Eight candidates seek five seats on chamber board

Eight businesspeople are vying for five seats on the Ramona Chamber of Commerce Board for the next three years.

Ballots were mailed to all chamber members on Tuesday afternoon and are due in the chamber office at 960 Main St. no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. The ballot count will start at 4 p.m., and the winners will be announced at the chamber mixer that evening.

The newly elected board members as well as present chamber directors remaining on the board will be sworn in at the chamber’s annual Installation Dinner in January. The date, time and place of the Installation Dinner have not yet been determined.

The five seats up for election this year are now held by Sharon Davis, Carol Fowler, Bob Murray, Jeff Uran and Russ Ann Zazas. Fowler, Murray and Zazas are seeking re-election. Davis and Uran are not seeking re-election to the 15-member chamber board.

Anyone with questions may contact Craig Jung, the chamber’s executive director, at 760-789-1311.

The eight board candidates and their candidate statements are:

Skip Banach

Banach Investigations

Since moving to Ramona in 1989 with my wife and two children, I have seen tremendous growth in Ramona. My children have been educated in Ramona schools, played sports and enjoyed participating in Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4-H and other community activities. I have been a baseball coach, an active on-campus parent and youth leader at our church participating in a variety of activities for both my children.

I am a retired San Diego Police Officer and currently own and operate a private security company specializing in bodyguard and security services for high profile clients and businesses. My graduate studies were completed at USD in Law. I hold a black belt in Chinese Kenpo Karate under Ed Parker and a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. As the Director of Security for a large security company, I have taught terrorist preparation and response as well as earthquake preparation and response to the employees of the company and to other individuals and businesses.

I have been a member of the Ramona Chamber of Commerce for several years and am looking forward to helping lead the direction of the Chamber as Ramona grows with new business and to help existing businesses to continue to thrive.

Carol Fowler

Century 21 San Vicente

Ramona is on the move! Most of us go through our day just trying to survive this economy. We return home to our families stressed out. We wake up the next day, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do it all over again just wondering when things will change. I am here to tell you that things are about to change. As current chair of the Economic Development Committee for the Ramona Chamber of Commerce, we have been working on a Ramona Town Center Plan that will create a thriving downtown of retail, entertainment, office and residential choices — all in a way that is distinctively Ramona. This will unlock investment and free up development in character with our community for years to come. The plan will create the Identity for Ramona that has been the missing link for several years. This plan has taken several years to implement but I am proud to say that the project is at its conclusion and a master plan will be in place by the year’s end. I would love to continue implementing the vision set forth by Ramona residents by running for another term on the Ramona Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I appreciate your votes in the past and hope that you will consider voting for me again and our future.

Claudia Dufresne

Claudia’s Interiors

As the owner of Claudia’s Interiors for over 24 years, I have seen all the ups and downs of being self-employed. I moved to Ramona eight years ago and immediately joined the Chamber of Commerce. I have been an Ambassador for many of those years and have served on several committees. I enjoyed working at the Country Fair, Oktoberfest and most recently, Ramona’s Got Talent. As a director, I hope to contribute to the team, my interest in promoting small business in Ramona. And to help Home-Based Businesses become more visible.

Bob Murray

Java Hut

I joined the Ramona Chamber of commerce in Feb. 2007, I am a local business owner of the Java Hut in S.D.C.E. which I’ve owned for the last five years. I have served on the chamber board for the last three years, two of those on the executive board. During that time I have served on almost all chamber events, ie. Ramona Country Fair, Octoberfest, Xmas tree lighting, Safe Trick or Treat on Main St. and many other community projects. I am also a Rotarian with Ramona Rotary. As a chamber director I have had the satisfaction in knowing that I’ve helped to make a difference and will continue to do so in making Ramona a better place to work and live. I am asking for your vote to serve the community as a chamber board member for another term.

