New president for chamber of commerce

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March 26, 2015 8:15 AM

Alex Chippin Photo New Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce president John Winter, left, shakes hands and is presented with the gavel by outgoing president Chris Parsons.

The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce torch has been passed once again.

On Tuesday, the chamber held its annual general meeting at the Royal Hotel, outgoing president Chris Parsons handed over the symbolic gavel, and transitioned presidency, to John Winter.

“As far as the chamber’s concerned, we’re very excited about the future,” said Winter. “We have a good, strong, active chamber with a strong voice in the region.”

Winter spent the previous year in the vice-president’s chair, where the move to president is an automatic promotion. As president, Winter says he’ll focus on opening up more lines of communication, internally and externally.

“Some of those members that don’t know what the chamber is involved with, let them know what we are doing, that we are a good voice for business in the community,” he said. “Being a bi-provincial city, it is tough, there is a lot of red tape to get both provinces to the table, so to increase communication between the provinces would be another big (goal).”

Most notably in the previous year, the chamber’s political action committee was heavily involved in facilitating a memorandum of understanding between Alberta and Saskatchewan, regarding health-care services and funding for the city.

Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders, who is also a chamber board member and attended the meeting, lauded Parsons and the rest of the chamber for their work in that project and many others over the last 12 months.

“Once again, Lloydminster was recognized this past year as one of the top entrepreneurial cities in the country in our class. And, of course, the chamber plays a strong role in that,” he said.

The chamber hosts networking events, lobbies to government on behalf of its members by putting forth policy resolutions and provides entrepreneurs with services to help start or expand their business throughout the year. In April, the chamber will introduce a new networking event called Chamber Games, which will run on Thursdays for five weeks.

Saunders also noted the chamber’s integral role in Lloydminster’s evolving business sector and said it’s a key ingredient to the future success of the Border City. “We want to be a world-class community,” the mayor said. “And the chamber of commerce is a big part of that.”

Along with Winter, the chamber swore in three new board members and announced Angela Minish as its new vice-president, putting her in line to succeed Winter in 2016.

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