Cornwall Chamber welcomes new office manager, focusing on BEA+

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Much has changed since the pandemic began about two years ago, including the structure of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Greg Pietersma stepped down as Executive Director of the chamber about a month ago, becoming the new Executive Director of ACCFutures. Shannon Tierney, the chamber’s administrative assistant, also announced her departure to join the ACCFutures team.

“Greg has been a fantastic support during the transition,” said chamber president Shannon Lebrun.

That sentiment was echoed by the chamber’s new office manager, Angela Bero. Bero, who is now only a few months in his role, is excited about the future of the chamber and emerging from the pandemic.

Bero, who has owned and operated Midnight Confetti Events for over 18 years, prides himself on his entrepreneurial spirit. She believes this will propel her to success in her new role. Her husband now solely runs their event planning business.

“I took this position knowing that I can still be active in the community and help other businesses perhaps with some of the knowledge that I have gained over the years and some of the things that I have experienced with the pandemic and my business,” she mentioned.

Bero hopes to focus on new ideas emerging in a (hopefully) post-pandemic world and revisit hosting in-person social events. Thanks to Midnight Confetti Events, she has developed many relationships with other businesses in the region, particularly in Akwesasne. She feels it is important to develop community partnerships with Akwesasne to move the chamber forward.

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“She does a fantastic job. When you walk into an environment like the chamber of commerce, there are so many moving parts, and she jumped in,” Lebrun said.

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An upcoming election of board directors will take place at the chamber’s annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for May 17. The chamber is also in the process of creating a BEA+ 2022 magazine, which should be launched at the end of June. Lebrun and Bero hope that a small event can take place around the same time to celebrate the winners of the Business Excellence Awards.

Lebrun said the chamber is also wrapping up local store initiatives starting in 2021 and work associated with federal government development grants. The chamber continues to support the administrative matters of the Downtown Business Improvement Association (DBIA).

Tentatively, the chamber hopes to consider the possibility of hosting a golf tournament again this summer and a home show in 2023.

“It’s 2022 and things are changing again, and we have to change with that as well…we’re hoping to start doing some more of our networking again, which we obviously weren’t allowed to do because of the pandemic…we want to slow down to bring events back because things could still change,” Lebrun said.

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