The Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce has found a new president in a familiar face.
The former vice president, Lori Baxendale, was elected as president of the Chamber Board on May 22.
“I was nominated by my peers, and I accepted the nomination,” said Baxendale, former owner of Baxendale Formals. “For me that’s such an honour. And I hope that means that they think I’ve been doing a good job.”
With Baxendale now serving as president, Dave Hamilton (publisher of the Golden Star and the Fernie Free Press) has stepped into her former role as vice president. And at the Chamber’s AGM the previous week, eight new board members were elected.
“We only have four returning out of 12 (board members), so that means we have eight new people, eight new players representing a broad range of businesses in town, who have different experiences and are at different places in their life,” said Baxendale. “But they’re all ready to donate some of their time and energy to the Chamber, and we’re very grateful and very excited about that.”
The board is now full with 12 members, and with office manager Ruth Hamilton, that is 13 people working on improving the Chamber, and serving the membership as well as the community.
“When everybody’s all there, and positive and enthusiastic, firing on all cylinders, we can get a heck of a lot of work done. So I am super thrilled about our new board members that are on this year,” said Baxendale.
The Board is gearing up for a very busy and exciting year. A survey of the Chamber membership, conducted in January, revealed that people want the Chamber to set up their role in advocacy and policy, which Baxendale is happy to do.
“If that’s what our membership wants, than that’s what we will deliver,” she said. Aside from that, the Chamber is hoping to build on two successes they had last year.
“Those of course were the Community Excellence Awards, which will happen again this October, and the Spring Home and Lifestyle Show which was also a huge success. So we’re hoping to put in some more planning, and make that even bigger and better than it was,” said Baxendale, adding that’s there’s always room to become bigger and better.
The new role will likely take up more time and energy for Baxendale, but she is definitely looking forward to it.
“I firmly believe in the work that the Chamber is doing, and I’m passionate about it. So to be able to participate in a leadership role like that is really exciting for me.”