Personnel File

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New Executive Takes the Reins of the Chamber of Commerce

Laura Ann Henkels
Laura Ann Henkels

Laura Ann Henkels was appointed as executive director of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. She succeeds Kristine Thalman, who retired but returned on an interim basis while a search was underway.

Henkels brings a strong commitment to providing quality service to the Chamber’s growing membership by providing services that retain and grow local businesses, said President Larry Nokes.

Henkels holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy and is certified as a stock broker, financial planner and paralegal. She has advised small and large businesses and community and business leaders.

She resides in Newport Beach with her two sons, ages 11 and 13, and two cats.


Visitors Bureau Adds New Staff  

Callie Malone joined the staff at Visit Laguna Beach earlier this month in the newly created position of partnership manager.

Malone previously worked as digital manager of the Bloomington, Minn., convention and visitors bureau. Here, she will oversee and develop local and national partnerships. The organization responsible for tourism marketing recently re-organized its affiliations to include partners as well as members.

Callie Malone
Callie Malone

“With Callie in this newly created position, Visit Laguna Beach can broaden its partnership reach in conjunction with both our local businesses and leisure markets which are invaluable to our city,” said Karyn Philippsen, chair of Visit Laguna Beach.


Two Officers Promoted to Sergeants

A badge pinning ceremony took place Monday for two longtime police department officers, James Cota and David McGill promoted to sergeant. They replace sergeants Bob Rahaeuser and Louise Callus, who retired earlier this year after 30 years of service each.

Dave McGill, left, and James Cota. photo courtesy of laguna Beach Police Department.
Dave McGill, left, and James Cota. photo courtesy of laguna Beach Police Department.

Cota, a 20-year department veteran, is currently assigned to patrol. He has served as a narcotics detective and a training officer and as a defensive tactics instructor.

Sergeant David McGill is a 13-year veteran also assigned to patrol.

Prior to becoming a police officer, McGill was employed in private industry and served nine years in the military. McGill has served the department in various capacities including the last 11 years as a motor officer. Because of his advanced training in accident investigation, he leads the majority of the city’s major and fatal traffic accident inquiries.




Pence Receives Recognition at Top Advisor

Laguna Beach resident Laila Pence of Pence Wealth Management was named in the Financial Times ‐ 100 TOP Women Financial Advisors in the country.

Pence Wealth Management in based in Newport Beach.

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