Chamber takes care of business

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Forty-eight individuals were in attendance, representing 36 member organizations. Members conducted general business for the organization, confirmed the 2015/16 board of directors, and announced that internationally acclaimed singer Ken Lavigne will co-host the 20th Black Tie Awards in 2016.

In her address to the members, Chamber President Julie Scurr highlighted:

• Events: the Chamber held 50 events this year, including the All Candidates Forum, Business Showcase, an Industry Training Authority presentation and a variety of networking and professional developments events

• Advocacy: working to make the provincial small business tax exemption for credit unions permanent; encouraging BC Assessment to review the classification of winery and cidery production properties

• Award: the Duncan Cowichan Chamber won BC Chamber Executives Award for Communication, best in province for Chambers with 200 to 500 members

Referring to Chamber’s activities and engagement, Scurr said, “Our Chamber believes that economic development is not only a process, it’s a culture of creating a welcoming environment for business.”

The Chamber’s Executive Director Sonja Nagel cited statistics indicating the growing reach and effectiveness of the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre.

The CRVC served more than 20,000 visitors in 2015, an increase of 11 per cent over 2014, and an increase of 120 per cent compared to 2013 at the previous location. Nagel noted, “The increased numbers indicate that visitors want to engage face-to-face with travel counsellors to learn about key attractions and activities in our area.”

The Chamber expressed special appreciation to:

• Outgoing Director Corrine Thompson: Thompson is the manager of the Duncan RBC branch and served on the Chamber board from 2010 until 2015.

• Director Emeritus and Past President Dave Clark: Clark was recognized for his work as the Chamber’s parliamentarian.

• Sands Funeral Chapel: for hosting the Chamber’s Lunch ‘n Learns throughout the year.

The membership elected seven directors to the board: Miles Anderson of Outlooks Menswear, Danielle Killam of Hayes Stewart Little & Co., Martin Buck of the Thunderbird Motor Inn, Jason Price of Valley Life Insurance Solutions, Carol Messier of Maple Bay Marina, Penny Lehan of Coleman Fraser Whittome Lehan, and Sebastien Martin of Wedderspoon Organic Inc. and Folki Herbs Inc.

The directors will elect a new executive for the organization at the next board meeting in early December.

Ken Lavigne co-hosts Black Tie Awards 2016:

During the AGM it was announced that Ken Lavigne will co-host the 2016 Black Tie Awards. His co-host will be Shaw’s Daphne Goode who hosted last year.

“We are very excited that Mr. Lavigne will co-host the Awards. He and Daphne will provide that special energy and a dash of magic to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and honour excellence at the Awards in 2016,” the Chamber said.

The Chamber also announced that nominations for the Black Tie Awards are now open. See www.blacktieawards.com