Greater Bakersfield Chamber Announces Leadership Bakersfield Class of 2023 

January 12, 2023

Emerging leaders convene to gain knowledge on issues crucial to Bakersfield’s future


Bakersfield, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2023) – The Greater Bakersfield Chamber today launched its 10-month annual Leadership Bakersfield program. This high-caliber program will equip 28 emerging leaders with the knowledge and connections they need to lead in our rapidly changing and interconnected world. 

“Leadership Bakersfield brings our community’s future leaders together to build relationships that help them be both more effective as professionals and more engaged as citizens,” said Chamber President and CEO Nick Ortiz. “For more than three decades, the program has not only grown the quantity and quality of local leaders, but also improved our quality of life.”

Each session is designed to educate participants on various industry sectors and key community issues. Participants will cultivate a deeper understanding of local industries and government. Sessions include informational tours and hands-on activities tailored to educate participants. During the program, participants are also tasked with implementing a group project that addresses a need in our community. 

“Each year, it’s inspiring to see the diversity of our community reflected in our Leadership Bakersfield class,” Ortiz added.  “These are the people who already make Bakersfield ‘the sound of something better,’ and I’m excited to see how their participation serves as a catalyst for their future contributions.”  

Participating in this year’s Leadership Bakersfield class are the following aspiring community leaders:

  1. Jamie Absher, ForeFront Power
  2. Scott Andrews, City of Bakersfield
  3. Susana Ayon, Panama-Buena Vista Union School District
  4. Lourdes Bucher, Kern County Superintendent of Schools 
  5. Clay Camp, Kern Machinery, Inc
  6. Jaron Cramer, Tejon Ranch Conservancy
  7. Brandon Davis, Aera Energy LLC
  8. Richard Dossey, Bakersfield Police Department
  9. Meredith Evans, County of Kern
  10. Jarred Ghilarducci, E&B Natural Resources
  11. Adrienne Guirguis, Holistic Lactation of Bakersfield
  12. Katherine Houchin, ARCpoint Labs of Bakersfield
  13. Alison Johnson, Aera Energy
  14. David Madding, The Open Door Network
  15. Savannah Maldonado, Community Action Partnership of Kern
  16. Carina Ortiz, Bakersfield Police Department
  17. Lindsey Panick, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital
  18. Joel Paramo, Hey Salty
  19. Syleena Perez, Valley Strong Credit Union
  20. Lori Pesante, Dolores Huerta Foundation
  21. Stanley Peterson, California State University Bakersfield
  22. Erick Rodriguez, CoachArt
  23. Jean-Luc Slagle, Scope Studios
  24. Shontay Sweeney, Chase Bank
  25. Joyce Talag, Joyful Transformations LLC
  26. Lucy Trancoso, Valley Strong Credit Union
  27. Amy Travis, First 5 Kern
  28. Jorge Villatoro, California State University Bakersfield




The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is the region’s leading business membership, networking and advocacy organization, representing the interests of more than 1,100 members and more than 70,000 local jobs. Focused on creating a thriving local economy and improving the quality of life for every resident of Greater Bakersfield; the organization promotes economic vitality, facilitates networking and business development opportunities, and advocates for public policies that support quality jobs and inclusive growth. The Chamber guides Bakersfield toward a better and brighter future. Founded in 1920, the Chamber is driven by the belief that our community thrives when businesses succeed.

CONTACT: Joel Paramo, joel@heysalty.com, call/text: 661-438-1034

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