News

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Successful Greater Irvine Chamber-Led Delegation to UK Showing FDI Progress

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber in February led a delegation focused on foreign direct investment and composed of Irvine city officials, executives, and lifescience and technology experts to London, where they formally interviewed company executives from those industry sectors who are considering expansion to the U.S. “Two previous missions and a lot of groundwork and follow-up has enhanced the reputation of Irvine in the U.K. so that company executives were eager to meet with us and discuss expansion opportunities,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Our foreign direct investment work is gaining measureable traction and progress among U.K. lifescience companies...
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Irvine’s Balanced Checkbook

Friday, March 01, 2019

By Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, as seen in the March issue of Irvine Standard. You probably know Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in public safety for 13 consecutive years. But you might not know why. One reason is another No. 1 ranking Irvine just received: Tops in California in fiscal strength — beating every other large city from San Francisco to San Jose to San Diego. How did the city become so fiscally strong? Think of the well-maintained shopping centers you visit, and the strength of your home value. Retail and property taxes fund two-thirds of the city’s budget. Now think...
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2019 Woman of Influence Award Nominees Announced

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

An impressive group of women have been nominated for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s inaugural Woman of Influence Award. Each of the nominees has demonstrated exemplary professionalism, held a leadership role in her community, and has served as a mentor or a source of inspiration for other professional women. The nominees are: Susan DeGrassi, Director of Cause, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Dr. Gwen Finestone, MFT and President of California Southern University Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association Kate Klimow, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of External Relations, UCI Applied Innovation Christine Lambino-Cunliffe, Partner, Bobo Strategy, Inc Sharon Frisbie Macdonald, Owner/Operator, McDonalds/Frisbie Management Inc. Susan Parks, CEO, Orange County United...
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Irvine Councilmember Anthony Kuo to Address Government Affairs Committee

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Newly-elected Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs committee meeting on Thursday, March 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Kuo was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018, bringing nearly eight years of experience as a planning commissioner for the city, including four consecutive terms as chairman. During that time, he also served on the city’s Task Force on Housing Needs for the Developmentally Disabled and the Ad Hoc Committee on Veterans Affordable Housing. He is a graduate of the Irvine Community Police Academy. In addition to representing the City of Irvine on...
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Irvine Unified Students to Present Ethics Forum Projects to Greater Irvine Chamber Committee

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Eight teams from a total of 28 students from Irvine High School will present their final Ethics Forum projects to business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Business and Workforce Development Committee meeting, on Tuesday, March 19, 4 - 6 p.m. Chamber members and guests are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Chamber, located at 36 Executive Park, Suite 100. The presentations serve as the final piece of the semester-long Ethics Forum program, created for students by the Business and Workforce Development Committee in partnership with Irvine Unified School District and Webster University, Irvine...
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Meet the Speakers at the Women of Influence Champagne Reception

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

This year’s Women of Influence event, on Friday, March 8, will feature a champagne reception from 2:15 to 3 p.m., immediately following the program, providing the opportunity for professional women to connect and meet keynote speaker Gina Osborn, president of G-Girl Productions and former FBI Special Agent; and opening speaker Marisa Wayne, owner of GritCycle and founding member of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Attendees will also have a chance to win a luxury giveaway basket valued at more than $300 during the reception. New this year, the program will include the presentation of the 2019 Greater Irvine Chamber Woman of...
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City of Irvine, Business Community Band Together for Educational Excellence

Monday, February 11, 2019

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) has released its 2019 list of Top 100 Companies Supporting Education Excellence. Heading the list is the City of Irvine. Also included is the Greater Irvine Chamber and several of its Leaders Circle sponsors, Allergan; Cox Automotive; Cox Communications; FivePoint; Google; Google Fiber; Hoag Hospital; Hoag Orthopedic Institute; Kaiser Permanente; Kia Motors America; University of California, Irvine; UPS, Waste Management; and Wells Fargo. All 100 supporting organizations were formally recognized during a VIP reception at the Resort at Pelican Hill in February. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations, Jessica Welch, and Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner. Steve Churm, , FivePoint,...
Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Industry's Top Honors

