Chamber directors installed at lively dinner
By Jo Moreland
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, For The Alpine Sun
ALPINE ---- Two new directors joined the board of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 17 at a friendly installation dinner.
The lively welcome for new board Chairman Ben Everhart of Comfort Keepers and Director Clyde Farias of California Bank & Trust at Cocina Alpine Mexican Restaurant included a pop quiz about Alpine.
There was also plenty of networking, chatter and great food at Cocina Alpine Mexican Restaurant at 2807 Alpine Blvd. It was sometimes hard to hear as people greeted friends and made new contacts.
“The Chamber is here to assist businesses and organizations,” Everhart later said in an interview as people lingered to say good night. “Anybody that doesn’t use the Chamber is missing what they’re here for. The Alpine Chamber has been outstanding for our business.”
Everhart, who is also a Chamber Ambassador, joins Vice Chairwoman Julie Ramirez of Alpine Country Day Schools; Director of Finance Virginia Fellows, Virginia Fellows, CPA, and Director of Proceedings Becky Kirkwood, Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue Group, as board officers.
Chamber directors Farias; Bob Ring of Albertsons; Richard Edwords, Kamps Propane; Al Haven, Institute for Instructional Management; Charlie Brown, Viejas Enterprises, and Sue Roff, Alpine Community Center, also work to help area businesses, organizations and communities.
Star Scout Jasper Thibault of Boy Scout Troop 105 in Alpine led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance as the evening began. The Troop that started in 1946 has been sponsored since 1951 by the Kiwanis Club of Alpine, a long-time Chamber member
Chaplain Theodor Bazdorf of VFW Bert Fuller Post 9578 of Alpine, another Chamber member, gave a heartfelt invocation before the delicious dinner.
“Who’s the smartest ---- women or men?” emcee Joe R. Browning, senior congressional liaison for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter’s office, later asked the crowd.
It was impossible to keep score as Browning then quizzed everyone about Alpine and its history, drawing answers and guesses that kept people laughing.
Browning; Luis Pallera of State Senator Joel Anderson’s office and Gail Ramer of Assembly Member Brian Jones’ office presented certificates of recognition from elected officials to Chamber directors.
Accepting his certificates, former Chamber Chairman and past Alpine Honorary Mayor Bob Ring, director of the Alpine Albertsons market, summed up the Chamber and the evening.
“Think about what we’ve been through the past five years . . . and we’re still growing,” Ring said. “That’s because of the people right here.”
Everhart; his wife, Moura, and her mother, Irene Griffin, own Comfort Keepers at 450 Fletcher Parkway, Ste. 226, in El Cajon. Ben Everhart is also general manager of the business, which offers home and senior care throughout the Alpine, El Cajon and Santee region.
A U.S. Navy veteran of 25 years who retired as a lieutenant commander, Everhart and his wife have three sons in the Navy ---- Robert, a corpsman in San Antonio, Texas; Eric, stationed aboard the USS Peleleu in San Diego, and Kevin temporarily assigned at Goose Creek, South Carolina.
Clyde Farias is vice president and branch manager of California Bank & Trust’s Alpine office at 2250 Alpine Blvd. Farias, who has a wife and two children, has been with CB&T for more than 14 years and in banking for more than 25 years.
In his current role, his focus is on developing and maintaining new and existing client relationships as well as being an active community member. The University of San Diego graduate with a business administration degree is on the boards of the Alpine Community Center and the Alpine Fire Protection Foundation.
For 51 years, the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce has assisted businesses and communities in East San Diego County to advance commercial, industrial, civic and agricultural opportunities in the rural region.
In addition to helping residents and visitors find the best area businesses and organizations, the Chamber provides a range of networking and community events.
Through such activities as the current Alpine Honorary Mayor’s Campaign, the Chamber has given more than $80,000 to the Alpine Union School District to fill teachers’ wish lists for classroom materials that aren’t covered in the budget.
To learn more about how the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce can help you, your business or your organization, phone (619) 445-2722 or visit www.alpinechamber.com