Local Chamber of Commerce has new president

After seven years, the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce has a new president.

Rita Dustow is the new Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce president and is looking forward to a fun year.

Rita Dustow is the new Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce president and is looking forward to a fun year.

After seven years, the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce has a new president. Jim Humphrey, who has been the president of the Chamber since 2005 stepped down as a director and president at this year’s AGM.

Humphrey said it was time for a change in the presidential position at the Chamber and that he feels every volunteer organization needs to bring in different people with new ideas and direction. He says one of the highlights of his time as president has been the increase in the number of members, which has gone from forty-five members seven years ago to the current one hundred and thirty. He is also proud of the fact that the Chamber has gone from a poor financial position to being self-sufficient with money in the bank.

Working with Town Council on the Visitor Centre has also proved to be rewarding. The Centre now offers visitors to the area a place to learn about the communities around the lake and shows them why they should stay and take advantage of all the things there are to do locally and hopefully draws them back to the area again.

Humphrey says that having a full time employee at the Visitor Centre has proven to be worthwhile as tourist numbers to the area continue to climb. The Chamber board now has ten directors and it would  be good to get local business people to come forward and commit their time to help fill the two remaining Directors positions. He notes that the information kiosks in Mesachie Lake and Saywell Park as things he is proud he has accomplished during his term.

Humphrey says that he thinks new president Rita Dustow will do a great job in her new position. Her high energy level combined with her understanding of what it is like to be in business in the Cowichan Lake area will serve her well in her new position.  Humphrey is sure that with Dustow as president and Ron McKenzie as vice president, the chamber is in good hands.

Dustow says she is looking forward to working with the returning and new board members and anticipates a new learning curve and a fun year ahead. Dustow and her husband William have lived at the Lake for eight years. They have been active in the community as business owners as well as volunteering on a number of committees.

Dustow’s aim is for the Chamber to work with the local businesses, Town Council, Area F and I directors to promote the lake area as a business friendly place. She invites everyone to forward their ideas to the Visitor/Business Centre and she will  set up some round table discussions on what we can all do to help move the business community forward. “ I would like to thank now past president Jim Humphrey for all his hard work and dedication over the years , and I will be in constant contact with him for at least the next three months,” she adds.

The current executive for the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce are Rita Dustow, president, Ron Mckenzie, vice president, Jim Humphrey immediate past president and directors Terry Hale, Mike Desjardin, Jennifer Clarke, Morreen Coulter, Joseph Cullen, Gil Mauro, Sandy Stinson, Symon Whalvin . Katherine Worsley continues as the coordinator of the Visitor/Business Centre.


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