Experienced as a photographer, Joyce Kiryk has a vision for her new job as the president of Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development.
“We have some new members on the board, and I am really looking forward to getting to know them and work with them,” said Kiryk, who was elected at the board of trade’s annual general meeting last week.
Bryce Leschert was elected vice-president for the coming year.
Bonnie Ireland, Andrea Hatch, Corry Peake, Crystal MacLellan, Dennis Smyth, Gail Peterson, Edna Stewart and Wendy Rhyason were elected as directors, while Darrin Bosomworth became the board’s past-president.
Town of Stettler is represented by Mayor Dick Richards and Coun. Steve Wildeboer.
The new president is already ambitious to boost the business community.
“Last year’s Stettler Cultural Days was a huge success, and I would like to see that event again this year and perhaps even get larger,” Kiryk said of the fall event, which was popular for participants but suffered from small crowds.
With many community events already scheduled in Stettler, she envisions even greater support and participation from businesses.
“I would like to see more communication between the board of trade and the restaurants in Stettler,” Kiryk said.
“Personally, I would like to see some of the restaurants that aren’t normally open on weekends might consider special openings at least on the Saturday — and then the event organizers could pass on to the participants who is open, when and if there are running a special.”
As the board of trade seeks to include all business sectors, its intention is to focus on the oil and gas industry and welcome representatives to business and social events.
“If we invite them, we could make them feel more a part of the community,” Kiryk said. “We’ve got a lot of these businesses.”
The board plans include the annual Stettler trade show, set for April 12 to 14, with another full lineup of exhibitors expected.
A one-day women’s conference has been set for April 26 under the board of trade mantle.
Health-care issues and physician recruitment remain top priorities for the board of trade for this year, reported Aubrey Brown, the group’s executive-director.
“We spoke with two candidates and two have accepted — it’s quite encouraging,” Brown said.
A skills day in Stettler for 56 medical students from Edmonton last October was also rated a top event in conjunction with the Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan.
“For many students, they learned a lot about rural and small-town life and we had a chance to showcase our region,” Brown said.
To further promote the community and tourism, the board of trade plans to develop an ambassador program with employees, a communications strategy and innovations to extend visitors’ stays in the region.