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  • Woytovich leaving Hesperia, heading to Arizona

    Worked for seven years as Hesperia Chamber of Commerce CEO
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  • After seven years with the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce, CEO Yvonne Woytovich said last week she’s moving on.
    “I'm excited to announce that I have been blessed with a new opportunity,” Woytovich said in a chamber newsletter emailed Wednesday. “I will be leaving Hesperia Chamber and moving to Arizona next month. I have accepted a position at the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce.”
    Woytovich in the newsletter thanked chamber members and said she was incredibly proud of the accomplishments the chamber had made while she was at the helm.
    She said among the many things the chamber accomplished during her tenure, two things in particular stood out to her: purchasing a building and property for the chamber in 2010 and the development of its mission statement two years ago.
    “Both of these accomplishments will help shape the future of the organization,” she said.
    For Woytovich personally, her biggest accomplishment as Chamber CEO was an unexpected honor some five years ago.
    “In 2009 at a Chamber luncheon, I was surprised by Lance Clark, captain of the Hesperia Police Department,” Woytovich said. “He asked to make an announcement, and to my surprise I was presented with a plaque naming me the Hesperia Police Department’s Citizen of the Year.
    “It’s important to me to make a difference where I can, so this honor was very meaningful to me.”
    Woytovich was born in a small farming community in northeast Pennsylvania and lived there until she graduated from high school, she told the Hesperia Star in 2011. After high school she moved to Philadelphia and attended art school and then studied at Keystone College prior to transferring to California University of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh where she earned a B.A. in English.
    She moved back to northeast Pennsylvania and got a job as a librarian at Keystone College before eventually moving to Fort Irwin. After spending three and a half years at the Army post north of Barstow, Woytovich purchased a house in Apple Valley and shortly thereafter went to work for the San Bernardino County Library. She worked at Montclair, Barstow and Victorville libraries before leaving to pursue other endeavors.
    In April 2007, she was hired as the executive for the Hesperia Chamber. Not long after, she moved to Hesperia with her two dogs, finding the luxury of living and working in the same city.
    Woytovich told the Hesperia Star in 2011 her passion is learning and teaching.
    “I love to learn. I am constantly exploring new places, taking classes or tutorials, and reading,” she said. “More than that, I love to share with others. Nothing brings more joy to me than when I have had an opportunity to teach someone something that makes their life better in some way whether it’s technological, business-related, spiritual or emotional. Making a difference is incredibly fulfilling.”
    Over the last seven years, Woytovich said the ever-chaning board of directors for the chamber consistently influenced her.
    “In the first few years, Becky Otwell took me under her wing, got me involved in the community and introduced me to many people,” Woytovich said. “Also during the first few years, Mark Austin was integral to my development as the Chamber CEO. His dedication to and support of the Hesperia Chamber was very helpful to me. In the past few years, Shannon Shannon has also been a great adviser to me.
    “There are many people that I met through the chamber that hold a special place in my heart. It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few.”
    And as some of her most memorable moments took place during the annual awards luncheon where the chamber recognizes people who contribute and dedicate their time to the Hesperia Chamber and community, Woytovich said it’s those same people who will ensure the strength and future of the chamber.
    “It just couldn’t happen without the collaborative effort of all the volunteers at the Hesperia Chamber,” she said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the growth and changes of the organization.
    “I think the Hesperia Chamber is on a good path and has great potential in the future.”
    She said she’ll certainly miss the relationships she’s built over the last seven years as she moves on to Kingman.
    “In many ways, Hesperia is still very much a small town community, and I am fortunate to have made so many friends here.
     “There are some great people in the Hesperia Chamber and community. I wish the chamber, the businesses and the Hesperia community much success. It’s been a privilege to be part of this wonderful community.”
    — Staff writer Rene Ray De La Cruz contributed to this report.
    — Martial Haprov may be reached at 760-951-6236 or at MHaprov@VVDailyPress.com.
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