http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/08/29/name-change-for-ampa


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - August 29, 2008

Name change for AMPA

Alamo merchants group now Chamber of Commerce

by Geoff Gillette

A rose by any other name still smells as sweet. Does the same hold true for a merchant's association? The answer is yes, according to the members of the Alamo Merchants and Professional Association (AMPA), who voted at their Aug. 20 meeting to change their name to the Alamo Chamber of Commerce.

AMPA, which has been active since 1992, is a business networking group that has grown to 99 members.

The name change comes only six months after the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce retooled its logo and Web site to be more inclusive of membership outside the town. Danville Area Chamber CEO Melony Newman said the change came as something of a surprise.

"We announced our new logo with the emphasis on the word 'area' in February, and have worked at having an even stronger presence in the surrounding areas," she said.

Alamo Chamber President Rich Wood said they are appreciative of the Danville group's inclusion and their name change doesn't mean they don't want to be part of it. He said the change came about for pragmatic reasons.

"Our rationale was that no one knew what AMPA is," he said. "It's a simple name change; we're still going to do everything that we've always done."

"A lot of us are active with the Danville Area Chamber," he added, "and we're still going to be."

All of the AMPA activities will continue on under the new banner, including network mixers, publishing a business directory, organizing the lighting of the Christmas Tree, and providing scholarships to students at San Ramon and Monte Vista high schools. The group's activities are available on its newly unveiled Web site, www.alamochamberofcommerce.com.

Newman said that she is hopeful the two groups will be able to work together to further their mutual goals.

"Our Chamber board will be considering various possible options for the two organizations to continue to work together," she said. "It will be similar to making a trail in the woods. It will be new territory."

At least for the foreseeable future, the Alamo Chamber will remain a singular entity. Wood said at present there are no plans for it to join the larger state or national chamber organizations.

Comments

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2008 at 8:06 am

Dear Editor,

As Diablo Vista region neighbors reacted to the establishment of a second regional chamber as a name change for AMPA, most recognized it as a good thing. Our region, that includes the proposed town of Alamo, has had an Alamo Business District chamber that includes representatives of owners, investors, and corporations plus representatives from neighborhoods within the district reaching from Ridgewood to Hemme.

AS neighbors and respresentatives from the business district reacted this morning, they saw the separation from Danville Area Chamber as a very positive first step in creating greater regional relationships with Walnut Creek and Lafayette, and more outreach to regional business centers including Tice Valley and Saranap business districts.

For too long, our region has been too directly linked to Danville while our major businesses have grown greater links to Walnut Creek. Further, our neighbors, as a majority, look to Walnut Creek as their primary shopping, commercial and hospitality center and our business district needs to be rejuvenated to be part of such well-planned offerings.

Neighbors congratulate Alamo Chamber of Commerce members for taking a bold step to join our majority in separating ourselves from our past dependence on Danville. We now can be a dynamic neighbor and expand our role as a retail, commercial, professional, and high-density residential business center.

Congratulations!

Harald A. Bailey
Technology & Markets Development
Member, CDSI Research Fellowship
North America and Asia
Information: halbailey@yahoo.com