According to Conrad Levoit III, founder of Asian Pacific Business Group, the goal is to promote businesses owned by Tracy residents who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent. The group had its first meeting Aug. 8.
“I started this because there is a large Asian-Pacific community here that needs to be reached out to,” Levoit said. “We want to focus on helping the Asian-Pacific community, but anyone can join if they’re a member of the chamber.”
Levoit, owner of Silvercreek Security Academy in Tracy, said the idea arose while serving as a member of the Tracy Hispanic Business Group, another branch of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce.
He then wrote to the Tracy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors requesting the creation of the Asian-Pacific group, and on June 27 his idea gained the board’s approval.
Chamber President Sofia Valenzuela said the board approved a six-month exploratory committee to see if there is enough interest to make the committee permanent.
Larry Benson, a member of the chamber board, said he liked the proposal.
“It’s a great concept,” he said. “I hope they have much success. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas and enhance their businesses.”
Like the Tracy Hispanic Business Group, Valenzuela said, the group will likely start out by promoting a specific ethnic group and eventually evolve to include business owners of other ethnicities.
“They’re a great platform for businesses of all kinds,” she said. “We’re not looking for just Asian-Pacific business groups; we’re inviting all sorts of origins to come together and network and promote commerce.”
Inspired by the Tracy Hispanic Business Group’s “four pillars of commitment,” Levoit said his group is committed to promoting business, networking with other business owners, recognizing Asian-Pacific leaders for their achievements and supporting education at all levels.
Rommel Naraval, manager of Stars Casino on Clover Road, joined because he felt Asian-Pacific business owners didn’t have a presence in Tracy.
“I joined to have a more active voice in the community,” he said, “and become a little more involved in the city.”
The Asian Pacific Business Group meets at 12:30 p.m. the first and third Thursday of every month, but the locations of the meetings change from month to month.
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AsianPacificBusinessGroup or call the chamber at 835-2131.
•Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.