It is challenging to keep in touch with and service the nearly 200 members of the regional chamber spread across the Boundary. To be recognized for doing it well is pretty sweet. That’s exactly what happened at the B.C. Chamber Executive Gala Dinner on Sept. 13 in New Westminster.
The British Columbia Chamber Executives organization, made up of directors from chambers of commerce from across the province, was founded in 1981 to promote and deliver professional development to the executives of chambers of commerce throughout the province and this year they chose to award the 2014 Communications Award for Chambers with under 200 members to the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC). Black Press sponsored the award.
At the dinner to accept the award was BCRCC Executive Director James Wilson.
The good news was spread locally at the bi-monthly Biz After Biz networking session hosted in Greenwood by the Board of Trade (BOT) last Wednesday, Sept. 17.
Because the Boundary region is spread out over some two hours travel distance, the location of the bi-monthly networking sessions moves. Holding it in different locations each month is but one part of the strategy of the BCRCC to engage with the businesses, non-profits and organizations across the Boundary.
“This award is one of the many things that show we are gaining momentum in working for our members across the Boundary,” said Wilson. “Like this Biz after Biz—networking with friends and letting members know what is going on by way of economic development options; ways we are trying to connect with members and find out what we can do to help.”
The evening was special for another reason: it heralded the celebration of a new agreement recently signed between the BCRCC and the BOT that will allow BOT members to become full-fledged members of the BCRCC for only an additional $10 annually above their local dues.
This is the second agreement signed by the two groups this year; the first was signed in March and states that neither group will solicit membership within the territory of the other, though individual businesses may be members of both organizations; that each organization is a member of the other and one member of each board can become a member of the other board with full voting rights, privileges and duties of such membership; and finally, the MOU recognizes the BCRCC as a regional chamber and authorizes the chamber to provide services and resources to the BOT if they are regional in nature.
The new agreement basically expands the second point of the earlier agreement and allows BOT members full access to services such as the web site (www.boundarychamber. com) and newsletter.
“James [Wilson] is a really good collaborator and I like that,” said BOT President Jim Nathorst. “This is the kind of thing we should be doing. Not just between chambers but municipalities and everybody. It will be good for Greenwood and good for the Boundary; that’s the whole reason for it. And it protects the Greenwood BOT’s constitution too.”
“We are better together,” said BCRCC President Chuck Bennett. “If you are in business you don’t have to look too far to see some challenges and if we are not on the same page then we are not going to be successful. My hats are off to you guys for making this work. I really look forward to this relationship.”
Wilson said that membership in the regional chamber is up from last year and while they are still working toward the goal of having 200 members, “We are definitely growing.”
Wilson conceded the BCRCC is in need of board members. “Especially from the West Boundary. Any business owner interested should call and talk to me about it. The AGM is Nov. 13 so I need to know in the next couple of weeks.” Contact Wilson at 250-442-2722 or via email at email@example.com.
The next BOT event on the calendar is the Halloween Dance on Oct. 25 with Under Cover playing at McArthur Centre.