by L.A. Area Chamber
Los Angeles (Aug. 1, 2018) – Today, Maria S. Salinas officially began her role as the President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. First announced in late May following a unanimous vote of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Salinas takes over the role vacated by Gary Toebben, who retired on July 1 after leading the Chamber for 12 years.
“The Chamber has a remarkable legacy over its 130-year history, and serving in this capacity, for the businesses and people of this region, is a tremendous honor. I look forward to building upon the great work of my predecessors, and to expanding the Chamber's leadership role on a regional, national and global basis. I am excited by the breadth of this organization's work and believe it is well positioned to deepen its influence and expand its role in the region."
Though her official tenure begins today, Salinas has spent much of the past two months gearing up for her new role, including joining L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on his recent trip to Asia. “While on the Mayor's Asia trade mission, I experienced first-hand great interest from foreign markets to do business in L.A. With partners across the business community and the support of policy makers, the Chamber can play a key role in attracting foreign investment, supporting trade and growing international business relationships,” Salinas shared.
A lifelong Angeleno with decades of financial expertise and business management experience, Salinas brings to the L.A. Area Chamber an ability to understand the needs, challenges and aspirations of businesses of all types and sizes. Her varied experience in the private sector ranges from corporations to start-ups in a cross-section of industries, and includes leading in corporate governance, audit, and compliance and regulatory matters.
In her first message to the Chamber’s membership, Salinas referenced the organization’s role in growing international business relationships, advocating for a truly business-friendly region, expanding engagement with emerging sectors and the need for collaboration and strategic partnerships.
“The strength of this Chamber, much like the region, resides in the collective power of our membership and partners in the greater business community,” she said.” We do our best work when we engage collaboratively and inclusively with business leaders, policy makers, community stakeholders and strategic partners.”
Most recently the president and Founder of Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting project management firm, Salinas previously held financial leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company and Ernst & Young LLP. In addition to serving as Director and former Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, Salinas is the Chair of the Board of Regents at Loyola Marymount University, her alma mater.
Salinas holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University earned her Certified Public Accountant designation in 1989. Salinas lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband and four children.
About Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber is the oldest and largest business association in Los Angeles County. It’s 1600 member companies work together to promote a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.