The Riverbank Chamber of Commerce was formed on Feb. 23, 1954. The Chamber is celebrating 60 years of service to businesses and the community.
Chamber President Jerry Van Houten has been involved with various chambers for over 10 years including being an Ambassador for the Modesto Chamber and the Oakdale Chamber. Van Houten has served as a Director for the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce for the past six years, a co-president, this year’s President and he is involved with the Main Street Chamber.
The Riverbank Chamber is a non-profit volunteer organization and volunteers are needed to help events like the Farmer’s Market continue to be offered in the community.
“I joined the chamber to help serve my community, and business peers,” said Van Houten.
There are over 100 members and growing in the Riverbank Chamber.
According to the riverbankchamber.org website, the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce provides business relationships, business advocacies, marketing opportunities, and a wealth of resources to chamber members. The Chamber is a voluntary organization. It is comprised of small and large businesses, professionals, and interested individuals who “join together to advance the interests of the community.” The Chamber is a legislative representative, an information bureau, and a business resource tool. The Chamber is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation, according to the website, and invests time and money in the support of programs relevant to members’ needs and programs that will benefit the local economy. The Riverbank Chamber of Commerce supports the community and directors say they need your help to support the chamber.
“The Chamber is here to promote business and the community,” stated Van Houten. “We are non-profit so the monies that we have are used for the benefit of our members and the community.”
Members of the Chamber can include small and large business owners and any individual that would like to serve the community.
“Volunteers and interested parties are welcome,” said Van Houten. “We have turned it (the Chamber) around big time, we got out of the red and went into the black and there’s been like 40 percent growth in the Chamber so it’s going in the right direction.”
The Chamber will be hosting the Farmer’s Market this year towards the end of May. The event will be held at the Community Center Park. Another event the Riverbank Chamber will be sponsoring on Friday, May 9 is a leadership event that Van Houten states is the largest in the world that reaches over 100,000 people worldwide. There will be nine guest speakers including former first lady Laura Bush, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Malcom Gladwell and six other world renowned leaders.
For more information on this event visit www.leaderstreet.org.
The future plans of the Chamber are to get more ambassadors and directors on board and possibly acquiring a physical location. The other future goal that Van Houten expressed was to be able to hire a CEO and have a paid staff.
“A strong chamber is very helpful to the community, and we need more businesses and individuals to help out and make it happen,” stated Van Houten.
For more information on the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce visit www.riverbankchamber.org.