Jeff Levine, Chair
Asher & Asher Consulting
Jeff Levine is the Vice President and Director of Client Services at Asher & Asher Consulting, “Advertising that Works!” He has been active in community based nonprofits throughout his career, including Past President for Desert AD FED, American Advertising Federating – Palm Springs. Jeff has been working with local clients, helping with their advertising and marketing needs for over 25 years in the Coachella Valley. He and his family are long-time residents of Indio. Jeff is an alumni of San Diego State University.
Toni Merrihew, Immidiate Past Chair
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.
Carmen Contreras, Chair Elect
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.
Jay Chesterton, Vice Chair
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.
Rich Ramhoff, Treasurer
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.
Valerie Ward is the Director of Community Affairs at Burrtec Waste & Recycling Services. She is responsible for developing and creating Burrtec’s public education materials, the company web site, and media relations. Prior to joining Burrtec she worked in the environmental field in Redmond, Washington. Long active in nonprofit organizations and committees, she also has extensive experience with chambers of commerce and has served on the boards of the Indian Wells, Cathedral City, Indio, and Palm Desert.
DIRECTORS AT LARGE
Mickey Jumapao has over 24 years experience in Real Estate Mortgage Lending. She previously served on the La Quinta Chamber Board of Directors and has served many Non-Profits throughout her career in the desert. She is currently active with the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, the Veterans Advisory Board for the office of Congressman Ruiz, and the Unforgettables Foundation. Mickey was the 2017-18 GCVCC Volunteer of the Year.
West Coast Cannabis Club
Tatiana Yturralde-Morales is the Regional Director of West Coast Cannabis Club based in the Coachella Valley. Ms. Yturralde is an active supporter of local chambers, as well as numerous philanthropic organizations. She is currently enrolled in Leadership Coachella Valley – Class of 2019. With an extensive background in restaurant and event management, she gained skills she was able to apply to her new role as a leader in the burgeoning local Cannbis industry. After living all over the country, from Alaska to New York, she is happy to make her hometown of Palm Desert her home again.
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.
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 of the Southern California community plan for their 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.
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.
Mission Springs Water District
Victoria Llort is an active member of the Coachella Valley Business Community. In her professional role she serves as Programs & Public Affairs Associate at Mission Springs Water District. She is also active in non-profits, working with American Outreach Foundation 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.
Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Cindy Burreson is the Senior Catering Sales Executive at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa and has worked in hospitality for over 13 years in the Valley. She has remained active in the community through networking and volunteering, as well as having served on other Chamber Boards, as President of the Greater Palm Springs Wedding Association for the past four years and as a former Board Member and speaker for Shelter From the Storm to name a few. Cindy’s “favorite job” is being a wife and mom of two boys, residing in Palm Desert.
Herman Sebastian Garcia
Herman Garcia is the Assistant Vice President – Branch Manager for Mechanics Bank 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.
Western Water Works
Mike Etheridge is the Sales Director for Western Waterworks in Coachella. Mike served on the board of the Coachella Chamber for over 12 years. Mike supplies water and sewer projects throughout Southern California working out of the Western Water Works office in Coachella. Mike serves on the Coachella Planning Commission, Coachella Economic Development Board, and is a board member for Imagine School Riverside along with other organizations. Mike attended New Mexico State University and is married with three children and lives in La Quinta.
Frazier Pest Control
Julie Frazier is the proud owner of Frazier Pest Control in Cathedral City and a chamber member since 2007. She previously served on the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce board before transitioning to the GCVCC. Alongside her husband Joe they have been in the pest control industry since 1987. She enjoys playing an active role in helping the local community through participation in community based nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Club of Cathedral City.
Ramiro Jimenez is an Assistant Vice President at FirstBank where his focus is on loan originations and business development. He is a graduate of UC Merced in California’s Central Valley where he received a B.S. in Management. Ramiro also serves on the board of the Consortium for Early Learning Services – Eastern Region.
Jeff Fishbein is a real estate consultant with an extensive corporate sales and management background with a Forbes Top 25 customer service focused Private Corporation. Currently he specializes in residential real estate and investment opportunities with Coldwell Banker in La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley communities.
Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries
Vicky Franco is the Manager of Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries serving the Coachella Valley in Cathedral City, Indio, and Coachella. Vicky has over 19 years’ experience in the Funeral Industry. Vicky oversees the daily mortuary operational functions. She participates in community events in the entire Coachella Valley and is a member of the Indio Woman’s Club. Vicky is a graduate of Cypress College Mortuary Science Program.
Imperial Western Products
Jason Cabanyog is a General Manager for Imperial Western Products Inc, where he has worked since 2001. Prior to his transition to the Board of Directors for the GCVCC he served on the board for the Coachella Chamber. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Imperial Western Products and is a board member for his HOA, Castle Harbour. Jason is a graduate of Leadership Coachella Valley – Class of 2013 and received a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Jason and his family are lifelong residents of the Coachella Valley. He is married with three children and lives in Bermuda Dunes.
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)
Scott White is the President & CEO of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). The Greater Palm Springs CVB is the destination management organization for the Coachella Valley, which comprises nine cities: Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. In 2019, tourism attracted over 13 million visitors and generated more than $7 billion for the local economy. In 2016, the CVB launched a Destination Development Plan with a goal of attracting over 16 million visitors by 2026.
Slovak Baron Empey Murphy and Pinkney LLP
David Roth is a local Palm Springs attorney with the firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy and Pinkney LLP where he practices in the fields of general corporate law, healthcare, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate. In addition to his work on the Board of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Roth also provides various seminars with the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership Palm Springs Innovation Hub (iHub) aimed at helping local businesses. In his free time he volunteers as a big brother with the local chapter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
Lee M. Osborne
Osborne Rincon CPAs
Lee Osborne is the President of Osborne Rincon, the largest CPA firm in the region. As a CPA, Lee specializes in individual income tax, agriculture, construction, corporate income tax and estate taxes. He is also credentialed as a Certified Fraud Examiner. Lee has long been involved in the community, including serving as a La Quinta City Council Member and past Chairman of the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce.
Bob McCauley has a distinguished leadership and sales track record in Southern California within the media, sports and entertainment industries, as well as tremendous expertise in the Hispanic market. His leadership and experience strengthens our already great team in the desert. Bob was most recently the Director of Corporate Partnerships for MLB Los Angeles Angels. Before that, he spent nearly a decade as the Director of Sales at Univision in Los Angeles overseeing Univision’s flagship TV, Radio and Digital assets. Bob was also the President of Adlink and GSM of KCOP and KTTV in Los Angeles.
The Lock Shop, Inc.
Sandy Hardin has worked at her family owned business The Lock Shop, Inc. since 1982, and as an Indio Chamber Board Member since 2016. Sandy enjoys volunteering in all areas of the desert chambers, including on the Palm Desert Area Golf Cart Parade committee, and is now on the board the GCVCC. Sandy and her husband Mike were both raised in the desert, are very involved in the community and their passion is for the security of the whole Coachella Valley. Sandy is a past board member of the Bureau of Security and Investigation, and will be on the Business Legislative Action Committee at the GCVCC. Mike and Sandy have one son and reside in Palm Desert.
LOCAL CHAMBER CHAIRS (GCVCC BOARD ADVISORS)
Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce
Gary Levingston is a Sales Manager with Jessup Cadillac in Cathedral City, and a proud graduate of the University of Southern California. In his role as Chair of the GCV Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce, Gary advises the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce on the Cathedral City Business District and matters of commerce and advocacy related to it.
Coachella Chamber of Commerce
Angelo Perez is the Operations Manager for Ceja Security International locally owned and operated in the City of Indio. He is also a current member of the Coachella Chamber of Commerce. In his role as Chair of the GCV Coachella Chamber of Commerce, Angelo advises the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce on the Coachella Business District and matters of commerce and advocacy related to it.
Indio Chamber of Commerce
Erick Becerril is the owner and operator of CV Food Trucks, a philanthropic community-minded small businesses that helps launch new small business which include pop-up vendors and food trucks. He works as a building inspector for the City Of Indio and has been in the real estate and construction development industry for over 15 years. He holds a BA in Public Administration from California Baptist University.
La Quinta Chamber of Commerce
Elisa Guerrero is a lifelong Coachella Valley resident and alumnus of La Quinta High School. She and her husband are the owners of Old Town Peddler Bike Rental in the La Quinta Village. In addition to owning a local small business, Elisa has been part of the escrow & title insurance industry for the last 20 years, and previously served her community as a member of law enforcement with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. She is civically engaged and can regularly be found at the local city council meetings. She lives in La Quinta with her husband and two young children.
Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
David Conover is the Operations Manager at Luna Ink and a founding partner of the popular Desert 4 Baggers. In his role as Chair of the GCV Desert Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, David advises the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce on the Desert Hot Springs Business District and matters of commerce and advocacy related to it.
Andrea De Francisco Shek
Desert Advertising Federation
Andrea De Francisco Shek is the Communications Specialist for the Coachella Valley Water District. As a creative design professional, she has helped launch award wining ad campaigns for organizations nationwide. In her role as Chair of the Desert Advertising Federation, Andrea advises the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce on the Valley’s marketing and creative community, and advocacy issues as identified by the American Advertising Federation.