Sixty years ago, the first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line, “The Munsters” were introduced to television, and Encinitas was at the beginning of a significant suburban expansion. It was also the era when the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce was founded.
Since 1964, the Chamber has advocated for a healthy and prosperous business community which improves and preserves the quality of life in Encinitas. As the Chamber enters its 60th year, we talked with CEO Sherry Yardley about the past, highlights of 2023, and her vision moving forward.
“This past year marked significant growth for the Chamber. We welcomed over 80 new members from diverse industries and hosted more than 50 events, connecting businesses and engaging with the community. Our commitment to education continues with our Rising Star events at MiraCosta College, honoring remarkable high school seniors who inspire and move us.”
“Our largest annual event Oktoberfest again brought together 15,000 residents and visitors to celebrate Encinitas’ German heritage and culture with more rides, more vendors, food and local beer than ever!”
While the economy has had its ups and downs, the Chamber has remained steadfast in helping its members.
“Since COVID, the economy is recovering, and new businesses are opening monthly. With six decades of experience, we continue to evolve to provide an array of resources, networking opportunities, business visibility, professional development, and avenues for community involvement and advocacy.”
“We are over 325 members strong and continue to grow with additional programs and staff.”
“We’ve had lots of fun on our new Chamber Chat Live! Podcast where guests have covered topics from cyber-security to marketing trends. Special things are planned for our 60th Anniversary including an appreciation dinner and gala later in the year.”
“It’s important for a vacation destination city to have a resource for visitors, and the Encinitas Visitors Center, within the Chamber office, continues to attract tourists and residents alike. We love when vacationers stop in, pick-up a map and ask about the staffs’ favorite beach or taco shop.”
“Plans are underway in 2024 to revamp the Visit Encinitas website, and to create an Encinitas Tourism Board. We believe more visitors means more revenue for local businesses, more tax dollars for our city and an overall healthy fiscal future.”
Sherry’s perfect day in Encinitas?
“Start with an electric bike ride from BCycle, savor a lavender latte at The Cottage, delve into history at The Heritage Ranch, relish a meal at Vigilucci’s, take a beach stroll, sip a drink at Vaga, and end with a night in Alila Marea’s exquisite suites.”