The mission of the Poway Chamber of Commerce is simple and straightforward:  Provide leadership, education, and advocacy to strengthen and enhance economic prosperity for its members, businesses, and the region.  But Chamber President and CEO Luanne Hulsizer puts an emphasis on the economical aspect of the organization’s role in the community.

“Our priority this year is to provide a strong local business association with regional outreach that drives business to our members,” said Hulsizer, in the Chamber’s lead position since 2007.

Hulsizer fears the continued challenges of the economy will continue to cause local businesses to cut back on marketing.  “Many businesses are still operating under reduced revenue,” she said.  “They cut back on marketing budgets and are therefore not at the forefront of the consumers’ choice.”

She added that many businesses also are operating with fewer employees, which impacts the amount of time an owner or manager can dedicate to relationship/sales development – making it even more important for the Chamber to assist its members in securing new customers.

Such emphasis on shopping at hometown businesses is not new to the Chamber, though; back in 1986, the organization launched its first “shop local” program.  Then, in 2007, the Chamber  and the City of Poway launched another similar effort  — the “Poway Your First Choice” marketing effort.

Hulsizer, who has a degree in psychology, spent more than 30 years in professional positions – including healthcare office management and the director of two non-profit home care agencies – before taking on the leadership position with the Poway Chamber.  A mother of three, she lives in San Marcos with husband Mike Preston.

And it’s clear she has a passion for supporting the Poway business community.  “The most rewarding aspect of being President and CEO of the Poway Chamber is engaging with our members and the businesses,” Hulsizer said.  “I enjoy hearing personally from our members and the community.  My door is always open.”

The Chamber actually began in 1950, as an outreach effort from a local men’s group.  Today, the organization offers a wide range of programs, services, local events and networking opportunities to its hundreds of members.

“We regularly assess our programs and benefits to support the business community,” Holsizer said.  “During the past two years, we have upgraded our database to support greater (internet) exposure for our members – and added weekly networking groups.  We will continue to stay abreast of social networking and the new advantages that it provides to bridging business referrals and connections.”

She noted that some recent Chamber accomplishments included:
►    Establishment of Poway Days Festival in September – and the promotion of other Poway events, such as Poway Days, throughout the San Diego region.
►    The joint economic development projects with the City of Poway, such as the “Poway Your First Choice” promotion and the Poway Business Summit – held earlier this year to gain input from local businesses.
►    The inaugural San Diego Inland Business Expo in early June, with guest speakers, seminars and exposure for local businesses.

In addition to its staff of three, Hulsizer said the Chamber operates through the support of a large number of volunteers – both from its membership and the community.

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For additional information on the Poway Chamber of Commerce, contact Hulsizer at 858-748-0016 or Luanne@Poway.com.