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Chamber team welcomes you

(Left to right) Fernie Chamber of Commerce Rachel Fitzios, membership/visitor services with new Executive Director Corien Sieders. - Tamara Hynd
(Left to right) Fernie Chamber of Commerce Rachel Fitzios, membership/visitor services with new Executive Director Corien Sieders.
— image credit: Tamara Hynd

Corien Sieders is the new executive director for the Fernie Chamber of Commerce (FCC).

Although only at the new position since April 1, she said the job feels really familiar.

Sieders spent the last year as the executive officer for Tourism Fernie. “There is a lot of overlap between the membership of the two separate organizations. The focus is similar and relies on a knowledge base of what's going on around town. The difference is the working focus on promoting the businesses.”

The Fernie Chamber runs two Visitor Information Centres. One on Highway 3 and another in the downtown core on Second Avenue.

“We know how many people drive this highway in the summer and stop [at the Visitor Centre on Highway 3], then there's a chance that we will promote their business and this is huge because a lot of people drive the highway and they are not going to go into downtown. So we're the ones who are going to say, 'there's a beautiful downtown.'”

“Sarah Parry (the previous executive director) did an incredible job,” said Sieder. “She put the Chamber on a level that we are really proud of.”

Sieders background comes from more of a marketing field and she would like to share that with the Chamber members. She hopes to have certain programs to explain what social media is and how Chamber members can use it.

“I think I have the right experience needed for this job and I love Fernie. It's going to be a lot of fun.”

She would like to do more events and expand the Fernie Chamber business awards in October into a fun evening out.

“What they did the last couple of years with the Chamber awards was amazing, no question, but we have so many people who would like to come so we'll need more space. If we're going to go bigger then I think we need to bring it to the next level.”

Griz Days, Summer Socials, Fernie in Bloom and the Fernie Business Awards are all events put on by the FCC.

“I think [events] are really important for a Chamber to do, to put on more events to bring more business to the people in town.”

Marketing will be her focus to get the message out there. It is all about their memberships' success.

“You can have a beautiful event, but if no one knows about it, it’s useless,” said Sieders.

The Chamber's strength is through active membership so people can get the most through networking, luncheons or skills training at workshops. Members businesses are listed on the Fernie Chamber website, their brochures are stocked at the two Visitor Centres and there are committees where members can find another voice as a director.

On the macro level, the Chamber provides a solid unified voice. “We are accessible if our members have a problem. We have an open door policy. If our members have any questions, we will take the time to listen,” said Sieders.”In the end, it's all about that your business works and you can live off of it. This is most important.”

The Chamber welcomes current and new members to join them for their AGM breakfast at the Stanford Inn from 8 to 11 am on April 24.

For more information go to www.ferniechamber.com or call (250) 423-6868.

 

 

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