The person responsible for the course and speed of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’s last eight years at sea is venturing into uncharted waters herself.
Deneen Everett, who took over as the chamber’s executive director at the start of 2014, is ditching the full-time gig to foray into entrepreneurship.
She’s keeping her cards close to her chest in terms of what sort of business she intends to run. She says she’s staying in the capital, and that all will be revealed once she’s actually left the chamber sometime in the “coming months.”
In the meantime, the chamber is hiring her replacement, someone who will be expected to execute the strategic plan set by the board of directors.
They will be responsible for overseeing delivery of all programs and services, membership growth and retention, financials, daily operations, marketing, public relations, and lobbying efforts. The Chamber is offering a salary of $95,000 to $100,000 based on experience, individual health and dental benefits – and a parking spot in downtown Yellowknife.
Everett took the job in Yellowknife after a stint as the general manager of the Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce, according to her public LinkedIn profile, which also says she has a degree in psychology and biology, a diploma in international event and wedding planning and an MBA.
She called the executive director gig her “dream job.
“It’s such a wonderful opportunity for candidates who love Yellowknife who are interested in supporting and helping businesses, who have knowledge and insight about economic development and want to serve the community. It’s a challenging role, it’s a demanding role, but it’s very rewarding.”
She said her favourite memories of her time with the chamber are connected to things she help get off the ground.
“One of the highlights would be the programs that have been created,” said Everett. “We started the #ShopYK Passport Program in partnership with the City of Yellowknife. We created the Trailblazers Symposium, another partnership with the city. We added almost 50 booths to our spring trade show. We’ve started the small business week conference, and the Business Award Gala. These were all programs that didn’t exist, that myself and the board of directors were able to create and that’s been really rewarding.”
Her advice to her eventual successor? Listen.
“Learn from everyone that you can,” Everett said. “Take advantage of the knowledge from the board of directors. Research and stay on top of the news, and make sure that you find a chance to talk to local businesses, and talk to government leaders and staff. Learn as much as you can, and talk to as many people as you can to make sure you understand the issues that businesses face.”