James O’Callaghan will be the new president and chief executive of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, effective July 11.
Former President and Chief Executive Jerry Wheeler left the role April 8 to move to Sacramento, where his wife Celia, who led March of Dimes work in Orange County, had taken a promotion with the nonprofit.
Huntington Beach Chamber Chairman Weikko Wirta and Chairman-elect Barbara Mason have split interim chief executive duties since April 8.
O’Callaghan’s has extensive experience with beach cities and tourism. He most recently led the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, has helped market the Venice district of Los Angeles, and directed visitor services for L.A. Inc., now known as the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
“This represents an extraordinary opportunity to combine my backgrounds in economic development and tourism monetization,” O’Callaghan said.
He has held regional operations positions with TicketMaster, Family Dollar, and Blockbuster Video.
“In each of his roles he’s increased revenue, controlled costs and developed teams,” said Wirta. “It’s a great fit.”
The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce has about 700 members.