Chamber Executives in the News

Donna Duperron, president/CEO of the Torrance Area (CA) Chamber, was honored as the recipient of the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce Shaun Lumachi Advocacy Award. Duperron was chosen for her sustained leadership in advocacy for business-related issues and demonstration of leadership on local, regional and statewide ballot measures; testifying publicly to a government body on a business issue; and holding a leadership role on a regional issue of importance.

Big Sky (MT) Chamber CEO Candace Carr Strauss has been named president/CEO of the Sedona (AZ) Chamber & Tourism Bureau. Strauss led the Big Sky Chamber for three years. A nationwide search will take place for her successor and she will begin her new role in February.

W.A.C.E. Life Member and past chair Bob Linscheid has been named the interim president/CEO of the Silicon Valley Organization (CA). Linscheid has more than 15 years of experience serving as CEO of various chambers.

T.J. Sullivan, executive of the Superior (CO) Chamber, was named CEO of the Year by the Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce (ACCC) and recognized for his work during the pandemic, innovating new programs and “making his small chamber a model for others throughout the state.”

Greater Irvine (CA) Chamber CEO Bryan Starr was named among Orange County’s 500 Most Influential People. This is Starr’s second consecutive year on the list. The directory includes an impressive list of influential business and community leaders from a variety of Orange County companies, ranging from nonprofits to large corporations.

In Memoriam

Tom Guarino, past chamber executive and longtime W.A.C.E. associate member, has passed away. Guarino is a previous recipient of the Gerald W. Hathaway Staff Person of the Year Award and the Executive of the Year Award. Guarino was working in public affairs for Pacific Gas & Electric.

Brian McNerney, previous CEO for the La Verne (CA) Chamber, passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving. McNerney was working part-time for the chamber in membership services.

Patrick Swarthout, chief policy analyst for the Greater Coachella Valley (CA) Chamber, passed away on December 7, 2020. Swarthout worked in public affairs for more than 30 years and continued to be involved and engaged in his community as a volunteer, nonprofit board member and consultant for the chamber.

All will be missed greatly.