Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce Sends Out Worst Press Release of the Year

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara News Online gets lots of press releases. (And I’ve read thousands during my journalistic career).

A recent one stands out for being really bad.

The Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Santa Clara Chamber) announced its newest CEO, Harbir Bhatia.

The headline signaled that the release was going to be over the top – not a good start for journalists who are looking for basic facts to write stories or columns.

According to the release, Bhatia is “dynamic” and represents the “future of Silicon Valley.”  

Wow. Those are two big claims. But the two-page release never says how she is those things.

The release is a long list of Bhatia’s service on boards and commissions mostly. It leaves out her most controversial business experience.

Bhatia worked for Silicon Sage. The developer declared bankruptcy after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged them with defrauding investors. Hundreds of investors may have lost $119 million in a Ponzi scheme.  

It’s not the first time Bhatia has hidden her association with her previous employer. She hid it during her losing 2020 City Council campaign.

Bhatia is also the first person quoted in the press release about herself. That’s unusual and as Jimmy Garrapolo would say “weird.”

The release also suggests that the appointment was recent. But Santa Clara News Online broke the story on June 27, two months ago.

Chamber Board Chairwoman Elnaz Masoom doesn’t show up with a quote until page two of the press release. In most professional press releases, she would be quoted before Bhatia.

In the entire press release, there’s no information about the Chamber itself or what the organization has done for businesses or Santa Clara.  Another wow.

Usually, there’s a sentence or paragraph that brags about the organization or institution. 

But this release was like a Bhatia biography that leaves out all the bad stuff.

There’s still four months to go in 2023. But this press release is likely to win the prize for worst of the year.


  1. Dear Community,

    I apologize for the mistake spellings.

    I was just so eager to put our honest opinion out in public.

    In Community Spirit,

    Danny Garza

    • Don’t fret Danny Garza. You have a good reason.
      Makes you wonder what CEO Bhatia’s excuse is.
      Does anyone proofread her work? This person
      represents the business community?

  2. Those anti-Santa Clarans may not absorb or internalize Ralph Waldo Emerson’s illustrative quote now most relevant in our times: “the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

    “Bhatia has been recognized for her contributions to the business (SVC Chamber’s Distinguished Leadership Award}, humanitarian (Rotary’s Carle G Orne World Peace and Understanding Award}, Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County Supervisors Otto Lee and Susan Ellenberg Community Hero medals}, State (CA Assembly District 25 Women’s Month Honoree) and international (only American to receive the civilian medal of honor, ‘Hero of Kharkiv City, Kharkiv, Ukraine’) arenas among other awards and recognitions.”

    Count your spoons!!!

    • Dear Community,

      Count your Spoons is CORRECT!!!


      in Community Spirit
      Danny Garza

      Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and Gateway East N.A.C.

    • Do you think she’s coming clean to Rosen for a lesser sentence and giving Haugh a Breaking News story?

    • Accolades mean nothing when all you care about is yourself and what’s in it for you.

      Burt Field gave of himself expecting nothing in return only good for the community he loves. His actions speak louder than accolades.

    • Wow…. got some time on your hands I guess. I gave Field’s Choice to my brother in law in the early 90’s. He kept the name because it was a good solid company that had a strong positive reputation with the local car Dealerships, Body Shops and Insurance Companies.
      There are good, smart reasons not to change a company name..
      Making more money is just one of the reason not to change a company name. Sometimes a seamless transition is also what you are looking for, and I think not changing the company name was a really smart move for him.
      The name got him into doors and kept accounts from looking elsewhere. I even stuck around and helped in that transition.
      The early 90’s was a time for me to rethink how I was exposing my body to certain chemicals that were common in the paints and dyes I was using since the late 70’s.
      Jamie, is my brother in law. I hope you can see it is not Burt these customers are reviewing….. I met Jamie when he was a teenager. He has taken that company and provided for his family now for almost 25 years.
      I’m super proud of him, and his ability to take my family name, and continue to serve the local Car Dealerships, Insurance Companies and private customers with a quality vendor. He totally understood why I was leaving, and he did the research and found other paints, dyes, cleaners and solvents that were not as toxic as the ones I had been exposed to for years. He wears gloves and is really smart. I was not, I had no idea that exposing your body to chemicals for years could in the end cause you to get really sick.
      As I learned early on, “You don’t know, what you don’t know.”
      One of my best quotes is a question.

      Do you know the difference between Ignorance and Stupidity?

      Answer is so simple, you will laugh.

      One of them is…. Temporary.

      Field’s Choice is a Santa Clara based company.. and I would strongly recommend Jamie to anyone looking to get some work done on their interiors.
      Another company I would recommend is Wardell’s on Stevens Creek, next to the Ford Dealership and Car Wash.
      You can ask John Wardell about me, we have been friends for over 50 years. He will tell you that I was the one who got him into the Car Industry in the early 80’s.
      John and I went to school together.
      He is another Local Boy who has done very well for himself. Super Proud of all his accomplishments.
      FYI, my newest company is called Choice Officials, way less chemicals in dealing with Youth Sports.
      Lots of way to make money…. all it takes normally is the willingness to work really hard for a couple of years, and to treat people like you want to be treated.

