Our alliance gives East Valley Chambers a stronger voice.
The main role of the EVCCA is to have a regional voice for public policy issues.
The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance was founded in 1999. The chambers of commerce in the East Valley felt they all were working toward some of the same goals. They decided that if they formed an alliance, they would be a stronger voice and would better achieve their public policy goals.
Today, the EVCCA consists of 7,000 local businesses and nine chambers of commerce, including Apache Junction, led by Michael Eastwood; Cave Creek, led by Patty Villeneuve; Chandler, led by Terri Kimble; Gilbert, led by Kathy Tilque; Fountain Hills, led by Scott Soldat- Valenzuela; Mesa, led by Sally Harrison; Queen Creek, led by Chris Clark; Scottsdale, led by Steve Helm; and Tempe, led by Anne Gill.
Members of the EVCCA meet monthly to coordinate the advancement of common business interests. Each member chamber is represented at the meetings by their president and chief executive, as well as three volunteer chamber leaders.
Each year one chamber takes the lead role for the alliance. This year is the Carefree/ Cave Creek’s turn to lead the group. Patty Villeneuve is President and CEO of the Carefree/ Cave Creek of Commerce and Jennifer McGirr is the chairwoman.
The main role of the EVCCA is to have a regional voice for public policy issues. The group meets to discuss important issues and then takes those issues back to each individual chamber board for a vote. If just one chamber does not agree on a particular issue, then EVCCA does not take a stand on that issue.
We also employ lobbyist Tom Dorn, who works with legislators on the issues we are passionate about and that we feel will make a difference to the business community.
Dorn says “The EVCCA has established itself as a legitimate business advocacy group. They are a solid organization and have secured their own seat at the table representing businesses at the state Capitol.”
In December, we held a Legislative Breakfast. Legislators from the East Valley were on hand at the event, and it was a great opportunity for our members to interact and voice their opinions.
In January, we partnered with East Valley Partnership and Mesa Community College to host the East Valley Breakfast with the Governor at MCC. This event was heavily attended and gave East Valley business leaders a chance to participate in a question-and-answer session with the governor. It was a tremendous opportunity to hear directly form the governor about issues related to the East Valley. The EVCCA has made great progress in the past six years. This past year, we became a member of the Business Leadership Coalition, which is comprised of 10 organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Greater Phoenix Leadership.
As Dorn says, we now are a presence in the business community and hold a strong voice representing the interests of East Valley businesses.