Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director who was born and raised in Inuvik.
Alex Gresl started the job on Monday, Sept. 28, moving to the lakecity from Prince George where he recently worked as the chief executive officer for a First Nations development corporation.
He replaces Mark Doratti who stepped down from the position in January 2020.
Excited to be part of the chamber, Gresl said it will give him the opportunity to work with diverse people and industries.
While the position has been vacant since the departure of Doratti, the staff at the chamber have been maintaining the flow which is making it easier for him to step in, he told the Tribune.
“We’ve got a very progressive board of directors and great staff within this organization,” he said.
Gresl was raised in the north. His father worked as an electrician for Northwest Territories Power Corporation and his mother was a social worker.
For two years Gresl ran the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and the NWT Chamber of Commerce at the height of the diamond industry.
Of all his jobs, working for the chambers was one of his favourites, he said.
He started the job on Monday, Sept. 28 and has some things to work on immediately.
A new website is being designed for the chamber and the Tourism Discovery Centre that has been in the works for a while.
“It’s one of the things I have to jump into and help get across the finish line,” he said.
The chamber’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29 and there will be a board meeting in the near future to determine how the meeting will be held.
“We want to be as safe as we can with COVID, and there is a chance the AGM will be held virtually, however, the board meeting will be in person with all the safety measures in place,” Gresl said.
There is also the potential of the chamber organizing a trade show next year, something Gresl said he was involved with when he was with the Yellowknife and NWT chambers.
In the future the chamber will be issuing a questionnaire about the proposed trade fair to members for feedback.
His wife Gail and three of their children ages 13, 16 and 19, have all moved to Williams Lake with him.
“No two days are the same for us,” he said. “My family and I are very honoured to be in Williams Lake. We are going to do all we can to earn our spot in this beautiful community. Everyone has been very friendly.”
Gresl’s goal is to be in the job until he retires.
“I’ve got about another 10 to 15 years to work left in me,” he said, chuckling.