2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year Winners

Tiffany Gomes

Tiffany Gomes​: Lodi Business Owner Active at Local, State, and National Levels

Tiffany Gomes, owner of Classic Design Floor to Ceiling in Lodi, is a recipient of the CalChamber’s 2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award.

Gomes has been politically active with groups in the construction and remodeling trades on many pieces of state legislation over the last five years. In addition to her legislative work at the California State Capitol, Gomes has traveled as far as Washington, D.C. to protest federal card check legislation. She has also been vocal at the Lodi City Hall, raising questions and petitioning about purchasing fairness practices for local small businesses.

Last year she served as chair of the Lodi Chamber’s board. This year she is chairing the Lodi Chamber’s government relations committee, having been a voting member of the committee for six years.

Gomes also served on the chamber’s candidate endorsement panel in 2010, 2012 and 2014. She actively campaigned in the most recent election, working hard to get the Lodi Chamber’s top endorsees elected.

Rob Van Lingen

Rob Van Lingen: Torrance Business Owner Grows Local Advocacy Program for Small Businesses

Rob Van Lingen, president of Van Lingen Towing and Public Service Impound in Torrance, is a recipient of the CalChamber’s 2015 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. Van Lingen is a third generation small business owner.

Since assuming leadership of the Torrance Chamber’s government affairs operations, Van Lingen has helped substantially grow the chamber’s legislative advocacy program for small businesses. He hosts monthly meetings with the staff representatives of Torrance’s elected officials at each level of government to voice the concerns of small businesses in the community.

In 2014, Van Lingen was instrumental in setting the advocacy strategy of the Torrance Chamber, which resulted in a 76% success rate in stopping bills deemed bad for business.

In 2015, Van Lingen has led an initiative to help small businesses adapt to the new paid sick leave mandate and directed the establishment of a Paid Sick Leave Compliance Resources portal on the Torrance Chamber website.