Ken Oplinger, a veteran chamber of commerce executive with roots in California, will move from Washington State to take the helm of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce in June.
Oplinger is currently president and CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Bellingham, Wash. He has served in chamber leadership positions for the past 21 years.
“An extensive, nationwide search was conducted to find the leader with the best skill set to continue to develop priorities and programs that ensure success among our members and business community partners,” the chamber said in a statement.
“The board of directors found Ken’s experience and demeanor to be a great fit for our membership needs, and we look forward to working with him to execute our strategic plan,” Scott Hadley, chair of the Santa Barbara chamber, said in a statement.
Oplinger has been involved in a number of new initiatives, including even program development and leadership in economic development in the Whatcom county area.
The Santa Barbara chamber said he had made sure that businesses had a “strong voice” in location, regional and federal decision-making.
Prior to his Washington state assignment, Oplinger served as the president and CEO of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce. Before that he was director of government affairs for the Fremont chamber of commerce.