President’s Message: Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce

By Judy Hyatt

I can’t believe it has been a month already since my last message. Mother Nature has been hard at work preparing for spring. Have you seen the canyon lately?! The beauty of newly sprouted grasses with wild flowers waiting to dot the hillsides with pops of color is without equal. With all the rain and snow on the way, our valley will be ready to greet our spring and summer visitors with all the outdoor recreation activities visitors and residents have come to expect. Be ready! Nature is doing her part; the rest is up to you.

It’s February – that means Whiskey Flat Days are just around the corner! Don’t forget to set aside Friday, February 15 through Monday, February 18, for Boots, Chaps, and Cowboy Hats! There will be a parade, rodeos, re-enactment camp, carnival rides, frog jumping contests, craft booths, costume contests, concerts, and so much more. So, get out there, folks, and support your favorite Whiskey Flat Mayor candidate (they are open to bribery you know) and tell all your family and friends (frenemies too) near and far to step up and give these folks some of your time and, of course, your money.

The planning activities for the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby, April 13 through 15, are well underway and being implemented as you read this. The Fishing Derby is the biggest event of the year for Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce. It takes many hours of preparation, dozens of volunteers, joint efforts on the part of our government partners, and, of course, fish. Just know we love what we do! It shows on the faces of the volunteers and visitors. You have an opportunity to pre-register (before March 22), for a chance to win the Early Bird prize of $250. Online registration closes at noon on April 8, 2019. All the details you need about the derby are on our website at – also check out our Facebook page and don’t forget to “like” it! If by chance you have questions, please call our office and speak with Anna. The number is 760-379-5236 or email – This is going to be great derby with more opportunities to win in a variety of categories. More money – more winners. Oh yeah! An FYI – we will be at the Fred Hall Show in Bakersfield on March 8,9,10.

On a serious note, for all the business owners in the valley, the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering workshops in March, April and May that will satisfy the requirements for California State Law SB 1343. As of January 1, 2019, all employers with 5 or more employees are required to provide all employees with sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training. Employees in supervisory positions must receive 2 hours of training while all others are required to receive 1 hour of training. The training must be completed between January 1, 2019, and January 1, 2020. The KRC CC has brought on board Robin Paggi, a training development specialist with an extensive background in human resources. Robin has also been a speaker at our general meetings. We are fortunate to have her come to the Kern Valley and conduct the workshops. The workshops will be held in March, April and May with several options for dates and times. Please call Anna at the office for more information or email: Please take advantage of this outstanding opportunity – and remember, it’s the law.

Lots of good stuff is going on at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors met on January 25 for a retreat to discuss items of importance for not just businesses, but all residents of the Kern Valley. We have created an Economic Development Committee that will be working with East Kern Alliance and others to bring resources to our community to enhance and grow our commercial businesses. We have found some sources for funding that can help us with blight and bring educational opportunities into the valley to grow our businesses. Pride in our community is key to being successful entrepreneurs and giving back to those that faithfully support us. I have always believed the Kern River Valley is a place that provides something for everyone. Peace of mind, financial opportunity, educational opportunity, family friendly, are just a few of the positives that we can enhance and grow. All it takes is dedication and hard work. I have a plaque in my office that says it all – “Time is precious… Waste it wisely.”

So folks, we will be “wasting some time” this month on changing legislation that dictates seismic upgrades to rural hospitals that are unable to pay for the retrofit as the law stands today. We will be “wasting time” to bring improved walkability to Erskine Creek Road and Lake Isabella Blvd. We will be “wasting time” contacting and encouraging absentee business property owners that allowed blight to overtake their properties that we won’t stand for it any longer.

There are lots of topics that we discussed and the above items are just few that are on the list. It will take time, lots of time, and perseverance, but we have that in the people that have stepped up to take on some of these tasks. “Are we nuts?” you say. Maybe. But what if we succeed?

Please come join us.

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