Chamber board sessions evolve

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is increasing general meetings but cutting back input from local government appointees

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is moving in a new direction.

A change in the chamber’s bylaws has increased the number of general meetings but has also removed representatives from the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and Junior Chamber International from board meetings.

“One thing we are looking at is our governance model,” said board president Adrian Johnson.

The new bylaws only allow for elected board members to attend meetings, not the appointed non-voting representatives.

Historically, Will Pearce (Vernon rep and chief administrative officer for the city), Coun. Pat Cochrane (Coldstream rep) and Sarah Moorhouse (JCI rep) attended regular meetings.

But the trio was not invited to the chamber’s latest meeting Thursday morning.

“They informed Will, myself and the junior chamber member not to come to the meeting,” said Cochrane.

Going forward, the representatives will be invited to give presentations at quarterly general meetings and to attend relevant parts of board and committee meetings.

“It’s important for the chamber to understand our local governments’ initiatives in order to ensure strong collaboration where possible,” said Johnson.

“It’s also very important that they hear the views of our members. The presence of senior local government representatives at frequent meetings open to all our members creates a forum for regular two-way communication with the entire business community.

“This will make our community a better place to do business.”

The bylaw changes also increase the annual general meeting to quarterly meetings, the first of which is expected to be held in January 2014.