Chamber CEO is stepping down
Search for replacement begins
Porterville Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Cortez will be leaving the Porterville Chamber of Commerce at the end of this year to pursue a new business opportunity, according to current Chamber Board President Ramona Chiapa.
Earlier this month Cortez and her husband, Leo, announced the acquisition of a local Uhaul business, U-haul ITC a new endeavor in addition to their technology company ITC. Cortez has always been a voice for small business growth and development and this new opportunity gave her a chance to return to her passion.
“Stephanie has played a vital role in the growth and change of the Chamber of Commerce. Her experience as a business owner and past chamber board member brought a fresh perspective to her role. Her dedication to the organization and the Porterville community has been evident over the years and we were fortunate to have her at the helm of our organization,” said Chiapa.
Cortez began her tenure with the Porterville Chamber of Commerce in 2014 replacing longtime CEO Donnette Silva-carter. She quickly made a name for herself within the business community adding her own flair to events and activities in the community. Most notably Cortez can be credited for the creation of the Business and Development Committee and the Downtown Business Subcommittee which focus on local business growth and promoting the support of local downtown businesses. She was also
instrumental in bringing the KJUG Concert Series to the Porterville Community.
From the beginning, it was a family affair. Cortez, her husband and two children would often go above and beyond volunteering their time in support of chamber and community activities, Chiapa said. Whether it was setting up barricades for an event, posting or taking
down signs for the Iris Festival or attending a community events Cortez’s family was by her side. With her younger children getting older and the addition of a new grandchild Cortez is looking forward to spending more time with family after the transition.
The Porterville Chamber Board will begin the search for a new CEO and hopes to fill the position before the year’s end to allow for transition and training,
“We are certainly sad to see Stephanie go, but we wish her well in her future endeavors and appreciate all she has done,” said Chiapa, speaking on behalf of the board. “She helped the organization overcome significant changes and transition and is committed to ensuring this new change is seamless. Her focus remains on our mission of promoting business for the betterment of the community.”