The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce welcomed in a new president .
Vice-President Terry Caldwell said he is pleased to take over as president from Warren Williams.
"I'm grateful for Warren. He has been a fantastic president for the Chamber. I'm glad to be following him," he said after Tuesday's meeting. "We're going to be focusing on some of the issues we had last year and some new things that are going to be coming forward in the next week or two."
Caldwell, who owns Empress Furniture and Decor, Carpet Superstore, and Porta Bella Restaurant with his wife Stacey has been with the local chamber for about five years now.
"It's been great," he added. "I've treasured all the time I've spent here. I've learned a lot of things. Humbly, I have to say it was a lot more than I expected. I've enjoyed it."
The remainder of the board of director members for 2018 are: David Fortier, Sharon Mohagen, Kayla Petersen, Gerald Pohl, Melanie Roberts, Janice Sander, Susan Challis, Steven Ulven, Bill Volk, Dana Rissling, Rory Anderson, Warren Berg, Tom Hawboldt, T’Neale Laycock, Scott Maunula, and Vivian Whitecalf.
Stepping into Caldwell's former role was Dallan Oberg as first vice-president, Harris Sutherland became second vice-president, and Derek Schmidt is now treasurer.
Executive director Linda Machniak said 161 members have renewed their Chamber memberships for 2018 so far. She said the number is “a little bit short” compared to the same time last year, however she expects many more will renew their memberships and more confirmations are coming in each day.
The business of pot
A highlight of the 2018 agenda is discussing the local impacts of marijuana legislation.
Machniak said the executive is waiting to hear from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce which is gathering information on the business prospects of the drug.
“We’re expecting to have a report from them shortly because they are working with the federal government that the legislation is being borne out of,” she said.
Machniak expects a panel group of experts will visit the province to discuss the issues in the coming months.
“The intent would be to have an HR (human resources) person there, perhaps a grower, and people impacted or involved in the process," she said.
Machniak said the panel group would invite community chamber members to meet to discuss the topic.
“It’s not just what are you going to do with your customers,” she said. "It’s employees, it’s the difference between medicinal and recreational (cannabis) use. There’s a lot of questions. We’ve already had [chamber] members ask us about it. We’re just trying to work with the provincial chamber to get the best speakers possible.“
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