James Paxson, general manager of Hacienda, was installed Tuesday as chairman of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce for 2015.
In a ceremony held during a sold-out luncheon at Ruby Hill Golf Club, Paxson said that "with good economic signs coming our way," the chamber will be rolling out ambitious programs to boost business growth and the chamber's effectiveness in the year ahead.
"With the organization that we have here, we are going to see great things happening in 2015," Paxson said.
Paxson, who is the top administrator for Hacienda, a business park and residential community in north Pleasanton, succeeds David Stark, public affairs director for the Bay East Association of Realtors, who held the post last year. Paxson was installed by Mayor Jerry Thorne.
The Pleasanton chamber, the largest in the Tri-Valley, has represented the business interests in the city for the past 67 years. It has more than 800 members with more than 15,000 employees who work for these member firms.
"When I first started my job in Pleasanton, I was told to go out and get involved with the chamber," Paxson said. "What impressed me in my first meeting was the incredible talent that, the dedication of the people there, their energy and, above all, the idea that these people were coming together to get work done."
"It was phenomenal and it's the same energy that I see in this room around me today," Paxson told the luncheon audience to loud applause.
"What a great year to be involved in the Pleasanton chamber, not just because we're starting to see some good economic signs coming our way, but because we are getting ready to roll out a really terrific program," Paxson added.
He then cited some of the chamber's achievements and programs:
• 40 ambassadors who represent Pleasanton business interests in public meetings;
• 53 young professionals who are members of the chamber's Pleasanton Young Professionals, a networking group;
• More than 700 graduates from Leadership Pleasanton, a special program sponsored by the chamber and the city government for the last 27 years;
• Face-to-face business engagement opportunities, including 30 held in 2014;
• Over 12 million business "impressions" each year through the chamber's Business Connections newsletter, which is distributed with the Pleasanton Weekly;
• Electronic communications that go out weekly.
"All this speaks very well to the ability of our chamber to be an effective and successful promoter of the Pleasanton business community," Paxson said.
Awards also were distributed for commendable chamber service in 2014.
Carol Marshall of The Write Business received the Carol Bush Award.
Ken Norvell, CMIT Solutions of Pleasanton, was honored as the Ambassador of the Year.
John Sensiba, Sensiba San Filippo LLP, received the Jenny Doehle Leadership Pleasanton Award.
Jody Amos, Amos Productions, received the Chairman's Award.