Virginia Stone was born in Washington DC, but grew up mostly in Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from UC Davis with a business/textiles degree and earned an internship with Weinstock’s as a senior and accepted her first job in their retail management program after graduating, thus moving to Sacramento. She worked as a retail store dept manager and later as a clothing buyer for 15 years with Weinstock’s.
As travel got to be too much with a young son, Virginia moved into interior design working as a store manager, fabric buyer and company trainer for 20 years with Calico Corners.
As her mother developed Alzheimer’s she began working part time for a senior living company (to educate herself about Alzheimer’s) while still working for Calico, working 7 days a week for 2 years. Virginia left Calico and became a full-time sale/marketing director for Carmichael Oaks Senior Living.
After 8 years she moved to Oakmont Senior Living as a sales/marketing director, later serving as the Executive Director, retiring last October. On Nov 1 Virginia accepted the Interim Executive Director position with the Carmichael Chamber.
She has lived in Carmichael for 35 years, is married to her high school sweetheart and has 2 sons, ages 35 and 27. An avid fly fisherwoman, she owns a home in Montana which she just returned from a 3 ½ month stay.
She is also an active member of the Carmichael Kiwanis, former President of the Chamber, and a former Honorary Mayor of Carmichael.
Virginia mentioned that the Chamber was founded in 1948 and is now in its 71st year (I noted exactly the same as our Club)! The mission of the Chamber is to help businesses in its community. Carmichael is not incorporated, what the Chamber likes to do is pair business to business. It has headquarters in the Milagro Center. Virginia said that Serritella's and Bella Brue restaurants will soon move there.
The Chamber is a non-profit 501(c)6 corporation, donations are non-deductible analogous to Real Estate boards. Donations are deductible if going only to a non-profit charity. The Chamber members are 304 strong and business and residential members do not have to live in Carmichael. The dues start at $150 per year, non-profits are $150 per year and can attend all events. Members can post all their events in the Chamber's newsletter that goes out to 1000 people. There are 14 members of the Board and the only paid member is the Executive Director.
The president this year, Jim Alves, is from SMUD. SMUD is a good partner with the Chamber. The "Honorary Mayor" is on the Board and then there are Ambassadors and Volunteers. The Chamber likes volunteers, think about volunteering. The Chamber has sponsors, for instance, SMUD is a "Diamond Sponsor" and sponsorship goes into other categories - Diamond ($10,000); Platinum ($5,000); down to $500. The Chamber will promote your business and you can get articles in the Carmichael Times (Susan Skinner is affiliated with this process).
The Chamber has a luncheon every month on Tuesday at the Christ Community Church. The cost is $20. A lot of networking between members goes on there and then there are mixer parties every month. The next one will be in October at Mt. Vernon.
The Chamber has many activities, awarding "Person of the Year", "Businessman or Woman of the Year", "Non-profit of the Year", - The last honored was Shriners Hospital. There is the "Best of Carmichael" celebration with food, drink etc. and the yearly election of the "Honorary Mayor". Each candidate collects money for charity at one dollar per vote. The winner is announced on November 1st.
Lastly Virginia talked about the Carmichael Improvement District which was established three years ago (and which we have been informed about in the past), that helps Carmichael businesses along a corridor from Fair Oaks to California, to clean up and regulate the area.
One more thing, the Chamber has "ribbon cutting" ceremonies for new businesses that can get advertisement in the Carmichael Times.
Virginia is looking for a replacement of herself as executive director - anybody interested?
President Vicky noted to Ex. Dir. Virginia that a book, in honor of her presentation, will be presented to the Carmichael Library.