Karin Penner to retire from Chamber this year


The Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce announced today that Chamber Manager Karin Penner, who has been with the Chamber for over 30 years, will retire as Manager at the end of December, 2014.

“I speak for every Chamber President over the past three decades when I say that working with Karin is – and has been – a true honour and privilege,” said Dave Butler, current President of the Cranbrook Chamber. “Karin’s dedication to the Chamber, to Chamber staff and volunteers, to area businesses and to the entire community is unparalleled. Her deep understanding of the inner workings of both the Chamber and Cranbrook has been a steadying factor through many years of change … changing faces on the Chamber Board, changing elected officials and community issues, and an ever-changing economy.”

Karin (or “Mrs. P” as she is known by many…) began her work with the Chamber on August 20, 1983 and has been the Chamber manager since then. Along the way, Karin worked with a long list of Chamber Presidents and Directors and she has been active in the BC Chamber Executives Association. In 1997, Karin was honoured by her Chamber colleagues around BC when she was presented with the Gerry Frederick Memorial Executive of the Year Award. And in 2011, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce was named “Chamber of the Year” by the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Karin’s 30 years of inspiring community contributions were celebrated last December in a special Chamber luncheon and by Mayor Stetski and Councillors during a January 20th City Council meeting. This year, Karin is working with the current Chamber Board to make the Chamber even more relevant to more businesses. Through Karin’s leadership, the Chamber is on track to reach a total membership of 500 area businesses by the end of 2014, with many new networking and professional development opportunities coming on-stream.

“Karin will leave behind very big shoes to fill,” said Butler. “The Chamber’s Executive Committee, working with Karin, has already begun planning to fill those shoes. We’ll have more information available soon on what will be a very exciting opportunity for an individual to take on a key leadership role in our community, building on Karin’s legacy.”

For more information, please contact Chamber President Dave Butler via the Chamber office (250-426-5914).

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