At the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday, April 20, Keith Lambourne, managing broker at Royal LePage Prince Rupert, was sworn in as new chamber president, taking over from past president Rosa Miller.
Lambourne identified two areas of improvement for the chamber – diversity and member communications.
“We tend to do more telling than listening and we recognize the need to change that as a board,” Lambourne said in a speech to members.
In terms of diversity, Lambourne said that attracting new business, diversifying existing businesses and having a chamber board of directors that better reflects the business community are also priorities.
“The importance of having a diverse industrial and commercial base cannot be overstated. Going back to a situation where we have one industry to support our city is unacceptable and we must never go back to those days,” the president said.
In Miller’s outgoing address to the chamber, she highlighted the fact that three years ago when she joined the board, there were two women directors out of 12 and now the board has seven of 15.
“I am so thrilled to see such a dynamic group in place as I pass the baton to Keith,” said Miller, project controls manager at BG Canada’s Prince Rupert LNG.
“Prince Rupert is on the cusp of some very big projects and investments that will continue to promote positive change and growth in our communities,” she said.
And to the women and First Nations representatives, Miller said to not be discouraged by traditional board room makeups.
“Remember always to take your seat at the table and if there’s no seat, bring your own chair,” she said.
Herb Pond was named first vice-president, Sharon Rothwell as treasurer, and Chris Armstrong, Andrew Darby, Dave McKeever, Mike Pucci, Derek Baker, Shannon Bahm, Crystal Lorette, Michelle Bryant-Gravelle and Leah Jowe as 2016 directors.
The Chamber of Commerce is also encouraging supporters to come to the ThriveNorth Business Challenge Finals live pitches in Terrace on May 7. A bus will be transporting Rupert residents to Terrace that day free of charge to support the six area entrepreneurs. Visit www.princerupertchamber.ca to reserve your seat on the ride there and back.