Meet the Chamber’s Board of Directors New Chair

Kirsten McLaughlin has served as Market Vice President for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara since 2016 where she oversees local operations and is the “face of the company” in the community. Additionally, McLaughlin is a member of Cox’s CA Senior Leadership team and leads a variety of cross-functional programs and projects for Cox in California.

McLaughlin currently serves as Chair of the newly merged SB South Coast Chamber of Commerce, sits on Executive Committee and co-chairs the Governance Committee for Partners in Education, serves on the Board of Directors for MOXI, and Co-Chairs the South Coast Business and Technology Awards Steering Committee.  She has previously held board positions with the Santa Barbara Family YMCA, the California Cable, and Telecommunications Association, and the Business Giving Roundtable.  She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Santa Barbara, and a longtime volunteer for the California YMCA Youth and Government Program. McLaughlin was honored with the Pacific Coast Business Times 40 under 40 award in 2018 and Top 50 Women in Business in 2017 and 2020 and was awarded the Goleta Chairman’s award in 2020.

Prior to joining the Cox team in 2014 as Public Affairs Manager, McLaughlin held several policy, legislative, and public affairs positions with regional water agencies in Orange and Santa Barbara Counties, and served as a Field Representative for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

“The vision for the Chamber in any year is to advocate for responsible public policy, offer networking and community-building opportunities, provide access to business development resources, and support visitor services across the region. 2021 is no different.  As we tackle the challenges our business community is facing head-on. Our top priority Is the pandemic response and our Roadmap to Recovery. We’re also focused on economic development including filling empty storefronts on State Street and addressing the on-going homelessness crisis in our community.”

McLaughlin is a Santa Barbara native and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communications from UC Berkeley and a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.  These days she is busy with her ten-month-old adorable puppy, Finley. Kirsten is an avid sports fan, enjoys outdoor adventures, and traveling with her husband.  In 2019 they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (elev. 19,340 ft). Kirsten and her husband will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary in April.