There's a new president leading the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.
This month, Val Venneri took over the reins of the board from Nancy Mageau.
For the 2019-2020 year, he said there will be a refresh of the chamber brand, focus on policy, and working to get the word out about what the chamber does.
The rebranding will be launched later this month at the AGM.
Venneri said the new brand will also bring a refresh of events and greater focus on the business community.
“This revamp of the chamber’s brand will bring new life into the chamber’s image, the programs and services we provide and build on the momentum of our advocacy efforts all to better serve our members,” he said.
The theme for the upcoming year, he said, will focus on advocacy.
“We know our members find value in our networking events and cost-saving programs; however, we want to increase the awareness of our advocacy efforts and demonstrate how candid conversations can develop into powerful policy resolutions that seem to address the core of these issues and impact on our business communities,” he said.
Creating broader awareness of the chamber is also a priority.
Venneri noted that a lot of people connected to the licensing bureau, which moved out of the building last year.
“Now with the licensing bureau gone, people might not have the greatest idea of what the chamber represents and what they do. My main focus will be to get that word out there, because as much as that was recognized as part of the chamber, it was really the smallest part and everything else was a much bigger portion of it that people might not have known about,” he said.
Outgoing president Mageau shared some advice with Venneri as he starts his term.
She said to be involved, listen to the membership, and "work for our membership to help our community prosper."
The past year has been busy, and she said the highlight was seeing that the organization's advocacy work makes a difference.
"And the Timmins chamber is recognized throughout the chamber networks, so they look to us quite a bit for what advocacy work that we’re doing in order to support the rest of the community,” she said.
At the Ontario Chamber Convention she said noted two items that they successfully lobbied for: skilled gaps starting at the high school level, and a forestry strategy to increase funding for forest road access.
Municipally, she said the annual pre-budget presentation was deliver to council. The group also worked on a variety of issues such as consulting the city for official planing review, infrastructure spending, and potential changes to business licenses.
This story originally appeared on TimminsToday.com.