The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of a new CEO, Mark Bodenhamer.

Bodenhamer, a native of Santa Rosa, served as president and CEO of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce in Orange County for the past seven years. He has also served in a variety of roles with other nonprofit membership organizations and is a graduate of the United States Chamber of Commerce’s “Institute for Organizational Management” program.

Bodenhamer replaces Patricia Shults who stepped down from the Chamber in late January after having led the organization since 2014.

The Chamber worked with Nelson Staffing to conduct the search for Shults’s replacement.

“We were very pleased when Nelson brought Mark to us,” said Sion Edwards, current board chair for the Chamber. “San Juan Capistrano is a similar type of community that faces many of the challenges that we face here in Sonoma in terms of balancing the needs of residents, businesses and tourists. He also understands the importance of protecting our historic cultural assets while still encouraging smart economic growth. His experience there will allow him to hit the ground running in Sonoma.”

Bodenhamer is not the only member of his family in the Chamber of Commerce business. He resigned from his role in San Juan Capistrano last year so that he could move to the North Bay Area with his family after his wife, Tallia Hart, was selected to serve as CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

They currently live in San Rafael with their 10-year-old daughter.

Bodenhamer described himself as “excited” to take on the new role.

“Sonoma is a truly extraordinary place and I can’t wait to get involved in the community,” said Bodenhamer.

“There really aren’t many places as historic and beautiful as the Sonoma Valley so it’s an incredible opportunity for me. I’m honored to have been chosen and look forward to working alongside the residents and businesses of the region.”

The Chamber’s executive committee spearheaded the search, with Nelson’s support.

The full Chamber board of directors met and approved the search committee’s recommendation on March 8. Bodenhamer will begin work at the Chamber on Monday, March 26.

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