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Congratulations go out to Kevin Lachoff, who was installed as Culver City Chamber of Commerce Chair for the 2015 year at a ceremony last Thursday, January 5. Lachoff is a commercial real estate leasing and sales agent at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and had previously served as Chair-Elect of the Chamber for 2014 and on Culver City's Planning Commission. Kevin, a father of two, is a Culver City Times member, occasional (but valued) contributor, and all around great neighbor (to me in a literal sense and to all Culver Citizens in a metaphoric way).
Here are more details about the chamber and about the installation, provided by the new Chair himself (thanks Kevin!):
Also installed to the Chamber Executive Committee for 2015 were Colette Moore, serving as Chair-Elect. Ms. Moore is the owner of the local franchise of Pridestaff, one of America's leading employee placement organizations. Pridestaff Culver City was recently named as one of the top hundred women owned businesses in the Los Angeles area. Joining Mr. Lachoff and Ms. Moore are Bill Reider, GM of the DoubleTree by Hilton, LA, Westside as Immediate Past Chair, and Vice Chairs of the Board Elizabeth Flynn of Walter N. Marks, Inc., (Helms Building); Paul Goldstein, GM of Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary; Sue Robins, Ascend Training Solutions, LLC (and Member of the Culver City Board of Education); Geoff Maleman, Maleman Ink; and Don Ziss, GM of Westfield Culver City.
Joining the Board of Directors are newly elected or re-elected and appointed members Keith Jones, Marina Martial Arts; Brian Bunnin, Bunnin Chevrolet; Mike Harriel, Southern California Gas Co.; Jamie Hemann, NFL Media; Ed Wolkowitz, Attorney-at-Law; Janice Beighey, Tower Insurance Associates, Inc.; Rich Kissel, Kissel & Co./Keller Williams Realty; Rich Hibbs, Richard S. Hibbs CPA; Michael Hamill, Grandview National, Inc.; and Goran Eriksson, esi Techtrans, Inc.
The master of ceremonies for the luncheon was Culver City Councilmember and two-time mayor, Andy Weissman, who introduced attendees including Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells and Councilmembers Jeff Cooper and Jim Clarke, Assistant City Manager Martin Cole, Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld, and City Attorney Carol Schwab. Mr. Weissman also welcomed a number of the Chamber's past Chairs who were in good company amongst approximately 90 attendees.
With a respectful nod to the recent tragedies in Paris, France, the event began with a Thought of the Day provided by Sue Robins, reminding the audience of the importance of the right to Free Speech, and concluding with the well-known quote from Voltaire, who in the 18th Century stated "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
Following Mrs. Robins was the Pledge of Allegiance led by California State Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (54th District). Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas had returned from Sacramento Wednesday evening in order to attend the Culver City Chamber lunch.
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Rose stepped up to the podium after guests had a chance to dine and socialize with the others at their tables. He introduced the crowd to newly hired Membership Director, Mary Jo Scott, and then proceeded to introduce the 2014 President's Award. He lauded praise upon this year's recipient, noting that the member had been quick to offer support throughout the year, from hosting Chamber mixers to providing meeting space. Mr. Rose called upon Bunnin Chevrolet's owner Leo and son Brian Bunnin, and General Manager Ron Vartanian as this year’s award recipient. Bill Reider, 2014 Chamber Chair, followed next with a recap of some of the many highlights for the Chamber throughout 2014, including a 40% increase in new members and the success of popular events such as the Mayor's Lunch, annual Business Expo, and Golf Tournament. Mr. Reider's final act prior to accepting his role as Immediate Past Chair was to present the 2014 Chair Award / Member of the Year to Peg Jackson, owner of Peg Jackson & Associates, whose service to the Chamber this past year included business and continuity planning.