Friday, March 30, 2018
Presidents Chamber address reviews past year of work and opportunities for the future
Michelle Bryant-Gravelle is winding down her one year term as President of the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce and earlier this month provided for one of her final addresses as the President to the Business Body.
Speaking last week at the Chamber's Annual General Meeting, Ms. Bryant-Gravelle recounted some of the work done over the last 365 days and reviewed the current membership levels, which have dropped to 256 this year, compared to 260 last year. An indication perhaps as to the slowing nature of the region's economy.
As well, the Chamber President made note of the efforts that the Chamber has initiated as it looks to increase membership with the business organization.
She observed how the Board had been faced with some tough decisions this year that they did not take lightly, with departures among the staff at the Chamber office and the elimination of one paid full time position, that owing to the current economic slowdown in the community.
Among her notes in the presentation was the introduction of the new Chamber Manager, with Anthony YecYec taking on the office management, described as an enthusiastic advocate for the Chamber.
Along with a quick review of the many events that the Chamber has hosted this year, she recounted some of the productive work that the Chamber has explored with the City of Prince Rupert through the Small Business Advisory Committee.
Ms, Bryant-Gravelle also outlined some of the Chamber's engagement with provincial politicians, where Chamber of Commerce representatives from around the province outlined the challenges and concerns that their communities are facing and the need for cooperation on a number of files.
She also outlined the strides that the Chamber has made towards developing a more representative composition of the community in recent years, highlighting how the majority of the Chamber Board for 2017-18 was made up of women.
As well, she put some focus on how the roster of members this year included four Indigenous women and with her one year term, the First Indigenous Woman President of the Chamber of Commerce.
She outlined how those themes of more Indigenous representative is what drove her to become involved with the Chamber Board, noting for the audience that Representation Does matter.
The Chamber President outlined how she wants her daughter and other Indigenous people to see that someone who looks like them, can be in a community leadership position, and make a difference in our community in a productive way, thereby debunking the negative stereotypes that still exist about our people today".
Ms. Bryant-Gravelle called for more inclusion on the Chamber in the years to come and left the audience with one final thought from her term.
"To all of you who look like me, continue to follow your dreams and know that you can make a difference, and to all of the people that don't look like me, please continue to open your minds and see the shift that is occurring in our community through reconciliation. Let's continue to make progress together, because in reality we can't do it alone"
You can watch her full address to the Chamber AGM from the video below:
The Chamber has yet to outline their process for selecting a new Board for 2018-19 and the election of a new President for the year to come.
You can review more notes from the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce from their website and Facebook page.
For a look at some of the items of interest from the Northwest Business sector see our archive page here.
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