Meet Our Ambassadors

 

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Chantal Rees began her career in insurance 11 years ago in Lake Tahoe as a customer service representative. Throughout that time, Chantal focused on the client experience and gained industry proficiency. Chantal is now the President of her own insurance agency, Rees & Rees Insurance Services Inc. She focuses on the client experience and puts the client’s best interest first. Chantal practices insurance using a set of core values that are integral to her business: accountability, professionalism and integrity. Her goal is to ensure that each client feels fully satisfied with the services she provides. Chantal aims to build long-lasting relationships using an honest, forthright approach. Being an independent broker, Chantal has access to a vast pool of A rated companies which allows her to offer superior coverage at affordable pricing. She is licensed to do business in California, Nevada and Arizona. Chantal specializes in general liability, worker’s compensation, commercial auto, professional liability, commercial property, bonds, group medical, life insurance and more. Originally from Tahoe City, Chantal now lives in Concord with her husband, Jamie, and their 2 cats. They enjoy cooking, reading, wine tasting, traveling and being outdoors.
 
Vanessa Sisemore
Vanessa Sisemore is the owner of a local Farmers Insurance Agency in Walnut Creek as well as a long time resident of Walnut Creek. She has grown up in our town since the age of 5 years old and because she has witnessed first hand the incredible growth of the town she holds so dear, becoming a proud member of the Chamber was a must when she opened her agency. Shortly after becoming a Chamber member, she joined the Ambassador Committee as a way to meet all the fantastic people among the business community. Since becoming an Ambassador, Vanessa extended her commitment even further as the Co-Chair of the Ambassador Committee to grow a stronger relationship with our Chamber Members and the community as a whole. To learn more about Vanessa and her business, click here to view her Chamber Business Profile.
 
Wanda Wallis
Wanda Wallis
RE/MAX Accord
Wanda Wallis brings over 35-plus years of successful outside and inside sales experience. Wanda has worked for several fortune 500 companies over the span of her career. In 2004 she decided to do what she had put off for years, become a Realtor! She enjoys, and is very successful in, helping both buyers and sellers. However after just 2 years in the business she found a niche–seniors. Her patience, understanding, and love for seniors led her to acquire the NAR designation of SRES. Currently this designation makes up just a few of the licensed realtors in the U.S. Wanda is a member of National Association of Realtors®, Contra Costa Association of Realtors, and the Bay East Association of Realtors. She provides outstanding real estate and related services in Contra Costa, Alameda and Solano Counties. Wanda also serves on two nonprofit boards connected with seniors, one being Alzheimer’s of the East Bay, which she has served for 9 years. Remax Accord has honored her as one of their top producers every year since 2008. In 2016 she was inducted into the REMAX INTERNATIONAL Hall of Fame. She is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Ca. with a Communication and Business BA degree. Wanda has been very active in the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce for the last 14 years. She is the former Ambassador Chairperson, the position she held over 8 years. She also volunteers on other committees when needed. Wanda is married to Larry Willies, and they have one son. Wanda and her husband, Larry, enjoy golfing, traveling, and simply spending quality time together.
 
Marcia Gerg
Marcia Gerg
Summit Bank
Marcia Gerg has been in the banking industry for over 37 years and for the past 5 years has worked at Summit Bank as a commercial banker. She is a Board Member of the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek as their Treasurer. Marcia raised two children and was involved with them in Girl Scouts, the National Charity League, and as a board member of the High School Band Boosters Club. She enjoys volunteering, reading, and walking her dog, Rusty.
 
Juliechroust
Julie Chroust is a licensed Senior Loan Officer, with over 18 years of experience as a mortgage professional. She has developed a deep understanding of the real estate and mortgage industries and represents her clients’ money like it would be her own. She invests 100% of her time delivering 1st class service to her clients, and as a result, her valued customers, suppliers, and friends refer their family members, co-workers, neighbors and other people they know to her for advice when getting a home loan. She is interested in building strong, life-long relationships one person at a time. She has ranked top in sales volume year after year and it highly respected by her colleagues. Not only does Julie help clients fulfill their dreams of buying a home, she is also a part of many committees and groups in the Bay Area. Julie is the Founder and current Vice President of a BNI Chapter ‘We Inspire’, where she held the President’s position last term. She is also the Co-Founder of ‘Women Helping Women’, which is a group of professional women that meet monthly to collaborate and share best business practices in their respective businesses which generates trust, likability and camaraderie. Julie is also the co-founder of ‘The Next Generation Senior Legacy Group’, which is a group where she is 1 of 5 featured speakers that holds on-going Education Forums for the older adults in the community to increase awareness to quality services and professionals. Julie is an inspired and long-time philanthropist involved in several charitable organizations, foundations and hospitals. Her passion to give back and pay it forward, these traits are seen easily by the way she conducts herself day to day, the way she interacts with those in her personal and professional life, and the volunteer work she donates her time to.Her roots are deep within the communities of the Bay Area and is well known for her transparency, honesty, knowledge, and true kindness. Julie is married to her wonderful husband, Mark, and together they have 3 beautiful children, a cat, and a dog. Julie enjoys hobbies such as gardening, cooking, water sports, and entertaining friends and family.
 
