Director | Chair 2020 – 2021
Guichard, Teng, Portillo & Garrett Law Firm
Founder and Senior Partner
Jay Hoyer, Chief Executive Officer
Jay has served in the Chief Executive Office of the Walnut Creek Chamber since 1991. Prior to 1991, he was the President of an international transportation company and served at Chambers of Commerce in Salem, Oregon; Boulder, Colorado; Twin Falls, Idaho; and Iowa City, Iowa. Jay is a graduate of the US Chamber’s Institutes for Organizational Management. He graduated from, and is one of only forty members of the Academy of Organizational Management at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he has completed the Economic Development Institute. Jay has been recognized as the Oregon Chamber Executive of the Year and has served on the President’s National Business and Industry Advisory Council. Jay is a Certified Chamber Executive and a Certified Industrial Developer.
Marcie Hochhauser, Senior Vice President
Marcie joined the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce in 1980, as Manager of Membership Services. After exceeding membership goals and establishing innovative programs which helped chart a new direction for the Walnut Creek Chamber, she was promoted to Marketing Director. Marcie’s contributions have not only helped the Chamber financially, but have enhanced the Chamber’s visibility in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County and the state of California. Marcie was the 1985 recipient of the California Chamber’s Gerald W. Hathaway Award in honor and recognition of significant contributions to Chamber of Commerce management as a staff member. She was the 1986 President of the Contra Costa Chamber of Commerce Executives and has served on the board of directors for the Superior California Chamber of Commerce Executives Association. In July of 1988, Marcie received her graduation certificate from the Institute for Organizational Management. Marcie oversees the Chamber’s successful Art & Wine Festival, East Bay Women’s Conference, Trade Faires, Education Committee, Leadership Contra Costa, and Business Links. She also assists with the day to day operations of running the Chamber. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a graduate of American University in Washington D.C., Marcie resides in Walnut Creek with her husband Harvey and two children.
Lynn was born and raised in Walnut Creek. She graduated from CSU, Chico with a degree in Business Administration and spent ten years in the hotel industry in sales. She has also worked in the medical field. When you call or visit the Chamber, Lynn will be the one to greet you and help get the information you need. She also supports the efforts of Chamber staff and is the contact person for the Walnut Creek Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Marilyn joined the Chamber in September 2013 as our Accounting Assistant. In the neighboring city of Clayton, she is an active member of the Clayton Business and Community Association and brings with her the experience of being Co-Chair of the Clayton Oktoberfest for the past eight years. Marilyn was born and raised in New Jersey, and is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Finance. Having lived in the East Bay since 2001 with her husband Charlie, she enjoys splitting her time between her two married children, along with two beautiful grandchildren.
Tanuja Dhanalekshmi, Marketing – Social Media & Events
Tanuja (or you can simply call her Tani) is the newest member of the Chamber team. Tani will assist the Chamber with committees such as Civic Affairs, Education, and Leadership Contra Costa. She will also manage the Chamber website and coordinate other social media initiatives. Tani grew up in India and graduated from London Metropolitan University, U.K. with a Master’s in Business Administration. She loves pets and helps in rescuing and sheltering homeless dogs, enjoys hiking and nature, and is a huge foodie.
Nicole Hankton, Sales & Marketing Manager
Nicole comes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau with a passion for hospitality and tourism. Nicole enjoys 15 years of experience in marketing, sales, and public relations. Previously, Nicole worked for hotels in Oakland by supporting the efforts of the sales teams to bring a stronger variety of conferences to the largest hotel in the city. She has accomplished a variety of sales tours, media visits, promotions, and targeted marketing campaigns specific to the hotel industry..
Linda Vesneski, Membership Sales Director
Linda joined the Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce in December 2015 as the Membership Sales Director. Linda grew up in the Pacific Northwest in Olympia, Washington, and is a graduate of South Puget Sound Community College and Central Washington University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. After marrying and moving to California she spent seven years in the hotel industry in sales and event management at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina and later at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. During a 10 year break from work to raise a family, Linda and her husband and children had the opportunity to live abroad in Australia for two years. Returning home to Northern California, Linda took on the Membership Account Manager role at Renaissance Club Sport in Walnut Creek for six years. She has also worked as a Family Service/Sales Counselor at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette. Linda resides in Clayton with her husband Erik and two children.