Rick Apperson receives congratulations for his two terms of service on the board of directors.

Rick Apperson receives congratulations for his two terms of service on the board of directors.

Chamber elects new president at AGM

Colin Bateman takes over for outgoing President George Whitehead

The Smithers Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting at the Pioneer Centre on March 20.

Manager Heather Gallagher spoke to attendees, highlighting some past successes and future events in the coming year and thanking all those that committed their time.

“The directors and staff are excited about the level of engagement and active involvement in the role you play, in the many events the chamber is involved in throughout the year,” Gallagher told the crowd.

Last year, the Chamber hosted their largest Business and Community Awards in its history, the seventh annual New Business Gala awards, and they continued to work on Project Comeback, a initiative dedicated to bringing young professionals and business people back to their homes in rural B.C.

“This past year has been a great year again for the Chamber of Commerce,” President George Whitehead said.

“We had many accomplishments throughout the year.”

This year, the chamber will, once again, organize the Northwest Trade Expo, an event that provides opportunities for local business to promote their products and services by welcoming over 3000 visitors to trade show booths and they’ll also contribute to the second phase of Project Comeback.

From an administrative standpoint, former vice president Colin Bateman will take over the presidency and  Greg Wacholtz will become vice president.

Whitehead will take on a past-president’s advisory role.

“It’s with mixed emotions that I make my last President’s report to the Chamber of Commerce,” Whiteheads said.

“I am saddened to be leaving the wonderful staff and great volunteers that make our chamber everything that it is.”

“George has been an engaged president and his effective leadership skills have resulted in the growth and success of the chamber,” Gallagher said.

As well, Jason Krauskopf will return to the board of directors for another term and Chris Mitchell, Adrian Carlick and David McKenzie will be added to the board.

Financially, the chamber was again in the black, roughly $7,000 under budget.