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Lake Forest-El Toro Chamber Created : Cityhood: Action by business community aims to help pave the way for incorporation of area.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In a move to help pave the way for the incorporation of Lake Forest, about 20 representatives of the El Toro business community have banded together to form a chamber of commerce.

The Lake Forest/El Toro Chamber of Commerce will include 20 board members. Betty Hie, a local word processor, will serve as interim executive director.

The board also set up three committees to oversee membership, bylaws, finance and fund raising, said Ron Greek, chamber formation co-chairman. Officers will be appointed at the Oct. 9 meeting.

“We’re there. We’re in business,” said Greek, adding that the chamber is about to be legally incorporated, allowing officials to accept donations.

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El Toro businesses had been represented by the regional South Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Greek, an insurance agent, said that while there are “benefits of having a regional voice at the county and state levels,” local issues should come first.

“We feel we need to do a better job than has been done before in publicizing the El Toro local merchants. . . . We don’t want to be involved in regional politics. We don’t want to be involved in county government per se. We’re not trying to be a regional chamber. We want to try to help the local needs of the local professionals.”

To help attract members, officials have established a dues scale that begins at $125 for employers of up to 10 people and $500 for those with 50 or more employees, Greek said.

In addition, chamber officials have adopted a name that reflects the current community of El Toro and the city of Lake Forest, which will be incorporated Dec. 20.

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Greek said the combined name was chosen because many businesses include “El Toro” in their titles.

It is “a little bit of balance between the old and the new,” he said. “We wanted to take some action to preserve the identity of the old businesses and still create a positive environment for the new businesses that will be coming in and forming in the new community.”

For more information on the chamber, call (714) 581-4545. The Chamber of Commerce office is at 22706 Aspan St., Suite 703, El Toro.


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