(TRI-CITIES) November 28, 2022 — The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting on November 24, where members elected new and returning directors to the 2023 Board, and approved the incoming executive leadership. More than 70 members attended the hybrid AGM, with in-person attendees at the Executive Plaza Hotel, Coquitlam, as well as participating online via Zoom.
Jenifer Wright, General Manager of Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club, is the new Chair of the Board for 2023, joined by Daniel Richardson, Managing Partner, BTM Lawyers, as Vice-Chair. Ryan Gorder, CPA, CA, Partner and Business Advisor, MNP, will continue as Treasurer. Ryan Whittle, CPA, CA, Partner, Areti LLP will serve as Immediate Past Chair.
Wright and Richardson swore an oath of office in front of the Mayors in attendance, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Belcarra Mayor Jamie Ross, as required by Canada's Boards of Trade Act.
As incoming Chair, Wright spoke about the importance of the business community coming together to support the Chamber. She stressed that membership has its benefits, but it is also about what members can do for the Chamber.
"Without our Chamber, there is a lack of a voice for our business community. Advocacy is such an important part of the Chamber's role, and we can't continue to do that without a large membership," said Wright, referencing her attendance at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Convention, and how powerful of an experience it was to participate in the national policy sessions.
"I encourage everyone to think about what we can do for the Chamber, how we can be heard, and help our business community as a whole. Because without each other, we will not go very far."
In his Chair's Report for 2022, Ryan Whittle said that the year had its fair share of challenges for many member businesses.
"Our Chamber takes great pride in being a convener of business, government, and community to foster dialogue focused on solutions to the complex economic, social, and environmental challenges we face.
"Now more than ever, as businesses cope with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, global unrest, the labour shortage, supply chain issues, severe weather events, the rising cost of doing business, and more, our Chamber has worked to help our member organizations be resilient and thrive.
"We listen to you, work with you, and speak to all levels of government on what businesses need, or need changed."
Newly elected directors for two-year terms on the Board are: Chris Chong, Owner, Butter Studios, Mike Forrest, Vice President, Forrest Marine Ltd., Reihaneh Mirjani, Vice President, Immigrant Link Centre Society, and Pulkit Sharma, Project Manager, Peter Kiewit Sons ULC.
Vivien Symington, Owner, Club Aviva, was re-elected to the Board.
The executive and elected directors will join current directors Adel Gamar, Gamar Leadership Group, Ryan Jamieson, Coquitlam Public Library, Jennifer McKinnon, Downtown Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, Kathryn Millar, Indigenous Worx, and Vineet Verghese, RBC.
Mary Vellani, Senior Manager Cash Management, TD Bank, stepped down as past chair, concluding her seven years with the Board, and now joins the Chamber’s Board of Governors.
The 2023 Board of Directors is responsible for the Chamber's strategic planning, annual budget, and other governance matters, working in conjunction with CEO Leslie Courchesne.
Sponsored by Douglas College and Gulf & Fraser, the AGM included a guest presentation from TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn, as well as a celebration of the Chamber surpassing 1,000 member organizations for the first time in its more than 50-year history.
Treasurer Ryan Gorder presented the draft 2021 audited financial statements, which were approved by the membership along with the re-appointment of Clearline CPA as the Chamber's auditors for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Tri-Cities Chamber works to strengthen business and community in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra through advocacy, benefits, and connections for its members.
View the Tri-Cities Chamber 2022 Annual Report PDF here.
View the Facebook gallery of AGM event photos here.
Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 1,000+ organizations from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong communities. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.
For more information, contact:
Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce