Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce welcomes Michael Ricks

By Kamala Kirk

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its 96th annual installation ceremony and introduced incoming chair Michael Ricks.

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosted its 96th annual installation ceremony virtually to introduce the 2021-2022 board of directors.

The chamber also presented awards and named the incoming chair, Michael Ricks.

Ricks was appointed chief executive for Providence St. John’s Health Center in September 2019. With more than 23 years of health care leadership experience, Ricks is a well-respected leader within Providence, having served the past four years as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

Prior to joining Hoag, Ricks served in a variety of leadership positions including hospital president and chief executive officer, chief operating officer, vice president of operations/business development and service line administrator for nationally recognized organizations such as Sentara Healthcare and Dignity Health.

“The business community has faced unprecedented hardship over the past 15 months, and this board, with Michael at the help, is poised to lead us into a year of rebound and recovery,” said Laurel Rosen, chamber president and chief executive officer.

“I can hardly think of anyone better equipped to lead us through these times than the head of a hospital in a global pandemic. Together, with one of the most diverse bards we’ve ever had, and the collaboration of our city partners, we will bring Santa Monica back.”

Awards were presented honoring exemplary businesses and exceptional individuals for their contributions to the chamber and the business community.

The Roy E. Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jeff Klocke, Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Travel and Tourism/Misti Kerns received the Bob Gabriel Community Service Award.

The Chair’s Awards recognize select volunteers for their efforts throughout the year and were awarded to the 2020-2021 chamber executive committee of Colby Goff, Len Lanzi, Damien Hirsch, Julia Ladd, Greg Morena, Ellis O’Connor, David Rand and Peter Trinh. City Partner Awards was given to Jennifer Taylor and Hunter Hall.

Event sponsors included Providence St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, GoodRx, Commercial Bank of California, Santa Monica Place, UCLA Health, HLKK, LLP and Iao Katagiri.

“During the last year, we saw unprecedented circumstances nearly shut down our city, one that thrives on tourism, a bustling restaurant scene and a diverse offering of arts and culture,” Ricks said.

“As we embark on the 2021-2022 chamber year, we will get ‘Back to the Future,’ focusing on reconnecting our business community with local residents and each other. We will partner with our city leaders to fully reopen and work together to define the future. I’m excited to move forward and realize a vibrant and sustainable vision of success for the businesses in our city.”