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News, Chamber Of Commerce, Santa Monica

New Faces To Join The Santa Monica Chamber Of Commerce's Board Tonight

Matt Lavin, Worthe Real Estate Group
Courtesy image
Matt Lavin, Worthe Real Estate Group
Shirley Pe, Metro Cab General Manager
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Shirley Pe, Metro Cab General Manager
Paul Leclerc, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Managing Director
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Paul Leclerc, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Managing Director

Posted Jun. 12, 2013, 9:07 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

A handful of new faces will join the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors this evening at this year’s Installation Dinner.

In total, there are 34 board members who are a mix of community leaders that help influence and support the Chamber’s strategies and initiatives.

The Chamber offers businesses a local platform to tap into the power of an already established community of business owners and entrepreneurs.

The Mirror spoke briefly with three of the first-time Board members.

Other first-time Board members include Gary Loeb of Gary Loeb Chezgal Merchandising Creations and Ted Braun of UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.

Matt Lavin

Worthe Real Estate Group

Can you briefly tell us about yourself and your involvement with Santa Monica?

I work for Worthe Real Estate Group, which is a family-owned real estate development firm. The firm has been based in downtown Santa Monica since 1975. Our firm owns various properties in Santa Monica with different types of uses and tenants.

Why is it important for you to be on the Chamber board?

It is important to our firm that we are constantly hearing from business owners and the community regarding issues in Santa Monica. We would like to participate and share our ideas and observations and feel that the Chamber is a great forum for this exchange.   

What do you hope to bring to the Board?

I hope to share my knowledge and experiences as a landlord and developer with others in the community.

Shirley Pe

Metro Cab General Manager

Can you briefly tell us about yourself and your involvement with Santa Monica?

I am the General Manager for Metro Cab. I am the first female General Manager in all of Los Angeles in the taxicab industry. Metro Cab is a local cab company serving the Santa Monica area. I am an Ambassador for the Santa Monica Visitors Bureau. One of Metro Cab’s mission is to give back to the community. We support our seniors by providing them transportation through the WISE and Healthy Aging program. We also provide Senior breakfast every other month. We are supporters of OPCC. In addition, we sponsor the Chambers monthly breakfast mixer.

Why is it important for you to be on the Chamber board?

The importance of being on the board is to become more involved in the business community. The Santa Monica Chamber is fantastic in providing the business community with its business needs, whether it is through their government affairs committee, education committee, mixers and other events.  Being on the board give us a sense of giving back to the chamber.

What do you hope to bring to the Board?

I hope to bring whatever we can offer to fulfill their needs and maybe a lot of laughter, because I love to laugh!

Paul Leclerc

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Managing Director

Can you briefly tell us about yourself and your involvement with Santa Monica?

I’m involved through my position with the hotel as managing director. I’ve been involved in the Santa Monica community twice. I spent three years here initially from 2000 to 2003 and two years this time. Both myself and the hotel have been very active in the community. We are actively involved in the CVB, the Chamber, and Meals on Wheels. I was the co-chair when I was here last time of the Turning Point Transitional Housing Society, we’re active with Ocean Park Community Center, and the Santa Monica School Board to name a few. We’ve been involved in Santa Monica from the time that we began doing business in Santa Monica. Personally I’ve tried to be as active as I can in the community.

Why is it important for you to be on the Chamber board?

First of all, from a business perspective, we provide hundreds of jobs in the City and generate tens of millions of dollars every year that is injected into the local economy. I want to be involved and want to understand the issues that the City is facing. I want to be a participant in the important business opportunities and social opportunities that we are faced with in Santa Monica. There are always issues such as when I first got here was the potential departure of the American Film Market. Those are things that I think as a business operator, it’s incumbent upon me to be involved. I want to have a voice to weigh into the important issues. As a business operator we want to be able to partner with the City, we want to be able to partner with the residents, and fellow business people and understand what the opportunities and challenges are with future business development. From a Loews perspective, Loews is a corporation that has always been very focused on being what we call a good neighbor and being very actively involved in the communities in which we do business.

What do you hope to bring to the Board?

I think that my years of experience in the hotel business, which are more than 25 in management positions. I think being one of the larger properties in the City it’s important that I’m able to share our perspective in terms of things that are going on that affect not only us, but everyone in the city. I truly value being a good partner and bringing a sense of partnership to the board. I think that will be something that I will establish and nurture within the board. I just hope that I can be somebody to participate in bringing resolution to some of the things that the business community and the residents face as a whole. There’s obviously sensitivity in Santa Monica to finding the right balance between business and residents and not trying to over saturate the transportation systems and shopping areas and not overdevelop the city. I think my approach to being a part of that will be to try to work with other people and partner in terms of trying to find that right balance.

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