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Hay River Chamber of Commerce continues with existing leadership after AGM

Terry Rowe is still the president of the Hay River Chamber of Commerce following its annual general meeting on Feb. 24. NNSL file photo

The leadership of the Hay River Chamber of Commerce remains the same after its annual general meeting on Feb. 24.

Terry Rowe, who was the interim president, will continue as president for the coming year, and the previous executive and board members will also continue on in their roles.

"The only people that we were able to keep on the executive for now were the current directors and executives," he said.

Along with Rowe as president, Kandace Shaw remains as first vice-president, Steve Anderson as treasurer, Taramah Pellissey as secretary, Leah McFarlane as a director and Jane Groenewegen as a director.

All will serve one-year terms.

Rowe said he had sent out nomination application forms to chamber members before the AGM.

"And we didn't receive anything, but I'm hoping to reach out to membership and previous directors to see if we can get more involvement," he said.

Rowe said there are still openings for a second vice-president and three director positions.

"If people want to join, they can," he said.

Rowe, who had been second vice-president, stepped up to become interim president last summer when former president Mary Boden left town for educational reasons.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the AGM was held with just the executive and directors in attendance, while other chamber members could participate through Zoom.

During the AGM, Rowe talked about the chamber's activities over the past year and looked forward to what it may become involved in for the coming year.

The chamber had not been active for much of last year because of Covid-19.

"We closed meetings down basically March to October," said Rowe. "All of us being business owners or operators, we were very busy with just trying to get things back to normal. So obviously we weren't very active at that time. We didn't host a trade show. We were able to host our gala in March 2020, but that was basically the only event that we did last year."

This year's gala, usually held about this time of year, has been cancelled.

"That's obviously a no-go with the restrictions put in place right now," said Rowe.

The chamber is currently seeking nominees for Hay River Citizen of the Year and the Customer Service Award, which would normally be presented at the gala.

Rowe said no final decision has yet been made about whether the chamber will hold a trade show in the fall.

"It doesn't look like that's probably going to be a go just with the current restrictions," he said.

Rowe said the chamber might refocus to more advocacy and being a voice for its membership, rather than hosting major events like trade shows.

"Which I think is what we should have been doing in the past," he said. "So I'm hoping that with the executive that we got onboard, so many great people, that we can definitely get that done. I'm optimistic."