• Chamber Staff

    Executive Director: Wendy J. Laros, M.Ed.

    Communications and Marketing Coordinator: Suzi Patterson

    Administrative Assistant and Membership Services: Lydia Hoeppner

  • Executive Director: Wendy J. Laros, M.Ed.

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  • Wendy Laros connected to the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce more than a decade ago as a member participating in the Chamber's numerous events, luncheons, business expos, and educational seminars. In 2012, she attended the first Economic Summit, a Chamber sponsored event designed to inspire business leaders to explore possibilities and initiate strategies to improve the island's economy. After the Summit, Chamber members were invited to a newly formed education working group. Laros joined the group which evolved to the Education and Workforce Development Committee. She chaired the committee from 2014-2016 as the group conducted the West Hawai‘i Workforce Needs Assessment, a study published by the Chamber.

  • In 2016, Laros joined the staff at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce and, in 2017, was chosen as the next Executive Director. 

    "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."

    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 where she graduated with highest honors and a M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology from UH Manoa. Prior to working at the Chamber, she was the Director of Outreach and Education and head of Marketing at Jack's Diving Locker, a 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. The couple have three children who were all born and raised in the Kona and Kohala regions on the Island of Hawai‘i.

  • Communications and Marketing Coordinator: Suzi Patterson

     

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  • Suzi Patterson joined the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce in 2017 with initiative, creativity and drive. Formerly the Marketing and Communications Manager for Dignity Health in the San Francisco Bay Area, this UC Berkeley graduate provides a level of knowledge and understanding that enhances our organization and elevates the member experience.

    In her role at the Chamber, she is responsible for crafting communications to our membership that highlight Chamber services along with member news and community calendar posts. This English Laureate awardee is a polished writer and also creates content for Chamber press releases, business letters and marketing messages. With an eye for aesthetics, she rounds out her marketing efforts with captivating graphic designs that gain attention and motivate members to take action. 

  • In addition to communications and marketing, Suzi is the point person for the Chamber's premier networking program - AfterHours. She also plays a key role in the Chamber's event planning and execution with training and certifications from the International Festivals and Events Association. 

    What does Suzi like most about Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce? “The opportunity for community members to collaborate and generate new ideas.” She currently attends and takes minutes for all Chamber committee meetings enabling her to witness first-hand the collective commitment of our members.  

    Taking root in Kona as a new homeowner, most of Suzi's free time is spent on home and garden improvement. She also enjoys exploring Hawai'i Island's beaches and trails with her husband. Her favorite hobbies are running and reading, especially the works of Jane Austen. 

  • Administrative Assistant and Membership Services: Lydia Hoeppner

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  • Lydia Hoeppner joined the Chamber staff in 2017 offering a steadfast approach during a time of transition. With a friendly smile and welcoming nature, Lydia is in the perfect position to work with our membership. 

    Naturally gifted with ‘attention to detail’, Lydia applies her skills in managing the Chamber's 500+ membership accounts. Her past experience with information systems, tracking parts, and assisting engineers in engine development at Toyato 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. She is here to help our members make the most of their membership.

  • Lydia is also an important member of the Chamber's traveling 'road show' with off-site events and activities. As a member of the support team for Kawaski Motors Corp. USA Team Green amateur racing department, Lydia knows how to handle logistics and event prep.

    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.

    She is also a master crafter, especially in repurposing items to create art. This includes taking our used Chamber banners and making them into durable tote bags. She is now making the Chamber’s colorful ribbon leis for our new members at AfterHours.

  • Upcoming Events

     
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