Chamber appoints Janelle Capra as President and CEO

December 1, 2023

CONTACT: Justin Salters, justin@heysalty.com, call/text: 661-706-6427

Chamber appoints Janelle Capra as President and CEO

Capra brings nearly 30 years’ experience working with local businesses and nonprofits

Bakersfield, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2023) – The Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s Board of Directors today announced it has appointed Janelle Capra as its next President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Capra’s first day with the Chamber will be Jan. 4, 2024.

Capra comes to the Chamber with 28 years’ experience working alongside entrepreneurs, small businesses, media, nonprofits and community-minded organizations across the Greater Bakersfield region. In 2019, she received the Chamber’s Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Humanitarian of the Year.

“Janelle is an experienced servant leader who knows how to deliver results for mission-driven organizations,” said Ken Keller, the Chamber’s 2023 Chairman of the Board and President/CEO of Dignity Health Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. “She has a track record of growing organizations and understands what it takes for an institution like the Chamber to succeed. I’m excited to have her join us and look forward to working with her and the entire team at the Chamber to advance our mission.”

Capra currently serves as Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC), a role she has held since 2019. In addition to ADAKC, Capra volunteers as Marketing Chair on the Executive Board for the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, a governing board member for the Mendiburu Magic Foundation, a mentor with the CSUB Alumni Association Runner Alumni Mentorship Program (RAMP), and as a member of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee.

“The Chamber plays a vital role in the economic vitality and vibrancy of our community,” said Capra. “After years of partnership and volunteer service with the Chamber, it’s an honor to be selected to serve as its President and CEO. I’m eager to start the new year and get to work, serving our members and growing programs that help businesses prosper and our community thrive.”

Capra assumes the role of President and CEO from Hillary Haenes, who has admirably served as the Chamber’s Interim President and CEO since Feb. 24, 2023. Haenes will continue serving at the Chamber and return to her role as Vice President of Member Engagement.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I want to publicly recognize and thank Hillary for her dedication to and stewardship of the Chamber over the past ten months,” added Keller. “We appreciate all that she has invested and look forward to what our team is able to accomplish in 2024 and beyond.”

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The Greater Bakersfield Chamber is the region’s leading business membership, networking and advocacy organization, representing the interests of more than 1,100 members and more than 70,000 local jobs. Focused on creating a thriving local economy and improving the quality of life for every resident of Greater Bakersfield, the organization promotes economic vitality, facilitates networking and business development opportunities, and advocates for public policies that support quality jobs and inclusive growth. The Chamber guides Bakersfield toward a better and brighter future. Founded in 1920, the Chamber is driven by the belief that our community thrives when businesses prosper. To learn more, visit bakochamber.com.

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