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New president takes the helm of Simpson Chamber of Commerce
Goals include registering every local business with the chamber

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012

The new president of the Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce is bringing energy, enthusiasm and a vision to the position.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kirby Groat, left, the former president of the Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce, congratulates Angela Fiebelkorn on being acclaimed the president during the chamber's annual general meeting on June 9. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Angela Fiebelkorn was acclaimed president during the chamber's annual general meeting on June 9. Fiebelkorn has been the chamber's secretary and treasurer for the past year and has worked on a number of the chamber's projects, including the design of its website, on a casual basis. Fiebelkorn said she was excited to be acclaimed as president.

"I thought this is a great opportunity," she said.

Fiebelkorn said she has a vision for the chamber's development as an organization.

"I really think the chamber could be a voice for businesses," she said.

For Fiebelkorn, the first step towards that goal will be getting all of the businesses in Fort Simpson to register with the chamber regardless of whether or not they want to be members.

From businesses with multiple employees to people selling Avon out of their houses, Fiebelkorn wants their e-mail and phone number so she can keep them informed on developments in the village that could affect businesses.

Last year there were 106 businesses registered in the village. All of them need to be included in the chamber's dialogue, she said.

There are lots of benefits to being a member of the chamber, including networking and accessing local expertise.

If someone has a business-related question chances are another business owner in the community has had a similar issue in the past and devised an answer, said Fiebelkorn.

Once the lines of communication are established, Fiebelkorn also hopes to be able to respond to the needs of the chamber's members and the larger business community.

"As a group we can do things better than individually," she said.

One of Fiebelkorn's goals is to promote the businesses in the village. She plans to create a package with synopses of all of the services local businesses offer.

Those packages will be given to people such as out-of-town contractors doing major projects in the village. The idea is to provide them with a directory of services in the community to prevent the outsourcing of work that can be done by Fort Simpson businesses.

The chamber's other projects for the year include promoting signage.

Fiebelkorn said she noticed when she moved to Fort Simpson two years ago that very few businesses have signs and it can be hard for visitors to locate them as a result. Signs are inviting, friendly and make businesses accessible, she said.

The chamber is promoting funding for signage available through the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

The chamber is also in the process of creating a new edition of its Fort Simpson Visitors' Guide. The guide has been very popular and very few of the 5,000 copies from the 2008 edition are still available.

During the annual general meeting, Lindsay Waugh, Ted Grant, Colin Munro, Brenda Allaire and Mark Gerlock joined Fiebelkorn on the board's executive as directors.

The organization will also have the ability to complete more projects this year because it has approved hiring a casual clerical position, instead of relying on volunteer efforts alone, Fiebelkorn said.

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