Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Charlene Harrison

Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Charlene Harrison

Chamber president vested in the community’s well-being

Chamber of Commerce president Charlene Harrison said she continues to love the amount of involvement the chamber has with the community.

Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Charlene Harrison said she continues to love the amount of involvement the chamber has with the community and the support the chamber receives from the community.

“We hear it all the time from visiting guest speakers who have spoken at other chamber events in other towns and cities and they cannot believe the turnout we get at our meetings,” Harrison said.

Prior to becoming president in December 2016, Harrison was on the board for 10 years.

During that time period she served as a director, second vice-president and first vice-president.

While she is president, Harrison hopes to see a more positive optimism in the community and better working relationships between the chamber and other groups.

Whether it’s working with Economic Development, the Downtown Business Improvement Area Association, the City or Aboriginal communities and groups — the people who have stake in Williams Lake – by working together they can help move the town forward.

“It’s important to find a way to do that without duplicating what each group is already doing,” Harrison said. “And it makes sense if we are working together for a common goal. Obviously we want to see a better economy and prosperity for all.”

Normally the chamber’s business excellence awards are given out in March during a gala event, however, this year it will take place in October.

Spring is a problem because there are lots of other fundraisers happening and it makes it difficult on businesses being asked to donate prizes, Harrison said.

“October is small business month so we decided to tie it in with that as well.”

Harrison comes to the board with a banking background, having been in the sector since 1975.

“I have also been in a business that is very community oriented,” she said of banking. “Your employers encourage you to be part of the community and involved with organizations.”

And because she deals with the public at the bank, she and her fellow employees hear a lot about what the public thinks.

“That is important because it helps you make decisions in the best interest of the people in the community,” she added.

When she’s not busy with work or chamber work, Harrison loves to golf, garden and do antiquing.

“I don’t always have a lot of free time, but when I do we enjoy the Cariboo,” Harrison said, noting she has lived here since October 1980.