We’ll offer words of welcome to Ken Oplinger, who arrives from Washington State in June to take over as the new head of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce.
He’s taking over for Zoe Taylor, who did a fine job of guiding the chamber as interim chair. Oplinger looks like the sort of seasoned chamber executive who can help Santa Barbara find a way to foster more startups and help attract the spinoffs from UC Santa Barbara.
Boom times in tourism and agribusiness have helped the South Coast recover much of the momentum it lost in the recession. But there’s a lot of work to be done to give business the voice it deserves in local politics.
Having new and permanent leadership at the helm of the chamber is a good first step.