Farewell in 400 words

This is it: my last Chamber Matters column. After five years with the chamber I am leaving my post for a little respite. Working with the chamber and the business community has been a terrific experience — but, how to sum up five years in 400 words …

In October of 2006 chamber membership numbered about 360, the board comprised 10 directors, two office staff, worked in a small three-room office, and the visitor centres had a manager employed for 15 hours a week.

Today, the chamber has 500 members, a full governance board of 20 talented and committed volunteer directors and municipal liaisons, and almost 100 per cent attendance at board meetings; the chamber office employs four people in spacious quarters; the visitor centres have a full-time manager, a full-time seasonal employee, and 75 volunteers. Earlier this year, the chamber signed a contract with the Town of Sidney, to provide services at the Beacon Avenue visitor centre through 2015.

Amongst all of these chamber matters, what has mattered most has been helping to position the chamber as a cog in the complex apparatus that turns the big wheel of the local economy. This mechanism supports the quality, and way of life on the Saanich Peninsula. Simply put, we work, we sell, we get paid, we house and feed our families, we pay our taxes, we reap benefits from those tax dollars, and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round it goes. At the heart of that mechanism is commerce, and somewhere, within it, we all have our place. 

There is no space here to thank individually all of those who have supported the Peninsula Chamber’s work over the past five years, however the busy and gifted business people who served as presidents must be named: Charlie Hodgins, Vancouver Island Helicopter; Pat Fafard, Peninsula Co-op; Terry Stewart, Victoria Airport Authority; Denis Paquette, Sidney Waterfront Inn & Spa; and John Treleaven, Treleaven Consulting Group, our current president. The chamber’s committee chairs have worked tirelessly towards sustaining a vibrant economy on the Peninsula. The keeners on our events committee are responsible for the success of some spectacular events. Special thanks to Central Saanich councillor Susan Mason whose design genius has rocketed chamber events to a new level.

Many thanks to our members, the reason for the chamber’s existence. Special thanks to the people who have been in our employ, and to those who continue to serve the chamber. They are the lifeblood of our organization.

A big thank you to the Peninsula News Review for providing this space — and thank you for reading!

Annual Golf Classic

Peninsula Chamber Golf Classic is set for July 12 at Cordova Bay Golf Course. Come out to play and network with more than 100 of the Peninsula’s top business people. For $150 players get 18 holes of play, golf cart and dinner, plus of fun and prizes. Registration form at www.peninsulachamber.ca, or call the office: 250-656-3616.

Two Workshops

A one-day WorldHost customer service training workshop is set for Tuesday, June 14, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Airport Travelodge. Denny Warner is the trainer. Seating is limited. Reserve at 250-656-3616. Cost of training is $75 plus tax.