Boundary Country chamber of commerce shuffles leadership

The change is part of an effort to refocus the organization.

The Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce has laid of its executive director and will continue operations as a “board-run organization” while restructuring over the coming months.

Following her election to the City of Grand Forks council, former chamber president Cathy Korolek has resigned her position, per her election promise. In her place, chamber vice-president James Wilson has stepped in as an appointed president.

Wilson said he will be president until the chamber annual general meeting, expected to be held in April.

The chamber also announced in a press release on Friday that executive director Kendra Begg has left the organization. Wilson said in comment to the Gazette that Begg was laid off earlier this month as the chamber undergoes changes, both organizational and financial in nature.

In the press release both the chamber said the “organization has been required to pause day to day operations” and that “the Board will be taking on the organization’s operational duties.”

Wilson said there are no plans to hire to fill the ED position at this time, but that the board will continue to operate and meet monthly.

“Since reforming in 2012, the BCRCC has found itself trying to be many things to many people, which has not allowed the organization to find its true value and purpose here in the Boundary area. The Board of Directors sees this as a ‘top-down’ issue and aims to complete a self-evaluation to identify the biggest gaps and required improvements,” the board writes in a press release.

Korolek has been appointed as the Grand Forks council liaison to the chamber, which receives $15,000 annually from the City.

The board will develop a strategic plan going forward, and said its immediate focus will be planning a successful 2019. The press release notes that the board is actively looking for new members and wants to hear from business owners and the membership at large on how it can add value as an organization.

“We will carry on,” Wilson said, noting the Chamber’s successful participation in a Rural Dividends grant announced last week, and plans to continue to work with the city and the Downtown Business Association. “We are still functioning, still working as a board-run organization.”

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