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From politics to chamber roles
New Ripon chamber staffers worked as aides
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Tamra Spade, right, and Laura Spence are the new faces for the Ripon Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street. Spade is the executive director and Spence is serving part-time in the office. Both have worked in the district offices of state politicians. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Tamra Spade and Laura Spence had something in common before accepting their positions with the Ripon Chamber of Commerce.  Both had worked in the district offices of two state politicians.

Spade is the new executive director for the chamber and Spence is her office support staff on a part-time basis.

The new chamber executive comes to Ripon with a degree in Communications and an MBA business degree.  She is no stranger to chamber activities, having attended countless meetings for her former boss District 12 State Senator Anthony Canella. His district encompasses Merced and San Benito counties.

Spade’s mother, Sharon Silva, is the CEO for the Turlock Chamber of Commerce.

Spence most recently served on the support staff for State Assemblyman Bill Berryhill.

Spade lives in Manteca and is involved in the Great Valley Bookfest program led by Toni Raymus as well as the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way.  She tells of attending many schools from San Diego to Turlock where she graduated from Turlock High School.  Her dad was a U.S. Navy chaplain for the Marine Corps.

She has two daughters and one son aged 10 to 25.  The oldest son Richard Furtado works for the City of Turlock.  Kassi Furtado, 23, works at the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and Kali Spade, 10, is still living at home.