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Chamber elects new board

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the coming year with a few fresh faces following the board's election this week.

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the coming year with a few fresh faces following the board's election this week.The biggest change the chamber faces is the exodus of longtime member, Ken Newington, who recently retired from real estate and decided to relocate to Alberta, said chamber president Margo Dent. "He was part of the chamber for many, many years," said Dent, "so we're very sad to lose him because he has a lot of history that a lot of us don't know, so those are very valuable people."In keeping with the annual election, six seats of the 12-director board were up for grabs, but this year a seventh position became available with director Christy Eldred's decision to move to the Sunshine Coast with one year left in her mandate.Re-elected to the board for two-year terms are Darren McCartney of Sea to Sky Premier Properties and Stephanie Wells of Capilano University. Newly elected with two-year terms are recent resident Stephen Drinkwater of SGD Consulting Inc, who served as the chamber's representative to the Lower Mainland Chambers Transportation Panel; 13-year resident Maurice Freitag of Granite Art Masonry, whose served in the Lions Club and helped with youth service; Wes Rafuse, who built Tim Hortons in 1996 and has served on numerous local organizations including the Squamish Community Foundation; and Kris Szylowski of Executive Suites Garibaldi Springs who relocated to Squamish last year and brings 15 years experience in hospitality industry. Also newly elected, but with a one-year term is Denise Jimmo, who moved to Squamish last January to take on the position of career services manager for Training Innovations, running the Howe Sound Employment Resources Centres.The five directors with one year remaining on their terms are Dent, past president Ron Anderson of Squamish Terminals, Carol Elliott of Silverfoot, Michael Hutchison of Bethel Land Development and Sameer Kajani of Squamish Inn on the Water.In December, the board will appoint a new executive, including a new president. Dent said she's still unsure whether she'll pursue the leadership role."It really depends on how the board looks and what is our strategy for moving towards 2010 and beyond," she said. "If it's the will of the board, yes I will probably continue. However there are some strategic things that we need to look at - plus there's my own family needs."

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