Jennifer Phillips has been hired as the new executive director for the NWT Chamber of Commerce, effective Oct. 13.

Phillips moved to the NWT in 2016 and recently completed her master’s degree in political science, according to the business lobby organization.

“She has been active in advocating for Northern issues since 2019,” the chamber stated.

Phillips said it’s time to put that experience to work.

“I felt that this opportunity was a chance to go capitalize on those skills and those relationships that I had built, and turn that intent into action… when I was travelling across the NWT in 2019, as a campaign manager, I got to develop and build a lot of great relationships with people in the different communities. I got to see firsthand what kind of issues not just Northerners were facing, but also businesses, and how advocacy for the North is really important — getting the infrastructure and the support that Northerners need to be successful, and to have a good quality of life.”

Phillips was a bit nervous at first, but is ready to take on the challenge. Renée Comeau, who was born and raised in the Northwest Territories, joined the NWT chamber as executive director in a contract capacity in May 2018 after seven years as a member of the Yellowknife chamber’s board of directors.

“There are some very big shoes to fill,” she said. “My predecessor was really great at her job. I’m hoping that with hard work and persistence, I can make her proud and do what I can to help the chamber and businesses across the territory.”

During her time as executive director, Phillips aims to continue supporting businesses and Northerners.

“Basically, use that knowledge that I have to help Northerners and help local businesses and smaller businesses to get their feet off the ground and things like that … the learning curve is a little high, but I’m not afraid of a little hard work.”

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