Campbell Watt from the Mortgage Centre has been elected president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce for 2012.

Campbell Watt from the Mortgage Centre has been elected president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce for 2012.

Penticton chamber elects new executive

New directors, executive to chair first meeting next week

A new group of faces will be leading the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce through 2012.

The local business association held its elections for the executive board on Wednesday morning, electing Mortgage Centre’s Campbell Watt as president.

“I am excited for the upcoming year,” he said Wednesday. “We’re evaluating all sorts of options, speaker series, training sessions, numerous ways to help the business community and train their staff.”

Watt has lived in the community for 14 years, and is also the vice-president of the Downtown Penticton Association and serves on the board of directors for the Penticton Golf Club.

As a chamber member for over three years, Watt said it’s difficult to pinpoint how valuable chamber membership is.

“I’m not sure you can put a straight value on it. There are so many benefits to being a chamber member, No. 1 being that we are an advocacy group,” he said, illustrating how members have worked with various levels of government offering input on plans. “We’ve been part of some pretty significant policy that’s gone through at higher levels in the past. That’s what we do, and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Also elected was Andre Martin of the Penticton Herald, who will serve in the capacity as vice-president. Deborah O’Mara from the South Okanagan Events Centre will serve as secretary. Jason Cox of Bayley’s Brew Ha Ha will shift into the past-president role.

The executive elections follow on the board of directors elections held during the chamber’s AGM held last week. In addition to the executive members, the following people were sworn in: Lauren Cornish, individual member; Elizabeth Cucnik, Penticton Lakeside Resort; Frank Darin, Sherwood Trophies and Signs and Sportswear; Aaron Dodsworth, White Kennedy Chartered Accountants; Jorg Engel, Maple Leaf Spirits; Keith MacIntyre, Big Bear Software; Allison Markin, All She Wrote Consulting; Tami O’Callaghan, Verico Complete Mortgage Services; Mike Porter, BMO Bank of Montreal; Rick Riddall, Penticton Peach Festival; and Cary Schneiderat, Pearce Taylor Schneiderat.

The new executive will chair its first meeting on Wednesday, when the chamber will organize its own committee structures and community advisory committee representatives. The chamber currently has seats on five city advisory committees: community business and development, airport select, downtown revitalization, SOEC select and waterfront enhancement select.