Randy Waitman

President & CEO, RAE

Born and raised in Southern California, and graduated from El Cajon Valley High School in 1979. I moved to Ramona in 1986 because I loved the country setting and the fact that at night you could see the stars. In 1996, I decided to take a risk and venture out on my own to start my own business in Ramona.  This was a giant risk for a single man with a 6-year old daughter, but being raised in a traditional family with traditional values, I felt it would be worth the risk. RAE was formed and took its first steps. I never looked back and even now 15 years into this odyssey I still love the challenges of coming to work, and of everyday activities which are fun and interesting.  My business philosophy is to strive to make sure that the customers are taken care of first and foremost. With that spirit in mind — RAE formed a business relationship with AAA in 1998. Looking back this was probably one of the best business alliances I made. Not many automotive service companies can hold up to the rigorous qualifications that AAA requires of its affiliates, but due to continuous hard work, RAE has maintained this relationship for 13 years. I joined the chamber shortly after starting my business, and I have to say that the friendships made are one of my most prized personal holdings. The Chamber is one of the best ways that I have found to network, create camaraderie, and give back to the community that has supported me/us throughout the years. Having served once before as a director, running the Ramona Fair for two successful years, I look forward to serving as a director once again and promise to endorse and promote excellent business practices within our very traditional and enthusiastic business community.

On a personal level, I am married to my beautiful bride Connie, I have one daughter Niccole and three stepchildren – Kylie, Thomas & Christopher.  I love my family, my friends, racing (of course!!), and the outdoors.

Sally Westbrook

Century 21 San Vicente

“Keep Your BUSINESS in Ramona and Keep RAMONA in Business”. A phrase sponsored by the Ramona Chamber Ambassadors in 2010 that I have supported since before stickers were made and distributed to all businesses. I have been a Ramona Chamber of Commerce member and volunteer for 10 years serving as a Chamber Ambassador and more recently the New Member Coordinator. It is very rewarding being the New Member Coordinator since I have the privilege of meeting new members and scheduling their ribbon cuttings prior to their introduction to other members. In 2009, the Ramona Chamber honored me by naming me as Ambassador of the Year. What a thrill! I now seek to serve the Chamber and the Ramona Community in another capacity, that as a Board of Directors member. It is my passion to give back to the community all it has given to me. Just to look around the town and its surrounding valleys provides a peace and beauty that I try to share as a realtor for Century 21 San Vicente. I do not just sell a property but the Quality of Life we have here. The business community, the service organizations and the people here provide that quality. As past president of Soroptimist International of Ramona, I have devoted many hours to helping enrich the lives of less fortunate women and girls locally, nationally and worldwide. I have assisted in the Ramona Rodeo for many years and also the Bluegrass Festival. I am ALWAYS fundraising and doing my best to promote the integrity and ethics here in Ramona. It would be an honor to serve as a Board Director promoting “Our Businesses, Our Town”.

David Worden

SQR Promotions

My name is David Worden and I am running for Director on the Chamber’s Board.

I am a Director on Ramona’s Senior Center, a member of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee and an Ambassador with the Chamber, having received Ambassador of the Quarter in 2010.

As a business owner, I understand the importance of active listening and a “can-do” attitude. My wife Barbara and I own and operate SQR Promotions. I have worked with many of you over the years and support you. I plan to continue to do all I can to promote Ramona and encourage others to visit and appreciate all we have to offer.

Since moving to Ramona over 4 years ago, I have come to appreciate the many dynamics of our town. My family has lived here for over 11 years, making my connection with Ramona like many of yours — a small town of families with big hearts.

I bring a wealth of experience in both business and community leadership to the Board of Directors. As a Director, I am committed to working with other Board members to support all of our businesses and bring quality events to our community.

I ask that you consider my nomination to the board and vote for me as a Director.

Russ Ann Zazas

Russ Ann’s Consulting

Moved to Southern California from the suburbs of Chicago in 1970. First moved to Ramona in 1994. I have been involved with the Ramona Chamber of Commerce since 2002, and the following chamber and community committees: Chamber Ambassador since 2003, Oktoberfest Committee since 2005, Christmas Tree Lighting Committee 2005 and 2006 and Business Expo Committee in 2005 and 2006, New Member coordinator since 2005 (ribbon cuttings), Ambassador Chairperson 2007 and 2008, Team Women Secretary 2006, Ramona Garden Club, Ramona Historical Society, President Team Women 2007 and Registrar of Voters Precinct Inspector since 2002. I also was the Ramona Rotary Program Chair in 2010 and 2011.

My husband and I have enjoyed several businesses in Ramona since 1994. John Zazas Enterprises, Inc, Russ Ann’s Consulting, which is Mary Kay products, and Vemma, the most complete supplement on the market today. Our two grown daughters, son-in-laws and six grandchildren plus my mother all live in Ramona. If elected to a Ramona Chamber Board of Director position, I promise to serve our community with dedication and respect.

   
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