Poway Chamber supplies private, skilled coaching for members

The Poway Chamber of Commerce recently revamped its membership education offering.

The chamber offers monthly webinars on topics ranging from the safe running of a company during COVID-19 to video marketing and cybersecurity. The member-only webinars are free and can be viewed on the Chamber’s website, poway.com.

The committee recently reviewed and revised its educational goals for chamber members and educational partners, said David Guzman, chair of the education committee. He is also the assistant principal of the Poway Adult School. The revision was made at the behest of Mike Leland, who took over as President of the Chamber in January.

“When Mike Leland became the new Chamber President, he told all Executive Committee leaders that his primary objective was to ensure that companies get ‘value’ from their membership,” Guzman said.

The education committee immediately reviewed its mission to expand and implement Leland’s vision, he said. To this end, the committee members set up a platform for the exchange of resources and knowledge. Since face-to-face seminars were not possible due to COVID-19, the committee instead developed webinars with a variety of personal and professional educational opportunities.

The chamber’s educational offering previously focused on aspects such as student internships and job shadowing, Guzman said. As a result, many small businesses were unable to participate. The chamber has many small businesses as members and the committee wanted to find a way to add value to their memberships.

Aside from the first webinar, which focused on how to operate a business safely during COVID-19, the other webinars created to date have been presented by chamber members, Guzman said. The moderators volunteered to share their experiences and knowledge with their peers. “We feel we have enough experience and institutional knowledge in the chamber members that we don’t always have to go outside (for the webinars),” he said.

The webinars aim not only to improve members professionally but also to help personally, Guzman said. Two webinars in January focused on developing a personal wellness plan and the dangers of vaping. “There are not only seminars on how to run a business, but also how to improve yourself,” he said.

Guzman said the new webinars were well received by members. Members also offered contributions to the classes. They will be recorded and the videos posted on the chamber’s website for members to watch whenever their schedule allows, Guzman said. For example, a restaurant owner might not be able to attend a webinar scheduled during the day.

The next webinar, which will take place on Tuesday, April 20 at 11 a.m., will cover the fundamentals of cybersecurity and data protection. The May webinar will look at student work experiences and working with Poway Unified School District, Guzman said.

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