The Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce recently held its election, and the new board and president were installed on July 14 with terms expiring June 2022.
The new team has many plans especially now that the city is recovering from the effects of the pandemic. “We want to move forward and double the membership. We’re small but mighty. We want to bring the Chamber to a new level, reach people, incorporate technology. We want to give as much value we can to members and help them to market themselves with tools,” said Dante Paminutan, the new president.
Pamintuan has lived in imperial Beach on and off since 1990. Both his parents came from the Philippines and his dad was in the U.S. Navy, and as a result, the family moved to places like Guam, The Great Lakes, Norfolk and Pensacola.
In 1970 the family moved to San Diego and bought a house in South Park where Pamintuan’s mother still lives. Pamintuan is the oldest of four siblings. After attending local schools and graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in business administration and marketing. In 1984 he was offered a job at Kashi but was unsure about his career path. “I don’t want to work behind a desk,” he recalled saying to himself.
Pamintuan also had ideas of traveling the world. He remembers seeing service members coming home after sea duty and “watching ships coming home from somewhere exotic… their sharp uniform,” he said.
While at first he thought of joining the Navy to continue the family tradition, a friend recommended the Marine Corps. He decided to give it a try and took the physical fitness test and did well. At that time, Pamintuan said there were only two slots available and one was offered to him - giving him the opportunity to join the Marines. His first step was going to Quantico for the Officer Candidate School program for what he describes as “10 weeks of hell.” Although it was hard, he has fond memories of those days. “It was great,” he said.
Pamintuan stayed in the Marines for 5 and a half years and his specialty was logistics. His overseas tour took him to Japan where he also learned to scuba dive.
His time in the service was memorable for Pamintuan. “The camaraderie…I had the best time. It made me what I am today, patriotic, [willing] to serve my country, serve others. It’s the biggest fraternity in the world,” he said.
After his time in the Marines, Pamintuan worked for the Perrier Group in Napa Valley as logistical manager, where he commuted to work on his mountain bike. Despite doing well in his career, he missed surfing and San Diego. He felt he was getting burned out and decided to return to San Diego. Before coming back he took time off to explore the wine country and learned about wines and how to pair them with food.
Back in San Diego he worked in advertising, marketing and sales. “It was fun, all of our teammates were former military,” said Pamintuan. While working at that job he also mentored young college graduates, which he really enjoyed.
After 2001 Pamintaun opened his own business called Jet Logo, a promotional products company. Over time, Pamintuan has worn many hats including driving a school bus for 10 years as a day job, while he had his own business. In 2014, he discovered real estate under the mentorship of Gary Trieschman with Pacific Realty in Imperial Beach. As time has passed, Pamintuan focused on helping his clients create accessory dwelling units and granny flats. His latest venture is as a marketing consultant with his creation of IBTV, a tool that helps businesses market themselves through social media and videos. He works with clients that range from restaurants to real estate and financial/banking.
Pamintuan has fond memories of Imperial Beach from the first time he moved to town after he left the Marine Corps. He recalls always loving the Seaside Point neighborhood and saying to himself, “Some day I’m going to live there.”
“Twenty years to the day I bought a house there,” he said. Pamintaun is married to a teacher and has three children.
Pamintuan is hopeful for the future the Chamber. “I want to thank our former board…setting us up for success…I want them to be recognized. It is thanks to that board led by Valerie (Acevez) during the pandemic,” he said.
Pamintuan looks forward to making the Chamber a success in the upcoming months and years with the help of members who have many talents. “We’ll work together to be a positive force. It’s not about me…it’s a team effort. The president does set the tone, but I’m part of the team,” he said. “We’ll work together to be a positive force in Imperial Beach.”