South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce president Gary Hollick and Cliff Annable in February

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce president Gary Hollick and Cliff Annable in February

Acting chamber of commerce director’s wage bump ‘goodwill’

Annable's payment from the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce doesn't mean he's been hired full-time, president says.

Cliff Annable, acting executive director of the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce, is now receiving more than a $1 nominal fee for the job.

But the remuneration “in no way” represents a full-time salary, according to chamber president Gary Hollick.

Hollick said the payment plan currently received by Annable is a matter of “goodwill,” and should not be interpreted as meaning he has been hired as executive director by the organization.

“Cliff’s doing a great job for us,” he said. “We’ve got to compensate him for some of his labour.”

Responding last week to concerns expressed to the Peace Arch News that compensation received by Annable means he’s been hired for the post, Hollick said it’s more a reflection of the chamber’s improved financial status of late.

“The organization is becoming very stable,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good bank account now – in a short period we went from a deficit to being in the black. It’s only fair to compensate Cliff, so the board made a decision to put in a small pay plan.”

When Annable was formally recognized as interim executive director in January, it was announced he was volunteering his services to the group for a nominal $1-per-year fee.

While Hollick declined – without the board and Annable’s permission – to quote the exact figure Annable now receives, he said the compensation is a “fraction” of what others have received for  the same work.

“It’s considerably less than the last two executive directors received,” he said. “It doesn’t match what they were getting paid at all.”

Last fall, the chamber underwent cost-savings measures that included cutting hours for four employees, in addition to the position of executive director Cori Lynn Germiquet. The chamber’s previous executive director, Doug Hart, who had retired the previous May, returned on a volunteer basis until Annable was appointed. (The chamber’s all-candidates meetings for Surrey and White Rock civic elections were also cancelled).

Hollick said Thurday that he believes some in the community may have “misunderstood” the payments as an indication Annable has been hired full-time by the board.

“We’re trying to get to the end of the chamber year and if, at that point, we feel we’re now in a position to hire a full-time executive director, our due diligence would be to post the job – we need to be transparent about that.

“If Cliff wants to then, he can apply for it.”