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Bowers to leave chamber post

Ryan Carter

After four years at the helm, Susan Bowers has decided to step down

as executive director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.

Bowers, whose last day is Dec. 31, made her intentions known to


the chamber board earlier this month.

“There is never an easy time to leave something you love doing,”

she said this week. “But I’ve been here for four years and really

gone full bore and accomplished the things I set out to do.”


During her tenure, chamber membership grew from 778 to 1,050

members, and attendance rose at chamber-sponsored events and


In addition to her chamber duties, Bowers, who is married to

Burbank Police Captain Gordon Bowers, has served as chairperson for

Leadership Burbank, a local nonprofit organization that helps train

future leaders. She has also worked with city officials and school

district officials on various planning issues.


“The greatest thing is really bringing the chamber to the table in

the community,” she said.

Lisa Marquis, co-chairperson of the Magnolia Park Merchants Assn.

and owner of Wrap It Up, was surprised by the announcement. She said

Bowers played a key role in helping area merchants organize as a

cohesive group.

“She was such a crucial and main supporter and player in our role

as a business association,” Marquis said. “She helped take us from a


group of individual merchants who weren’t clear on how to structure

an association to a real cohesive organization. She has become like a

great friend and great business advisor.”

A replacement for Bowers has not been named.

“I’ve encouraged the [executive committee] not to rush that

process,” she said.

Bowers, who became director of the 83-year-old chamber following

the departure of Marianne Barrios, said she learned plenty of things

about small business during the last four years.

“To have a small business takes an enormous amount of education

and a real desire to live the American dream,” she said.

With her husband set to retire next year, Bowers said the couple

will have more flexibility in their schedules to spend time together.

In the meantime, she plans to continue working with Leadership

Burbank and volunteering.