The Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1939 with the mission of preserving and enhancing the competitive economic climate of the community.
The Chamber’s first president was real estate professional M.A. “Andy” Vargo (aka “Mr. Toluca Lake”). Vargo worked at The Bogy Company–Insurance Brokers and helped develop the community by bringing more homeowners to the area. Together, he and a board of dedicated local businesspeople, stakeholders and residents formed the Chamber and set its mission and goals, which are accomplished through positive programs to strengthen and educate Toluca Lake business and residential communities in matters that directly impact the growth and development of the community, promoting and assisting businesses by encouraging patronage, expanding relationships and performing charitable acts.
Today, the all-volunteer organization continues to promote the economic prosperity and well-being of Toluca Lake through community-building events such as the Holiday Open House, monthly mixers and monthly neighborhood cleanups. “Our goal is to continue to thrive as a community and to grow our membership so that our local businesses feel that they have support when needed, as well as a strong business network,” president Shannon Hartman says.
Reflecting on the impact the Chamber has made on the community over the past 82 years, Hartman notes that the organization has played an integral role in shaping the “small village atmosphere” that Toluca Lake is known for. The Chamber endeavors to retain the neighborhood’s small-town feel by keeping current businesses growing and thriving while welcoming new businesses into the fold. “The key is to maintain the character and landscape of our town by having everyone feel that they are a stakeholder and a steward of our community,” she explains.
The Chamber looks forward to bringing businesses and residents together next year to commemorate Toluca Lake’s 100th anniversary. “By honoring our centennial, the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce celebrates our community involvement in the economic, civic and cultural growth and welfare of Toluca Lake,” Hartman says. “This event brings all of our community groups together in the spirit of unity through our celebration.”