Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce – December President’s Report

With Christmas just around the corner and 2014 coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on what has been a very busy and productive year for the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce.

Our main goal this year was to be more relevant to more businesses, and I’m proud to confirm that – thanks to the hard work of our amazing staff team and a committed Board of 14 local business leaders – we made significant progress toward that goal. With 63 new businesses joining the Chamber in 2014, a myriad of professional development and networking events offered to members, and a strong focus on advocating to local government to remove barriers to business and economic growth, we continued to show why being a member of our local Chamber is a very good business investment.

With the municipal election now behind us, I want to express our sincere thanks to all of the candidates who stood up to be part of Cranbrook’s future. We offer our best wishes to members of the outgoing Council, and we congratulate the incoming Council who will take the oath of office on December 8th. We look forward to working with you over the next four years.

It’s also important to celebrate the fact that – as a community – we grew from 30% of eligible voters casting a ballot in 2011, to 40% in 2014. While we didn’t hit our target of being the community with the highest % in BC, we can give each other a “high five” for that impressive jump. An engaged community is a community that cares!

This month, we say farewell to Karin Penner who retires after 31 years of service to the Chamber. For Karin, being the manager of the Cranbrook Chamber has not been a job, it has been her life. For those of us who have worked closely with Karin as Board members, we saw, every day and every week, her passion and commitment to this organization. There really are no words to describe the many contributions and personal sacrifices that Karin made over more than three decades, helping the Cranbrook Chamber become a model for many Chambers across BC. I encourage you to drop in to the Chamber office to say thanks to Karin before we close for the holidays on December 18th.

Speaking of change, December is also the time for us to welcome David Hull as our new Executive Director. As a Board, we’re very pleased and excited to have David join us. We undertook an extensive search to fill this new position, a search that included interviewing a number of very qualified candidates, significant due diligence on the background of the candidates, and detailed conversations with references. I’m extremely confident that David brings the skills, experience, business acumen and personal qualities that will allow the Chamber to be more relevant to more businesses in our area. If you have any questions about David’s skills, abilities or background, please call me at 250-426-3599.

Finally, I hope you will join us at our December 10th general luncheon, where – among other things – we’ll celebrate the year, welcome David D. Hull to the Chamber, and announce the next “Citizen of the Year.” It will be my last official event as 2014 Chamber President. It has been a pleasure and an honour to lead the Chamber this year, and I am thrilled that we have a very strong Board in place for 2015, led by incoming President Dave Struthers. The Chamber is in very good hands for the future.