Chamber gladly serves as drop off location for holiday goodies sent to Marines overseas

Looking to donate goodies for our Marines over the Holiday Season?  You can visit the Chamber office to donate items that will be sent to Marines deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.  To see what is needed, please see the list below:

100_1009 Tooth Past & Brushes, Unscented Face Wipes, Anti Bacterial Soap, Lip Balm, Q-tips, Deodorantm, Skin Cream, Disposable Razors, Shaving Cream, Sun Screen, Hand Sanitizer, Foot Power & Cream, Protein Bars, Granola Bars, Dried Fruit, Trail Mix, Jelly Beans, Beef Jerky, Emergen-C Packs, Hot Chocolate Packs, Snack Packs, Ground Coffee, Music CD’s, DVD’s, Playing Cards, AA Batteries, Zip Lock Bags, Towels, Wash Cloths, White Tactical Socks

The Chamber applauds Chamber member, the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group, for coordinating these efforts!  The Dana Point Chamber is located at 24681 La Plaza Suite 115, Dana Point, CA 92629 and all items must be collected by December 15, 2009.


Chamber News Alert

(E-blast sent on Nov. 4, 2009)

Legislature Passes Comprehensive Water Package

$11 billion bond measure to go to voters on November 2010 Ballot

After three years of working towards upgrading California’s water system,  a historic compromise was reached on November 4, 2009 that will ensure a safe, clean and reliable water supply for California.

This plan will meet the historic water supply challenges California is facing. California’s population – 38 million residents and growing – depends upon water infrastructure originally built for 16 million and is facing extreme challenges: environmental change, court-ordered restrictions, and years of continued drought. This package meets these challenges.

California’s lack of water has significantly damaged California’s economy – this package will help change that. Crops have been plowed under, unemployment in some of the state’s agricultural centers is in the forties and housing and business projects have stalled – this comprehensive package will help California families, farmers and ranchers, business owners and workers have the water to continue to grow and thrive in this state.

The Details

Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010

$455 million Drought Relief: For drought relief projects, drought relief for disadvantaged communities, small community wastewater treatment improvements and safe drinking water revolving fund.

$1.4 billion Regional Water Supply: For integrated regional water management projects up and down the state and for local and regional conveyance projects.
$2.25 billion Delta Sustainability: For projects that support delta sustainability options – levees, water quality, infrastructure and to help restore the ecosystem of the Delta.

$3 billion Water Storage: For public benefits associated with water storage projects that improve state water system operations, are cost effective, and provide net improvement in ecosystem and water quality conditions.

$1.7 billion Watershed Conservation: For ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects in 21 watersheds including coastal protection, wildlife refuge enhancement, fuel treatment and forest restoration, fish passage improvement and dam removal.
$1 billion Groundwater Clean-up and Protection: For groundwater protection and clean-up.

$1.25 billion Water Recycling and Water Conservation: For water recycling and advanced treatment technology projects as well as water conservation and water use efficiency projects.

Total: $11.1 billion

Comments from Governor Schwarzenegger

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement on November 4, 2009 regarding the legislature’s passage of an historic package to reform and rebuild California’s water system:

“Water is the lifeblood of everything we do in California. Without clean, reliable water, we cannot build, we cannot farm, we cannot grow and we cannot prosper. That is why I am so proud that the legislature, Democrats and Republicans, came together and tackled one of the most complicated issues in our state’s history. This comprehensive water package is an historic achievement.

On October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger issued a proclamation calling for the legislature to meet in an extraordinary session to address California’s water crisis, urging the passage of legislation on the many issues facing the state’s water system which were ultimately addressed by the water package passed today.

Stay Connected to the Chamber

As this bond measure makes its way to November 2010, count on the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce to keep you up to date.

Want to receive the Chamber’s e-blasts and notifications? Send your email address to

Chamber provides access to local legislators

Bates headshot IWhen was the last time you had the opportunity to sit down with your county Supervisor and hear about how decisions made by the legislature were affecting you? We want you to know that the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business with government. It is one a our core competencies to do so. That is why the Chamber and OC Supervisor Patricia Bates, 5th District have partnered to present the  State of County Luncheon on Thursday, September 24 at the Doubletree Guest Suites – Doheny Beach.

Pat Bates has a well-earned reputation as one of California’s most accomplished public servants. She was the driving force behind Laguna Niguel’s cityhood campaign and became the first Mayor upon the city’s incorporation in 1989. She served four terms as Mayor and then continued serving as a City Council Member until her election to the 73rd District for State Assembly in 1998.

