The Bishop Chamber of Commerce is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors elected by the 300+ members of the organization. The annual election was recently completed and the Chamber is pleased to announce the following slate of leaders for 2021-2022.
President Debi Yerkes. Yerkes and husband, Alex, have owned and operated Alex Printing for 42 years and she enjoys serving Inyo, Mono, Alpine and Kern counties. She’s enjoyed being a member of the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce since 2007, previously serving as president in 2011/2012. Yerkes says “Living in the Eastern Sierra is my Heaven on Earth and I feel the need to promote and protect this awesome place.” She said she believes deeply in what the chamber stands for and accomplishes each year.
Vice President Sarah Freundt. Freundt is co-owner, with husband, Dennis, of Bishop’s local Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. She believes in success through service to the community and is an active community volunteer and supporter of local non-profit organizations. A native of California’s Wine Country, she has a unique understanding of the business of tourism and the importance of balancing the wants of our visitors with the business needs of our local community. Freundt believes a strong, active chamber of commerce is vital to community success and is grateful for the privilege of serving on the Bishop chamber Board.
Immediate Past President Joseph Cabral. Cabral’s career in hospitality began in 2007. He has served as a general manager and director of operations for various hotels including Bishop’s Best Western and Comfort Inn. He is a certified hotel administrator, and since 2011, has served as a board director for the Ventura County Coast Lodging Association. Cabral currently serves as a board member for the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau. He looks forward to continuing work with the Bishop chamber board to encourage the growth and development of tourism and travel to Bishop.
Treasurer Cheryl Underhill. Underhill serves on the Board of Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance, NIHD Foundation and city of Bishop Parks and Recreation Commission. She is an active member of NIH Auxiliary, NIHD Foundation, VFW Auxiliary Post 8988, American Legion Auxiliary, Altrusa International, Bishop Lions Club, United We Ride, Moms Club, American Red Cross (Disaster Action Team), and Salvation Army Shelter team. She participates in many other community activities, events and fundraisers. Underhill has been married to John for 34 Years. They have ten grandkids and six great grandchildren. Underhill says “It’s my honor and privilege to serve on the Chamber Board and I look forward to another successful year.”
Board Member Manny Astorga. Astorga has been a small business owner for over 15 years. He has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years. He owns and helps run the family restaurant, Astorga’s Mexican Restaurant. In his spare time, Astorga enjoys spending time with family, playing sports, and exercise. He has been involved with numerous community activities, fundraisers, and various local clubs. Astorga says “I always try my absolute best to give back to my community as much as they have given to us.”
Board Member Kendra Atleework. Atleework, author of "Miracle Country," a book about her beloved home in the Eastern Sierra, was born and raised in Bishop, left for college and graduate school, and moved home for good in 2018. The book blends the story of her family’s life with regional history. After its publication, Atleework found herself representing the area to people from all over the nation through speaking engagements and conversations with readers who reached out to tell her about their relationship with this special place. She cares about supporting local businesses and fostering a sense of home and community, while balancing our role as a destination and a place of incredible natural beauty. Atleework writes a column, “Notes on Home” for The Inyo Register, The Sheet, and Bishop Chamber of Commerce blog. She helps her dad, Robert Atlee, run his businesses Sierra Maps and Mesa Storage. They co-wrote the popular Eastern Sierra Recreation Guidebook. Atleework hikes, garden and volunteers at Bishop Elementary School.
Board Member Deven Bhakta. In 1992, Bhakta and his family built the Days Inn and in 2007, they acquired and renovated the now Cielo Hotel. With a lifetime of experience in the lodging industry, Bhakta knows what it takes to be successful in the industry. Their family has not only invested in the business, they’ve also invested in the Bishop community. They proudly support many groups including California High School Rodeo Association, Mule Days and others. Bhakta is young and full of new ideas that will help our community and business continue to succeed. He enjoys sports, entertaining friends, and loves new experiences.
Board Member Robin Bolser. After a short career as a young marine biologist, Bolser moved to the Bishop area in 2001 in order to enjoy the incredible recreational opportunities the Eastern Sierra has to offer. Upon meeting her husband, Jeff, Perry on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain, she decided to dig in her roots and embrace the community of Bishop by starting the Great Basin Bakery in 2003. Bolser believes strongly that the success of the local economy and residents will depend on preserving the character of the Owens Valley while being proactive in adapting to a changing world. Bishop depends on good urban planning, business-friendly initiatives, creative marketing, fund-raising and a clear vision for itself. As a Bishop chamber board member, she vows to bring a fresh perspective and a good listening ear to the discussion of how to achieve this vision.
