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The San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new CEO early last month.

George Peppas officially started his new position on July 1 after working at the Ocean Institute and Sub Zero Ice Cream. He also owned his own restaurant in Indiana.

Peppas said he is excited to be at the helm of the chamber, which is dedicated to San Juan Capistrano’s economic development and enhancement.

On a day-to-day basis, Peppas will be meeting with business and individuals to help them meet their needs and help “make positive change in San Juan.”

He said a goal of his tenure will be to bring more businesses into San Juan, but to do so without losing anything else.

“We can always use growth, but the biggest thing is keeping San Juan historical and not ruining the historical aspect of it,” he said.

Peppas is filling a position left vacant by the departure of previous CEO Mark Bodenhamer.

Bodenhamer, who worked as CEO for seven years, left in 2017 to move to the San Francisco Bay when his wife, Tallia Hart, was hired as the CEO for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Peppas said he’s not only been happily welcomed by members of the community but also by his colleagues within the chamber and by the chamber’s board.

“I think they’ve been looking for someone to give a little bit of guidance, direction,” he said. “It’s hard to have a direction without anyone in this position. We have a very supportive board and that’s probably the most important piece is that the board does listen.”

Peppas said he’s hoping to receive feedback from members of the community on any projects the chamber undertakes.

“We encourage them to contact us if they have questions or concerns,” he said. “We really want to listen to everyone, we want to hear everyone and give everyone an opportunity. This is their city as well.”

Peppas can be reached at 949.493.4700 or at


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