The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has eliminated the position of president and chief executive to cut costs.

The departure earlier this month of Chief Executive and President Lois Bauccio followed a unanimous vote by the chamber’s executive committee to eliminate the post entirely in order to reduce overhead expenses. In a letter to members, Chairman John Musella called the move “difficult, but necessary,” adding that the loss of Bauccio was “heartbreaking.”

“I have personally known Lois Bauccio for a number of years, both in her recent role with the chamber and her previous tenure at the Child and Family Center,” Musella told the Journal on Wednesday. “She has been a friend to me and a great asset to the entire Santa Clarita Valley community.”

Bauccio was appointed chief executive and president of the chamber in September. A longtime nonprofit head and community leader, she was named Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year for 2016.

The chamber will be managed by its remaining staff as it reorganizes its leadership structure; it is unclear whether the chief executive position will be reinstated in the future. Programs, events and services will continue, Musella said.

“Tough decisions are never easy. However, this change will allow the chamber to focus on member services and promoting the Santa Clarita business community,” Musella said.

Bauccio could not be reached for comment. The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest in the San Fernando Valley area with nearly 1,200 members.

The decision to eliminate the position was announced March 17 but was not disseminated beyond Santa Clarita.