Above back row from left: Pat Tight, Simon Boersma, Mark Cardinal, Shaun Thompson, Blair Shepherd.
Above front row from left: Dianne Mineault, Phil Hughes, Samantha Olson, Matt Meunier.

by Stephen Dafoe

Approximately two dozen Morinville & District Chamber members came out for the final Chamber luncheon before the summer break to elect a new board and president.

Long-time Chamber president and Chamber member Simon Boersma has stepped aside after three years on the board and an additional four as Chamber President. He now takes on the board position of Past President.

In his outgoing Boersma thanked the board and the Chamber staff, and went on to acknowledge work that had occurred in the community.

“Four years has passed by rather quickly and yet much has been accomplished by our boards to date,” Boersma said. “I remember when we did not have a full-time walk-in medical clinic in the community. A change of ideas about our overpass and recognizing the issues at hand and the economic impacts it could have on our community.”

Boersma said he was proud of working with both Morinville and Sturgeon County, and bringing Alexander First Nation to the table. Boersma said Sturgeon County will now send a representative to the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce board table as Morinville does.

“We now have some great collaboration at throughout the region,” Boersma said.

New president and board

Shaun Thompson of Sobeys takes the helm as Chamber President. Samantha Olsen of Putnam and Lawson will be Vice President.

Thompson, who was previously a director at large, said he could not express the excitement in being the new president.

“I have some really big shoes to fill with Simon,” Thompson said, noting the members are the reason for the board’s existence, and he wants to be mindful of that.

“We just want to make sure the value equation works for all the members. We all know how tough the economy has been and is still. We want to make sure that when everybody pays their dues, they are getting the worth out of it – they are getting the value out of it.”

Thompson said he believes that is achievable through what he says is a great board with great ideas.

“I’m really excited to see what the next two years brings,” Thompson said.

Directors at large remain largely unchanged.

Chamber Directors include Marcel Arcand (Alexander First Nation), Phil Hughes (Premium Food Services), Jeff Lamarche (Sabecnat Plumbing), Matt Meunier (Morinville Shell), JonathanEllison (Champion Petfoods), Estela Oats (Elysha’s Cleaning), Blair Shepherd (Drayden Insurance), Pat Tighe (First Print Shop), and Mark Cardinal (Dairy Queen).

No additional nominations from the floor were received after three calls for nominations.

During the meeting, some boards and committees upcoming work were outlined, including raising awareness through booths at golf tournaments and a float in the region’s summer festival parades. Director Blair Shepherd said he would work on revisiting the Chamber’s bylaws and said he hopes to present them in the fall.

The Chamber also presented their financial statements. Former board member Penny Modien said last year was a “decent year” that resulted in an $8300 surplus.

“I’ve been on the board for three or four years, and I think that’s the first time we’ve had a surplus,” Modien said.

The Chamber will take a luncheon meeting break for the summer, resuming in September.

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