This was the most well attended political kick off in Pacifica that I have ever witnessed. Somewhere betweeen 50-100 people came and I’m sure she raised a lot of money. She has a passion for Pacifica and seeing things improve. She is concerned about Sea Level Rise and the “Managed Retreat” program the City is offering.
Races will be fun to watch.
I am supporting Vickie Flores, Mike O’Neill and Sue Beckmeyer, who are running in a field also including incumbent John Keener, Adornica Shaw/Porter, (a high tech exec), Mary Bier (Prevention Partnership) and possibly others!
In Daly City, incumbants Guingona, Christensen & Buenaventura will probably run again. They are being challenged by Planning Commissioner DiGiovanni (big supporter of Juslyn Manalo in 2016), and PBRC member Das-Magual. Maybe others will join in.
Many of my former colleagues and contacts have reported to me that Pat Martel retired. I have to congratulate her on her retirement.
Chamber Happenings – December 2017
Greetings from Pacifica Chamber of Commerce
Many thanks to all who attended our annual Rockaway Tree Lighting Festival! Santa Claus, who arrived on a Pacifica fire truck with a bag full of candy canes, was very pleased with all the good little girls and boys from Pacifica! We clocked in about 3,500 attendees, who enjoyed the Holiday Spirit, food from our restaurants, such as Nick’s, Pacific Java Cafe and Moonraker, as well as visiting food trucks. Shopkeepers and professional offices were delighted by many visitors, who enjoyed writing letters to Santa, face painting, pony rides, snow flurries, a Treasure Hunt, the Senior Center Silent Auction and the many vendors who sold arts & crafts and hosted children arts & crafts activities.
A total amount of 300 pounds of perishable food was collected for the Pacifica Resource Center to assist families in need this holiday season. Thank you to our all our wandering characters that delighted children and included a Mermaid, Batman & Robin, Beauty & the Beast and Snow White. Local music act, Dutch Uncle performed with their amazing sounds, along with other school performances and children sang, danced as the Pacifica Seaside Singers sang Christmas Carols for the crowd. The Chamber thanks many of our vendors who set up booths. Huge heartfelt thanks to our generous sponsors, Rockaway merchants, the Business Improvement District and the many volunteers that included the kids from St. Peter’s Confirmation Group & our donars; for without them, none of it would be possible. Set your calendars for December 2, 2018, so we can do it all again!
We are pleased to announce our upcoming 2017 Chamber Awards nominees. The Chamber will be hosting a gala Awards and Installation Dinner on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at Nick’s Restaurant. The award winners will be as follows: Business of the Year: Grocery Outlet; Business Treasure: Freutel Roofing; Outstanding Community Organization: Rotary Club of Pacifica; Innovative New Business: The Royal Bee Yarn Company; Nick and Lorraine Gust Lifetime Achievement Award: Horace Hinshaw; Revitalization and Beautification: Pacifica Garden Club; Outstanding New Business: Tripp Distillery; Outstanding Volunteers of the Year: Pete and Cheryl Yoes of Dial Glass Window Co.; Ambassador of the Year: Dr. Susan Hsu. Master of Ceremonies will be CEO, Jamie Monozon. Tickets will be $60.00 and can be obtained by calling the Chamber at 650-355-4122 or visiting our website.
We welcome our new members, Pacifica Java Cafe, in Rockaway Beach and SureFyre Collective on Palmetto. Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings, Eccleston Incorporated at 205 Rockaway Beach Ave., #2 on December 15, @ 3pm; Mathnasium at 743 Hickey Blvd, January 5th @ 3pm; Crawford & Hanson Law Firm, 1750 Francisco, January 19th @ 3pm. On February 13, we will have a “No Host” Valentine’s Day Mixer at A Grape in the Fog, we’ll be sampling owner, Beth Lemke’s new menu! We are pleased to announce the rescheduled date for our Golf Tournament, it will now be held on May 5th at Sharp Park Golf Course. Space for 4-somes are available, please call the chamber.
Wishing you Happy Holidays as we end 2017, and more fun and great business in 2018! The Chamber will again bring Taste of Pacifica, Oktoberfest and some new events for 2018 to celebrate our business community and our spectacular coastal environment.
Victor Spano, President
Pacifica Chamber of Commerce
The Power of Networking
By Victor Spano, President,
Pacifica Chamber of Commerce
A great grand opening was had at Curry & Kabab. Pacifica Rotary heard about it, and had a mixer there. A few prospective members of the Pacifica Chamber attended the Rotary gathering, and one joined the chamber soon thereafter. Curry & Kabab donated pizza for the Chamber’s “Aspiring Entrepreneurs Mixer,” which was co-sponsored by US Bank. Many aspiring entrepreneurs attended to hear presentations by Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, Rotary and others who have nurtured new businesses here in Pacifica. As result of collaboration, US Bank on Oceana Blvd. will be co-sponsoring a series of workshops with Small Business Development Center called “Retail 101,” which will be happening during October. One of the mixer speakers, Jason Tripp of Tripp Distillery, is hosting Rotary for a Welcome Wagon Mixer, and Paula from SBDC will be talking about Social Media for business. The date is October 3. Jason will be on hand to talk about the distillery, Rotary will be talking about Rotary, and the Chamber will be on hand as well. We love to facilitate networking and it happens here at the chamber office every day.
