New and returning Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce board members pose for a photo Dec. 17. L-R: Diane Rose, Judy Dick, Dan Lea, Pam Baron, Logan Aitken, Inger Laing and Barry Grant. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce elects new board

Board elections and other chamber news

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce held its board elections during its monthly lunch meeting on Dec. 17.

In by acclamation are: president Barry Grant, vice president Inger Laing, and treasurer Pam Baron.

Board members, also by acclamation, are Melodie Helm (Sunny 94), Judy Dick (Ponoka News), Dan Lea (Ponoka Fertilizer), Mattie Dewald (Sommer Home Hardware), Kahla Rakai (Direct Travel), Logan Aitken (The Brick), Diane Rose (Rose Creations) and Lana Johnson (Maskwacis Employment Centre).

Chamber business

The chamber presented its financial statements and 2020 budget for approval by the members.

Financial statements

After an issue with the chamber’s QuickBooks last year, a lot of work was done to get things back in order.

“We managed to get it all in and it’s all good again,” said Grant.

The chamber’s profit for 2019 up until the end of November was about $115,000 and expenses were $105,000.

“We’re to the good a little bit at this point, but we have some expenses in December that’s going to bring that down closer to the break-even … and that’s what we budgeted for.”

Revenue came from membership fees and the trade show, and expenses included putting on the trade show, the chamber business awards and Christmas activities and office expenses.

2020 budget

The chamber’s 2020 budget has allotted an amount for the creation of a brochure that would promote the chamber and its membership benefits.

A small amount was also budgeted for the possibility of hiring a bookkeeper to help with office operations and to free up some of executive manager Heather Bendera’s time so she can focus on events and the members.

The income-to-expense ratio for 2020 is balanced with an estimated $102,000 on each side, which the board approved at its last meeting.

This year the chamber hopes to add 10 members to bring the total to 190.

“If we see that a whole number of members all of a sudden are not renewing, that’s a red flag for us to look at our expenses,” said Grant, adding that extra expenditures may then have to be cut from the budget.

Almost Midnight Madness

Almost Midnight Madness had some changes this year with the addition of the parade and fireworks.

The parade was “excellent” says Grant.

“We’re looking to build on that next year … that event really brought an influx of people into the downtown core for that parade and we want to continue with that for 2020.”

New members

New members joining the chamber were Amber Yuzwak of Amber’s Creations, Mike Phelan of National Tire Recycling Group, Alex Park of Husky and Nab Sighn from Prime Liquor.

National Tire Recycling took over the site north of Ponoka on Hwy. 2A three years ago and offers rubber mulch products that will soon be available in different colours.

They also have a product called “Happy Hoof” rubber mulch for cattle. Adding it to riding arenas reduces the dust by creating a barrier between the particles of sand, preventing them from pulverizing into dust. It’s currently being used at the Calnash Ag Event Centre and has been picked up by Peavy Mart.

Amber’s Creations, formerly a home-based business, will be opening in the beginning of February in the old Tin Chicken location next to the Ponoka registry office.

Park and Sighn were not present at the meeting.


The Annual General Meeting will be on Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. at the Ponoka Golf Club.

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