Long time Ponoka Chamber member Theresa Turner is flanked by new president Barry Grant (left) and past president Andrew Middleton after presenting her with a bouquet for being with the chamber for 30 years.

New Ponoka chamber president to focus on membership

Plus, over $2 million spent during Passport to Christmas

It isn’t a change in direction, more like a shift in where the spotlight will be placed for the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce.

Barry Grant, who was acclaimed as president at the chamber’s AGM Jan. 16, talked about concentrating on pinpointing the needs of members.

“We can’t do the same old thing and just go through the motions,” he said in his address at the Legion.

“I want us to reach to the current membership and ask what things we can do to help them improve and our effectiveness. Whether that is doing more marketing, bringing more speakers, more training sessions using our own local members as experts.”

Some of that outreach to members will come through social media and surveys, though Grant admitted there have already been some good ideas brought forward that a small chamber like Ponoka simply can’t do. However, he added there are a lot of businesses out there that need to be given reasons to join.

Grant is looking at a long-term goal of increasing membership from the present figure of around 160 to the 200 mark and it will all be about building relationships and working together.

He also updated the membership on the organization’s financial picture, noting there was a $170 profit made in 2017 on close to $51,000 in revenue while the 2018 budget is also designed to break-even with revenue set to rise by just $1,350.

“This is a budget that is meant to meet the needs of the membership. And, while year to year revenue was down in 2017, so were expenses,” Grant said.

He also talked about the looming trade fair, set for Apr. 27 and 28, that will have a Harry Potter theme this year.

“It will be about the wizardry of business and that there is magic everywhere,” Grant said, adding booth sales are moving ahead and one of the big draws for kids will be the game of Quidditch that will be put on by an Alberta club.

Along with Grant, the rest of the executive was acclaimed with Mike Ro as vice-president, Pam Baron as treasurer and seven directors being Susan Bussiere, Judy Dick, Melodie Helm, Inger Laing, Dan Lea, Gord Lodge and Jimmy Palliotto. There are a few openings available for those interested in getting involved. Contact Grant at the chamber if interested.

Over $2 million spent during Passport to Christmas

While going over the previous year, past president Andrew Middleton spoke on the continued success of the chamber’s Passport to Christmas promotion.

“This year was a great success with 49 participating businesses that took in just over $2.6 million in sales,” he said.

Of those sales, $2.33 million were from 7,728 in-town passports, where the total number of passports was 8,682.

Just Posted

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Producers are already charging customers for recycle services

Fixed recycle fees are built-in to packaging rates by producers across the country.

Bringing composting to Ponoka is a simple step

For $2 extra per month, Ponoka residents can see compost collections

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

Teen must repay $37M for starting Oregon wildfire

A teenager who started a major wildfire in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution

Canada’s G7 goal on development: luring private capital to poor nations

G7 finance and international development ministers convene in British Columbia next week

Congressional leaders to review information on Russia probe

Trump said he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Canadians stranded in Cuba after plane crash returning home

Montreal-based travel agency says hundreds of Canadians who were stuck in Cuba since a plane crash last week are returning home

As summit looms, North Korean media return to angry tone

North Korean media are stepping up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and joint military exercises with the United States

Maple Leafs lose another executive after parting ways with assistant GM

The Toronto Maple Leafs say club and assistant general manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways.

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

Most Read