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CHAMBER DRIVES TOWARDS NEXT YEAR WITH CLEAR DIRECTION

CHAMBER DRIVES TOWARDS NEXT YEAR WITH CLEAR DIRECTION

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce held its virtual Presidents' Reception, Membership Appreciation and Annual General Meeting on November 20, recognizing past presidents and long-standing members.

During the Annual General Meeting, Tracy Noullett, Past President, Lisa Kowalchuk, Executive Director, and the Chamber team gave a year in review, chronicling strategic priorities, advocacy successes, operational achievements, and challenges. The Chamber also recognized the 130 businesses joining the Chamber from September 2019 through to August 2020 and celebrated 34 milestone anniversaries for members involved in the Chamber for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and  90+ years. Special recognition was given to the Royal Bank's downtown branch, recognizing 100 years of continuous membership with the Chamber. The organization also took the opportunity to acknowledge its impressive list of Past Presidents who have served the organization since 1900.

Some of the highlights mentioned at the event included advocacy work on the following issues:

  • Municipal Air Service
  • Property Assessment & Taxation
  • Business incentives
  • Municipal Development Plan consultation and feedback
  • Downtown Infrastructure and Development
  • City Purchasing
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Red Tape Reduction
  • Marketing Alberta's Agri-Food
  • Improving Risk Management for Agriculture Producers

  • Agriculture Education
  • Irrigation
  • Investment Attraction for Industrial Zones
  • Balancing Economic Growth with Low Carbon Emissions
  • Joint Use Agreements
  • Twinning of Highway 3
  • Port of Wild Horse Hours of Operation
  • Child Advocacy Centre
  • Excise tax on Medicinal Cannabis
  • Humane transportation of Animals

The year in review concluded with a feature on the impact of COVID-19 and how the Chamber adjusted to meet the community's needs.

"If 2019-2020 was a road trip, we braked, looked at the map, and shifted gears when the COVID-19 crisis started. Our focus as an organization sharpened, and we were all involved in supporting our business community in the months following the announcement of the global pandemic," stated Tracy Noullett, Past President.

Operationally, the Chamber has continued to grow its membership and investment opportunities. Both the fall and spring tradeshows were successful and held before public health restrictions came into effect. Events were held in person for a portion of the year and have transitioned to virtual delivery allowing members to connect, celebrate and learn. Communications has been a significant focus of the Chamber with an accelerated rollout of a strategy that includes a larger social media presence, video creation and a redesigned website and newsletter.

"Having an organization that is underpinned not only by the right plans and processes but the right people means that the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce will be resilient and robust today, tomorrow and well into the future," commented Noullett.

The Chamber also elected two new directors and one returning director for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, with Directors representing a cross-section of industries within the Chamber. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2020-2021 are:

  • Marcus Campbell – Terralta Inc
  • Scott Lehr – Short Grass Ranches Ltd.
  • Trevor Anhel – RBC Mortgage Specialist
  • Brett Pudwell – EBT Chartered Accountants LLP
  • Tracy Noullett – MNP LLP
  • Sarah Koch – Bishop Koch Lawyers
  • Sarah Franchetto – RBC Royal Bank
  • Reagan Weeks – Prairie Rose School Division
  • Steve Heid – Lacey Homes Ltd.
  • Steven Pudwell – Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
  • Les Scholly – Pritchard & Co. Law Firm, LLP
  • Mark Keller – Medicine Hat College

As part of their service on the Board of Directors, Board members volunteer to sit on various committees designed to spearhead initiatives that uphold the Chamber's strategic priorities and the pillars of connections, support and influence.

The Executive committee serves as a filter for information. It provides consultation to elected officials, is responsible for human resources policies, serves as the media advisory committee and recommends governing issues to the Board for decision.

The Finance Committee is responsible for audit/review engagement planning, preparation and final results, information and control systems, monthly and annual financial statement review and reporting, budget planning and consultation, and auditor appointment.

The Leadership Development Committee is responsible for ensuring membership is well represented on the Board and the Board has the training and resources to lead the organization. They are responsible for recommending changes to bylaws and policies and handling the nomination and election process of the board, while also serving in a consultative capacity for board governance and leadership development.

The Policy Council is responsible for identifying issues or barriers facing the business community and developing strategies and policies with recommendations to all government levels that promote its growth and success.

The Community Connections Committee is responsible for implementing the Board's strategic plan concerning membership and implementing membership outreach programs established by the Chamber. Members of this committee are ambassadors to the Chamber of Commerce and identify trends and common member concerns and assist with retention and opportunities in underrepresented sectors of the Chamber.

Two industry-specific committees, the Agribusiness Council and Urban Development Industry advocate for industry members. They develop and implement policies designed to ensure a business-friendly environment that promotes sustainable community growth.

The Chamber also has appointed representatives to serve on other boards and committees including those associated with economic development such as the Community Futures Entre-Corp Board and the Medicine Hat Sport and Event Council. The Chamber also has representation on the Wild Horse Border Committee and the Highway 3 Association.

"While the board is elected every year and there are new faces around the table, the strategic plan, developed with input by both the Board and staff, is carried forward and provides the Chamber with a road map and a steady vision for the future," Noullett further remarked. "While the direction is clear, the need to continually re-evaluate, adjust and improve permeates our entire organization. This mindset allows us to be responsive, resilient and adaptable, and I know that our new president, Marcus Campbell, will continue to drive us forward with determination and skill."

Marcus Campbell, President of the Chamber of Commerce, commented, 'Our Annual General Meeting allows us to look back at the journey of the past year. I'm proud of how our organization has risen to meet the unprecedented circumstances of 2020." Campbell concluded by stating, "When we started this year, we didn't see the roadblocks ahead. However, regardless of the challenges facing us, I have full confidence in our incoming Board. We will use the clarity of our vision and mission as markers and keep a steady hand on the wheel as we Fuel our Business Community today, tomorrow and well into the future."


The full annual report is available on the chamber website.

 

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Marcus Campbell
Chamber of Commerce President, 2020-2021
Phone: (403) 527-5214 ext.225


The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 25,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.

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