Column: Volunteers wanted for new Shuswap Economic Development Society

Column: Volunteers wanted for new Shuswap Economic Development Society

CSRD creates arms-length non-profit society representing electoral areas

  • Jun. 9, 2020 12:20 p.m.

The new Shuswap Economic Development Society has been formed and will be calling for applicants for its inaugural board.

Successful applicants will be six to 12 people representing electoral areas C (South Shuswap), D (Falkland, Ranchero, Deep Creek) and F (North Shuswap) in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

Ideal candidates will be interested in helping businesses thrive through business retention and expansion strategies and encouragement of new investment. A full time executive director (ED) will be responsible for developing and managing a work plan dedicated to the goals of the Society.

Currently, Shuswap economic development is operated as a function through the CSRD. The decision to move to an “arms-length” model occurred because of dissatisfaction with the in-house model. It was felt greater value for the dollar could be achieved through a non-profit society, and the need for greater resourcing fulfilled with the hiring of an ED. The intent is to fund the new society with an annual grant similar to current funding of the in-house service, so there should be no significant effect on taxes.

A committee will review applications and interview applicants. Activities of the new board include:

• Meeting six to eight times per year to discuss issues and opportunities affecting the business community and to make decisions regarding activities of the society;

• Hiring, overseeing and evaluating the activities of the ED;

• Providing input and approving the annual operating budget and work plan;

• Reviewing Board structure and approving changes and bylaws as appropriate

• Acting as liaisons with local businesses and the community to build relationships, gather inputs and observations;

• Participating in annual general meetings and other local events as appropriate;

• Maintaining positive relationships amongst members of the board, committees, staff, partnering agencies and the community;

• other activities as decided on by the board.

Read more: Sicamous pulls out of CSRD economic committee

Read more: CSRD’s plan to create economic development society meets resistance

The new board will be self-managed and non-voting participation by electoral area directors will be observational and advisory.

Ideally, the board will be representative of the three CSRD electoral areas and the various business sectors in our communities. The term of office will be for up to three years, and staggered to allow for good succession planning. To assist the board and ED, it’s envisioned each electoral area will have its own advisory committee. The board will be responsible for establishment of these advisory groups.

It is anticipated the Shuswap Economic Development Society will partner and collaborate with a number of community groups. It’s expected that the new board will be formed this fall to prepare for the official start of the new society early in 2021. The call for directors will be advertised by the CSRD and the expression of interest form will be posted on the CSRD website.

If you have a passion for our community and would like to see our local economy prosper, I would heartily encourage you to apply.

-Paul Demenok is the Area C director for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District

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