Chamber History & Mission

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce is to collaborate with business owners to create the best community in which to live, work and do business; by providing leadership for the advancement of economic vitality and equality of life for our Lake Community.

Get Connected

Clear Lake Chamber is an inclusive group that knows that with a little elbow grease great things can be accomplished. We want your business to thrive and we’ll network to make sure it does.

Friendly People

You’ll be pleased to experience a friendly inviting group, interested in helping you achieve your business goals and remain an ongoing success with your Lake County business.

Fun Events

The Clear Lake Chamber holds multiple fun, family oriented events and dinners throughout the year. See you at the Luau!
And don’t forget about the Chamber dinners, they’re a hoot!

Awesome Support

Need a meeting space with great amibance? We’ve got you covered with our fantastic conference room. Spoil your clients by meeting while enjoying a world class view.

Chamber History

Celebrating 75 Years!

The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce originated in 1943. On August 27, 1947 the Chamber was incorporated as a 501(c)6 non-profit business organization. The goal of the Chamber is to collaborate with businesses in the County of Lake, California to create the best community in which to live, work, and do business in.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization on August 27, 1947, the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce is the original business chamber in Lake County.

As you can imagine, an organization as old as ours has done business out of numerous locations over the last 75 years.

Originally, in 1947, when we incorporated as a nonprofit organization, we were located at Austin Park in what was then the community of Clearlake Highlands, prior to its incorporation in 1980 to become the City of Clearlake.

The Chamber is currently located in a vintage building in Highlands Park on Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake, CA. The building also acts as the Visitors Center for the City of Clearlake. 

How did we end up in our current building?

The City of Clearlake purchased a former resort on Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake in 1990. Highlands Park, one of three municipal parks in Clearlake, was created on the site. One of the cabins was saved and housed the chamber for a number of years. The neighboring home of longtime resident Chuck LaBre was purchased in 2011. Rehabilitation of the building was a collaboration between the County of Lake and the City of Clearlake. Community members, most notably Mike Vandiver, contributed many hours of their time to improve the building and bring it to the beautiful Lake County diamond it is today. The Grand Opening of the building was celebrated on June 10, 2017. Visitors to our county now enjoy the Chamber/Visitor Center and its spectacular views of Clear Lake.

Volunteer Mike Vandiver is credited as the driver on the restoration project. The building was in disrepair when purchased – the roof and flooring had to be replaced. The entire building was gutted and restored. 

Over the years the Clear Lake Chamber has participated in many events. The Worm Races during the Annual 4th of July Celebration at the City of Clearlake has been a popular one. The races originated in 1967 by local businessman and Chamber member Charlie Schoenberger. Charlie was a cousin to Mark Twain. He was quoted as saying “if Mark can bring frog races to California, I can bring worm races here.”

The Annual Fourth of July Worm Races have been a popular event since its introduction in 1967 by local businessman and Chamber member Charlie Schoenberger.

Where are we going?

Over the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce’s 75 years serving Lake County’s business community, although tourism remains our primary industry, its focus has changed. From mountain resorts and their natural springs in the 40’s our businesses evolved to increased development of resorts on our lakes in the 50’s and 60’s. Water sports, including fishing, skiing, sailing and boating all remain today. In the late 60’s Lake County saw a return of vineyards and the wine industry supplanting walnuts, pears and prunes as our largest agricultural crop. With the legalization of cannabis, it has also become a major crop in the county. Small farms and direct marketing of their products is on the increase with an emphasis on organic and natural grown products. With the growth of these industries, agri-tourism now competes with our mountains, lakes and watersports as our No. 1 industry. 

With over 75 years of community advocacy, the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce continues to support local businesses in the community.

Through the years the Clear Lake Chamber has either sponsored or co-sponsored many events on Clear Lake. The chamber and visitor center continue to develop and promote events in our communities. We also are there to partner with our Cities and communities in promotion of their events. Our mission is to continue to focus on the promotion of our county and advocacy for our business community.

Volunteerism is a key point in the structure and longevity of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber offices are currently staffed by an amazing group of volunteers who man the office Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. 

Dedicated volunteers are knowledgeable historians of our county and key to the structure and longevity of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to stop by and talk with one of these volunteers; they are dedicated and knowledgeable historians of our county. They can direct you to the best places to see and thing do while you visit.