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The Briefing

Kim Kurowski feels like she’s seen life from both sides now, at least the life of a chamber of commerce executive. Kurowski, who ran her own balloon decorating and party planning company, had been active in the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce for years, including a stint as its board president and more than one term as a board member. Then last summer when the previous executive director resigned, Kurowski took over temporarily as acting director. After several months in that role, she decided she liked the job herself and put her name in the running for the permanent position, which she has held since December. Kurowski talked to Business Journal editor Michael Hart last week about the challenges of being the executive director of an organization she was once a member of and answering to a board of directors she once headed: “I know how it was on the other side of the fence. But I really liked this position. So, while they were doing the search, I decided I wanted the job. “I was the president a couple of years ago and I was on the slate to be re-elected to the board again. So, I do know what the board of directors is thinking about. “What has made a difference for me was all the connections I had already made throughout the city, having that personal connection and knowing all the key people in the community. I knew everything that was going on, rather than having somebody come in and start from scratch. “And from a staff point of view, I know how things work too. I do understand their philosophy. Juggling everything with a chamber of commerce is really something. We have our hands in everything, including a film office since Santa Clarita is a location for so much film production. Holding it all together is a big challenge. There are so many different facets to the chamber business. You name a date and we’ve got something going. “Getting a staff together was the main thing. There were some controversies and I had to come in and clean it up. But we ended up with three new people (out of a total staff of eight). I had had my own staff for so many years and staffing issues were so different here. There are a lot more rules and regulations to pay attention to than way back then.”

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