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CHAMBER COLUMN: Chamber shuffle

It is almost the end of the year, but here at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, we are just starting our new fiscal year.

With a new year comes a new board of directors. At our Nov. 15 AGM, Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper and Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown swore in president Sandra Starke, Valley First Credit Union, and vice-president Andrew Laird, 107.5 Kiss FM. Director appointees include: Dave Glason, Pleasant Valley Computers; Fran Stecyk, VantageOne Credit Union; Sean Newton, Caravan Farm Theatre; Cindy Masters, Kindale; Byron Sayer, Armstrong Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation; Barbara Hodder, Monashee MediSpa; Bruce Brown, Glad Tidings Church; Deb Morrison, Rtown; Donna Steeves, Valley First Insurance; Peter Rotsetter, Chocoliro Finest Chocolates; Suzanne Blackwell, Blackwell Building Movers; and Phil Hughes, private member.

We are pleased to have a cross section of our membership represented on the board and look forward to a great year ahead.

In addition to welcoming a new board, our AGM gave us an opportunity to review our year and celebrate our accomplishments. 2011-12 was very busy; here are some of the highlights:

- 210 chamber members

- 60 years as a chamber; 80 years since incorporation as a Board of Trade

- Home for the Holiday Shop Local promotion

- Visitor Centre sponsor in partnership with Armstrong & Spallumcheen

- ‘Spend $20 on the 20th’ shop local promotion

- Rick Hansen ‘Man in Motion’ Tour

- Music in the Park

- Children’s Bike Rodeo

- City of Armstrong Centennial Committee

- ‘Where’s Stanley’ contest

- Seniors Arts and Culture project

- Visitor Centre and caboose renos

We have really focused on encouraging our community to shop local this year. At the beginning of 2012, I read a great quote which sums up the meaning of ‘shop local’ to our chamber of commerce.

"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs." – Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

Remember, when you shop local, you are supporting members of your community who have a vested interest in the health and success of the community.  The one-of-a-kind character of your local community is defined, in part, by the businesses that reside in it. This in turn plays a big part in your satisfaction with where you live and the value of you home and property.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and find us at www.aschamber.com.

Patti Noonan is the executive director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

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