Business chamber under new leadership

Brodie Thomas
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The Port aux Basques and Area Chamber of Commerce has had some changed to its executive in the past year.

The board and staff of the Port aux Basques and Area Chamber of Commerce, back from left, managing coordinator Natashua Osmond, Cathy Lomond, Charlene Blackmore and Margie MacDonald; front, Bill Waechter, Karren Herridge-Strickland and Kathy Squarey.

The changes were officially announced at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) held at Hotel Port aux Basques on Nov. 28.

Karen Herridge-Strickland has taken the place of Sherry Kinch as president. Mrs. Kinch was elected at the 2011 AGM and recently stepped down due to other commitments.

Dave Thomas also stepped down from the board due to other commitments. He was one of five directors.

Kathy Squarey, who had been serving as secretary, is the new vice-president.

Cathy Lomond agreed to become secretary.

Ms. Herridge-Strickland said in the past year, the chamber had helped distribute $132,000 through various programs and activities.

She said she and the board are taking a more active role in talking to and meeting with members.

“We are convinced that strength is in numbers,” said Ms. Strickland.

Managing coordinator Natashua Osmond provided a rundown of the chamber’s activities over the past year.

Mrs. Osmond has temporarily taken over the managing coordinator position from Nadine Osmond, who has taken a leave of absence to pursue a short term opportunity with the Marine and Mountain Zone.

The chamber played a big role in the 2011 Santa Claus Parade in Port aux Basques. In January 2012 the large sign at the entrance to Port aux Basques was updated. April saw the chamber hosting another successful business expo at the Bruce II Sports Centre.

Other activities through the year included the Taste of Newfoundland dinner, a Golf Tournament, activities surrounding Small Business week, and the hiring of summer students and workers for projects.

One of those workers hired with government funding was Kay Short, who is helping plan for a regional woodworking conference to be held this April in Port aux Basques.

Mrs. Short said they are in the process of finalizing guest speakers and more information should be available on the conference shortly.

Ms. Herridge-Strickland started an open discussion about the future of the chamber near the end of the meeting.

She said she is hoping to grow the chamber by 35 or 40 members in the next year. As of Wednesday night the Chamber had 97 members and another six potential members in the process of joining.

Other topics discussed among members including shared tourism potential and the downtown revitalization project.

Organizations: Hotel Port aux Basques, Bruce II Sports Centre

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, Newfoundland

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