Carolyn Rennie is the new executive director of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Carolyn Rennie is the new executive director of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Head of Salmon Arm Chamber moves from climate catastrophes to business success

New executive director finds commonalities between her university focus and new duties

The new executive director of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce may enjoy having her head in the clouds, but she’s down to business when it comes to the chamber.

Carolyn Rennie, who began her job in January, holds a masters degree in meteorology from York University in Toronto.

“I love clouds,” she smiled.

Her degree led her into work at Environment Canada and then a management position at CatIQ, which provides studies on the effects of catastrophes for the insurance industry.

She said many of the skills she learned there, which included selling the idea of a large conference to her boss and then putting it on, fit well with her job at the chamber.

She’s also done a lot of volunteering, including as a director of the Young Insurance Professionals of Toronto. Among other duties, the work involved holding charity events and bringing in mentors.

With her positions she has enjoyed travelling and speaking at conferences, but in 2017 she came to Salmon Arm to visit a friend.

She was immediately smitten by the town and surrounding landscape, so she left her job and her busy life to move across the country.

“I had the money but it didn’t bring me the happiness,” she said.

Read more: Executive director of Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce to resign

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She worked in insurance in Salmon Arm, but then stopped to consider what she really wanted to do.

“I don’t think I’d ever taken time to decide what I was interested in. I realized insurance was not my passion,” she said.

When the opening at the chamber came up, she noticed it included all the things she loves to do on the side, separate from her regular jobs.

“Being able to do this as a day job is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced,” she smiled.

She enjoys web design and marketing, “but I also love hearing the stories of the businesses, learning about them, learning about the supports available, or collaborating in trying to build the business community.”

“It’s not just the business community,” she added. “It’s the people community as the business owners live here.”

Her goals include connecting business owners with one another, promoting the chamber, and also promoting businesses and helping them grow. One avenue for achieving some of those goals is through events; she is planning a virtual expo of sorts.

Rennie expressed her commitment and passion for Salmon Arm.

“I want everyone to thrive in the community because it’s embraced me so much,” she said.

The chamber office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, located at 101-160 Harbourfront Dr. NE.

The phone number is 250-832-6247 or Rennie can be reached via email at admin@sachamber.bc.ca.

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