Leadership Bakersfield is a 31-year tradition that brings together a group of 32 individuals from across the city and asks them to step out of their daily lives, open their minds and imagine how they can help create a better Bakersfield.

By the end of 10-month program, LB graduates will gain the knowledge and confidence to effectively lead Bakersfield into the future by meeting and interacting with current leaders, discover more about their own individual leadership styles, study local issues and cultivate appreciation for differing perspectives. Each class session is tailored to educate participants on a key community issue. A combination of top-tiered speakers and panels, access to movers and shakers within key industries, exclusive tours and hands-on activities provides knowledge on that session’s particular topic.

Participants are also tasked with designing a project that fulfills a need in the community.  Each year, LB teams create programs and projects that funnel in thousands of dollars into our community that impact the lives of hundreds of individuals. Click here to see what the Class of 2017 did for our community.

Modeled after the Leadership Bakersfield program, the Youth Leadership Bakersfield program inspires and develops future business and community leadership among high school-aged youth of the Greater Bakersfield area by providing an interactive opportunity that directly links students to community leaders, business issues and career opportunities. Programs focus on a wide range of local interests, including agriculture, arts and culture, criminal justice, energy, health, and human services and leadership and ethics.

For more information on the Youth Leadership Bakersfield program, contact Sarah Hinzo at (661) 327-4421 or email shinzo@bakochamber.com.

See highlights from the 2018 Youth Leadership Bakersfield class here.

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors!

Youth Leadership Bakersfield Sponsors

The Bakersfield Young Professionals (BYP) Council works to elevate and support Bakersfield’s young professionals as emerging business, civic and community leaders by educating the young professionals community on local commerce and government, supporting local development initiatives and connecting young professionals with community leaders. BYP strives to inspire and encourage professional development, encourage networking and social connectedness and provide philanthropic opportunities for young professionals to give back to the community and its citizens.

BYP hosts various events throughout the year, including the annual BYP Street Party each October, Pub Club networking events and partners with the Kern Community Foundation to host Philanthropy on Tap, a series where community nonprofits connect with interested young professionals and community members.

Click here to see the impact BYP had in 2016. (Video courtesy of Lights Camera Action Cinema)

For more information on BYP, call the Chamber at 661-327-4421 or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.


The Greater Bakersfield Chamber Political Action Committee (BAKPAC) was started in 1999, and is the Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s political action committee. BAKPAC is committed to endorsing and funding business-friendly candidates for office.

Each election cycle, candidates are invited to apply for potential endorsements. All candidates are then interviewed to determine their knowledge, understanding and support for a strong economy and business issues. BAKPAC may also support issues with funding.

All PAC funds are separate from funds of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber. BAKPAC has a separate governing board, which does include some representation from the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s Political Action Committee is a state and local PAC.

For more information, contact the staff member listed for your area of interest at (661) 327-4421 or by email. Please RSVP for the next meeting.

*Unless noted in advance, all meetings are held at the Chamber’s office, 1725 Eye Street in Bakersfield.


Noon to 1 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month

The Ambassador Committee welcomes new businesses to Bakersfield, and celebrates major milestones at groundbreaking, ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremonies. Ambassadors also plan social gatherings where member businesses showcase their locations, products and services


Hillary Haenes, hhaenes@bakochamber.com


Noon to 1 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month (September through June)

The Beautiful Bakersfield Committee recognizes the efforts of individuals, groups, companies and organizations that improve the quality of life in Bakersfield. The committee gets a first-hand look at good news in Bakersfield – selecting, awarding and planning the annual gala dinner event, held in June.

Whether it is a new business, business expansion or a grand re-opening, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber is pleased to organize ribbon cutting ceremonies for our members. The ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in a business’ history, and gives a business owner an opportunity to publicly thank their financial backers, business partners, employees, friends and family. The Chamber would love to help plan yours. Chamber ambassadors attend these ceremonies to welcome new businesses to the community or to celebrate a company’s major milestone. To schedule a ribbon cutting for your business, contact Hillary Haenes at (661) 327-4421 or via email at hhaenes@bakochamber.com.

Biz Climate 2017

The Chamber has rolled out a new project – our 2017-2018 BizClimate Survey. The survey is envisioned as an annual effort to get feedback and insight from our members on their perspectives on the local economy, the regulatory environments they face and what support they need to ensure they have a qualified and productive workforce.

We asked a select group of business owners, CEOs, key executives, and nonprofit leaders to complete a 24-question survey. The composite results provide excellent insight into the issues our business and community leaders are juggling.

Here are just a few of the findings:

  • While 19 percent of respondents indicated they had subtracted jobs in 2016, one respondent noted that they would be subtracting jobs in 2017.
  • The results confirmed that our workforce must be STEM-literate and highly skilled, with companies predicting nearly 300 openings for highly skilled workers in 2017-2018.
  • While 70 percent of respondents indicated that Kern County has workforce development and educational programs that are aligned with their hiring needs, 40 percent noted that those programs do not have enough capacity to meet their needs.
  • While the majority of respondents felt that state bureaucracies and the state legislature are on the wrong track, the local, pro-growth business climate was cited as one of the key reasons companies operate in Kern County.