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Two local business associations under new leadership

New appointments for Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Maple Ridge BIA
Flori Chaykowski is the new executive director of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association. (Ariane Jaschke/Capture Photography Studio/Special to The News)

Two local business associations will be undergoing a change in leadership at the end of the month.

Mark Vosper, former Maple Ridge branch manager of the BC SPCA and former executive director of the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, will be taking over the role of executive director of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce starting Sept. 27.

He will be taking over from Flori Chaykowski who resigned from the position to start in her new role as executive director of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, (DMRBIA). Ineke Boekhorst, who currently holds the position is set to retire later this year.

Vosper has 20 years experience in management roles and holds certificates like: Corporate IT and Organizational Learning; Bylaw Compliance; Enforcement & Investigative Skills; various Human Resource Management; Training and Development courses; as well as Customer Care Management.

“I feel that I will bring professional leadership with effective management skills and initiatives to this role to assist in the continued success of ensuring a sustainable commercial environment in our communities,” said Vosper.

“My ability to forge and grow solid working relationships within the workplace, with stakeholders and locally in the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has continually helped me to achieve my objectives and goals,” he added.

Chaykowski will start in her new role on Oct. 1 after four years with the Chamber of Commerce, where, she said, she was able to strengthen relationships with members and stakeholders, review and implement new processes and procedures for increased office efficiency and member management. She was integral in a “much-needed” office move in 2019 made improvements to the website making it more user-friendly. Chaykowski also worked to provide an area for supports for businesses during the pandemic, to help with the confusion and frustrations local business owners were facing.

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“It has been a pleasure to work with the Chamber over the past four years and I am proud of the collaborations and work done with the cities, Chamber staff and boards,” said Chaykowski.

“Mark is an excellent choice to continue to move the Chamber forward and I wish him well. I look forward to continuing to serve my home of Maple Ridge as executive director for the DMRBIA and maintain the working relationship with the Chamber to support the business community,” she said, adding that her goals are to carry on the great work of the BIA including the creation of programs to improve business, based on the feedback from the businesses and members and promoting and supporting business growth and the community of Maple Ridge overall.

Boekhorst said she enjoyed her work for the past 15 years at the DMRBIA, promoting, revitalizing and animating downtown Maple Ridge. She said during her term she was able to interact with executive directors and BIA staff members throughout the province.

“I was impressed not only with the skills and knowledge of my peers but also with their willingness to help at any time another colleague, who was trying to introduce a new program, re-invigorate an old one or patch a hole in a boat before the lunch box got wet,” she said.

Boekhorst wanted to remind people that she will continue her duties at the BIA while training the new executive director, but when she leaved she intends to remain in the area with her husband Peter.

“Thank you for your expertise, assistance, partnerships and fellowship; I wish you all the best in your continued work with your organization, other individual BIA’s and with the BIABC provincial association, in our collective effort to improve downtowns all over B.C.,” added Boekhorst.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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