Tag Archives: IKEA Burbank

Burbank Chamber Honors Awardees At Annual Gala

Nimble cowboy boots line danced the evening away at the Burbank Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Saddle Up! Gala hosted by Calamigos Equestrian last Friday.  And all the whoopin’ and cheerin’ from business leaders and local dignitaries came from more than just the joy juice.  Burbank had galloped into 2018 on a high horsepower economy with no sunset in sight.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“Burbank has the best job base of any community I’ve seen in the western U.S.,” said former Burbank Mayor and Burbank Chamber of Commerce  Executive Director Tom Flavin, who has worked extensively in the states of Colorado and Washington, as well as in California. “And the Chamber wants to do all it can to keep it that way,” he continued.  Good jobs drive a good local economy.”  In Burbank, well-paying jobs have spurred the median family income to reach $83,000, (close to twice the national average,) giving Main Street businesses a decided leg up on many greater LA locales.

A happy occasion indeed to honor Williams Chiropractic & Sports Medicine Center as Small Business of the Year; IKEA, Burbank as Community Partner of the Year; and three Volunteers of the Year, Gold Star Ambassadors Don Baldaseroni, Nancy Serpa and Jeanne Vlazny.

Dr. Michael Williams receives his Small Business of the Year award from Barry Burnett Past President. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Small Business of the Year honoree Dr. Michael Williams (Williams Chiropractic) moved his practice to Burbank in 1996 and immediately joined the Burbank CofC. Shortly afterward, in January 1997, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce asked Dr. Williams to take on a very demanding role: chairing its Business Connection Luncheon Committee, which oversees the Burbank CofC’s key networking activities. Burbank CofC Board member Barry Burnett pointed out that Dr. Williams continued to be the committee chair for the next 19 years, a decided mark of exceptional dedication and leadership.  In addition, Dr. Williams served two terms on the Burbank CofC Board of Directors.

IKEA is presented Community Partner of the Year. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

In honoring IKEA, Burbank, as Community Partner of the Year, Flavin recalled how IKEA’s original Burbank opening (in 1990, when Barcelona and Budapest also welcomed IKEA’s) had brought the Golden State Freeway “to a standstill. It was the first IKEA west of the Mississippi.”   In the years since IKEA has not only “helped to make Burbank a shopping destination” but has also been a great supporter of the community.  Among other activities, IKEA has established wellness centers for Burroughs and the Family Service Center.  Last but not least, they made a major donation of furniture to the Chamber’s office building.

Gold Star Ambassadors. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burbank Chamber of Commerce Chair Gema Sanchez introduced the three Volunteers of the Year.  Volunteer of the Year Don Baldaseroni became a Chamber Ambassador in 1987 and served on the Board of Directors for five years.  His past community service extended to several other arenas: he had served as President of the Burbank Road Kings and Burbank Historical Society, had served as Chairperson of the Burbank Heritage Commission and had served as a committee member of Burbank on Parade. Don has been a member of the Burbank Elks Lodge for 42 years.

When Volunteer of the Year Jeanne Vlazny joined the Chamber in 1985, it didn’t take her long to make her mark. She and her company, Graphics Two, was key to reworking the Chamber logo at the time. She became a Chamber Ambassador in 1996 and sat on the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2008. Jeanne has been previously honored as Chamber Member of the Year and Small Business Person of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year Nancy Serpa has been active with the Chamber for the past 14 years and has served as a Chamber Ambassador for the past 12 years, being a regular at countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies.  Sanchez particularly appreciates her  “instrumental role in the planning of our gala. Her tireless commitment to securing auction items makes our Silent Auction a success every year.”

Earlier in the evening,  IKEA, Burbank manager Jeff O’Shaughnessy was pointing out that the Burbank store was “the largest IKEA in North America” with many more parking spaces (1700) and better freeway ramp positioning than at its original location.  When asked how smoothly the move went, O’Shaughnessy replied, “We’ve had a great relationship with the City of Burbank. They’ve been great business partners.”

That and a vibrant Burbank Chamber of Commerce are among the reasons the Burbank economy has been sitting tall in the saddle.

To purchase pictures from this event follow this link: https://rossbensonphotography.photoreflect.com/store/thumbpage.aspx?e=10219214&au=11855001FC446BC761213E726E785B8B77AA5230DE2F9693EB95BB426578EBF8F5E8416C7F89CADA

IKEA Opens Largest Store in the United States Right Here in Burbank

The opening of the new Burbank IKEA Store located at 600 IKEA Way just a 1/2 mile from it’s previous location was of grand size right like the store itself. The new IKEA Store the largest in the United States had the largest opening crowd for any retailer located in Burbank.

Burbank City Council Members are joined by IKEA management during opening day ceremonies. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Starting on Tuesday night several hundred lined up outside the store property and awaited till the approval time of 6:00am to move into a queued area in the stores parking lot. The store held a lottery to determine the first 26 customers who would enter the store and win a free IKEA Sofa. The next 100 won IKEA chairs and all the kids received gifts. 

Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes is joined by IKEA Store Manager Jeff O’Shaughnessy in place of a Ribbon Cutting sawed a log to make it official.( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The official ceremonies started late around 8:45 pm and the official opening was the sawing of a log in Swedish is a sign of Good Luck. 

Customers were welcomed into the new store by hundreds of store employees making noise with inflated thunder sticks. The estimate of guests the opening  day exceeded 5000 guests.


Here is a gallery of opening day activities.