by Stephen Dafoe
Roberta Pawluk is not a new face in Morinville but is a new face behind the desk of the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce office. Pawluk joined the Chamber team a couple of weeks ago as Member Services Specialist.
“I’m basically here for the members,” Pawluk said, noting she believes her seven years of experience working with the St. Albert Chamber will help her help local and regional businesses that are Chamber members. “I’m completely focused on what we can do to get the membership involved in the Chamber.”
Out of the gate, Pawluk, who previously worked in advertising and insurance sales, is hoping to implement some new programs through the board that will engage the members more and bring them together even more as a business community.
“I’d love to see a member-to-member program to encourage people to shop local,” she said. “If members can offer a small discount to other members and all their employees, it brings all those people in the doors.”
Pawluk is also hoping to get a breakfast networking event happening. The Chamber currently holds a monthly Chamber luncheon, and a regular Business After Hours social mixer that has been well received. Pawluk believes an early morning opportunity may be easier for more businesses to attend.
“Maybe do some speed networking to let businesses make those valuable connections over breakfast,” she said. “Not everybody can make it after hours. Not everybody can make it at lunch. But most people can make it to breakfast, or maybe one of the three [networking events].”
Long term, she would love to see every business become a member of the Chamber. To that end, Pawluk is also hoping to use part of her time to help grow the membership as well.
“We’re not just about the networking and the advertising or the stuff you see on the surface,” she said, noting that much of the Chamber’s work is behind the scenes on advocacy issues that affect business on a local, provincial or national level.”The advocacy piece is why Chambers were created.”
Chamber President Shaun Thompson said he is looking forward to having Pawluk on the team.
“We’re excited to have Roberta as part of the Chamber,” Thompson said, noting he also believes her past Chamber experience bring a lot to the table. “She’s really good at member services and creating that really good relationship between Chamber and members. We all think she’s going to be a welcome addition.”
Thompson said the addition of Pawluk to the team would give two staff in the office. Chamber Manager Dianne Mineault is currently on medical leave, but Thompson said she would be returning to the office.