Former Mayor Steve Rosansky Named Interim CEO of Chamber

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— Photo by Jim Collins
Steve Rosansky at his last meeting as a councilman in December. — Photo by Jim Collins

Former mayor and city council member Steve Rosansky has been appointed Interim President and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement came in the form of an email from Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairman Tim Brown that was sent to chamber members earlier this week.

According to the email, Rosansky assumed this volunteer position on Jan. 16, a day after former chamber President and CEO Richard Luehrs retired. Rosansky will continue in this role until the appointment of a permanent president and CEO, which is expected within six months.

Rosansky’s appointment was the decision of the chamber Board of Directors after careful consideration of how best to proceed at this critical time in the chamber’s history.

“Mr. Rosansky is no stranger to the Newport Beach business community,” noted Brown in his email. “Many of you know him as a former Mayor and City Councilman. Steve represented District 2 for nine years on the Council with one term as Mayor from 2006-2007. He and his wife Gina have lived in Newport Beach since 1985. In 1987, he started his own real estate company that is now called Newport West and was a small business owner for many years until that business was recently sold. Steve is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the UCLA School of Law, and is a member of the California State Bar Association.”

The former councilman is excited for his new role.

“I was glad they asked me,” Rosansky said. “I see this as an extension of my volunteerism, and I’ve always been a big supporter of the Chamber of Commerce.”

Rosansky, who completed his final term on the city council last December, noted that part of his role would be to examine the chamber programs and structure, and help advise the chamber on what role they’ll play going forward.

“Like every other organization, we want to provide a value proposition to our members,” he said. “We also want to work in partnership with other organizations, including the Visitor’s Bureau. The goal is to have one Newport Beach brand, so no matter who you’re talking to, we are all delivering the same message: that Newport Beach is a great place to visit and shop.”

Rosansky will also be reviewing several of the chamber’s signature events, including Taste of Newport, to see how they can be improved. Taste of Newport had been losing money every year for several years, and chamber has required financial assistance from the city of Newport Beach.

“We may wind up asking other groups to assist with certain events. The chamber always did the Taste of Newport by itself without any other participation, so it would not hurt to include the Restaurant Association and the Visitors Bureau,” he said. “But that’s one of my tasks – to examine all the events and see which ones make sense to continue. Maybe there are some we need to discontinue or transfer to other groups so we can refocus on business.”

“I am honored that they asked me to do it,” Rosansky said. “It allows me to continue to serve the residents of this city.”

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