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Kayla Petersen new chair of the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce

The new chair described as 'strong-willed, dynamic, and fiercely driven'.

BATTLEFORDS — Jan. 24 marked the Battleford Chamber of Commerce's 117th Chair’s Luncheon, which saw Kayla Petersen sworn in as chair, with Glenda Rye sworn in as vice chair. 

The luncheon opened with remarks from guests, friends of the chamber, and elected officials, including Rosemarie Falk (MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster), the Honourable Jeremy Cockrill (MLA for The Battlefords), Mayor David Gillian, Mayor Ames Leslie, and outgoing chair Derek Schmidt. 

“Local businesses are without a doubt the backbone of every community…” Falk’s greetings read as she thanked guests, community members, and the outgoing chair for his contributions.

Cockrill also thanked the outgoing chair, Derek Schmidt, for representing the business community's interests before congratulating chair-elect Kayla Petersen for stepping into the role of chair for the following year.

“I’m confident that her own experience will serve chamber members well,” Cockrill’s greetings read. “Thank you again to the entire chamber team for your work to represent the voice of business in the Battlefords and the surrounding region.”

Battleford Councillor Doug Laing and the reeve of the RM of Battle River, Stewart Mitchell, were also in attendance.

Following the greetings, Linda Machniak, Doris Jobin-Robert, Sarah Hashim and Melanie Roberts were acknowledged for their role in the smooth operations of the chamber. 

“It’s because of you that our chamber continues to be strong, engaged in important issues, and relevant,” chair Derek Schmidt said.

MC for the event, Glenda Rye, thanked corporate members including Discovery Co-op and SaskTel for their engagement, participation, and support before saying goodbye to the chamber’s outgoing past chair and eight-year board member, Melanie Roberts, as she moves into her new role as membership development co-ordinator. 

“We’re very grateful for the completion of her four-year terms on the board … we will miss her contributions at board meetings as she was always prepared to discuss every topic and share her wealth of knowledge.”

Following, past chairs and presidents at the event were acknowledged, including:

  • Chris Odishaw;
  • Heath Gabruch;
  • Warren Williams;
  • Terry Caldwell; 
  • Dallan Oberg;
  • Harris Sutherland;
  • Melanie Roberts; and
  • Derek Schmidt. 

“All of these leaders have not only been key to the direction of the chamber, but all play a large part in the community … they give all of their time and efforts in making the Battlefords the best place to live and do business,” Rye said.

Melanie Roberts toasted Schmidt, thanking him for his instrumental support in the shop local campaign that went off without a hitch, and created over 80 videos of local businesses. 

Schmidt has hosted many events, including the BBEX Gala, hosted the post-budget lunch with Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer, moderated the most recent power hour, the fireside chat and luncheon with Premier Scott Moe and attended the throne speech at the legislature.

"Thank you," Roberts said.

“I’m so pleased I was able to fill the position. I have a better understanding of business and how all levels of government work and function, good and bad,” Schmidt said before thanking Machniak for everything she does for the community and the chamber.

He finished his remarks with a few words for the incoming chair.

“Kayla will not disappoint. Strong-willed, dynamic, and fiercely driven, your incoming chair will propel the organization to great things. Good luck, Kayla.”

Chris Odishaw, former mayor of Battleford, owner of Battleford Furniture, and two-time president of the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce, administered the oaths of office to Kayla Petersen and Glenda Rye before she began her acceptance speech.

Kayla Petersen has served on the board of directors for eight years and is looking forward to having another year filled with successful events. Working as a Realtor, she is enthusiastic about making the Battlefords the best they can be.

“I’m excited to see what growth there can be for the chamber, the Battlefords, the business community, and the people in general for our great city and town," Petersen said.

"Thank you ... we’ll see you at the next chamber event."