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The Fernie Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting on April 20, 2017 at the Fernie Best Western Plus Mountain Lodge. Seventy guests were in attendance to review the annual report, review financials, elect board directors, and amend the organizations bylaws. The guest speaker was Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

The 2017 – 2018 Board of Directors includes three directors elected to a second term – Alicia Clarke, Graeme Nunn, Anita Palmer; and three new directors – Martin Brock, Andre Labine, and Jamie Hansen. These six join Sheila Byers, Vanessa Croome, Ryan Frazer, Mel Mackay, Derrick Berry, and Tammy Ogden on the board.

Board President Sheila Byers reported on a successful year for the Chamber. The Business Retention and Expansion Survey was completed, a sold-out award gala, a successful first year for the Ambassador Program, and a return of the Taste of Fernie being a few of the highlights. The Chamber welcomed 46 new members in 2016 and saw a 7% growth in membership. Byers also noted that the mission of Strengthening Commerce in Fernie is always at the forefront of board decisions.

Above: Val Litwin, Mayor Guiliano, Sheila Byers and Executive Director, Patty Vadnais.

Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce was on hand to update members on work being done at the provincial level. The BC Chamber works closely with elected officials in Victoria working on policy driven by regional Chambers. Litwin spoke of the strength in the Chamber network and that the BC Chamber is focusing on knowing what’s on BC’s mind. This data will drive future policy work for the BC Chamber.

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