Cham­ber ready for chal­lenges

Cambridge Edition - - WHAT’S ON - MIKE BAIN

Adapt­ing to a chang­ing busi­ness world and build­ing stronger part­ner­ships with or­gan­i­sa­tions are a few of the goals set for the Cam­bridge Cham­ber of Com­merce over the com­ing years.

The cham­ber held its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing re­cently where it re­flected on its achieve­ments over the past year and chal­lenges ahead.

It in­cluded a re­view of the 50 events it had or­gan­ised, aimed at pro­mot­ing and pro­pel­ling busi­nesses for­ward.

Cham­ber pres­i­dent Phil MacKay was happy to see four new mem­bers join his board, along with a 10 per cent mem­ber­ship in­crease.

Re­tain­ing their po­si­tions on the board this year were Les­ley Nielsen, Suzanne Lorenz, Ja­nine Peters, Caro Gat­ley, Greg Wal­lace and Jim Goodin.

First time board mem­bers join­ing the in­cum­bents in­cluded Fran Larsen, Joel Boyte, Re­becca Jenk­ins and Sue Duig­nan.

Mackay stepped into the pres­i­dent’s role part way through the year. He knew it would be a dif­fi­cult job.

‘‘It cer­tainly hasn’t dis­ap­pointed in the chal­lenge depart­ment, how­ever, I be­lieve it has been a suc­cess­ful year for the Cam­bridge Cham­ber of Com­merce.’’

Cham­ber made mul­ti­ple sub­mis­sions to the Waipa Dis­trict Coun­cil and ad­vo­cated for mem­bers on is­sues in­clud­ing growth, CCTV, park­ing, and Easter trad­ing hours.

‘‘At the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee level, our fo­cus has been plan­ning and goal set­ting around ar­eas of sus­tain­able re­sourc­ing, stronger re­la­tion­ships, value for mem­bers and ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance,’’ said MacKay.

He ac­knowl­edged the need not to just to con­tinue ex­ist­ing pro­grammes but to in­no­vate and adapt to the chang­ing needs of the­busi­ness community.

‘‘In or­der to pro­vide for this, our com­mit­tee has set some am­bi­tious goals for growth over the next five years.’’

Cham­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive Ta­nia Withe­ford was aware of the need for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­main rel­e­vant for its mem­bers in an en­vi­ron­ment of per­pet­ual change.

‘‘We must in­no­vate, in­te­grate and en­gage to pro­vide value for our mem­bers and bol­ster sus­tain­able rev­enue gen­er­a­tion,’’ said Withe­ford.

In her an­nual re­port to mem­bers, Withe­ford high­lighted the cham­ber’s vis­i­bil­ity in the media as it joined and led con­ver­sa­tions around core is­sues.

‘‘These in­clude growth, sus­tain­abil­ity, eco­nomic devel­op­ment, Easter trad­ing, safety and se­cu­rity, CCTV, su­per-loo, park­ing and dare I men­tion ‘brand gate’.’’

‘‘We en­joy a good re­la­tion­ship with lo­cal and re­gional coun­cil.

‘‘We re­main an im­por­tant in­de­pen­dent voice, com­mit­ted to un­der­stand­ing the key is­sues that face our busi­nesses.’’

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