Catherine Magaña
Chair of the Board
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce 

“As Americans we are resilient, and many made lemonade out of lemons.”

That is what Matt Hall, Carlsbad Mayor, said at the annual Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce State of The Community event held on Friday, August 20. He was talking about how COVID-19 made life tough for Carlsbadians, and how well our community did in these tough conditions.

Mayor Hall shared how the City of Carlsbad, its citizens, and businesses came together under great duress.

As Mayor Hall focused on the impact of Carlsbad businesses, he pointed out that the City of Carlsbad offered early engagement, economic impact and collaboration with the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the Carlsbad Village Association. The City of Carlsbad even created a digital map for take-out delivery service. The message of Stay Safe, Stay Open, Shop Local to support small businesses was delivered during COVID-19.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was awarding the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance Commitment to Emergency Preparedness Award to the Carlsbad Village Association. This award recognizes and promotes the importance of emergency preparedness planning. Executive Director, Christine Davis, received the award from the Assistant Director of Emergency Services for the City of Carlsbad and Co-Chair of the Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance (RCBA), David Harrison. Harrison highlighted how proactive the CVA was in providing support for the safe reopening of Carlsbad businesses in the Village. Davis said that the Village in downtown Carlsbad, “inspired her every day to work harder and look for the silver lining and focus on the future.”

The RCBA is a collaboration between the City of Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses, which focuses on emergency preparedness, response and recovery. The RCBA was behind a very successful COVID-19 business recovery effort called Gift Carlsbad , which gave approximately $89,000 back to Carlsbad Businesses.

Other featured speakers for the event included Rick Baldridge, President/CEO of ViaSat; Steve Hendren, VP & GM of TaylorMade US; and Win Cramer, CEO of JLab.

Baldrige, spoke about how the company restructured and rebuilt with diversified business, that led to record earnings last year. He also discussed some of the emerging business opportunities.

Hendren, talked about the impact of COVID-19 in his business and how it created an opportunity to facilitate a work from home environment.

Cramer is a 15-year electronics veteran with a scrupulous ear for audio. He spoke about Carlsbad being a hidden gem and shared some of his business experiences including how JLab innovated with accessible price, brand, and lifestyle. He shared his personal story about his brand and journey over the last 15 years and how they pivoted along the way. He mentioned how the audio industry is projected to grow as he sees wire to wireless to true wireless evolve.

Many thanks to our main sponsors of the event: Tri-City Medical, Grand Pacific Reports, Wells Fargo, ViaSat, Scripps and Seas Production, the company in charge of the production of the event’s new virtual format. And a big shout out to Gnarlywood for hosting our watch party.

If you missed the event, there is a replay link available at state-of-community.