Zoe Taylor, president and CEO of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce since 1996, will step down from the job at the end of November. Taylor is starting her own consulting practice, specializing in business development and public affairs.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your investment and commitment to the chamber the past 13 years I have been privileged to serve as the president/CEO of the organization,” Taylor said in a letter to the chamber’s 900 members.
“I especially want to thank the many members who have committed their time and talent in building a strong organization. It has been a pleasure serving you.”
Taylor has worked with chambers of commerce for more than 26 years. She was president and CEO of the Pico Rivera Chamber of Commerce from 1982 to 1989, and she held the same post with the Burbank Chamber of Commerce from 1989 until coming to the larger Ventura chamber in 1996. She played an instrumental role in the creation of the annual Ventura Economic Summit that the chamber co-hosts with the city of Ventura.
Taylor has been a mainstay of the Regional Legislative Alliance, an organization she co-founded in 2003 with fellow chamber chief executives, including Kristen Amyx, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Amyx credits Taylor’s vision, drive and knowledge for RLA’s effectiveness as a respected voice for business, locally and in Sacramento.
“Without her leadership, we would not have started this chamber alliance that has been so successful and so important to the Goleta chamber’s own business advocacy program,” Amyx said.
Recently renamed the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, the organization develops policy on key state and federal issues for its seven member chambers, which also include the Camarillo, Carpinteria Valley, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Santa Paula chambers of commerce.
“Zoe Taylor is one of the chamber executives who learned early on that business advocacy is absolutely critical in making an impact for businesses in any community,” said former RLA executive director Lisa Rivas, now community relations director at Venoco Inc.
Amyx said Taylor’s enthusiasm for the job has been inspiring, and she is grateful to have had her as a role model.
“With 26 years of experience in the chamber industry, Zoe has been a great mentor to me and many others,” Amyx said. “She made a special effort to help me when I was new to California chamber work.”