Greater Bakersfield Chamber welcomes new leadership and celebrates achievements at 2024 Board Installation & Awards Luncheon

January 17, 2024

Janelle Capra takes helm as President and CEO at first public event, Rob Duchow inducted as 2024 Chairman of the Board

Bakersfield, Calif. (Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024) – The Greater Bakersfield Chamber hosted its Annual Board Installation and Awards Luncheon, ushering in a new era of leadership and honoring exemplary contributors to the business community. The event welcomed Janelle Capra as the Chamber’s new President and CEO, and marked the induction of Southern California Gas Company’s Public Affairs Manager, Rob Duchow as the 2024 Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Capra addressed guests about her commitment to propel the Chamber into the future and expressed her dedication to taking foundational steps in collaboration with the board and staff, alluding to a strategic vision for the organization. 

The Chamber's 2023 Chairman of the Board, Ken Keller, Dignity Health – Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, hands over the gavel to the 2024 Chairman of the Board, Rob Duchow, Southern California Gas Company.
The Chamber's 2024 Award Winners and Ambassadors, gather for a post event celebratory photo.

“I am committed to collaborating with our team to build upon the legacy of those who preceded me, to propel our Chamber to new heights,” she said. “I feel fortunate to be part of a dynamic, diverse and influential group of individuals who are unwaveringly committed to the growth and prosperity of our city, county and community.”

In addition, the luncheon served as a platform for celebrating accomplishments and recognizing outstanding contributions within the Greater Bakersfield business community. The Chamber presented annual awards to individuals and organizations, including:

  • Ambassador Volunteer of the Year: Blade Griffin, Bakersfield Condors
  • Chamber Champion: Kern Women’s Business Center

The event culminated with the official induction of Rob Duchow, Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Gas Company, as the 2024 Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“This is your Chamber. I encourage you to be involved in any way you can be, to realize the full benefits of your membership,” said Duchow.

The Chamber's 2023 Chairman of the Board, Ken Keller honors outgoing board member, Denise Newton, PG&E.

The Chamber looks forward to a dynamic future under the leadership of Capra, fostering strategic growth, collaboration and advocacy for the vibrant business community of Greater Bakersfield. Her vision revolves around fostering an engaged and collaborative business community, specifically supporting small businesses. Capra believes local businesses benefit when they are heard and she wants the chamber to give them that opportunity.

The Annual Board Installation & Awards Luncheon was held at Seven Oaks Country Club in southwest Bakersfield. Approximately 400  people attended the event. This year’s presenting sponsor was Dignity Health Bakersfield

Janelle Capra, Chamber President and CEO, takes the stage at the 2024 Board Installation & Awards Luncheon to welcome event guests.



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: 661-636-6902

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