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(Abbotsford) – March 18, 2021 – The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting on Friday, March 12th where it welcomed its new Board and celebrated achievements in 2020.

The Board undertook a comprehensive recruiting process and clearly identified key sectors of focus, leadership, and skills competencies to grow the board. It also sought to ensure a diverse composition across business, professions, and community.

The 2021/2022 Board Members are:

  • Melinda Friesen, Clearbrook Grain & Milling, President
  • Craig Toews, University of the Fraser Valley, Vice President
  • Katie Yu, RBC, Treasurer
  • Chris Gauthier, Memento Mori Studios, Secretary
  • Mike Ashcroft, Cascade, Director
  • Karen Biggs, Menno Place, Director
  • Tim Holloway, KPMG, Director
  • Kevin Mierau, Mierau Contractors Ltd, Director
  • Sam Varing, Baker Newby LLP, Director
  • Josh Reynolds, Illustrative Collective, Director (newly elected)
  • Ravi Sidhu, TELUS, Director (newly elected)
  • Tammy McLachlan, Canadian Western Bank (newly elected)
  • Paul Penner, Re/Max, Director (newly elected)

In her President’s address, Melinda Friesen reflected on the last year and experiences of our members and local businesses, including the work of the Chamber and the community to support business throughout the pandemic.

“COVID generated collaboration and creativity in our community on so many levels. Your Abbotsford Chamber took the lead in bringing together several community stakeholders to create the ABCC (Abbotsford Business Community Coalition) encouraging our community to shop and give local with the #dowhatlocalsdo campaign. Engaging local businesses to participate in a free gift-card platform with Support Local BC, as well as raising over $40,000 to provide grants of $2,000 each to small business owners,” said Friesen.

Her message was also to not let COVID define the year as that “although it’s constantly at the top of our minds and at the forefront of our everyday lives, there is much more that happened in 2020 than the COVID pandemic.”

Friesen moreover explained, “I believe one of the greatest accomplishments we made this past year was to strengthen our positioning as Abbotsford’s leading business organization. Not only did we reflect on the value of the relationships with our members, but some of the Directors and Chamber staff combined our efforts to call every single one. We wanted to hear first-hand what we could do to further support them now and as we navigate ahead… You are helping us build a greater Chamber. COVID hasn’t kept us in crisis. It’s helped us embrace our creativity, encouraged collaboration, and given many of us a greater sense of community – all things we can take with us as we take on 2021.”

About the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce:

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is Fraser Valley’s leading member-driven organization and voice that improves the effectiveness of doing business. An Accredited Chamber of Commerce managed strategically to reflect national standards of business excellence and best practices. Created to promote the interests of businesses in the City of Abbotsford, the Chamber has been an integral part of Abbotsford’s growth and evolution for nearly as long as the city has existed and is in its 108th year of service.


For more information, please contact:

Katerina Anastasiadis
Executive Director
Tel: 604-859-9651

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