Trent Ernst, Editor
On March 7, the District of Tumbler Ridge hosted a Chamber Luncheon to promote the most recent initiative to get a Chamber up and running in Tumbler Ridge.
The event was a success, with dozens of businesspeople packing the Trend Mountain Hotel Conference Centre.
The formal program was short and sweet. Before lunch, Councillor Mike Caisley, whose portfolio includes the Chamber, played MC and Mayor Darwin Wren and Interim Chamber President Roxanne Guilick gave speeches on the importance of an active Chamber in Tumbler Ridge and on the next steps towards forming a Chamber respectively.
“I was worried,” said Mayor Wren. “I was told that at least thirty people would be showing up. But we have far more than that here today.”
Wren said the Chamber needs to play an important role in the life of the community, calling the business community “the backbone” of the town, and talked about how he gets calls from large industrial projects starting up. He says these businesses always promise to work with the local businesses community. “The next words they say are always ‘what is the phone number for the Chamber of Commerce.’ I have to tell them there is none. And there’s this long silence.”
Wren says not having a Chamber means that these people will just go back to their rolodex of companies that they work with in Grande Prairie and elsewhere. “Tumbler Ridge loses out.”
Attendees were invited to the first business meeting for the Chamber of Commerce, including the election of a board and officials, happened on Thursday, March 14. That meeting wasn’t as well attended as the luncheon, but there were enough people present to officially elect a board of directors and an executive.
Roxanne Guilick was elected as president. As there was no one willing to take the position of secretary, she will be covering that position as well. Rick Leland was elected vice-president and Bev Fournier was elected as treasurer.
By legislation, the Chamber of Commerce needs an eight person board, but at the outset, Guilick said she was hoping for ten “that way if some people can’t make a meeting, we still have enough members,” she said.