Laurel Rosen, who has been director of sales and marketing for The Lobster restaurant for the past eight years, was named President and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce effective Monday, November 5.
The Chamber’s board of directors voted Thursday, October 25, to employ Rosen as its next president/CEO.
In other action, the Chamber board voted to reverse its four-year-old policy of endorsing candidates for City Council, School Board, and College Board. Chamber chairman Tom Larmore said, “Given the substantially improved working relationship between the Chamber and City Hall, we believe that endorsing candidates is not a good use of valuable volunteer time and effort and is potentially counter-productive in terms of promoting the Chamber’s mission.” Larmore noted that the Chamber will be advising its members regarding actions taken by the City Council that affect the business community and positions taken by the Chamber on those issues.
New Chamber president Laurel Rosen also served as catering director and food and beverage director for hotels and restaurants and established her own catering business before her years at The Lobster. “The Chamber is extremely fortunate to have someone of Laurel’s character, talent, and experience to serve in this crucially important position, and we are all very excited about the future under her leadership,” said Larmore. “Her active involvement in all aspects of the community will enable her to provide outstanding leadership.”
Rosen has served on the Chamber’s board of directors, executive committee, and homeless committee for several years and has been in charge of the Chamber’s “Taste of Santa Monica” event since its inception seven years ago.
In addition to her work with the Chamber, she has served on the board of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, currently chairs the “I Know Santa Monica” branding committee, and represents Santa Monica around the world as a part of “Team Santa Monica” to encourage tourism. She has also been very active with local nonprofits, such as chairing OPCC’s Turning Point program, serving on the board of the annual Bowl-a-thon to raise funds for homeless services, and sponsoring activities for other organizations such as the Police Activities League.
“While I enjoyed my work at The Lobster and all of the people there, I was ready for a new challenge, and this position seemed ideal because it combines my experience in marketing and event planning with an opportunity to expand my involvement in the community,” Rosen said. “My work in the local business arena, combined with active participation with various nonprofits, will, I believe, give me a solid foundation for leading the Chamber with its almost 1,000 members, including many nonprofit organizations.”
Noting Ms. Rosen’s tireless work in the community, City Manager Lamont Ewell said, “I believe the Chamber has made an excellent choice, and I look forward to working with Laurel and the Chamber on matters of mutual concern.”