Chamber hires new manager

Amongst a number of changes underway with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce also comes a change to an integral part of how the chamber is run — a new manger.

President Jason Cox of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and new chamber manager Erin Hanson spend a moment talking at the Railway Street office this week. Hanson takes over from outgoing manager Lorraine Renyard.

President Jason Cox of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and new chamber manager Erin Hanson spend a moment talking at the Railway Street office this week. Hanson takes over from outgoing manager Lorraine Renyard.

Amongst a number of changes underway with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce also comes a change to an integral part of how the chamber is run — a new manger.

Erin Hanson was hired last week to take the role left by Lorraine Renyard, who announced her resignation officially in December. Renyard said the decision to leave the chamber had come months before. The manager position was one Renyard thought was going be a short-term job, eight years later she decided it was time to step down.

“The chamber board has been great and it has been a great place to work,” Renyard told the Penticton Western News previously. “I’d like to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of working with — the directors, staff and community partners. It’s been a fulfilling career for me here and I truly appreciate having had the opportunity to work for such a great organization.”

Hanson, who had a whirlwind past few workdays, tried to soak in as much as she could before Renyard departed for her well-deserved vacation.

The business world is nothing unusual for the new chamber manager. Hanson has worked in the telecommunications field, been an entrepreneur, completed her MBA and worked with non-profit companies including the Alberta Women’s Entrepreneur’s Association. She moved to the Okanagan about 10 years ago with her husband and they have split their time between Alberta and B.C.

“This is home,” Hanson said. “I have been involved in the business world and it is just such a vibrant part of the community. From what I have seen so far, this chamber, community and council are very involved. It is a very busy, active involved community.”

Chamber president Jason Cox said Renyard left big shoes to fill and while it brings challenges it also invites opportunities.

“Lorraine was very well respected, not only in our community, but the chamber community by going to provincial and national functions. People respected her and the work she did in the chamber and for the length of time she did it. That obviously is a loss, but at the same time these changes provide opportunity with fresh eyes, fresh energy to build on that momentum and groundwork Lorraine had put down, so we are very excited,” said Cox.

The president said they are very confident in Hanson’s abilities to take on the manager task and she has a knowledgable board of directors and long-tenured staff to assist in the switchover.