Rose Hancock, executive director of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce since 2005, resigned Sept. 1 to pursue her own event planning business, according to an announcement made this week.
Hancock, one of the chamber’s longest serving executive directors, will continue to work as a consultant on chamber events through the end of the year, said board member Larry Nokes. “She really shines in that department,” he said.
Chamber board President Chris Keller said in a statement, “Anyone who knows Rose knows that she loves our Chamber and our community. Her passion for Laguna Beach is unwavering and I’m sure she will continue to be involved in our community. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Hancock’s organizational strength was made visible in Chamber events such as the pre-pageant Hometown BBQ, complete with hay bales and stagecoach, or amusements at a Renaissance Faire that included sword fights and period costumes.
During the recent economic downturn, Hancock was equally visible as cheerleader, championing once-a-month street closures that drummed up downtown foot traffic. Her parking lot Taste of Laguna Expo, planned this year for Sept. 29, annually turned out a score of local chefs cooking up samples for a rollicking party.
Her job responsibilities also included representing the chamber on city task forces on bushiness, homelessness and climate protection.
The recession also hurt the Chamber as some members struggled to pay dues and more storefronts were vacated. More recently, though, Hancock giddily wielded giant scissors at a spate of recent restaurant openings.