San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ruben Barrales announced Thursday that he will step down at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities.
"I have been honored to serve as an advocate for small business, economic growth and job creation in San Diego," Barrales said in a statement emailed to reporters.
"It has been a great experience for the past six years, and I am proud of all the chamber has accomplished, including establishing record financial reserves to help sustain the organization for years to come, increasing our regional economic advocacy efforts, and expanding membership services with the creation of several popular and successful programs for our members," Barrales said.
He told U-T San Diego he would be interested in new challenges that include promoting the local economy, creating jobs, dealing with border issues and developing renewable energy.
Mark Leslie, who chairs the chamber's board of directors, said Barrales has been a strong leader for the nonprofit that promotes regional business interests.
"He guided the chamber through tough economic times, and we have benefited from his leadership," Leslie said.
He described Barrales as "a class act" who would be "a hard act to follow."
-City News Service