• Chamber Staff

     

  • Wendy J. Laros, President & CEO

  • In 2016, Laros joined the staff at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce after several years as an involved member including chairing the Education & Workforce Development Committee. In 2017, she was selected as the next Executive Director and in 2020, transitioned to President & CEO.

    "I'm very honored to be in this position. The Chamber brings the community together to work on issues that concern us all. It's a viable venue to build professional networks while finding solutions for the greater good."

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  • Professional Chamber Associations: As a firm believer in the value of professional development opportunities, Laros is a member of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) and is participating in their Academy program for Chamber professionals. She is also a member of the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and regularly attends conferences that focus on industry best practices and chamber executive development.

  • Community Outreach: Representing the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Laros is a member of the the Hawaiʻi Community College Advisory Council, Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) Advisory Council and an ex-officio member of the Island of Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau Board of Directors as well as the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi Board of Directors. She has been a guest and presented at local Rotary Clubs, the Waimea Community Association, Business Network International (BNI) and other community organizations and associations. 

    House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness: Representing the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Laros is also a member of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness established by House Resolution No. 54. This committee is tasked with identifying the potential economic and financial impact to the State, developing short-term and long-term mitigation plans and monitoring COVID-19 conditions and outcomes. Members include representatives from government, private industry and non-profit organizations. 

     

  • Background: Born and raised in Northern California, Laros moved to Hawai‘i in 1986. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Hawai‘i Hilo and a Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology from UH Manoa. Prior to working at the Chamber, she was the Director Education at Jack's Diving Locker, an internationally recognized, locally owned business in the ocean tourism industry with a focus on environmental stewardship and community service. Laros was part of the Jack's team from 1991-2016. In 2002, she and husband, Keller Laros, cofounded Manta Pacific Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to research, education and conservation of manta rays and the marine environment. The couple were married in Kailua-Kona and have three children who were all born and raised in the Kona and Kohala districts on the Island of Hawai‘i.

  • Lydia Hoeppner, Accounts & Membership Services Manager

  • Lydia Hoeppner joined the Chamber staff in 2017 with a friendly smile and welcoming nature. As our Accounts and Membership Services Manager, Lydia is in the perfect position to help our members get the most from their membership.

    Naturally gifted with ‘attention to detail’, Lydia applies her skills in managing the Chamber's nearly 500 membership accounts. Her past experience with information systems, tracking parts, and assisting engineers in engine development at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) translates well to her current Chamber administrative details. Look to Lydia to update your member profile, pay dues or register for events. 

     

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  • As Membership Services Manager, rely on Lydia to help you with KKCC services such as Member Marketplace, Member Spotlight and advertising in The Source - the Chamber's annual business magazine and member directory. 

    What does Lydia like most about the Kona-Kohala Chamber? She states, “I like the diversity of the membership and the events that we do. I’m really enjoying getting to know our members better everyday.”

    Lydia is a strong advocate for dog rescue and volunteers with KARES – Kohala Animal Relocation Education Services – to foster and take dogs to adoption events.

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