The California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has appointed Jennifer Barrera as the organization’s next president and CEO, effective October 1, 2021.
Barrera will succeed retiring CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, who will remain on the job until the end of 2021. Zaremberg has served as CalChamber president and CEO for 23 years.
The CalChamber Board voted to appoint Barrera to the leadership role at its September 3 meeting.
“Jennifer is a proven leader and a powerful voice for California business,” said Donna Lucas, chair of the CalChamber Board of Directors. “Jennifer’s experience, her effectiveness in serving CalChamber members and her dedication to improving California’s business climate has been demonstrated consistently throughout her tenure with CalChamber. She will step into the role of President and CEO ready to lead on day one.”
“I am honored to lead a talented and respected team in representing and serving CalChamber’s 14,000 members,” said Barrera. “CalChamber is fortunate to have a strong Board of Directors that supports our work as the preeminent voice of California business. Thanks to all who have led CalChamber to this point, we are well-positioned for future success. I look forward to continuing the important work of CalChamber that will ensure California’s economic success, protect our jobs climate, promote international trade and provide the very best compliance resources available for employers.”
CalChamber’s Zaremberg strongly endorsed the Board of Directors vote, saying, “Jennifer is respected by CalChamber members for her leadership and advocacy on business issues. California employers will be well served as she assumes the role of CalChamber President and CEO. CalChamber’s expertise on labor law compliance through HR California and our Helpline will benefit from Jennifer’s background in labor law and particularly from her experience as a labor law attorney defending and advising businesses.
“During her time with CalChamber, Jennifer has been a big contributor positioning the organization for future success, and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, CalChamber will continue to be the strongest voice for California employers at the State Capitol as well as the industry leader in compliance resources.”
In her current role as CalChamber executive vice president, Barrera oversees the development and implementation of policy and strategy for the organization. She represents CalChamber on legal reform issues and has been active in CalChamber’s business compliance activities, interpreting important changes in employment law for California companies.
Barrera is well known for her success rate with CalChamber’s annual list of job killer legislation, efforts to reform the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and leadership working with employers on critical issues, including most recently those arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barrera joined CalChamber in 2010, after gaining extensive experience in employment law working for a statewide labor and employment defense law firm. She assumed the role of CalChamber’s Executive Vice President in 2019.
Barrera’s full biography is available here.