Contact: Christine Haddon
SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Chamber of Commerce honored business executives from Fresno, Redondo Beach, San Francisco and Turlock today with its “2014 Small Business Advocate of the Year” award, recognizing them for outstanding advocacy on behalf of small businesses.
The CalChamber announced the awards in Sacramento before more than 200 attendees at the CalChamber Legislative Briefing.
The 2014 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award recipients are:
- Scott Miller, owner, Gazebo Gardens Nursery and Miller-Clark Landscaping, Fresno;
- Michael Jackson, chairman of the board, The Dardanelle Group, Inc, Redondo Beach;
- Michael Lynch, owner, Mike Lynch Consulting, Turlock; and
- Mark Dwight, owner, Rickshaw Bags, San Francisco.
Scott Miller is the former chair of the board for the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce and has been actively involved in advocacy for most of his adult life. In his more than 10 years of service with the Fresno Chamber, Miller also has served as a board member of the San Joaquin Political Academy, chair of the Political Action Committee, a member of the Governmental Affairs Council, founding director of the Jr. Board (which advocates civic activity to high school students) and the Small Business University, which offers business and advocacy seminars for small businesses.
“Scott has served his community and the Fresno Chamber for many years in injecting and helping formulate supportive governmental policies that benefit businesses and the free enterprise system,” said Greater Fresno Chamber President and CEO Al Smith when nominating Miller.
As a chamber leader Miller appeared in front of the state Legislature, Fresno City Council and the Fresno Board of Supervisors on numerous occasions to testify on and protect businesses from onerous legislation. Also while serving as board chair, Miller proposed and created a prime time television special, “Public Safety Forum” on Fresno’s local NBC affiliate, featuring the Fresno mayor, supervisors, police chief and sheriff speaking on the impact of crime on businesses in the community.
In addition, Miller served in a leadership position on the marketing committee of a historic retail area in Fresno, the Tower District, and also helped the city create the annual Food Expo, which has become a major and highly successful program helping agricultural businesses connect with major retailers.
Michael Jackson serves as chair of board for the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau for the 2013–15 term. In addition, he serves on the chamber’s Government Relations Committee and chairs the city’s Harbor Commission. Jackson saw the need for a focus on issues at the local level and recently created a “local issues” committee, which he chairs, to deal with numerous issues occurring in Redondo Beach. He currently heads the chamber’s Political Action Committee and is leading the chamber through a community issues polling process.
Jackson has been active in efforts to lobby both state and federal offices, agencies and executive offices in support of the federal Surface Transportation Act to secure additional transportation funding for California, specifically for Southern California. Jackson has also been engaged in efforts to secure federal funding for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
In nominating Jackson for the Small Business Advocate Award, Dinah Lary, past chair of the Redondo Chamber board, wrote: “His leadership and advocacy in representing the interests of business during these difficult economic times has earned him attention and praise from his business colleagues. . .We are very lucky to have someone with his background leading us into the future.”
Michael Lynch took on the leadership role for the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee, arranging for speakers on key challenges and issues facing Turlock, including the financial health of the three largest local public employee pension funds, county-wide transportation and water.
He has orchestrated a letter-writing campaign to advise the State Water Resources Control Board on water challenges facing the community and worked on bringing Altamont Corridor Express commuter service to Stanislaus County.
Lynch was appointed by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors to serve on the County Water Advisory Committee. In his role on the committee he brought city, irrigation districts and state experts before the chamber’s government relations committee and chamber board to keep local business leaders up to speed on current water issues.
When organizing these types of meetings, Lynch’s goal is always to “inform the business community and policy makers about the economic interest of local businesses,” wrote Turlock Chamber President and CEO Sharon Silva.
Mark Dwight serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. He is the founder of SFMade, whose mission is to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco. He is an advocate for the “maker movement,” arguing that micro-manufacturers like his small cut-and-sew factory, are the future of American manufacturing.
“Since arriving in San Francisco a little over a year ago, I have found Mark to be a tireless advocate for small business and someone I can call on anytime to assist in making a difference in San Francisco on behalf of the chamber and businesses we represent,” wrote Bob Linscheid, president and CEO of the San Francisco Chamber.
When the chamber is asked to testify on behalf of small business, Dwight often is asked to help convene the various small comminutes in San Francisco to build consensus. He has testified on a variety of small business issues, including: San Francisco’s minimum wage increase, the health care security ordinance and the Mayor’s 2030 Transportation Task Force.
Small Business Advocate Award recipients are nominated by local chamber of commerce executives. The criteria used in the selection process include taking leadership roles in or working on federal, state or local ballot measures, testifying before the state Legislature and representing a local chamber of commerce before local government.
Read about past winners at advocacy.calchamber.com.
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs. Please visit our website at advocacy.calchamber.com.