Maria S. Salinas is President & Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in Los Angeles County representing more than 1,600 member companies and serving the interests of more than 235,000 businesses across the Los Angeles region.
An accomplished business woman, entrepreneur and a stalwart community leader, Salinas’ business acumen and financial expertise has led her to the boardrooms of community organizations, higher education institutions and community banks. She has extensive experience in finance and accounting, corporate governance, audit and regulatory matters.
Salinas founded Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting consultancy firm. For more than 10 years, Salinas Consulting has worked with major corporations providing collaborative financial expertise to specific engagements. In 2010, Salinas Consulting was awarded the Professional Services Award from the National Latina Business Women’s Association of Los Angeles.
Previously, Salinas held financial leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company, where she led a team responsible for global financial reporting controls and compliance. There, she led the creation of the division’s Accounting Shared Services organization and implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley rules. She also served on numerous finance executive steering committees for company‐wide technology initiatives. Prior to her work at the division, Salinas was a member of the management team at the Corporate Controllership level, responsible for technical accounting and financial reporting projects.
As a result of her work with SEC clients as a CPA with both Ernst & Young and Kenneth Leventhal & Company, Salinas possesses strong financial and public accounting expertise, specifically in the real estate industry. At Ernst & Young, Salinas served as a loaned executive to Rebuild LA, an economic development effort in Los Angeles.
Salinas is former Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, a community bank in Los Angeles. She was a Founding Organizer and Director serving on the Board since the bank’s inception in 2006 until its sale in 2016. Over that period, she served on several committees including Audit (Chair), Loan, Nominating & Governance and several ad hoc committees. Salinas led the merger transaction with Pacific Commerce Bancorp, successfully closing in May 2016. Salinas joined the Board of Directors of Pacific Commerce Bancorp and served on Audit, Information Technology and Compliance committees.
Salinas has considerable non‐profit board experience with esteemed organizations: Loyola Marymount University Board of Trustees, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Board of Directors, UnidosUS Board of Directors and current Chair, and an appointed Commissioner at the California Student Aid Commission.
Salinas’ history of community engagement is well known with previous service on numerous non‐profit boards: Los Angeles Universal Preschool, San Gabriel Valley American Red Cross, and the Los Angeles Girl Scout Council. She is a former Steering Committee Co-Chair of the California Economic Summit, a statewide economic empowerment effort and former Coordinator of Comité de la Mujer, a women’s empowerment initiative founded at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
Salinas is a Founder of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality), a leading statewide organization promoting the advancement of Latinas, founded in 1989.
Education & Professional Affiliations
Salinas is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and earned her CPA (Certified Public Accountant) license in 1989. She has completed Corporate Director training from the California Banker’s Association Director’s College Certification programs, and the Director’s College Program from Stanford University's Rock Center for Corporate Governance.
She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce, National Latina Business Women’s Association, Women’s Corporate Directors and the Latino Corporate Directors Association.
Over the years, Salinas has been recognized for her leadership and community service by many distinguished organizations and civic institutions including the State of California, and the County and City of Los Angeles.
Salinas lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband Raul, a Los Angeles attorney and community leader, and their four sons.