El Centro Chamber Holds 110th Annual Dinner

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The incoming El Centro Chamber of Commerce president Les Smith (right) presents former Chamber president David Tyler (left) with a review book at the 2016 El Centro Area Chamber Dinner.
The incoming El Centro Chamber of Commerce president Les Smith (left) presents former Chamber president David Tyler (right) with a review book at the 110th Annual Dinner Meeting and Silent Auction event.

EL CENTRO — The El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau held its 110th Annual Dinner Meeting and Silent Auction Thursday night at the Barbara Worth Imperial Palms Resort Convention Center.

“Tonight’s dinner is just a passing of the gavel,” explained Darletta Willis, CEO of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce. “We’re here to update our members with what we’ve done this year with our current president and pass the gavel to next year’s president.”

With the convention center filled with 24 tables of chamber members and guests, the event appeared to be a success. A silent auction table was also set up for guests to bid on various donated items including a Disneyland gift card donated by First Imperial Credit Union and a trip to SeaWorld from Desert Trails RV Park.

Some of this year’s accomplishments highlighted by chamber officials included hosting several mixers with attendance of over 1,500 people, an off-road SCORE race, a Christmas parade, sponsorship of $12,000 for the NAF El Centro Annual Air Show, an Air Show Gala, a fashion show, and approximately 12 ribbon cuttings for new businesses.

“We accomplished a lot this year,” Willis cheerfully added. “We also had an increase of, I think, 35 new members, so we had a pretty good year.”

The event was an official ceremony for the passing of the chamber presidential gravel by 2015-16 Chamber President David Tyler who handed the title and gravel in good faith to incoming President Les Smith. Smith also served as president the year prior to Tyler’s presidency.

New members of the El Centro Chamber Board of Directors were also recognized including Alexis Araujo of Payless Auto Insurance, Todd Evangelist of Imperial County Office of Education, and Bob Kumar of Vacation Inn.

“We have more attendance this year,” said Willis. “That was a pleasant surprise. And we have a lot of new people here. We’ve gotten a lot of people that don’t normally come to our dinners to start coming.”

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