Patti Carr, formerly the Executive Director, until her recent move to the position of VP of Policy and Communications, for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce was awarded the Burnie Gillespie Memorial Award at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past weekend in Sarnia, Ontario.

The Burnie Gillespie Memorial Award is the highest honour for a chamber executive in the province.  The award is given to a chamber professional who demonstrates excellence in chamber management and outstanding commitment to the community through volunteer service.

Ms Carr stated “it is certainly an honour and provides affirmation that after 29 years of hard work and dedication with the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, that it did not go unnoticed.”  While somewhat humbled among this great network of peers that she gets to work with on a regular basis, some of them mentors that have been past winners of this award, she also noted “this work we do is not just an individual effort, we work with a great staff, a great volunteer board of directors, and a great network of Chambers across the province and country; for which I am truly grateful and allows me to provide my best to the chamber, the community and the region.”

Both Patti Carr, VP of Policy and Communications, and Peter Chirico, the new President and CEO for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce were in attendance at the OCC AGM this past weekend.   Mr. Chirico stated “this was a complete surprise for Patti and I can’t think of a more dedicated person to receive this award.  Chamber management inherently requires a huge commitment to the business community,” said Chirico, “but the Gillespie Award goes further to recognize an individual who goes well beyond the daily requirements of the position and Patti has always demonstrated her commitment to the businesses of our district.”

The award is presented annually to a chamber or board manager whose excellence in chamber management and dedication to community service has led to chamber success. It is named after Burnie Gillespie, a man who devoted his life to volunteering and was a leader among chamber professionals at the community, provincial and national levels for more than 25 years.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we are so pleased to see Patti recognized by her peers in the network,” said Brad Gavan chair of the board of directors.  “She is truly a leader for the chamber and very dedicated to people and the community.   Much of her volunteer efforts outside the chamber go unnoticed, and as such we are very proud of her accomplishments that are now recognized through this prestigious award.”