ENCINITAS — Speaking with Roz Mancinelli, the new CEO of the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce, on her first day at the job, she said her No. 1 priority is for the organization to be super member-focused.
“What I mean by that is to create an exceptional member experience that is absolutely irresistible to newcomers and longtime members alike,” Mancinelli said in a phone call four hours into her first day on Sept. 10. “So that means to me providing more business value, more information, more advocacy on their behalf, and of course the fun stuff networking and events, and overall support.”
Mancinelli, who has lived in Encinitas for 22 years, brings a long list of experience to the table in her new position, having more than 25 years of business marketing and branding experience, as well as having worked with technology, real estate, professional and financial services, nonprofit and membership organizations. Her most recent role for the past 10 years is as the principal/owner of Innoventure Consulting, where she says she focuses on helping organizations discover their culture and passion in order to use that to build their brand. Before that she served two years as president of SD Direct, a San Diego direct marketing association, and has facilitated marketing workshops and conducted a number of webinars, lectures and presentations on branding, marketing and business leadership topics. Former employers and clients include Intuit (TurboTax), Vistage, Renovate America, Buffini & Company, By Referral Only and Options For All.
“I’ve got so much experience and it means that I get to share my marketing and business leadership expertise with our members, that’s really why I wanted this role,” she said. “I’ve had a wonderful career; I’ve learned so much and I want to use that experience to benefit the business community here.”
Mancinelli replaces Bob Gattinella, who retired in July after serving as the organization’s CEO for eight years. When Gattinella took the helm, the chamber was in bad shape, mired in controversy with books deep in the red. Gattinella and his wife Mimi helped turn things around, restoring the organization both in reputation and financially.
“This is such a great time to be here, I have some really big shoes to fill,” Mancinelli admitted. “Bob did an absolutely superb job; I mean he laid such a solid foundation with the organization. So, what I plan to do is build on that foundation, continue on that growth trajectory, and just continue to optimize what’s working so that we can extract every little bit of goodness we can out of what we’re doing right for our members. He put us on a good path.”
Chamber Chairman Alex Meade agrees, saying in a news release that this is the perfect time for Mancinelli to become CEO and build on past growth.
“We’ve selected a very strong leader at a time when the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce is in a very strong position,” Meade said. “Building on our successful growth over the past few years, we’re focusing on providing more value to our members with greater access to information and services; ongoing advocacy on their behalf; and more support, education and opportunities to expand their business networks. We intend to be laser-focused on creating an exceptional member experience and Roz’s leadership and business experience will be integral to making that happen.”
Mancinelli describes herself as enthusiastic and says she’s all about building relationships and nurturing a spirit of collaboration, optimism and inclusion. She said she can’t wait to get out there and meet all of the chamber’s members.
“I want to talk to them, I want to hear from them, I want to learn what they want from us, how can we make this organization even more valuable and then get busy making sure we’re creating member experiences that not just meets their needs but actually inspires them to become more engaged with us as well,” she said. “We want them to be more engaged with what we’re doing and get involved at a higher level.”
Mancinelli said she aims to make the chamber a must join organization for the business community. She says she wants its members to be highly successful and feel that they are a part of something more than just an organization.
“I want to create that high-energy, highly collaborative and inclusive environment that just benefits everyone, that everyone feels really good being a part of something they feel truly connected to,” she said. “It’s more than just, ‘I belong to this organization.’ I want us to speak to them in a more meaningful way, that their being a member of the chamber has a deeper meaning for them.”
Tawny McCray is a native San Diegan and graduate of San Diego State University. She has known she wanted to be a journalist since writing for her Jr. High School newspaper in 1991. She has worked at The Star News in Chula Vista, The San Diego Union Tribune and ABC 10News San Diego. She has recently freelanced for Scripps Ranch News and The Poway Eagle and is a longtime freelancer with creators.com. She is working on authoring books with her twin sister, Nyla. She and her husband have two kids and live in South Park.