Daniel Chimko, BJ Houghton and Terrance Byrd. Photo Gerry Leibel

Chamber of Commerce gets new directors

Chamber wants to better communicate with businesses - Parsons

Last weekend saw the announcement of three new directors appointed to the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce board.

Chamber executive director Trish Parsons said the organization was looking forward to working with the new directors, local businessmen Daniel Chimko, BJ Houghton and Terrance Byrd.

“The appointments are part of the chamber’s commitment to keeping our businesses active and supported,” added Parsons. “There are a lot of new perspectives that the new directors can bring to the board.”

She said new directors on the board are important for ensuring there is a sense of renewed energy in the business community.

“The chamber is also looking forward to new insights as to how we can better communicate with our businesses,” said Parsons. “This is particularly important during the downturn in the local economy.”

Chimko, owner and general Manager at Dal Monte’s Wood-Craft, said he chose to become a board member so that he could give back to the business community.

“I will be giving up my time to ensure that chamber events are a success,” said Chimko. “I will also be looking at improving communication between small and big businesses.”

He said the local economy will rebound eventually, considering the country needs to move resources and that Kitimat is well placed to be a part of that process.

“We have had our ups and downs here, but businessmen in Kitimat are very resilient,” said Chimko. “It’s just a matter of time before something comes to fruition – we all know there is something around the corner for Kitimat.”

Chimko, who was born and raised in Kitimat, returned to the town a year ago with his wife, intent on making a life for him and his family in the town.

Houghton, Kitimat branch manager at civil engineering firm McElhanney, said he is keen to provide the board with his unique point of view on whatever happens in Kitimat in the years to come.

“Whether we get LNG or port development, I will be looking at how local businesses manage the boom,” said Houghton. “For now, I will be focusing on helping find ways for businesses to stick it out through the bust.”

He said his understanding of finance will help him provide valuable information for chamber members and Kitimat businesses.

Byrd, Kentron Construction’s Operations Project Manager, said his strength lies in his outside perspective, having moved to Kitimat from the U.S. in 2012 to work on the Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization Project.

“After KMP I decided to stick around. I got married here and ended up working for the company that supplied us with concrete during the project,” said Byrd.

He said the decision to stay in Kitimat wasn’t difficult, considering the location, and the fact that the community takes pride in the town, and the sense of optimism despite the challenges.

“We need to take the downtime in the local economy to develop a good plan,” added Byrd. “I believe we’re in for an interesting couple of months ahead.”