SLO Chamber of Commerce selects new president

May 19, 2011

Ermina Karim

Ermina Karmin has been named president and chief executive officer for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

Karim, the current vice president of governmental affairs and economic development for the 1,400-member Chamber, was chosen from a national pool of 300-plus applicants to succeed Dave Garth as the Chamber’s top executive. Garth will retire on July 1.

A selection committee composed of the current chairperson of the Chamber Board of Directors and six former board chairs presented Karim’s name as the recommended choice at the Chamber board meeting Thursday morning. The board unanimously approved the action.

Karim’s background includes more than 15 years as a business communicator, experience in direct management, and almost four years of operational management at the Chamber.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Ermina’s depth of experience and proven success as our next president and CEO,” said Michael Gunther, current Chamber board chair. “We knew replacing Dave Garth would be an incredibly difficult task, but the response to advertising for the position was overwhelming.”

Prior to joining the Chamber staff in 2007, Karim had worked as a business reporter for The San Luis Obispo Tribune, and previously worked on Wall Street helping small companies go public.

“I am excited and honored to be chosen to lead one of our nation’s top Chambers of Commerce, said Karim. “We have a great legacy to build on and huge opportunities for strengthening our local business community.”


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22 Comments

  1. kaybee says:

    Ermina — I hope that you either don’t read or don’t take to heart many of the comments here; they are wrong and asinine. I have heard nothing but supportive and enthusiastic comments about your selection as the new chamber President. The chamber members and the community in general are lucky to have your experience, intellect, communication skills, and integrity working on our behalf. Thank you for taking the job and we will all look forward to working with you and supporting your leadership.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  2. r0y says:

    She may prove to be the best ever (in the history of ever) Chamber whatever; I just normally think of business owners when I think of the Chamber of Commerce. Well, at least I’d like to. This just smacks of politics and “go ahead, who’s really paying attention…” kind of thing. Hopefully I will be proven wrong.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
    • zaphod says:

      Dave Garth business owner ? since when has it been an expectation that the head of the business union be a business man?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. willie says:

    Does anybody know what a “business communicator (15 years experience)” is or what it means?

    Ermina Karim
    It is your turn now, do good for SLO

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  4. racket says:

    Tough crowd.

    Smells like PD union thuggery to me.

    You boys need to man up. The Chamber showed what whine-babies you are once; and I suspect with this new president, I suspect they’re going to do it again.

    (0) 16 Total Votes - 8 up - 8 down
    • willie says:

      Nope, just an old salt who seen too much of the SOS.
      But the old dream and the young have visions, in time usually disappointing or un-impressive in the end!!!!!!

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • willie says:

      Racket

      Not Tough, would not say thuggery

      Us older folks like to error on the side of caution when there is the slightest doubt or when things seem too good! Most older folks think that way in the back of their head but don’t say it for obvious reasons, it is or it appears negative.

      Just the way some older folks are, and some of us a one time in the past use to stand on our hind legs as your doing now from your comment!

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. willie says:

    rOy
    I agree
    A true Admiral began from the bottom up.
    Others were born with a silver or gold spoon in their mouth!

    (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
  6. slojo says:

    Didn’t Ermina have an affair with a married Erik justesen of rrm design and now she is knocked up!!!! Ya, she sounds like a really nice, honest, trustworthy woman. I can’t wait to hear about all the shenanigans that are bound to go on between her and all of her “members”.

    (-4) 26 Total Votes - 11 up - 15 down
    • slocorruptionhater says:

      Do you really need to air that kind of stuff on this forum?!?

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • zaphod says:

      Should the chamber have some sort of virginity test?

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • slojo says:

        Um, no. In order to have an affair with a married man, in my opinion, you have to be decieving, manipulative, sneaky and a liar. I’m just sayin’ those are not the traits I would think a Chamber President should have.

        (-15) 33 Total Votes - 9 up - 24 down
        • SLORider says:

          You are closely aligned with the fire/police binding arbitration issue, so you would have motivation to besmirch the Chamber. Otherwise, I don’t think you’d be so interested.

          (-2) 12 Total Votes - 5 up - 7 down
        • zaphod says:

          I don’t think you have to do or be any of those things to surrender to love, The frickin President of Iceland is gasp! an unwed mother.
          We are lucky to have someone with the skillsets and qualities Ermina brings to the position.

          (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • SLORider says:

      Accuracy and consistency is all I ask.

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
  7. slow says:

    Awesome. Ermina is young, sharp and will be a breath of fresh air. All of us complaining about the old boys club (and I definitely include myself in that group) should cheer this decision.

    (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
    • SLORider says:

      I cheer the decision because Ermina is talented and capable, NOT because she’s female, young, or anything else that feels divisive and borderline racist, which is what “good old boys” says.

      (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
      • slojo says:

        If you hadn’t noticed, there is now a “good old girls” club: Katie Lichtig, Christine Dietrick, Monica Irons and now Ermina Karim. Hold on to your hats boys……

        (0) 14 Total Votes - 7 up - 7 down
        • pasoparent5 says:

          One of those names listed hardly qualifies as a “girl”.

          (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
  8. r0y says:

    Does anyone even make anything anymore? Business communicator? Direct Management? Operational Management at the Chamber. Color me unimpressed.

    Too bad there’s not an actual business owner, who has worked hard all her life to build something up from nothing, overcoming hurdles and still prospering, and hiring… that would be a good leader for a Chamber of Commerce… you know, someone who has participated in commerce? Or is it just me?

    (24) 40 Total Votes - 32 up - 8 down

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