Ling, Syrovy to head BIA

The Business Improvement Area’s board of directors saw a few changes following its annual general meeting here this week, with a new chair and vice-chair, and one resignation.
“I had a feeling I would become the new chair,” said Russ Ling, who only found out Wednesday of his new position because he had been out of town when his name was put forward.
Ling, who previously was vice-chair, takes over from Ted DeBenetti.
Ling said he’s feeling positive the BIA will continue to provide ways to draw people to the downtown area.
“We have a great board in place. I can see what we do will only grow and grow,” he remarked Thursday. “You’re sure not going to see us taking a nap in the year ahead.”
Larry Syrovy, owner of the Rainy Lake Hotel, will serve as vice-chair of the BIA for 2003.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said Thursday morning. “We have a lot of projects on the go. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead.”
Meanwhile, DeBenetti announced his resignation as a board member at the meeting.
“It was a hard thing to do, but I have too many other obligations right now,” the owner of A Buck or Two said Thursday morning.
“Being on all the different committees, I’ve been spreading myself kind of thin,” DeBenetti added. “But being involved with the BIA has been great, I’ve done a lot of networking.
“And the board has turned around in the past year—where it is now, it’s really an exciting time.
“Maybe in a couple of years, I’ll come back to the BIA—if they take me back,” he chuckled.
DeBenetti felt his greatest achievement in the past year has been encouraging more teamwork between the BIA and the town, Rainy River Future Development Corp., and local Chamber of Commerce.
DeBenetti added he feels Ling will do a good job as the new chair. “Russ has it all,” he remarked.
But DeBenetti’s resignation leaves the BIA board with a second vacancy to fill. Former member Janis Lesko moved on to a job at local MP Robert Nault’s constituency office in Kenora back in September.
BIA co-ordinator Laurie Beadle noted these vacancies are open to anyone who’s a member or a representative of a member.
Anyone interested can call her at 274-7502.