VICA Increases Role Even After 55 Years in Fray Non-Profits Longevity Award: Valley Industry and Commerce Association By BRAD SMITH Staff Reporter Longevity in a business organization can suggest many things: strength and constancy or being hide-bound and out-of-date. The Valley Industry and Commerce Association is not the latter. From support for bringing cutting edge science and technology including stem cell research to the San Fernando Valley to a willingness to mix it up on divisive political questions including Valley secession and incorporation – VICA has changed with the times. “VICA has grown tremendously,” said Valley businessman Marvin Selter, chair of the association in 1986-88. “VICA has grown and taken a position of leadership in the city.” The 55-year-old business advocacy organization, after decades of laboring in the background of politics in the San Fernando Valley, has taken on a much higher profile in recent years. In the first half of 2004, the association’s 90-member board has voted to take official positions on 52 separate issues, ranging from ballot measures to legislative proposals. By the same time in 2003, the organization had only taken 39 such votes. The almost 30 percent increase has garnered attention from elected officials and the media, which is exactly what the group’s current leaders led by Board Chairman Martin Cooper, who took the chair in January want. That effort has paid off, at least in one respect: media coverage of VICA is up almost 50 percent from 2003 to 2004, according to the organization. The association has also taken a leading role in the drive to reduce Los Angeles’ business taxes and the passage of legislation requiring state agencies to break out statistics involving the Valley from those of the rest of Los Angeles.
VICA Increases Role Even After 55 Years in Fray