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The chief of staff for a Los Angeles City Councilwoman has been named the new president and CEO of the nonprofit San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Dantona, chief of staff for Nury Martinez since 2013, will succeed Ermina Karim, who stepped down in June after 10 years at the chamber and seven as president/CEO.
Leadership SLO Executive Director Sandi Sigurdson has served as interim CEO since July.
Dantona’s official introduction to the community will come at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on Jan. 19, according to a chamber news release.
“I am truly honored to join such an accomplished organization,” Dantona said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting and building on the solid foundations of this remarkable community, one my wife and I fell in love with many years ago.”
Dantona was chosen after an extensive search process conducted by a CEO Search Committee and the Chamber Board of Directors, the organization said.
Dantona has decades of experience in economic development in the public sector. His role in L.A. included oversight of a district of about 275,000 residents and a diverse economy that includes Van Nuys Airport.
Dantona’s achievements included work on homelessness, a “zero waste” policy diverting trash to recycling and creating opportunities for new types of more affordable housing, the chamber said. .
He holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cal State Sacramento.
“We’re thrilled that Jim’s arrival comes just as the chamber will be releasing our updated economic vision, Imagine San Luis Obispo, in early 2019,” said Geri LaChance, chair of the chamber’s Board of Directors and CEO of SESLOC Federal Credit Union, in a statement. “We believe he is the right person to shepherd this collaborative vision of SLO’s future into reality.”