Michele Spears recently celebrated 25 years as President and CEO of the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce, and was honored during the VMI breakfast in February. Her unique brand of leadership was developed from being a past school teacher, along with work experience and an intuition of what businesses need to succeed in her community.
Another factor in her success is enthusiasm. While she goes out of town occasionally to seminars and workshops, Michele would rather stay close to home running the office, saying “I love this job, and this career!”
Michele originally chose teaching as a profession while living in Arizona. Upon meeting her husband Ron, she relocated to California and pursued a career in the chamber business, working at the Upland Chamber before moving to Oak Hills.
Since accepting her current position at the Victor Valley Chamber, Michele has attracted some of the community’s top business leaders to serve on the board. Under her management, the chamber has been recognized as an Accredited Chamber, with four stars by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and has strong financial assets. She also was instrumental in founding the Victor Valley Chamber Foundation, Inc.
The financial stability of the chamber is one of Michele’s most proud accomplishments. The chamber is run like a business, and she believes that building relationships in the community has been a huge factor in its success.
In the chamber field, her resume includes serving three terms on the Southern California Chamber of Commerce Executives (SCACCE) Board of Directors and serving as president in 2002. She has served on the Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE) Board, High Desert Chamber of Commerce (Board member and President), Inland Empire Tourism Council, Victor Valley College Advisory Council, member of the High Desert Community Alliance Network on Transportation, and the Victor Elementary School District Bond Oversight Committee.
As a volunteer, she has been involved with Desert Communities United Way, Girl Scout Brownie Leader, Guide Dogs of the Desert and a soccer team mom. Michele also works as the bookkeeper for her husband’s bee business.
Michele is a recipient of the Woman of Distinction Leadership Award presented by the Inland Empire Business Press, Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow, Girl Scout Leader of the Year for the Hesperia Service Unit, Woman of Distinction presented by Congressman Paul Cook and the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Victor Valley Community College District Foundation.
Michele holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona. She is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management.
Michele and her husband Ron have been married for 30 years. They live in Oak Hills with their three children Ashley, Megan and Lindsey.
Asked about her 25 years of success, Michele gave credit to past and present dedicated board members, and reminisced about the chamber being housed at the Green Tree Inn, and membership breakfasts at the Hometown Buffet. Moving the VMI to the Hilton Garden Inn really was exciting, with the audio-visual capabilities, and better layout for networking. Then her sense of humor jumped in. “I remember when we had a huge rollodex holding our membership files, and had to dial in to Victor Valley Computer Services for internet.”
Kudos to Michele for her great work in building one of the most prestigious chambers in the country. The High Desert is proud to have this great leader in their community.