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In Memory of Art Adams

on Wednesday, 11 May 2011. Posted in Latest News

Art Adams, Founder of Tracy Entrepreneurs Group


art adams

Earlier this week I found out a former Chamber member, Art Adams, passed away. Art was instrumental in starting the Chamber's Entrepreneur's Group and he was an active member and Ambassador. My memories of Art are of a dedicated professional who genuinely cared about people. Art always greeted you with a smile and I feel lucky to have been able to know him.

I know other Chamber members have memories of Art Adams. Larry Hite, owner of Tracy Home Inspections, remembers Art through this story:

 “Sometime in late 2001, a local businessman and Chamber of Commerce member Art Adams was looking for a way to get to know other small business owners and make some new friends in Tracy.  He came to the Chamber and spoke with then CEO Mike Schmidt about forming a sub-committee within the Chamber called the “Home Based Business Group”.  The idea caught on with Chamber members and a small group of about ten small home-based business owners joined and began meeting at “Shotz” coffee shop on Central Ave one Thursday morning per month and at the Chamber Conference room on a second Thursday per month.  Art’s vision for the group was a meeting place for home based business owners to discuss business challenges for small businesses and to share marketing ideas for promoting small businesses in Tracy.

Within the first year, the group decided to change the name of the group to the “Tracy Entrepreneurs”, to reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of the small business and home based business owners in Tracy.  It was shortly after the name change of the group when I joined the Chamber and became a member of the Tracy Entrepreneurs. I had just started my current business, Tracy Home Inspections, and was looking for a networking group within the city to help me launch my business.  I met with Art and the Entrepreneurs at Shotz coffee shop and have met with the group twice monthly ever since.

Art took to me almost immediately as I did to him.  Art had a charisma and energy that drew people to him like the Pied Piper.  Art and I talked at length about doing business in Tracy and discussed ways of bringing businesses together and growing our business network and Entrepreneurs Group.  We discussed sponsoring a local business Trade Show and getting involved in projects that would give back to the community.  In 2003, the Entrepreneurs launched its first Trade Show “business mixer” at the Tracy Airport.  It was so successful, that the Entrepreneurs have hosted a Trade Show mixer every year since.  In the past couple of years we hosted it at the Community center, but are moving it back to its original venue at the Tracy Airport Main Hanger this year and extending the hours from 2 to 4 hours.  The Trade Show has become so successful over the years, we have attracted over 60 businesses and vendors and more than 400 visitors to the event.  Even more significant, over the years the Entrepreneurs have donated the proceeds from the event (in excess of $1,000 in each case) to local organizations such as Tracy DARE, McHenry House, Tracy Interfaith Ministries, The Pregnancy Resource Center of Tracy, Animal Rescue of Tracy and more.  So in the end, the Tracy Entrepreneurs have fulfilled the vision of Art Adams for the businesses and community of Tracy”


Art Adams' memory will live on through the Tracy Entrepreneurs Group, and his dedication and involvement in the Tracy Chamber will never be forgotten.

Feel free to share with us your memories of Art Adams.

Great Deals Now through Try It Local

on Wednesday, 15 June 2011. Posted in Latest News

New Online Deal Program



You are now able to obtain 40-90% off services from local restaurants, retailers, and other businesses through the Tracy Chamber's Try It Local Program! This new program is similar to Group On but much better for our community because 80% of the revenue generated through the deal purchases STAYS in Tracy!

Every Tuesday a "new deal" is featured on the Try It Local website and you have 48 hours to purchase the deal. Every deal has its own expiration date and terms and conditions so be sure to read the Deal Details when purchasing a coupon.

So far, deals have ran for DeVinci's Deli & Catering, El Castillo Cafe, Patriot Pest Management, Casa Flores Mexican Restaurant and Eagal Lakes Resort.

Over 100 "deals" or coupons, however you would like to refer to them as, have been purchased saving consumers over $1,000!

What restaurant, business, or retailer would you like to see next on Try It Local? We want to BLOG with us and tell us!

If you have not already registered your email address to receive the weekly offers from Try It Local please log on to to sign up today!

2011 New Member Break Through

on Tuesday, 13 December 2011. Posted in Latest News

2011 New Member Break Through

This year has been an extraordinary year for the Chamber and it can be widely attributed to the support from our members. With a down economy and uncertainty looming regarding the fate of our economy, the Chamber managed to close out the year stronger than ever with a record breaking number of new memberships.

Looking back at the last three years, the Chamber was able to identify the following trend for new members:

2008 - 37 new members

2009 - 38 new members

2010 -  44 new members

In 2011, as of today, December 23rd, 83 new members have joined the Chamber, nearly double the number of new members who joined the year before. This is a result of great marketing efforts not only by staff, but by the Chamber's Ambassador Group who dedicated the entire year to performing retention calls and membership visits to recruit new members. THANK YOU Ambassadors.

Without a doubt, 2011 has proven to be a year of success because it has validated the fact that there is a true benefit in membership beyond the power of networking and relationship building.

