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GAR Bennett ribbon cutting

The Hanford Chamber of Commerce and its board held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday for for the new GAR Bennett in Armona.

HANFORD — The Hanford Chamber of Commerce is starting the New Year with a clean slate and a positive attitude.

On Dec. 17, Linda Silveira became the interim CEO/executive director following the resignation of the previous director, Joey Joslin, after two years on the job.

While this will be a time of transition for the chamber before finding a permanent executive director, Silveira is looking forward to getting the chamber back on track and doing what it has always been intended to do: promote business and encourage growth and retention in the local business community.

Right now, Silveira is getting affairs in order and is ready to introduce a new, revamped chamber.

“Everything is off to a new start,” Silveira said Friday at the chamber office, located at 113 Court St., Suite 104 in Hanford.

First on Silveira’s list is getting out into the local business community to update business contacts and let businesses know the benefits of chamber membership, hopefully garnering interest and bringing in new members.

Along with ribbon cuttings and grand openings, the Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of opportunities to market businesses within the community and also offers networking opportunities through mixers and “Coffee Break” events.

In fact, the chamber’s next Coffee Break will take place from 8-9 a.m. on Jan. 21 at FAST Café, 312 W. Seventh St. in Hanford. Members will be able to chat and mingle over a cup of coffee.

During the event, Silveira said she will introduce the chamber’s new board members. Besides a few veterans, Silveira said the board is mostly new and includes members from a variety of different businesses and backgrounds.

Silveira is enthusiastic about the new board and their vision for the future.

“The board is very active and they all want to make a difference,” she said.

Some added benefits Silveria hopes to bring to the Chamber of Commerce include monthly luncheons and possibly some type of small leadership conferences with guest speakers. She said the chamber has many ideas and will figure out what works once the new CEO is on board.

The chamber also hosts several events throughout the year, including the upcoming Distinguished Citizens and Business Dinner in March. Silveira said the chamber will be more proactive in making sure the events are successful.

All in all, the main goal for Silveira is to make positive changes and do better to advocate for chamber members and the business community not just in Hanford, but throughout Kings County.

“We want to make it better, and I think with this change it will be good,” Silveria said.

A job posting for a new executive director will be up soon, and Silveira said the board will look for someone who is a people-person with a lot of enthusiasm and who can dedicate their time to promoting local business.

In the meantime, Silveira said she is humbled about doing the job and looks forward to helping businesses grow.

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The reporter can be reached at (559) 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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