Stettler Board of Trade has new executive director

Byron Geddes plans to get into the community to talk to small business owners

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

The Stettler Board of Trade has a new executive director.

Starting in the role Oct. 1, Byron Geddes has taken over the role vacated by Stacey Benjamin earlier this year.

Geddes’ hiring into the position is just his latest of many community-building roles he has held in his 47 years living in Stettler.

“I’ve been involved in just about every minor sport imaginable,” said Geddes.

“Soccer, golf, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, high school volleyball, the youth centre. Ten years with the fire department, five years with the ambulance. You name it. All the groups where I could lend a hand.”

Most recently, Geddes could be found at the Jewel Theatre, which he owned from 2014 until 2020 before selling to Rairdan Services.

Geddes was asked to submit his resume for the executive director position by Town of Stettler Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky.

“I’d coached with (Greg) in the past,” said Geddes.

“He knew how I operate and such … I didn’t think any more of it.”

According to Geddes, the first few days on the job has been a steep learning curve.

“I’ve been just getting my feet under me,” said Geddes, with a laugh.

“It’s like drinking from a fire-hose. Some of (the information) sticks, but most of it flies off you.”

Geddes’ plan for the first three to six months is helping the Board of Trade team members, who he cites as being, “Frankly overworked with Stacey leaving.”

“The team is really thankful that there is another person in a chair here,” said Geddes.

“They are super strong individuals that are doing a fantastic job. Anywhere I can help these guys right now, that’s what I’m all about. We have a strong, good-quality team here, and I hope to compliment it.”

In addition to more fully learning his role and helping his team, Geddes plans to get into the community to talk to small business owners.

“I really hope to make an impact in the community. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to help small businesses, and create small businesses in the community,” said Geddes.

“There will be lots of people that I will talk to in the next three to six months, spending a lot of time talking about what they want to see, and about where I can best help the community.”

Meanwhile, Geddes wants people to know that if he’s not in the community knocking on doors, his coffee pot is always on, and his office door is always open.

“I really do hope that people take time out of their day to stop by and re-acquaint themselves with the Board of Trade,” said Geddes.

“We can show them how and what we are doing to help them with their small businesses in the community.”