New chamber president ready to jump right in
|By Joseph Quigley - Staff Writer | Nov. 8, 2018|
New Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce president Andrea Strano says she wants to continue with the chamber’s current initiatives.
The chamber announced Oct. 31 that first vice president Strano would be replacing president Richard Wannan. The change comes 18 months into Wannan’s tenure, with Strano having worked as vice president since June.
“I feel proud and honoured to be stepping into the role as chamber president,” Strano said. “I feel it’s really important for our community, for the board, to be continuing to focus on building upon initiatives that Richard and our board began working on, such as local procurement.”
Strano came to Haliburton County from southwestern Ontario in 2007. She started a spin studio in Haliburton before taking her career to Remax North County, where she has been a realtor the past six years.
An Oct. 31 chamber press release said she has been a member there since June 2013, “acting in a leadership capacity on several committees and projects.” “
I quickly realized how important it was to make those connections to other business people in our community,” Strano said. “Being a part of the chamber, I felt really supported and part of a large group with larger goals. Helping each other achieve and thrive in a smaller community.”
Wannan said he was departing his position to focus on business commitments with the Bank of Montreal. He added serving as chamber president the past 18 months has been very rewarding.
“We tackled some big issues. We opened up doors of communication, created new partnerships,” he said. “We have our members who are becoming more involved with the chamber because it’s their chamber, not ours.”
He added he’s confident Strano will succeed as president. “Andrea was a very strong, righthand person. It was fun to watch her grow with the chamber,” he said. “She’s got the skills, the commitment, the dedication and the belief of our chamber.”
Strano said there was a small element of surprise with the timing of the switch, but she is ready to take the position on.
“Richard and I had been talking for the last six months or so that this year would be his last year serving as the chamber president and then I would step in the role,” she said. “I feel there’s no better time than now to jump in and get started. I really respect everything Richard’s done and the building blocks he’s formed.”
Strano said the chamber belongs to its members, who will drive decisions with the organization.
“It’s very important that the members’ voices are heard, so that we can provide new value-added services to our membership and really find out what our members want from us,” she said.