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Lloydminster Chamber AGM welcomes new president

The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce has held their annual general meeting this week.

On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Chamber meeting took place following a luncheon at the Days Hotel & Suites in town. The meeting featured several addresses from past Chamber president, John Winter, Acting Executive Director, Serena Sjodin, and Director on the board, Wendy Plandowski, on behalf of former executive director, Pat Tenney. A brief review of the Chamber’s finances was also done and several new board members and executives were sworn-in, including President and 2nd Vice-President.

Kiel Kelly is the new 2nd Vice President, while Angela Minish will take on the role of 1st Vice President, and the new president is Kevin Kraft, the GM of the Vice Juba Community Theatre.

Kraft says his first act as President will be engaging the Chamber members, talking to them about their wants and concerns and working on the advocacy aspect of being part of the Chamber.

Kraft also gave an exceptional speech as his first address of the Chamber, upon accepting the role as President. He talked about the history of Lloydminster and how we’ve come such a long way as a commnuity and we’ve made it all this way because we are a resilient people.

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“When you think back to 1905, it’s only 111 years ago that the wagons first rolled up, and you realize that they had nothing and built a community, and as I said, it was burnt down, it was rebuilt. We’ve endured ups and downs in the past and I think when you look at the community that’s standing now, it was built on a pioneer spirit. It was built on a never-give-up spirit, and that’s exactly the thing that has not changed about Lloydminster: the willingness to work hard and work together to sustain our homes and our community is still the same as it always was,” says Kraft.

Meanwhile, longstanding member of the Board of Directors, Wendy Plandowski, the CEO of the Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation, will not be returning to her post next year. After 10 years of serving as a board member, including a year as president in 2010, she is taking a step back and moving on to bigger and better things.

As it so happens, during Plandowski’s time as President she actually introduced the 10-year Rule.

“I felt like there needed to be rejuvenation at the Board level, at least every ten years, to have new people step on and people coming up with fresh ideas. So it’s time for me to take a break. I’m actually President-elect of the Border City Rotary Club. I’ve also been a Rotarian for 17 years, since we chartered the breakfast club, and so it’s my turn to be president. So my next community project will be being president of that group and then, of course, the work I’m doing at the Health Foundation keeps me very busy as well,” says Plandowski.

Plandowski also says the Chamber is a great organization and she’d had an awesome experience.

Long Services Awards were presented to Plandowski and Linda Rutley for their contribution to the Chamber over the years. A $1000 grand prize draw was also made from amongst the nominees for the Gold Star Service With A Smile Award. Koreann Peters of Violet Eyes Optometry was the 2015 winner, thanks to the Chamber’s sponsors: Orion Dental Group, Can-Do Auto & Lube, Border City Furniture, Furniture Haus, Kourtney Energy Savings Solutions, Destination Downtown Streetscapes, Ltd. & the Meridian Booster.

Other nominees for the Gold Service with A Smile Award include Darcy Ritchey of T.B. System Solutions for December 2015; Kate Eying from Second Cup for October; Lindsay Saiville  of Pure Vibe Studio for September; Eugene Santiago of 44th Street’s Co-op Gas Bar in July; Calvin Pittao of Border City Furniture in June; Melvin Cruz of Dave’s Auto, Catherine Holmes of Lloydminster Source, and Shauna Makepeace of ATB Financial for May; April 2015- Josephine Quimson of Denham Chrysler; March 2015- Gina Hewitt from MNP & Tunes Music & Audio; February 2015 – Shawn Connolly from Boundary FordJasmine Kirkness of  BMO Financial Group & Les Jordon of Sears Carpet Cleaning; and finally, January 2015 – Weir Veterinary Services | Can-Do Auto & Lube.

To stay up to date on news and events from the Chamber, visit their website: lloydminsterchamber.com

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