James D. Lynch, publisher and founding team member of the Westside Chronicle newspaper for Westside communities, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

He will replace Kathryn Dodson, who resigned to accept a position in Texas as director of economic development for the City of El Paso.

Lynch’s publishing background is in the publication of chamber of commerce newspapers, newsletters, Web sites and community directories.

Immediately prior to joining the team that created the Westside Chronicle, Lynch served as the vice president of leadership programs for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for educating and developing regional leaders from among the region’s business, government, academic and nonprofit mid to top level executives.

Lynch has a background as a corporate executive as the executive director for Schick Laboratories, Incorporated and as a business owner. He is a partner in the firm Lynch, McFadden & Company.

He also has experience in civic leadership and economic development with business districts and chambers of commerce, according to a chamber spokesman.

Lynch’s experience with community leadership began while directing the Pacific Rim operations for Schick Laboratories.

He was appointed to the Public Health Committee of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. Since that time, he has continuously held civic leadership positions, the chamber source says.

Lynch is the former chief executive officer of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce; president and CEO of the Century City Chamber of Commerce; executive director of the Tustin Chamber of Commerce in Central Orange County; president of the South Lake Business District in Pasadena; board member of the San Marino Chamber of Commerce; and president of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

He was also the commissioner of natural resources for the City of South Pasadena; a founding member of the board of governors on the Westside Neighborhood Council for the City of Los Angeles, a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Advisory Council, president of West Los Angeles College Foundation, and chairman of the Los Angeles Community College District’s Citizen’s Oversight Committee for $2.2 billion campus construction bonds.

He also holds, and has held, leadership positions with regional associations, charitable organizations, educational institutions and the United States Department of the Treasury.

Lynch is a graduate of the 80th anniversary class of the United States Chamber of Commerce four-year Institute for Organization Management at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and he holds both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and public administration from California State University at Los Angeles.

Additionally, he has earned the designation of Accredited Chamber Executive (ACE) from the Western Association of Chamber Executives, the nation’s regional accreditation body.

Of the nearly 1,000 chambers of commerce within the Western Region, there are fewer than 40 active chamber executives who have earned this accreditation.

Lynch resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Beverly, and two daughters, Patty and Annie.