My Week Full of Surprises

All About My Trip



Dreams do come true in the “Happiest Place on Earth”! I had an amazing time enjoying my family and doing all the fun things you do while at Disneyland. Yes, we chased the characters around, took plenty of pictures (the above is my favorite one) and I especially enjoyed the fact there were NO LINES for all the rides! Yes, Pirates of Carribean-no wait, Indiana Jones-no wait, Cars Land, well that was a 1 hour wait, but still shorter than the last visit which was 2 hours and a half (I’M SO SERIOUS)! All in all, I had lots of fun, and made beautiful memories with my family that I will forever cherish.

ThirdYear 2


Woo hoo! I graduated from Academy! Above is my 2014 W.A.C.E. Academy Graduating class. Our first year we started with 54 of us and 3 years later, we graduated with a class of 25; half of us understood the value of continuing this great program and more importantly, realized how our chambers would benefit by our participation. During academy, I learned about Chamber trends, budget/financing, HR, staff development, leadership, policy development, and so many more great areas that I feel I have acquired a greater sense of knowledge and understanding. Aside from the learning, I value most the relationships that I have made with other Academy graduates. As professionals we reach out to one another to seek advice and talk about how our programs are growing and developing. I feel fortunate to be a part of an industry that is so transparent and willing to share information and knowledge with one another. I am lucky to be able to pick up the phone and pick the brain of W.A.C.E. President Dave Kilby or any other Chamber colleague and 10 out of 10 times I always get a response and good advice.

Maria Ross


All of the speakers at my conference were great and I enjoyed the break out sessions, but I have to tell you that I really enjoyed hearing from Brand/Marketing Expert, Maria Ross (who I will be stalking from now on and following her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever else she is on because she was amazing and you can see more about her too at her website ). I identified so much with how she touched on the fact that as businesses we are not good at identifying our target audience and more importantly we don’t do a good job of defining who are ideal customers. I feel guilty of this because sometimes we cast the net so broad and wide and in marketing, that is the first no, no! Marketing and branding is EVERYTHING in your business! No matter if you sell cars or cookies, it doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you aren’t marketing it, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT!!!! My take-away from her presentation was: “Stop trying to sell to EVERYONE and start selling to the RIGHT customer for you!”. Of course, I would LOVE to have every business in Tracy as a Chamber member (yes, all 4,000+) but in all reality, the Chamber is NOT FOR EVERYONE. Yes, I said it, and it may come to a shock to some but I would rather invest the time growing and developing the businesses who are WILLING to accept my help and who see the benefit and opportunities of the Chamber rather than wasting time on those who have no clue about what they are doing and will more than likely not survive the challenges of running a business.


The Chamber is in the process of creating a marketing plan that will help build awareness of the programs of the Chamber and that will validate why Tracy cannot afford to be without a Chamber of Commerce. In business, if you cannot demonstrate clearly why the world would miss you if you did not exist and why your community NEEDS you, I guarantee you that you will have issues properly communicating your company’s value and worth.

Locally, I know of many great marketing experts that are part of the Chamber who can help build your business’ marketing plan! Email me if you would like me to refer businesses who can help you with the marketing/branding/social media development of your business,

Until next time,

-Sofia Valenzuela, CEO, Tracy Chamber of Commerce