Wade Luckhardt
Wade Luckhardt
FASTSIGNS
A desire and love to work at the local level is why, after 20+ years of corporate sales & marketing positions with ‘Corporate America,’ Wade made the move to own FASTSIGNS of San Ramon Valley (based in San Ramon and one of 15 within the Bay Area, all separately owned and operated). Working with all size businesses, FASTSIGNS is an award-winning company that can take a projects from concept to completion. His FASTSIGNS earned the Pinnacle Award multiple times, including last year. Recently, Wade has been an Ambassador for both the Danville Area and San Ramon Chambers of Commerce and was Vice Chair at Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.
 
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Ann Dalsin
Dalsin Law, LLP

Anina (Ann) Dalsin is an experienced business lawyer providing legal advice and services to companies in varying stages of development.  Anina’s practice ranges from advice and counsel to employers on hiring, training, discipline and termination matters; drafting and reviewing commercial contracts; preparing buy/sell agreements for businesses; and commercial real estate leasing and acquisitions.

 
Ron Hermanson
Ron Hermanson
Cruise Holidays

For more than thirteen years, Ron has owned and operated a Walnut Creek/Northern California, retail, travel outlet for Cruise Holidays, a member of the Travel Leaders Group. We are America's largest travel agency company with more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. During most of this time, he served as a member of the Franchise Advisory Board, providing business counsel and advice to senior management. In the Bay Area, Ron has been an Elder at Lafayette/Orinda Presbyterian Church, a Trustee at Grace Cathedral (SF), a member and President of the Episcopal Diocese of California Standing Committee, and a member of the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is married with two daughters and three grandchildren and is a graduate of Michigan State University.

 
Eileen McEntyre
Eileen McEntyre

After over 30 years of being an institutional securities trader and a member of the board of the San Francisco Securities Traders Association, Eileen has joined an environmentally conscious company that analyses corporate energy usage and issues either reports to the provider of electricity or offers an alternative. Eileen is a mother of two women, a grandparent of two grandsons who are French/American and a firm believer that Walnut Creek is the NYC of the East Bay.

 
Nita Bob Headshot

Nita Howard's professional background is diverse: from Oakland police officer to fashion model to event planner. She has been passionate about style, homes, and bringing happiness into people’s lives for as long as she can remember. She is just hitting her stride and made the leap from managing commercial real estate to selling and is very proud to be on Climb's 1605 Riviera Sales Team here in Walnut Creek. Personally, she loves celebrating life with her friends and enjoys fine wine, dining, music, staying fit, laughing, and fashion (in no particular order). However, she still feel that her most important accomplishment is raising two incredible sons, Hunter and Colton. She thinks working in Walnut Creek and participating in the Chamber of Commerce is an opportunity of a lifetime, and nothing excites her more than helping her clients realize their dreams in this great community.

 
sallie severns alt

Sallie Severns has been the owner of a State Farm Agency in Walnut Creek since 2015. Sallie is a UC Berkeley Alumni and has a technology background. After starting her career in Silicon Valley, managing multi-million dollar marketing budgets and having successfully started another tech company, she transitioned to being a business owner in Insurance and Financial services in order to protect individuals, entrepreneurs and companies. Motivated by her startup background, Sallie assists small, medium and growth companies in all facets of protecting their business. Her State Farm office offers Small Business Insurance, Workers Comp, Commercial Autos including Commercial Fleets, Employers Professional Liability Insurance and also provides complimentary risk assessment for small business owners in the Walnut Creek and surrounding areas. Sallie is an alumni of the Walnut Creek Chamber's Leadership Contra Costa and has served on the East Bay Women’s Conference committee, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and currently serves on the Ambassador Committees in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.

