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Chamber Of Commerce marks 70-year anniversary
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Current Riverbank Chamber President Monica Perez welcomed the audience who came to the organization’s 70-year celebration on Friday evening, Feb. 23, introducing board members and attending dignitaries. She also described some of the history of the organization. Ric McGinnis/The News

Members of the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Antigua Event Center in downtown recently to celebrate a landmark 70-year anniversary.

With the lighted multi-colored dance floor as a centerpiece, a celebratory dinner was followed by a presentation by Chamber chairperson Monica Perez. She introduced Mayor Richard D. O’Brien, and council members Rachel Hernandez and Darlene Barber-Martinez. O’Brien briefly addressed the crowd, expressing his desire to improve the relationship between city government and its businesses.

Perez also introduced directors Bill Robinson, Corinne Santos, Barber-Martinez, Lorrie Faile, and ambassadors Olivia Arambula, Arlene Figlueroa-Morales, Kimberly Evans, Nancy Nape and Nancy Hernandez.

The chair noted that the chamber was established on Feb. 23, 1954, exactly 70 years before the evening celebration. She said it was designed to promote, serve, assist and provide resources to businesses and the community.

“Our board is 100 percent volunteer based, that donate their time. Most of us are small business owners and work full time,” Perez said.

She also noted that there have been a lot of changes in the chamber over time, and they ultimately had to start over. Since COVID, she said, the chamber lost its website domain, twice, and “got locked out of our social media platforms.”

However, she said, the chamber has partnered with other business organizations, like Opportunity Stanislaus/SBDC, and the Stanislaus Latino Chamber of Commerce, which puts together multi-chamber mixers, among other activities.

“There has been a lot of growth in the last 101 years since city was founded, and the Riverbank Chamber is here to support all business, whether it is home based, small or large,” in any of the city’s districts or the surrounding area, Perez said.

Also, Perez said she was looking forward to collaborating with the business community and owners “as we continue to expand the presence of our local Riverbank businesses.”

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A finely decorated guest book table welcomed attendees at Friday’s 70th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Antigua Event Center in Downtown Riverbank. The chamber was formed on Feb. 23, 1954. Having survived the COVID pandemic like everyone else, it continues to support the many different businesses here. Ric McGinnis/The News