BC Chamber of Commerce director of member relations Joan Isac (left) presents the BC Chamber of Commerce of the Year Award to Castlegar Chamber of Commerce executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk(center) and Castlegar Chamber president Jane Charest.

Castlegar Chamber of Commerce wins BC Chamber of the Year

Castlegar stood out for the incredible work done that would have long-lasting impact for its members

The Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce (CDCOC) was recognized as the BC Chamber of the Year by the BC Chamber of Commerce.

All chambers and boards of trade in the province are eligible for the annual award.

“We were quite in shock,” said CDCOC executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk. “The competition is quite significant.”

Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff was thrilled with the announcement.

“It shows the value of the Chamber to the community,” he said. “Our small community against all the big cities — and the Castlegar Chamber came out the winner … They deserve all of the accolades.”

He also commended all of the staff at the Chamber. “Things can’t happen without the hard-working staff.”

“It is a Chamber award, but it is also a community award — the business people, the residents are all a part of what happens.”

Chambers are asked to fill out submission forms and answer questions such as:

Whats is the most significant impact your work had on your community?

How do you advocate for businesses?

What programs do you have to develop staff?

How do you engage volunteers?

How do you encourage businesses to join the chamber and then retain them?

What is your budget?

What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Verigin-Burke said their submission focused on the launch of the economic development program. It is the first economic development program the city has had since the early 1990s.

“It was the business community who wanted it and the business community came together and we really pushed hard for it with the Chamber, Columbia Basin Trust and our politicians,” explained Verigin-Burk.

“After a few years, they agreed to fund it. To me that was incredibly exciting and the fact that the business community and the politicians thought it would be best to be under the Chamber and working in partnership with the Chamber.”

She is excited to see the work and progress that is already being made with the new program.

“It is mind blowing to see how much work we are doing right now between Mark [Laver — Castlegar’s economic development officer] and I. It is all so cohesive because we are right here in the same building, strategizing, leveraging, working together as well as with Destination Castlegar,” she said.

“So with us having that solid team we are able to work with the City of Castlegar to really maximize and get things done.”

The Castlegar Chamber went into the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM and Conference knowing they were one of seven finalists for the award.

But the group was still surprised when the presenter said, “One chamber in the end stood out ahead of everybody else because of the incredible work they had done that would be long-lasting for their chamber members — Castlegar.”

“We almost fell over — I was in such shock,” said Verigin-Burk. “I thought the odds were like winning the lottery. There are such huge chambers out there and everyone is doing such amazing work.”

The award was sponsored by Uber and came with $2,500. The Chamber’s board will now be looking at how to spend their new money.

Just Posted

Home fuel tank fails, spilling oil near Nakusp

Officials say 700 litres may have escaped in the spill

RED Mountain resort delays opening day

Lack of snow puts damper on start of season

Body found in car at bottom of lake near Needles ferry

Police say at this time no foul play is suspected

West Kootenay traffic officers catch 21 impaired drivers Saturday

Checks in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail were set up as part of a national enforcement campaign

Castlegar man denied bail in trafficking case

Bradley Morehouse is accused of trafficking narcotics after RCMP executed two search warrants

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Most Read