Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce sets priorities for 2016, elects new officers

TRURO – Economic development topped the list of seven policy priorities identified by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce Wednesday at its Annual General Meeting.

Chamber president Andrew Lake introduced the new slate of policies developed through member feedback received during his term by personally visiting about 100 businesses to learn their challenges.

“The past 12 months as Chamber president can be characterized as involving transition, reflection, growth and optimism,” Lake said in his president’s report.

Along with Economic Development, Tourism, Municipal Governance, Infrastructure and Transportation, Information and Communication Technology, Membership and Youth Engagement, Retention and Investment were identified by the Chamber’s Policy Committee as priorities in 2016.

In the coming months, policy task forces will be established to address the policy recommendations.

New officers were elected by the membership which will see Lake, of Will-Kare Paving and Contracting, remain in the president’s seat for a second term. This is the first time since 1999 a president has re-offered for a second, successive term.

“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to serve another term as President of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce,” Lake said in his incoming president report.  “I’m encouraged by a number of new policies being proposed today, many developed from feedback derived through meetings with the members.

“These policies, bookmarked by a strategic planning exercise planned for this year, will help set the direction of the Chamber for the next two to three years.”

Other newly elected executives and directors are: Vice-President Alex Stevenson, manager of commercial banking, CIBC; Treasurer Joanne McRae, senior staff accountant at WBLI Chartered Professional Accountants; Solicitor Elisabeth Sieber, McLellan, Richards, Begin Law; and directors Don Hay,  Hay Hospitality; Don Locke,  RBC; Dr. David Gray, Dean of Dalhousie Agricultural Campus; Karen Baillie,  Elegant Steps; Karen Gillespie, Nova Scotia Community College; Fran Grant, Remax/Fairlane Realty; John Squires, Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc.; Matt Robblee, Caldwell-Roach Insurance; Ron Smith,  Old Fletcher’s Farm Property Ltd., Masstown Market; and Dan Clarke, Stanfield’s.

Stephanie Jones, McDonald’s restaurant owner/operator, will remain on the board as past-president.

Outgoing treasurer David Miller of PricewaterhouseCoopers was recognized for his contribution to the Chamber movement during the past six years.

During the meeting, amendments were made to the Chamber by-laws for the first time since 2010 to recognize the organizational name change effective 2013, while also removing redundancies and updating language and processes.

Lake said the Chamber has a proud and rich history of serving the business community of Truro and Colchester since 1890.

“Through this period, the chamber has been led by talented business people who have devoted their time and energy to make Truro and Colchester a great location to operate a business and raise a family,” said the incoming president. “I’m proud to share that the past presidents of the Chamber remain engaged in the business of the Chamber, and routinely are solicited for feedback and insight on a number chamber initiatives.

The Chamber’s annual dinner gala and awards will be held on April 21 at the Glengarry Best Western.

The Chamber has issued a call for nominations for BDC Business Person of the Year and, a new award this year, the Community Credit Union Business Excellence award.

To reserve a seat at the gala or for more information about award nominations, call 902-895-6328 or email [email protected]. Deadline for nominations is March 24, 2016.