Interview With Malibu Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Bruderlin Following Merger With Palisades Chamber

Malibu Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Bruderlin recently gave the Palisades News an interview via email regarding the recent merger of the Malibu and Pacific Palisades Chambers of Commerce. 

First, she gave a statement about the merger and the differences and similarities between the two cities: 

“While the chambers do share the history of being established within a year of each other and have similar topography and residents, they are very distinct. They compliment each other with their uniqueness, in terms of the wilderness paths and outdoor attractions of Malibu, and the elegant and homestyle village feel of Pacific Palisades. What a wonderful combination!” 

Dolores Quintana: Do they have anything in common? 

Barbara Brudlerin: One thing is, that both Pacific Palisades and Malibu are slightly off the beaten path, have difficulty finding and retaining employees, and need visitors to shop and support local businesses. They will be able to share special programs to help address these problems. They also have in common a wonderful tourism path and that path is seamlessly joined on the gorgeous drive along Sunset and up Pacific Coast Highway and then through the Malibu Wine Country.

Dolores Quintana: But how will this work? 

Barbara Bruderlin: Actually, there will be no difference in how the chamber will run as we are a membership service and non-profit organization — not a government entity as many people think. We have an event staff and committees that address the very same issues in both communities. Also, we serve on the Westside Council of Chambers with 15 other chamber leaders where we meet monthly to keep abreast of and advocate for all the issues that could affect local businesses. We will run smoother!

Dolores Quintana: Will there be a difference in what each community will receive? 

Barbara Bruderlin: No difference – both chambers will benefit from:
– The chamber advocating to the government in the interest of local businesses
– Access to free business education
– Access to free one-on-one mentors with proven track records to help them solidify their business practices
– Updates on the latest grants, loans
– updates on new requirements for their business and ways to support the implementation
– regular networking events
– Special events and long-held traditions 
– An employee incentive program to make working in town more enjoyable and rewarding
– Sector committees meeting monthly to discuss needs.
– A complimentary webpage that gives each business great SEO presence
– A vibrant social media campaign for businesses

Dolores Quintana: How did the merger come to pass? 

Barbara Bruderlin: The pandemic illuminated the vulnerability of a small community of businesses, and chambers everywhere struggled to stay open in order to support businesses during the many challenges the pandemic presented. The difference is that some chambers in large cities have thousands of members and it enables them to serve more effectively. We will be stronger as one Chamber and able to have more support staff and more programs for a stronger business community. 

Dolores Quintana: What do you hope to accomplish? 

Barbara Bruderlin: We hope to instill confidence in the stronger chamber and maintain long-standing traditions, networking and business support better than ever before – in a seamless transition. What everyone will notice most is the ability to increase networking, make more friends and explore each other’s communities. We also can work with LA Tourism to promote a specially tailored visitor’s route through Pacific Palisades and up the coast through Malibu.

We are currently meeting with local venues in Pacific Palisades to begin our networking mixers – the monthly Connections Breakfast and Sunset Mixer – which will be held both in Pacific Palisades and Malibu. If anyone is interested in hosting a Sunset Mixer at their location, please contact me!

We hope to provide you with all that you need as your chamber and are here to address any questions or support any community needs.

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