Pacifica Chamber welcomes new members: Edward Jones Investments / Sven Geffken, Ron Coverson MBA / Barrett Business Services, as well as Angelica Velasco, AV Hair and Make Up Salon on Palmetto Avenue, and Royal Bee Yarn Company at Eureka Square. We are reaching out to non-members and former members to explain our new membership benefits. Many of our current members are signing up for a discount program, entitling members to special discounts or offers from fellow members. Our idea is to have membership pay for itself many times over. Current and prospective members are invited to call our office for a list of all participating chamber members and discounts.
Pacifica Chamber was recently invited by the Half Moon Bay Chamber to attend the monthly Coastside Emergency Action Program (CEAP) meeting. Pacifica Police Department sends a representative to these meeting and the point is to coordinate emergency planning on the Coast, over and above citywide programs such as Community Emergency Response Training (CERT).
A very fun event occurred at the South San Francisco Event Center called the “Multi-Chamber Expo,” which included the Pacifica Chamber, San Bruno, and four other chambers. Our CEO, Jamie Monozon put the whole thing together, a very fun raffle occurred and hundreds of people visited and learned about the offerings of local business, as well as picking up all sorts of swag that these kind of events always offer.
Finally, plugging upcoming fun events: Grand Opening / Ribbon Cutting at Sean’s Quality Floors on Palmetto, September 22nd at 3 p.m. We will be at Fog Fest by Dial Glass, and plan on having our Oktoberfest food preview this year. Oktoberfest (German Food and Beer) happens September 30th at Sharp Park Restaurant, and just two weeks later, we will be having our first ever joint Pacifica / San Bruno Chamber Bootlegger’s Boogie Golf Tournament. Sponsorships are available; please visit our website, pacificachamber.com or call our office at 650-355-4122 for details.
Happy summer from Pacifica Chamber of Commerce. It’s a little less hectic here as our directory campaign has concluded. Expect a new directory in your mailbox around November.
At Sea Bowl, June 17, the Chamber sponsored a dunk tank at the annual Kops and Kids event. Captain Spanheimer, Larry Passmore, Scott Cirimeli, Bill Meyerhoff and Seajay Winterstavern delighted children, who dunked them into the icy water … countless times.
Special thanks to all who came out to our Taste of Pacifica back on June 24. To sample the delicious food of our Pacifica restaurants, we had a nice crowd including Supervisor Don Horsley, Mayor Mike O’Neill, and Council Members Sue Digre and Sue Vaterlaus.
For this event, we created a special passport that enables participation in a drawing for a Stampede 37.5” BBQ barrel, as well as discounts at some of the Taste of Pacifica participating restaurants and shops. Just visit six of the restaurants in the book and you can enter the drawing. We still have a few passports left and available at no charge.
On July 25, Luigi’s hosted our Networking at Night mixer. A great time was had, and I took some of Luigi’s famous rice balls with sauce to go.
We’re happy to welcome many new members who recently joined us. The Chamber will be having a ribbon cutting on Aug. 11 at 4 p.m. at Tripp Distillery, 1121 Palmetto, which distills vodka and rum on-site. Curry & Kabab — healthy and fresh Indian cuisine and seafood — recently opened at Fairmont Shopping Center. I have tried their various dishes; my favorite is their tasty tandoori chicken and pizza. Mr. Rana, the owner, is community-oriented and is hosting the Rotary Club’s Welcome Wagon Mixer on Aug. 1.
Motostrano, “the best E-bike shops in the world” with locations in Redwood City and San Francisco, joined our chamber to serve Pacifica. Shampa’s Pies, whose famous pies can be found at Farmer’s Market in Rockaway, now is a chamber member. We also welcome Renovation Design Realty, Surf Camp, Heirloom Agency and new Grocery Outlet owners Dianna and Chan Chu.
Mark your calendars; our other upcoming events include: Our annual Aspiring Entrepreneurs Mixer, this year at U.S. Bank at Eureka Square on Aug. 14, 7–8:30 p.m. The mixer is my favorite event; we have folks from the Small Business Development Center, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, actual Pacifica business owners and others on hand to guide you towards opening a business in Pacifica.
Oktoberfest will happen again at Sharp Park Restaurant/Golf Course on September 30. Our first annual Pacifica/San Bruno Bootleggers Golf Tournament occurs on Oct. 14, also at Sharp Park. Team discounts and hole sponsorships will again be available. On Nov. 18, the Chamber and the Pacifica Historical Society are co-sponsoring a dinner celebrating Pacifica’s 60th anniversary of incorporation as a city. This will be a very unique and special presentation, with Historical Society docents portraying various episodes of Pacifica History in period costumes.
Q&A With Victor Spano, New President of Chamber of Commerce
By Vanitha Sankaran
Who is Victor Spano?
