San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce now open for business
On Friday, Nov. 22, the San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce (CACOC) held its first gala at the Sycuan Golf Resort in celebration of its new presence in East County. A nonprofit organization, it elected business owner Ben Kalasho president and its first board members and directors.
“It’s important to know that the board members are at their position, it’s established and the initial kick-off date was on Friday,” said Kalasho.
This chamber is not only for Chaldeans, said Kalasho. He said half the board is non-Chaldean and that it is important that the organization keep it that way. They are devoting their time to redefining professionalism in the Chaldean community, culture, and bridging gaps between non-Chaldeans and Chaldeans, he said.
“Whether we are using our energy to assimilate Chaldeans into American culture or getting Americans well versed in Chaldean culture, businesses will connect,” he said. “One big issue with us is that we are not supportive of writing being in any other language than English, like on businesses. If you can’t read the language, you are not going to shop there. It makes no sense in business.”
Kalasho said the chamber deals with business professionals and that the organization is going to become a voice for Chaldeans. He said it is a sole entity with no affiliation with other organizations, for example, the Neighborhood Market Association. It will conduct its business like any other chamber, he said.
“There are roughly about 68,000 Chaldeans in San Diego and East County and 60 percent of that own a family business. Another 38 percent of that 60 own two or more. And less than one percent belongs to a Chamber of Commerce.”
He said it gives professionals from both side the ability to reach out to the other community for their own business needs.
“If you are a realtor and want to sell to Chaldeans or you are a Chaldean and want an American attorney, this is the place to make those connections,” he said.
The CACOC received two recognitions on Friday from Sen. Joel Anderson and Congressman Duncan Hunter. With more than 100 in attendance at its first event, Kalasho said there would be more events ahead and the Chamber is looking for a permanent physical location to conduct business.
Only the second Chaldean American Chamber in America, Kalasho said since the kick-off, that it has 50 new members.
Kalasho said this was just the beginning but he has big expectations for the new chamber and its ability to bring the American and Chaldean business community together.
For more information go to www.chaldeanamericanchamber.com or its Facebook page.