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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 8:47 pm | Fair 51º


Santa Maria Chamber Names New Board Members

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau, and Economic Development Commission are led by a unified Board of Directors made up of senior executives from member companies and partner organizations.

The board provides strategic and policy guidance to ensure the chamber’s program serves the best interests of its members and the Santa Maria Valley community.

The following new board members were recently elected by chamber membership to serve in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Ron Cossa of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC; David LeRoy, Toyota of Santa Maria; Laurie Tamura of Urban Planning Concepts, Inc.; and Tim Williams of Digital West. Their terms begin July 1.

“Many important issues will be addressed by the Board of Directors, and we greatly appreciate the willingness of our business community leaders to step forward and serve in a leadership role within our organization,” said Glenn Morris, Santa Maria Valley Chamber president/CEO.

» Cossa is a risk adviser and member (partner) with Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, LLC. With 25 years’ experience in the industry, he specializes in property and casualty, and workers compensation insurance for the agriculture and construction industries.

He holds a BS in commerce and marketing from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara. His professional designations include Certified Insurance Counselor and Associate in Claims, and Certified Risk Manager.

Cossa has served as a board member of the Santa Maria Valley Contractors Association, First Tee Central Coast, Marian Medical Foundation, and Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Maria Valley.

“I want to serve on the chamber board of directors because I want Santa Maria to have a strong viable business community,” Cossa said.

He believes his experience facing challenges through different economic climates in his own business will make him an asset to the board.

“Over the years, we have faced many challenges from crazy market conditions to the great recession to hobbling regulatory changes, so I have been a part of many business cycles,” Cossa said.

“In addition to my own company’s experience, as trusted advisors to our clients in all different industries, I was part of their teams as we partnered to assist them through their own struggles,” he said.

» LeRoy is a Santa Maria native. He graduated from Righetti High School and Allan Hancock College, and attended California State University Northridge, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business management.

After college, LeRoy moved back to Santa Maria, where he owned and operated International Mortgage Finance until 2008 when he entered the auto industry. In 2017, he had the opportunity to return to Santa Maria as general manager for Toyota of Santa Maria where he currently resides.

A member of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary, LeRoy said he enjoys giving back to the community. He completed the chamber's Leadership Santa Maria Valley program in 2015.

» Tamura is president and principal planner, Urban Planning Concepts, Inc.

She has 38 years of land-planning experience with 30 years as owner of Urban Planning Concepts, which has been involved in the developmentof some 5,000 homes, commercial and industrial projects in Santa Barbara County.

In giving back to the community, she has served in volunteer positions including the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Police Council, Leadership Santa Maria Valley, American Planning Association and Home Builders Association.

Tamura is a member of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary club, where she served as president. The Boy Scouts of America has been her family’s passion and she served on the district and council boards.

“The chamber serves the business community, and being a board member is a way to serve the Santa Maria Valley community,” Tamura said.

As a small-business owner, she said she can provide insight into how businesses operate in Santa Maria and the challenges that may occur.

» Williams, founder/CEO, Digital West, is a customer-focused business leader with an entrepreneurial vision for tech growth.

Having spent some 20 years linking businesses to their customers through Internet connectivity, voice, and cloud services, he is always excited to help businesses navigate the continually growing technology landscape.

Williams serves on a number of nonprofit boards. He lives in both Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo with his wife Merrie and daughter

“Our community, the largest in the region, has the greatest business growth potential in a post-Diablo Canyon environment,” Williams said. “I’m excited to be among the thought leaders to help navigate the road ahead.”

Williams said his experience in the tech industry will bring a unique perspective to the board.

“Digital West’s expansion throughout the Tri-Counties has allowed me to help the growing technology sectors in Northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties,” he said.

“I hope to bring an entrepreneurial view with a technology focus to the board, as well as past experience on chamber boards. I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up with this board,” he said.

— Molly Schiff for Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce.


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