In the Assembly, Pat served as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Appropriations and Assembly Health Committee, and was the founding Chair of the Republican Women’s Caucus. She was also appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the prestigious Little Hoover Commission as well as the historic California Performance Review Commission which was responsible for providing recommendations on reforming State Government and its operations.

Upon her term ending in the Assembly, Pat turned her sights to the County of Orange where she was elected to represent the 5th Supervisorial District on the Board of Supervisors in 2006. As current Chair of the Board, Pat is known as a conservative consensus builder able to bring people together and get things done for the good of the County and her district. Among her top priorities is working in her capacity as a Director on both the Orange County Transportation Authority and Transportation Corridor Agency Boards of Directors to help relieve traffic congestion and improve regional mobility. She’s also committed her year as Chair to improving government transparency and accountability. Throughout her career, Pat has worked diligently to make our communities better and safer places to live for everyone.

The Chamber thanks the following sponsors for partnering on this event!

Gold Sponsor
Cox Communications

Silver Sponsors
Pacific Western Bank
SDG&E/The Gas Company

As a member of the Chamber, if legislative action is a passion for you, we invite you to align your name with this event. Sponsorships are available at the following levels. If you wish to sponsor, please contact Kelly Straine at

Platinum Sponsor – $2500 (Limit 1)
• Corporate name and logo recognition at event
• Preferred seating for one table of (10) at event
• Opportunity to place collateral on tables
• Opportunity for display booth at event
• Promotion on Chamber website, newsletter & e-newsletter
• Full page advertisement in event program
• Company Table Sign

Gold Sponsor – $1000
• Corporate name and logo recognition at event
• Preferred seating for one table of (8) at event
• 1/2 page advertisement in event program
• Promotion on Chamber website
• Promotion in Chamber newsletter
• Company Table Sign

Silver Sponsor – $500
• Preferred seating for (4) at event
• Recognition at event
• 1/4 page advertisement in event program
• Company Table Sign
• Recognition in Chamber newsletter Bronze Sponsor – $250
• Recognition at event
• 1/8 page advertisement in event program
• Recognition in Chamber newsletter

If you would like to attend this event, members of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce can attend for $40.  Potential members are invited to attend for $60.  Please make your reservation by contacting the Chamber at (949)496-1555.

Business and Water: Let’s Dive In

Recently the South Coast Water District (SCWD) approved higher rates for water and sewer services for the district which includes Dana Point, South Laguna and parts of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.  According to a recent article in the Orange County Register, the rate increase will add between $19 and $38 to the monthly bill for the average single-family home, depending on the amount of water usage.  Commercial customers can click here to see how the new rates will affect their bill.

SCWD did make an effort to cut costs before they proposed the new water rates, which they outline on their website.  In January, they cut their annual operating budget by $1.7 million and completed an Infrastructure Master Plan that will help meet the needs of the community in the most cost-effective ways.

What does this all mean for business?

As rates increase, what can you do to decrease your water usage?  The district recommends replacing old toilets and fixing leaky faucets.  You can also install aerators to existing faucets that can cut water consumption in half.  But most of all, be informed!  Did you know that the SCWD held two community forums and a public hearing before the rates changed?  Dana Point business owners need to visit the SCWD website to stay informed on opportunities to speak up and be the voice of business. There is more information online that not only keeps you updated on water conservation, but also raises awareness on key water issues and how it affects business.  Websites like Save Our H20 or the Association of California Water Agencies can keep you informed on local, statewide and federal water issues.  Do you have a go to source for water information?  Please share with us in the comments section.

By now you have probably figured out that the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce (@DanaPtChamber) is a tweeting Chamber and there are a lot of great resources on Twitter.  One profile that we follow happens to be Association of California Water Agencies (@ACWAwater), the statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for most of the water delivered in California.  They keep followers updated on how stimulus money is being used in relation to water, water conservation efforts, and how California’s water shortage is affecting different industries.

Thirsty for more?

Interested in hearing it straight from the water source?  South Coast Water District Board President Dick Dietmeier will be the keynote speaker at the Dana Point Chamber’s Lunch & Learn on Thursday, July 23.  Registration opens at 11:45 a.m. with the program beginning at 12:00 p.m.  We invite you to take this opportunity to “get wet” and stay informed on how water affects your business.  The cost for Chamber Members is $25 and potential members can attend for $40.  For more information or to RSVP for this event, please call the Chamber (949)496-1555 or email

Lunch & Learn
11:45 am, Thursday, July 23
Doubletree Guest Suites – Doheny Beach, 34402 Pacific Coast Hwy
Members:  $25; Potential Members: $40

Kelly Straine
Events Director

Follow Me

Have you met our Tweeps?

