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Fredericton Chamber of Commerce welcomes Joseph O’Donnell as President

For Immediate Release - [3 June 2014]

(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce held its 2013-14 annual general meeting this morning at the Delta Fredericton. Fredericton deputy mayor Eric McGarrity was in attendance to formally affirm the new members of the chamber board of directors and 2014-15 President, Joseph O’Donnell of National Bank Financial. O’Donnell succeeds Chris Johnston who moves into the role of past president.

Johnston’s final remarks as chamber president were used to highlight some of the efforts of the chamber over the past and particularly to thank the many volunteers (past, present and future) who make the chamber an effective organization with a broad base of knowledge and skills from which to draw. He suggested that the chamber wouldn’t be celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2014-15 without such a commitment from the community.

Johnston also presented the chamber’s President’s Award, given at the outgoing President’s discretion to a board members (or members) that go above and beyond the normal call of duty in contributing to the chamber’s success. This year’s recipients were Heather Black, McInnes Cooper and Laurie Guthrie, City of Fredericton / Ignite Fredericton for their extensive work on the “Choose Fredericton” initiative. This was an event held in October 2013 that aimed to (a) form better links between the city’s post-secondary students and the community; and (b) to provide an opportunity from small businesses, who often cannot attend other career fairs, to interact with new talent.

O’Donnell’s opening address focused on the financial state of the province, specifically the debt and deficit. He indicated that New Brunswick has to bolster international trade opportunities in order to grow the tax base and that the chamber can play a role in making connections. He also stated that the chamber (and province) must get all stakeholders involved, including First Nations communities. He highlighted the financial state of the province by stating that... ‘we need to do more than shuffle the same deck of cards – we’re playing a whole new game [in the current economic climate].’

Deputy Mayor McGarrity congratulated the chamber for its long history in the community. He emphasized the strong working relationship between the chamber and the City of Fredericton as well as the pride that the city takes in its chamber of commerce.

The newest members of the chamber board are: Nathan Armstrong, Hyton Innovation; Ryan Boyer, Boyer & Associates; Geoff Gallant, Crowne Plaza Fredericton; Karen Murdock, University of New Brunswick – IBEC; Barbara Burnett, Atlantic Institute on Aging; Karen Grant, Kiers Marketing Group; and Robert Gallen, RPS HMA. Chamber presidents serve a one-year term, while board members typically serve for two years.

With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.

Contact: Krista Ross, CEO, 458.8006.

pdfFredericton Chamber of Commerce welcomes Joseph O’Donnell as President