Maureen McMurtrie has begun her term as president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce with an eye to the end.
The senior commercial relationship manager with Servus Credit Union, who moved into the Chamber’s top position on Monday during its annual general meeting, wants to emphasize succession planning during the next year.
“I see, every day, businesses that are great at starting and growing, but with our shifting demographics we really don’t have good plans in place for succession planning.
“We’re reaching the age where we need to be ready to pass to the next generation.”
The Chamber will have plenty of other causes to champion during the next year, confirmed McMurtrie, with its policy committees continuously developing new positions on a variety of issues. Three of these — related to green economic initiatives, promoting technovation and exempting asset management services from the harmonized sales tax — were recently adopted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. And a half-dozen made-in-Red Deer policies were approved by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce in May.
Local policy committees for the Chamber’s 2011-12 operating year are currently identifying new matters for consideration, said McMurtrie. She believes the business people who serve on those bodies are best suited to identify important matters and formulate policy positions.
McMurtrie also hopes to oversee continued growth in the Chamber. She noted that membership currently stands at about 985.
“We’re so close to that thousand-member mark.”
The local business organization has a lot to offer, she said, based on her years there.
“This chamber has been vibrant since the day I set foot in it, and I think businesses need to be connected to other businesses in the local community. The Chamber is the voice of business and the vehicle to do that.”
McMurtrie will lead a board consisting of 24 directors, including past-president Bruce Schollie of Schollie Research & Consulting and first vice-president Gayle Langford of Langford Law Office. Newly elected to the board are Dave Duckering of Duckering’s Transport Ltd., Michelle Dyck of Glenn’s Restaurant Ltd., Cabel McElderry of One to 1 Fitness Inc., Sandy Mercer of Collicutt Compression Solutions Ltd., Don Oszli of Heywood Holmes & Partners LLP, Jason Stephan of Warren Sinclair LLP and Bradley Williams of King and Crowne Consulting Ltd., with Darryl Knutson of Canpages serving as the Chamber’s Ambassadors Committee chair.
Re-elected to the board were Robert Saik of The Agri-Trend Group of Companies and Marty Schmidt of Genivar Inc. Other directors who remain are Graham Barclay of Prairie Office Plus, Debbie Bonnett of Red Deer County, Tyler Bowman of Sign-A-Rama Red Deer, Dennis Cooper of Sky Wings Aviation Academy Ltd., Mayor Morris Flewwelling of the City of Red Deer, Roxanne Kirton of Westerner Exposition Association, Brenda Kolasa of Visual Resolve Graphics, Joanne Packham of Red Deer College, Sonia Sawyer of L.A. Radio Group Inc. and Jason Scheyen of Strata Energy Services.
Tim Creedon is executive director.