The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce has named local business improvement district executive Alex Stettinski as its new president and chief executive.

Stattinski replaces Dan Walsh, who stepped down amid controversy last year.

Stettinski is marketing and communications director for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Previously, he was executive director of the Avenues of Art & Design Business Improvement District in West Hollywood.

“Alex has a wealth of private and community experience, a track record of management success and commitment to his work,” said chamber board President Todd Johnson, general manager of Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant.

Stettinski, who has lived in Beverly Hills for 16 years, will assume his duties at the chamber in mid-June. He will take over from an interim management team that’s been in place since Walsh left last November.

Walsh stepped down after making a controversial proposal to set up a business improvement district that required assessments of all Beverly Hills businesses to help fund the chamber. The proposal created a firestorm within the city and among other local chambers and Walsh quickly withdrew it.

The chamber has been grappling with a financial crisis since the Beverly Hills City Council voted in late 2008 to remove the convention and visitors bureau from chamber administration. That move deprived the chamber of part of its annual funds, which it has been unable to make up. Its membership also fell 10 percent during the recession.

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