President elect Sherry Gummows speaks to chamber members over Zoom Dec. 21. (Screenshot)

President elect Sherry Gummows speaks to chamber members over Zoom Dec. 21. (Screenshot)

Sherry Gummow elected as new Ponoka chamber president

AGM minutes and other chamber news

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce held its annual general meeting via Zoom on Dec. 21, electing a new president and welcoming some new directors to its board.

Barry Grant moved to the position of past president and Sherry Gummow from Busted Ladies Lingerie is now the president elect, in by acclamation.

“It’s great to have a new voice,” said Grant of Gummow stepping into the president position.

“I’m excited to be part of the chamber,” said Gummow. “I love Ponoka, I love our community, and I want to do whatever I can to help.”

Trevor Cromardie is staying on as vice president and Pam Baron remains the treasurer.

Board members who were elected, all by acclamation, were: Destin Robinson, Gurpreet Virdi, Diane Rose, Lana Johnson and Angie Van Pelt.

Grant gave a special thank you to Judy Dick, publisher of the Ponoka News, who had served with the chamber for 14 years.

The chamber’s finances were presented to the members for approval.

Grant said the chamber had a good year, mainly due funds received through a Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan.

“By the end of the year we should be sitting in really good shape,” he said.

The chamber reportedly they’re “thinking positively” and planning to have a trade show in 2022.

They are also looking to continue their golf tournament, after holding their first event of that kind in 2021.

Chamber Market

Chamber student Anna O’Donnell gave some updates on the Chamber Market, a new online shopping platform.

O’Donnell said she’s been promoting the market as an e-commerce platform, but will now be focusing more on how it’s a support to local small businesses.

“It’s basically all the chambers creating storefronts under the same platform,” said Grant.

The Chamber Market is a new online platform being spearheaded by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) in partnership with local chambers.

“This is good old-fashioned Alberta entrepreneurial spirit at work finding long-term solutions to help the local retail sector overcome significant e-commerce competition challenges that have been amplified by the global pandemic,” said Ken Kobly, president and CEO of ACC, in a recent press release.

“Not only does this give incredible exposure to businesses, a consumer crunched for time can – from the convenience of their own home – purchase decorative hand towels from Lloydminster, leather wallets from Blackfoot, and wooden board games from Airdrie, while stocking their holiday cupboards with coffee, spirits and baked goods from local producers.”

There are currently 1,200 items for sale on Chamber Market, with the goal of adding more products and services from local businesses.

For more information, visit chambermarket.ca.