Chamber hosting inaugural meeting

New executive sworn in, Citizen of the Year feted on January 23 at the Heritage Inn

It’s a new year and now that the 2014 calendar has rolled over, there is a new board of directors for the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce.

Heading up the executive branch of the board is Dave Struthers, with Chris Thom serving as vice president.  Chris Botterill takes on second vice president duties, while Jeanette Sissons will serve as treasurer. As past president, Dave Butler will still have a presence in the organization.

Nicole Anker, Brian Rhodes, Brenna Baker, Carrie Schafer, Heather Jackson, Igor Gallyamov, Jane Campbell, Jason Fast, Joey Hoechsmann and Ryan Gibbard will all serve as directors on the Chamber board.

Chamber members will get a chance to see the new executive and board at the inaugural meeting on Jan. 23 at the Heritage Inn.

However, the event is more than just the unveiling of the new board as the Chamber will also present the Citizen of the Year award to Derek Kortschaga, who captured the nomination in December.

Looking ahead, the Chamber is working on keeping and expanding membership under the direction of newcomer David Hull, who took over the executive director position vacated by Karin Penner, who recently retired after 31 years with the organization.

“We’re working quite diligently right now—the staff is—we’re looking at all the things the Chamber does, making sure it’s what we want to do and provide the best value to our members,” said Hull.

“We’re really focused on going back to our roots and being a member-based organization. As a professional business organization of choice, we’re always looking to represent our members and to vigorously promote and defend trade and commerce in the area.

“To that end, we’re having a strategic planning session with the board and a facilitator in a couple weeks and that’ll set our direction for 2015 and a fair bit of 2016.”

Just two weeks into the job, Hull has six years of experience as executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and worked for 12 years in management consulting.

“This Chamber has a storied reputation among what I call ‘Chamberland’ to be a real well-run Chamber,” said Hull. “Certainly Karin Penner has laid a foundation for me that is second to none. All I need to do is take her good work and keep building on top of that.”

Right now, the Chamber has a membership of roughly 475, with 500 being the goal, according to Hull. Smaller towns tend to have a larger percentage of chamber membership as opposed to larger cities, he added.

A basic measurement is looking at the number of memberships versus the number of business licences.

“We’re at about the 27-28 per cent mark of business licenses, which is good,” Hull said. “It’s not where I want it to be, but it’s a good start.”

Attracting new memberships is always a goal, but Hull is looking at putting a retention plan together to make sure existing members remain within the fold.

Chamber hosting inaugural meeting

“That’s really going to be our focus in 2015 is retention, and we’re going to do that by communication. We do provide relevancy to members but we’re not really good—this is we the collective Chamber movement—we’re not really good at having our message out there and our good work well-known.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shypitka named opposition critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

The Kootenay East MLA has held the energy and mines portfolio since 2017

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP seeking driver of burnt out car found on HaHa Creek Road

Cranbrook RCMP are looking for the driver of a vehicle that was found on fire Monday

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read