Ken Veldman

North Coast presence in B.C. Chamber of Commerce

Ken Veldman, the director of public affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert, joined the board of directors for the BC Chamber of Commerce.

A Prince Rupert delegate just claimed a spot in the largest business organization in the province.

Ken Veldman, the director of public affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert, has joined the board of directors for the B.C. Chamber of Commerce for 2016-2017.

He said that he plans to bring his regional experience and Port of Prince Rupert perspective to the chamber.

“The role of the board as a director is not necessarily to bang the drum from your region but to bring that experience to strong provincial, economic and business policy and that’s what I expect to do,” Veldman said following his presentation at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, June 15.

With more than 20 years of experience in economic development, the North Coast resident has worked for the port authority since 2011. Veldman networks with governments, industry and communities to help expand the port’s role as the gateway to Asia Pacific markets.

The B.C. Chamber is a way for the port authority to advocate for business and economic interests on the provincial level.

“What we believe makes it extremely strong is that it’s so grass roots. It’s policy is driven by local chambers of commerce throughout the province,” he said.

The port authority is a corporate member in chambers across the region including Terrace, Smithers, Prince George and Burns Lake.

“Chambers are so much more than meetings. They’re a network for us to tap into. They’re local conduits for what’s going on in the ground,” Veldman said.

The B.C. Chamber represents more than 36,000 businesses and 125 chamber of commerce across the province. There were six new or re-elected directors announced on June 9.

“We bring a certain perspective and because of that and I think that’s going to be really valuable to the B.C. Chamber and we’re looking forward to working with it,” Veldman said.