Welcoming President Gardner
New Chamber President Dedicated to Elevating Region
Change is in the air for the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce, as new President Michelle Gardner takes the lead at the board table. After serving for seven years, former President Doug Jones stepped down from his position on May 4th at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting, where the board reflected on the successes and challenges of 2021.
“I’m humbled that Doug and the board see me as a good fit to lead the organization. Being on the board is very rewarding. We all work well together alongside our Executive Director, Erika Krest,” says Gardner. “This region has a strong community of dedicated business owners, community groups, professionals, and citizens. I look forward to working with them as we move forward.”
Gardner is Waneta Plaza‘s property manager and has been on the Chamber board for two years, formerly serving as the vice president. She knows how important the Chamber is within the business community and she’s excited to elevate the region’s presence by working with stakeholders and members.
“Community is at the heart of everything I do in my career and personal life, so my way of contributing is being part of an organization that truly supports our local economy,” she adds. “Our region is a hidden gem with many business and development opportunities.”
The Chamber Board of Directors is an incorporated, non-profit organization legally responsible for the Chamber’s governance. Within that mandate is the expectation that the board will develop, implement, and monitor policies that allow the organization to carry out its work. They recently completed a three-year Strategic Plan, which provides clear direction to safeguard the Chamber and ensure its prosperity to benefit the membership.
Jones says his time as president was eye-opening and helping the region grow was rewarding. He is honoured to have served the board and the community over the years.
“This has been a wonderful experience for me; I’ve seen firsthand our small businesses persevere during challenging times and how important they really are to our communities,” he says. “Some of the most significant accomplishments, in my view, are the rebranding and implementation of a new marketing strategy, which were imperative in building meaningful partnerships, and the extensive network that we’ve created based on trust. All of this has substantially increased our membership.”
Businesses throughout the South Kootenay are joining the organization for benefits well beyond perks and discounts. By becoming Chamber members, business owners join a trusted community network, increase credibility, and gain visibility through marketing opportunities. Members also benefit from the Chamber’s advocacy efforts and professional development and networking opportunities, which help them build relationships with fellow business professionals and foster collaborative economic advancement.
“The Chamber has a great group of directors, very diverse and willing to work hard to help the business community prosper,” adds Jones. “I know that I’m leaving the organization in good hands with Michelle at the helm.”
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