The Prince George Chamber of Commerce isn’t the only chamber undergoing a change at the top.
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has just hired a new executive director, who comes it from Prince George, via Vernon.
Former Prince George Mayor Dan Rogers, who left the city to become the CEO of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, has moved down the valley to take over the 1,350-member Kelowna chamber.
Rogers has been in charge of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce since 2014, where he has overseen growth in membership; an active policy advocacy program; and an expansion of Chamber-partnered programs with members, and with other Chambers of Commerce in the valley and around the province.
The former broadcast journalist lived in Prince George for 30 years and served four terms on Prince George city council and one term as mayor.
His particular area of interest in Vernon has been centered on building innovative programs to support members and the business community while encouraging collaborative efforts between private and public sector organizations.
In the move to the Kelowna Chamber, Rogers plans to continue his active interest in policy, while taking on the broader responsibilities of managing a larger operational staff of nine; a larger membership; year-round multiple events, and working with what he defines as “one of Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, and a force to be reckoned with now, and in the future.”
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has been searching for a permanent executive director since January. Two high-producing managers, Lorraine McGrath, a financial expert who also lectures in entrepreneurship at Okanagan College, and Ken Bessason, a 35-year bank manager turned realtor, stepped into the chair for the chamber. Both are past presidents of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.
“Both our interim managers brought so much to our Chamber staff, to our board, and to our members,” said Tom Dyas, President of the Board of the Chamber, on announcing Rogers’s appointment. “While our operational staff carried on with unstinting professionalism across their wide range of tasks, the interim managers emphasized stability and connection with the Board and wider business community. We’re extremely grateful to both of them for their generous contributions of time and effort.”
Rogers will work with the board and the operational staff in his run-up to full-time in June, and looks forward to meeting Chamber members and business partners in Kelowna over the coming months. Outside work, Dan spends a fair bit of time with his family and occasionally pursues an athletic endeavour on the soccer pitch or on the golf course. Dan and his family will begin the transition to Kelowna over the next few months. His youngest daughter is already a member of the Okanagan Athletics Club in Kelowna, active with the track and field club’s pole vault program.
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is also looking for a new chief executive officer as Christie Ray announced earlier this month she will be resigning this summer.