The new board of directors on the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce are as diverse as the vibrant business community they come from.
At one end, there are the traditional chamber types like banks and accounting firms. Debbie Stoddard from the small business development services of TD Canada Trust is serving on the board in her second year and takes on the treasurer role, while Adrian Johnson, a manager at the accounting firm KPMG, jumped right into the middle of things in his first year by volunteering as second vice-president.
There is a good assortment of small business owners taking up the reins as well. Returning in the past president role is Deb Leroux from Harris Flowers, and moving into the hot seat as president is Ken MacLeod, who runs a successful business consulting firm under his own name, MacLeod Consulting.
Duane Vankeimpema, from JayDee Associates, building renovations and project management services, is serving out his second term in office. He is busy as ever, having recently opened his business, as is fellow building supplier Roel Van De Crommenacker from Innotech Windows.
Women figure prominently in the Vernon business community, and on the board. Ingrid Dilschneider of Predator Ridge Resort has a leadership role on the board as vice-president. Joining her, are Jodi Koenig, a skilled financial services consultant from Summit Financial Planners, and Dauna Kennedy Grant, from the not-for-profit sector, representing the Vernon Public Art Gallery.
Trevor Koenig (no relation to Jodi) brings an extra burst of energy, or maybe it’s just the caffeine, from Blenz Coffee, and now that the new store has opened at the Nixon Wenger building, he will be putting that energy to work at the chamber. Randy Kazemir, from The Mortgage Group, also joins the board this year, bringing a stability and integrity to the team.
A pair of younger entrepreneurs in specialty fields round out the elected directors this year. Matt Davidson, from Sage Environmental Consulting Ltd., brings a scientific viewpoint, while Jaron Chasca from Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services finishes off the team.
There are also four appointees to the chamber board. These positions are non-voting, informational positions, to add a community viewpoint to the business focus of the group. Mary-Jo O’Keefe of MJO Tours is the current City of Vernon representative; Pat Cochrane takes off his Vernon Lock and Safe hat and wears the District of Coldstream hat at the chamber table; Lorna Robb of Cheek to Cheek Dance Studio is a new appointee from the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA); and Kyla MacAulay of Gumtree Catering represents Junior Chamber International (JCI) and brings tasty bites to the board meetings.
Profiles and pictures of the board and chamber executive can be found online at www.vernonchamber.ca, and you can often meet the directors at many of our events like this week’s Business After Four Trade Fair, co-sponsored by the DVA, Tuesday at the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy.
George Duffy is the general manager of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.