Chamber welcomes new board members

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce welcomes four new members to its board. Bill Ransom, Bill Girard, Allison Bligh and Andrew MacMillan were elected at the Chamber's 95th annual elections luncheon last week at the Westerly.

Ransom has worked in the hospitality industry for about 25 years. He was restaurant manager at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa when he moved to the Valley in 2001. In 2010, he and wife Lisa opened the Wandering Moose Café in the old post office in Cumberland. Ransom had been a director with the Cumberland Chamber before it joined forces with the Comox Valley Chamber. He is a director with the Cumberland Community Forest Society and a member of the United Riders of Cumberland.

With a degree in economics from UVic, Girard pursued a career in commercial banking and community economic development. He has worked in Vancouver, the South Pacific and a number of Island communities. He too moved to the Valley in 2001. Girard joined Canadian Western Bank in 2010 when he recognized an opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the Valley.

Bligh had left a leadership role at BC Hydro to manage her family's tourism business on the West Coast before becoming a Valley resident several years ago. Shortly thereafter, she joined Shaw Communications. Recently, she was asked to build Shaw's Go WiFi network throughout the North Island. Bligh has volunteered with the Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon and Shaw TV the last eight years, and is active with other organizations and sports clubs.

MacMillan, of Harbour Air Group, has more than 30 years experience in destination sales and marketing for the tourism and hospitality industry. He has worked with the airline industry while developing corporate meetings and group business. He served 10 years as events co-chair with the Comox Valley Spirit of BC Community Committee, helped oversee two Paralympic World Cup opening and closing ceremonies and the Torch Relay, and was attaché for the German Olympic biathlon team. He was also accommodations chair for the BC Seniors Games in 2010. In 2012, MacMillan was recognized by Tourism Vancouver Island as Tourism Employee of the Year for his commitment to improvement, and going above and beyond in the treatment of visitors to Vancouver Island.

The new board members will be inducted April 24 at the AGM. They will serve a two-year term.

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