There are some new faces at the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce these days.
Brandy Maslowski’s time with the chamber started in May as events and communications director, but after general manager John Devitt left, was appointed to the position of executive director.
“It is a big transition, but it is exciting to see the inner details of the chamber and what we have the potential to accomplish,” said Maslowski. “I think this year will be one of back-to-basics, but it is good to make new community connections and build a better future.”
The top priority, said Maslowski, is the same as it has always been, making sure the chamber’s member businesses are looked after.
“I think the key thing with the chamber is the members,” said Maslowski. “We have to make sure there is a connection with our members, that they understand the value of being a chamber member.”
Maslowski comes to the chamber with over a decade as public education officer for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, with extensive community outreach experience with a focus on people-to-people connections.
Maslowski said she has been busy renewing and re-establishing relationships with groups in the community, including the City of Penticton.
“I was thrilled that they have come forward immediately to reconnect. It has been refreshing to hear that there are ways they want to get involved, they can provide funding for things and we can promote our activities through them,” said Maslowski.
“We have been really lucky. Since I have taken over, a lot of people have walked in the door and said let’s try something new,” she continued. “Instead of just being a silo here in the chamber, just for our businesses, we are reaching out to a broader base. We are going to have more people become involved. When we have the city and CoWork and Community Futures all involved, they have a greater reach for the audience coming in.”
Another priority for Maslowski was finding a replacement for the events and communications position left vacant by her promotion.
Nikki Morris took up that challenge last week, and said she is looking forward to planning new events and supporting existing ones.
“I was brought on board to plan our events and promote our events, and make them the best the chamber can host, as well as reach out to members,” said Morris.
Morris was raised in Penticton, a third-generation graduate from Penticton Secondary.
“My family has owned and operated businesses here for decades. I have always been involved with them,” adding that she did leave the city to work overseas, putting her business and marketing credentials to work in Australia.
Along with her strong connections in the community, Maslowski said Morris’s desire to return marked her as a top candidate.
“She has been away from Penticton and she wanted to come back,” said Maslowski. “She wanted to get re-invested in the community. That is a really big value for us.”