Board Member Tara Frank. Frank is the director for the Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center, an entity of the Bishop Paiute Tribe. She was born and raised in Bishop; after high school, she left to pursue college and adulthood in Riverside, California, her second home for 12 years. During the time in Southern California she found a variety of callings in retail - customer service; high school - youth-oriented outreach programs; tribal government - land and cultural resource management. In 2008 Frank found her passion and began a career in preservation of history, collections, and archives. She returned to Bishop in 2012, and focused on family and volunteering within the community. In 2014, she became the Cultural Center Director, where she hopes to continue to inspire others and bring focus to the cultural heritage and traditions of the area. Frank has seen our community grow and believes we have the potential and opportunities to expand, educate, and showcase all that our town has to offer; while preserving and honoring the legacy and heritage of the past.
Board Member Corinna Korpi. Korpi is the member center manager of AltaOne Federal Credit Union. She was born in Germany and proudly served in the U.S. Air Force where she earned her U.S. citizenship and began attending college at night. After serving in the military honorably, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Montana State University in Media/Theatre Arts. Moving to California to work on films such as "Far and Away," "Get Shorty," "True Colors," among a few others, she eventually met and fell in love with the Eastern Sierra. An opportunity presented itself to get out of fast-paced city life and Korpi jumped on board with AltaOne in 2008. She has served on various community boards and organizations in and around Inyo and Mono County including NIHD Foundation and Tri-County Fair Board. Community service is one of her passions.
Board Member John Louth. Louth and his family have lived in the Bishop area for 29 years. He retired following a 37-year career with the Forest Service, managing the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and visitor information operation at the White Mountain Ranger Station. Louth is active in several civic and volunteer organizations and is a co-owner of the Mountain Rambler Brewery.
Board Member Holly Mullanix. Mullanix has lived in Bishop for the past 44 years, raised three kids, and enjoys many grandchildren. She managed the Bishop Twin Theatre for more than 30 years before purchasing it in 2015 with husband, Larry. Holly retired from Northern Inyo Hospital in 2019 to focus more time on the theatre and community. Over this past year, they successfully found creative ways to bring revenue to the theatre, and Mullanix is excited to bring this out-of-the-box thinking to the chamber. She says, “I love our community and all that we have to offer our visitors and our community members. I want to work for you through the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce to support our local small businesses and community members.”
Board Member Niral Munshaw. Munshaw began working in the lodging industry while still a student at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton. He studied hotel and restaurant management at Cal Poly Pomona. Munshaw has worked for Tarsadia Hotels, DKN Hotels, Holiday Inn and now Attune Hospitality which operates Vagabond Inn, Motel 6 and Travelodge here in Bishop. Munshaw likes the Angels, Dodgers and Lakers and has been married to his beautiful wife Swati for twelve years.
Board Member Scott Piercey. Piercey’s family moved to Big Pine in late 1965 when his father began employment with the California Department of Fish and Game at Fish Springs fish hatchery south of Big Pine. Piercey attended Big Pine elementary school from kindergarten through 12th grade and graduated from Big Pine High School in 1979. He married wife, Vickie, in 1982 and began working at High Country Lumber shortly thereafter. In the year 2000 Piercey and his partner acquired the company from the Joseph family. Piercey is proud to be a long-time member and past president of the Bishop Chamber Board of Directors.
Board Member Gayla Wolf. Prior to moving to Bishop, Wolf owned and operated The Honey Bee, studio and gallery, in Woodland Hills. Her first art show was in Beverly Hills, displaying some portraits of friends from Bishop. Her unique style attracted many exciting clients like Barbara Walters, Vin Scully and Delta Burke. Wolf and late husband, Martin, eventually moved to Bishop. Since his passing, Gayla has committed herself to photographing community events. She truly loves people and loves to put their faces into print in area newspapers. She also continues to offer fun outdoor family portraits, professional portraits and commercial photography. Gayla is excited to bring creative and positive ideas to the Board of the Chamber of Commerce.
The Bishop Chamber of Commerce is a community-based, non-profit organization that works to sustain and improve the local economy. The chamber provides education, advocacy, networking and referrals for its three hundred local member businesses. The visitor’s bureau division of the organization focuses on destination management and marketing. The chamber board of directors provides strategy, policy and oversight for the organization’s small staff.
“We are so fortunate to have this committed group of business leaders serving our community,” states chamber executive director Tawni Thomson. "They bring a diverse array of perspectives, experiences and talents to the organization."