The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce (COC) held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, where president John Winter passed the torch, or more accurately, the gavel, to fellow member Kevin Kraft.
“I’m extremely honoured to get a chance to serve the city I grew up in and the city I call home,” said Kraft after receiving the presidential title.
“It’s interesting times in Lloydminster and I think it’s going to prove the meddle and the character of the city to see how we adapt and the way that we see our way through to the next stage of development here.”
He is looking at the coming year with an optimistic lens, saying it’s easy to “wallow in commodity prices and pretend the world is going to end” but Kraft assures it isn’t.
Pointing out that Lloydminster has been through this kind of economic slump before, he said that the downtime can be used as a chance to reflect and appreciate what the city has at present.
The Lloydminster COC is nationally recognized for the job it does, said Kraft, and though he admits that the members may have to work harder in the coming months because the economy, the time can also be used for working other issues.
“Sometimes a downturn gives you a minute to look back, do some maintenance and realize you have a lot of arrows in your quiver that you might have forgotten about, and find new ways to achieve the same goals that we’ve always had,” said Kraft.
“I’m looking forward to the year.”
He said his first move as president will be to reach out to the chamber’s membership, meet people, find out what’s making them happy and what problems are keeping them up at night.
Then he’ll bring those concerns back to the chamber’s board and try to move them forward as part of the chamber’s usual advocacy work.
John Winter, who has been at the helm for the last year, will now move into a year in the role of past president and chair of the nominations committee, which was previously filled by Chris Parsons.
The role of past president is to step up to the plate when the current or vice president is unable to do so, and as chair of the executive committee his voice still carries some weight in chamber decision making.
“It feels good,” Winter said of handing down his title.
“It’s a little bit of a different feeling, as the last year it’s been me, but it feels good — I have a lot of respect for Kevin and I know he’s going to do a great job for us in the future.”