Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 12:43 am | Fair 60º



Tom Kelley to Retire as CEO of Camarillo Chamber of Commerce

After nine years at helm, leading voice for Ventura County business to step down at year-end

Tom Kelley, who has led the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce as its president and CEO since 2001, has announced his retirement, effective Jan. 3.

Tom Kelley
Tom Kelley

Kelley took over the Camarillo chamber on Sept. 1, 2001, and over the next nine years substantially increased the programs available to the organization’s 600 members, positioned the chamber as an active partner with the city of Camarillo on business and economic development projects, and played a leading role in the development of CSU Channel Islands.

Earlier this year, the California Chamber of Commerce recognized the Camarillo chamber with a President’s Circle award for chamber leadership and public advocacy.

In 2003, Kelley helped found the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties, an advocacy coalition of key chambers of commerce in the region. He served as the alliance’s president for its first two years and has been on its board and executive committee throughout its existence.

Kelley has also been a leader on transportation issues. He represented Ventura County businesses on the board of Mobility 21, a five-county Southern California transportation coalition that has become one of the most effective regional transportation advocacy organizations in the United States.

He is also a former board member and officer of the Southern California Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, a professional organization of more than 100 chambers and their executives.

“Tom is widely respected throughout the chamber of commerce industry, and the Chambers of Commerce Alliance will miss his leadership,” said Brendan Huffman, executive director of the alliance. “His retirement, however, is well-deserved!”

Gary Cushing, owner of Marie Callender’s in Camarillo, and a former board chairman of the Camarillo chamber, praised Kelley’s leadership.

“I am personally sad that Tom will be leaving; I value is friendship,” Cushing told Noozhawk. “Tom has really changed the Camarillo chamber into a much stronger and professional organization under his leadership. He will be greatly missed.”

Kelley earned an MBA from Stanford and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and he started his chamber of commerce career after more than 20 years in business management. Prior to his arrival in Camarillo, Kelley was president of the Sedona (Ariz.) Chamber of Commerce and was executive director of the Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Lavenant, a partner at Landegger Baron Lavenant Ingber and the Camarillo chamber’s board president, is leading a search committee for Kelley’s successor. Click here for a job description.

Kelley said he will be turning his attention to other business interests, and is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Ruth; playing golf; and traveling.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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