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
“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.