SB Chamber installs new officers

IECN photo Ricardo Tomboc:  San Bernardino City Mayor John Valdivia swore in new chamber officers and board members at the Arrowhead Country Club on Feb. 28.
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The San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce (SBACC) held its annual Installation of Officers on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the San Bernardino Arrowhead Country Club. The event sold out with an estimated 200 guests in attendance.

Jim Wheeler, Chairperson for the SBACC and General Manager of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant in San Bernardino was the Master of Ceremonies. San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia was the keynote speaker for the event. The invocation was delivered by Father Andrew Lesko, and the flag salute led by Jack Avakian.

Other elected officials in attendance included San Bernardino Fourth Ward Councilperson Fred Shorett; Josh Monzon, representative for Senator Mike Morrell; Michael Townsend, Representative for Senator Connie Leyva; Darrell Frye, Representative for Assemblymember Eloise Reyes; and Dion Taylor, Representative for Assemblymember James Ramos.

IECN photo Ricardo Tomboc: Chamber Chairperson Jim Wheeler, right, presented a gavel to Mayor John Valdivia to be used during city council meetings.

President and CEO of the SBACC Judi Penman addressed the room with the iconic “It’s a great day in San Bernardino” slogan, while Douglas Kleam, President of the St. Bernardine Medical Center, provided updates on the medical advancements, achievements, and historical importance of St. Bernardine Medical Center to the San Bernardino community.

During the keynote speech, Valdivia discussed improvements that have been or will be implemented in the City of San Bernardino. Topics he touched upon included customer service, Team San Bernardino, how Rialto gets a Cracker Barrel and not San Bernardino, the downtown corridor, open door policy, and community input.

New officers and board Members were sworn in by Valdivia. Officers are Jim Wheeler – Chairperson, Debbie Swalla – Financial Chair, Maryann Quiggle – Ambassador, Larry Quiel – Business Support, and Jack Avakian – Community Affairs. New board Members are Ali Cayir, Alan Conrad, Frank Coser, Julio Diaz, Jack Katzman, John Kaufman, Lesely Stevens, Kelly Ledbetter, Cathy Paedes, Terri Relf, Marty Romero, Nelson Selmer, Whitney Henderson, and Cliff Utley.

The program ended with Wheeler presenting Valdivia with a gavel to be used during the city council meetings. The story as told by Wheeler was that the official City of San Bernardino gavel had disappeared several years ago. “Possibly repossessed during the city’s bankruptcy.” All in humor, the Mayor accepted the gavel.

For more information on membership to the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, go to and to the membership section; or call 909-855-7515.

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