Monday, February 11, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr has been named the 2019 Executive of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). Starr was selected from CEOs throughout the Western United States and was formally recognized during the 2019 W.A.C.E. Conference in Anaheim in front of more than 500 attendees. Starr was honored for leading the Greater Irvine Chamber to achievements in membership attainment goals, economic development, staff empowerment, thought leadership, and positioning the organization as a leader in advancing economic vitality in greater Irvine. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations Jessica Welch, IOM, received the 2019...
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Community Partnerships Strengthen Future OC Workforce

Friday, February 08, 2019

Nearly 300 students from Orange County high schools and community colleges visited Irvine-based technology and life science companies for the second annual Irvine Career Discovery Day on Feb. 5, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber along with nonprofit partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Orange County United Way, and Vital Link. “Irvine Career Discovery Day is part of the Chamber’s workforce development initiative. The event provides an opportunity for students to see first-hand the exciting 21st-century career paths available to them here in Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Preparing our future workforce is key to fulfilling the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The career exploration...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Executive Leadership Present State of the Chamber to Irvine City Council

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber executive team made a presentation on the State of the Chamber to the Irvine City Council and members of the public during the Jan. 22 Irvine City Council meeting. The presentation provided insight into recent accomplishments and current initiatives as they relate to the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. “[Chamber executives] are here to talk about the [Greater Irvine] Chamber and Irvine’s economic vitality,” Irvine Mayor Don Wagner said. “And, there is no better partner than the Chamber of Commerce.” Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Chamber, and Linda DiMario, executive vice...
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Thought Leaders Deliver Insights at Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation Forum

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Thought leaders from the Greater Irvine Chamber and UCI Applied Innovation as well as others from healthcare and technology sectors in Orange County discussed strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders during the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Jan. 24, at UCI Applied Innovation. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is engaged in supporting the innovation ecosystem in impactful ways – research, activities, programs, and most importantly, collaboration with partners to advance our rate of innovation. We are proud to contribute to an ecosystem that fuels amazing levels of life science...
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With Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Closed Business, Kim Am Earns Rainmaker Award for Final Quarter in 2018

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With $408,385 in closed business, Kim Am has earned the Greater Irvine Chamber’s title of Rainmaker for the last quarter in 2018. Her performance in the Thursday Morning Leads Group contributed to the group’s total of $446,536, putting it in the top spot among all the Leads Groups for total closed sales during the period. Am, vice president and director of sales-payments for Commercial Bank of California, has participated in the Thursday Morning Leads Group since joining the Chamber in November 2018. “Whether it’s showing up to network, continuing to serve others, or continuing to seek opportunities to learn and grow as a person, putting...
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Irvine City Management Addresses Packed House at January Economic Vitality Council Meeting

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Irvine’s city management team provided an update on its plans for the upcoming year to a packed house during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s January Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting. “Irvine is a city of tremendous ambition. It was born of ambition. Irvine has a great past and an even greater future ahead of it,” Irvine City Manager John Russo said to more than 60 business and community leaders that attended the meeting. Among other topics, Russo discussed plans and progress at the Orange County Great Park. Maryanna Marisheva, assistant city manager, provided details of Irvine’s newly approved two-year budget. Pete Carmichael, director of...
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Chamber Life Science and Technology Delegation Returning to UK

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of City of Irvine officials, business leaders, and life science and technology experts returning to the U.K. The delegates are set to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Irvine/Orange County in Southern California specifically. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with, and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when considering expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission, planned for Feb. 11-15,...
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2019 Will ‘Be a Good Year,’ Economist Says

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

“It’s going to be a good year. Things are wonderful. You’re going to have a great 2019,” said expert economist and Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook keynote Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics. In his economic forecast presented to more than 600 business and community leaders, Thornberg, who predicted the housing market crash in 2007, expressed overall optimism regarding economic growth in the year ahead. He attributed his positive outlook to rising wages, low unemployment, and increased consumer spending. Also confident moving into the new year was opening speaker Chris Schwarz of the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, who broke down recent...
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Meet the Individuals Leading the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors For Four Decades

