At the Westlake Village-based Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, longtime employee Danielle Borja is prepping for a new role.
She’ll soon take over as chamber CEO, replacing Jill Lederer, who is retiring after more than a decade on the job.
For seven years, Borja has been the chamber’s director of marketing and events, so she is no stranger to the organization’s busy schedule. The Westlake Village native has accomplished several notable acts for the chamber, including rallying the business community to donate $50,000 toward the recovery efforts for the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting tragedy and subsequent wildfires after the cancelation of Taste of Conejo, a large wine and food tasting event in the area.
Being born and raised in the Westlake region, Borja looks forward to continuing to give back to the community that helped her get her start.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Borja. “I always tell my husband I have never found a reason to leave, so it’s really just nice to be able to feel like I am in a position in my hometown to really make an impact for the community.”
The Conejo chamber is the second largest in the Tri-Counties behind San Luis Obispo and it represents three cities: Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village.
Lederer is retiring on the anniversary of her 11th consecutive year as CEO at the chamber, which has five-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m confident that the transition will be seamless and that your chamber has nothing but success ahead of it,” said Lederer in a statement in regards to Borja’s takeover.
The chamber currently has more than 900 members and is continuing to grow.
One of its newest members, Smash RX, looks to Borja and her team for advice as it attempts to integrate into the community after opening just a month and a half ago.
“They have been very supportive and helpful to me and my business,” said Smash RX owner Yashica Budde. “They are always open to my ideas and help me navigate my business in the right direction.”
Whether the chamber is connecting businesses with marketing resources or helping businesses address larger picture issues like housing, Borja said she is looking forward to transforming with the community around her.
The three relatively affluent cities her chamber represents straddle the Ventura and Los Angeles County line and are known for low crime rates, good schools and major employers like Amgen, Guitar Center, Jaffra Cosmetics and the Hilton Foundation. The area was hit hard by the Borderline Bar & Grill shootings and the Woolsey and Hill fires a year ago.
“Businesses are always reinventing themselves and coming up with new concepts and it’s really great to be on the forefront of that and see what people are doing,” said Borja. “I’m excited to really lead a great team. We have an amazing staff of 11 here and our board of directors. I’m looking forward to working with all of them in 2020 to continue to elevate our chamber and support our business community.”
• Contact Carly Kay at [email protected]