Chamber elects new president

Glen Ogren has been elected as the new Hope and District Chamber of Commerce president.

Glen Ogren has been elected as the new Hope and District Chamber of Commerce president.

He officially took over the role last Wednesday and has already identified a number of priorities to focus on.

“I look around and I see so much potential here but it’s not being utilized,” said Ogren, who owns Hope Brewing Company on Wallace Street.

“In terms of the chamber, I think our biggest fault in the past is that people didn’t know what we were doing. We’ve got a vision statement now to be the voice of Hope business, to promote and to showcase the community and surrounding areas so that we have a firm direction as a chamber.”

Ogren is a strong advocate of networking opportunities. He would like to introduce a regular community market in Memorial Park that brings people together and showcases home-based businesses.

Ogren also plans on launching a monthly newsletter with chamber updates and providing business seminars.

“You’ve got to be thinking outside the box on how to keep your business going and how to grow your business,” he said.

“I want to hear from businesses in Hope. I want to hear what their thoughts are and hear how they want to move forward as a business community so that we’re supporting them.”

Ogren will continue to build on the work of Victor Smith over the last 10 years, eight of which were served as president.

The first project Smith was involved with was the Experience Hope highway sign near Hunter Creek that burned down earlier this year in July. He also played an integral role in launching the chainsaw carving competition, Canada Day car show, new kiosks at Hunter Creek, and business excellence awards.

“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with people to move this town forward,” said Smith, adding that he now plans on working with Communities in Bloom to give Hope a chance at the national level. “We’ve tried to make it a vibrant town in these tough economic times. Having new directors will bring fresh ideas to the table and energy.”

Ogren is joined by four new board members – Ruby Rempel (treasurer), Pauline Cattrell (secretary), Ryan Ellan (director) and Cathy Harry (director). Susan Johnson is still the chamber’s vice-president, while Scott Medlock, JD Lemmons and Shasta Angel remain directors.