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Chamber seeking to fill six seats on board

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With six directors expected to step down in late November, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is putting out a call for nominations.

Chamber manager Dawn Booth said Wanda Barker (Super 8 Motel), Krista Mauro (RBC Royal Bank), Paul Sunstrum (Canadian Tire), Nancy Daley-Fulton (CMHA), Gary Rogozinski (AbitibiBowater) and Anne Renaud (Confederation College) will be leaving or otherwise giving up their current seats on the board as of the Chamber’s annual general meeting on Nov. 25.

Daley-Fulton, currently second vice-president, and Renaud will continue to serve on various Chamber committees, noted Booth.

Rogozinski, who currently holds a seat on the executive as past-president, will leave that chair and return to being the appointee for AbitibiBowater.

“We have six people leaving our board this year, so we’ll definitely have to fill six seats,” Booth noted, adding it remains to be seen whether a proper election will be necessary (it all depends on how many nominations come forward prior to Nov. 25).

The Chamber is asking for nominations right now because, according to a procedural bylaw amended this past January, members must be given 60 days’ notice of any election.

Booth explained it used to be that terms were up Dec. 31, so new directors would start Jan. 1. But since the Chamber changed its procedural bylaw this past January, the new terms of office will begin with the first board meeting following an election—in this case, Dec. 16.

Something else new this year, Booth stressed, is those who are interested in being a director must state their intention to do so in writing prior to the Nov. 25 meeting.

Booth said there’s also going to be major changes to the executive this year. In addition to Daley-Fulton leaving as second vice-president, Christine Denby has fulfilled her two-year term as president. Cathy Emes has expressed interest in the presidency, so her role as first vice-president then may be vacant.

“So the president’s seat will be open, as will the two vice-president seats. The treasurer [Janet Plumridge] will probably remain the same and Christine will obviously move into the past-president’s seat,” Booth noted, adding these positions will have to be filled Nov. 25.

The responsibilities of a director include:

•to help formulate and review various policies, proposed actions, programs, and projects so that the best interest of the Chamber and community can be accomplished through concerted action;

•to provide the personal leadership, enthusiasm, and support necessary to help co-ordinate and build an effective organization geared to solving community problems; and

•to evaluate and act on issues which come, or should come, before the board of directors.

You do not need to be a business owner to sit on the board but your affiliated business must belong to the Chamber, Booth noted.

“But we really do encourage business owners or those that have a say in the business sit on the board because it’s actually them that’s making decisions for the business community,” she remarked. “It’s good to have somebody that has the authority to make those decisions and know what’s going on.”

As far as time commitment, Booth said the Chamber changed its meeting schedule this year so the board of directors only meets once a month instead of twice, as they did for many years. As well, the number of Chamber sub-committees has been condensed from 10 to five or six, meaning less meetings.

“But it’s definitely a time commitment,” she stressed. “You have to commit to once a month—we usually meet for about an hour and-a-half at lunchtime. And of the subcommittees, you’re required to sit on at least two.

“Depending on which committee you sit on, like if you sit on the home and leisure show committee, it’s going to take a lot more time than one of our others might take.

“And then, of course, directors are all, even if they’re not sitting on a particular committee, expected and encouraged to volunteer at all the different events we do,” Booth added. “So there’s definitely a time commitment, but it’s not unmanageable.”

Chamber initiatives range from the recent Business Retention and Expansion project, flower beautification project (“Project Petunia”), and the spring home and leisure show to a tourism marketing campaign, “Quest for the Best” and “Kiddie Quest,” and the annual business awards, among others.

For more information on being a director, call Booth at 274-5773.

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