The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

With over 100 years of experience, we know how hard it can be to start and grow a business. That is why we offer resources and support to businesses all over Bakersfield, and we plan to do so for many years to come.

The Chamber is Bakersfield’s number one business advocate and resource center. Our work is devoted to helping you “build something better” – a better business, a better career, a better community.


The Greater Bakersfield Chamber was formed in 1920 as a non-profit organization. It is our mission to put the needs of our business community first to help Build a Better Bakersfield.

Chairman of the Board Message

I am honored to serve as your Chairman of the Board for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce in 2024.  

For more than a century, this Chamber has been supporting you, the businesses and business owners of Kern County, to provide the synergy of a collective voice in advocating for your interests, and 2024 will be no different.  As we move into 2024, I invite you to full advantage of the Chamber’s many programs, events and services:

  • Our Governmental Review Council hears from community leaders on state and local issues, policy proposals and innovations which affect you.  GRC also debates issues and is the starting point for many chamber positions.  
  • Our Labor Law & HR Forums provide valuable information to small businesses about new laws and regulations which affect you and your business.  The Chamber also offers an employee-retirement plan for small businesses.
  • Our Ambassadors plan ways to support business-to-business interaction and other valuable member activities.  
  • Bakersfield Young Professionals, Reports from the Capitol and our mixers all relaunched late in 2023 after an extended time off following the pandemic, and will continue in 2024.  
  • Popular and successful events and programs such as the Beautiful Bakersfield Awards, State of the City, Leadership Bakersfield and Shop Local Shop Now are all part of the Chamber’s work to help you and our community thrive.  


This is your chamber.  I encourage you to be involved in any way you can be to realize the full benefits of your membership.

Rob Duchow

Public Affairs Manager, Southern California Gas Company

Chairman’s Circle

Chamber Staff

Janelle Capra

President & CEO

Kami Gonzalez

Administration & Operations 


Savanah Adams

Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Kimberly Price

Community Events Project Manager

Executive Committee

chairman of the board

Rob Duchow

Public Affairs Manager,

Southern California Gas Company

Incoming Chairman

Deanna Blaise

Valley Strong Credit Union

Immediate Past Chair

Ken Keller

Dignity Health – Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

general counsel

Mark Bateman

Young Wooldridge, LLP


Emily Duran

Kern Health Systems 

Vice Chair, Public Policy & Political Action

Willie Rivera

Aera Energy, LLC

Vice chair, economic vitality

Bruce Davis

Bolthouse Properties

VICE Chair, leadership & workforce development

G Riar

Riar Inc./The UPS Store

Vice Chair, Member engagement

Veronika Placencia


Board of Directors

Patrick Beck

Bakersfield Hyundai

Molly Busacca

Secure Systems

Octavio Escobedo

Tejon Indian Tribe

Melissa Frank

The Wonderful Company

Kamal Gill

Brimhall Pharmacy/

Panama Pharmacy

Dr. Vernon Harper

CSU Bakersfield 

DeAnna Lewis


Maybelle Liquigan

Kaiser Permanente

Jacob Panero

Varner Bros. Inc.

Mari Perez-Dowling

United Way of Kern

Greg Race


Committee Council Chairs

Ambassador Committee Chair

Terri Agcaoili

California Neurology & Cardiovascular Institutes & Superior Smiles Dentistry

ambassador Committee Vice Chair

Blade Griffin

Bakersfield Condors


Dana Brennan

Grimmway Farms

Beautiful Bakersfield Committee Chair

"T" Johnson

Bakersfield College Launchpad

Beautiful Bakersfield Committee Vice Chair

April McGill

April & Co. Photography

Government review council chair

Aaron Falk

Kern Community Foundation 

Leadership Bakersfield Advisory Council Chair

Zane Smith

The Boys & Girls Club of Kern County

Leadership Bakersfield Advisory Council Vice Chair

Ryan Kroeker

Bakersfield Police Department