The following pictures were taken at the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce “3rd Thursdays” Mixer at Mahe in June.  If attendees happened to have a twitter account, we wanted to let the business community know!  If you are on twitter, please follow our Tweeps!

If you are reading this and asking “What is Twitter?  What are Tweeps?” then allow me to invite you to our upcoming Morning Power Group!

Morning Power Group (MPG) kicked off in June with a great seminar on partnerships between the City, the Chamber and business owners.  The series continues with the topic “To Facebook or Twitter?  It’s Not a Question.  Let’s Get Started.” which will be a hands on workshop for those who would like to start using online social networking OR have started and need to know more about utilizing those tools for business.  This mini-seminar will be lead by Ross Teasley of Casa Dana, Inc (

As you might have read from a previous post, Morning Power Group is a new educational and networking opportunity for the Dana Point business community.  Thanks to our partnership with AT&T, members who register by Friday, July 17 can attend for FREE!  Registering after July 17 will cost $10 for members.  Potential Chamber members can attend for $20.  I hope you will take the opportunity to develop a great network of business connections and learn more about how online social networking can assist your business growth.

RSVP today by calling the Chamber (949)496-1555 or emailing me at

Morning Power Group

7:30 am, Tuesday, July 21
Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Members:  *FREE/$10; Potential Members: $20

Kelly Straine
Events Director


Are health care costs making you sick?

Check out the headline of a recent story:

Health care costs choking small businesses

Is your small business struggling to keep health care costs low?  Let the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce help you.

The Chamber has recently partnered with BEN-E-LECT to create the Chamber Health Plan.  The Plan is designed to help employers with 2 or more employees understand how they can lower the cost of the group Medical, Dental, & Vision plans.

      What you should expect:

1.      Lower actual plan cost by an average of over 30% per year

2.      Maintain or Improve the benefits you provide your employees

3.      Access to the every leading insurance carrier in your area

4.      Fast, efficient, turnkey administration

5.      Full financial reporting of plan results

The Chamber Health Plan is only available to our chamber members.   The Chamber is the leading advocate for small business and its Chamber Health Plan is another benefit specifically designed to help its member investors.

The BEN-E-LECT Plan is currently helping thousands of Employers lower their medical, dental, and vision plan cost and control benefits. It will work for your business, as well.

Need more information?  Call us at 949-496-1555 or email us

Will Network for Sushi

This week the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce and Mahe will team up to present June’s “3rd Thursdays” Mixer!  As we say in the Chamber Compass, “3rd Thursdays” Mixers are the place to network and make new connections.  Every month, South County business professionals attend this networking event to promote their business and meet possible clients.  It’s only Monday morning and we have been getting quite a few calls about this event!  We expect a great turnout.

A little bit about our host:  Mahe (Seafood-Steaks-Sushi-Bar) is located in the Dana Point Harbor and has a cool, casual and comfortable atmosphere. With live music, a festive family ambiance and some of the finest chefs around, they offer one of the most unique dining experiences to be found, anywhere.  You can get a preview of what you will see at the Mixer by visiting their website

New to networking or need a refresher?  Here are some tips:

Be the first to say hello!  Extend a firm handshake.

  • Say the other person’s name and remember it!  “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” (How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie)
  • Bring a door prize to a Mixer!  Not only will your business be mentioned all night, but the winner is a possible business contact.
  • Redefine what it means to interact with “strangers.”  During conversations, listen carefully to discover shared interests or goals.  (How to Work a Room by Susan RoAne)
  • Always have your business cards!
  • Listen for opportunities.  Pay attention to conversations for problems you can solve.  Follow up with the solution during business hours.  (9 Tips for Building Your Business at Networking Events by Cynthia D’Amour)
  • Do Your Homework!  Find out which organization is sponsoring the event.  Will there be speakers, presenters or any special guests in attendance?  Do a little research and be prepared.
  • Arrive with a goal in mind. Before the meeting, set a goal for yourself for that day, and then achieve it. Don’t arrive at the meeting feeling lackadaisical or unfocused. Take some time for yourself to get yourself focused before the meeting. (Networking by SBA)
  • Develop relationships.  Don’t just be a commercial for your business.  People tend to do business with people they have or can build a professional relationship with.
  • Follow up is important, too!  Contact the people you have had good interactions with during your meeting.  This will indicate you are interested in serious business.  (6 Tips for Successful Networking by

With that, we hope to see you on Thursday, June 18 at Mahe, 24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm!

3rd Thursdays

5:30 pm, Thursday, June 18
Mahe, 24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr
Members:  $10; Potential Members: $15

Kelly Straine
Events Director