A 'tough year' for Chamber, but signs of improvement
The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce is back in the black after working to trim expenses and boost membership, outgoing president Gary Hollick told the chamber's annual general meeting last week.
"This time last year, we were in a horrible spot," Hollick said Wednesday, noting the chamber had been $20,000 in the red and unable to meet payroll.
"There wasn't one single thing that went wrong, just a whole bunch of little things."
Hollick said the board decided to focus efforts on increasing membership, improving benefits and on broader issues like health care, transportation and education, rather than getting bogged down by what he described as "speed bump" issues that affect only a few people.
Membership is up five per cent, and that was after the books were been "purged" of inactive members, he said.
The chamber is $77,000 in the black, but more remains to be done, Hollick cautioned.
"This organization is not out of the woods," Hollick said.
Chamber executive director Cliff Annable says the recovery is the result of making fundamental improvements
"We've watched expenses and we've increased revenue, frankly," Annable said.
His position's salary was one of the cuts.
Annable was hired in January for $1, then was paid a monthly salary starting in March. (He would not disclose his wages, when asked by Peace Arch News, but said it is "a lot less" than his predecessors.)
"I plan to continue on," Annable told PAN, " "(but) it's up to the board."
He is optimistic about the chamber's future.
"We have a lot of money in the bank, we've got a lot of positives."
White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin swore in the new board of directors Wednesday.
Terry Ross (Reid's Foto Source) is the new president, and Jeff Richards (J.E. Richards) is the new treasurer.
Directors include: Sharon Hollas (Royal LePage Northstar Realty), Fred Fabro (All Scenes Media Inc.), Morely Myren (Remax Colonial Pacific), Collette Semeniuk (Peace Arch News), Marilyn Winship (Buchanan Printing and Parfour Signs), Andy Pomerleau (Cott Beverages Canada), Joe Vukelic (Royal Pacifica Resort Retirement Living), Jim Purcell (Peoples Drug Mart), Richard Coulter (Teracan Management), Adam Smith (White Rock Living Sutton Group) and Hollick (Richmond News).