Chamber sets direction for 2013

On March 13, Summerland Chamber of Commerce members met for the Annual General Meeting.

On March 13, Summerland Chamber of Commerce members met for the Annual General Meeting.

Elected at the AGM for two-year terms are Arlene Fenrich of Edgy Petals – President, Thor Clausen of Bartlett Tree Experts, Maged Said of Mission Bottle Washing Co. – Treasurer and Connie Denesiuk of Denesiuk Construction.  Board members with one year remaining on their current term are Jason Embree of Good Omens – Vice President and Darin Fair of Beanery Coffee Company.

Former board member Brett DeWitt resigned in February as he is leaving the community to take up a new position in Chilliwack.

We will miss his input on our Board and the wonderful contribution he’s made to our community in the years that he has lived and worked in Summerland.

Replacing him on our board is Christine Coletta of Okanagan Crush Pad who will serve the remaining year of that term.  She was sworn in on March 4.

We are excited about the new ideas that she is contributing and welcome her to the Board.

In order to provide maximum value and service to our members and funders the Chamber continues to be active in three key areas.

These areas are tourism, member services and business retention and attraction.

Within tourism we work in three main areas.

We operate the visitor centre where our staff welcomes approximately 9,000 visitors each season.

We also coordinate the photography and write all the copy for the annual visitor guide.

In addition, we organize all aspects of the annual Festival of Lights.

In 2012, our special project within the tourism area was to complete the tourism branding project for Summerland.

In 2013 our project is to launch a dedicated tourism website.

Within the area of member services we provide business advocacy on behalf of our membership and offer many different kinds of educational opportunities.

We also promote our members through vehicles such as the annual Awards Gala, the Summerland Phone Directory, Business after Business events, monthly newsletters and in print.

Other services include a great employee benefits package for member businesses.  Check it out for your employees.

In 2012 our project within the member services area was to launch B.C.’s first roadside WiFi project at the Trout Creek pullout.

In 2013 our project is to host a new educational event which will be held during Small Business Week in late October.

The third area where the chamber is active is in business retention and attraction.

In this area we are active in sector networking, the development of key partnerships and in the promotion of Summerland as a place to do business.  In 2012 and ongoing for 2013 is the creation of a business information package that will provide investors and families with the information they need to make informed decisions about living in and doing business in our community.

We look forward to the coming year and to continuing to build upon the momentum gained in the past, to fostering new and existing partnerships, to being innovative leaders and to serving our members.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is president of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism.  All of the members of the board of directors serve as volunteers.