Last year, when John Musella took over as chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, he set about fixing its financial state. In doing so, he got paid absolutely nothing.
“Everything I did was on a volunteer basis,” he said. That also went for the staff of his public relations firm, The Musella Group, when he called upon it.
But in 2018, that changes. Musella now will be paid to manage the Chamber while it searches for a new executive director.
Incoming chairman Troy Hooper said in a press release, “(T)he Board and I have asked that John’s public relations firm, The Musella Group, to continue to manage the Chamber as we begin our search for a permanent Executive Director. His continued management of the organization will provide important continuity as we launch new programs and business services in 2018.”
Musella didn’t disclose terms, saying people would have to wait until the chamber files its 2018 tax return. But he stated he was not interested in being the next executive director and would not accept the position if asked.
“I’m doing this for the good of the Chamber at the end of the day,” he said. “Running a nonprofit is not something my company wants to do, but it was something my company did.”
In 2017, the Chamber got out from under an untenable lease on which it defaulted, cut staff (including the last executive director) found affordable new digs on Westinghouse Place in Valencia, and started to right its financial house.
Musella added that the Chamber is now on solid enough financial ground that, in addition to hiring an executive director in the third quarter, additional staff would be hired, although he didn’t say how many or in what capacities.
He also said that an executive director could be hired right now, but he wants to wait to show candidates that 2017’s financial health is the new normal and not “an anomaly.”
“In reality, any executive director will want to see strong financials year over year,” he said.