Poway Chamber hires new president and CEO
By Steve Dreyer
A Rancho Bernardo woman with an extensive background in government and community relations has been hired as the Poway Chamber of Commerce’s new president and CEO.
A. Dolores Canizales accepted the position Thursday, according to chamber board President Jim Crute.
Canizales replaces Luanne Hulsizer, who resigned in May after five years with the chamber to accept a new position in Chula Vista. She was one of three finalists in a process that involved about 15 applicants, according Crute. She starts Aug. 1. Crute declined to disclose her salary, saying only that it was in line with that paid by similar-sized chambers in Southern California.
Canizales most recently served for five years as district director for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, a post she left in 2010. Prior to that she spent three years as director of community and governmental relations for Loyola Marymount University. She came to the university after working for 13 months as executive director of West Los Angeles College.
Earlier in her career, Canizales spent one year as executive director of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and two years in the same capacity with the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce. After leaving San Pedro in 1994, she worked for Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan for five years, first as an area deputy and then as his community affairs manager.
Canizales earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from San Jose State University.
Canizales said her family moved to Rancho Bernardo two years ago after her husband was promoted with the Dept. of Defense. She stayed home for two years to be with her son, who was in middle school. Now that he’s starting high school, Canizales said she’s ready to re-enter to the workplace.
“I’m looking forward to helping make positive changes within the chamber,” she said.
Crute said he was impressed with Canizales’ experience and the fact that “she did her homework” about the Poway chamber.
“She knows our membership has declined,” Crute said. “From her previous experience she related to the interview team three things that would need to be done immediately: 1) increase membership numbers by organizing a membership drive; 2) increase membership by personally visiting previous members (with a board member) and seeing if they would now be interested in rejoining given the change in leadership; and 3) using media more effectively.”
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