      Burt Field

  3. This scam artist, Harbir Bhatia, insulted the Library Foundation reneging on sponsorships on behalf of Silicon Sage and reneged on a sponsorship for the Soroptomist Classy Bag Luncheon in 2020 until the Board went after her demanding she put her money where her big mouth is.

    Is the Chamber Board tone deaf? Bhatia pulled the wool over the eyes of non-profits to garner votes when she was running for City Council 2020 and trying to win votes in the community. Bhatia’s reputation precedes her. Chamber of Commerce you need to do your homework!

    Can this CEO position be recalled?

    • I am very, very confused. Some business that Burt Field does not own is being attacked by the no job crew of Becker??

      As I have said countless times, I will list the half dozen disagreements I have had with Burt and/or Kirk right here, right now.

      For the record.

      1) Burt Field served as a commissioner well and with distinction. He deserved reappointment. Field is a great coach.

      2) Kirk Vartan has been an outstanding activist and good business owner.

      3) Becker, Park, Jain
      Worthless, dishonest cowards.

      Elect chief
      Elect clerk
      Reappoint Field
      Resign now Becker


  5. Ok…
    Is it rude to question that we might be looking at a Narcissist here?
    What is surprising to me, that whatever she is selling, some people are buying.
    Many of us have been burned one way or another by people like this.
    Like most, I think most people are truly good, honest, and trustworthy.
    Not a bad way to live your life really. We all have filters, we all tend to see life from the same vantage point that we live from.
    Case in point,
    People who don’t trust people should never be trusted.
    People who think people are lying, tend to be liars themselves.
    People who think people are thieves, need to be looked at more closely.
    People who think people are cheating, most likely themselves have a history of cheating…
    Etc, etc….
    It’s really not that tough, it’s people reading 101.

    So here is what I have learned over the last few years in some business deals, mostly with people who I thought were my friends. The biggest one, even put my name on his house in Hawaii just in case something happened to him…nice home on The Big Island.
    He was really good…and oh by the way, I was really naive.
    Some people spend money going to College. I’ve leaned everything through my dealing with my family and my own businesses.
    FYI, I’d rather be naive, than tainted in my view of the world.
    I will always still have hope…
    My favorite 2 movie of all time are still “It’s a Wonderful Life”, and “The Shawshank Redemption”.

    So when the moment comes where you finally can see them for who the really are….
    Smile, node your head, even share a laugh, easy to do, just make fun of someone else. Tell them they look great!! Trust me, they will believe you. Slowly turn and walk away. Never look back. Just put as much distance between you and them as you can.

    Go to your bank, close out any business dealing you have with them. Don’t worry about losing some money. Instead focus on much time and positive energy you will now gain back into your life.
    The terms, “Save the drama for your Mama”, or… In the business world “Cutting your loses” should be applied.

    The only way you ever want to see them again is through your “Rear View Mirror”.

    Burt Field
    See you all at the Art and Wine Festival… I won’t be working this year, I was told by a few less than intelligent people that our City had enough Volunteers already.
    Still can’t figure out what I did? I mean how bad do you have to be to be fired as a Volunteer?

  6. Pretty soon you’ll see her position to advocate against the elected police chief. Going to her house at Halloween kids would be greeted by then Chief Sellers passing out candy. Wow! He went around the Northside canvassing for her in 2020. Doors were slammed in his face. Tells you how well loved those two are. Best left to each other.

  7. Did the chamber vet this person? Anyone who has been involved knows she is a disrupter and had feisty interactions with past chamber members. Word is several board members left upon this announcement. And how much money is she making off this? More than the past president? Christian Malajic you should be asking. This is ludicrous.

  8. It’s always about Harbir! She makes fictitious names to pump herself up. Cause people know her. Shyster is too nice a word. She’s washed up in SV thanks to her ties with Jed York. She has done nothing to support the people of India. Only Sikhs. People see through her shallowness.

  9. This shyster has stiffed non profits all over the Bay Area. Including Police Activities League and Mission City Community Fund! And now she’s overseeing the business community of Silicon Valley? Goodbye Chamber of Commerce!

  10. This dynamic PR BS showed up on my newsfeed. I thought ms. Bhatia was running for city council again! Even this CEO gig is over her head.

    • Dear Community,

      It did not shock me thst this person who is so hood at getting people to like her is in the position she is at.

      When SiliconSage wanted to build two Hiusing Conplex Buildings on Alum Tock Avenue, she was nice enough to attend and tell everyone about how great these two structures were going to be for our Community.

      They were going to reflect the Flavor and Culture of the East Valley..

      Some people drank the Kool-aid.

      We did not.

      After fighting the Pollution Issues for so many years regarding the Big Property, 800 Units, that SiliconSage and Her were planning to put on in the middle of Sunset and Jose Figueres, we never heard a word about the removal of Polluted Soils in the East Valley.

      District 5 Elected Officials, especially Magdalena Carrasco coukd not hold her high enough!

      We were mislead, to put it politely.


      Like everything else related to her and SiliconSage, the truth came out, and corruption was identified in a Court Room.

      Be very careful where you stand with this person.

      Do not trust anyone she supports.

      Look at what Her and Carrasco did to the East Valley.

      We are in the Stone-age.



      Keep your ears open, the Smoke and Mirrors can be blinding.

      in Community Spirit,
      Danny Garza

      Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and Gateway East N.A.C.

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