September 18, 2021

SMH

Santa Maria History

Shirley Contreras: Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce enjoys storied history | Nearby Information

Santa Maria Valley’s Chamber of Commerce, as soon as located in a tiny business office at 125 W. Church St., began in 1906 as a protective organization to continue to keep out opposition. It later moved to an business in City Hall, and in 1972, a separate business was built at 614 S. Broadway on assets leased from the city, where it remains today.

With its first membership of 50 loaded with city politicos, it wasn’t straightforward for a new small business to open.

These days, in addition to the Chamber doing work to not only manage the financial state, it also encourages business development in Santa Maria.

Elwin Mussell, who once served as mayor of Santa Maria, was a longtime member of the chamber, “The chamber only came to everyday living about 1928, when Jesse Chambers came aboard.” Up right up until that time he claimed that it was in essence inactive.

When Chambers took in excess of as the secretary/manager, he was so established to get folks included that he presented to have his pay primarily based on the revenue that he could acquire on membership costs. His persons skills resulted in just about fast achievements and the chamber’s development, for the occasions, was phenomenal.

When the region was hit with the Great Melancholy, the economic system went sour. However, the town wasn’t massive enough that an active chamber was even essential. After the Despair and as the city began to improve, so did the chamber’s role.

Tourism, then and now, performed an integral component of Santa Maria’s financial state, and 50 % the city’s revenue came from the freeway that ran right down Broadway.

Chambers was a “natural” in serving as a goodwill ambassador to the many movie stars and other superstars who arrived as a result of city and stayed at the Santa Maria Inn.

The 13 decades that Chambers served (till 1941) culminated in the organization’s most lively time period up to that time.

Following the get started of Environment War II, the chamber’s activities weren’t on the lookout excellent and it was not until eventually 1952, when Robert “Bob” Seavers arrived to take more than the reins, that interest in the Chamber commenced to acquire hold when it commenced to at the time more come to be concerned in community affairs.

Seavers brought his spouse and children to Santa Maria in January of 1948 when he came to work as common manager for Pacific Coastline Lumber. He later worked as website traffic manager for George Smith Transportation.

The commencing of Seavers’ extended and illustrious profession in Santa Maria began in 1952, when he recognized the placement of secretary-supervisor of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Seavers was no stranger to involvement with chamber of commerce activities as he experienced served as secretary-supervisor of the Tulare Chamber of Commerce prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy and getting to be a member of the Business of Naval Intelligence all through Environment War II. Immediately after acquiring an honorable discharge from armed service services, he acknowledged a position as secretary-manager of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

Seavers’ keep track of record in the expansion of membership in the Santa Maria chamber was effectively over normal. He started out his tenure in 1952 with only 100 users and by 1981 the membership experienced amplified to 1,350.

In addition to his operate with the chamber, he liked the theater and devoted significantly of his time and effort to the Santa Maria Civic Theatre. He joined the SMCT in 1966 and remained a operating member for 18 decades. Due to the fact of his posture with the chamber, his assistance to the theater was a must have as an adviser in all locations.

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Seavers was not only a member of the SMCT, he served as treasurer, as very well as box business office and home supervisor, according to the theater’s co-founder Meg Smith.

As the chamber’s secretary-supervisor, Seavers cleared the way for members to get the supplies desired to build sets for their plays, and to borrow furniture and props from Harrell Fletcher’s shops. He also persuaded the superintendent of educational institutions to allow performances to be held at the Alvin Avenue School.

As property supervisor, Seavers pored as a result of newspapers and brochures for the most effective rates of supplies and didn’t wait to clip discount coupons to invest in other necessities. He produced preparations with B&B Phone Provider to have its operators just take reservations for all plays and provided them with information about every single enjoy so that the operators could recommend callers about no matter if the performs were being ideal for families or restricted to grownups.

When the Board of Supervisors refused to allow the team to perform in its new developing, Seavers was there to coach the members on how to override the board’s restrictions and current their scenario to the City Council.

In 2006, when Seavers acquired the Santa Maria Civic Theatre Life time Accomplishment Award, it was pointed out that the power of the theater and its goals persisted, mainly because of his contributions as perfectly as for his inspiration of other individuals to perform collectively for the betterment of the corporation.

1 of his numerous achievements with the chamber, in live performance with other officers, that Seavers discovered to be most satisfactory bundled doing the job with the Point out Division of Highways to safe the resources for the reconstruction of Cuyama Street (Freeway 166). Whilst it took eight yrs for the chamber’s highway committee to urge the California Freeway Commission to end Cuyama Street, in carrying out so, it opened the southern San Joaquin Valley to the south Central Coast.

A different accomplishment was securing the copyright for Santa Maria-design beef barbecue in March of 1978.

The Santa Maria-fashion barbecue was, and even now is, a significant tourist attract.

Thanks to Seavers’ efforts, content articles on the barbecue appeared in countrywide publications and in attributes sections of California newspapers.

By way of Seavers, promotion and marketing of the city and what it had to give have been the significant instruments employed to promote the Santa Maria way of lifestyle.

As a 50-calendar year member of the Elks, Seavers was a massive supporter of the Elks Rodeo Parade and experienced a direct hand with the appearances of quite a few television and sports celebrities.

Throughout his 35 several years of chamber assistance, Seavers wore lots of hats. In addition to his functions with the Civic Theatre, some of his local community things to do included remaining a member of the advisory committee for PCPA, secretary-treasurer of the Kiwanis Club, a member of the board of directors of the Central Coastline YMCA, the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and the Initial Christian Church.

When he retired from the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1987 following 35 decades of provider, extra than 600 men and women attended a party at the Elks Lodge.

In 2003, Seavers moved to Walnut Creek to be nearer to his relatives. He died in March of 2014 and his ashes are buried upcoming to all those of his wife, Margaret, in the Dudley Hoffman Memorial Garden.