This year the Chamber hosted several educational workshops to arm its members with the tools necessary to begin paving the way towards running a succesful business. Workshops included:

-Training Dollar Opportunities for Business Owners

- How to Use Networking to Improve Business

- Implementing Social Media in your Marketing Plan

- Marketing Niches & Pillars

- Economic Development Business Forum

- Be Your Own Boss; Franchises Under $150K

- SBA Lender Roundtable

2011 was a great year for the Chamber and with the support of the community and our members, we know 2012 will be even better! We are looking forward to continuing to develop programs and offer educational seminars that will enhance our members' businesses and afford them the opportunity to find success!


Chamber Member Spotlight: Johnny's Diner & Creamery

on Friday, 07 December 2012. Posted in Latest News

1950's style diner and creamery with vintage memorabilia; owned by Gaby & "Johnny" Machuca

When did you start your business and what was your inspiration or motivation to do so?

We actually started Johnny's Diner in November of 2010 at the Tracy Outlets, but on July 10, 2012, we moved to a new location. We found a home in and old drive-in centrally located in the heart of Downtown Tracy. Our motivation is we simply love the nostalgia of the 1950s--the cars, the decor, the idea that life was just a little simpler.

What do you believe is essential to a business being successful and long-lasting?

In the food business, great food and reasonable prices are a must, along with great customer service, getting involved in the community, making connections with other businesses, learning customers' names and their favorite meals.

What would you consider some of the benefits of having joined the Chamber, for your business and yourself?

The Chamber holds events that enable us to make connections with other business owners.

What is the best part about being based in Tracy?

Tracy still has a "hometown feeling", friendly people. It has the perfect blend of long time residents and young families.

How is a business like a community? How does the Chamber of Commerce assist in expanding that community?

As a business in the community, you strive to be an asset to it. Start by keeping your parking lot and store front aesthetically pleasing. Be a gathering place for people and use your resources to help your community. Be a role model to the youth of the community. The Chamber helps to build this relationship by facilitating opportunities to connect with other like-minded businesses to keep the community safe and economically vibrant.

Briefly describe one of the highlights of your career as a business owner.

One of the highlights has been the longtime friendships we established in our previous business of 22 years. We hope to create new friendships here in Tracy.

Do you have any advice for the entrepreneurs of the future?

My advice for future entrepreneurs is know that a road of hard work lays ahead. Be willing to work long hours, and don't be afraid to ask other business owners for advice or suggestions. Always stay true to who you are, and always keep your word.

Tracy Chamber Continues to Thrive Despite Down Economy

on Friday, 25 January 2013. Posted in Latest News

2012 - A Year in Review

As the economy continued to push through its recovery stage in 2012, the Tracy Chamber dedicated its time and efforts in continuing to foster a healthy and viable membership. The task of bringing in new members and retaining current members was not an easy one, but once again by working as a team, staff, Ambassadors and Board members prevailed in their efforts! In 2012, the Chamber enrolled 79 new members, nearly the same amount of new members as the previous year. Even more outstanding is the fact that the Chamber accomplished a retention rate of over 85% of their current membership. With that being said, upon reviewing the successes and outcomes of 2012, the Chamber firmly believes there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.

2012 marked a year of hope for everyone, and the Chamber made a commitment to contribute to the recovery of the economy by doing what it knows best; providing support and education to its members in the following activities:

*Hosted 27 Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremonies for new and existing businesses

*Collaborated in obtaining research and community input on the feasibility of a Business Accelerator for the Tracy community

*Awarded $6,500 in scholarships to Hispanic students through the Hispanic Business Group Latino Scholarship program

*Donated $1,000 to through the proceeds of the Tracy Entrepreneurs Tradeshow

*Hosted the first ever Business Building Boot Camp to educate members on the importance of branding

*Hosted the State of the City event with guest speaker, Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis, the leader owner, operator and developer of real estate in the nation.

*Educated businesses on the state of the national and local economy at the Economic Business Forum

*Collaborated with the Small Business Development Center of San Joaquin County to provide Business Start-Up workshops at the Chamber every 2nd Thursday of the month

*Offered free counseling for business owners through SCORE, a non-profit comprised of retired business counselors.

*Donated over $7,000 to local non-profits from proceeds of the 26th Annual Tracy Bean Festival. To date, over $350,000 has been donated to community non-profits.

*Provided hands-on training through mock interviews to over 600 high school students from Tracy, West, Kimball, Academy of Business & Law and Millennium High Schools through the Hire Me First Program.

*Facilitated over 165 internships between high school students and employers through the Hire Me First Program.

*Awarded over 200 students that completed the Hire Me First certification requirements of participating in job readiness workshops, mock interviews, internships and a career fair.

*Appointed Sofia Valenzuela as Director, a position that has been vacant for 4 years. 

*Launched ‘iShop Tracy’ Contest during the holiday season to promote awareness of shopping locally

In early 2013 the Chamber adopted the new mission statement:

Creating a Community where Business Thrives” with the following objectives:

-To build a stronger relationship with businesses and the community at large

-To enhance the forms of communication used to educate and inform our members

By obtaining a better understanding of the needs of the community and actively working to fulfill those needs, the Chamber is certain 2013 will be another year of prevailing and overcoming the challenges of our economy.

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