With the Chamber of Commerce Serving Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows having three different executive directors in the past two years, the new leader Kristi Maier took the time to speak to The News to provide a better understanding of who she is and what her plans are for the two communities.
Maier joined the chamber in October of last year, and since then, she’s had to dive head-first into her duties.
“The first few months have been a whirlwind,” she admitted. “It’s been really amazing to be able to get in here and put my mark on the chamber, and change things around.”
Maier explained that before becoming the new executive director, she served in multiple positions at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, which gave her a familiarity with the world of chambers and what her new job would entail.
“In my last position, I built the entire position from the ground up. I created a lot of really cool events and ways to retain and help members, which I wanted to bring here,” said Maier.
“The members of our business community would have seen a change in our newsletter, which was one of the things I did right away. I wanted to make the newsletter more engaging, colourful, bright, and also have information on there not only about the chamber but also about the community and community events going on.”
Another program that she is proud to have introduced to the local chamber of commerce is the Business After Hours networking socials, which gather members of the business community at a local company and allow them to visit and network with one another.
“Our Business After Hours events have sold out every time,” said Maier.
“They’re really, really popular, and I think our members and the business community are seeing it’s a really amazing value to them. Even non-members are seeing the value and they’re joining.”
But this is only a drop in the bucket, explained Maier, and she plans to do so much more in the coming months.
“I think the chamber really needs to help home-based businesses,” she said. “There’s really a gap there and a lot of home-based businesses don’t even know that they can be chamber members.”
“We want to be an advocate for home-based businesses. We have a lot of them in Maple Ridge, and we have a lot that might not necessarily be licensed, and we want them to feel like we’re an ally for them.”
Maier explained that although she loved her time at Langley, she had to jump at the chance to work in Maple Ridge, where she has lived for several years.
“I care so much about this community. I live, work, play, and eat in Maple Ridge. My son goes to school here. So this is my business community. I’m here to support the community that I do everything in.”
In addition to living in Maple Ridge, Maier said she also brings a fresh perspective to the role.
“I’m very proud to be a female under 40 who is in this position. There are a lot of CEOs in the chamber world that are female, and I’m really proud of that.”
Plus, she noted, “Having someone in this position who is from Maple Ridge is really important because you understand this community more.”
Have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.