Questions posed in Open Letter from ODN to Chamber president:
Total number of directors that have quit since the AGM?
What is the plan to replace them?
Is there a purpose for SOCC – should it be broken up? Should it go back to its roots – representing each community – OK Falls, Osoyoos and Oliver.
Will the office in Oliver be staffed on a regular basis? Moved?
I’ll just rapid-fire respond to the above questions; I feel like most of the changes at the Chamber were covered in the press release that was posted last Wednesday. It’s still here on ODN if readers want to check it out.
Anyway, total number of directors that have stepped down since the AGM is 3. Doug Lamb, Sara Amos and Jamie Cox recently resigned for different reasons including health, time commitment and, yes, the direction of the Chamber.
Plan to replace them: This was the first year that the Chamber increased its board size to 11 members. We have typically been a nine member board. We’ll actively seek out a 9th board member to bring us up to our usual number but we’re not panicking to get back to 11. Having said that, it’s great to have more voices and differing skill sets at the table, so we hope to be back to 11 soon.
Purpose of the S.O.C.C.: To me, the main purpose of the Chamber is to provide a voice for the business community in our area. This sometimes includes supporting policies that other Chambers in BC bring forward to the Province. The Chamber should be focused on economic development for our region while looking out for the interests of the businesses that drive our three communities.
Should it be broken up into 3 again (Chamber in Osoyoos, Chamber in Oliver, Chamber in OK Falls)?: I have spoken to a number of people who were not in favour of the three Chambers amalgamating. Their reasoning usually has to do with not wanting to drive to the other communities for networking events, or sometimes a feeling that the communities are so unique from one another that one Chamber can’t represent their interests. Personally I feel that the Chamber (and most other organizations and businesses for that matter) is much stronger when we think and act as a region. Aside from the practical things like cost savings and more networking opportunities that one Chamber affords, it’s my feeling that as a regional Chamber we have a stronger lobbying voice at the Provincial level.
The Chamber office will be staffed on a regular basis, but again, as per that press release last week, we’re sunsetting the Executive Director role so we are in the process of writing up a new job description before we hire any staff. There are currently no plans to move the Chamber office. We’ll still be ODN’s neighbours if Jack is planning on being there for a while.
By the way, if you’ve read this far along you must have at least a passing interest in your local Chamber of Commerce. Why not come out to our next Networking Night and see what we’re up to? Or keep an eye on our website for the answer to the headline, “Does anybody really know what is going on at the Chamber?” You can just check it out for yourself.