2016 Chamber Person of the Year Award

For over 40 years, the Chamber’s highest award, sometimes called the Chairman’s Award, has been presented to recognize those who, more than anyone else, made the greatest impact on the success of a Chairman’s year. Key considerations for this prestigious award include enthusiasm for the organization, willingness to accept multiple roles/tasks, accomplishments in many phases of the Chamber’s programs and commitment and dedication to the success of their assignments. Eric Lochtefeld has exemplified all of these and more.

Eric is co-owner of the Golden State Theatre LLC, Fox Theatre Property LLC, and Golden Fox Venues Inc. with his wife Lori. He is one of the most passionate and driven people you will ever meet, and cares deeply for his community, friends, and family.

Eric has served on the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors since January 2016. During his inaugural year on the Board, Eric immediately jumped into action providing support to the Chamber in more ways than one would expect for a rookie Board member. He generously loaned his Fox Forum venue to the Chamber of Commerce to ensure popular Chamber events such as Good Morning Redwood City and Candidate Forums, could be held in the heart of downtown Redwood City and easily accessed by local business owners. Eric’s impact on the Chamber does not stop there. As a business owner of the Fox and prior companies, Eric has a wealth of experience spanning business management, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, entertainment, non-profit management, and mentorship. He has willingly shared his thoughts and expertise as a member of the Economic Development Committee; he has addressed the students of the Chamber’s Leadership Redwood City-Belmont-Menlo Park-San Carlos Program; in 2016 – graduated from the Stanford Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Redwood City, is a supporter of our flagship program The Annual Progress Seminar, and effectively advocates on behalf of our Chamber at City Council meetings.

Prior to his officially joining the Chamber Board, he was already a downtown business owner and small business advocate. In 2014, he worked closely with the Chamber to promote to downtown core businesses and property owners, the benefits of having a Community Benefit Improvement District (CBID). Eric saw before many did, that in order to keep momentum going to improve downtown Redwood City, property owners would have to step up and invest in their investments to help downtown thrive. It takes a special person to convince property owners to tax themselves! But he did it. His tireless efforts of knocking on doors & meeting business owners for coffee, led to Redwood City being the first city on the peninsula to vote for the creation of a (CBID) that is known today as the Redwood City Improvement Association (RCIA); an association (managed by our Chamber) that funds (through property taxes) special benefits above and beyond regular city services for the district to keep the downtown attractive, clean, safe, orderly, and well publicized. He went on to serve as the President of the RCIA Board in 2015 and 2016, ensuring the newly created non-profit launched successfully. Since the formation of the RCIA, the CBID business owners have seen the implementation of weekly sidewalk cleaning, subsidized valet parking on Friday and Saturday nights, the creation of the Magic Lantern 3D Light Show at Courthouse Square, the installation of the sidewalk shadow art, beautiful tree lights and more.

Eric’s passion for Redwood City is infectious, as he rallies folks together to be a part of the solution in Redwood City’s renaissance. His outside of the box thinking has been an asset to the Chamber organization and he can always be depended on to be there when needed.

Eric and his equally talented wife (& USC Grad) Lori are now the proud owners of a winemaking estate. When Eric is not up to his elbows in grapes, his other passions are entrepreneurship, events, travel, movies, and inspiring people to discover and pursue their dreams. Eric is a proud graduate of University of San Diego, where he played collegiate basketball and football, and is a proud son of Chuck & Gini Lochtefeld.

Congratulations, Eric Lochtefeld, on being selected so deservingly as the 2016 Chamber Person of the Year.