With close to 600 members, the local Chamber of Commerce strives to be the voice of business in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Chamber elects new board

With close to 600 members, the local Chamber of Commerce strives to be the voice of business in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The organization advocates for and supports businesses, provides opportunities for networking and exposure, and offers services, membership discounts and other privileges.

The chamber's mission is to foster and sustain a strong and growing business climate by representing and connecting our members.

Its vision is a financially self-sufficient, influential organization for business in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

By making use of everything the chamber offers, members can gain valuable information, strengthen business skills, gain contacts and expand markets.

The chamber is run by a board of directors who are elected for two-year terms and represent a wide variety of occupations throughout the community. Directors serve on a number of committees and task forces during their term as well as provide overall governance and guidance in the direction, policies and positions of the chamber.

The chamber just concluded its elections to fill board of directors for 2008.

The new board consists of president Jeff Carpenter (Staples), president elect Randy Cooke (Coldwell Banker Tri-Tel Realty), vice-president Jeremy Bekar (Marks Work Wearhouse & Imagewear), secretary-treasurer Michel Proulx (Scotiabank, Meadowtown Centre) and directors Perry Bateson (Yuens Family Martial Arts), Miki Klein (SysDot Technologies), Ron Lancaster (Ridge Meadows College), Reg Mess (Master’s Touch Portrait Design), Sherri Riley (Royal Bank, 207th Branch), Sandy Wakeling (Meadowridge School) and Robert Watkins (Envision Financial). The past president is Jim Coulter.

The 2008 board of directors will be sworn in at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon to be held Wednesday, Dec. 19th at the ACT.

• The chamber holds regular luncheons featuring a guest speaker, as well as special events. For example, a monthly, the hosts a business AM meeting on the fourth Wednesday of every month, featuring speakers and round table discussions. The cost is $5.

• The chamber's annual dinner and dance event, Puttin' on the Ritz, will be held Nov. 3 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club. The cost is $90 for members and non-members. For tickets, call the chamber office at 604-463-3366.

• The chamber also runs Business to Business and will visit Blue Heron Winery on Old Dewdney Trunk Road as part of Small Business Week.

This event is held when a business comes forward to host one, generally once a month. The chamber sponsors the event and publicizes it through its membership, providing members an opportunity to open the doors of their business to the community in an open house atmosphere for marketing and business development.

• Chamber boardroom for rent: $60 for half-day or evening use; $120 for full day use.

The chamber can also arrange for LCD projector/screen rentals, flip charts, photocopying and catering services for your meeting or training session.

• The chamber office is located at 22238 Lougheed Hwy. and is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The telephone number is 604-463-3366 and the web address is

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