Jill Tremblay, Chairman of the Board
Best Best & Krieger LLP
Jill Tremblay is a long tenured member of the Indio Chamber Board, beginning her service in 2008, prior to transitioning to the GCVCC. Ms. Tremblay grew up in Orange County, California and attended college at the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science, Policy and Law, eventually attending law school at Pepperdine University. She is currently an attorney at Best Best and Krieger LLP where she is part of the firm’s Municipal Law Practice Group.
Jeff Levine, Vice Chairman
Lamar Outdoor Advertising Palm Springs
Jeff Levine is the Sales Manager at Lamar Outdoor Advertising Palm Springs, where he has worked for 18 years. He has been active in community based nonprofits throughout his career, including Past President for Desert AD FED, American Advertising Federating – Palm Springs. Jeff is an alumni of San Diego State University. He and his family are long-time residents and reside in the Shadow Hills area of Indio.
Jason Schneider, CPA, Past Chairman
Osborne Rincon, CPAs
Jason A. Schneider has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Osborne Rincon, CPAs since August 2008. Mr. Schneider was a member of the La Quinta and Indio Chamber Boards before being elected Chair of the GCVCC. Prior to joining Osborne Rincon, Mr. Schneider was a Senior Accountant with Maryanov, Madsen, Gordon & Campbell in Palm Springs. As a CPA, he works closely with both business and individual clients in all aspects of their financial development and taxation requirements. He has been in public and private accounting for over 13 years.
Toni Merrihew, Treasurer
Chandi Group USA
Toni Merrihew is the Chief Financial Officer of Chandi Group USA headquartered in Indio. Ms. Merrihew was an active supporter of local chambers for many years prior to joining the Board in Indio in 2015. She has enjoyed an extensive career in banking that spans over 20 years, with almost all of her efforts benefiting the Coachella Valley. She attended California State University-San Bernardino – College of Business and Public Administration and is a graduate of Leadership Coachella Valley.
Jay Chesterton, Secretary
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino – Cabazon Band of Mission Indians
Jay Chesterton is the Vice President of Hotel and Food & Beverage at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, where he has worked since 2006. He has 30 years of experience in resort and food & beverage operations, having worked for some of the most recognized luxury brands in the world. Jay has remained active in his business community, serving on multiple local chamber boards.
DIRECTORS AT LARGE
Carmen Contreras State Farm
Carmen Contreras is the proud owner of State Farm Insurance in Indio, and an Indio Chamber board member since 2014. She has been in the insurance industry since 1986. She enjoys playing an active role in helping the local community with business and personal insurance needs. Her office staff of dedicated professionals can often be found attending local ribbon cuttings and welcoming new business owners to our valley. Carmen is a graduate of Palo Verde College and has three children.
Spotlight 29/Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians
Ezekiel Bonillas is the Tribal Economic Development Officer at 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians and an Adjunct professor of Finance and Small Business Management at CSUSB. Prior to his current role he served as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership where he assisted small business startup’s with business planning, financing, and achieving their dreams of business ownership. Ezekiel is married with two children.
North American Title
Deirdre “Dede” Callanan is a real estate professional with North American Title, one of the largest real estate settlement service providers in the United States. She previously served on the Coachella Chamber of Commerce Board before transitioning to the GCVCC. She stays active in her community, supporting many charitable organizations with her time and talent. Dede resides in Indio with her husband.
Desert Sun Media Group
Barbara Chodos serves as the Vice President of Sales and Operations for the Desert Sun, a Gannett Company. She has enjoyed a successful career in Advertising and Marketing, working for large newspapers across the country and helping to lead the industries successful transition into digital markets. She attended school at California State University – Northridge, where she is originally from. She is married and resides in Palm Desert.
Desert Recreation District
Rudy Gutierrez is a staffing and employment professional. In addition to a successful professional career, he also serves as an elected public servant in the Coachella Valley as the Desert Recreation District Division II Board of Director. Rudy was previously on the Board of Directors for the Coachella Chamber prior to transitioning to the GCVCC, and is also a resident of Coachella.
Coachella Valley Economic Partnership
Lesa Bodnar is the Chief of Staff at the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. She has been with the organization for over 7 years, bringing with her an extensive administrative and events background. She previously served for several years on the board of the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce, most recently as its Board Chair, and played a key role in the recent merger with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce. A resident of the valley for over 30 years, she is a graduate of Leadership Coachella Valley and the IEEP Regional Leadership Academy.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Southern California – Loma Linda
Ernesto C. Rosales was a member of both the Indio and Coachella Chamber Boards and is a lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley. Ernesto has been proudly serving families in the funeral industry for 13 years. Ernesto is deeply rooted in our community, an active member of many organizations, and assists with countless charitable organizations in the Coachella Valley.
Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries
Cary Boisvert is the Supervisor of the mortuary, crematory, interments, and grounds operations for Forest Lawn’s three Coachella Valley locations. He has worked in the profession for over 21 years. Prior to that , Cary was a financial analyst with GE. He has been involved in several nonprofit organizations throughout his career, including most recently serving as the Vice Chair for the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce and five years in the animal rehabilitation department at the Living Desert. Cary received his B.S. in Finance & Accounting from U.C. Berkeley and his M.A in Management from the University of Redlands. He and his family have lived in the valley for twelve years and currently reside in Palm Springs.
Modern Woodmen of America
Austin Beneteau is a Financial Representative at Modern Woodmen of America, a member-owned fraternal financial services organization. He uses his knowledge of financial products and needs to help members and the Southern California community plan for a secure financial future. Austin is a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University. In addition to his work with the Chamber, he also volunteers for the American Cancer Society.
David Nola has enjoyed a career in media and advertising that has spanned over 20 years, most recently serving as the General Sales Manager/National Sales Manager at Alpha Media in Palm Springs. Alpha Media owns or operates 250 radio stations within 51 markets across the US. Prior to his career in media David proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. He is originally from Buffalo, NY where he attended State College.
Desert Regional Medical Center
Rich Ramhoff served on the La Quinta Chamber Board of Directors prior to his transition to the GCVCC, and was an original member of the committee to help plan the new regional chamber. He currently serves as the Director of Marketing at Desert Regional Medical Center. Previously, Rich had a successful career in publishing, serving in leadership positions for a major media company, including President & Publisher at three daily newspapers. Rich is married with two children and resides in La Quinta, CA.
JFK Memorial Hospital
Debbie Wales has worked in the healthcare industry for 35 years, spending the last 15 years at JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, in various capacities. She was elected to the Indio Chamber Board in 2013. She has worked in radiology, managed the Arthritis Institute, and has been part of the Business Development team for over three years. She is the Community Relations/Marketing Coordinator and represents both JFK Memorial Hospital and Desert Regional Medical Center throughout the community. Debbie holds an Associate Degree in Health Record Administration, is a Certified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Coder and Biller.
Capitis Real Estate
Mike Williams has spent over 20 years managing country clubs here in the Coachella Valley, eventually making a successful move to real estate. He now works in the year round real estate market in our valley helping clients with all their needs, including primary residential and investment properties. He was active with the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce as a Director prior to moving to the GCVCC. Mike and his wife reside in La Quinta, CA.
Julio Figueroa has spent almost 20 years with AT&T in various roles. He currently serves as the Director of External Affairs Riverside/San Bernardino Counties where he handles external affairs for all aspects of AT&T, including cellular, cable, internet and satellite services. Julio is original from Banning, CA and currently works out of AT&T’s regional office in Riverside.
American Outreach Foundation
Victoria Llort is an active member of the Coachella Valley Business Community. In her professional role as Vice President of the American Outreach Foundation, Victoria works hard to enhance the quality of life of those touched by a limiting disability in the Coachella Valley by donating electric wheelchairs to veterans, children and adults.
Zobo & Meesters
Carmen Shelton is the co-founder of Zobo & Meester’s, a restaurant located on Perez Road in Cathedral City. She served on the Cathedral City Chamber Board of Directors prior to the merger with the GCVCC. She grew up in Utah and attended college at Utah State University. Her career has been in the Information Technology field. Carmen is married with two children and resides in Palm Desert, CA.
Herman Sebastian Garcia
Herman Garcia is the Assistant Vice President – Branch Manager for Rabobank in Coachella. He has over 15 years of branch management and finance experience, and over 18 years in management. Herman previously served on the Coachella Business District before being elected to the GCVCC Board of Directors.
LOCAL CHAMBER CHAIRS
Kara Robinson is a professional real estate agent. She has been in the real estate field on the home warranty side for over 10 years. Kara brings a high level of energy to her real estate practice and works diligently to complete transactions. Kara lives in the Cathedral City Cove and has been a Desert native since 2005. She is a graduate of Indiana University and is married to Scott Robinson the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Cathedral City.
Coachella Chamber of Commerce
Mirna Flores is a lifelong Coachella Valley resident, graduated from Coachella Valley High and attended Southern University of Illinois extension in Moreno Valley. Mirna is currently employed with Forest Lawn in Cathedral City as an Advance Planner. She is the Past-President for the Coachella Chamber where she also served as Secretary, Vice President and Board Member. She is currently volunteering as citizen on Patrol for the City of Indio.
Indio Chamber of Commerce
Rodney Chalmers is a long-time Indio Business owner who has stayed active in his community through the Indio Chamber of Commerce. As a former Chairman of the Board, Rodney helped steer the Indio Chamber to Accredited status with the United States Chamber of Commerce, one of only a few chambers in the country to hold that distinction. Rodney is a real estate professional, active in both property management and commercial RE.
La Quinta Chamber of Commerce
Douglas Motz was born and raised in the desert and is the owner of Douglas Motz Insurance Agency for over 33 years. Doug is very active in his community, previously as a La Quinta Chamber board member and chairman twice. Doug is the past president and only charter member of the La Quinta Rotary. He served on the Advisory Board for the City of La Quinta, is an active member of California Desert Association of Realtors, Women’s Council of Realtors and Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors.