Business

New director added at annual meeting

The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual general meeting Tuesday night. The seven-member board, sworn in by Councillor Sean Mackinlay, is committed to a strategic plan that includes hosting social networking events, promoting business to business relations and increasing membership through community outreach. From the left; Robin Legere, Gilbert Champagne, Lesley Yearsley, Susan Chew, Cary Zips, Kathleen Plaa, and Mackinlay (not pictured; Director Debra Barembruch). - Sheri Regnier
The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual general meeting Tuesday night. The seven-member board, sworn in by Councillor Sean Mackinlay, is committed to a strategic plan that includes hosting social networking events, promoting business to business relations and increasing membership through community outreach. From the left; Robin Legere, Gilbert Champagne, Lesley Yearsley, Susan Chew, Cary Zips, Kathleen Plaa, and Mackinlay (not pictured; Director Debra Barembruch).
— image credit: Sheri Regnier

A new director from downtown Trail’s business community joined the six-member board of the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce (TCOC) during Tuesday night’s annual general meeting.

Kathleen Plaa, a notary public and two-year business owner, was sworn in by Trail Coun. Sean Mackinlay and will network in the working community along with ongoing directors Debra Barembruch from Amore’s Ristorante;  Gilbert Champagne of Hollis Wealth; Robin Legere, Canadian Tire; Lesley Yearsly from Scotiabank; Cary Zips; and Susan Chew (board president) from Selkirk College.

“The chamber was my first introduction into being a business owner,” said Plaa. “They were really there for me, so now it’s about serving the community in the capacity of a director.”

The chamber office, located on Bay Ave., hosted 20 members from the community during the once-a-year meeting to listen to the president’s report of progress, review financial records, swear in the directors, and update information in its constitution, which this year focused on the area the chamber serves.

The TCOC’s territorial limits remain defined as westerly boundaries of Warfield, the northerly boundary to China Creek and Genelle, the easterly boundary including Beaver Valley communities, and south to the international border.

Membership increased by 30 last year, and now stands at 240 or 37 per cent of businesses spread across the chamber’s boundaries, according to Norm Casler, TCOC’s executive director.

“We have a fair amount of members from Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield and as far out as Genelle,” said Casler. “Overall it is about 37 per cent of all businesses which on average across B.C. is a good number,” he explained. “So our vision is to continue doing what we do and knock on more doors to let folks know about the value in what we do.”

Besides advocating for local businesses through membership programs, the chamber is home to the City of Trail visitor’s centre and Teck’s Interpretive Centre.

The two destinations welcomed 60 busloads of tourists passing through town last summer and expect more of the same this year.

Additionally, chamber staff operates the city’s RV park, books the Birchbank picnic grounds, organizes various educational workshops and this year, will host the all candidates forums for the Nov. 15 civic election.

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