Tibbetts chosen to head Chamber

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting Tuesday to elect a new executive for 2003.
The incoming president is Alan Tibbetts of H & R Block, who is joined on the executive by first vice-president Gary Rogozinski (Abitibi-Consolidated), second vice-president Brian Hagarty (NorFab), treasurer Kelly Spicer (Robin’s Donuts), and past president Roberta Oliver.
“I’m excited about [being president],” said Tibbetts. “It’s the centennial year [in 2003] and will be a good year to promote the Chamber and the town.
“I plan to expand our partnerships with town council, the ‘Re-Inventing Fort Frances’ group, and the Business Improvement Association so that everybody is working to promote Fort Frances.”
Tibbetts also said the Chamber is planning a special trade show in May.
“It’s bigger. It’s called the ‘Spectacular Extravaganza.’ It’s a trade show, plus there will be entertainment and kids activities,” he noted.
The “Spectacular Extravaganza” will be held the second weekend in May. Tibbetts said the theme will be historical so they’re considering an antiques road show concept were exhibitors will offer old and new products.
Oliver noted yesterday that after starting 2002 with a $20,000 deficit, the Chamber of Commerce only will be facing one of $3,000 to start 2003.
She attributed the successful year to hard work and Chamber initiatives such as the $3 coin project.
Meanwhile, appointees to the Chamber board are Mayor Glenn Witherspoon (Town of Fort Frances), Geoff Gillon (Rainy River Future Development Corp.), and Christine Jourdain (Couchiching First Nation).
The BIA has yet to appoint a representative.
The Chamber’s directors for 2003 include Christine Denby, Ala Dulas, Louise Holzer, Gus MacDonell, Anne Renaud, Larry Syrovy, Debbie Williamson, Amy Wrigley, and Betsy Zub.
Yesterday’s meeting also covered the action plan for 2003 as presented by Gillon, who stressed the need to expand Chamber membership to be successful.
Among the ways discussed to accomplish this were incentives for membership recruitment and volunteering. Image also was addressed, including the Chamber office, which he called “a little building that needs some classing up.”
Options are being considered.
The discussion also moved to the possible increase in membership fees, which haven’t changed since 1996.
A two percent increase was discussed, but it was decided to hold off until a package could be drafted to outline membership benefits completely and any new programs or incentives could be introduced.