The Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new director. Life-long Santa Cruz County resident Nicole Pini DeLauder began as the Chamber’s Executive Development Director last week with a tour of the city and some time organizing her office.
“I’m an open door person,” DeLauder said during her first week on the job. “I want to be accessible.”
DeLauder is a 4th generation county resident on her father’s side and has experience working with chambers and as a retail manager for a large company.
DeLauder, a 1998 Aptos High School graduate, worked for several years at the Aptos Chamber of Commerce working under Karen and John Hibble in administrative roles. She worked several jobs to put herself through Cabrillo College and San Francisco State University where she earned a BA in English and Creative Writing. She worked for the Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association and helped run events including the Annual Vintner’s Festival, annual Winemaker’s Dinner and passport events in the county. DeLauder was then recruited by Limited Brands to work as a manager at Victoria’s Secret. She worked at stores in Capitola, Salinas, Monterey and Valley Fair. Her last position with the company required her to be in an office, more than on the floor, interacting with people.
“I wanted to get back into the community again,” DeLauder said. “In (a big corporation) it stops being about the people and more about the bottom line. I wanted to get back to the people and back into the community.”
DeLauder said her first few months will be spent getting to know the businesses of the area and continuing existing programs, mixers and events. She has some ideas for new things, but wants to settle in and “ask a lot of questions” before trying to implement anything new.
DeLauder said she enjoys networking and helping businesses grow. She plans to visit chamber members over the next few weeks to understand their needs, and to work to grow membership up from the 244 current members.
Additionally, she hopes to bring the business community together regionally.
“I also love Santa Cruz County and I want to be an ambassador for the whole county,” she said. “I’d like to pull together all the chamber of commerce’s in the area and really unite.”
DeLauder, who is married and lives in Corralitos with her husband Nick DeLauder, has retained Angela Marshall as her assistant
The Scotts Valley Chamber is located at 360 Kings Village Road. For information: www.scottsvalleychamber.com