 
Candy Pirtle-Smalls
Candyce Pirtle-Smalls
Fit in Her Kitchen

Meet Candy Pirtle-Smalls LVN, Author "Mindful Meal Prep Guide," Founder/CEO Fit in Her Kitchen, 2016 Meal Prep Candy's Kitchen, LLC, and Certified Holistic Health/Life Coach & Transformation Expert. After losing 50 lbs and healing and transforming herself, she has shared her platform into transforming lives with women all over the community and nation. In 2018, Candy became a member of the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce in order to be involved in the community. After seeing the warmness and support of the Chamber as well as the connection and involvement of the Ambassador Committee, she has decided to dedicate and volunteer her services to meet and shake hands and welcome business owners to the Walnut Creek community. Candy is a part of NAPW Walnut Creek Chapter and BNI Walnut Creek Chapter. Through her 8 years as a nurse and 3 years as a teacher, as well as through powerful motivational talks, workshops and coaching, she has transformed lives and businesses, incorporating moral in the work space, and she has impacted the lives of thousands.

 
Brenda Orcutt

Brenda Orcutt is one of the top Account Executives with Spartan Promotional Group, and brings 15+ years of experience working in the Promotional Products industry. She works with all types of companies and organizations, big and small, and in all industries with creative marketing ideas using tangible promotional products to help her customers promote their business and events. She works with any type of product that you would want to put your logo on. From embroidered apparel items such as shirts, jackets and hats to silkscreened t-shirts in any brand and color you are looking for. Besides the apparel, she can find you that perfect item for a tradeshow giveaway, that important meeting, or a ‘thank you for your business’ gift. Whatever price point you have or even quick in hands date, Brenda can get your information put on the most creative ideas to show off your logo within your budget and timeframe. Brenda is involved with the Walnut Creek Chamber Ambassador program, the Chamber's Business Links group, and PWRG, a professional women's referral group. She is also a member of the Clayton Valley Garden Club and a local ladies PEO Philanthropic Organization. She is married with two children, and she enjoys being active outside hiking, playing golf & tennis, and gardening, as well as cooking, entertaining, and wine tasting.

 
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Randi Bednarczyk
Edward Jones

In 2008, Randi began her career with Edward Jones as a branch office administrator in Gulf Breeze, Florida, before moving back to California in 2010. She became a limited partner with Edward Jones in 2014 and qualified for the Edward Jones Managing Partner's Conference in 2016, an honor reserved for the top client service branches in the firm.

Randi believes everyone deserves personalized guidance and advice, no matter what their financial situation is, and she prides herself on working with many different individuals in very different circumstances. Nothing gives her more joy than seeing people she works with achieve their financial goals and dreams and knowing she was a part of it.

Originally from Mt. Shasta, California, Randi moved to the Bay Area in 2011. She attended California State University Sacramento and graduated in 2007 with two bachelors' degrees in business marketing and sociology. Randi earned an MBA in finance from Walden University in 2009.

Randi enjoys hiking the many great trails around the Bay Area, spending time with her family and two-year-old nephew, and recently completed her first half-marathon. If she's not working, you'll typically find her at an Oakland Athletics game. 

 
madlen
Madlen Saddik
Ticket 2 Travel

For more than ten years, Madlen Saddik has designed, planned, and created dream vacations for busy professionals, families, and corporate groups who rely on her to deliver memorable experiences that last a lifetime. Hands-on and available 24/7 should a need arise, Madlen is a professional travel concierge and certified travel agent with access to a network of valuable resources, connections, and customized options that online services cannot provide. Leveraging her experience, knowledge, and commitment to providing her clients with Wow!, Madlen takes the worry and guess work out of vacation planning, saves clients countless hours of detailed research, and creates the perfect packages for time away with family and friends. What drives her passion for travel? Spending time with family and friends. Exploring foreign countries and cultures. Learning new languages. Enjoying magnificent views from atop a peak or from the deck of a ship. Tasting new foods, touring historical treasures, and taking in crimson sunsets over aquamarine waters. And she finds deep joy in helping her clients build their own memories—such as these—of great vacations and time away with family and friends. Possessions come and go, she says, but travel stays with us. “The experiences and memories are what people cherish most.” A connector and project planner by nature, Madlen has been an active member of the San Mateo (CA) Chamber of Commerce since 2011, serving as a Chamber Ambassador for six years. She innovated and continues to oversee several San Mateo Chamber events, including the twice-monthly Lunch & Learn, annual Trade Fair, and annual Economic Business Summit; and she is a 2013 graduate of the ten-month Leadership Program presented by the San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, and Hillsborough chambers. A longtime member of the Rotary Club of Foster City, Madlen is a 2013 graduate of Potential Rotary Leadership Seminars (PRLS), Rotary’s leadership program. She is also an active member of the Walnut Creek (CA) Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassador program.