Longtime Chamber of Commerce CEO Laurel Rosen has stepped down from her position and will depart the chamber in the coming months pending the hiring of her replacement.
In a letter sent out Wednesday, the Chamber, Rosen said she was proud of her 23 years at the Chamber.
“From my earliest days, I was passionate about the role the Chamber plays in serving our beautiful community, and I have been inspired by the people I have met,” she said. “I will be forever grateful to the friends and mentors who have supported me along the way, and I am very proud of our collective achievements.”
Rosen spent nine years on the Chamber’s Board of Directors before becoming the CEO.
The statement credited her with collaborating with the City of Santa Monica to create the Santa Monica Alliance, creating the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL), working with the city’s Commission on the Status of Women to produce the International Women’s Day and developing a slate of annual city-wide events, including the State of the City, Sustainable Quality Awards, New Heroes Celebration, Buy Local Health and Fitness Expo, among many others.
Board of Directors Chair Michael Ricks, chief executive of Providence Saint John’s Health Center, said, “It’s been a privilege to partner with Laurel and to watch her lead us through the pandemic and onto the path of recovery. I’ve admired her servant leadership mentality and her ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and create new opportunities in the face of adversity.”
Rosen established the Santa Monica Chamber Foundation in 2010 to promote economic development through education. The foundation supports the annual Career Day at Santa Monica High School. In partnership with Santa Monica College, it supports the Next Gen Leadership Program for students of color.
Jennifer Taylor, the city’s economic development manager who has worked with Rosen since 2008, recalled: “One of my favorite partnerships was our COVID-19 Santa Monica Small Business Recovery Program that raised over $400,000 and awarded $5,000 survival and recovery grants to over 70 small businesses.”
The statement praised Rosen for supporting the local business community while also becoming a prominent community leader.
“For over two decades, Santa Monica has benefited from Laurel’s leadership, and I’ve benefited from working alongside a wonderful human being,” said Debbie Lee, the City’s chief communications officer. “She shared her heart with Santa Monica and her gift to bring people together to advocate as well as to celebrate. Her legacy is our genuine sense of community.” Ricks will lead the process to recruit the new Chamber President.