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Published September 21st, 2016
New Chamber of Commerce Office is Ready for Business
Kathe Nelson in her new office at the Rheem Center. Photo Sophie Braccini

Moraga Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathe Nelson is settling into the new location she says the city deserves - its own in the Rheem Center. It represents a new stage for the chamber that over the past 10 years has grown in membership and clout.
The office is located above CAPA, in the part of the shopping center that belongs to U.S. Realty Partners. "They were very generous with us," says Nelson adding that CEO Jay Kerner is proving his support of the community. When she is in the office, she puts a big chamber sign by CAPA, directing people up the stairs.
The office is not just any space; Nelson says it used to be the office of an FBI agent, before it became vacant some years ago. There was no clue left in the space as what an FBI agent could have been doing in Moraga. "If the walls could talk..." says Nelson with a smile.
The space is not huge, but it is functional and has been decorated and furnished by donations from the business community. The computer is a donation from Lamorinda Weekly; Sam Clar Office Furniture donated the desk and chair; Jessica Nelson, Kathe Nelson's granddaughter, gave her the meeting table and chairs; the refrigerator belonged to Andy and Wendy Scheck; a printer/fax/scanner was given by Tony De Venuta from Bullfrog Creek Vineyard; the office chair in the adjacent room was given by Bob Fritzky at Med-Metrix; the pillows and painting are on loan from Nikolene Isely of Staging by Design; and Saint Mary's College gave some paraphernalia. Nelson bought a few decorations herself.
"We put some sweat equity in this too," adds Nelson, mentioning cleaning and painting of the space.
Businesses can leave business cards, flyers and resource materials in the new Chamber office. Nelson used to be allowed to use a Hacienda Foundation room at the Hacienda one day a week and was not able to store much chamber of commerce material there. That alone is a big improvement. She works 30 hours a week, from the office or from home and the chamber office is available for meetings when she is there or by appointment.
Nelson shares that second floor with many individual businesses such as an attorney, an insurance company, a senior health care provider and a CPA. The future is not completely certain because U.S. Partner Realty will have plans down the road to remodel that part of the center.
But, "They definitely will want to continue to have offices here," assures Nelson.

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