The Sherman Oaks and Encino chambers of commerce will merge into a single organization pending approval by the California Secretary of State.
In late April, members of both chambers voted unanimously to approve the merger that unites hundreds of San Fernando Valley businesses that will operate together to provide more for their members by bolstering local business growth and retention, the chambers said in a release.
Sherman Oaks Chamber Chief Executive Vickie Bourdas Martinez said there was a lot of excitement about the opportunities the alliance will afford its members.
“The combined economies of the Sherman Oaks and Encino communities includes major retailers, hospitals, law firms, financial institutions, manufacturers and small businesses,” Martinez said in a statement. “Anchoring our region is the Ventura Boulevard corridor which is the address of many popular restaurants, fashion stores and retail services. All of this translates to a vital and growing business environment.”
Waltona Manion, Encino chamber board president, said the group was proud to unite with the Sherman Oaks Chamber given its reputation and track record.
“Combining these two organizations and memberships ensures our communities will be supported as we work to address the current challenges of economic recovery from the pandemic, impacts from the homelessness crisis and a changing economy,” Manion said in a statement.
The Encino chamber was founded in 1927, making it among the oldest chambers in the Valley. Among its early members were actors Al Jolson and Don Ameche. The Sherman Oaks chamber started in 1948 and is known for hosting the Sherman Oaks Street Fair, the largest public event in the Valley with more than 100,000 attendees annually.
The newly christened Sherman Oaks/Encino Chamber of Commerce will operate out of the existing Sherman Oaks Chamber office at 14827 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks until it is determined how the Encino offices will be used. The Encino Chamber has roughly 1,500-square-foot suite of offices on Balboa Avenue and the new-formed entity is exploring the best use of the space.