Back from holidays and a huge thank you to Patti Carr, VP Policy and Communications and our Administrative Assistant, Sue Adams for holding down the fort, while I was gone.  Lots of things happening while I was gone including, preparing for our 123rd Annual General Meeting, held last Thursday evening at the Chamber offices.  One hundred and twenty-three annual general meetings have now taken place and I am sure that even at the initial meeting, business persons have consistently shared a belief that together they could advance businesses in our community and have been doing it ever since.

The Board was informed last week that one of their colleagues and as well, a member of the Executive Committee, John Strang, Past President, had submitted his resignation.  John tendered his resignation with regret and a tremendous amount of thought noting that business and family concerns, needed more of his time.  John has been a Board member for 15 years, serving as President twice and always being involved in every Chamber activity and function over the years.  John has been a stalwart in moving the Chamber forward in our District, advocating always that the Chamber was the voice of business.  We thank John from the bottom of our hearts for his years of sound advice and his community volunteerism.  You will be missed.

The Board also were informed that one of its Board members, Bobby Ray from the North Bay Granite Club has been nominated for the Richard Dolphin Community Service Award which recognizes Chamber Board Members whose dedication to their communities and the Chamber network, has led to Chamber success.  Bobby is the lead of the Young Professionals arm of the Chamber and has been doing an outstanding job not only with his real job (remember the Women’s World Curling Championships last year?) but for spearheading an initiative known as “52 Cups of Coffee”.  The idea was to network with other Young Professionals within the Chamber, and this has worked well beyond original expectations.  Congratulations on the nomination Bobby and good luck.

Finishing off with more good news this week, is the impending move of the DIA into our co-location space at the Chamber.  It looks like May 1, 2019 will be the official move to the 205 Main Street East address.  What started out as a casual conversation a few years ago, will become a reality on that date.  The co-location of the DIA to The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce offices will allow continued focus on the sharing of ideas and energies with our other community partners that presently share our offices.  Discovery Routes Trail Organization, Tourism North Bay, Creative Industries and The Chamber are excited by this news and look forward to working together at our co-located space.  Many thanks to our landlord Mr. Rob Jamieson of Century 21 Blue Sky Region Realty Inc.  Could not have happened without your support.

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