Executive Profile: Long Beach CEO Plays It Nice, But Direct; Aims for Collaboration, Seeking Solutions

Jeremy Harris, ACE, IOM

President and CEO of the Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber of Commerce
2022 Chair of the Board of W.A.C.E.


Personal: I was born in Orange, CA, grew up in Garden Grove, CA and now reside in Surf City U.S.A. — Huntington Beach, CA. I’ve been married for 11 years with two children, ages 9 and 7, along with two goldendoodles named Captain Mike Griswold and Duncan Theodore.

Education: B.S. in criminal justice and B.A. in political science from Harvard of the West: California State University, Long Beach — GO BEACH!

Chamber Experience: I’ve served in and around the chamber business since 2006. Started in the business as a consultant to local chambers throughout California by assisting them with their government and legislative affairs programs along with their political action committees and public policy agendas. Started working for the Garden Grove (CA) Chamber in 2011 as president and CEO for two years before taking the senior vice president role at the Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber. After the longest succession plan in the chamber of commerce history (no data to back this up), on July 1, 2020, I took the helm as the president and CEO of the Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber with a 10-year contract.

Business Philosophy

Guiding Principles: Be nice. Be direct. Be you.

Yardstick of Success: The organization’s name coming up in public and private conversations as an example of how to lead and enact good for the greater community.

Advice to Others: Be a problem solver and solution seeker. Already too many people out there looking to complain and pile on. Do the opposite, always.

Judgment Calls

Best Business Decision: Surrounding myself with talented people with different strengths than my own. It allows us to be a more complete team and obtain our organizational goals.

Worst Business Decision: Moved too fast by implementing new programs and revenue sources as a young executive without having the “right people on the bus.” Because I did not bring decision makers along for the ride, I was stonewalled and told “no” often, which led to frustration and stagnation. I remember this time often in my daily routine now.

One-Word Description of You: Collaborative.

True Confessions

Like Best about Current Job: Every day is different. From assisting a small business in navigating the local permitting system to help get its dream realized, to having hard conversations around policy matters that make Long Beach a better place to live, work and do business. The job is never boring!

Interests/Hobbies: Avid baseball fan and collector of baseball cards. Camping and surfing in warm areas only.

Pet Peeve: Politicians that lie.

Your No. 1 Strength: Being flexible … never getting too high or getting too low.

Things You Need to Work On: Instilling too much trust in individuals that may have not been ready in which it comes back to bite me. Always working on this.

First Choice for a New Career: General manager for a major league baseball team (preferably the Angels).


Favorite Book: 48 Laws of Power

Favorite Movie: “Top Gun.”

Favorite Quote: “The difficult is done at once; the impossible takes a little longer.”

Favorite Song: “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam … I could have said “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Poipu on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.

Favorite Way to Spend Free Time: I enjoy reading up on the latest trends in the baseball card collecting/hobby world and watching my kids play the game of baseball.