The Malibu City Council took time out of its busy meeting last week to honor the chief executive officer of the Malibu Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce. Barbara Bruderlin has served the Malibu business community as CEO of the now merged Chamber of Commerce since 2016. She was honored for her dedication to the community.
In her tenure, Bruderlin revamped the city’s business guide to give a robust presence to local businesses, created mixer events so business owners can network and importantly inaugurated a mixer to help residents and businesses that suffered after the Woolsey Fire.
In the commendation read by Mayor Paul Grisanti, he mentioned Bruderlin’s establishment of an active calendar of events, producing the Malibu Guide and revamping the Chamber’s website to increase each member’s presence.
“After the Woolsey Fire, Barbara quickly organized the Rebuild Malibu mixer where homeowners who lost properties could connect with each other and contractors,” Grisanti stated. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Barbara has been a valuable collaborator with the city to ensure local businesses were constantly updated with the latest information on how to comply with state and county protocol. She’s always made herself and the Chamber available to the city, working closely with city staff on numerous events including the Veterans Day ceremony. She’s dedicated to maintaining a strong relationship with the city. The City Council commends Barbara Bruderlin for her years of dedicated service and her steadfast commitment to maintaining and enriching the bond between the city and the Chamber.”
Councilmember Mikke Pierson added: “It was noticeable to me that when the Woolsey Fire hit and the pandemic hit, you took action. You didn’t sit around and wait for things to happen. You had meetings to help people who lost their homes, gathering people together to help each other. In the pandemic, you put out some of the best information I saw anywhere and helped out with grants to local businesses. You raised the bar. And then by joining the Palisades recently, that was a brilliant maneuver because it’s really hard to run small chambers. That was a smart move. I applaud you and thank you for all you’ve done.”
Speaking by phone, Bruderlin said she was surprised and grateful for the commendation. As the Chamber’s only employee, she pointed out that “people think the Chamber is a government organization. It’s not. It’s a nonprofit organization. We run because a bunch of people volunteer their time. It’s just people helping people.” She mentioned she just got some help from Pepperdine students and also that the Chamber is not subsidized by the government.
Bruderlin is a big advocate for networking.
“Some people don’t understand why we have get-togethers,” she said. “What happens is that instead of just a business, you get to know and fall in love with the owner. It becomes like a big family and warm and people working together. It becomes like an old-fashioned community.”
The CEO has increased the web presence for all members of the Chamber. “It gives them more visibility,” she said.
According to Bruderlin, this is important in small towns with high rents and seasonal visitors.
“You need a group promoting, advocating and advertising for everybody,” she said. “This creates excitement and support when people are struggling to get off the ground.”
During the Woolsey Fire, Bruderlin was active in disseminating information on Facebook. She along with the Malibu Public Safety Department are about to launch a program called Malibu HEART. It stands for Health Emergency Assistance Relay Team.
“If we have an emergency again I can have a support team on hand through Facebook helping people, direct them, working with the fire department and rescue teams because when there’s an emergency people go to Facebook where you can get into local groups,” she said. “That’s what I can offer to the mix.”
On her dedication to the community Bruderlin explained: “I love the people in Malibu so much. They’re so affectionate, down-to-earth and considerate. They think about everybody before themselves. I see them filled with joy at somebody else’s gain. For being filled with people who like the finer things in life that’s not their first priority. Malibu’s all about others; loving people and helping the world. It’s an amazing group of people here. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you live there’s a theme of affection for others in Malibu.”
Happiest of Birthdays to my love and the incredible business partner, Nicholas; thank you for all you do for our family, our team, and our business. May this year be the best year yet.