Kathryn Dodson, who came to Santa Monica as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in August 2001, has announced that she is resigning the position that has matured into President/CEO during her tenure.
“Everyone on our board regrets that she is leaving; we will miss her here,” said John Bohn, Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors.
Ms. Dodson is moving to El Paso, Texas, where she will be in charge of economic development for the City of El Paso. In that position, she will supervise a staff of 12 persons and a $2 million budget. Before joining the Santa Monica Chamber, she spent the previous seven years in community and business real estate in the border region of El Paso, where she had previously served as the Business Expansion and Retention Manager of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
Although the move is a career advance to a “considerably more remunerative job,” Mr. Bohn said that the reason for her move is that Dodson could not find housing here. She has two hours of commute time daily and a small son, and “for middle-income people here in Santa Monica, it is hard to find housing,” he said.
Dodson holds a Master’s in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management, and a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from Clemson University. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern Methodist University. Her responsibilities at the Chamber were far-reaching, including liaison with the board of directors, staff supervision and budgeting. As CEO, she was also on the front line of advocacy and business representation and media relations.
Chairman Bohn said that the Chamber has several people in mind to fill the vacancy, and that “we are fairly well advanced in our search.” The candidates are all from outside the Santa Monica Chamber. He was grateful that “Kathy has made arrangements to stay on through the end of October,” and expressed some urgency that the board fill the position so that she could help with training the new officer.