Greater Bakersfield Chamber receives the 2024 President’s Circle Award

May 9, 2024

CalChamber Capitol Summit honors chamber commitment to business advocacy

gbc - 2024 Presidents Award 1
2024 President’s Circle Award recipients at the CalChamber Capitol Summit on May 8, 2024. Photo Courtesy of CalChamber.

Bakersfield, Calif. (Thursday, May 9, 2024) – The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is among 12 chambers in California to receive the 2024 President’s Circle Award from the California Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes chambers’ exceptional work in advocating for their members and promoting business growth in California. The representatives of these chambers were honored on May 8 during the CalChamber Capitol Summit in Sacramento, where they were applauded for their efforts in fighting for California businesses. 

“We are deeply honored to be among the distinguished recipients of the 2024 President’s Circle Award,” said President and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber, Janelle Capra. “This accolade reaffirms our commitment to our members and our pursuit of fostering business prosperity. From the streets of Bakersfield to the bustling halls of our state’s capital, the chamber stands as a strong advocate for our members, ensuring their voices resonate loud and clear.”  

ABOVE: (From left to right) Greater Bakersfield Chamber Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Savanah Adams, CalChamber's Vice President of Small Business Advocacy, Nick Ortiz and Greater Bakersfield ChamberPresident and CEO Janelle Capra at the CalChamber Capitol Summit in Sacramento on May 8, 2024. BELOW: Greater Bakersfield Chamber's Chairman of the Board Rob Duchow and Adams.

The President’s Circle Award recipients have published vote records of their state legislators on critical business issues, joined coalition efforts to inform state elected officials about community sentiment on matters of interest to members, voiced the local chamber’s position at legislative policy committee hearings and took part at an exemplary level in the CalChamber compliance product resale program.

These chambers have proved their commitment to excellence in business advocacy and have helped their members follow California employment laws. 

“Our top local chamber partners play leading roles as community problem solvers and the voice of business on public policy,” said Nick Ortiz, CalChamber vice president of local chamber relations. “We commend them for all their hard work over the last year fighting on behalf of California business.” 

Three of the chambers have received the award all 16 years it has been presented. The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members follow California employment laws. 

The 2024 recipients of the President’s Circle Award are as follows. An * marks the chambers that have received the award all 16 years: 

  • Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce: Janelle Capra, president/CEO 
  • Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce: Bret Schanzenbach, president/CEO 
  • Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce*: Danielle Borja, president/CEO 
  • Corona Chamber of Commerce: Bobby Spiegel, president/CEO 
  • Greater High Desert Chamber of Commerce: Mark Creffield, president/CEO 
  • Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce: Kim Cousins, president/CEO 
  • Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce*: Jeremy Harris, president/CEO 
  • Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce*: Nick Adcock, president/CEO 
  • Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce: Glenn Morris, president/CEO 
  • Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce: Kathi Van Etten, president/CEO 
  • Tulare Chamber of Commerce: Donnette Silva Carter, president/CEO 
  • West Ventura County Business Alliance: Nancy Lindholm, president/CEO 


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Joel Paramo, joel@heysalty.com, call/text: 818-350-9847 

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 prosper. To learn more, visit bakochamber.com. 

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs. Please visit our website at calchamber.com. 

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