The chamber industry and south bay community lost a bright light in the recent passing of Joeann Valle (1939-2021). Joeann Valle was a mentor and a friend.  Her legacy included being the executive director of the Los Angeles Gateway Chamber of Commerce, founding member of the Boys and Girls Club of the South Bay, founder of the Harbor City Neighborhood Council and founder of the Friends of Liberty.  Valle served on the boards of several different locations throughout her forty-year career with the chamber.

Jonathan Beutler, past chair of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Gateway Chamber of Commerce prepared the following memoriam. “Reflecting on my year’s long friendship with Joeann, I am deeply grateful for her example of dedicated service and selfless giving.  Her parting, though a bitter sting to all who have known her, leaves in its wake a beautiful legacy of charitable love and duty.  Throughout Joeann’s decades of passionate devotion to our community, she inspired as she served, and loved as she labored. 

As difficult as it is to distill the essence of such a productive life as Joeann’s, I would suggest that her defining mission was to consistently strive to lift others.  As a leader and friend, Joeann’s contributions were consequential for literally thousands of people.  Everything she did was heartfelt and came from a place of cheerful concern for the needs of other people.  Joeann has long been a steadfast listener on whom I (and many others) have been able to rely in moments of frustration or worry.  She always knew what was right and this conviction drove her leadership style.  She was truly one of the greatest community champions I have ever met and working by her side has provided me with many fond memories that I will always carry and cherish.  Recently, in what would be my final conversation with Joeann, though she was enduring tremendous discomfort, she and I reminisced about a wide variety of topics.  That hour she shared with me meant so much; what a gift it has been to know Joeann.  

While we take time to mourn, may we also recognize that Joeann’s memory will long be a blessing for countless people, whose lives she touched through her labor of love.  May we honor Joeann and her legacy by working to uplift those around us and strengthen the community wherever we may be.”

From left to right: (2016) Jonathan Beutler, Director of Public Affairs for Sunrider International; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Joeanne Valle, Executive Director Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce; Donna Duperron, President & CEO, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce; and Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank of the United States.

From left to right: (2019) Wanda Love, Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce; Donna Duperron, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce; Assembly member Al Muratsuchi; Kirk Rossberg, Torrance Bakery; and Joeann Valle, Los Angeles Gateway Chamber of Commerce.”

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