Escondido Chamber of Commerce Open House July 22 will combine three events in a free, casual, fun affair that celebrates the return of commerce and life to the city. Besides the open house, the happenings will include the award of seven Rising Star Scholarships, and the installation of the Chamber board of directors, including Don Romo of Erickson-Hall Construction for a second year as chairman.
The event will occur Thursday, July 22, 4-7 p.m. at 720 North Broadway in Escondido. Although the Chamber has done an in-person mixer, a few job fairs and a government affairs meeting—this will be the first BIG event since COVID-19 shut everything down last year. The affair will be both indoors and outdoors. There will be no keynote speaker.
The event begins at 4 p.m. with mixing and mingling. At 5 p.m. things will start happening in rapid succession, including swearing in of the board by Mayor Paul McNamara and the scholarship awards.
Chris Cochran, marketing and development director for the Chamber, explained, “Generally we have an open house every year and an installation dinner each year. But this year for the first time we are combining that for a more casual event.” Normally the Rising Star Scholarships for the seven high schools that serve Escondido would be awarded at the May street festival, but that didn’t happen this year. So, due to COVID a lot of things are being combined into one.”
He added, “We’re grouping in the installation, the open house and rising star and we want to make the event about those and a casual, funny thing for the community.”
The Rising Star Scholarships honor 14 high school students who are selected from a total of 42 students who are honored each month during the school year. Seven students will be awarded $1,000 scholarships and seven will be awarded $500 scholarships. The funds are provided by several business sponsors.
Besides Mayor McNamara, three members of the city council have confirmed that they will attend: Consuelo Martinez, Tina Inscoe and Joe Garcia.
Cochran added, “We have 13 board members who are continuing their role on the board and eleven new board members coming in.”
Because so many businesses were affected by COVID this year there won’t be awards such as Business of the Year. “We will be forgoing individual business awards,” said Cochran, who said there would be some announcements about the Escondido Eats Contest and the Escondido Magazine.
It’s going to be a fun event,” said Cochran. Kennedy’s Meat Company will host the food. Refreshments will be included and prizes will include a hand blow custom glasswork from Stone & Glass Studios. Although the event is free, guests are asked to register online at the Chamber website: escondidochamber.org