It was certainly a year of transition for the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce.
After a decade, long serving CEO Colleen Evans retired in June. The end of August ushered in a new era with the hiring of a new Executive Director: Mary Ruth Snyder, who in her first four weeks moderated an All Candidates Debate for the North Island federal candidates; hosted an AGM which saw an election of 15 new board members and two returning, as well as the solidification of a new partnership with North Island College School of Business.
The partnership is designed to provide an opportunity to the post-degree diploma Global Business Management students, who need 180 hours of internship with a business in order to complete their diploma. It is a fantastic way for business to gain new insight from these talented global students, and a way for the students to share their knowledge, education and training while learning new approaches in the ‘real’ world.
The new executive director knows first-hand the value of on the job training. Snyder’s intriguing background combines three distinct industries. She worked in her family’s business until her mid-20’s, and in her late teens she added nights in the field of hospitality into her 30’s, which was followed by a move to Vancouver Island. Snyder is a graduate of the Applied Communications Program at Camosun College.
As a student at Camosun College she pursued an internship with CFAX 1070 Radio in Victoria along with a major project with Suddenly Dance Theatre that involved every aspect of the program’s offerings — both proved invaluable.
“Those experiences helped to shape the integration of my education into the real world of work. We plan on expanding our NIC partnership beyond the School of Business to the Media, Culinary, Hospitality and Trade programs,” says Snyder, “it provides a platform of growth and collaboration that benefits everyone involved, not to mention the whole of the Strathcona District.”
The new board of the Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce is diverse both professionally and generationally, and everyone involved understands what an amazing opportunity this is to build on the vibrancy of Campbell River.
The annual Business Awards of Distinction have been moved — from here forward — to the first Saturday in February, following the global standard for the celebration of a calendar year.
The new date is not the only twist! Each year the chamber will partner with a non-profit community organization who has a particular project underway.
The February 1st, 2020 awards will be at the Campbell River Community Centre and this year’s partner is the Children’s Health Network of Vancouver Island for the building of the Qwalayu House, providing north island families a home away from home when in need of medical care at the Campbell River Hospital.
2019’s transition has in fact even launched a new mantra: New E.D. New Board. New Era — 2020 — here we come!