June 26, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Funny Business in Venice

by Melanie Camp

Is there a Chamber of Commerce out there as…creative… as the one in Venice?

In a huddle before LAPD Pacific Division Captain Dominic Choi, the soon to be sworn in board members raised their right hands. Ready to pledge their allegiance to the Chamber.

“I pledge to represent the Venice Chamber of commerce with dignity, integrity, and pride…” said Choi. The group echoed back, “I pledge to represent the Venice Chamber of Commerce (beginning to trail off) with dignity…(mumble, silence) pride…” Any attempts to bring the serious interrupted with the eruption of laughter.

LAPD Pacific Division Captain Dominic Choi and the VCC Board. Photo by Venice Paparazzi.

“It’s a fun organization. This is Venice. So, it’s not stuffy like other Chambers of Commerce,” said Chamber Executive Director Donna Lasman. Abbot Kinney is the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s founding father. The organization is 110 years old. “We organize to network and connect with people who live and work in Venice, and we organize to help our businesses promote,” said Lasman.

The current Chamber Board is a mish-mash of OG business owners, Venice artists, and young entrepreneurs with a social conscious. There’s Don Novak from Hal’s, who moved into the neighborhood when people were still dodging bullets on Abbot Kinney. Casey Parker of Big Daddy’s Pizza; who makes it a point to train and employ local homeless people. And much-loved Venice couple Alex and Edizen Stowell, from Venice Paparazzi. Long-time Venice local George Francisco has served as the Chamber’s President for the past two years.

Regular networking events connect the organization’s 375 members. Events like Chamber Happy Hours at Ra Sushi, or the Venice Whaler, or the upcoming Marina sunset cruise. The events are all about combining business with pleasure and are open to members and non-members who are interested in joining.

The Chamber’s philosophy is that the Venice business community and business professionals are stronger and more empowered as a group. Overall the Venice Chamber of Commerce represents over 25,000 business professionals.

“We advocate on behalf of the business community supporting issues that are important to keeping Venice a great place to work and live. Working with elected officials as well as city officials to address issues of concern. Like homelessness, like traffic, like public safety,” said Lasman.

Keen to join the crew? Jump online VeniceChamber.net.

Did you know?

The Venice Chamber of Commerce owns the trademark for the Venice Sign. Anytime you see the Sign in a film or commercial, that money is going to the Chamber to help take care of the sign. The white bulbs are switched out for special events; like Venice Pride and Holidays. “It’s a symbol of history, culture, and inclusiveness. that’s what Venice was founded on,” said Venice Chamber of Commerce George Francisco.

The Venice Sign is maintained by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Venice Paparazzi.
Related Posts

Column: Where Will We Shelter the Homeless?

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Jeff Hall Federal Judge David O. Carter is a hero, as far as I’m concerned.  He essentially forced the...

Column: LA Election Results Remain Tight, Close & Competitive Come the Fall Runoffs!

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The results for the June 7th Primary continue to trickle-in with not much change:  In that special...

Column: Centennial Park Update – Cleared, Cleaned & Fenced!

June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Centennial Park, long a homeless encampment for months that had spilled out-of-control into a haven for open...

The New Math: How Does Caruso Get to Victory in a One-on-One Race With Karen Bass?

June 15, 2022

June 15, 2022

By Nick Antonicello After a $45 million investment in a race he was expected to win, Republican-turned, independent-turned Democrat Rick...

Column: The Endorsement Race!

June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022

With 40 percent of the CD-11 vote up for grabs and four months to go, Park & Darling will compete...

Column: It’s Caruso/Bass for Mayor, Darling/Park for CD-11, Rest of the Field Is Eliminated as We Brace for a November Runoff!

June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

Villanueva/Luna locked in a tight battle for LA County sheriff! Hertzberg/Horvath headed for runoff for LA County Supervisor! Pullen-Miles leads...

The Yo! Venice Interview: Kevin McGurk for LA County Judge

June 6, 2022

June 6, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  With so much time in court litigating both criminal and civil cases, the position of public defender...

Population Loss: New Era or Pandemic Glitch?

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist The numbers suggest a major change is underway in California. It would take a Nostradamus to...

Column: Down the Stretch They Come

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  A “manufactured narrative” in this race to succeed outgoing,  “lame duck” Councilmember Mike Bonin is that certain...

Interview: LAUSD School Member Nick Melvoin. The Teacher That Puts Kids First!

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello If you didn’t know any better, you would think LA school board member Nick Melvoin was twenty-points...

Keeping Kids Safe in Wake of the Tragedy of Uvalde, Texas

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello In wake of the shootings that occurred in Uvalde, Texas I reached out to Allison Holdorff-Polhill, a...

Column: MAYOR ROBERT PULLEN-MILES, THE BEST CHOICE FOR VENICE REPRESENTING IN SACRAMENTO!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

Lawndale Mayor uniquely qualified to succeed Autumn Burke in the California General Assembly By Nick Antonicello  On Tuesday June 7th voters...

Yo! Venice Sits Down With CD-11 Conservative Mat Smith About Homelessness, Rising Crime and the Quality-of-Life Conditions in Venice and Beyond!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  It was only appropriate that Yo! Venice speak with CD-11 council hopeful Mat Smith over the long...

Column: “True” Democrat?

May 30, 2022

May 30, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Just what is a “true” Democrat?  It’s an interesting question in a non-partisan council contest where attorney...

Column: Productive Public Safety Over Party Politics and Partisan Ways! Why LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva Deserves Another Four Years!

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Is there a Democratic or Republican way to reduce homeless encampments and fight rising crime? Does politics...