By Robert Haugh
Last month, the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce changed its name to the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
We reported that it was done after a couple of years of making big mistakes and political blunders — a lot of them.
So they really needed a new name and a new start. At least they thought so.
Former Chamber boardmember and lobbyist/publisher Miles Barber wrote a column about it last month in the Santa Clara Weekly. Here’s his take:
“(Outgoing President Jan Eric) Nordmo introduced incoming Board President Chris Boyd, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara.
The crowd was thrilled when Boyd unveiled the new (his emphasis) Chamber logo and name. Effective July 1, the Santa Chamber of Commerce will become Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce, incorporating a broader outreach and more encompassing of its widening scope.”
In the month since then, not many have been “thrilled.”
Here’s the headline from the July 4th San Jose Spotlight story:
“Silicon Valley chambers of commerce rebuff new rebranded group”
Here’s the headline from the July 5th Silicon Valley Business Journal story:
“Report: Rebranded Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is already unpopular with its neighbors”
According to the reports, two key chambers have publicly rejected the SVCCC’s attempts to work in their cities. That’s Sunnyvale and Campbell.
We’ve heard from Santa Clara businesses and chamber members. They’re not “thrilled.” In fact, they’re not happy. They think the leadership has made another big mistake on top of all their past blunders.
There’s even talk of switching back to the old name. That would make a lot of sense. So it probably won’t happen.