New Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Carmen Sparg with former president Tom Dyas. —Image: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

New Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Carmen Sparg with former president Tom Dyas. —Image: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Kelowna chamber names new president

Carmen Sparg takes over from Tom Dyas, who served two consecutive terms as president.

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has a new president.

Carmen Sparg of Silver Lining Management Consulting Inc., was named the successor to Tom Dyas of TD Benefits Tuesday at the chamber’s annual general meeting.

Dyas, who served two consecutive terms as chamber president, will remain on the board as past president.

“It is an honour to take over as president of the chamber,” said Sparg, who previously served as executive vice-president of the 1,225-member chamber.

“Following in Tom’s footsteps won’t be easy. He was very active on a number of files, championing the needs of our members and the business community wherever he could.”

She said she was excited to work with the new board, the members of which have diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience, she said.

Sparg added the newcomers to the board will help will help shape the chamber’s future growth.”

The new Kelowna Chamber of Commerce board includes returning directors:

• Sparg

• Dyas

• Una Gabie, Touchstone Law Group LLP

• Stuart Grant, Norelco Cabinet Solutions

• Al Hildebrandt, Kelowna Foundation for Hope and Social Innovation

• Angela Nagy, GreenStep Solutions

• Ron Cannan, Interior Savings Credit Union

• Domenic Rampone, West Manufacturing

• Marek Buryska, Valley First Credit Union Re-elected director:

• Shelagh Turner, Canadian Mental Health Association

• Nikki Csek, Csek Creative

• Andrew Ingenhorst, Grant Thornton LLP

And newly-elected directors:

• Dan Price, Dilworth Quality Homes/Emil Anderson Construction

• Andrew Brunton, Partner, Pushor Mitchell LLP

• Jenelle Hynes, Pacific Coastal Airlines

• John Devitt, Kelowna International Airport

Appointees to the board include:

• Tracy Gray, councillor, City of Kelowna

• Barry McGillivray, associate dean, Okanagan School of Business

• Gene Bernier, president, Kelowna JCI Jeff Robinson, Partner, Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP

In his remarks, Dyas called 2017 one of the busiest ever for the chamber, in large part because of the significant number of government policies that came under the chamber’s microscope as a result of the NDP coming to power in Victoria.

He said the Kelowna chamber ramped up its role as the “voice of business” during the year, stepping up its advocacy efforts with all levels of government.

The chamber took on the proposed federal corporate tax changes, provincial plans to increase the minimum wage and new B.C. taxes aimed at property speculation and a corporate tax to cover part of the cost lost revenue due to the planned elimination of MSP premiums for individuals.

It also tackled ongoing issues related to the city’s efforts to manage growth while keeping taxes in check and publicly supported a number of controversial development projects, including the new tourism centre and the proposed 33-storey Westcorp hotel, both planned for the downtown lakeshore.

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