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Denby eager to take over Chamber helm


After being first vice-president for two years, Christine Denby (Gillons’ Insurance Brokers) was elected president of the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce at its annual general membership meeting last Tuesday at The Harbourage.

“It’s kind of like being lady-in-waiting and now it’s my turn to be queen,” Denby said last week morning.

Denby noted she’s looking forward to the year ahead and what it holds for the Chamber’s executive and board of directors.

“What I think is great is we’ve got a nice mix of experience and inexperience, old and new,” she remarked. “There’s a lot of idealism—we’ve got people who are ready to do some neat stuff.

“I think we’re going to have a good year,” Denby added. “We’ve got a good, solid base to go with. We’ve had two or three really good years where we’ve built up good programs.

“The home show’s doing very well, ‘Quest for the Best’ is doing well.

“But we’ve also got a good track record of lobbying and working with our municipal government and our involvement with NOACC, which is the regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I think that’s going to continue and only get better,” Denby said.

“Already I’ve got very, very good vibes from our mayor-elect, Roy Avis, who’s looking forward to building a good relationship with the Chamber and working on economic development and so on.

“We’re really enthused about that.”

Taking Denby’s place as first vice-president will be Cathy Emes (Edwards Jones).

Gary Rogozinski (Abitibi-Consolidated) will assume the role of past president while the positions of second vice-president and treasurer are expected to be filled at the Chamber’s next regular meeting on Dec. 12.

Meanwhile, the new directors on the Chamber board for 2007 include LeighAnn Cameron (Border Rock 92.3 fm “The Wolf”), Nancy Daley (Canadian Mental Health Association), Stephen Kontzie (RBC), Kevin Nielson (Shopper’s Drug Mart), Janet Plumridge (Investors Group), and Chris Shackles (Enterprise Rent-A-Car).

Returning directors include Barb Cournoyer (TD Canada Trust), Brian Kahler (Brown Cow Productions), Bev Kotnik (Good Impressions Printing), Anne Renaud (Confederation College), Kelly Spicer (Curves for Women), and Jeff Wright (Wright Physiotherapy).

Jane Gillon (Ministry of Northern Development and Mines) was appointed as an ex-officio member while Patti Anderson and Geoff Gillon will represent the Business Improvement Association and Rainy River Future Development Corp., respectively.

The Chamber hopes to see the Town of Fort Frances and Couchiching First Nation appoint representatives in the near future.

The Chamber also bid farewell to a number of directors, including Alan Tibbetts (H&R Block), Gus MacDonell (IQON Financial), Meghan Haehn (BDO Dunwoody), Mike Cameron (Confederation College), Linda Larocque (Kitchen Creek Golf Course), and Randy Thoms (Shaw Cable).

The new board will assume their positions Jan. 1.

Also at last Tuesday’s wine and cheese get-together, mayor-elect Avis shared his vision of the next four years with the Chamber membership.

About 40 people were on hand for the event.

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