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Over the past four decades, the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors has been chaired by 38 of Orange County’s most accomplished business leaders. They have held fiduciary responsibilities for the Chamber and have been committed to supporting the Chamber’s mission of advancing the economic vitality of greater Irvine. As the Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2019, the Board is now led by Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation. “The diverse group of business leaders that have served over the past 40 years and continue to serve today on the Greater Irvine...
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Brandman University Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Gold-Level Sponsor

Monday, January 07, 2019

Brandman University, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber since 1998, has joined the Chamber’s Leaders Circle as a gold-level sponsor. “Brandman University couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber. We both help companies recruit and retain highly skilled employees. The Chamber’s recent five-star rating, and our honors for innovation and leadership highlight our organizations’ commitment to excellence. And we both strive to be of service to grow and improve our thriving community. We are thrilled to partner with the Chamber and fellow members,” said Shelly Neal, vice chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, Brandman University. Brandman University is...
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Irvine Ranked Among Top Ten Safest Cities Worldwide

Monday, January 07, 2019

“Irvine has held the status of the Safest City of its size in America by the FBI for 13 consecutive years. It is no surprise to learn that our city is now ranked among the top ten safest cities in the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This accomplishment is in large part the result of a visionary Irvine Master Plan set forth more than a half a century ago, excellent city management, a world-class police department, and engaged residents and business leaders that take pride in their community.” According to a recent statistical analysis by CEOWORLD...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Marks its 40th Year Supporting the Visionary Irvine Master Plan

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A Message from Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr Originally published in the Jan. 3, 2019 issue of the Orange County Register|Irvine World News. As the Greater Irvine Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, the organization’s professional staff and Board of Directors continues its work to support the Irvine Master Plan and to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. Through its numerous programs and events, the Greater Irvine Chamber convenes thousands of business leaders every year to build long-lasting professional relationships. The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Irvine’s highly-ranked schools and 15 colleges and universities on programs that help ensure a...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Primary Research Reveals Business Needs

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Conducting primary research on behalf of the Greater Irvine Chamber, 35 Chamber member volunteers visited more than 210 Irvine businesses during the October Business Outreach Rally. The volunteers conducted a survey to identify challenges that Irvine businesses face, and provided copies of the Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. Out of the businesses surveyed, a majority felt that they either well exceeded or met their business performance goals. More than half of the businesses surveyed export and/or import products or services. The top two challenges that the surveyed businesses...
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Save-The-Date: Orange County World Trade Week 2019 Slated for May 16

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host the fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. The OCWTW 2019 program will feature a keynote address by a representative from Experian Decision Analytics, an Export Success Panel discussion, and an International Resource EXPO. Returning are Founding and Presenting Sponsor UPS, and Champion Sponsor HSBC. OCWTW brings together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export...
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US Chamber Awards Greater Irvine Chamber the Nation's Highest Accreditation

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The United States Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Greater Irvine Chamber with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. “Receiving the highest honor in the chamber industry is a testament to our tremendous Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and exceptional professional staff,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “I’m extremely proud of our collective accomplishment as we continue our efforts to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The Greater Irvine Chamber is one of seven chambers in California to hold this distinction, and one of 120 in the nation....
OC Business Journal Directory of Influence Features Greater Irvine Chamber Member Executives

Thursday, November 08, 2018

More than 50 executives from Greater Irvine Chamber member companies have been featured in Orange County Business Journal’s third annual OC 500 Directory of Influence. The directory features an impressive list of influential business and community leaders from a variety of Orange County companies, ranging from nonprofits to large corporations. Congratulations to the following professionals for this prestigious accomplishment: Barry S. Arbuckle, President, Chief Executive, MemorialCare Health System Paul Bay, President, Americas, Ingram Micro Steve Bilt, Chief Executive, Smile Brands Gary Brahm, Chancellor, Chief Executive, Brandman University Donald Bren, Chairman, Irvine Co. Richard Cabrera, Executive Vice President, Umpqua Bank Bill Carpou, President, Chief Executive, OCTANe Steve Case, EVP, Office Properties,...