Dorsett acclaimed as new board of trade president

The Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development welcomed Matt Dorsett as its new president

The Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development welcomed Matt Dorsett as its new president at its annual general meeting this week.

Dorsett, who is store manager of the Stettler Peavey Mart, was acclaimed at the meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at the board office, but was unable to attend due to out-of-town business.

The board also welcomed Roderick Bryce as its new vice-president, while several new members were added to the board executive.

The meeting, attended by a total of 15 people and chaired by outgoing president Joyce Kiryk, included an overview of the board’s activities over the past year.

Minutes from last year’s annual general meeting, held Feb. 11, 2014, were approved, as were the annual financial statements and the signing authorities for the coming year.

Executive members Joyce Kiryk and Brandi Page were approved to serve as the two-member financial review committee.

The board’s executive director, Aubrey Brown, presented his summary of the board activities over 2014, calling it a “unique year” with many new projects launched.

This included the inaugural Canadian Badlands Pheasant Festival, held in October, for which 2,000 live pheasants were released in the County of Stettler.

Brown noted that the festival turned a profit and was deemed a success, even attracting some national media coverage from the specialty channel Wild TV.

He later mentioned that plans for the 2015 festival were already underway, including an online registration process, and added “Volunteers will be a crucial factor in terms of the success of that event continuing.”

Another successful event was the annual general meeting of the Metis Nation of Alberta, which attracted an estimated 2,000 people to the district in August.

The board also hosted the business and citizenship awards in October, and was involved in putting together the Steel Wheel Stampede held in late August.

The board is currently working on its annual travel guide, which is expected to be published just prior to the May long weekend.

With the increase of tourists getting information online and via mobile devices, Brown said he anticipated a smaller publication with more specific content this year.

He also discussed their work with local industry leaders and government, their efforts to attract and retain businesses, and planning for the upcoming 35th annual trade show in April, which has sold more than 90 per cent of its available booths.

Nominations and elections for the new president and executive members were held at the end of the meeting, as those in attendance took the oath of office.

The meeting was adjourned after roughly half an hour, followed by the board’s regular meeting.

Town councilor Sean Knolls provided an update on the recent announcement by Telus that its fibre optic service will soon be available in Stettler.

“This is something that will attract people to town,” he said, calling it a “utility” and adding, “It’s good for the town in the long run.”

Board of trade manager Stacey Benjamin discussed both the trade show and the upcoming women’s conference, scheduled for April 24. She also mentioned her new role as one of the directors for East Parkland Community Futures, announced in January.

An update was provided on the new parade float, currently under construction by Dave McCourt.

The float will be centred around a heart shape bearing the name “STETTLER” in large letters, adorned with a model steam locomotive atop and surrounded by models of downtown storefronts. A plexiglass panel at one end will allow space for announcements of coming events.

Brown said the float was being “meticulously assembled” and was expected to be delivered in April, for use beginning in May. The board expects to visit 12 communities with the float this summer.

He also said it could be used for other purposes, including serving as a tourism kiosk or as a backdrop for public announcements.

In addition to Dorsett, Bryce and Kiryk, the board of directors includes the following: Gail Peterson, Alberta Works; Edna Stuart, Royal LePage Central; Brenda Barritt, Stettler Adult Learning/Campus Alberta; Brandi Page, Canalta Stettler; Tom Campbell, Investors Group; Sherry Marshall, TD Canada Trust; Kurt Baker, WISH Kitchen & Gift; and Svetlana Radonjic, Points West Living.

Coun. Sean Nolls serves as the representative for the Town of Stettler council, while Coun. Karen Sereneky serves as the alternate.