Dave Sawatzky is the new president of the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce. He was officially introduced to the membership last week at the chamber’s annual AGM.
Sawatzky replaces outgoing president Ann Harper, who has completed her term as head of the local business organization.
Co-owner of Nutek Sign Creations, Sawatzky is joined on the chamber’s executive slate by vice-president Tony Luck (Investors Group) and treasurer/secretary Sean Melia (Prospera Credit Union). All of them are to elected to a term that will end in 2018.
Sawatzky told the crowd that he didn’t know much about the chamber when he joined.
“I remember when I was first approached to join the chamber – or keep the chamber because we had bought in existing business – I thought to myself, ‘What the heck do I need the chamber for?’” he said.
But he maintained the chamber membership and began to get involved.
After he was “railroaded” into joining the government affairs committee, Sawatzky said he began to realize what the chamber was about.
“The chamber is a group of concerned business individuals that really think about each other and the viability of business and community.”
He also spoke of the ABCs of the chamber – Advocacy, Benefits and Connections.
“The advocacy part doesn’t have to be lobbying big government. It can be as simple as advocating on behalf of your neighbouring business.”
He said nobody can question that the chamber has “fantastic” benefits, and the chamber’s job is to get those benefits out to members.
And making connections is key to any successful business.
Also joining the chamber board are newly acclaimed directors Asvind Mani (Mission Automotive) and J.J. Whitley (DV8 Media), who will serve a term ending in 2017, as well as Andrea Walker (Walker Park Media), Jason Hughes (Taylor, Tait, Ruley and Company) and Brian Rock (Fraser Valley Real Estate Board), who will serve terms ending in 2018.
The new directors join current directors Ilona Klimczak (CEC Health and Safety) and Alana Martens (RONA).