The Compton Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1923 by driven community members who wanted to support Compton as it grew to be a leader in industry and agriculture. Today, as we reflect on Compton Chamber of Commerce 100-year legacy; it is also the perfect time to think about the Chamber's future. It will take a deliberate effort to think of strategies that will drive membership and awareness of this organization as it enters its second century. We must have a self-revitalized effort centered on community outreach and fulfilling unmet community needs.
One-hundred years ago, a small group of businessmen came together with the intent of creating a greater representation in the business community of Compton. This vision, that was stimulated on tenacity and dedication, survived: WWII, the Cold War, over 17 different United States Presidents, the Gulf War, 9-11, two financial meltdowns, a Global Pandemic; and a now wildly divided country.
Yet, 100 years after the incorporation of the Compton Chamber, this group, different faces, but same vision, continues to represent businesses, continues to develop events, and continues to support the people of the City of Compton, and surrounding cities.
Seeds of the Compton Chamber of Commerce sprouted in a small town called Compton in 1923; And, the City of Compton provided a nourishing environment for the group to strive and grow into what it is today. We, small businesses, are the backbone of our economy. Today, we celebrate the resilience of our business community; the resilience of our nonprofit organizations; and the resilience of our membership.
The Pandemic impacted all of us and we had to pivot sharply. The Pandemic definitely changed many things about our lives, but it hasn’t changed the fact that the Compton Chamber is still pivotal to our communities.
As the Compton Chamber enters into the next centennial period of its service to the business community, and embark upon the task of working to reopen our economy, there are many challenges ahead. The voice of businesses is more important than ever; and, yes, those voices must be heard, especially as we approach another highly contested election year. That is why over the next year, we must engage our corporate leaders on key policy issues like property taxes, infrastructure, public safety, diversity, and equity. The solutions to these pressing issues will significantly impact the growth of our economy, our population, and our quality of life. Today, let us renew our commitment to be the champion for pro-growth business policies. Let us pledge to stay in constant communication and remain focused, while making the connections needed to forge ahead with our goals, objectives, and strategies.
There is an adage that few human beings and organizations survive to celebrate a 100th birthday. However, the Compton Chamber of Commerce has achieved this milestone! I, Dr. Lestean Johnson, am optimistic about the years ahead and the future of the Compton Chamber and the business community. Board members, together, we are strong; together, we are resilient; and together, we are innovative. We are a community of businesses; but more importantly, we are a community of people. We are a community of people serving and helping people.
Let us embrace our task with enthusiasm!
Board members…Let’s Go to Work!
Dr. Lestean M Johnson
President of the Compton Chamber of Commerce