Paso native to serve as membership coordinator

PASO ROBLES — Jeff Railsback recently joined the ranks of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce as the new Membership Coordinator. With a history of working in leadership or upper-management positions at Wine.com and the Boys & Girls Club of San Luis Obispo County, some might say that Railsback is overqualified for the chamber job. Railsback willingly concedes the point, but it explains that being a membership coordinator is part of his five-year plan. 

“My goal, long term, is to be a CEO of a chamber or a small, regional, mid-sized nonprofit, and so I am happy to earn my bones here,” said Railsback. He continued, “this also gives me a big opportunity to engage nonprofits, which is a big part of it. I think there is a lot of possibility for collaboration, which is still missing here.”

Living in the age of information, chambers have needed to adapt to remain relevant and bring value to its members. Traditionally, people would contact the chamber looking for a business service. Now, people do a quick search on their phone to find a host of business choices for their needs. Railsback said that the organizations have also seen a decline in attendance. 

“It used to be when you open a business, you joined a chamber, and that’s not the way it is anymore,” said Railsback. “That old model is disappearing, so how do you make a chamber membership relevant and of value to people? A lot of what we’ve been working on and taking a look at and back then it was everything was small business in the 70s and 80s. Now, that’s not the case, we Ag-tech and Med-tech and all these different wineries… how do we meet the need of all these of all those different areas?”

Born and raised in Paso Robles, Railsback recently moved back home in 2003 and worked as a Farmer Insurance agent for over a decade. While working in insurance, Railsback began working with the Paso Robles Education Alliance, a community-based nonprofit of local businesses and educators that supports and enriches the educational environment of Paso Robles public school. He continues to volunteer at PREA as the president and executive director. Railsback also worked as coordinator of the Boys & Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County. Jeff Railsback Joins Paso Chamber TeamRailsback said that his father, Ed, who recently passed away, instilled a desire to support the educational system and the children it serves. Ed worked as a teacher, administrator, and coach for 39 years, where he helped lead the Paso Robles Bearcats football team to a CIF championship. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles