LANCASTER - Incoming Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce chairman Bill Hogrefe envisions a future when the five local chambers of commerce will be united as one.Hogrefe will begin a one-year term as the chairman of the AV Chamber July 1.
"The Santa Clarita Valley has just one chamber," Hogrefe
said."They see the benefit of working together.United we stand, together we fall."
In fact, when various Latino members of the Santa Clarita business community contemplated forming a Santa Clarita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce a few years ago, similar to the AV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
, the Santa Clarita Chamber rallied against it, saying local business leaders should work together and separate chambers would create division in their community.Although Hogrefe said he does not believe all the local chambers, including the AV Hispanic, Palmdale, Quartz Hill and Greater AV Chambers of Commerce, will unite during his tenure as chairman, he "would like to plant the seed."
The chambers should unite, Hogrefe
said, so they can work together on behalf of the business community, rally Legislators to advocate pro-business bills and work to shoot down legislation that will negatively affect business. Hogrefe
own chamber, which boasts the largest membership of any chamber in the Valley with more than 900 members, is a good example of his
plan in action.
The AV Chamber
was started in 1902 as the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
In addition to planting the seed for a single, united chamber, Hogrefe
would like to create an all-inclusive membership package for chamber members that would allow them to pay for all the chamber activities in one lump sum so they can "avoid being nickel-and-dimed to death."
The incoming chairman said his
goals also include "expanding the foundation, which we just created."
...Hogrefe, who works with Mike Dispenza Insurance, has been involved in the AV Chamber for 17 years.During that period, he has served four three-year terms as a chamber officer.He
was recently elected by the director of the board to replace outgoing chairman Phil Kincaid, whose term will end June 30.
In addition to Hogrefe
, the chamber will install four new officers this year.