and currently serves on the Porterville City Council, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Governing Board, and the Economic Development Corporation of Tulare County.”

“Monte has shown his commitment to growth and progress in the community. The board felt it important to have a candidate who valued community and economic development as much as we do. Monte cares about the direction of our community and organization and has a vision for the future that aligns with our goals,” William Garfield, the Porterville Chamber’s board chairman, said.

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