The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce has hired a new Executive Director, as Helen Barron is behind the wheel of the organization which hopes to provide additional business supports throughout the community.
Working at the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce since May 2019, Barron applied and got the position following the departure of Kristin Parsons.
With a background in sales and marketing, process management and, non-profit management, Barron also graduated from the Business Administration Program at the College of the Rockies.
Speaking to MyEastKootenayNow.com, Barron said she’s excited to get to work and start implementing ideas to strengthen Cranbrook’s business community and its business network.
“To me, it’s just an opportunity for myself and my team to really dig into all of these ideas that have sort of been culminating over the last little while and just to be able to be in a position where I can really just sink my teeth into these issues that have come up,” said Barron. “Just to be bringing more value to our membership and to continue to advocate with all three levels of government to address the issues that are facing the community.”
From her perspective and following the Chamber’s annual business walk in 2019, Barron feels she knows the most pressing issues facing a lot of Cranbrook businesses.
“The struggle to find talented labour to fill specialized positions and the struggle for people who are coming into the community to find housing.”
“I think that we just need to do our best to provide educational opportunities and be attracting the kinds of people that we need to fill the spots that are available.”
Ongoing communication with the business community is imperative to Barron, who hopes the Chamber can continue to have strong engagement and be aware of the struggles or issues that local business is facing.
“We are always looking to listen to our membership,” said Barron. “When we do the business walk, it’s not just specific to our membership, so we always have our ear to the ground to just be listening to what the current issues are. Currently, we are working on some programming and events that are going to be coming out this year to support what we’ve already heard.”
Barron believes the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce is already leading a strong business community because of its diverse offerings to local residents, the East Kootenay region, and those travelling through the area.
“It’s really impressive because we do have such a diverse sort of crosssection of industry. I mean we’ve got a strong trades sector, we’ve got professional services, we’ve got tourism and hospitality, sort of we just have a little bit of everything and I think that’s just due to the fact that we’re a hub for business in the area.”