Steven Covey died two months ago, but Gayle Langford thinks there’s still a place for the American author and motivational speaker in the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce.
Langford, who is the Chamber’s new president, praised Covey’s best-selling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People on Monday during the business organization’s annual general meeting.
“It’s an amazing book,” she told reporters later, pointing specifically to Habit 4: “Think win-win.”
“That is really significant when we think of the Chamber, because the Chamber has exhibited that attitude.”
Langford listed collaborative relationships that the Chamber is involved in — Red Deer Regional Economic Development, Central Alberta: Access Prosperity and Agri-Trade — and how these initiatives have benefited businesses and communities in Central Alberta.
“I’m going to build on that,” she said of such collaboration.
For example, Langford hopes to work more closely with chambers of commerce in other communities in the region to the benefit of all.
“How do we expand business in a broader perspective?”
A lawyer whose practice focuses on administrative and family law, as well as family mediation, Langford has a diverse background that includes stints as a waitress, secretary and general contractor. She worked as a nurse for 14 years, and also served as a director of health and director of acute care with Alberta Health and Wellness.
She said chambers of commerce play an important role in helping to formulate and push forward grass roots policy that can reduce businesses barriers and as a result improve the communities in which they operate. For instance, the Red Deer Chamber led the charge in lobbying the federal government to eliminate the Canadian Wheat Pool’s monopoly over the marketing of Western Canadian grain.
Langford noted with satisfaction the fact the Chamber has representation from the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County and the Town of Penhold — fostering business-government interactions that benefit both.
Outgoing president Maureen McMurtrie was unable to attend the meeting, but first vice-president Tyler Bowman read some remarks on her behalf. In them, McMurtrie described her time at the Chamber helm “one of most wonderful experiences of my life.”
In addition to Langford, who operated Langford Law Office; Bowman, who is with Sign-A-Rama Red Deer; and McMurtrie, who works at Servus Credit Union; the Chamber’s 2012-13 executive committee includes executive director Tim Creedon. A second vice-president and secretary-treasurer are still to be named.
The other directors are Graham Barclay of Digitex Inc., Heidi Dandurand of Mortgage Architects, Dave Duckering of Duckering’s Transport Ltd., Michelle Dyck of The Donut Mill, Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling, Jeffrey Hubert of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Roxanne Kirton of The Fresh Vase Ltd., Nelson Lacourse of the Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club, Reeve Martin of The Property Shop Inc.,
Cabel McElderry of One to 1 Fitness Inc., Sandy Mercer, Don Oszli of Heywood Holmes & Partners LLP, Darcy Mykytyshyn of Red Deer College, Robert Saik of The Agri-Trend Group of Companies, Sonia Sawyer-Schaab of L.A. Radio Group Inc., Jason Scheyen of Strata Energy Services Inc., Marty Schmidt of Genivar Inc., Nick Schultz of Westdeck Inc., Jason Stephan of CA Tax Law, BJ Tumanut of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, Bradley Williams of King and Crowne Consulting Ltd. and Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood.
Among the retiring board members are Bruce Schollie of Schollie Research & Consulting, who was the Chamber’s 2010-11 president; and Dennis Cooper of Sky Wings Aviation Academy, who has served on the board for about 20 years.