The new Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area board members are full of energy and new ideas for creating a vibrant downtown core in which to shop and do business.
And one of the first ways the new board has chosen to begin this work is by developing more ways for businesses and organizations to communicate their concerns and wishes to the board, says chair Angie Delainey, who was installed in September along with the new board.
That work includes developing a brand new website and expanding on the BIA’s successful Facebook communications, Delainey says.
In efforts to open up the lines of communication even further, she says the BIA has done away with the executive committee style of governance in favour of a whole board approach to governance.
There is a designated chair, vice-chair, past-chair, secretary, treasurer, governance chair, and timekeeper, but all 12 board members will be involved in the operations in one way or another.
In addition to Delainey, the board includes vice-chair Jazmyn Douillard, past-chair Jan Hermiston, secretary Jamie Bourdon, treasurer Melaine Ablitt, Jana Roller, Megan Chutskoff, Dora Althaus, Cindy Chappell, Kim Futcher, Sarah Hutchins, and Jason Akeson.
“Not all of the board members hold a specific title but we will all be championing one another of the tasks in our five year strategic plan,” Delainey says.
Kate Lines, the BIA’s new office and events co-ordinator hired Sept. 15, holds a business degree in commerce and will also be there to keep the board on track and the communication lines open.
“She is our front line support for the board,” Delainey says.
In efforts to keep the board members up to date on issues that may arise and ideas people may have for special events and ways to improve and promote the downtown core, Delainey says Lines will send out a report once a month to all board members on the correspondence received and responses given that month.
“That way the board members always know what is happening,” Delainey says.
She notes businesses and downtown organizations can now have their special activities posted on the BIA Facebook page. Once the new website is launched there will also be lots of opportunity for communication in that forum as well.
Businesses and organizations that are not currently receiving the BIA newsletter can do so by e-mailing Lines at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 250-398-5717. Lines is in the BIA office at the corner of Third Ave. and Oliver Street Monday to Thursday each week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be available to the public between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on those days.
Delainey says the BIA is also working on a memorandum of agreement with the city to include a new box on the business licence form that will allow new and renewing businesses to indicate if they would like to receive information about the BIA.
In addition to a whole bunch of new ideas for this year’s Winter Lights program coming up the first weekend in December, the BIA is developing plans for next year’s Stampede Street Party and has lots of other interesting ideas for bringing people into the heart of the community for activities and shopping.