Change is in the air at the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce.
Rnold Smith, who is the former board president of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed as the organizations chief executive officer.
“We are very pleased Rnold has taken on this contract role for the next year,” said Scott McAlpine, president of the chamber’s board of directors. “He has been on the chamber’s board of directors for six years, is passionate about our city and its business community and has the energy and enthusiasm for the job.”
Under his leadership, it “won’t be business as usual” for New Westminster’s business community, Smith said in a press release.
“I am honored and excited to take on this role,” he said. “I have over 20 years of business leadership experience, as well as an intimate understanding of both the chamber and our city. I see many opportunities to increase value for our members, as well as our impact on the business community and the city as a whole.”
When starting his new role with the chamber, Smith’s goal was to help each and every organization in New Westminster to have its best year ever. He’s had to reevaluate that goal in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
“As an entrepreneur, I tend to focus on what is possible as opposed to what is probable or practical. All results start with having faith that you can achieve them. This is why I started this role with the idea that every organization in New Westminster could have its best year ever in 2020,” he said in an email to the Record. “Of course, the reality of our economic landscape has drastically changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it is incredibly hard to believe that the best year ever goal is possible when so many businesses are simply focused on survival. My sincere hope is that, when we are on the other side of this crisis, our community will be stronger and more connected, and I promise to work hard every day to help make that a reality.”
Citing the chamber’s mission “to connect, support and inspire,” Smith said he plans to involve non-profits, arts and culture and non-governmental organizations – not just businesses – in the implementation of the chamber’s strategic plans. He plans to work closely with all of the chamber’s partner, including the city’s economic development department, the Uptown, Sapperton and Downtown business improvement associations, Tourism New West, the Hyack Festival Association and the two Rotary clubs in New Westminster to see how they can help each other thrive.
“I believe everything is possible and everything is improved when we all work together,” he said. “Helping a non-profit find the right sponsor or an artist to find a paying gig or introducing independent entrepreneurs to other service professionals and small business owners, will help us all be more prosperous.”