President’s Report – February 2017

The year is now well and truly underway with kids all back at school and many of the holiday goers gone for now. It would seem based on member feedback that the Christmas Holiday period has been kind with many trading very well and accommodation figures reflecting a very positive season. Let’s hope this has set the tone for a positive year of trading and business growth.

There are some exciting changes afoot in the Chamber Office with our Executive Officer of 12 years, Nadia Eliott-Burgess taking an extended break from April to focus on her new project as a first time Mum! We wish her all the very best and look forward to her return mid next year. In the meantime, Leanne Cawley will be stepping up as Acting Manager to keep the Chamber office rolling as well as coordinating the Business Awards and our regular networking events. We look forward to working with Leanne to ensure our members are well serviced over the coming year.

There are also some changes at a board level with Treasurer of 5 years, Marjo Proos from Crowe Horwath stepping aside. We would like to thank Marjo for her years of service to the Chamber and acknowledge her many voluntary hours monitoring the books.

Ready to tackle the role of Treasurer head on is Jamie Doyle from Collins Hume. Jamie grew up in Wardell, went to high school in Ballina, travelled the world and settled down with a local girl back in paradise. He lives in East Ballina and has 3 kids. He tells us they are all in school now at St Francis so he has some spare time. Not for long!! Click here for more info on Jamie’s background.

We have also had a Casual Vacancy on the board for a few months with the resignation of Cameron Bracken due to his new role with TURSA Employment & Training largely being based in Tweed. We are very pleased to announce that Chris Duffy from Spaceman Storage has agreed to take on this position between now and the AGM when he will formally nominate for election. Chris has been involved with the storage industry for more than 20 years including 5 years as business development and national manager for Global Self Storage. Chris was involved in site selection and developing 12 storage facilities, 10 in NSW and 2 in QLD and recently redeveloped the old Bunnings site to establish Spaceman Storage with his business partner, Marc Jones.

What’s been happening?

Strategic Plan

The Board of Management have been busy over the past few months developing and implementing the Chamber’s 2016 and Beyond Strategic Plan. Over the coming weeks you will receive a Member Satisfaction Survey – the results of which will help us identify where to best direct Chamber resources to maximise member benefit delivery. This is just one of many identified actions over the coming months designed to ensure the Chamber’s core focus is on the betterment of our member businesses in the best ways possible. Please take the time to complete the survey – we will have some great prizes on offer to encourage you!

Chamber Alliance Partners

Jane Laverty has recently been appointed Regional Manager of NSW Business Chamber Northern Rivers, our valued Local Chamber Alliance partners. Many of you will remember Jane from her role with Ballina Shire Council as our much valued Economic Development Officer. We are looking forward to working with Jane and the Ballina NSWBC team to further enhance the Chamber movement in this area moving forward. Check out Jane’s recent article here about having a game plan for the new year.

Meetings

In addition to the Chamber’s monthly board meetings, board members have attended stakeholder meetings with Council staff on a variety of matters including the Ballina Economic Development Strategy. Other meetings attended include Shark Management Strategy meetings and the recent Health of the Richmond River gathering – just to name a few.

I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon and please remember that the board and staff of the Chamber are working diligently on your behalf as a valued member so if you have any feedback or would like to make us aware of any barriers to your business growth please email info@ballinachamber.com.au and let us know.

Warmest regards,

Narelle Besseling

Chamber President

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