Donna Duperron

Torrance Chamber of Commerce: Would I join again? Pros and Cons

When I started writing the story about my experience with the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC), I knew that this would have to be broken up into at least three parts. There was too much to say, and it would have been ancient history by the time I got everything documented in the proper order. My goal in the first two parts was simple; give the back story to my time with the TACC and what happened when I was called into Donna Duperon’s office. I did my best to not editorialize or give my opinion; I wanted to merely lay out the facts. This article will be different. I will editorialize and be opinionated. So, what happened after I left Donna’s office?

I knew that the Del Amo Bridge was going to be opened to the public later in the day, so I stopped by to see if I could photograph the bridge before traffic made it impossible. I lucked out as there were several antique cars lining up for the opening parade; so I was able to wander around and grab a few shots. While I was there I ran into a long time acquaintance that happens to be on the Torrance City Council. I told him that the TACC had just banned my camera from their events. He proceeded to tell me about a ribbon cutting that was coming up on Saturday. Apparently the business had not given the Chamber enough notice, so the Chamber would not be there. I asked if he thought the business would like me to photograph the event; his response, “What business owner would not want you to?” Ironically, the answer is the TACC, I guess. Continue reading

TACC Chairman of the Board: Less than .5% of membership are complaining

Since this is part two of my saga with the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC); and some may not have read part one, I will summarize to bring you up to speed. I photograph everything. I use the photos to promote people and places. We joined the TACC last December. I photographed many TACC events, gave free publicity to local businesses that are Chamber members, promoted non-profits and shot an event at the request of the TACC President and CEO, Donna Duperron. On August 9, Donna told me camera was no longer allowed at Chamber events, even though other cameras were. On August 21, Donna said she wanted me to come to her office to meet with her and the TACC Chairman of the Board, Aaron Aalcides. If you want to read it all, please go to http://www.gotbaddog.com/tacc-no-free-advertising-wanted/.

I brought Tanya with me to my meeting with Donna and Aaron because the company that is the Chamber of Commerce member is hers. When we were seated in Donna’s office I could not help but notice that it seemed Aaron had compiled a dossier on us. At the top of the stack of papers was a print out of the Synergy-DTI home page. His first question was why do I take so many photos? I started to explain how we use them to do Internet marketing, SEO and branding but I could tell he was not getting it. I also mentioned how I am a CNN iReporter and a restaurant reviewer for Examiner.com and the photos were used there as well. It did not matter.

TACC Offices

The TACC offices

Continue reading

Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce: We never asked for free exposure

I am going to preface this story by saying I intentionally did not start writing this yesterday because I did not want my anger to get in the way of my words. To be honest, I could have started writing this back on August 9 when this all started. The writing was on the wall, the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) President/CEO and Chairman of the Board just wanted to make it official. I also want to say that I have met some very nice people at TACC and if I speak negatively about the TACC it is based solely on the actions of Donna Duperron and Aaron Aalcides. Additionally, I am not asking anyone to get involved. I am just telling my story. If you want to get involved, share this story. Let people make their own decisions. As most of you have no idea what I am talking about; I will start at the beginning.

Indian head dress

Back room of Pow Wow Pawn - Hardin, MT

Those that know me and anyone that has read this blog a while knows that I do event photography and photograph everything I see and do. I frequently use the photos to give publicity to the location; whether it is a restaurant or a National Park. It is free advertising, most of the time. I have yet to run into a restaurant, bar, bakery, curio shop or any other brick and mortar business owner that ever turned down free press. I get invited to the back rooms of stores and shops to see what they have that is too cool for public display. At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to start promoting local businesses and events more than I have in the past. In December, Tanya and I had joined the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce Continue reading

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