By the time this column goes to print, my first week on the job will be under the proverbial belt…and what a busy week it has been.  I am excited to be working with a young and energetic Board and a terrific staff.

Without a doubt, moving into the newly created role of President and CEO could not have happened so seamlessly, without the assistance and guidance of Patti Carr, Sue Adams and Carol Porter.  These are three of the most dynamic and energetic individuals that I have ever worked with.  It is a great advantage to have a team that is and has been, so committed to the businesses in our district.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the contributions of staff and prior boards, who have made the NBDCC what it is today.  Especially Patti Carr.  Patti has been here for over 29 years and has been tireless in her support of the Board and the business community.  We are very fortunate to have such a great wealth of knowledge and experience with Patti, Sue and Carol and personally am extremely fortunate to work with these talented persons.

I have found out over the past four days in the new job…there is no shortage of issues or opportunities for your Chamber.  From Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels the business community is engaged and optimistic about the future.  If there is one item that has been clear over the past week, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our district.  Although there has been much discussion about the economy and the challenges facing us all, the business community remains positive and continues to look for opportunities that are available to each and everyone of us.

On Wednesday evening at The Grande Event Centre, I was fortunate to be invited and participate in the Opening Doors for Business event hosted by The Business Centre Nipissing and Parry Sound and Mayor Al McDonald.  The nine guest panellists together with the evenings moderator, President George Burton demonstrated that North Bay is open for business and that the entrepreneurial spirit I referred to earlier is alive and ready to grasp the opportunities that are out there.  It was a great first step and I am excited about the next steps that so many of the panelists discussed and encouraged continued discussions.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce