GAME CHANGING YEAR FOR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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November 15, 2019
(Medicine Hat) – The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce held its annual Presidents’ Reception, Membership Appreciation and Annual General meeting on November 14th to not only highlight the activities and successes of the organization’s 2018-2019 year, but also to recognize their long standing members and Past Presidents’ of the organization.
 
During the Annual General Meeting, Sarah Mackenzie, Past President, and Lisa Kowalchuk, Executive Director, gave a year in review which chronicled the many advocacy successes and operational achievements of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce during 2018-2019. The Chamber also recognized the 132 businesses who joined the Chamber in 2018-2019, along with recognizing 55 milestones anniversaries for members who have been involved in the Chamber for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 90+ years. The organization also took the opportunity to recognize its monumental list of Past Presidents who served since 1900.
 
Some of the highlights mentioned at the event included advocacy work on the following issues:
  • Municipal Air Service
  • Property Assessment & Taxation
  • Offsite levies
  • Business incentives
  • Land development
  • Downtown infrastructure and development
  • City Purchasing
  • Municipal Economic Development
  • Red Tape Reduction
  • Municipal Planning
  • Municipal finances and the Financially Fit Framework
  • Twinning of Highway 3
  • Employment standards & Minimum Wage
  • Child Advocacy Centre
  • Excise tax on medicinal cannabis
  • Animal Welfare
  • Irrigation
  • Agriculture Education
  • Interprovincial trade
  • Access to markets
In addition, the chamber mentioned both the provincial and federal election campaigns and forums that used the Vote Prosperity election platforms adopted by the larger chamber network, focusing on issues and recommendations based on grassroots priorities. They also focused on the collaboration with chamber colleagues across the country and their active efforts in engaging with political parties and representatives across the spectrum to gain alignment with the Vote Prosperity priorities and various policy positions.
 
“We anticipate that this upcoming year will continue to produce issues that will require our combined input and network of influence, as we deal with current policy priorities and emerging issues. The way we do business today is unrecognizable from 50, 20 or even 10 years ago. This new business landscape opens up many opportunities to be more responsive, efficient and innovative. We are committed to looking for those opportunities and leading the way as ‘game changers’,” stated Sarah MacKenzie, Past President.
 
Operationally, the chamber has continued to grow its membership, along with hosting signature events like annual business awards, networking events, lunch and learns and tradeshows that allowed members to connect, celebrate and learn. In addition, renovations were completed at the chamber office allowing for future growth within the organization and expanded meeting space that can be utilized by members.
 
Accomplishments of the past year were recognized and rewarded with the Chamber of Year Award, which was bestowed to the local chamber at the annual Alberta Chambers of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Policy Session in May of this year.
 
In addition, the Chamber elected four new directors and eight returning directors for the 2019- 2020 fiscal year with Directors representing a cross section of industries within the Chamber. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2019-2020 are:
  • Tracy Noullett – MNP LLP
  • Marcus Campbell – Terralta Inc
  • Scott Lehr – Short Grass Ranches Ltd.
  • Brett Pudwell – EBT Chartered Accountants LLP
  • Sarah MacKenzie – MacKenzie Eye Care, The Home Team | Royal LePage Community Realty
  • Sarah Koch – Bishop Koch Lawyers
  • Sarah Franchetto – RBC Royal Bank
  • Tammy Sweeney – Canalta Centre
  • Reagan Weeks – Prairie Rose School Division
  • Trevor Anhel – RBC Mortgage Specialist
  • Steve Heid – Lacey Homes Ltd.
  • Steven Pudwell – Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
Board members volunteer to sit on various committees that are designed to spearhead initiatives that uphold the goals of the chamber. Committee chairs and members are tasked with spurring action through the following committees: Executive; Finance; Leadership Development; Policy Council; Agribusiness Policy Council; Community Connections; Urban Development; and the Legacy Project Task Force. Board members also volunteer to sit as Chamber representatives on a number of other boards and committees that have mandates that align with our strategic direction and policies. These organizations include: Community Futures Entre-Corp; Invest Medicine Hat; Wild Horse Border Crossing Committee; Highway 3 Association and the Medicine Hat Sport and Event Council Promotions and Marketing Committee.
 
“This past year has been a year full of successes and I’m proud to have been at the helm of the Chamber to see the hard work of this organization recognized and rewarded. I am confident that our new board of directors will represent our organization with integrity and I look forward to the continued growth and success under our new Chamber President, Tracy Noullett”, MacKenzie further remarked.
 
Tracy Noullett, President of the Chamber of Commerce commented, ‘During our Annual General Meeting we always look back at the preceding year and chronicle our Chambers’ accomplishments. We will take the accomplishments of the past year and use it as a launching pad for 2019-2020. I know our incoming board is committed to building upon the success of last year and furthering our strategic goals of being the most unified, valued and influential business network in Medicine Hat & District through our mission of stimulating a strengthened and vibrant economy in our region through our connections, support and influence.”
 
The full annual report is available on the chamber website.
 
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Tracy Noullett
Chamber of Commerce President, 2019-2020
Phone: (403) 527-5214 ext.225

 
The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 750 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 24,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.