The Chamber was first established in 1980 when several local business people banded together and formed the Chamber entity with Jim Chakedis as its first president. After much discussion, the Chamber was formally named the Greater Larkfield Chamber of Commerce.
The goal of these Chamber pioneers was to promote the business community of Larkfield and the surrounding area. Larkfield Shopping Center was the hub of the retail and service trade in the area.
The late 80's brought unprecedented growth and expansion to the area. From the maturing Wikiup Hills to the developments of Saddlebrook and Mark West Estates, the revitalization of Larkfield Shopping Center, and the extreme growth of the Airport Business Center and industrial parks, it seemed all areas found expansion.
As the area entered the decade of the 90's, it was noted that the sphere of influence had certainly outgrown the immediate Larkfield area. The name of the Chamber was changed to the Mark West Area Chamber of Commerce, as Mark West had settled in this area ...a name that was felt to be representative of the area as a whole. History of the Mark West Area
Much of the independent nature of the Mark West Area has to do with the diversity of the services that supply the area. The Mark West School District was established in the 1890's. Separate water and sewer districts have been established, with the expansion of the sewer treatment plant allowing for much of the late 80's growth. The area includes its own fire station and is serviced by the County for police protection.
The boundaries of these separate districts have been used to determine the sphere of influence of the parameters of the West Area. Almost all encompass an area bounded by the Santa Rosa City Limits on the south, Shiloh Road on the North, from Sonoma County Airport on the West, and Porter Creek Road on the East. Within this area resides a population of almost 20,000 people of which many businesses are supporters of the Mark West Area of Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.
In 2007, the Chamber leased the building at 4787 Old Redwood Highway. The Chamber Office moved to this building and we opened the first Visitors Center in the Larkfield area. We also have 5 businesses as tenants, all great supporters of the Chamber!
Chamber Headquarters and Visitors Center at 4787 Old Redwood Highway
In 2009, Cal American Water and Chamber volunteers installed a Water Conservation Demonstration Garden in front of the Chamber Office.