The new executive director at the chamber is excited to be in Grand Forks and is ready to help out the business community here and throughout the Boundary.
Kathy Wright came from northern Alberta in August and began her new job at the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 1. Despite only being on the job for a couple of days, Wright is learning a lot and enjoying getting to know the people of the area.
“I’ve been living in Northern Alberta for the last dozen years or so but I’m originally from B.C.,” she said. “I grew up in the Lower Mainland and spent six years on Vancouver Island.”
Wright worked in Lesser Slave Lake, Alta doing contract work for the chambers there as well as working with the local tourism board. She then moved to Athabasca, Alta and did community development and tourism.
Wright says she is looking forward to working hard and improving the chamber.
“I’m a sponge for information and I love new challenges,” she said. “I’m given a task and I just run with it and figure it out.”
Wright became interested in coming to Grand Forks to be with her partner. She said she has been coming to the area on and off for a few years now.
“I really fell in love with the area,” she said. “I met a man up here. We had a long-distance relationship for the last year. We decided that I should make the move here. He’s lived here his whole life.”
Wright is happy to be back in B.C. and to be closer to her parents, who live in Peachland.
“To be back in B.C. is fantastic,” she said. “I had really missed the mountains.”
Although she’s just started the job, she likes what she’s seen so far. “I love the job,” she said. “I’ve been learning and meeting people. All the tasks I have on hand—I’m really excited.”
Wright said she’s been busy helping organize an all-candidates forum for the local federal election candidates. She said they are hoping to have forums in both Grand Forks and Midway.
“We have our AGM coming up and our awards for the community; Christmas; meet and greets,” she said. “We haven’t had a board meeting yet so I’m really excited to meet and get some direction.”
The mandate for the chamber is to be the voice of the business community. “Our job is to increase business, increase tourism, community development,” she said. “We want to try to encourage people to shop local and keep the money here.”
She has several ideas on how to move forward and help the region’s businesses. “I need to get some direction from the board first,” said Wright, “even from better online directories for business; maybe a local directory. We can drive them to our businesses more. I don’t know if the area has had a trade show for a while. The chamber, I know, needs revenue so we’ll have to come up with ways to do that so we can build business in the area.”
Wright said she’s looking forward to going out to Christina Lake to meet with its tourism board as well as to Greenwood and its board of trade.
“I’m really excited about meeting and getting to know all the communities and see what we can do to help them,” she said.