Nineteen members of the business community – along with Joe Townsend of the NSW Business Chamber to officiate – participated in the first annual general meeting of the Tenterfiled Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business on August 2 at the Tenterfield Golf Club.
The new executive includes Paul Quinn, Vince Sherry, Kristen Lovett, Trish Parker, Kevin Santin, Josh Telford and Amanda Rudge.
The executive will meet in coming weeks to determine who goes into what position.
They are also looking to form a number of subcommittees focusing on different aspects of the organisation’s operations, namely economic development (looking at business opportunities), promotion and events (such as next year’s Peter Allen festival and standalone functions), and membership and membership retention.
Steering committee president Vince Sherry said the chamber will be working on a program of incentives for visitors to stay longer, on the back of anecdotal evidence of a surge in visitor numbers.
“Businesses are quite excited,” he said.
“We have to captialise on these opportunities.”
He said it was good to see the new board has a creative mix of people, and he thanked all those who had nominated.
“It’s a good group of people, with a couple of young ones which is very important for getting differing ideas. We’re going to do good things this year.”
Mr Sherry said it was critical that the chamber works closely with Tenterfield Shire Council.
He thanked mayor Peter Petty (who was also present) on his support of the initiative.
In his director’s report, Mr Sherry said the steering committee has met monthly over the past year to create a constitution, strategic plan, and a platform on which to start working.
“Like many new organisations the first 24 months are often the most difficult,” he said. “The steering committee had not only to set up the working platform but also to build membership.”
In addition to the Christmas late night shopping promotion, three business breakfasts, input to the Tenterfield True brand strategy and liaising with council on signage provisions and water rates, Mr Sherry said the chamber has had two meeting with MP Thomas George with regards to business opportunities for the shire.
“I would like to emphasise an important point,” Mr Sherry said.
“The chamber exists and will succeed provided its membership is inclusive and collaborative. That members engage and be involved in its operation.”
The chamber currently has 54 business members.