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Chamber of Commerce elects new president

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:28 pm

Wade Cormier (left) was elected Airdrie Chamber of Commerce president for 2014-2015, he takes over for Mike Watkins who held the position for the last two terms.
Wade Cormier (left) was elected Airdrie Chamber of Commerce president for 2014-2015, he takes over for Mike Watkins who held the position for the last two terms.
MATT DURNAN/Rocky View Publishing

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The Airdrie Chamber of Commerce elected Wade Cormier as the president for 2014 to 2015 during the organization’s annual general meeting on May 21 at the Woods restaurant at Woodside Golf Course.

Cormier takes over for past president Mike Watkins, who held the role of president for consecutive one-year terms from 2012 to 2014.

As an associate financial and insurance advisor with the Co-operators, Cormier brings with him five years of experience on the Chamber of Commerce board, including his role as first vice president from 2013 to 2014.

He says he is excited for the coming year and the continued growth of the 500-plus member organization.

“Filling Mike’s shoes is not going to be easy, he’s a pillar in this community and I’ll definitely be looking to him a lot in his role as past president,” said Cormier.

“Every year brings a new set of challenges and I don’t think we’re going to be making any big changes this year, but more so a lot of smaller ones to help us to keep getting bigger and better.”

Included in those changes, Cormier says there are plans to streamline the Chamber’s social media presence in an effort to get them out in the public more and to continue to build on the committees and events that are currently in place.

“We’ve added our back to business breakfasts into the fold, and we’ll still be hosting our golf tournament and Home and Lifestyle Show and trying to grow those events,” he said.

Watkins spoke highly of his colleague and highlighted some of his experiences as president.

“I’ve known Wade a long time and have maintained a great friendship with him,” said Watkins.

“The Chamber will benefit from having him as president, he’s very energetic and motivated and it’s always good to get a fresh face and fresh ideas in there.”

During Watkins’ tenure as president, the Chamber saw a municipal and provincial election, its 40th anniversary, received an Airdrie Volunteer of the Year Award, and saw a tumultuous summer in 2013 where many southern Alberta communities were ravaged by flooding.

“Last summer was really unsettling for a lot of people,” said Watkins. “I was so impressed and proud of how our business community pulled together to support those in need.”

Watkins made further note that the chamber has always functioned as a cohesive unit and he diverted much of the credit to the board and members.

“It’s not a one-person team, everything that we have attained and achieved has been very much a group effort,” said Watkins.

“From winning the (volunteer) award to putting on our Home and Lifestyle Show, those things are achieved through a tremendous amount of volunteer hours and a lot of hands pulling together for one goal.”

Cormier echoed Watkins’ sentiment, and said he’s looking forward to working with the board.

“We have a very strong board of hard-working people,” said Cormier. “It’s a diverse group with a lot of creative and experienced people and I’m looking forward to the coming year.”

The 2014 to 2015 Airdrie Chamber of Commerce Board will be made up of:

President: Wade Cormier, First Vice President: Ron Schick, Second Vice President: Linda Bruce and Directors: Lois Jones, Brian Balson, Pete Lewis, Sandi Christensen, Jody Funk, Carman Thiessen, Derek Lalonde, Kerry Bostick, Lynn Kehoe, Bev Chinnery, Kelly Boudreau, Past President: Mike Watkins and City of Airdrie Liason Tristan Choi.

For more information on the Chamber, visit: www.airdriechamber.ab.ca


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