By DAVID ROSS
A new business organization has formed in Valley Center whose purpose is to give full value for membership and to help local businesses in the area deal with the upcoming transition as new homes are built and new businesses open.
The Valley Center Business Association held its organizational meeting Friday afternoon at Triple B Winery and elected a board of directors and executive team. The executive team includes William Del Pilar, owner, Del Pilar, LLC, president; Faith Much, financial advisor, Edward Jones, vice president; LaVonne Norwood, owner, Armor Fabrication & Fence, treasurer; Jeanna Hughes, owner, Serendipity Hair Studio, secretary.
Directors include Diane Arnold, licensed broker, Medicare Health Plans; Carmen Cifuentes, owner, RE/MAX Country Realty; Kelly Hernandez, owner, Air Crafts Heating & Air Conditioning, Krista Hubbard, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty; Justin Salter, owner, Roadrunner Publications; Judith Shadzi, owner, Cosmic Solar.
The association’s website has this statement about the group: “To promote and support businesses that preserve the town’s distinctive character in a welcoming and transparent environment. The VCBA mission is to educate, inform, and provide beneficial services to partners and actively represent, promote and support the business community.
“The VCBA was founded June 1, 2019, by business and community leaders responding to a need to represent all businesses of the community and promote Valley Center as a vibrant community. VCBA is a group concerned with assisting the area in its growth, both as a business community and in its cultural and social programs.
“VCBA is proud to be transparent. Any partner is welcome to join the board of directors in any board meeting and welcome to review all agendas, minutes and financials. Instead of using the term ‘members,’ we chose to be more inclusive, friendly and positive – and decided to use ‘Partners’ – we’re in this together!”
The association’s first president, William Del Pilar, talked to The Roadrunner about his vision for the new organization. “We’re a growing community and competition brings out the best in organizations,” he said. “All we want to do is pull businesses together to bring exposure in a growing community.”
He added, “Having a partnership with an organization like The Roadrunner is why I wanted to do this. You partner with the voice of the community. It’s all trying to create relationships with businesses and community.”
Del Pilar added, “As more development comes in, it’s important to have an association that caters to both mom and pop businesses and corporations to work for the community. I want to make sure that when this VONS comes in that all businesses benefit.”
In his 25 years of dealing with business organizations, Del Pilar has found that the problem is “sometimes the businesses help the association more than the association helps the businesses. At times the members carry the organization without the organization putting out an equal effort for them. At the end of the day the members are important. That’s why we call them ‘partners,” instead of members.”
When a business association does an event, he said, “You need to think like a small business. How does that business get a return on their investment? So that you not only impact the community but have a positive impact on the businesses. So that people will say, ‘We need to join this!’ ”
He added that as the North and South Villages are built up in Valley Center, “We want to make sure that new businesses move forward in a positive way to address that growth.”
Del Pilar said he wants the association board to “align with the visions of the businesses that belong. Who do you serve? That’s a balancing act. You’ve got to support your corporations but also help the mom and pops. To make sure that the relationship between the moms and pops and corporations is a positive one. Build relationships and events to generate money for them.”
One of the new directors, Judith Shadzi, commented, “With the new growth, Valley Center residents are going to see big changes. We need to preserve our local businesses with our Buy Local program which keeps our money recirculating here in Valley Center. This helps keeps our town economically healthy. We also need to welcome our new residents and businesses to Valley Center. The Valley Center Business Association, with its partners has been established to help with this dual purpose. We will work together with all Valley Center organizations to reach a successful outcome.”
Director Diane Arnold added, “I am excited to be a part of a vibrant business group where the emphasis is on positivity, inclusiveness and transparency. We are supporting businesses while celebrating the unique culture of our great community.”
Merchants who want to find out more about Valley Center Business Association can visit their website: https://www.ValleyCenterBA.com or Facebook.com/ValleyCenterBA.