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New president, direction for Chamber

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

It didn't take long for Doug O'Brien, the new president of the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce, to set out a fresh course for the organization. At his first meeting as president yesterday at the Friendship Centre, O'Brien suggested the organization could do more for the betterment of the community. "If we're just going pillar to post with no direction, that's where we're going to end up Ñ from pillar to post," he told the 10 other members present. O'Brien touched on a number of community issues that he feels the Chamber should have a role in, including somehow helping to keep residents in the community who have recently lost their jobs. "We'd like to keep these people here. What are we doing about that?" he commented. O'Brien made reference to the Rotary Club of Flin Flon's proposed seniors housing facility as a good way to retain residents. Without such efforts, he said, the community is "going to continue to keep shrinking, and I think this is a very real issue." When asked how the Chamber might help create new jobs to allow the community to retain people who are out of work, the president said he didn't have the answer. "...but I don't think we want to, as a group, sit here a year from now and say, 'Gee, we should have done (something)'" he said. "So I think it's a case of, we have to try." The president also discussed the changing shopping situation in Flin Flon, saying the Chamber should contact communities that have had a shopping centre open to find out what actions they took to help ensure the viability of their Main Streets. "And maybe they can shed some light on some of the things that we can have a look at," he said. In addition, O'Brien said the Chamber should meet with Flin Flon City Council to have a discussion about where the community is headed. "I think we really have to sit down with Council and just kind of get an idea of what's planned," he said. Membership has been a particular concern for the Chamber in recent years, and the new president said that may have to do with misconceptions about the organization. "I think basically the business community has to understand that all the businesses are the Chamber," he said. "It's not us sitting around this table. The Chamber is everybody in this community working for the common goal. See 'New' P.# Con't from P.# "I'm finding that a lot of people feel that there's a lot of individuality (in the Chamber), that there's not a lot of cohesiveness. I've heard a lot of people say, 'Well, what's the focus? What are we working on?' So I think that's another issue." O'Brien announced that he plans to visit as many businesses as he can over the next few weeks in an effort to bring new members on board. "We would really like to get another 40 or 50 members if we possibly could," he said. New members would help the Chamber financially and, in O'Brien's view, aid in the development of fresh ideas on important issues. Other matters In another matter at yesterday's meeting, the Chamber released its 2003-04 committees. They consist of: Special Projects Committee: Dave Kendall; Tom Therien; Lorraine Poirier; Bob Cooper; Catherine Hynes. Membership Committee: Doug O'Brien; Karen Thomson; Phil Robinson. Government Liaison: Doug O'Brien; Gordon Mitchell. Manitoba Chamber of Commerce representatives: Doug O'Brien; Gordon Mitchell. Fundraising Committee: Karen Thomson; Lois (Bunny) Burke; Keith Argo; Janice Cassidy. Snowmobile Routes Committee: Karen Thomson; Joe Buie; Wayne Elliott; Cathy Daneliuk. Internal and External Public Relations Committee: Phyllis Stadnick; Mary Dwernichuk; Maureen Kozar. Business Builders representatives: Phyllis Stadnick; Joe Buie; Janice Cassidy; Lottie Schanowski. Special Events Committee: Maureen Kozar; Lorraine Poirier; Lottie Schanowski; Keith Argo. Education and Training Committee: Maureen Kozar; Lois (Bunny) Burke; Catherine Hynes; Mary Dwernichuk; Phyllis Stadnick. A recap of other matters from the meeting: O'Brien noted that HBMS spokesperson Bob Cooper is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the next Chamber meeting on November 4. Member Maureen Kozar announced that the Business Builders Association plans to hold a Santa Claus parade on Main Street on December 6. A motion passed to purchase a wreath to lay at the upcoming Remembrance Day service at the R.H. Channing Auditorium. O'Brien plans to represent the Chamber at the ceremony. The members reviewed a thank-you letter from Denare Beach resident Norma Barr, one of the recipients of a volunteer award at a recent gala co-sponsored by the Chamber. O'Brien noted that there will be no meeting on November 11 due to Remembrance Day. A motion passed to sponsor Christmas greeting segments on CFAR this December.