Life and Arts

On the Town: Burbank Chamber of Commerce celebrates 100 years of supporting local business community

Outgoing chairman of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce Darin Chase passes the gavel to the organization’s new chairwoman, Karen Volpei, during last week’s installation luncheon at Lakeside Golf Club.
(Photo by David Laurell)

As we celebrate the first day of the new year and a new decade, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce is also celebrating a century of service to the local business community and the recent installation of a new chair and board that will lead the organization through 2020.

Chamber members and supporters gathered at Lakeside Golf Club last week to honor the service of outgoing chairman Darin Chase and welcome the group’s new chairwoman, Karen Volpei.

“I am honored to be the 100th chairperson for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce,” Volpei said upon the passage of the gavel of leadership. “And I will be looking forward to continuing on with the positive contributions the chamber has made to Burbank over the past century.”

Pointing to the past support the chamber gave to the city to join the Metropolitan Water District in 1928 and the 1934 bond issue to construct a system bringing Colorado River water to Southern California, Volpei also acknowledged the group’s backing of the construction of the Olive Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard overpasses during the 1950s and its championing of the 1991 Media District Specific Plan, which helped facilitate the transition of Burbank’s economic engine from the aerospace industry to media and entertainment.


During her remarks, Volpei also acknowledged the chamber’s chief executive, former Burbank Mayor Tom Flavin, who created the Better Burbank Corp., which has been established to better leverage the chamber’s assets to develop a stronger position with city government and the local and regional business community.

Along with installing Volpei as the chamber chairwoman, the day also saw Mayor Sharon Springer administer the oath of office to the executive committee, made up of Steve Mora, Chuck Rosen, Paul Herman, Lee Wochner and Chase.

The mayor also administered the other of office to reelected board members former Burbank Mayor Michael Hastings, David Knight and Mike Nicosia, and new board members Albert Hernandez, Carol Nunez, Renee Johnson, Frank Miller and Armo Minasian.

Among the notables in attendance at the event were City Council members Emily Gabel-Luddy and Bob Frutos, City Clerk Zizette Mullins, Sue Georgino, representing Leadership Burbank, and Sunder Ramani, who chairs the Better Burbank Corp.


Established in 1920, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce is the city’s leading business advocate group that helps to promote economic growth and prosperity.

The chamber represents nearly 1,000 member businesses with more than 33,000 employees.

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