Contributed photo South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce’s newly elected board gather outside the Rotary Field House following their AGM on July 25.

AGM highlights re-energized South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce

Mayors, MP attend South Surrey White Rock meeting

A well-attended annual general meeting of the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce at the Rotary Field House on Tuesday was an indication of a “revived and re-energized” group, executive director Ritu Khanna said.

Some 60 members attended, along with White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum – who delivered an address on city progress on key issues such as policing, TransLink plans, building permits and the provision of new parkland.

The meeting also saw the swearing in of the 15 newly-elected members of the chamber’s board for 2019-2020 – including new president Adam Smith – officiated by South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg.

The meeting also paid tribute to the late Cliff Annable, former chamber executive director – who died in March of this year – and honoured long-time board member Terry Ross for his service and contributions to the community.

“I feel it was a milestone event for us,” said Khanna, who has been executive director for eight months.

“It felt like a nice culmination – bridging the past and present and looking into the future.”

Khanna said another sign of the health of the organization is a growing membership – with more than 40 new members approved since September.

“And we’re continuing to see that growth,” she said, adding that the chamber plans to respond with new initiatives including more luncheons, more informational training sessions, and some “unique business-after-business opportunities.”

“I feel we’re seeing a greater representation in membership in terms of diversity – including diversity of age,” Khanna added, noting the chamber has been actively reaching out to all segments of the community.

“As part of the invigoration, we’ve just joined the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, and we’re also a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. (We’re) connected to over 450 chambers and boards of trade across the province and country which allows us to have a stronger voice in advocacy for our business community and also allows us to offer more benefits to our members.”

She said the chamber has also been engaged in strengthening its relationship with other local groups, including the White Rock BIA and other chambers and business associations.

“We’re really making an effort to reach out to different business leaders and different political leaders,” Khann added. “My main message is that together we’re stronger.”

New board members are Ravi Mann of the Isle of Mann Property Group; Shelley Grenier of Oceana PARC – PARC Retirement Living; Grace Cleveland of Cleveland Doan LLP; and Maria Zhou of TD Canada Trust.

Returning as executive members are Smith of Uptown Business Machines; vice president Patricia Lapena of LegalShield; treasurer Jeff Richards of J.E. Richards Ltd.; secretary Owen Barclay of Accessable Home and Property Services Ltd. and past president Maria Mura (retired).

Returning directors are Peace Arch News publisher Dwayne Weindendorf, Stewart Peddemors of Stewart Peddemors Personal Real Estate Corp., Ramona Kaptyn of CARP; Linda Holmes of RBC Dominion Securities Inc.; James Purcell of Cloverdale Paint Inc. and Gordon Rapp, of RAPP Tax and Consulting.

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