Business group changing with the times

Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce unveils new logo and website, plus updates to operations

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is changing with the times.

Tuesday evening, the chamber unveiled not only a new logo, but a new website and a range of changes and updates to its operations.

“Like our members, change is really growth and a reflection on the success of the past. Our organization will continue to evolve to suit our stakeholders, and these new initiatives and look are all part of our growth,” said chamber president Andre Martin.

“We have been working diligently throughout the summer to bring progressive changes to the organization,” said John Devitt, general manager for the chamber. “We set our target months ago and are all very excited to finally reveal all that hard work to the community.”

At the core of the changes, Devitt said, is communication.

“We just kind of make assumptions that people understand our product and understand who we are, what we do,” said Devitt. When the chamber’s board of directors started talking about changes in May, the consideration was how to enhance value to members and how to communicate that value better.

“Everything we’ve done has been examined through that lens. Is our website valuable to members, if not, why not?” said Devitt.

The core feature of Tuesday’s launch is the new logo and updated website, which Devitt said will “exponentially” improve their service to the Penticton business community. Devitt describes the new logo as a “fresh coat of paint” to go along with the forward thinking they’ve been doing, but the website is the real key.

“People are going to be amazed. Everything we do is there, right down to the fact that we provide certificates of origin for people that are exporting out of Canada. I don’t think that is something that is really widely known,” said Devitt.

The other thrust is supporting and promoting connections with an enhanced business directory, making it the first stop when people are going out to shop or looking for a business in town.

“This isn’t the end of the work, but this is a large portion of the beginning and we wanted to have as much of it created as possible, the website and the logo change being two of the biggest pieces before taking our next step with examining the potential addition of new benefits and services,” said Devitt.

The chamber is still in conversation about what those new benefits or services might be, but a couple of new events have been added, like the Top 40 under 40, which begins in today’s Western News with the first of 40 recipients, Max Picton (see Page A8).

Partnering with local media and JCI Penticton, the chamber will select a young entrepreneur or community leader for each of the next 40 weeks to be honoured.

“It’s important for the chamber of commerce to be supporting that, to be the voice of business, the voice of those leaders,” said Devitt.

“Our motto has always been: a catalyst in the community.

“All these changes will be a catalyst for our membership, the Top 40 campaign being a catalyst for the community in terms of recognizing those young leaders.”

The chamber also has plans a monthly “cash mob” to support local businesses, and “12 at 12” focus groups, where 12 chamber members will be invited to have lunch with chamber staff, discuss issues and provide feedback.

The redesigned website was made possible through a partnership between the chamber and the Penticton Hospitality Association, which provided financial support.

“The chamber of commerce occupies an important strategic position, as a key destination point for visitors and those looking to relocate to our region,” said Rob Appelman, PHA president.

The partnership with the Penticton Hospitality Association is one of many the Chamber has been cultivating throughout the community in recent months.

The launch celebration was supported through partnerships with Princeton Wood Preservers Ltd, Tourism Penticton, the Penticton Wine Info Centre and Neon Wolfe Creations.