I am 52 years old, I lived in Vallemar briefly during the early 1980s, buying a home here 10 years ago with my wife Carmen and son John in the Fairmont district of Pacifica. John is currently a sixth grader at Ocean Shore School. I graduated from San Francisco State University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and in 1997 from the University of Southern California in Real Estate Development. I began a 22 year career in local government with City of Pacifica and San Mateo County Planning Departments in 1990, retiring from local government in 2014 after a long stint at Daly City in several positions, most notably Economic Development and Redevelopment.
Now that I am retired, I like to hang out with my family and have a growing real estate consulting practice. I am involved in several community organizations and their boards, I serve or have served as past president of Pacifica Rotary Club, Vice President of Fogfest, former Chair of the Pacifica Economic Development Committee, and Vice Chair of the Jefferson High School District Bond Oversight Committee. I recently became a new member of Pacifica’s Moose Lodge. I joined the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce two years ago to continue my Economic Development experience, and joined the board a few months later. I have been involved in nearly all chamber activities. The highlight of my service with the Chamber of Commerce has been our organization of several “Aspiring Entrepreneurs Mixers,” which links those interested in opening a business in Pacifica to resources and individuals who can help them make their dreams a reality.
Q: You have experience in different organizations around Pacifica. What has that taught you and how will your Chamber role be different?
A: When I was in real estate school, one of my professors told me, if you want to be successful, you need to know how to push. Having fun and getting things done are needs that persist in my core. People in volunteer organizations either do things on their own, or need a gentle reminder. I have been in the Fogfest Festival and have organized contests and sponsorships. Fogfest is a monumental undertaking, it is the sum of many parts. With Rotary I help and have helped keep our local and community projects going, such as the Oceana Boulevard Landscaping that is underway, among others. As Chamber president, I will build upon my past experience of gently pushing projects along. The main duty is presiding over board meetings, and representing the chamber along with Jamie Monozon, our CEO on a wide variety of issues on a wide variety of forums, such as the City Council.
Q: How long have you lived in Pacifica and what changes have you seen in that time relative to local businesses?
A: I have lived in Pacifica and the surrounding communities all my life. I remember old days when Pacifica had the Seavue Twin Theater, several auto dealers, and further back unique shops such as the Amused Carrot on Palmetto Avenue. I remember that Fairmont Shopping Center was once an enclosed mall and all the shops were locally owned. If anything, our business community has become less “mom and pop” locally owned and more “corporate”. The environment here to do business, from getting building permits through staying open, is very difficult and not everybody survives. Fewer “mom and pop” merchants has affected our chamber, and I know the same can be said about chambers all across the country. The “mom and pop” businesses participate in chamber activities, the corporates are not so much engaged to do so. I am making the theme of my year, “Grass Roots Economic Development” and we will continue assisting new and existing businesses formed by Pacificans to complement what the city’s Economic Development program and staff are doing. We want to continue to attract people to Pacifica, to stay and play here and buy goodies at our shops! We want to continue to sustain our chamber and international outreach with our unique and popular events, such as Taste of Pacifica, Oktoberfest, the Christmas Tree Lighting, educational programs such as “Eggs and Issues”, among others.
Q: What challenges do you see facing Pacifica right now?
A: It is quite obvious for a very long time to most that follow Pacifica politics that the city is economically challenged. We have a small local and visitor serving business community that provides a modest income stream to the City, but we do not have Oracle or Facebook here, so with such a modest income stream, we have a crumbling infrastructure, an embarrassment of a city hall and functionally obsolescent libraries. The city needs to ask, “to be or not to be?” Without the taxes that businesses generate, we are somewhat at a loss, compared to other cities, and very limited as to what we can accomplish, in terms or providing first-rate city services. Our residents are adverse to new taxes, as demonstrated by Measure V a few years ago. Something has got to give, to pay all the bills, it is in the interest of our business community to have a well-funded city government. We have long supported economic development, from new business formations, to celebrating our environment as an attraction to our prosperous hotels and restaurants and will continue to do so.
Q: What changes would you like to see in the next year?
The chamber membership is a reflection of the community at large. There is polarization in the community along the lines of “environment” versus “business”. Our members are either on one side of the fence, or the other, or “on the fence.” The Quarry proposal was soundly defeated. The council composition now reflects a rejection of Highway One widening. There is some skepticism about improvements to Palmetto and the Beach Boulevard site and the library initiative did not receive a super majority. The Chamber will encourage the council and management to keep lines of communication open with the community. Within the chamber itself, I’d like to see more representation and advocacy from those in the “Environmental Family” for more balance. I would like the chamber to sponsor a ‘Green Business Symposium” that highlights Pacifica green businesses and practices. Our membership asks the Chamber to advocate for the business community to local, state and federal authorities on a wide variety of issues that affect not only Pacifica businesses, but all Pacificans. I am hoping our membership becomes more vocal and instructing to our board as to what to speak up about on their behalf!
Q: And in the long term?
A: Our new CEO, Jamie Monozon has brought great new ideas and energy to the table in the short time she has been here. We recently held the Taste of Pacifica, and it was a great success. Our membership is growing and becoming more activated. We will revisit past ideas and come up with new ones with the purpose of energizing and engaging our members, the business and wider community as a vital component of Pacifica.