Menlo Park's Chamber of Commerce has amalgamated into the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.
In an email to members of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors said that financial stability was too challenging, and as a solution, the board took a vote to dissolve the Menlo Park chapter and join forces with the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.
Fran Dehn, the former president and CEO of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, said that the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce never fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic when they couldn't hold fundraisers and members were unable to pay their dues.
The formal process to join the San Mateo County chamber began last year and was finalized on Feb. 1.
"Our goal is to respect that Menlo Park is a special community and the businesses which call this community home represent a unique and impressive diversity of owners, sectors, and customers," said CEO and President of the San Mateo County Chamber Amy Buckmaster. "But we also want to leverage the strength and opportunity which comes with joining our voices to advocate for the needs of businesses of all sizes and a strong local economy."
Buckmaster said that this transition will increase the collaborative nature of San Mateo County's businesses, and that she looks forward to working with Dehn.
Dehn said that there was a "resounding yes" that the Golden Acorn award would continue to exist, even if in a different form. The Golden Acorn will now be one award dedicated to Menlo Park in the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce's awards ceremony.
”That was something that was very important to the board and to me, that the Golden Acorn as a tradition continue,” Dehn said.