The Hay River Chamber of Commerce has a new president.
Mary Boden was chosen to fill the leadership position at an executive meeting on Sept. 11.
The presidency had been vacant since former president Joe Melanson moved out of Hay River earlier this year.
“I’m just completing the term of the previous president,” said Boden.
That one-year term will end when an election is held during the chamber’s next annual general meeting in February.
Boden said she plans to run for the presidency at that meeting.
She noted she wasn’t previously on the executive before being asked to take over the position of president.
Now that she is president, Boden said one of her goals is to increase the number of members with the Hay River Chamber of Commerce.
Currently, the chamber has 74 members.
“Is that a good number? Honestly, any number is a good number,” said Boden. “As many people as we can get and who are invested and interested in being part of the chamber is always good. But roughly we see that anywhere about 125 members is a really good number for us.”
As for how the membership could be increased to that number, she said the executive will brainstorm for ideas, and let potential members know the benefits of being part of the chamber.
“So is there a special formula that you go and do this and then this, and you get members? No,” she said. “What I’m hoping to do is get as much information about the chamber out there to people.”
That will include revamping the chamber’s membership package to include more information on the organization and the benefits of membership.
Boden noted the benefits include the fact that the chamber will always advocate for its members.
Plus, members get certain discounts, such as if they rent one of the highway signs at the entrance to Hay River. Those signs are a chamber project.
Boden said the chamber is important to the business community in Hay River.
“We always try to be involved in the community as much as we can,” she said. “Businesses in Hay River support many organizations and events for which every person in town benefits from in some way.”
Boden noted the chamber itself is responsible for a number of events – the Business, Home and Leisure Show; a gala featuring award presentations; the Corporate Challenge golf tournament; a winter road coupon book to encourage people from surrounding communities to shop in Hay River; and more.
Boden, who is an assistant project manager with Arctic Canada Construction (Arcan), became involved in the chamber just over a year ago after moving back to Hay River.
“I like to deliver projects under budget and on time, and that’s kind of how I view coming into the chamber,” she said. “All these things that we do, they’re projects. And with my history in project management and working in construction, I like to view it that way.”