Seven new directors were confirmed to the board of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce at its annual general meeting luncheon at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Sue Adams of The Grocery Store, Grant Cousar of Whistler Cooks Catering Company, Ben Thomas of VIP Mountain Holidays, Brent Harley of Brent Harley and Associates, Flora Ferraro of Whistler Blackcomb, David Kirk of Whistler Village Sports and David Williamson of Cascade Environmental Resource Group were elected from a candidates' list of 13. Chamber members voted for the new board representatives online.
Two other pieces of major business were voted on by the 35 members present at the luncheon, the approval of the Chamber's financial statements for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, and new bylaws redefining terms of membership, and board procedures including for meetings. Both passed.
Board chair Kendra Mazzei listed the highlights for the board of directors for 2012, including board governance training, a five-year strategic plan that focuses on the chamber's values and relevance, and financial viability, the chamber's goal as an advocate for all businesses in Whistler, and the Whistler Excellence Awards Dinner last summer.
Chamber president Fiona Famulak presented the organization's 2011 financial statement, which was prepared by McMillan, Thorn and Company, Ltd.
Famulak said the overall financial results, as previously put forward at the Resort Municipality of Whistler level and elsewhere, showed a deficit of $153,793, after depreciation.
"We were able to absorb the entire deficit through our accumulated reserves," Famulak told chamber members. "At the end of 2011, our board made the strategic decision to budget for a $47,000 deficit, in order to undertake specific projects around recruitment and retention."
There was a further $90,000 revenue loss that year, due to the loss of three long-term rental contracts, being unable to secure hoped-for budgeted sponsorship revenue, and the chamber did not secure all the participation from several events hosted throughout the year, and a loss was incurred in the first year of the Outlook Economic Symposium hosted in June 2011.
"Using that experience as a lesson and as a trigger point for change, in 2012 we undertook a rigorous review of our programs and services as well our business and financial model, and have made some significant changes in 2012 that will continue into 2013," Famulak said.
Vancouver lawyer Andrew Ouren, who was appointed in spring 2012 to update the chamber's bylaws, addressed members to explain changes to bylaws to be voted on.
"I reviewed matters, talked with the governance committee and board... We believe they are modern bylaws that meet the needs of your association and for the most part meet the requirements of the Boards of Trade Act," he said.
The bylaws, which were adopted, can be read on the chamber's website.
Finally, Famulak gave a 20-minute address about the state of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and of business in general in the resort, culling notes from the information supplied by the chamber as a member of the Resort Municipality of Whistler's new Economic Partnership Initiative Committee (EPI).