After her two-year tenure ends, Michelle Boomars-MacNeill hands over the presidency of Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce to Michael Gurney on April 21. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

After her two-year tenure ends, Michelle Boomars-MacNeill hands over the presidency of Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce to Michael Gurney on April 21. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

New directorship for Chamber of Commerce

Prince Rupert’s Michelle Boomars-MacNeill hands over Chamber presidency

Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce is under the directorship of a seven-member new executive board elected at the annual general meeting on April 21.

Michael Gurney independent communications consultant heads the board as elected president, with Craig Hilton from Pembina Pipeline Corporation as first vice president and Eli Kelly of Community Futures as second V.P. Four new directors were added to the board, with Janet Leduc of Kinexus Consulting, Justin Kohlman of Coast Mountain College, Glen Arthur of Peter Kiewit Sons, and David Geronazzo of the Gitxaala Nation all accepting positions on the executive.

The elections saw the departure of Michelle Boomars-McNeill as chamber president who addressed more than 50 members at the ‘Zoom’ online luncheon meeting.

“Through hard work and tough conversations, we anticipate shaping a new direction for the Chamber,” Boomars-MacNeill said.”[This will] see us elevate our advocacy and policy, with a focus on social consciousness, and truth and reconciliation for the greater good of local and regional economies as a whole.”

Boomar-MacNeill’s tenure was rooted in a strategic plan prepared by the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2018. The unexpected restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic forced rapid reevaluation and reinvention, PRDCC stated in a media release.

“Since March 2020 we have had to navigate a changing landscape of commerce in our communities,” Boomars-MacNeill said. “We learned to redirect ourselves, and we found ways to connect more directly with a greater number of our members.”

During her two-year presidency building partnerships remained a priority — both before and during the COVID-19 crisis, PRDCC stated. Boomars-MacNeill reviewed newly-reinforced relationships with the City of Prince Rupert’s Economic Development Department and Tourism Prince Rupert.

“As board members we each had our own home fires to stoke. We are business owners, managers, leaders, and industry professionals, yet we did all we could do, to support you, the community. We all know full well the long haul this has been,” the veteran of the financial services industry and a small-business entrepreneur, said.

Four departing directors were also recognized for their service: Michael Uehara, Daniela Cappelli, Paul Minhas, and Leanne Enns.

Newly elected President of the Board Michael Gurney said the PRDCC is always interested in hearing from community members and business entrepreneurs who wish to express interest in volunteering and board positions.

K-J Millar | Journalist 
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