COURTESY BRANDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Cam Clark (past president) passes the gavel to new Chamber of Commerce president Nate Andrews on Thursday.
Nate Andrews was sworn in as Brandon Chamber of Commerce president at the Royal Oak Inn on Thursday, and wasted little time getting down to business.
"(Today) is a big day because the city is off to (meetings with) WestJet and we want to be a part of that," Andrews said. "Some things fell on us real fast and we want to be at the helm, and want to help with that any way we can."
The 2012-13 Brandon Chamber of Commerce boardExecutivePresident Nate Andrews, Guild InsurancePast-president Cam Clark, CKLQVice-president Craig Senchuk, Atom-Jet IndustriesSecretary-Treasurer Todd Birkhan, BDODirectorsKarla Dane, Meighen HaddadChad Wallin, Joe Beeverz Bar and GrillTerry Carlisle, Cando ContractingBonnie Nay-Draper, Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and TradeJordan Ludwig, Brandon Business InteriorsDaniel Burns, Burns Maendel Consulting EngineersFrank Arndt, myitsource.ca and MTS Connect Corral CentreDenny Bouchard, Mazergroup BrandonSharon Shepherd, West-Fit Physiotherapy and Sports ClinicCarla Milne, MNP» Brandon Chamber of Commerce
Andrews, sales manager at Guild Insurance, received the president’s gavel from CKLQ general manager Cam Clark, who became the past-president once Andrews was sworn in.
As vice-president last year, Andrews worked with the chamber during a particularly busy year that included: a one-in-350-year flood, a Brandon University strike, a provincial election, a major city property tax debate and a city-led campaign to secure regional air service from a national airline.
"Any time you have an opportunity to get involved in something that takes you out of your comfort zone and things aren’t going along smoothly, I think that’s an opportunity for growth," Andrews said.
"Cam is a very engaging person and is very committed to being open to talk. His dialogue will certainly help me through the year."
Andrews said that notable year helped forge his resolve to be an advocate for business in the city as it faces labour shortages in some economic sectors.
He added he will be assisted by a board of directors capable of handling any issue that falls on their shoulders.
"We are looking for people with that diversification of people with different talents," Andrews said.
"As one person, I’m not going to be able to solve every issue, but I am there to lead that charge and get people involved and get the right committees in place to push those things so I am really looking forward to that opportunity."
In his term-ending remarks, Clark said 2011-12 was an exciting time to be the chamber’s president.
"Post-flood recovery was one of those key issues that was tackled extremely well," Clark said.
He also noted the accommodations tax debate as another key issue handled by last year’s board.
"I think this year was great for the chamber because there has been great communication that has taken place with a lot of our partners, and that includes the City of Brandon," Clark said, who added a couple of past-presidents had started this trend as a way to build key relationships.
Clark offered a vote of confidence in Andrews’ leadership of the business group, noting that Andrews "has demonstrated commitment and indicates his level of dedication to fulfil the role of president and as a result, it will advance the role of the chamber of commerce."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 8, 2012