The Burbank Chamber of Commerce has launched a search for an executive director to succeed Gary Olson, who retired at the end of 2015.
A special committee of the Board of Directors has convened to ensure a seamless transition and selection process for the new executive director. Board Chair Nancy Guillen oversees the seven-member committee, which has engaged the consulting firm McIntyre-St. Clair LLC to provide leadership transition services, conduct the executive search, and develop a strategic plan.
The Burbank Chamber will continue normal operations during the search and transition period.
Under Olson’s leadership, the Burbank Chamber developed strong civic and community ties that resulted in financial stability during a severe economic downturn. The Burbank Chamber is the largest chamber in the San Fernando Valley, representing approximately 1,000 member businesses with an estimated 33,000 employees.
The Chamber advocates for members on a broad range of economic issues by maintaining a close and productive relationship with the City of Burbank. The Chamber also acts as a political advocate for member businesses at the regional, state, and federal levels. Additional member benefits include strategic partnership initiatives, access to extensive networking opportunities, small-business programs and referral services, and money-saving purchasing programs.
At the 2016 Annual Chamber Gala this coming April, Olson will be honored for his 11 years of leadership as the Executive Director of the Chamber.
Olson’s past honors include the San Fernando Valley Business Journal Not-for-Profit Leadership Award and Woodbury University’s Movers & Shapers Award. Prior to assuming his executive position with the Chamber, Olson was a Vice President of the Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. During that time, Olson was elected three times to serve as Chair of the Chamber Board.
He previously owned The Sales Factory Inc., with offices in Seattle, Oakland, and Glendale representing consumer product lines to major grocery, drug, and mass merchandiser chains. Olson also served as vice president of his family’s toiletries manufacturing company, which his father owned and operated in Glendale for 55 years.
In retirement, Olson and his wife Sharon will live in Indio.