by Stephen Dafoe

Two regional business organizations are currently looking for volunteers to serve on their boards. Community Futures: Tawatinaw Region in Westlock and The Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce are both seeking some help.

Community Futures

Community Futures: Tawatinaw Region receives its core funding from Western Economic Diversification and has developmental funding as the main focus. The organization funds start-up and expansion businesses who have gone to traditional lenders and not been able to receive funding. The secondary focus is on educating and assisting entrepreneurs with business planning and other one-on-one consultations on marketing, communications, and understanding financial documents.

Kelly Harris-Martin, General Manager of Community Futures Tawatinaw Region, said her organization currently has the need for four members to bring the board to 12.

The Board of Directors is made up of councillors or other people appointed by the various municipalities within the 14-municipality region. All the appointed positions are filled, but they do have four vacant member-at-large positions.

“We’re looking for people that have some experience in entrepreneurship themselves – be that as a family business, family farm or entrepreneurs themselves,” Harris-Martin explained. “If they believe they have something to bring to the table, we’d love to hear from them.”

The time commitment is attending nine to 10 meetings per year, each of which is about two hours, except for the June Annual General Meeting, which is a full day. The Board does not meet in July, August or typically January.

Harris-Martin said the important thing is finding people willing to look at the type of developmental lending Community Futures does with an open mind. “Community Futures is really about right person right place, right fit,” she said. “We like to give our clients a hand up, not a handout. Somebody that is willing to look at the individual behind an application ad to help us determine if that is a good fit, both for the region as a whole, as well as for this office. Experience in accounting and that sort of thing is not a requirement to be on the Board. At the end of the day, we like our board members to remember that this is an actual board of directors. It’s not a volunteer committee. So a commitment to attendance is important. We request a two-year commitment just because of the learning curve.”

Call 780-349-2903 for more information.

Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce

Closer to home, the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its Annual General Meeting June 1, and looking for business owners who want to help serve the business community.

The Chamber currently has a 12-member board plus municipal liaisons. Current members include President Simon Boersma and directors Grant Cree, Steve Hammond, Phil Hughes, Jeff Lamarche, Matt Meunier, Penny Modien, Kym Moore, Samantha Olson, Charlene Whitfield, and Leigh Newton.

Boersma told about two dozen Chamber members at the May 4 luncheon that he was hoping to get some new board faces to create some succession planing. The Chamber currently has no vice president in place.

“We’re looking for new blood on the board. We’re looking for people that maybe served 15 years ago. We’re looking for people that have a business in our community or in our region,” Boersma said.

For more information on joining the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce’s Board if Directors, contact the Chamber at 780-939-9462.

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