Westbank chamber focuses on ‘progressive changes’

Thursday's Fall Business Symposium is one of several changes the Westbank and District Chamber of Commerce has been working on.

Cyndi Wellington (right) an independent consultant with Shelf Reliance gives Mount Boucherie students a taste of some natural products at the Fall Business Symposium Thursday afternoon.

There’s a new sense of optimism among directors of the Westbank and District Chamber of Commerce.

According to Norm LeCavalier, first vice president of the chamber, that’s likely because several changes are currently underway.

“We’re just basically trying to realign the focus of the chamber to provide support to the membership, which we feel had been missing for a few years,” said LeCavalier.

“The group we’ve got now—the directors and some of our key support committee people—are very keen to get a feel from the business community of what’s missing.”

One lacking aspect was the amount of opportunities for members to network.

The Fall Business Symposium, held Thursday afternoon at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary, was one of the chamber’s solutions to fill that gap.

About 20 exhibitors took part in the first annual event, which was held in the high school’s atrium.

“We thought it would be a great idea to start getting the students engaged; two of our members of the board of directors really felt this would be an ideal spot.”

LeCavalier said he was impressed with the demand to set up a booth at the symposium. He noted the location may have to change next year to accommodate those who want to take part.

Perhaps the biggest change is the chamber’s fresh relationship it is building with the District of West Kelowna.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, all members of West Kelowna council attended the chamber’s November Business After Hours event. LeCavalier noted the turnout was an encouraging sign the relationship between the two is improving.

“The mayor and I have been meeting regularly and we’re really working collaboratively on a number of items.”

Coun. Rick de Jong was also expected to attend the symposium and speak with exhibitors Thursday afternoon.

“We’re pleased with the way people are responding and how things are coming together. We’re looking forward to more progressive changes with the chamber.”



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