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Chamber of Commerce director stepping down

Paul Clinton

SOUTH SAN FERNANDO DISTRICT -- After slightly more than 18 months as

the executive director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, Marianne

Barrios will leave the organization’s top staff post.

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Barrios, who will officially step down Dec. 31, said she is leaving

the chamber to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

“Everything has been very positive,” Barrios said Monday. “It was a

business decision on my part to leave.”

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Barrios said the fact the chamber, which is a nonprofit organization,

does not offer a retirement package played a role in her decision.

Plans are are underway to replace Barrios, the third executive

director in approximately three years. The chamber’s 25-member board has

formed a search committee to interview candidates, board President Gary

Olson said.

Several candidates have already expressed interest in the job, said

Olson, who declined to name the applicants. The board plans to hire

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Barrios’ replacement by Jan. 1.

“We’re moving forward,” Olson said Tuesday. “We’re looking forward to

finding someone dynamic who will promote a positive image to the

community.”

Sue Wyninegar, who served as board president in 1998, praised Barrios,

saying she helped the chamber attract members and increase attendance at

community events.

“She came from the newspaper business and she brought a lot of

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knowledge of the communication business to the position,” Wyninegar said.

Barrios tenure at the chamber began in April 1998. She took over for

Paul Sago, whose year-long interim stint followed the resignation of

longtime director Zoe Taylor.

Despite the turnover in the executive director position, Olson said

the organization has entered an era of prosperity.

“We’re on a solid financial footing now,” Olson said. “We enjoy good

relations with the city. We’re really as healthy as Burbank is right

now.”

Barrios said she enjoyed her time at the chamber but she acknowledged

that the position was taxing at times.

“It is a difficult job. There are a lot of responsibilities,” said

Barrios, adding that the position involves more than organizing mixers so

the chamber’s business-owner members can exchange cards.

The most important role of the executive director is to be a “conduit

between businesses and the city,” she said.


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